Nutcracker magic

Family is key for Linda Cunningham in her production of"The Nutcracker” this year. The production features 85 cast members including professional guest artists, several mother-daughter pairs, her husband, daughter, son and father who will turn 80 in December.

“My focus for this Nutcracker is true magic and joy,” says Cunningham, founder and artistic director for State Street Dance Studio in Geneva."I want the audience to walk away and say that was delightful.”

Cunningham has been involved in Nutcracker performances for 39 years; this is her sixth at State Street.

“Every year the show gets more refined, more beautiful, bigger, bolder,” she says. While she says the production stays true to the story line and the musical score, performed live by the 41-piece Kane Community Orchestra, she adds some unexpected tweaks for the audience—this year expect some"Wizard of Oz”-like flying—”so it’s glittery and magical and has more splendor to it.”

“The Nutcracker” will be held at the Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles, at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 and 2 p.m. Dec. 21. For tickets call (630) 584-7200 ext. 10.

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