Returning December 2021
CREATED/FOUNDED by Joyce Stahl in 2005. Produced bi-annually in Key West, Florida – A uniquely crafted holiday production inspired by Key West’s tropical environment and rich cultural history.

Of all of the holiday traditions, surely one of the world’s most delightful is The Nutcracker, which debuted in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892 set to Tchaikovsky’s music.

Since then, there have been an estimated 11 million performances of this classic tale of a young girl’s magical journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

International audiences have not only adopted the story as their own, they have adapted it – tailoring the setting, characters and costumes to local cultural tastes and traditions.

A sumptuous, artful theatrical experience wrapped as a perfect holiday gift for the Southernmost City – Key West's very own NUTCRACKER! The Key West productions comes complete with chickens, roosters, sea fans, anemones, and yes, even a conch shell. This is one of the largest productions to ever play on a Key West Stage!

Set to the enchanting music of Tchaikovsky, our production opens in the garden of Mayor Patterson in Key West in 1863 at sunset on Christmas Eve. Mayor Patterson and his children, Clara and Fritz, welcome guests and their children to celebrate the holiday, including Clara’s Godfather and her nephew. Given a Conch Nutcracker by her godfather, Clara later falls asleep with him in her arms, protecting him from the chickens who have wandered in from the garden. Her dream sequence is flooded with Key West imagery. Toy sailors engage in battle to protect her from the Rooster King and his cohorts, and the Conch Nutcracker is saved by Clara’s slipper. Magically, the Conch Nutcracker is transformed into a Navy Ensign, who then leads Clara to the Salt Ponds. As they arrive, the snowy egrets take flight into the starlit night. The first act ends with the egrets ushering Clara and her escort aboard a sailing skiff for a journey over the Lemonade Sea.

A coral reef sets the scene for Act II. The Sea Star Fairy and her Angelfish attendants welcome Clara and her Navy Ensign to their underwater kingdom from their diving bell. The various divertissement perform entertaining Clara and the Navy Ensign – King Neptune and his shrimp (the local tumblers), colorful reef fish, the ghosts of the sunken Atocha, and the fighting fish. As the sparkling jewels of the Atocha dance across the waves, the Cavalier leads the exquisite Sea Star Fairy to dance the traditional pas de deux.

The Court of the Coral Reef gather to wish Clara and the Ensign a fond farewell as he escorts her safely home to her garden bench, where her mother finds her dreaming peacefully.