Pacific Northwest Ballet Says Farewell To Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker

“The Farewell Season of the Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker”

[Seattle, WA] – For over thirty years, family and friends have shared the wonder and beauty of the holidays with PNB’s world-famous Nutcracker. Created by Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell and children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, PNB’s one-of-a-kind Nutcracker has been dazzling Northwest audiences since 1983. Join us now for the final season of this acclaimed and much-loved Nutcracker before it goes into the PNB vault. (In 2015, PNB will unveil its production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, featuring all-new sets and costumes by children’s author/illustrator and theatre designer Ian Falconer.) The Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker returns to Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall for 35 public performances November 28 through December 28, 2014.

Pacific Northwest Ballet can proudly lay claim to one of the world’s most recognized and celebrated productions of Nutcracker. Drawing on E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Kent Stowell and Maurice Sendak delved deeply into the original story and infused the ballet with a drama and strength that fully complements Tchaikovsky’s classic score (performed live, as always, by the mighty PNB Orchestra. The roster of the orchestra, currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary season, still includes 23 founding members whose performances of PNB’s Nutcracker predate the formation of the orchestra!)

Combining Stowell’s charming and dramatic choreography with magnificent sets and costumes by Sendak, Nutcracker premiered to national acclaim on December 13, 1983. Breaking all PNB box office records, its 26 performances were presented to 78,000 people, approximately 16% of Seattle’s population. The following year saw the publication of Nutcracker, a new edition of the original Hoffman story with illustrations by Sendak, which remained on The New York Times’ Best Seller List for eight weeks.

In 1986 a feature-length film of the Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker was released nationwide, however audiences and critics universally agree that PNB’s stunning production is best viewed live onstage. This marvelously imagined production features over 200 dancers, gigantic moving sets and glorious costumes. With its vast array of roles danced by PNB’s professional dancers and students of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Baby Mice have dreamed of one day being Party Girls, Soldiers, Chinese Tigers, Snowflakes or Flowers, and, ultimately, the lead roles of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.



Kick off the holidays with our festive lobby activities including crafts, mini dance classes and story time, roaming magicians, Nutcracker characters and other fun — all FREE for ticket holders! Guests arriving early for opening weekend performances will enjoy this joyous celebration in the splendor of McCaw Hall, shimmering with holiday décor and a soaring 20-foot tree. Pre-show festivities begin one hour before curtain.


PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners some of history’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in for a live broadcast of Nutcracker under the direction of conductor Emil de Cou on Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 pm. Only on Classical KING FM, 98.1 fm or online at

See the Ballet…and Play the Instruments

Classical KING FM and Music Center Northwest will host their popular Instrument Petting Zoo at Nutcracker matinees on November 30, December 1, 14, 15 and 21. Stop by and get a feel for the instruments that make Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score come to life!


Skip the lines and bustle of the lobby at intermission! Treat you and yours to a special intermission experience in the SAVOR…McCaw Hall Nutcracker Suite. The Nutcracker Suite takes the stress out of intermission and adds to your memorable Nutcracker experience. There’s a Trophy Cupcakes Sprinkle Station where you can create your own custom sweet treat, swords and crowns for snap-your-own pictures, a holiday appetizer buffet by Executive Chef Shawn Applin, and coffee and champagne for adults. Admission is $20 per person (plus applicable tax and service charge); Nutcracker performance tickets sold separately. To purchase, visit


All of the entries in The Seattle Times’ “Nutcracker Memories” coloring contest will be on display at McCaw Hall through the run of Nutcracker and one entry will win a spectacular night on the town, including a hotel stay, dinner, and four tickets to a Nutcracker performance. (An additional 20 winners will receive show tickets.)

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