It’s the traditional way to launch the Christmas season in Cache Valley. The Cache Valley Civic Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” opens Friday, the night after Thanksgiving on the stage of the Ellen Eccles Theatre. Performances continue on Saturday and then Monday, starting at 7:30 each evening. There’s also a matinee Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Sandra Emile, the ballet company’s artistic director, says there are a lot of cast changes, such as April Werner who has moved up from the junior company to dance the role of the Snow Queen with Luke Anderson. “We’ve also got a lovely new dancer to our valley, Nicole Gracias, and she is performing the Rose Queen and a Snow Princess,” Emile says. “She’s brand new to our valley, a lovely USU student, and we’re very excited to be highlighting her and having her talents on our stage.” Emile also identified some of the other key performers. “Karyn Hansen will be performing again in the role of Sugar Plum Fairy along with our guest artist Shawn Strickler, who is our guest artist from Chicago.” Emile says it’s a real community effort with participants coming mainly from Cache, Rich, Box Elder and Franklin Counties. For the second time Mark Emile will be the orchestra director.
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