Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

December 6, 2012

'Nutcracker' on stage this weekend at Niagara Falls High School

Night & Day — Dreams come true when “The Nutcracker” takes stage.

Clara’s Christmas Eve slumber, of course, gives rise to an action-packed duel between the evil mouse king and brave nutcracker prince, and a magical journey through the “Land of Snow” and “Kingdom of Sweets.”

The Greater Niagara Ballet Co.’s production of “The Nutcracker” is on stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Niagara Falls High School Performing Arts Center, 4455 Porter Road. Tickets are on sale now, and will be available at the door.

For the pre-teen girls dancing with the Greater Niagara Ballet Co., dreams come true a little sooner: when two of them are cast in the lead role.

This year, that honor belongs to Sophia Currie, 12, of Lewiston, and Tatum McLean, 12, of Niagara Falls, Ont.

“I’m really excited, because I’ve always wanted to play Clara,” Sophia said.

For these girls, playing Clara is significant because “a lot of little girls (will) look up to (us),” Tatum said.

That’s a big deal because Sophia and Tatum, like the Claras before them, began dancing with the GNBC as “little girls” looking up to their older castmates.

“I’ve been in the production for six years. I’ve been wanting to be this role for a while,” Tatum said.

Grace Gruarin, now 19 and performing as the Dew Drop Fairy, was 13 when she starred as Clara.

“It was a really big part, because before then you’re just a little girl in the party scene,” she said. “When you get picked, it’s like you’re a princess. It (means) a lot when you’re that age.

“When I was little, it was my older sister (in lead roles), and all the girls in her age group were Claras, so I knew all of them. Whenever I talked to them, it was like talking to a superstar. … I wanted to be them. And then when I was Clara, I was just so excited because I was going to be with them.”

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