In his second year onstage as Fritz, William Lynch plays the role on opening night helping his family solidify their place as a Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) legacy. Timothy Lynch, William’s father, retired from the classical ballet company at the end of the 2002-2003 season.
In 2001, the elder Lynch began working with PNB’s Education and Outreach program. He taught classes and choreographed for the REACH Student Performance Group before becoming faculty in 2003. Now William is continuing in the “family business” with his reoccurring role in the PNB production of the Nutcracker.
If you have ever seen a performance of the Nutcracker outside McCaw Hall, you haven’t seen this one. A PNB exclusive, with choreography by Kent Stowell and set and costume design by Where the Wild Things Are author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, this production looks like a storybook come to life.
There are so many good elements; it is almost easy to miss out on the title role, the Nutcracker. The Dance of the Snowflakes is a first act crowd favorite. On opening night, Lesley Rausch stole the show as the peacock in the second act. It is always interesting to see the different interpretations of each character, but I don’t think it is possible to dance that part better.
What makes Nutcracker such a local tradition is how kid friendly it is. Both onstage and off. About 200 kids will be performing in the three production casts. If members of the PNB School, like Lynch, are the future of PNB, then the future is bright.
For the children in the audience, the production is a delight for the eyes. The sets are elaborate and fun. While McCaw Hall is crowded with girls in princess dresses at every performance, there is plenty for the young men in the audience. The Christmas tree grows to 40 feet tall, toy soldiers come to life and short pieces like the tiger dance will hold their attention.
In all, three local kids are in Nutcracker. Two from Shoreline and one from Lake Forest Park. Aside from a way to support local kids, Nutcracker is a good way to entertain out of town guests. As a PNB exclusive, visiting family members will have never seen it and will give family something to talk about rather than talk about family.
Currently PNB is having a Cyber Monday special. Today, tickets can be purchased online for any performance of the entire season for 15 percent off. Nutcracker runs through Dec. 27.