Austin has been nuts for everybody's favorite holiday ballet for 35 years now, and Ballet Austin figures that's a swell time for a reunion. A reunion of everyone who has ever taken part in one of the company's productions of The Nutcracker. The company is sounding the call to anyone who ever took on a role in the seasonal standard -- and by role, BA means any role: snowflake, party guest, or bon bon, even -- to come on down to the Performing Arts Center this Sunday, December 14, for a group photo and brief appearance onstage during the matinee performance of this year's production. If you're one of the proud, the many, and would like to join in the reunion, call the Ballet at 476-0541.
Speaking of this year's Nutcracker, Ballet Austin artistic director Lambros Lambrou has added a gimmick that some audience members may find even more memorable than those still new sets and costumes by Richard Isackes and Tommy Bourgeois. In a choice touch of holiday whimsy, Lambrou has persuaded 10 local celebrities to take a part in the show. At each performance, one of these Austin stars will step into the spotlight dolled up as Mother Ginger. That's right, Mother Ginger, the monstrous mama in the Land of the Sweets whose voluminous skirts conceal those dozens and dozens and dozens of dancing kiddos, the Bon Bons. It's a goofy part, a campy part, and this year 10 Austinites will have the chance to camp it up atop that 10-foot frame. Who, you want to know? None other than Coach Jody Conradt (Dec. 12), Hizzoner Kirk Watson (Dec. 13), Shannon Sedwick (Dec. 14), Jane Greig (Dec. 19), Coach Bubba Thornton (Dec. 20 matinee), Julie B (Dec. 20 evening), Willie Kocurek (Dec. 21 matinee), J.R. Gonzales (Dec. 21) Ron Oliveira (Dec.22), and "Hollywood" Henderson (Dec. 23). Make your plans accordingly. Ticket prices are $13-$40. Call 476-9051 for information.