New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker Returns to MPAC for 50th Anniversary Season


New Jersey Ballet’s 50th anniversary presentation of the holiday classic Nutcracker comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center for 10 performances beginning Friday, December 17 at 7:30 pm. New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will provide live orchestral accompaniment. Tickets are $35-$75.  (all dates listed below)


This year marks the 50th anniversary that New Jersey Ballet has performed Nutcracker across the state.  “New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker is a heartwarming and uplifting staging of this holiday classic,” said Paul McRae, Assistant Director, New Jersey Ballet. “For the last decade we have presented our spectacle production at the magnificent Mayo Performing Arts Center to theatergoers of all ages. This production, that the Star-Ledger called “a spectacle that never ages”, brings together three of the state’s leading cultural institutions – NJ Ballet, the NJSO (New Jersey Symphony Orchestra) and MPAC – to present a Nutcracker that is firmly established as New Jersey’s favorite holiday tradition.”


“We know that so many families look forward to making Nutcracker a centerpiece of their holiday traditions,” adds Allison Larena, President and CEO. Mayo Performing Arts Center.  “We are thrilled to bring back the magic of this seasonal favorite to our stage in 2021.”


“I’m so happy that I am part of celebrating 50th Anniversary of New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker this season,” said NJ Ballet dancer Risa Mochizuki. “We had an extremely difficult time as artists through the pandemic, trying to stay in shape in our apartments, living rooms, even kitchens… However, we are extremely excited to finally be back on stage and do what we love – perform for our audience. With our new Artistic Director, Maria Kowroski and some new dancers as well, I am sure this Nutcracker season will be extremely special for our audience and even for the rest of us.”


New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker at MPAC will feature the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gary S. Fagin. When the curtain rises, audiences in Morristown can expect the eye-popping special effects, brilliant dancing, glorious costumes, and the magic and pantomime that have inspired critics to call it, “A spectacle that never seems to age…magic that should go on and on,” and “One of the best…as good as it gets.”



New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker is the longest running original professional production in the state. It debuted in Millburn in 1971 with international star of New York City Ballet Edward Villella as the Cavalier. Since then, the company has given approximately 900 performances in theatres throughout New Jersey, with more than 5,000 dancers and children, and more than a million viewers. Many in the audience who saw the production as children now bring their own children and grandchildren to see this cherished holiday tradition.


MPAC patrons must show proof of full vaccination and a photo ID at the door, or a negative COVID test within 48 hours of an event, and wear masks at all times. Children 12 and under need only wear masks.



Since 1958, New Jersey Ballet has enriched New Jersey’s cultural landscape with world-class programming and the finest artists. Unmatched in New Jersey, New Jersey Ballet has an extensive repertory of full-length classical ballets including Giselle, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Esmeralda and New Jersey’s longest running original production of Nutcracker. The Company has performed a number of works by world renowned choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Edward Villella, Robert North, William Dollar, and Anthony Tudor to name a few. New Jersey Ballet is also home to New Jersey’s largest collection of ballets for young audiences including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel, Peter & the Wolf, Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer, and Beauty & the Beast. Presented with live storyteller narration, fairytale stories come to life to inspire children of all ages.


The Company’s extensive performance season is made possible in part by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Shubert Foundation and by other generous corporate, foundation and individual contributors. For more information and a complete performance schedule, please visit New Jersey Ballet’s website at



Nutcracker performances at MPAC:

Friday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 18 at 1 pm

Saturday, Dec. 18 at 6 pm

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 1 pm

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 6 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 7:30 pm

Thursday, Dec. 23 at 7:30 pm

Friday, Dec. 24 at 1 pm

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 1 pm

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 6 pm

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