The Nutcracker


Piotr Stanczyk and Sonia Rodriguez in The Nutcracker. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

December 2014
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Sunday December 21

Select a Performance

22 23
Tuesday December 23

Select a Performance

24 25 26 27
Saturday December 27

Select a Performance

Sunday December 28

Select a Performance

29 30
Tuesday December 30

Select a Performance

January 2015
1 2
Friday January 2

Select a Performance

Saturday January 3

Select a Performance

4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Ticket Availability

  • Best Availability
  • Limited Availability
  • Sold Out


The Nutcracker still a wonderfully fresh holiday sugar plum” — The Globe and Mail

“★★★★/4 Joy is palpable in lively production” — Toronto Star

“The National Ballet's Nutcracker is for kids from one to 92” — National Post

“★★★★★/5 A glorious evening of ballet for the entire family” — Toronto Sun

“★★★★★/5 A magical Christmas tapestry weaved out of threads spun by composer Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, author E.T.A. Hoffman, choreographer James Kudelka and designer Santo Loquasto.” — 24 Hours




The Sugar Plum Fairy
Elena Lobsanova (Dec 13, 27 at 2:00 pm, Dec 14, 28 at 5:30 pm, Dec 30, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson (Dec 13, 17 at 7:00 pm)
Jillian Vanstone (Dec 14, 23, 28, Jan 2 at 1:00 pm, Dec 20 at 2:00 pm, Dec 30, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez (Dec 18, 20 at 7:00 pm, Jan 2 at 5:30 pm)
Emma Hawes* (Dec 19 at 7:00 pm, Dec 21 at 5:30 pm)
Svetlana Lunkina* (Dec 21 at 1:00 pm, Dec 23 at 5:30 pm, Dec 27 at 7:00 pm)

Peter/The Nutcracker
McGee Maddox (Dec 13, 27 at 2:00 pm, Dec 14, 21, 28 at 5:30 pm, Dec 19 at 7:00 pm, Dec 30, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)
Skylar Campbell (Dec 14, 23 at 1:00 pm, Dec 20 at 2:00 pm, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm)
Piotr Stanczyk (Dec 18, 20 at 7:00 pm, Jan 2 at 5:30 pm)
Evan McKie* (Dec 21 at 1:00 pm, Dec 23 at 5:30 pm, Dec 27 at 7:00 pm)
Keiichi Hirano (Dec 17 at 7:00 pm, Dec 28, Jan 2 at 1:00 pm, Dec 30 at 5:30 pm)

Snow Queen
Xiao Nan Yu (Dec 13 at 2:00 pm, Dec 13, 17 at 7:00 pm)
Tanya Howard (Dec 14, 23, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm, Dec 20 at 2:00 pm)
Stephanie Hutchison (Dec 14, 28 at 5:30 pm, Dec 27 at 2:00 pm, Dec 30 at 1:00 pm)
Elena Lobsanova (Dec 18, 20 at 7:00 pm)
Alexandra MacDonald (Dec 19, 27 at 7:00 pm, Dec 21, 23, Jan 2 at 5:30 pm)
Jenna Savella (Dec 21, 28, Jan 2 at 1:00 pm, Dec 30, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm)

Krista Dowson+ (Dec 13 at 2:00 pm, Dec 14 at 5:30 pm, Dec 27 at 7:00 pm, Jan 2 at 1:00 pm)
Rebekah Rimsay (Dec 13, 19 at 7:00 pm, Dec 21 at 5:30 pm)
Andreea Olteanu* (Dec 14, 23 at 1:00 pm, Dec 20 at 2:00 pm, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm) 
Lise-Marie Jourdain (Dec 17, 20 at 7:00 pm, Dec 28 at 1:00 pm, Dec 30, Jan 2 at 5:30 pm)
Alejandra Perez-Gomez (Dec 18 at 7:00 pm, Dec 21, 30 at 1:00 pm, Dec 23, 28 at 5:30 pm, Dec 27 at 2:00 pm, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)

Uncle Nikolai
James Leja (Dec 13, 27 at 2:00 pm, Dec 14, 28 at 5:30 pm, Dec 21, 30, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm) 
Robert Stephen (Dec 13, 17, 19 at 7:00 pm, Dec 21, 30, Jan 2 at 5:30 pm, Dec 28 at 1:00 pm)
Dylan Tedaldi* (Dec 14, 23 at 1:00 pm, Dec 20 at 2:00 pm, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm)
Jonathan Renna (Dec 14, 23 at 5:30 pm, Dec 18, 20, 27 at 7:00 pm, Jan 2 at 1:00 pm)


* Debut
+Guest Artist


Casting subject to change.



