The recently tumultuous San Francisco Examiner (my old paper of employ) has scored a coup, luring Allan Ulrich back to their pages. Check out his coverage of the new $3.5 million San Francisco Ballet ?Nutcracker?, sprinkled with production details:

?The fantastic temples and ziggurats created for the exhibition in the Marina District (of which the Palace of Fine Arts is the only surviving structure) will form a backdrop to Tomasson’s “Nutcracker,” set in one of The City’s fabled Victorian homes, the Painted Ladies. The San Francisco Ballet is keeping many production details a secret (what else can you expect from a Christmas gift?). Yet, we know that Clara, the little girl whose dreams propel “Nutcracker,” will become an adolescent and will be entrusted with more real dancing than in the old production. We know, also, that, in contrast to Christensen’s staging, two different ballerinas will perform the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Act 2 Grand Pas de Deux, thus giving you more dancers for your dollars. The role of Uncle Drosselmeyer, the guide to Clara’s dream, has been considerably rethought, and the part of Drosselmeyer’s nephew has been eliminated altogether.?

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