7 things to know about this year’s ‘Nutcracker’ performances in Houston

Houston Ballet principal Meoldy Mennite as Clara in Stanton Welch's "The Nutcracker." Photo by Amitava Sarkar. Courtesy of Houston Ballet. (Houston Ballet)

HOUSTON – The Houston Ballet has brought back one of Houston’s most cherished holiday traditions, “The Nutcracker.” The ballet returns to the Wortham Theater Center for its 50th anniversary celebration.

The family-friendly production, full of whimsy, imagination and adventure, brings 75,000 visitors each year, according to a media release about the event.

Here are 7 things you should know about this year’s show:

1. Which version are they performing this year?

This year, the Houston Ballet is performing Stanton Welch AM’s version of “The Nutcracker," which they premiered in 2016. They have performed four different versions in the past.

2. How many shows will they have this year?

There will be a total of 37 ticketed performances through Dec. 29.

Three of the performances are dedicated to student matinees which expose children to the arts.

Houston's Ballet Nutcracker calendar

3. How many sets are there?

There are five major sets designed by British designer Tim Goodchild and built by 67 technicians in a London scene shop.

4, Who designs and creates the costumes?

Goodchild also designed the costumes for 45 mortal characters and 237 fantasy characters. The costumes were created by Houston Ballet’s costume shop and 10 outside vendors in New York, Chicago, London and Houston.

5. How many people are part of “The Nutcracker" production?

There are over 600 people involved in the show’s production, according to a fact sheet about the event:

  • 61 company dancers
  • 344 young dancers - ranging from ages 7 to 19- who fill out the rest of the cast
  • 95 musicians rotate in and out of the orchestra during the 37 performances
  • More than 60 members of the Houston Girls Chorus rotate to sing in groups of 20 to sing in 15 performances.
  • Four conductors who rotate for the shows.
  • 36 stage hands
  • 15 dressers
  • 5 hair and makeup crew members
  • 3 costume maintenance supervisors
  • 1 laundry person runs each show

6. How much are tickets?

Tickets range from $30 to $200. Customers will have the option to add-on an $80 VIP Character Meet-and-Greet experience in 15 of the 37 performances.

7. Where can I buy tickets?

Tickets are on sale at houstonballet.org or via phone at 713-227-2787