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Even tween boys like PNB's 'Nutcracker'

Published on: December 30, 2013

nut06-0869-31I'll admit it: I'm mean to my 11-year-old son. Well, according to him. After all, none of his friends have to sit through Shakespeare and opera and ballet - all in the same week. Still, I'll never give up on culturing-up that young'n, and occasionally, I get a glimpse of the reward that makes it all worthwhile. This is just what happened the other evening during intermission at Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker.

 The first act was over and we were loitering around scarfing dark chocolate, as is our habit, when the boy - decked out in ripped cargo pants, a stained (but clean!) t-shirt and orange Chuck Taylors (hey - I'm not THAT mom!) - suddenly declared, "This is my favorite holiday show ever!"

This is significant because a) we are talking ballet + typical tween boy; b) the audience was dominated by sparkly little dolled-up girls and their Grandmas; and c) I had kept him up late the night before at Seattle Shakespeare's awe-inspiring 'Hamlet,' so he was tired. Very tired.

So why do boys like 'Nutcracker?' The obvious: swordfights between toys and mice; the gorgeous, lush, Maurice Sendak-designed sets; and the pervasive festive atmosphere. So very festive, with carollers in the lobby, decorations everywhere, and indulgent moms buying holiday-themed cupcakes and fizzy drinks for kids.

That, plus reasonable run-times (about :45 minutes per act with an intermission) and comfy booster seats.

Take your boy to the ballet, do. Runs in Seattle through Dec. 27; tickets at

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