Pacific Northwest Ballet presents a holiday tradition – The Nutcracker

October 28, 2011

Press Releases

Pacific Northwest Ballet logo


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents The Nutcracker

 Nutcracker ballet




Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: Kent Stowell

Scenic and Costume Design: Maurice Sendak

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Stowell/Sendak Premiere: December 13, 1983, PNB


November 25-December 27, 2011

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


SEATTLE, WA — For many families, the holiday season begins the day after Thanksgiving, not with Black Friday madness, but rather when the Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker – the Northwest’s most cherished holiday tradition – returns once again to light up Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. The brilliant result of close collaboration between choreographer Kent Stowell and author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s acclaimed Nutcracker runs for 36 performances November 25 thru December 27. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer St.  A limited selection of tickets is also available thru Ticketmaster, 800.745.3000 or online at No other ticket outlets are authorized to sell PNB Nutcracker tickets.


Pacific Northwest Ballet can proudly lay claim to one of the world’s most recognized and celebrated productions of Nutcracker.  Combining creator Kent Stowell’s charming and dramatic choreography with magnificent sets and costumes by renowned children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), the production also features the live magic of the PNB Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s famous score and more than 200 roles danced by PNB’s professional dancers, and students of Pacific Northwest Ballet School. With multiple performances each season, Baby Mice can dream of one day being Party Girls, Chinese Dancers, Snowflakes, Flowers and, ultimately, the lead role of Clara.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker premiered to national acclaim on December 13, 1983. Drawing on E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Stowell and Sendak delved deeply into the original story and infused the ballet with a drama and strength that fully complements Tchaikovsky’s classic score. The following year saw the publication of Nutcracker, a new edition of the original Hoffman story with illustrations by Sendak, that remained on The New York Times’ Best Seller List for eight weeks. In 1986 a feature-length film of the Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker was released nationwide. In addition to annual Seattle performances, PNB has performed Nutcracker in Vancouver, Portland, and Minneapolis.


Opening Weekend Festivities

Opening Weekend of Nutcracker is PNB’s joyous kick-off of the holiday season.  Guests arriving early for any of the five opening weekend performances will enjoy the splendor of McCaw Hall decked out in full Nutcracker regalia; take a photo in front of our soaring 20-foot tree by Botanical Designs; enjoy a magic show; be serenaded by roaming carolers, collect Nutcracker souvenir buttons; create a craft, or take a mini-dance class. After the performance, guests will leave McCaw Hall with a Candy Cane Roca® Buttercrunch Toffee treat, courtesy of Brown & Haley.

PNB Nutcracker Brunch

Join the PNB League at 9:30 am on Saturday, November 26 for a fun-filled holiday event designed for younger children and their families. Enjoy activities for kids, a delicious brunch and a special Nutcracker-themed mini-performance to delight the young and young-at-heart. Brunch tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office by calling 206.441.2424. For more information about this annual sell-out event, e-mail Events@

Freixenet Toast for a Sparkling Night

Adults 21 and over are invited to enjoy a complimentary toast of Freixenet sparkling wine during intermission at the Friday, December 16, 7:30 pm performance of Nutcracker.  Cheers!

Yikes – I mean, Argh! Pirates!

Enjoy the antics of the Seafair Pirates pre-show and during intermission at the Sunday, December 11, 5:30 pm performance of Nutcracker. Pirate appearance is subject to sea conditions and scurvy.

Eats & Treats in the Nutcracker Suites at McCaw Hall

Avoid the lines at intermission and enjoy an exclusive experience in one of McCaw Hall’s special Nutcracker lounges. The Date Night Nutcracker Suite offers couples the opportunity to relax and enjoy sweet and savory snacks and a half bottle of sparkling wine for $30 per couple. Cookies, cupcakes, cider and snacks await your family at intermission in our Family Matinee Nutcracker Suite, for just $10 per person. Prices include tax and gratuity. The Nutcracker Suites are only available for select performances: Call 206.615.0259 or email for more details and to purchase. Or, make your experience at McCaw Hall complete at our in-house restaurant, Prelude, with a menu by Executive Chef Shawn Applin featuring fresh local ingredients and a Northwest-focused wine list.  Reservations are suggested and available at or 206.615.0404.

