Web Smarts

www.nutcrackerballet.net

WHAT: The official "Nutcracker" site, this is the place to go for information regarding the traditional holiday ballet.

BEST POINTS: The site lists multiple productions of the Nutcracker in each state, with dates and even times (some are listed directly, some are through links), so you can track down the performance nearest you. For example, under "California" there are 52 different listings, each of which comes with some information about the company performing. For real Nutcracker aficionados, there's also some information regarding the history of the ballet. You can read the story, learn about Tchaikovsky's music, and even listen to some of the more famous pieces, such as the Waltz of the Flowers or the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The site also provides several links - including a few to real nutcrackers.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The site has an affiliation with Amazon.com, which offers multiple Nutcracker books, CDs and videos. You can purchase E.T.A. Hoffman's original story, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak, or choose from among numerous other tellings. Similarly, there are a number of different recordings, both audio and visual. The site is an excellent resource if you're looking to buy tickets or other paraphernalia, but those who are not should be forewarned: the merchandise is prominently featured.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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