Fort Wayne’s Nutcracker with Live Music!

FW Ballet 1 300x199 Fort Wayne’s Nutcracker with Live Music!

Clara and Herr Drosselmeyer dance in the Nutcracker

Have you ever watched the Fort Wayne Ballet Nutcracker live? Especially when the Fort Wayne Philharmonic is accompanying the dancers? It is truly a treat.

The evening starts as you file into the Arts United Center and find your comfy seat, preferably towards the center of the aisle, so you can watch the whole stage below. The Philharmonic musicians tune up, practicing trills and riffs of familiar, wintry tunes.

You see children and their parents in the seats – or almost there, getting coats and hats stashed away before the lights go out. Everyone is waiting in excited anticipation for the show to begin.

Then the musicians descend into the orchestra pit, right in front of the stage. Kids and adults murmur as the golden music stand lights slowly sink behind the high railing around the pit. The theater dims. A few announcements are made. And then, the music starts. There’s something so calming about the lyric strains of Tchaikovsky’s music. Gently, the flutes introduce the audience to a scene of snow and festivity; the dancers slowly pace towards the family Christmas party, where Clara will receive her nutcracker. As a member of the audience, you settle in, thinking “Oh how neat – look at the costumes and families on stage!” You might even try to recall the specific ballet steps you’re seeing. You notice the conductor’s baton flickering up and down, against the winking stand lights. A trombone bell glistens from the shadows.

But there comes a point when you forget that you’re just watching. You become part of the Nutcracker. The story and the show sweep you in. It’s like participating in a

FW Ballet 3 198x300 Fort Wayne’s Nutcracker with Live Music!

A scene from the Fort Wayne Ballet’s Nutcracker

different reality for a little bit. Suddenly, all the worries about the season disappear. Instead of thinking about shopping and car repairs, you begin to suspect the treachery of the evil mouse king. You silently wait for the rescue of the nutcracker prince. You grin with anticipation at the arrival of the Sugar Plum fairy and Mother Ginger. Clara, when she wakes up at home again, is no more surprised than you are to find that it’s still night and the world hasn’t changed that much!

Attending the Fort Wayne Ballet’s Nutcracker performance, with the live music of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, is an unforgettable experience. Try it out – you never know, it might be snowing just a little when you leave the theater. The light dust of snow just extends the magic, as though you are walking into your own land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Dates when the Fort Wayne Ballet will be performing with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic are as follows:
Friday, December 6, 2013 7:00 pm with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Saturday, December 7, 2013 2:30 pm with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (followed by Sugar Plum Party)
Saturday, December 7, 2013 8:00 pm with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic

For more information on the Fort Wayne Ballet Nutcracker, visit their website. For even more great HolidayFest events check out Visit Fort Wayne!



Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

Creating Christmas Memories

A wonderful gift comes with the mature years… grandchildren!  And not only do the young ones bring joy to the elders, the feeling is mutual. That grand connection provides the kids with something special. Some may call it spoiling; we call it making memories.

Click on the underlined links below for details about Christmas-themed events and winter wonderland activities where Grammy, Gramps and the kiddos can build the bond and find the fun together in Fort Wayne.


FestofTrees062sm5 Creating Christmas Memories

Festival of Trees 

Stroll through an indoor forest of stunningly decorated Christmas trees. The historic Embassy Theatre will add to the oohs and ahs as you each choose your favorite and enjoy entertainment taking grand atmosphere of the place in the performance hall November 27 through December 4.


Christmas at the Castle

The elegance of Brookside, the beautifully restored former home of the Bass family, located on the University of Saint Francis campus, is a sight to behold. Step back in time throughout the mansion’s three floors, all decked out in holiday glory.

nutcracker on stage Creating Christmas Memories

The Nutcracker

You don’t have to love ballet to love the Nutcracker, but if you do you’ll especially appreciate the graceful dancers who bring the story to life. Even little ones can be mesmerized by the splendor of the costumes, sets and music. There are two chances to see this wonderful show this season. Both the Fort Wayne Ballet and the New American Youth Ballet will both put on productions of the Nutcracker.

Online Shopping

So much fun to shop together! Don’t want to go out in the cold? Then just gather around the computer to order your favorite girly girl items from the websites of hometown businesses. Choose fashions for babies and children from Matilda Jane and Lil Diva. Browse for gifts for ladies on your list from Hand Jive. And Vera Bradley has something for every age.


Headwaters Park Ice Rink 

If you do want to get active and enjoy the brisk weather, head downtown to Headwaters Park and skate to your hearts’ content. Glide around on your own skates or rent from the rink. Fun for everyone!

Festival of Gingerbread

The kiddos will delight in admiring more than 100 intricate and imaginative creations made of edible materials.  You can add in a fun history discussion since the festival is located in the classic History Center. The Festival of Gingerbread runs from November 27-December 15.


Santa and the Reindeer Creating Christmas Memories

Talk with Santa and pet real reindeer at the Botanical Conservatory! Stroll through the scenes of poinsettias and beautiful trees. And don’t miss the many other activities at the Conservatory too, including the “dancing holiday lights” – a synchronized musical light display.

 Creating Christmas Memories

 Christ Child Festival

View nativity displays, enjoy musical performances, create arts and crafts, and have some refreshments at the Christ Child Festival, held downtown in the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center December 6-8.

There are plenty of opportunities for fun in the Fort during this special time of year. Be sure to take photos so you can relive each grand moment!


