The 40th Annual ‘Nutcracker’

The Arlington Theatre….Saturday, December 13, 2014, at 2:30 & 7:30 pm &

Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm.

This December marks the 40th annual performance of The Nutcracker by the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet. Each performance will feature a full, live orchestra and more than 70 local dancers. Over 3000 people are expected to attend one of the three performances this year.

If you have ever wondered about the symbolism of the ‘nutcracker’, several explanations exist. One colorful version, from says that:
According to German folklore, nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring good luck to your family and protect your home. The legend says that a nutcracker represents power and strength and serves like a trusty watch dog guarding your family from evil spirits and danger. A fierce protector, the nutcracker bares its teeth to the evil spirits and serves as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill. 
Because they represented good luck, over the years, nutcrackers became popular gifts for children at Christmastime.
The Nutcracker is said to be the most popular ballet in the world, yet it was not a great success when it was performed for the first time in Russia in 1892. And because Tchaikovsky died just months after the original production of The Nutcracker, he would never know the powerful, timeless impact it would have on audiences around the world.

 The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet sums up the success of their holiday production of The Nutcracker in Santa Barbara this way:

Most gratifying is the number of children of former dancers we have studying with us. When the Hanlins were requesting funding for the first production of The Nutcracker forty years ago, they stated, “We hope to establish something children of Santa Barbara can grow up with, on both sides of the footlights.” That indeed has come to pass.

Consider dining at the Benchmark Eatery before or after the performance. A recent visitor had this to say about their experience:

“If you are looking for great prices, excellent food and drinks, you NEED to try Benchmark! You won't be disappointed!”