Say Cheese, Please!

Year after year, thousands of Nutcracker attendees have chosen their favorite spot in McCaw Hall’s lobby—in front of the 20-foot tree, on the Toy Theater stage, or with one of our giant Nutcracker characters—to snap their precious moments with friends and family. From little girls in velvet dresses to multi-generation families in matching Santa sweaters, submit your memorable snapshot to and it will be posted online in our Say Cheese, Please! Nutcracker Photo Gallery. Four lucky winners will each receive four tickets to PNB’s production of Don Quixote, (February 3-12, 2011) and four runner-up winners will each receive two tickets to PNB’s Family Matinee production of Snow White (March 17-25)! Visit for contest rules.

Listen to the Ballet…and Play the Instruments

PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners some of history’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in for a live broadcast of Tchaikovsky’s beautifully scored Nutcracker on Saturday, November 26 at 7:30 pm. Only on KING FM, 98.1 fm or online at

Classical KING FM and Music Center Northwest will also host their popular Instrument Petting Zoo at select weekend matinees of Nutcracker.  Stop by and get a feel for the instruments that make Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score come to life!

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Newsprint

All of the entries in the Seattle Times’ “Setting the Stage” coloring contest will be on display at McCaw Hall through the run of Nutcracker and one entry will win a magical weekend for four, including Nutcracker tickets, overnight accommodations at Maxwell Hotel, dinner at Ivar’s Acres of Clams, and an autographed Nutcracker poster!

More, More, More

Visit for other fun stuff for kids, and FAQs for their parents.



Day Date Times
Friday Nov. 25 7:30 pm
Saturday Nov. 26 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday Nov. 27 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm
Friday Dec. 2 7:30 pm
Saturday Dec. 3 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday Dec. 4 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm
Friday Dec. 9 7:30 pm
Saturday Dec. 10 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday Dec. 11 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm
Wednesday Dec. 14 7:30 pm
Thursday Dec. 15 7:30 pm
Friday Dec. 16 7:30 pm
Saturday Dec. 17 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday Dec. 18 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm
Tuesday Dec. 20 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Wednesday Dec. 21 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Thursday Dec. 22 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Friday Dec. 23 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Saturday Dec. 24 11:30 am & 4:00 pm*
Monday Dec. 26 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm
Tuesday Dec. 27 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm


Times shown in Red are peak performances; peak prices apply.

* This is the “Nutty Nutcracker” performance: Music or scenes might be altered.  Caveat emptor!



Ticket range: $28 – $123 ($26 – $113 for children 0-12.  All ages require a ticket for admission, including babes in arms.)  Tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:

  • Online 24/7 at
  • Phone: 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • In Person: 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)

Tickets are also available – subject to availability – 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street. A limited number of Nutcracker tickets are also available through Ticketmaster, by calling 800-745-3000 or online at  NOTE: No other ticket outlets are authorized to sell Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker tickets.


McCaw Hall is located on the Seattle Center campus at 321 Mercer Street. Parking is available directly across the street at the Mercer Garage. Visit for parking and driving directions, and visit for up-to-the-minute traffic and weather conditions.


Seafair Pirates Holiday Treasure Chest!

Bring store gift cards or brand new, unwrapped toys for needy children 0-18 to the PNB Box Office and save 15% on tickets to ANY Nutcracker performance! All donations will benefit the Seafair Pirates Holiday Treasure Chest, a program created to help others in need during the Holiday season. Please note: All toys must be new, in original packaging, and not gift-wrapped. See “Special Events, Fun & Games” above for news about Pirate sightings at Nutcracker!

