Review of The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music: Pennsylvania Ballet

It’s one of my favorite times of year again, and I finally got to see a Christmas classic that I’ve wanted to see for such a long time now:  George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. If you’re ever in the Philadelphia area around this time, you shouldn’t miss the wonderful holiday tradition that is put on through the month of December by the Pennsylvania Ballet.


The Pennsylvania Ballet uses two different theaters for their shows: the Merriam Theater and the Academy of Music. I haven’t visited the Merriam Theater yet, but I went to the Academy of Music for this particular show. I have to say that the theater itself is just so pretty and architecturally stunning.

The entire show was two hours long, including a 20-minute intermission. If you’re not typically a fan of the ballet, you might find the opening scene to be somewhat “slow.” But once the show takes off, you will find yourself engaged and mesmerized. I was highly entertained throughout the entire performance. It wasn’t too long that you begin to lose focus, but it also wasn’t too short to the point where you left wanting more. All of the dancers were so talented, especially the Sugar Plum Fairy.


Although I enjoyed the entire show, I definitely preferred act II as it had a lot more variation, scene changes, and some of my favorite songs (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Candy Cane, and Waltz of the Flowers, just to name a few).  Kudos to the orchestra, too, who also did an amazing job at bringing these classic holiday songs to life.

I’ve had the soundtrack playing on repeat all day. Needless to say, it certainly stuck with me!


I also want to point out how great the customer service is. The region was hit by the first snow storm of the season and Philly was pretty much buried in snow in the afternoon. But as they say, the show must go on. Yet those who couldn’t make it due to the weather were offered the opportunity to change their tickets to a different date and for a similar seat. Everyone wins!

The Nutcracker is going on through December 29th on select dates. To learn more and for tickets, visit the Pennsylvania Ballet website.

Please note that photos in this article were not from the actual performance I attended; they were taken from the Pennsylvania Ballet website and were shot by Alexander Iziliaev.

Visitor Information

Save on tickets to performances at the Academy of Music: If you’ll be in Philly and want to enjoy some live entertainment, Ticket Network is a great website for finding tickets, including to performances happening at the Academy of Music. From sporting events, to musicals, to concerts, you can get the tickets you’re looking for and at amazing prices.

Hotels in Philadelphia: The Academy of Music in the heart of Philly’s Center City. Our top picks for hotels in the area include The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, The Rittenhouse, and Rittenhouse 1715.

Flights to the Philadelphia International Airport: Tons of routes from around the country (and the world) go directly to the Philadelphia International Airport every day. To find a flight that’s best for you, check out OneTravel to compare your options.