Nutcracker in Wonderland

December 13-15, 2019 ⎪St. paul

December 20-21, 2019 ⎪Menomonie

Ballet Co.Laboratory presents your holiday favorite with a whimsical twist! Nutcracker in Wonderland tells the story of grown-up Clara home from college for the holidays. During her family’s annual party, she reencounters her grade school friend Patty. Together they rediscover the magic of their childhood and realize the freedom possible within adulthood. In true Nutcracker form, nutty Uncle Drosselmeyer brings the Mouse Queen and King to life, along with other Wonderland creatures. Clara and Patty waltz through the Land of Snowflakes and meet all of your Wonderland favorites including the mischievous Cheshire Cat, the ever-late White Rabbit, the mesmerizing Caterpillar, and the spiteful Queen of Hearts.

The full performance is 90 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission

Online sales end 1 hour before each performance. Walk up tickets available at the theater!

St. Paul, MN

Huss Center for the Performing Arts
St. Paul Academy and Summit School
1712 Randolph Avenue
St Paul, MN

Friday, December 13, 2019 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 2:00pm

Tickets $22/$28/$35

Menomonie, WI

The Mabel Tainter
Center for the Arts
205 Main St E.
Menomonie, WI

Friday, December 20, 2019 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 2:00pm

Tickets $28-$30



Act I

On Christmas Eve, the Stahlbaum family throws their annual holiday party. A studious Clara is home from college for the holidays, and reluctant to engage in her brother Fritz’s merry-making. Fritz attempts to steal one of her favorite childhood books: Wonderland. As their party guests begin to arrive, excited about the holiday celebration, Clara is absorbed in rediscovering the story of Wonderland and takes little interest in the festivities.

Clara emerges from her book when a latecomer arrives. It’s Patty, a grade school friend of Clara’s. They haven’t seen each other in ages and Patty has brought Clara a gift—a beautiful, classic Nutcracker from Germany. Patty’s joy is contagious, and she manages to persuade Clara to join the dancing.

The final arrival to the party is Clara’s eccentric Uncle Drosselmeyer. Everyone is thrilled when he begins to perform magic tricks. Clara is apprehensive when Uncle Drosselmeyer takes her book, but she begins to relax with the other guests and enjoy his theatrical descriptions of magical Wonderland. Then Clara asks him to tell the Nutcracker’s story. Although Clara knows that these tales could only exist in her imagination, she cannot help but feel something tangible when Uncle Drosselmeyer finishes his storytelling. Soon after, Patty has to leave the party and Clara is saddened by her departure. She decides to retire to her room early, taking the Nutcracker and the Wonderland book along.   


Clara reads her book until she grows tired and falls asleep on her desk, Nutcracker in her arms. The door to her bedroom opens and the White Rabbit sticks her nose out to explore. Who is this creature asleep with this book? Suddenly, the clock strikes midnight! The White Rabbit has lost track of time and departs quickly. Clara awakens, surrounded by rats who have crept in while she was sleeping. As they spin her around the room, Uncle Drosselmeyer enters…but something is different about him. All at once, the room begins to shrink and the Rat Queen and King emerge from the shadows. Clara begins to panic, but Patty arrives on the scene. A battle ensues as Patty tries to protect Clara and guide her to the door. This upsets the Rat Queen and she commands the rats to close in on the pair. Clara chooses to face the Rat Queen to save Patty, and the pair are able to escape through the door. 

Shocked by her own boldness, Clara runs away. Patty follows her, reassuring her that she has been brave. As they dance together, Clara begins to gain confidence in herself. Bonded by their battle and rediscovered friendship, Clara and Patty waltz into a flurry of snowflakes that transport them to the whimsical world of Wonderland.



Act II

Clara and Patty travel through this strange new place, looking for someone to direct them. All the inhabitants of Wonderland, including the Mad Hatter, begin to gather to ponder their unfamiliar guests. Little do Clara and Patty know as they set out to explore that the Queen of Hearts had seen them enter her Wonderland. Along their journey, Clara and Patty encounter the mischievous Cheshire Cat and the mesmerizing Caterpillar who gives them treats. The Flamingos play a lively game of croquet, and the ever-late White Rabbit bounces in again, racing Time. Clara and Patty join their new acquaintances at the Tea Party, hosted by the Mad Hatter. After the party, Clara and Patty happen upon the Cards, who trail behind the spiteful Queen of Hearts. She is not happy that Clara and Patty have disrupted her realm and wants them gone. She bellows to the Cards, “Off with their heads!” Clara and Patty hide behind the rose bushes and manage to get away from the Queen. Flowers waltz outside the palace, and in a final whirlwind, Clara and Patty sneak back through Wonderland towards home.

Suddenly, Clara awakes to find herself back in her bedroom. Could it have all been a dream?