For $15, for Christmas one could buy:
- A nicer-than-Hanes pair of socks;
- A nicer-than-Fruit-of-the-Loom pair of underwear (men's only);
- A gift card, the near thoughtlessness of which is not redeemed by its 27-percent chance of taking up permanent residence in the back of a junk drawer;
- The hot toy of the year 2009, a Zhu-Zhu Pet - that is, if you can find one in a store where the fabled $8 price is charged.
Or, one could offer an experience, the chance to take part in a Tulsa tradition.
When I found out tickets to The Nutcracker, presented in Tulsa for more than 50 years by Tulsa Ballet, start at $15, I was appalled. At that price, how could I have managed to miss this production last year? Or the year before that? Or the year before...okay, so I saw The Nutcracker the year before that, and at least twice before even that, but still. What I felt was the opposite of buyer's remorse.
A $15 price tag is easy to swallow, particularly right now. With a recession on, everyone seems to be cutting back in one way or another this holiday season. It's nice to know that there's an affordable alternative to the "it" gifts in stores this year, as well as to opting out of gift giving altogether.
Besides, a trip to see The Nutcracker offers memories and experiences, both of which pack more of a punch as a gift than a similarly priced item in the bargain bin of some super-sized department store.
The Nutcracker is a classic, you know. Tulsa Ballet’s version, which hit the stage of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center in 2003 thanks to producer and Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini, begins with a Christmas Party at the Paris Opera House where its artistic director, Mr. Drosselmeier, announces the French premiere of The Nutcracker. Marie, a young dance student at the Paris Opera School, is captivated by the plot and, once asleep, dreams of being a part of it.
The audience is treated to the classic Nutcracker vignettes: The Dance of the Snowflakes, the Mouse King and the Nutcracker’s battle (including their armies composed of young dance students from the Tulsa area - cool, huh?) and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
During the second act are dances that pay tribute to Russia, Arabia, Spain and China, each performed in turn. The sets, created by internationally renowned designer Luisa Spinatelli, are inspired by art deco architecture and fashion.
As Angelini said, “The Nutcracker is not just a story about dolls, candy canes and imaginary kingdoms. The essence of this holiday classic is that of renewed generosity and kindness during the holiday season. It is a celebration of the goodness of the human soul.”
This weekend brings the opening night of this year's production of The Nutcracker. The first performance is Saturday at 2pm, with other 2pm showings this Sunday, as well as on Dec. 19 and 20. Evening showings at 7pm are this Saturday, as well as on Dec. 17, 18 and 19. Tickets start at $15 and go up to $55.
All performances are accompanied by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra at Chapman Music Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, in downtown Tulsa on the corner of Third and Cincinnati.
That's all. Goodnight. Goodbye. Write you tomorrow.
Ha! Just kidding.
The Tulsa Ballet has been generous enough to donate a family four pack of tickets to any showing of The Nutcracker of one lucky TDT reader's choice.
To enter to win, post something in the comments section on how you feel about men in tights. We might as well make this fun, right? We get enough Hallmark moments this time of year. Let's have some laughs and variety and spice.
Since one can emote (one way or another) for only so long in a blog's comment section about men who are strong and brave and buns-of-steel enough to wear next to nothing from the waist down while dancing vigorously to Tchaikovsky on a stage in front of more than 2,000 dance lovers, feel free to hop on Facebook and/or Twitter and gab about this giveaway. If you elect to do this, please be sure I know about it (type @tashadoestulsa in either Facebook or Twitter) so I can award you the proper number of entries.
Do all this before 8pm on Wednesday night (Dec. 9) and make the Random.org gods happy and you might just find yourself the proud, new owner of a family four pack of tickets to see the performance of your choice of The Nutcracker. And everyone will love you and never question your wisdom ever again. And they'll probably wear tights for you, too, just for kicks.
Good luck, everyone!
Tulsa Ballet: The Nutcracker
Performed at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center in Chapman Hall
110 E. Second Street
Tickets starting at $15