With 33 Nutcracker shows this season under my belt (oh, wait, I still have 11 more to go) I’m looking forward to having the next 3 days OFF in which to celebrate the holidays.

You may  wonder…

Just how do you get through that many shows?!

Viola with the Nutcracker

I’ve found that the secret lies somewhere between trying to play my best, sneaking peaks at the stage (after all, the dancers at New York City Ballet are among the best in the world) and, yes, occasionally enjoying a laugh at some of the mishaps that inevitably happen.

So far this year, I’ve witnessed the following list of Nutcracker “Bloopers” :

Number of angels who tripped and fell in the opening of Act II:


Number of torn Sugar Plum Fairy tutus:


Number of dancers who lost a shoe on stage:


Number of unintentionally dropped objects thrown into the wings (including the above shoe):


Number of mice who lost their balance and toppled over:


Number of musicians who forgot their instrument and had to go home to get them:


Number of string players who accidentally dropped their bow down a crack in the pit to the nearly-impossible-to-access sub-floor:


Number of musicians who crawled in late to the pit due to a NYC transportation gridlock day:


(*I was one of those musicians!)

But my favorite mishap (so far) of this year’s Nuts?

A few nights ago my husband, conductor for the evening, climbed up to the podium in the pit at the start of the show to take his bow and acknowledge the applause .  However, a patron standing front row center with his back to the pit totally eclipsed the moment.  Not only did the patron block the conductor from the audience’s view, but he also stole the literal spotlight intended for the conductor.  I bet there were more than a few members of the audience who were wondering why they should be clapping for a man taking off his coat!

But in all truth, these little mishaps haven’t detracted one bit from the magic of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.  And with shows running through January 3rd, you might still be able to grab some tickets!


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