On a rainy Sunday afternoon, December 12, the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker Benefit Luncheon: Land of Dreams triumphantly returned to Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall (with superb pas de duex support from Tiffany & Co. and First Republic Bank). Excited kiddos in tutu inspired and velvet holiday ensembles, many accessorized by patent leather Mary Janes, celebrated the magical day — organized by event cochairs Kelsey Lamond and Sapna Boze — with a preperformance lunch, sweet treats and family-friendly activities. And these sugar plum fairies raised more than $500K for the ballet’s public school education programs. Even Santa made the scene, leading umbrella-shielded revelers from lunch to the War Memorial Opera House.
The matinee performance of Nutcracker, a splendid 2004 production created by SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, dazzled guests of all ages. The event also served as a special holiday gift: After 21 long months, Nutcracker marked the company’s return to public performance amid this final season of Tomasson’s 37-year tenure.