BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre has issued a warning about a popular ballet that is also a Christmas Season tradition for many people.
They report ticket scalpers are trying to capitalize on ticket sales to The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou.
A performance of theater, classical music and dance sets the stage each year. Its unique setting embraces Louisiana scenes and culture. It was the creation of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre Co-Artistic Directors Sharon Matthews and Molly Buchmann.
"We rehearse every night and all day Saturday and Sunday," Buchmann said.
There are roughly 300 performers in the production. Rachel Stanger, 10, played the role of a cherub last year and is returning to the stage this year as a cook.
"We will get in a line, and then we step up and stir the pot," Stanger explained.
She said this role requires more practice.
"A cherub is a very simple step. At the end, we just stand around in a circle and everyone else would dance. But this year you're going to be almost the main thing," Stanger said.
Stanger and her cast members will perform before thousands of people, including Stanger's grandparents who will make the trip from Utah.
"I'm really excited about them coming out because this tradition started when I first auditioned for The Nutcracker last year," Stanger said.
The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre counts on the public to back the production each year. Tickets go anywhere from $20 to $55 for a seat. However, Buchmann said that not long after the tickets went up for sale a customer alerted her scalpers were on the move.
"They couldn't believe we were charging $3,000 for a family of four to see the show, and of course, we are not," Buchmann said.
A quick search online revealed several websites advertising tickets to The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou anywhere from $259 to $909 for a set of four with memos suggesting tickets are limited.
"These people are capitalizing on the fact that our tickets are priced so low, and they are capitalizing on people's need to use a computer to get their tickets quickly," Buchmann said.
Bachmann fears the inflated prices will discourage people from attending the ballet, which ultimately hurts dancers like Stanger who has poured her heart into what could become a dream performance.
"I just want to be successful and maybe one day be Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy," Stanger said.
The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre is dedicated to shaping each dancer. They hope customers can help them keep ticket scalpers on their toes.