George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ by the Numbers

The whole town will be buzzing when the curtain goes up on PNB’s new production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, freshly imagined by celebrated author and illustrator Ian Falconer (Olivia the Pig), plus Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, more than 150 roles, and McCaw Hall all aglitter with new décor and surprises!

The Costumes

  • There are 174 velvet diamonds and 322 jewels on the Harlequin costume.
  • 640: Black pompoms on the eight Polichinelle costumes.NNut15Dy2 0868
  • 697: Petals on the Waltz of the Flowers costumes.


  • 10 feet and 60 pounds: The width and weight of Mother Ginger’s skirt.
  • 175: Number of snaps on the Mother Ginger costume.

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  • 4,000: Holes cut by hand to create the lace “doily” tutus and headpieces for the Marzipan costumes.MarzipanCostume_LT_003
  • 300: Jewels hand-sewn on the two Arabian (peacock) headpieces.
  • 500: Yards of tubular horsehair used for the Party Mothers’ hairpieces.
  • 1,428: Cabochons sewn onto the Spanish women’s costumes.
  • 2,568: Appliques machine-sewn on the seven Spanish dresses.

The Scenery

  • There are 22 painted drops.
  • 3,000 square yards of fabric were used in the creation of the scenery.
  • 343 gallons of paint were used in the painting of the scenery.


  • The corridor scrim at the top of the show depicts Nutcracker historical figures Alexander Dumas, E.T.A. Hoffman, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, George Balanchine, and Lincoln Kirstein.

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  • An actual walnut was used to model the construction and painting of the Nut Boat.
  • It took 400 hours to build the Christmas tree.  At its full height it stands 40 feet.  There are 450 lights on it.
  • 30 cubic feet of “snow” will be deployed during the Act I Snow scene, per performance.

The Mice

  • 98 yards of “fur” have been used to create the mice. They have a total of 230 whiskers. Each adult tail consists of 25 segments. Each ear is made up of six pieces.


  • Laid end-to-end, the mice’s upper lips total 782 inches.

The Video

  • Work began in June 2015: The finished product features over 200,000 frames rendered on approximately two dozen computers. (It would take 600 days of rendering on one computer.)
  • The town in the video is inspired by antique mid-19th Century maps and satellite images of New England.
  • There are over 1.5 million trees, 8,540 bushes, 287 buildings, and seven mice in the 3d animation.

The Merch

  • Amusements Gift Shop at McCaw Hall has stocked its counters and shelves with 15,300 ornaments, 1,400 nutcrackers, 4,400 plush dolls, 1,000 posters, 300 tiaras and 120 tutus for shoppers attending the show.