Pure imagination: Milwaukee Ballet unveils concept for new 'Nutcracker' design in 2023

Pure imagination: Milwaukee Ballet unveils concept for new ’Nutcracker’ design in 2023


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While the Milwaukee Ballet rehearses for next month's run of the Nutcracker, designers shared plans for special updates coming next year.

This season's run of the Nutcracker will hold true to tradition for its 25th year in Milwaukee, but 2023's performance will be even bigger and brighter.

"We want to bring in lots of things that will excite and be totally unexpected," said artistic director, Michael Pink.

On Wednesday, Pink showed renderings of the new concept, which adds newer, more magical aspects to the already beautiful production.

"We're going to try to take the audience on a slightly different journey into what we're calling 'Dosselmeyer's Imaginarium,' where basically, anything goes," Pink said.

Pink and his fellow designers have been piecing together the concept since 2018. Although it's a year away, prep work needs to happen early.

"It's still just on paper. Now's the time, because by the time you do roll it out, you want the audience to be dazzled by it and not be able to get the show out of their eyes," said costume designer, Gregory Poplyk.

The Ballet has a $5 million campaign to fund the production changes. So far, $2 million has been raised. They are still working to find a title sponsor, which will significantly help with funding.

Part of Poplyk's wonderous costuming vision is inspired by vintage Christmas cards.

"Those nostalgic, warm memories from seasons past," Poplyk described.

Meanwhile, set designer Todd Edward Ivins has a Willy Wonka-esque vision.

"Trying to give something very imaginative, that engages pure imagination," Ivins said.

The changes will be implemented in the December 2023 run. They are meant to bring new life to a beloved Milwaukee tradition.

"After 25 years, it's very good to be able to reinvent, and to be able to create something that will have another 25 years of excitement," Pink said.

This winter, the Milwaukee Ballet will stick to their classic performance of the Nutcracker.

This year's production runs from Dec. 10-24 at the Marcus Center.

Click here to buy tickets.

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