Houston Ballet has a message for Mother Nature: Don't mess with Nutcracker.
After flooding from Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage to the Wortham Center, Houston ballet's home theater, the company was forced to reschedule and relocate two of its programs this fall. But when the Wortham announced last month that it would be closed for repairs through mid-May, the company faced a bigger, financially scarier problem: cancelling 34 performances of its annual Nutcracker.
Melody Mennite in "Nutcracker." Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.
But artists are nothing if not resourceful. Yesterday, the company announced that its Nutcracker will be going on a "hometown tour," with 14 performances at the Smart Financial Center in nearby Sugar Land (December 10–23), and 14 performances at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (December 30–January 6). The production, choreographed by artistic director Stanton Welch, was new last year, and includes opulent scenic and costume designs by Tim Goodchild. Current ticket holders can click here to reschedule their performances, while tickets will go on sale to the general public on October 14.
Artists of Houston Ballet in "Nutcracker." Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.
The Hobby Center, a larger venue than the Wortham, has already come to the rescue twice this season. A few weeks ago, Houston Ballet gave the highly-anticipated North American premiere of Sir Kenneth Macmillan's Mayerling to critical acclaim. And October 26–27, the Hobby will host the rescheduled Poetry in Motion, the company's original season opener featuring Balanchine's Symphony in C, Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel (A Dance) and Welch's Powder. Two more programs—Swan Lake (February 22-March 4) and the Rock, Roll & Tutus triple bill (March 8–18)—have yet to be rescheduled. But after seeing how Houston Ballet has bounced back so quickly, we're pretty confident they'll figure it out.