Goldstar proudly announces that Long Beach Ballet is named Best Loved Nutcracker in the U.S. for 2019. This marks a back-to-back win for the Southern California-based organization, who won the Award in 2018. This year, they competed along with more than 50 companies to win the 13th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award, the only award honoring live performances of The Nutcracker nationwide.
Long Beach Ballet Artistic Director David Wilcox says, “It is an honor to have once again been recognized as the most beloved Nutcracker in the U.S.! We produce this show as a labor of love, with over 500 people behind the scenes and a 36-year track record. On behalf of the entire cast and crew, we send our sincere thanks to the nation!”
Accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, Long Beach Ballet’s The Nutcracker also boasts sparkling sets and costumes, a cast of more than 200, dazzling pyrotechnics and magic effects — along with a special appearance by Rebel, Long Beach Ballet’s gorgeous white Arabian horse. This production is one of only two ballet companies in the country that use two harps for their production, to ensure the performance sounds exactly as Tchaikovsky intended it to sound.
Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, David Wilcox began studying the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus at the age of 11. Having successfully completed all exams through the Advanced level, he continued his studies in London and at the age of 19 began his professional career in Germany. He spent seven years dancing with the Berlin Ballet, the Nuremberg Ballet and the Heidelberg Ballet. Returning home in 1978, he co-founded Long Beach Ballet and formed a professional company, which became Southern California’s most successful ballet company for 15 years. Mr. Wilcox has coached several of his students for international ballet competitions and many have gone on to join such companies as San Francisco Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Milwaukee Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and others. Over the past several years, he has produced and directed eight ballet tours to Asia and has staged three full-length ballets for the Classical Ballet of Guangzhou, China: The Nutcracker, La Bayadere and Cinderella. He is a prolific choreographer and has created numerous full-length ballets for the school and the company.
“We’d like to congratulate David and his company, cast and crew on this win,” says Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy. “The field was crowded with a wide variety of genres, styles and creative themes. From big beautiful classic ballets to very unusual, creative, modern tellings and everything in between. In the end, the people voted Long Beach Ballet to be the best.”
As is tradition, theLong Beach Balletwill receive acash prize to go towards education and accessibility programs, as well as the coveted title of Best Loved Nutcracker in the U.S. They will also be awarded “The Nutty” statuette. The winner of the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award is determined by audience ratings from people who attended 2019 Nutcracker productions through Goldstar. Performances for this production run through December 22 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Terrace Theatre.