Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Kiddin' Around: The Rock School's Nutcracker 1776

The Rock School's annual production of Tchaikovsky ballet includes Philadelphia inspired characters and amazing young dancers.

The Rock School for Dance Education presents "Nutcracker 1776" Friday and Saturday at the Merriam Theatre.
The Rock School for Dance Education presents "Nutcracker 1776" Friday and Saturday at the Merriam Theatre.Read more


The long: Holiday fairy-tale ballet features Tchaikovsky score, and traditional and new characters (hi there, dancing Ben Franklin and light-footed George Washington) played by a cast of 200 young dancers, ages 5 through high school. Whole thing lasts 70 minutes.

The short: Love the Pa. Ballet production, but this one's preferable for wee squirmers.

The crowd: Relatives, friends and more supporters of superb talent. Best for ages 4 and up.

The story: Girl attends party. Girl gets nutcracker as gift. Girl falls asleep, dreams of land of sweets.

The difference: Costumes reflect Colonial days. Characters include heroes of the Revolutionary War. Instead of a Mouse King, there's "General Mouse Howe." "Lady Liberty" subs for Mother Ginger.

The aww: If you adore the angels in the Academy of Music production, you'll go gaga for the party scene's tiny dancers.

The awesome: Lead roles - Sugarplum on down - go to mere teenagers.

The break: The few moments between acts let you blow noses, run to restroom, consume Goldfish.

BYO: Booster seat. The Merriam Theater doesn't have them. (Alternatively: Pile a seat with winter coats.)

Friday: The cast performs its dress rehearsal for nearly 2,000 students from 25 Philadelphia schools. Lucky them.

The basics: Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. (between Locust and Spruce), 7 p.m. Friday, 1 & 4 p.m. Saturday, $23-$43, 215-893-1999,

If you drive: Parking's no pleasure, but lets you prepay for its garage on 15th between Locust and Spruce streets, about $20.

If you SEPTA: Broad Street Line to Walnut-Locust; route 4, 27 or 32 bus.