One week from today, the curtain will go up at Providence Performing Arts Center and Festival Ballet’s first Nutcracker performance of the season will officially begin! There’s nothing like listening to the bustling overture while standing backstage dressed in head-to-toe Victorian wear, with a pile of fake curls, braids, rhinstones and pearls on your head and, for lack of a better adjective, “poofy” sleeves large enough to save Jack Dawson from his tragic fate at the end of Titanic. The children of the Party Scene eagerly await their seasonal stage debut, with grins almost as mischievous as their invisible thoughts. Festival Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker has been a part of my life since before I can even remember. After attending the show as a child with my mother, my sister, and her girl scout’s troupe (and returning to see it again every year after that), I breathlessly anticipated my chance to take the stage. This will be my 11th year performing in this show, and I honestly, each year I am just as excited to see the curtain go up as I was the very first time. So here’s to one more week of practicing pirouettes and rehearsing reverences, time to get (nut)cracking!….sorry, couldn’t resist.