Act I

It’s the night before Christmas in 19th-century Russia, and Marie, Misha, their parents and their beloved nursemaid Baba are busy preparing for the annual Christmas Eve party at their country estate. As the curtain rises, Peter, the stable boy (and Marie’s and Misha’s best friend), is sweeping the barn one last time before the guests arrive.

Marie and Misha burst into the barn, squabbling furiously despite the patient efforts of Baba and Peter to calm them down. Suddenly a rat scuttles across the floor, disrupting everything until Peter outsmarts it. Four neighbouring families arrive and the dancing begins.

All of a sudden, a mysterious man dressed in red appears in a sleigh. It's Nikolai, the unpredictable uncle who lives down the road, whose alarming spins and flamboyant gestures both terrifies and delights the company. Magically he tweaks bright fresh oranges from the guests’ ears, hats, and clothes as well as producing a pair of dancing bears, one of them on skates. To crown everything, Nikolai unhitches his old mare and, to everyone's amazement, they energetically dance together.

Nikolai has brought special gifts for all the children, but after all the presents have been handed out, there is nothing left for Marie. Quickly Nikolai gives Marie a Nutcracker in the shape of a handsome soldier which he'd intended for her parents. The continuing hostilities between Marie and Misha erupt once more as they fight over the Nutcracker until their father confiscates it.

Baba takes Marie and Misha back to the house to put them to bed but inevitably their skirmishes begin again¬¬ – this time, it's a competition to see who can stay awake the longest. Eventually they fall asleep and their magnificent dream begins.

Just as the clock strikes twelve, six pesky little mice scurry in but Nikolai, stranger and wilder than ever, dashes out and scares them away. Taking pity on poor Marie, he returns her Nutcracker, tucks it beneath the nursery Christmas tree and vanishes from sight.

Ominously, the children's beds begin to rock and shake waking Marie and Misha. Their Christmas tree has come to life and the Nutcracker has grown, his features have somehow been transformed to look exactly like their friend Peter.

Other toys, too, have magically come to life and a regiment of wolfhounds rides in, only to be vanquished by demonic cats. Then an evil brigade of mice invades the room to attack the cats. Meanwhile, the cruel Tsar of the Mice challenges the Nutcracker to mortal combat and all seems lost.

With the ingenuity of despair Marie and Misha save the Nutcracker by combining forces to banish the frenzied cats and dogs and they conquer the Tsar of the Mice with their feather pillows. In relief and sheer exhaustion, Marie, Misha and the Nutcracker collapse on the bed.

The bed begins to move again but this time it carries them on a magical journey. Through ice-laced trees and feathery snowflakes they see the Snow Queen, supported by two Icicles. Marie, Misha, and the Nutcracker dance joyfully with the snowflakes and the Snow Queen bestows upon them a magnificent gift: a beautiful ice-boat attended by unicorns.

       Act II

The ice-boat carries the children and the Nutcracker to the secret Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy, who lives in a beautiful Fabergé egg at the centre of a golden palace, carefully guarded by her loyal courtiers. Nikolai and Baba, transformed into the Grand Duke and Duchess, are there to greet them.

Naturally, the courtiers are eager to discover how their unexpected guests happened to find the palace and beg the Nutcracker, Marie, and Misha to recount their marvellous adventures. As a reward for the children's courage and compassion, the courtiers order a splendid banquet that mingles grown-up food with childhood favourites.

The first course, much to the children's delight, is Chocolate, with a delicate Spanish flavouring. The second, Coffee, heralds the pleasures of adulthood – and oddly enough, quite the opposite of anyone's expectations, its sinuous fumes put the child-courtiers to sleep! Embarrassed by the courtiers’ inattentiveness, Misha and Marie wake everyone up just in time to enjoy the spectacle of four inept royal chefs trying to catch the poultry course.

There follow two dances that hint at the loving nature of parenthood: a bright, cheerful Trepak for the Nutcracker and a dance for Baba as a shepherdess with lambs and a Sheep-princess pursued by a Fox.

At last four zany Waiters bring in a magical table while the chefs attempt to put the finishing touches on the great repast. When the feast is finally prepared, Marie and Misha assume the places of honour and enjoy a food fight in what may be their last chance to misbehave as young children. Suddenly all traces of winter have gone, and the palace gates burst open to admit a single Bee and a host of Flowers to dance in the warm spring breeze.

