The performance was suppose to start at 7 pm, we showed up around 7:15 - which is early for Samoa. However, for some reason, the entire auditorium (more like a gym) was already filled with people. We got stuck in the back. The first hour featured a number of singing performances, not related to the Nutcracker and relatively random, but welcome to Am. Sam. The show did not start until 8 pm - but it started below stage, not on it, so unless you were in the first two rows, you could not see a thing. They eventually made it up to the stage.
The newspaper indicated that the students had been practicing for three months, almost six nights a week to prepare, so we were excited for a night of entertainment. It was entertaining, but not in the way the ballet is suppose to entertain. More of the slapstick version of the Nutcracker. It featured more of happy jumping then dancing - forget about ballet moves. The winner of Big Man on Campus (see earlier post) was in the production and stole the show, even though he did not have a major role, the audience laughed through most of it. The highlight of the performance (for the audience) was when the grandfather attempted to dance, but fell down. I don't remember that in the last version that I saw, but it was very effective in this one. Due to the inability to see much of anything, the continued usage of cell phones around us, and the constant moving around of members of the audience as well as the chance of heatstroke, we decided to leave at the end of the first act. I applaud the students for their effort, but it was not the best performance of the Nutcracker I have seen, I think the kids should stick to singing, where they got a ton of talent. I forgot my camera to document the production, but below is a picture that should give you a sense of the production.