The Story of 'The Nutcracker'
Once Upon a time, years and years ago, in Nurember, Germany there lived Dr. Stahlbaum (a very important man), and his wife Frau Stahlbaum, his daughter Clara, and son Fritz. It was Christmas Eve, the falling snow covered the city and made everything sparkle magically. The sparkle was present in the Stahlbaum home as Dr. Stahlbaum and his wife prepared their house for a Christmas Eve Party.
Soon the party guests and their children arrive. It is a wonderful party full of dancing, games, and presents! Before long Clara's godfather, the mysterious inventor Herr Drosselmeyer arrives. He brings life-size dolls for the amusement of the guests. He also brings presents for Clara and Fritz. Clara's gift, a nutcracker in the form of a soldier, is the most special of all. Fritz, however, becomes jealous, grabs the nutcracker from Clara, and breaks it. Clara is comforted by Herr Drosselmeyer who uses his handkerchief as a bandage for the injured nutcracker. After the party, Clara puts her nutcracker safely to rest under the Christmas tree and is taken off to bed.
Yet Clara is unable to sleep. Worried about her broken toy, she returns to the great room at midnight. Cradling her nutcracker, she falls blissfully asleep and has a most vivid dream. It begins when she is surprised by a mouse. She tries to hide, but the Christmas tree, the mice, and everything seems to grow! Her brother's toy soldiers, led by the Nutcracker, come to the rescue. A great battle takes place culminating in a final duel between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Just as it seems her Nutcracker may lose, Clara defeats the Mouse King.
It seems Clara's nutcracker was enchanted, and her bravery has broken the spell. The Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome Prince. Clara's Prince invites her on a magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets. On their journey Angels watch over them as they pass through a wintry forest ruled by a Snow King and Queen who are surrounded by dancing snowflakes.
Clara and her Prince arrive at a wonderful palace where they are greeted by the Sugarplum Fairy, ruler of the Kingdom of Sweets. The prince tells the Sugarplum Fairy and her Court about the great battle with the Mouse King and how Clara's bravery has saved the day. Upon hearing of these great deeds, the Sugarplum Fairy and her Court greet Clara and bestow her with praise for saving the Prince. Clara is then seated as the Kingdom's subjects dance a series of beautiful divertissements in her honor. Clara is delighted with the performance; the entire court, it seems, is an entourage of her confectionery imagination and her dolls come to life (Spanish - Chocolate, Arabian - Coffee, Chinese- Tea and Russian -Trepak); childhood nursery tales (Mirlitons and Mother Gigone); and beautiful dancing flowers and Dew Drops (Waltz of the Flowers). Next, the Sugarplum Fairy and her cavalier perform the most beautiful dance of all.
As the magic of the Christmas evening draws to a close, the Sugarplum Fairy returns Clara to her home. There, her father finds her and carries her safely to her bed. Where she will awake on Christmas morning ready to face new adventures. For as long as there are children to dream magical dreams, the Kingdom of Sweets will be mixing special treats....and there will always be a "Happily ever After."