(Posted 1:30 p.m., Dec. 11)
class delivers cracker of a Nutcracker
By Fred Sherwin
and Fritz play with their new toys in the opening scene of OYP's all ages
Christmas Class production of 'The Story of The Nutcracker'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
to see the Orleans Young Players all ages Christmas class production "The
Story of The Nutcracker" at the Orléans Theatre on Saturday, the only
version of the traditional holiday classic I ever saw was the animated Barbie
version on video cassette.
as it is to admit, it explains why I was looking forward to seeing OYP's
production of Michele L. Vacca's version of the story about a young girl
who dreams about her toys coming to life in the Land of Enchanted Dreams.
And while Vacca's adaptation of "The Nutcracker Story" is very
much an abridged version of the popular ballet, it still contains all the
elements that makes it so magical.
In the opening
act, Herr Drosselmeyer brings three toys for Marie and Fritz -- a doll,
a soldier and a nutcracker. After the family goes to bed, Marie sneaks back
downstairs to say goodnight to her new friends and falls asleep with the
nutcracker in her arms which is when the magic begins.
Marie is transported
off to the Land of Enchanted Dreams where her father becomes the Nutcracker,
her mother the Snow Queen and Herr Drosselmeyer the Northwind.
In the second
act, the Mouse King appears with his mouse warriors and a sword fight ensues
between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
As the Mouse
King begins to get the upper hand, Marie intervenes by throwing her slipper
at the Mouse King which breaks a spell cast on the Nutcracker and turns
him back into a handsome prince.
The Prince, the
Soldier, Miss Clara and Marie then make their way to the Land of Sweets
where they meet the Snow King and Queen and the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy
along with a number of delighful characters including Tutti Frutti, Bonbon,
two pages named Taffy and Butterscotch, the gatekeeper and the gatekeeper's
The play ends
with Marie waking up with the Nutcracker still firmly in her grasp and the
soldier and doll by her side. Thrilled that the young girl enjoyed her adventure,
Herr Drosselmeyer delivers a universal message to the audience about the
magic of Christmas dreams.
The magic of
OYP's production of "The Story of The Nutcracker", was in the
tremendous cast under the guidance of director Rachel Armitage and choreographer
While the entire
cast was marvellous I particularly enjoyed the performances of Kathryn Erickson
as Marie, Nadeem Oudeh as Fritz, Jessica Barlow as Miss Clara and Madison
Meyer as Tutti-Frutti and the gatekeeper.
was strong as always as Herr Drosselmeyer and the Northwind and Megan Way
was resplendent as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
of the cast included Paul Angelhart as the Soldier and the Snow King; Zachary
Hanson as the Nutcracker and the father; Sylvie Lapointe-Lemaire as the
mother and the Snow Queen; Brad Hart as Bonbon and the Mouse King; Kyle
Way as Taffy the page; Shae-Lynn Beiersdorfer as the gatekeeper's assistant
and Scott Beiersdorfer as Butterscotch.
For more information
about the Orleans Young Players Theatrical School and upcoming classes visit
their website at www.oyplayers.on.ca.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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