Fiona returns to Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Cincinnati Ballet Dancers, Peter Mueller Photography

The Nutcracker Presented by Frisch’s Big Boy, now in its 46th annual season, returns to the Music Hall December 19 through 29. The production brings all of the region together with more than 100 children dancing alongside Cincinnati Ballet’s professional company. For a second straight year, the world’s most famous hippo – ‘Fiona’ returns to the production, showing off what she’s learned in ballet class. Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens collaborated on the character for the creative partnership last year. It’s so wonderfully Cincinnati!


  • Thursday, December 19 – 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 20 – 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 21 – 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, December 21 – 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 22 – 1:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 22 – 6:30 pm
  • Monday, December 23 – 2:00 pm
  • Monday, December 23 – 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday, December 24 – 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 26 – 2:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 26 – 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 27 – 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 28 – 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 29 – 1:00 pm
Melissa Gelfin, Peter Mueller Photography

The Nutcracker is a classic holiday tale that follows the imaginative story of Clara, a little girl who embarks on a dreamy journey after she receives a nutcracker as a gift on Christmas Eve. With her Nutcracker Prince, Clara travels through the Land of Sweets, meeting colorful and exciting characters along the way. Artistic Director Victoria Morgan’s whimsical choreographic take on the classic story is like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

Each year, The Nutcracker provides the rare opportunity for young dancers to star in the featured roles of Clara and her brother, Fritz, along with 70 additional roles for more than 100 local young performers. Currently studying the lead role of Clara are Otto M. Budig Academy students, Mollie Berk and Riley Moser. While both girls have performed roles in The Nutcracker in previous years, this will be both young dancers’ first time dancing the role of Clara. Learning the role of Fritz this season are Academy students Marshall Anstaett and Quinn Posey.

Cincinnati Ballet Dancers, Peter Mueller Photography

Frisch’s Big Boy and Cincinnati Ballet have a long history of collaborating to present the production, dating back to the first Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker in 1974. Frisch’s Restaurants Inc. championed that production through a generous donation and has sponsored the production every subsequent year.

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This Cincinnati holiday favorite saw a re-envisioning in a 2011 World Premiere, with new sets by scenic designer John Ezell, bright and beautiful costumes by Carrie Robbins, lighting by Trad A Burns and athletic, engaging choreography by Victoria Morgan. Morgan’s rendition of the classical ballet is filled with unique, contemporary twists on longstanding traditions: from the bright, whimsical sets, stage effects and acrobatics to the appearance of new, playful characters such as Clara’s companion, a pet poodle named Minnie, dancing Cupcakes, tumbling Snowballs, an ensemble of poodles performing the Dance of the Mirlitons (or “Mirlipoos”) and more.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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