Thanks to my Mother Ginger recruiting duties, I have been backstage at plenty of Nutcrackers since 1997.
What do I love about it? Everything. The camaraderie among the dancers. The tingling sense of anticipation that the mice and angels exude as they wait for their moments onstage. The assembly line precision with which the stage manager and crews make it all happen.
I’ve gotten so many chances to see how famous people perform and react to being backstage.
One well-known curmudgeon came up to me with tears in his eyes after he saw Margot Brown do the Snow Queen part. One mega-star high tech executive had stunning timing and later told me that he used to be a professional violin player. And then there was the famed “tough grandma” comptroller of Texas who watched with fascination as the stage manager called the show and then turned to me and said, “Oh man, this guy is good.”
The Nutcracker is all about the dreams we share—it’s so sweet to see the end of every year touched by its magic.