To see the SF Ballet's production of The Nutcracker on Boxing Day.
To see all the little girls in their party frocks or tutus, splashes of red, gold, and pink. To having cocktails at Absinthe right before, right next door. To hear the Program guy's busking. To be in the City at night, City Hall -- where we got married -- across the street, dressed up as an Xmas present. To settle in to our seats and hear the orchestra warming up. To have a quick glass of cheap "Champers" as the time grew near to find said seats.
I thought the production very good on the whole, if not quite up to the whole Experience of just seeing The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker, itself, for me does not really get going until the Snowflakes sequence right at the end of the first act. This production did a v lovely job with that. I also loved the Arabian sequence and Waltz of the Flowers, in particular. The Sugar Plum Fairy, Sasha DeSola, gave my favorite performances of the evening.
The other crazy astonishing thing to me about The Nutcracker is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's music. Here, he is given a libretto, based on a story, and the tempos he needs for each dance, and is asked to write, basically, a songbook.
Well, what a songbook, right? It is as if he said, "Alright. Here is your ballet. By the way, I have included a half dozen of the greatest melodies of all-time for your production. So, I hope you like it."
That kind of genius always stuns me, to near the point of supine adoration.