Not yet feeling in the holiday mood, I gave myself a jolt of Christmas by going to the Nutcracker last night (and of course, I went by myself because (a) I *strongly* dislike people, (b) I wanted to be flying solo in the event that one of the male ballerinas responded positively to the intense sexual eye contact I’d be making at them throughout the performance–don’t think that isn’t the primary reason I bought a front row seat, and (c) because I wanted to be alone, so get off my nuts about it).
Fun fact: the San Francisco Ballet was the first company to perform the Nutcracker in the US, which makes a little bit more sense, given that every child in this town (including me) was dragged to it each year as a child. But good god there’s a lot going on there; what follows is my review of the plot and the performers (I’ll be using their full names in the event that they have Google Alerts setup for themselves; in which case find me here and here).
I have a very deep collection of Nutcrackers (and I don’t have to tell you, but I will: obviously they’re the handmade ones straight
Collecting prospects for his basement family.
from Germany, not the ones in the checkout stand at Marshall’s), and my favorite among them is Herr Drosselmeyer, the tallest and most expensive-looking one (coincidentally, the exact same characteristics I look for in a mate as well). But after last night’s closer inspection of Drosselmeyer’s behavior, I will certainly be reevaluating the prime placement that I’ve been giving him all these years.
Herr Drosselmeyer–played by Damian Smith (who good god is a lot sexier on Google than he was on stage, with the gray wig and makeup), bounds into what looks to be a respectable Christmas Eve party and, without a heartbeat, hones in on Clara, a child 50 years his junior (don’t act so innocent, Clara–you’ll have your day in court later, you little slut). He “forgot” to bring his wife to the party, but of course remembered his purple cape, making it obvious that Mr. Drosselmeyer clearly got the address confused for his Friends of Dorothy party down the road.
Like any rude houseguest, Herr (we’re calling him that now, even though it only means Mister; I scoured the internet and can’t find his first name, no doubt he’s deep in some witness relocation program by now) hijacks the party with a never-ending lineup of jugglers and other deviant service-industry shenanigans. Let it be known: you show up to one of my parties and pull a rabbit out of your hat, and I will shank you (and I do mean the technical definition of shank: cutting your Achilles tendon with a shard of glass).
The plot centers around a Nutcracker that Herr gives Clara, laced with what I can only imagine to be LSD, given that she spends Act II dreaming about battling mice with Class 2 weaponry and morbidly obese women who have dresses full of tiny Asian children and juggling bears. Throughout the whole thing, Herr follows Clara around, waiting for the drugs to fully kick in so he can drag her away and add her to his basement family collection (though to Herr’s credit, basement families only recently became en vogue, so he does get points for being about a century ahead of the trend on that one). I’ve since learned that Herr is also a local councilman, which puts the whole thing in startlingly-clear perspective, proof positive that politics will be politics, whether you’re in 19th century St. Petersburg or at a Ted Cruz meet-and-greet in Pensacola, Florida.
Like I said, Clara–played by “Catherine” (no last name given; either a shrewd move by her parents or an ambitious attempt at celebrity for a thirteen year old) clearly has her eyes set on a one way ticket to a shiny pole and cigarette burns on her yet-appearing breasts. In a room full of what look to be perfectly charming Oligarchs-in-waiting, she becomes obsessed with a Nutcracker–which I’d argue is *not* a gender neutral toy (hashtag daddy issues). To her excitement, that Nutcracker grows into a full-grown man, played by the dashing (if ambiguously-raced) Davit Karapetyan, and the two dance off through a series of landscapes only Bob Marley could imagine.
Which brings me to the central question I couldn’t tear myself away from: are we all just supposed to sit here and politely
Oh you know, just storing some children under this ball gown.
golf clap as a tween gets statutorily raped on stage? It’s a glaring hole in the plot, but if you’re OK turning a blind eye to the law (and I usually am, except when it comes to heterosexual dalliances like this, when I turn into Judge Judy), the dancing will take your breath away. I just couldn’t understand why no one was as outraged as me.
But the real outrage is when Clara steps into a changing room and out comes a fully dressed, more mature version of Clara…except…suddenly…she’s Asian. Yes, choreographer Helgi Tomasson decided to cast the female half of the Grand Pas de Deux with Yuan Yuan Tan (and not that you had any trouble guessing, but Yuan Yuan is Chinese). She does a phenomenal job, and I’m all for letting your imagination run wild in a ballet, yet if I had a difficult time making the jump through this transformation, you can only imagine the struggle that the children in the audience–who this ballet is ultimately designed for–must have been going through. Think about the children, is what I’m trying to say here…think about the children.
The other elephant in the room.
As mentioned earlier, one of the strong drivers for my attendance were the male ballerinas, and in that regard, this show didn’t disappoint: I spent the lion’s share of Act II with my eyes either staring up Karapetyan’s crack or–if he was facing us–glued to his overflowing package of goods in front. Even as he was standing just off stage, my eyes were fixated–hook line and sinker. It was distracting to an alarming degree, but of course in a good way; and I know I wasn’t the only one, either–they were selling “ballet binoculars” in the lobby, for God’s sake. Turns out they’re wearing what’s called a “male dance belt,” which I plan on wearing *exclusively* next Halloween.
After the ballet, I did what anyone would do: went home and furiously researched him, focusing on sex tapes and the like. Turns out he’s married to Vanessa Zahorian, the other prima ballerina in San Francisco’s ballet, which kind of makes you vomit in your mouth a little, but in a cute way I guess (so here’s the question: what was their first dance like at the wedding? I feel like you either go balls-to-the-wall there or just sit it out). Also, I said ambiguously-raced earlier, though closer research reveals he’s Armenian, which in the context of this Eastern European play is probably more accurate than if he were white (just like how Jesus also was not white).
Foiled again by a marriage, I took to OkCupid, narrowing my boolean search terms to profiles with “dancer” “ballet” or “ballerina.” So far, no promising leads, but I spent all afternoon today at the gym focusing on my legs, and with a little bit more obsession, I’d like to hope that I am *very close* to a body where I can dawn white tights and captivate a room full of 300 close friends. No doubt you’re already aware of this if we’re friends; I routinely force people to feel my ass, though with good reason–it’s quite firm.
So to recap, if you’ve got $150 to shell out, a pension for soft-core porn and an obsession with massive quads, the San Francisco Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker is the holiday ticket for you!