EntertainmentSo Cal Living

Long Beach Ballet’s The Nutcracker: A Holiday Tradition for All Ages

Christmas is a time for traditions. Perhaps one of the most time-honored traditions is that of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s immortal ballet, The Nutcracker. Since its debut in 1892, The Nutcracker has been performed at Christmastime on countless stages around the world. This year, the Long Beach Ballet presents its 35th year of the timeless classic, and they are pulling out all the stops.

long beach nutcracker ballet

Photography by Katie Ging

Boasting a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200, this is without a doubt the best production of The Nutcracker I have ever seen. The Long Beach Ballet is the only company in Southern California that performs The Nutcracker with a full symphony orchestra. They are also one of only two companies in the country that uses two harps for their production just as Tchaikovsky intended, but they don’t stop there. Employing magician, Franz Harary, to add some mystifying special effects takes the show to another level of awe and wonder.

This year, the Long Beach Ballet is also fortunate enough to feature Pacific Northwest Ballet guest artists, Seth Orza and Sarah Richard Orza, in the roles of the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Their beauty and grace combined with David Wilcox’s choreography and the music of Tchaikovsky creates unforgettable moments on stage. The spectacular sets created by former Disney designers, Elliot Hessayon and Scott Schaffer, are enchanting while the exquisite costumes designed by Autralian artist delight young and old alike.

Throughout the years, the Long Beach Ballet’s Nutcracker has been seen live by millions worldwide from California to China, and by millions more on television. Like Tchaikovksy’s mesmerizing melodies, the ballet company’s 35th anniversary production is one for the ages. Staying true to the original while adding modern touches makes this Nutcracker the one to be seen this holiday season. Just like visiting Santa Claus, baking Christmas cookies, and singing carols, watching the Long Beach Ballet’s The Nutcracker should be one of your family holiday traditions.


Long Beach Ballet is one of Southern California’s leading classical ballet institutions.  The  academy’s reputation is based on excellence, dedication and passion for the art. Students from this academy have gone on to join companies like San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and the Dresden Ballet.  For more information visit: http://www.longbeachballet.com/


Los Angeles native David Wilcox began studying the dance at the age of eleven. He continued his studies in London and at the age of nineteen began his professional career in Germany where he danced with the Berlin Ballet, the Nuremberg Ballet and the Heidelberg Ballet.  In 1981, he co-founded Long Beach Ballet which became Southern California’s most successful ballet company for 15 years.  Many of Wilcox’s students have gone on to join companies like San Francisco Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Milwaukee Ballet and New York Ballet Theater. He has produced and directed nine ballet tours to Asia and has staged three full-length ballets for the Classical Ballet of Guangzhou, China:  The Nutcracker, La Bayadere and Cinderella.  He lives with his wife and daughters in Long Beach. 

long beach nutcracker ballet

Photography by Katie Ging

Venue: Terrace Theatre, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802

Remaining Performance Schedule:   

Friday, December 22 at 7:30 pm;
Saturday, December 23 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm;
Sunday, December 24 at 1:00 pm
Tickets: Prices: $34.00 – $115.00
In Person – Long Beach Convention Center Box Office
By Phone – Long Beach Ballet “Hotline” (877) 852-3177

Patrick Roe

Patrick Roe

Patrick Roe is a cinephile, foodie, and travel junkie. When he is not residing in Hermosa Beach, CA enjoying all that LA has to offer, he is exploring the world sucking the marrow out of life.

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  1. Crystal
    December 22, 2017 at 7:34 am — Reply

    What a lovely performance! I would love to see Tge Nutcracker again! It’s such a magical story!

  2. Heather
    December 22, 2017 at 7:32 am — Reply

    We don’t live far from there and yet I still didn’t know they had performances. I need to followvtgwvLB Ballet on social media because this is something I don’t want to miss!

  3. December 22, 2017 at 5:19 am — Reply

    I love the Nutcracker. I love how every year at this time there are so many productions. I could just watch them all.

  4. brianne
    December 22, 2017 at 5:14 am — Reply

    The Nutcracker is one of my favorite things to attend during the holiday. This looks like a great show!

  5. December 22, 2017 at 1:16 am — Reply

    Going to see the Nutcracker has always been a Christmas tradition in my family. It’s such a beautiful festive performance!

  6. December 21, 2017 at 8:33 pm — Reply

    I would love to see this in person! I’ve always seen it performed by local dance groups but I bet it’s amazing at this level.

  7. December 21, 2017 at 7:54 pm — Reply

    This really does sound like a spectacular performance. I’d be incredibly excited to see it for the first time.

  8. Pam
    December 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm — Reply

    I love The Nutcracker! It’s so much fun to see it performed live.

  9. December 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm — Reply

    I saw the Nutcracker ballet years ago and loved it. It is the perfect activity for a family to see and experience.

  10. December 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm — Reply

    Going to a Christmas ballet sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve always liked the Nutcracker.

  11. December 21, 2017 at 4:37 pm — Reply

    We’ve never been to a ballet before. This is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

  12. December 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm — Reply

    That looks like so much fun! I’ve always loved the Nutcracker. It’s one of my favorite holidays stories.

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