Nutcracker Family Four-Packs

Parents with children can take advantage of PNB’s specially priced Family Four-Packs and create unforgettable memories to cherish for years to come. Family Packs are available for all Nutcracker performances and include four discounted Nutcracker tickets plus valuable bonuses sure to add joy to your holiday season:

  • Two free kids’ meals at The Old Spaghetti Factory*
  • Two free kids’ meals at Salty’s Restaurants*
  • Two free kids’ admissions to the Space Needle Observation Deck*

Family Packs range in price from $172 to $444 and are available for all Nutcracker performances. Family Packs must be purchased through the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 or in-person at 301 Mercer Street.  (*Subject to availability. Some restrictions apply. Visit for details.)

Use a Coupon!

Beginning November 3, visit any of the following Nutcracker partners, and pick up a coupon to save 15% on select Nutcracker performances:

  • Ivar’s* (all locations, excluding stadiums/arenas)
  • Kidd Valley* (all locations excluding stadiums/arenas)
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory (Lynnwood, Seattle and Southcenter locations)
  • Pacific Place (concierge desk, parking cashiers, gift wrap and Santa’s Wonderland)
  • QFC (customer service counters)
  • Salty’s Seafood Grills (Alki Beach and Redondo Beach locations)
  • Seattle Center Winterfest (Center House information table)

* While at Ivar’s or Kidd Valley, be sure to also enter their coloring contest for a chance to win PNB tickets.

Teen Tix

PNB is a proud participant of Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program. Teen Tix members may purchase tickets to Nutcracker’s Sunday, November 27, 5:30 performance, on a first-come, first-served basis, day of show only. No Teen Tix “parent/companion tickets” are available for this performance. To learn more about Teen Tix, visit

Bring a Group to Nutcracker and Save!

From a familial flock of 15 to a throng of 3,000 of your closest comrades, PNB’s Nutcracker is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season! Bring a group of family, friends, co-workers or clients and receive up to 25% off regular Nutcracker prices, depending on date, time, and section. In addition to outstanding savings, groups receive personal ticketing assistance, the opportunity to book a backstage tour, and access to McCaw Hall reception facilities that may be rented for private parties. For more information, contact Julie Jamieson at 206.441.2416 or

Student Matinees

Each year PNB invites students in grades K – 12 to experience the magic of the theatre by attending reduced-priced school matinees of Nutcracker. PNB’s Community Education department also offers in-school pre-performance workshops which include exploration of movement, the Nutcracker story, and an up-close look at costumes. For more information on purchasing tickets to school performances (school group minimum of 15 required), or to arrange pre-performance or post-performance in-school workshops, call Ana Maria Campoy at 206.441.2415.


Give the Gift of Dance: PNB’s “Family Fairy Tales” Series!

PNB is offering a Family Subscription Series that includes tickets to four ballets: the cherished Nutcracker (select dates only), the adventurous Don Quixote (February 3 -12), the classic children’s tale Snow White (March 17, 18 & 25), and the fun-filled Coppélia (June 1-10). These family-friendly performances are a lasting gift that can be enjoyed for months and remembered for a lifetime. Packages start at a magically discounted price of just $116. To reserve a Fairy Tale package for your family, call 206.441.2424.

Holiday Shopping at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

Find an array of unique gifts for everyone on your list – or yourself – at Amusements Gift Shop in McCaw Hall (open before, during, and after performances). Bring the memories and magic of PNB’s Nutcracker home with a wide choice of books, music, decorations, apparel, and, of course, nutcrackers. A limited selection of items is also available online 24/7 at

 Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker is made possible by community partner Group Health and supporting sponsor Bank of America. Media support for Nutcracker is provided by The Seattle Times and KOMO 4; Opening Weekend support provided by Puget Sound Energy. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2011-2012 Season is proudly sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. Additional season support is provided by Artsfund, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 4Culture – King County Lodging Tax and Washington State Arts Commission.

Programming subject to change.

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