Review: "'The Nutcracker' returns to life in vibrant Cleveland Orchestra, PA Ballet production"

Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus, and Pennsylvania Ballet in The Nutcracker on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The run of seven performances extends through Sunday, Dec. 4. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus, and Pennsylvania Ballet in The Nutcracker on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The run of seven performances extends through Sunday, Dec. 4. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a review of The Nutcracker, presented by The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of associate conductor Brett Mitchell with the Pennsylvania Ballet:

Like its title character after he's been brought to life, Pennsylvania Ballet's production of Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" with the Cleveland Orchestra has a heart. A real, warm, beating heart.

No pall here of routine, of anyone going through the motions. Beyond the splendorous sets, costumes, and staging effects, from the top of the cast to the bottom, their account of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece exudes sincerity, the sense of artists enjoying themselves and actively striving to put on a good show.

And a good show it is. Whether one attends "The Nutcracker" for the dancing, the music, or simply the spectacle, this production, unveiled Wednesday night in the State Theatre at Playhouse Square, is almost certain to satisfy, to renew one's respect and love for the ballet....

Despite less-than-flattering acoustics in the pit, the Cleveland Orchestra under associate conductor Brett Mitchell manages to supply that special magic only live music can, all the while demonstrating supreme agility in response to the action on stage. Through Mitchell, in fact, the music lines up with the dancers exactly.

To read the complete review, please click here.