Behind the Curtain…A Dungeon Mom’s Tale of The Nutcracker

Degas-Inspired Ballerinas.  Graceful and Strong.

Dazzling Sets.  Victorian Christmas Décor.

Excited Children in their Taffeta Finery.  Candy Canes tucked in their Pockets.

Make Way for The Nutcracker at The Kimo Theatre.

Downtown Albuquerque.


This is What We See From the House Seats.

But What Goes On Behind the Curtain?   Does All the Magic Disappear?

For this Run, I Had an Opportunity to Be a Dungeon Mom.

Our First Soldier/Mom Selfie before Doing Battle.

A Dungeon Mom is the Adult who Monitors and Keeps Sane the Goings-On Behind the Velvet Curtain.

And May I Let You in on a Little Secret…there is even More Magic Behind the Velvet Curtain.

Shhh…Come with Me.

Down into the Dungeon.

The Kimo Theatre is 90 Years Old.  Still Cold, Dark and Just a Bit Scary.

We Pass a Tiny Shrine to All the Past Productions.  Filled with Gifts for Bobby, the Resident Theatre Ghost.

Autographed Pointe Shoes are the Newest Offering.

Costumes for this Production of The Nutcracker Hang at Attention.

Organized by Role.  Identified by Dancer.

Here are the Tiny Chinese Dancers.

Seraphim Angels.  In Silk and Tulle.

Christmas Eve Party Scene Girls.  Satin and Velvet.  Lace and Glitter.

Fritz.  Clara’s Brother.  Put on the Cap and Red Frock Coat.  Wreak Havoc.

Sweet Golden Angels will Dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy in Act 2.


The Lobby is Quiet and Waits.  All at Attention.

While the Dungeon Below is in Organized Chaos.

First We Must Read the Dungeon Mom Notes.

The Ultimate Rule…No Eating in Costume.  Ever.  Right There..Item 3.

The Final Show has Seasoned Professionals.  The Dungeon Mom Role is Easy Now.

Steady Hands for Make Up.

Felt Cheeks Attach with Eyelash Glue.  Eyeliner Ballet Eyes.  In Black.

Magically, the Dancers Bring the Costumes to Life.

Or the Costumes Bring the Dancers to Life.  Or Maybe a Bit of Both.

An Audience Favorite.  The Party Moor Doll.  He Brilliantly Dances with Swords.

Party Dad and His Party Daughter.  Ready for their Cue.  Enchanting.

The Purple Party Mom in Dazzling Jewels.

Soldiers Prepared to Do Battle Against the Rat King and His Army of Mice…

Take a Moment to Shine with the Littlest Chinese Dancer.

Signage To Stage Left.  The Dancers’ Stage Left.  The Audience’s Stage Right.

The Main Thoroughfare Directly Under the Stage.  Keeping It Clear is a Dungeon Mom Priority.

The Perfect Ballet Bun.  Secured with a Lunch Lady Net and Bobby Pins.  Halo Too.

Final Celestial Wing Adjustments.  Beautiful.  Inspiring.


Behind the Curtain, in the Wings, Prima Ballerinas Do Final Preps Too.

Props Wait in their Assigned Places.

I Understand It’s Very Difficult to See While Dancing in Mouse Heads.

Gift Packages for the Christmas Eve Party.  With Dings and Tatters for the Last Show.

Brass Bugles of the Battle Scene.  A Secret from the Soldiers…the Mice Always Win.  🙂


Angel Candles light the Way to the Land of the Sweets.  Act 2.


Music Ebbs and Flows.  Dancers Ebb and Flow on these Tricky Stone Steps.

One of the Show Stoppers.  The Polichinelles.

Mother Ginger and His Chinese Dancer.  Fabulous!

Whoosh.  Swirl.  Leap.  Done!

 The Dancers Greet the Audience in Full Costume in the Lobby for the Nutcracker Tea.

Dew Drop Fairy, Snow Queen and a Proud Poli.

Now the Dressing Room is Eerily Silent.

A Dungeon Mom’s Role is Complete.

 A 7-Show Run.  The End.

Time to Relax and Put Up Your Feet in Nutcracker Socks.

Wishing You a Merry Christmas Filled with All the Magic of the Season.

And Look.  Can You Believe It.  It’s Christmas Eve!


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