New York ballet dancers to star in ‘The Nutcracker’

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

Admiring the dozens of professionally decorated Christmas trees and other holiday decorations Nov. 17 at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s annual After Business Hours Christmas gathering are Fran Waszkiewicz (left) of The Guidance Clinic, Southgate; Kay Batsakes of John A. Papalas & Co., Lincoln Park; and Mark Slagle, Mr. Handyman, Trenton. The gathering was held at Ray Hunter Florist and Garden Center, Southgate, with Ray Hunter and Steve Szatmari of the Rhapsody restaurant as hosts. The evening included a mini-expo, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and door prizes.

By Evelyn Cairns
Two principal dancers with the New York City Ballet — Ashley Bouder and Amar Ramasar — will star in the Taylor-based Ballet Americana perform-ances of “The Nutcracker” Friday and Saturday at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.

Bouder will portray the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Ramasar the Prince.

Other leading roles will be played by Kylie Walton of Taylor, as Clara; Ali Obermayer of Grosse Ile, as Mother Ginger; Robert Redick of Canton Township, the Harlequin; and Devin Kilmer of Dearborn and Niccole Brown of Taylor, who will share the role of Columbine.

In addition, Amy Jenkins of Dearborn, cast as the Snow Queen, will be partnered with Phil Chan of New York as the Snow King.

The play tells the story of young Clara, who receives a nutcracker as a gift at a family party on Christmas Eve. She is distraught when her brother breaks the toy, but after her uncle is able to repair it, Clara falls asleep with the nutcracker in her arms and dreams of a fantasy winter wonderland.

The Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra, composed of approximately 60 musicians, will accompany the dancers with the time-honored music of Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, in the center’s Michael A. Guido Theater.

Tickets, $12 to $26, are available by calling 313-943-2354 or going to and clicking on the December calendar.

Ballet Americana is directed by Joy Squire of Taylor. Patricia Squire Lorenz and Leif Lorenz are artistic directors.

The Ford Center is at 15801 Michigan Ave.

Maurice Salad event planned
A trip down memory lane with a Maurice Salad luncheon and an illustrated lecture on “Christmas at Hudson’s” will be presented by architect and Detroit historian Lucas McGrail at 1 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut.

Some 40 to 50 artifacts from the building will be on display, and the speaker will conduct a question period.

Tickets, $25, are available by calling the Down-river Council for the Arts, sponsor of the event, at 734-720-0671 or going to

Participants will have an opportunity to view the exhibits “The Color of Winter” and “The Group of Ten,” which will open with a free reception at 6 p.m. Thursday. Open for a preview will be the DCA’s annual Christmas boutique, offering items handmade by local artists. An opening reception for the boutique will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2.

Symphony slates benefit luncheon
Members of the Taylor Ballet Americana, based in Taylor, will perform excerpts from The Nutcracker Dec. 6 at the 29th annual Nutcracker luncheon planned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council as a major fundraiser for the DSO.

The event, to be held at the Dearborn Inn, will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a reception and an opportunity to shop for items from the DSO Shop@the Max.

Gloria Nycek of Dearborn and Gloria Clark of Grosse Pointe Shores are luncheon chairs.

For tickets, $65, $100 and $150, call the DSO Volunteer Council office at 313-576-5154.

Proceeds will fund the education and outreach programs of the symphony.

Friends plan ‘Taste’ party
A “Taste of Music” holiday cocktail party is planned by the Friends of the Dearborn Symphony – Women’s Association of the Dearborn Orchestral Society for Dec. 3 at the home of Robert and Barbara Biess.

The party will feature small plates prepared by Chef Phuong Nguyen, former owner of Annam Restaurant Vietnamien, and accompanied by complementary wines. Dearborn Symphony flutist Donna Olkowski will provide musical entertainment.

For reservations, $90 (limited to 18), and additional information, call 313-565-2424 or going to