“The Nutcracker” by Kentucky Ballet Theatre
It is Christmas Eve and we are at the home of Herr Stahlbaum. He and his wife put the finishing touches to the tree and arrange the presents underneath. Their two children, Clara and Fritz join them and the family awaits the arrival of their guests. For there is to be a Christmas Party for close friends of the family, but most of all a party for the children.
The doors are opened and the visitors are welcomed into the Stahlbaum home. The hosts gather everyone for the traditional lighting of the tree and gifts are given to the children. The boys and girls divide themselves and dance with their new presents. The parents take the dance floor and ensue a regal air to the party’s atmosphere. Soon the children become restless and join the parents in their dancing, until all festivities come to an abrupt halt as Herr Drosylmeyer makes his entrance to the party.
The children scurry away in fright, and Drosylmeyer has to coax them with his magic, so the will not be frightened. He entertains Clara and her friends with a Harlequin Doll and Fritz and the other boys with a Soldier Doll, both of which seem to come to life and dance for the children. Then Drosylmeyer presents his gift of a Nutcracker to Clara. Clara barely has it in her hands before Fritz tries to take it away. The siblings struggle and the Nutcracker falls to the floor, broken. Upset, Clara runs to her mother, who tries to console her daughter, while Drosylmeyer fixes the broken toy. Once the Nutcracker is placed back into Clara’s arms the party resumes, and the evening comes to a close. Tired children and their parents bid the Stahlbaum’s good night. The party is over and Herr and Frau Stahlbaum send their children off to bed. The Nutcracker is placed by the tree, the lights are dimmed and the house goes to sleep.
Clara wakes in the middle of the night and returns to the tree to find her Nutcracker. The King of the Rats and his army taunt Clara, but her beloved Nutcracker and toy soldiers come to life and protect her. A battle is fought and finally ends when Clara assists the Nutcracker in defeating the Rat King. Drosylmeyer transforms Clara into an enchanted princess and leads her to a magical forest where they are welcomed by the Snow Queen and her consort. Swirling white snowflakes bring the act to a close as Clara continues her journey to the Land of Sweets.
Clara is received by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. An elaborate ceremony, including wonderful and exotic dances from the members of the court, are held in Clara’s honor for helping the Nutcracker defeat the rats. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier crown the festivities with a Grand Pas de Deux. The magical scene comes to a close as the characters bid Clara farewell, and drift offstage. Clara is left alone with only memories of her wonderful adventure as she gazes dreamily at her toy Nutcracker.
The James Gregory show turns the clock back to a time when life was simpler; to a better time, before the death of common sense; a time when people sat on the front porch and actually talked to each other without a cell phone in their ear.
James’ success, like his comedy, is the direct result of the values he grew up with. And now, twenty something years later, it is this unique brand of humor that packs the crowds into his sold-out shows. The absence of vulgarity sets James apart and his stories are carefully crafted art. “I have lived long enough to know people, know life”, Gregory reflects. “My comedy is based on my life experiences. It’s real, it’s funny and the audience loves it. That’s why I’m still in business.”
For decades, the unforgettable caricature of veteran comedian James Gregory has stood grinning: his shirt untucked, his arms outstretched, a carefree welcome to a down-home, hilarious comedy experience. It’s storytelling at its best. The trademark caricature is the essence of humorist James Gregory’s comedy: rib-tickling reflections on life from the front porch.