Weekend Ticket: Annual ‘Nutcracker’ ballet ready to delight this weekend

Published 12:47 am Thursday, November 16, 2017


NATCHEZ — When Ava Randall watched Hannah Broome dance as Clara in “The Nutcracker” she fell in love with the ballet and the role.

“After I saw the ballet, I would come home and dance in the living room with a nutcracker in my arms,” Randall said. “My parents would watch and applaud.”

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Each holiday after that first performance, Randall said she performed the same dance in her living room hoping one day to perform the dance on stage.

Friday night, Randall, 11, will get her chance to be Clara and dance along with the young woman who first inspired her several years ago.

This year Broome, 18, takes the stage as the Sugar Plum Fairy, a role she has played for the last two years with the Natchez Ballet Academy. Broome has been dancing in “The Nutcracker” for 10 years.

“I looked up to her (when she played Clara) and thought she was the best dancer ever,” Randall said. “Hopefully some day I will play the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Like Randall, Broome also fell in love with ballet when she watched the Nutcracker as a young child.

She doesn’t remember that day when she was three-years-old, but Broome says her mother remembers Broome standing awestruck during the Ballet Mississippi production.

“The Nutcracker has a special place in my heart,” Broome said.

The annual Natchez Ballet Academy production will be at 7 p.m. Friday and at 4 p.m. Saturday at Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center on Homochitto Street.

Tickets are $10 for children under 11 years old and $15 for those 12 and older.

On Saturday, Natchez Ballet will also host a Nutcracker Tea, director Mignon Reid said.

The afternoon tea which begins at 2 p.m. at Margaret Martin will give ticketholders the opportunity to meet and take photos with the cast, Reid said. Other offerings include arts and crafts, a reading of “The Nutcracker,” an array of foods and treats from the Land of Sweets, Reid said.

Tickets to the tea are $10 for all ages. Combination tickets which include the tea and Saturday afternoon performance are $18 for children and $22 for those 12 and older.

Ava Randall is the daughter of Al and Alicia Randall. Hannah Broome is the daughter of Bryan and Jana Broome.