Phoenix Ballet: The Nutcracker at Orpheum Theatre

Phoenix Ballet The Nutcracker at Orpheum Theatre

Back by popular demand, Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece takes the Arizona spotlight once more! The talented Phoenix Ballet presents The Nutcracker on December 8th, with more shows appearing all through December 23rd! Finding the sweet spot between the contemporary and the traditional, Artistic Director Slawomir Wozniak twists everyone’s favorite Christmas tale, adding pinches of exuberant, inventive, and impressive acrobatic choreography to upgrade the winter production to its fullest. As the highlight of the season, be whisked away into a world where colorful toys come to life, sugar plum fairies waltz, and evil mice reign! On top of that, the way they’ve reimagined Drosselmeyer’s character makes this Nutcracker version a favorite among audiences of all ages. Check this out with friends and family to see why! Hear that, folks? Sleighbells are ringing down at the Orpheum Theatre – Phoenix with their amazing lighting effects and high-tech sound gear. So, don’t wait another second; purchase your tickets now!

“Even without a million-dollar production design, this “Nutcracker,” featuring a mix of professional and student dancers, has a personality all its own.” – AZ Central

“Phoenix Ballet brings its unique style to the show while maintaining its rich traditional history and story.” – Phoenix Magazine

Christmas is starting early this year! Clara and her magical friends are back as the annual production of Phoenix Ballet’s The Nutcracker starts showing at the Orpheum Theatre from December 8th to December 23rd. 

The Phoenix Ballet is a non-profit organization established to provide performance opportunities for dancers within the state of Arizona. Other than the upcoming event, some of the most recent classical shows from the company include Paquita, Snow White, Graduation Ball, and more.

Following the original story, the plot for this live ballet production begins on Christmas Eve, with the local magician Herr Drosselmeyer bringing the Stahlbaum children a set of amusing gifts. One gift in particular grabs the attention of the eldest child, Clara – a wooden nutcracker. Little does she know that her beloved Nutcracker prince is about to come to life once the clock strikes twelve, and everything after is just a whirlwind of mice, tin soldiers, sugarplum fairies, and sweets!

Artistic Director Slawomir Wozniak is a Polish-born dancer and choreographer who went on to become a principal dancer at Teatr Wielki in Lodz and Warsaw’s National Opera. When asked about the status of performing arts in their state, Wozniak stresses that there are not enough people who realize how important this aspect is in life. “I wish the Phoenix government could support culture more by understanding the power of arts. Economically, for sure, this is something that costs money, but in the long run, the creative art scene in Phoenix has a huge impact – especially on young people who are looking for a sense of meaning in their existence,” he shares.

Orpheum Theatre nutcracker tickets

“A magical production that features some of the world’s best young dancers” – North Phoenix Macaroni Centrikid

“…surprises all around in this highly popular version of The Nutcracker” – Scottsdale Progress

In another interview, Wozniak expresses his dedication to preserving tradition while offering a fresh interpretation: “I wanted to show my vision of ‘The Nutcracker.’ It’s all mine. There is no copying of any steps or any sets or costumes. It’s all mine.” Despite the challenges of limited resources, Wozniak has crafted the production over the years, building sets and costumes with the help of volunteers and sponsors.

One notable modification to the story lies in the character of Herr Drosselmeyer. Drawing inspiration from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original 1816 story, Wozniak’s Drosselmeyer is mysterious and eerie but also surprisingly humorous, showcasing magical feats that add a new dimension to the character. This approach brings coherency to the narrative, providing a clearer understanding of various character roles.

Moreover, despite financial constraints, Wozniak remains committed to his artistic vision. Over the past eleven years, the production has evolved, with each year bringing new surprises for both performers and audiences. Major additions include a 17-foot window, a 25-foot Christmas tree, and yearly updated costumes. Advanced dance steps, new choreography, props, effects, and even a functional cannon contribute to the constant evolution of this unique Nutcracker experience.

Furthermore, the ballet company is committed to innovating the art form of ballet while maintaining excellence in their work. Hence, many of the organization’s choreographers consist of internationally recognized and award-winning individuals as well as some up-and-coming new names. The team behind such exemplary performances includes Albert Blaise Cattafi, Rasta Thomas, Fransisco Gella, Krista King Doherty, Ricky Palomino, and Myles Lavallee.

“It’s got humor and verve – and a bright future in the Valley.” – AZ Central

phoenix ballet The Nutcracker

Looking for the perfect time to catch this brand-new Nutcracker? Check out the complete schedule of shows right here:


  • December 8th, Friday – 7:00 pm 
  • December 9th, Saturday – 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm 
  • December 10th, Sunday – 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm 
  • December 14th, Thursday – 6:00 pm 
  • December 15th, Friday – 7:00 pm 
  • December 16th, Saturday – 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm 
  • December 17th, Sunday – 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
  • December 20th, Wednesday – 6:00 pm 
  • December 21st, Thursday – 6:00 pm 
  • December 22nd, Friday – 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm 
  • December 23rd, Saturday – 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

As a stage renowned for presenting the biggest live music, dance, theater, and touring acts across the nation, the Orpheum Theater will host this much-awaited winter spectacle for families to enjoy! Featuring Spanish Baroque architecture with a touch of Greek, the venue houses the most advanced audio-visual systems that stand unrivaled in the area. Turn up your Christmas plans and buy your tickets to Phoenix Ballet: The Nutcracker from December 8 to 23!

The Nutcracker on stage