In the midst of all this excitement, Marie and Misha have noticed that the Nutcracker has fallen deeply in love with the Sugar Plum Fairy. All at once the world of the Sugar Plum Fairy begins to vanish and the children find themselves in their own room being put to bed by Baba. As Marie and Misha fall back to sleep just before daybreak, the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy bid them goodbye. Somehow during this night the children have passed together through the magical yet natural portal between childhood and adolescence, and somehow they know that their lives will never again be quite the same. Henceforth, like their friend the Nutcracker, they will set forth to find and follow their own dreams.

— Penelope Reed Doob

Background Notes

The Nutcracker by the Numbers > 


The Nutcracker Activity Book (pdf) >
Download The Nutcracker Activity Book to get colouring pages and to learn more about the story.

Learn about the history of The Nutcracker in our Virtual Museum >
Each exhibit surveys the history of the ballet through archival material including
programmes, set and costume sketches, photographs, press items, correspondence, footwear,
costumes, artifacts and more.


The Nutcracker by the Numbers          
Number of people who have attended James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker since its premiere on December 21, 1995:


  Number of loads of laundry done following each performance:


Number of performances of The Nutcracker since its premiere:


  Number of layers of tulle in The Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu:


Cost to build The Nutcracker in 1995

$2.7 million

  Time to put on the makeup and wig for the dancer who dances the role of Uncle Nikolai:

1 hour

Box office revenue from The Nutcracker since 1995:

$44.1 million

  Number of pounds Uncle Nikolai’s Act I coat weighs:


Number of dancers who have performed the role of Peter/The Nutcracker, originally created by Rex Harrington in 1995:


  Number of pairs of pointe shoes used by ballerinas for The Nutcracker since 1995:


Number of ballerinas who have performed the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy, originally created by Martine Lamy in 1995:


  Total cost of pointe shoes for each run of The Nutcracker:


Number of roles Tiffany Mosher has danced in The Nutcracker:


(Baba, Chocolate, Snowmaiden, Bear, Sheep, Coffee, Bee, Flower, Party Guest, Servant and Courtier) 
  Number of animals in The Nutcracker


(1 rat, 1 horse, 2 bears, 1 ram, 1 rooster, 1 mouse Tsar, 8 Cossack mice, 8 baby mice, 8 dog soldiers, 10 cat soldiers, 6 unicorns, 1 fox, 1 sheep, 9 lambs and 1 bee)

Number of performers in each performance:


(50 dancers, 98 students, 65 musicians, 20 singers) 
  Number of pounds of paper released in the snow scene in each performance:


Number of students from Canada’s National Ballet School and public schools in Toronto who perform in each show:


  Number of children and their families who have attended The Nutcracker for free through the Share the Magic programme:


Number of Junior Associates of Canada’s National Ballet School who perform as lambs and baby mice in each show:


  Number of celebrity Cannon Dolls who have fired the cannon to begin the battle scene including Mats Sundin, Margaret Atwood, Kurt Browning, Doug Gilmore, Rick Mercer and many more:


Number of people involved in the creation of The Sugar Plum Fairy costume:


(1 Designer, 1 Person to Buy Fabric, 1 Fabric Dyer, 1 Costume Cutter, 2 Stitchers, 1 Costume Decorator, 1 Wig Maker, 1 Milliner, 1 Jewelry Maker, 1 Point Shoe Maker, 1 Footwear Coordinator)

  Number of stage crew for each performance:


Number of costumes in each performance:


  Cost of the orchestra per performance:


Number of performances cancelled due to snow:


  Number of books based on The Nutcracker choreographed by James Kudelka :



Running Time

ACT I 49 minutes
Intermission 20 minutes
ACT II 46 minutes
Total (approx) 1 hour 55 minutes

Story Time

Designed to enhance children's experience of the ballet, Nutcracker Story Time is an engaging, interactive telling of the magical holiday story that allows children to have a better understanding of the performance they are attending.

Join us 45 minutes before every performance in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for Nutcracker Story Time!

The Nutcracker Story Time is Written and Directed by Gerry Campbell.
Starring Justine Clark and Jordan Till.

Set in Victorian Russia, Marie and Misha recount a wonderful holiday dream 30 years later.

Nutcracker Story Time is sponsored by TD Bank Group.

TD Bank Financial Group 

The Nutcracker warms hearts and dazzles audiences with its sumptuous design, dynamic dancing and numerous surprises.”
— National Post