Nashville Ballet, in partnership with Nashville’s CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5, will present a free televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. The full-length, televised performance, which will feature an introduction and narration by former Tennessee Titan Eddie George, will replace the previously scheduled in-theater production at TPAC’s Jackson Hall out of an abundance of caution amid COVID-19.
“For the past 12 years, we have brought the community together to celebrate the holiday season with Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. “While we can’t celebrate in person this year, the televised performance will allow families and friends to safely continue their holiday traditions with us while also providing the unique opportunity to bring the transformative power of dance to more than two million Tennessee residents to begin new ones.”
Attracting more than 30,000 attendees each December, Nashville Ballet will create a made-for-television production of Nashville’s Nutcracker for the first time in company history. The two-hour performance will feature creative ways to engage audiences (such as George’s introduction and narration) as they take a sparkling—and safe, socially distant—journey through the Land of the Sweets and Music City’s past.
“The holiday season just isn’t complete without Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Lyn Plantinga, Vice President and General Manager at NewsChannel 5. “Nashville’s Nutcracker puts a special spin on the classic tale by incorporating our city’s iconic landmarks, characters, and history. Our partnership with Nashville Ballet allows us to bring this experience into our viewers’ living rooms for the first time. It’s a special holiday gift for our community as we all navigate a new way to celebrate this season.”
In addition to the televised premiere, NewsChannel 5 will present a unique behind-the-scenes special leading up to its debut to provide coveted access into the making of Nashville Ballet’s holiday classic. The special will offer a sneak peek into Nashville’s Nutcracker rehearsals with its professional company dancers, a look into the glittering set design (which Nashville Ballet is constructing within its 12,000-square-foot warehouse), interviews with beloved characters, and more.
The free, televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker was sponsored in part by PNC Bank and will air Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at 7 p.m. CT. Additionally, prepare for the production by watching the behind-the-scenes special in early December. To tune in, watch on NewsChannel 5 (WTVF Nashville), NewsChannel 5+, or the WTVF app that can be found on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Amazon Alexa, and Google Play.
About Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, including original works by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2 (a pre-professional training company), provide more than 55,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries, and public elementary, middle, and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 and up. To learn more about Nashville Ballet, please visit nashvilleballet.com.
Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from local, regional, and national institutional funders and community partners, as well as hundreds of generous individuals, provide ongoing support of Nashville Ballet’s mission-critical programs.
About NewsChannel 5
The NewsChannel 5 Network is the number one source for local news in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, providing 24/7 coverage of breaking news, critical weather information, sports, and investigative reporting. NewsChannel 5’s award-winning coverage and community service can be found across multiple platforms including over-the-air on channel 5.1, our website and fully integrated app at www.newschannel5.com, and all video streaming services including Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Amazon Alexa, and Google Play. In addition, NewsChannel 5+ (over-the-air digital 5.2) is a fully local channel dedicated to coverage of local issues in-depth. The NewsChannel Network is part of the E.W. Scripps Company.
About Eddie George
Known as one of the NFL’s premier running backs, Eddie spent nine years in the National Football League where he won Offensive Rookie of the Year and led the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl in 2000. Eddie attended Ohio State University where he won the Heisman Trophy, Doak Walker Award, and Maxwell Award.
In 2005, Eddie hung up the football cleats and joined Fox Sports as a broadcast analyst for NFL pre-game and college football. Over the years, Eddie was working on his acting skills. In 2012, he starred as Julius in Julius Caesar (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), in 2013 as the title role in Othello (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), in 2015 as Simon in The Whipping Man (Nashville Repertory Theatre), and in 2016 as Billy Flynn in Chicago (Broadway Debut).
Eddie is married to Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George, a Grammy-nominated singer with the soul group SWV ("Sisters With Voices"), which sold more than six million records. Taj was also featured on the Survivor television show in 2009 and was voted one of the fan favorites. Eddie also made a guest appearance on Survivor. Eddie is blessed to join the 2020 production of Nashville Ballet’s Nashville’s Nutcracker.