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Christmas ‘Mystery’ revealed in ballet

This year marks the 21st season of The Mystery of Christmas (MOC). This original version of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker, debuted in Kansas City and is continuing its hi-tech, family-friendly production in the beautiful Goppert Theater at Avila University.

Running December 14, 15, 16, this annual much-anticipated event will be performed by Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre, South Kansas City’s premiere ballet company.

As television and cinema continue to push traditional family boundaries, it can be a challenge finding entertainment that will be appropriate and enjoyable for parents and children. The Mystery of Christmas was created to appeal to families looking for spiritually significant events to build positive holiday memories.


The production’s birth was in Nashville in 1987 when Liz Dimmel, founder of Dramatic Truth, was on the way to yet another production of “The Nutcracker” to watch her 6-year-old daughter perform. Casually turning to her husband, Liz said, “What would Christmas be without The Nutcracker?”

Scarcely had she spoken those words, when Liz thought, “Wait a minute. The Nutcracker does not tell the real Christmas Story.”

By the time the Dimmels had arrived home, the vision for The Mystery of Christmas began to form, but it took 10 years to bring the vision to the stage.

As in The Nutcracker, the MOC production includes the classical music of Tsychovsky’s Nutcracker, including the central figure Clara. However, rather than the Sugar Plum Fairy taking Clara to the Kingdom of Sweets, the Holy Spirit takes Clara back to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Christ. Angelic Warriors fight Demons instead of Toy Soldiers fighting Mice and the Nations of the World dance in reverence before the Newborn King.


Playing the role of God for his 17th season is Marc Wayne (Underground Railroad) and guest choreographer, Tobin James (Martha Graham Dance Company) has added contemporary expertise to dance representing “Africa”. Several familiar pieces have taken on a new look this season, such as Russian, American, Waltz of the Flowers, and Bethlehem. Even the Overture offers new surprises!

Along with talented performers from all over the metro, MOC has dancers who have relocated to KC to join Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre. Company members include: Carys Applebee from Chichester, England, Monica Berghout from London, England, Caitlin Gregorczyk from Abingdon, Virginia, Amanda Moder from Rochester, Minnesota, Marissa Richardson from the Charlotte Ballet, North Carolina, and Kimberly Watson from Ottawa, Canada.


If your family is looking for a quality production that combines the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth and the importance of that to the world, set to music and a storyline that is familiear to young and old alike, Mystery of Christmas should be on your Christmas season “to do” list.

Friday, December 14

6:00 pm Gala Dinner Event ($75.00 a plate & 7:30 pm Show)

7:30 pm – Show Only (Regular prices apply)

Saturday, December 15

2:00 pm – Matinee

7:00 pm – Evening Show

Sunday, December 16

2:00 pm – Matinee

Ticket Prices:

$25 Door / $20 Advanced / $15 Students, Seniors, Groups of 15+

Tickets: www.dramatictruth.org or 816.767.9222