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The Nutcracker at The Puppet Co.

December 8, 2017
Jamie Davis Smith
7300 MacArthur Boulevard
Glen Echo, MD 20812
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If the sound of my son’s laughter while watching The Nutcracker could have been recorded, I am certain that all performances of this fun, lively performance would be sold out in minutes.

The Puppet Co. version of The Nutcracker is completely wordless.  Although not a ballet, this production tells the story of the Nutcracker through beautiful movements that resemble dance - with a few dances incorporated into the production as well.  The Nutcracker opens with actors dressed as larger than life puppets who had the audience laughing from the opening scene with their exaggerated movements.  The story starts with the classic tale of a little girl receiving a Nutcracker as a gift.  After viewing a puppet show and a battle with the Mouse King, the larger than life puppets shrink to miniature size then back to regular size.

The Nutcracker at The Puppet Co.

Throughout the show, there are several puppet-shows within the puppet show as the audience is transported to the Land of the Sugar Plum fairies, enters the world of Mother Goose, and becomes a part of glow-in-the-dark world of a sultan on a magic flying carpet who performs magic tricks.  There are also wonderful scenes that include a trio of dancing flowers and a large, magical dragon.  After each mini-story ended my three-year old hopefully whispered “another one?” not wanting the show to end. 

It is no small feat to tell a story well through music and movement alone, especially in a way that appeals to young children, but The Puppet Co. rises to the occasion with a perfect blend of artistry, creativity, and humor.   The performance I saw had a large audience with children ranging from three to about seven years old and all seemed equally delighted.

The Nutcracker at The Puppet Co.

The Puppet Co. version of The Nutcracker is a perfect introduction to the beloved story for children too young to see the ballet - or not interested in sitting through a long, formal version of the classic tale.  This show is a great way to start a family tradition of seeing The Nutcracker that all members of the family will enjoy.
Tips for Your Visit

  • Seating is first-come first served with the front of the theatre reserved for children only.  While there aren't bad seats in the house, if your child must be in front, plan on arriving early.
  • No strollers are allowed in the theatre, but there is stroller parking just outside. 
  • The show runs about 50 minutes. 
  • If your child can’t sit through the show or needs to leave for any reason, you don’t need to worry about missing a thing.  All performances are broadcast live to a monitor in the lobby so you can keep watching. 
  • There is free parking in the Glen Echo parking lot, but it can take about 10 minutes to walk from the lot to the theatre with kids so be sure to leave enough time!  It is a flat, stroller-friendly path.
  • The Nutcracker runs through December 31st and plays on Thursdays and Fridays at varying times Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Tickets are $12 and everyone 2 and older needs a ticket.  You can purchase your tickets online.
  • When going to Glen Echo for the show, be sure to spend some time in the park’s fun playground or stop by the branch of Praline (open on Fridays and Saturdays) in the park for a treat.   The carousel in the park is closed for the season.

Photos courtesy of The Puppet Co.

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