Deborah Agler


Deborah Agler is a lifelong northeast Indiana resident and has lived and worked in Fort Wayne since 1979. She teaches college journalism and public relations courses, and does freelance writing and communications consulting through her firm Write Away! LLC. She can be reached at Deb and her husband have two sons, one of whom is married and has a child. Deb and Tim enjoy spending as much time as possible making memories with their sweet granddaughter.

The Civic Theatre Presents 9 to 5: The Musical

 9to5 300x201 The Civic Theatre Presents 9 to 5: The MusicalTumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition . . . 

I remember those lyrics from my childhood. I was only three in 1980 when Colin Higgins’ 9 to 5 was released, it was one of those films that doesn’t get old or go away. It is a classic. When I was old enough to understand the movie it was still funny and the song still infectious.

Yawnin’, stretchin’, trying to come to life; jump in the shower and the blood starts pumpin’ . . . 

Two other reasons this classic will not go away is because it addresses workplace issues that nearly every woman (and most men) can identify with and, well, Dolly Parton was in the movie. The cast is star-studded with Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman, but, really, can anyone compete with Dolly? No, no they cannot. She is a force of nature. Need proof? She has her own theme park. But, I digress.

Haven’t we all had bosses we wanted to serve rat poison laced coffee to or string him or her up in a harness from their bedroom ceiling and hold them hostage there for a while? Well, maybe most of us don’t think that, but what 9 to 5 does for us is take that work-escape-fantasy to a hilarious level. Judy, Violet, and Doralee make us laugh and for a while let us all imagine that we can avenge all our wrongs and make them right and ultimately end up in complete control of our happy endings.

Out on the streets the traffic starts jumpin’, and folks like me on the job from 9 to 5 . . . 

You can experience that fantasy once again, live, at the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre. This weekend is your LAST CHANCE to catch the musical as its local ensemble presents 9 to 5: The Musical. Performances are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Arts United Center at 303 East Main Street, Fort Wayne.

Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin, barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’, and no givin’, they just use your mind, and they never give you credit, its enough to drive you crazy if you let it.

For more information, check out Visit Fort Wayne. To buy tickets, you can call the Civic Theatre box office at 260-422-8641 x226, or visit the Civic’s website.


Whitney is a Southern girl. She is an attorney by trade and an administrator by birth who works at a local college. Whitney spends her free time adventuring with her border collie Scout and blogging at It is pretty -

Get “In the Mood” for the Days of Swing!

In the Mood Embassy Theatre 1 jpg 300x300 Get In the Mood for the Days of Swing!

In the Mood will be at the Embassy Theatre on November 13th.

Polish your dancing shoes for a toe-tapping workout in the Fort on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 when “In the Mood” – a 1940s Big Band / Swing musical revue – makes its appearance at the historic Embassy Theatre.

Celebrate two great performances with the music of Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, Tommy Dorsey, Shaw, Goodman and Sinatra, to list only a few.  Both the matinee and the evening performances will dazzle with musical arrangements, costumes and choreography.  The popular tour is in its 20th year of up-tempo entertainment with Big Band, singers and swing dancing performers.

Take a sentimental journey with songs like “Tuxedo Junction,” “ Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” and so much more.  And do you remember “Dream” and “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen?”

Tickets are available at the Embassy Box Office (260-424-6287,1125 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Fort Wayne), at or by calling 800-745-3000.  Prices are $29, $39 and $49, and credit card fees apply.  Group discounts of 8 or more are available with $5 off per ticket or with16 or more guests getting $10 off per ticket at either the 3:00 p.m. matinee or the 7:30 p.m. evening performance. So bring your best buds and be prepared to get goose bumps as you thrill to yesterday’s popular musical culture!



Barb Sieminski is a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and newspapers. She received her B.A. and M.S. in art and English, from the University of St. Francis. When not chained to the computer, she follows her passion of fishing, believing that all good things come to she who baits . . .

Cinema Center: Why We Love it and You Should Too

cinemacenter Cinema Center: Why We Love it and You Should TooOne of the best parts of living in Downtown Fort Wayne is having so much great art and culture right outside your door.  This includes the Cinema Center on Clay and Barry Streets.  Walking in feels like you’re back to the movie houses we grew up with.  The Cinema Center embraces you, welcomes you, and offers you perfectly popped popcorn for the show in a cozy lobby.  The theater evokes the movie experience I remember growing up that leaves you in awe but not overwhelmed.  Seeing a film there is delightful.

Cinema Center is more than just a movie house though.  It is a not-for-profit film society dedicated to bringing Northeast Indiana the best in independent, foreign, classic, and specialty films.  This is the place you’ll find that movie you’ve wanted to see but can’t ever find in the big theater.  This is the place you’ll learn about movies you didn’t know existed that will become your favorites.  For me it was Milk starring Sean Penn, the biopic on the life of activist Harvey Milk.  I still remember the intense emotion the movie brought out in me.  What a great film and one that was only available in our area because of the great work of the Cinema Center.

The Cinema Center also includes event space that is available for rent at very reasonable prices.  Their downtown location is perfect for your next event and provide a unique venue.  Membership to Cinema Center is a great way to show your support for the organization, although you do not need to be a member to see a movie there. Check out their schedule of upcoming movies and events online and drop by.  You wont be sorry!





Michelle Merritt moved to Fort Wayne in 2008 and has found it to be one of the most warm and welcoming cities she's ever lived or worked in. She and her husband Jason live and work in downtown Fort Wayne. Together they are blending their big city urban experiences into life in America's biggest small town. Michelle writes and manages The Momish Blog and the Merrfeld Manor Blog. She is also a contributor to Moms Fort Wayne and The Paperblog where she writes about the joys and challenges of step parenting. Michelle also works as a professional career coach and recruiter.