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The Yorkville Nutcracker
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Certainly the most Gotham-centric and educational of the city's Nutcrackers, Dances Patrelle’s production transports the action to late nineteenth-century Manhattan. Set in 1895, the ballet places newly elected mayor William L. Strong’s family center stage with his Christmas party at Gracie Mansion serving as the setting for Act One. While foreign dignitaries mingle, daughter Mary receives a nutcracker from Uncle Noah (Noah Wheaton, father to Jane Babcock, who with her husband owned the mansion at the time). The story then continues on a whirlwind tour of city landmarks: the Dakota, the Pond at Central Park (for a dance between the Snow Queen and King), and the New York Botanical Garden (which doubles as the Kingdom of Sweets). The dancing isn’t half bad, either.