Illusionist assists Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker

Posted May 18, 2011 11:09 p.m. EDT

— Illusionist Rick Thomas will be creating magic for the Carolina Ballet's new production of The Nutcracker opening in December, officials said Tuesday.

The production, which will also feature new sets, is presented by Progress Energy and is choreographed by Robert Weiss, artistic director and CEO of the Carolina Ballet.

"With this production, I hope to show what is possible when the actual magic is done on a scale that will knock the socks off of the audience. In Rick Thomas, I believe we have found exactly the right magician to make this happen,” Weiss said in a statement. 

Thomas will not appear on stage during The Nutcracker. Over the summer in Las Vegas, he will train the Carolina Ballet dancer playing Dr. Drosselmeyer to execute elaborate tricks in character on stage.

The magic will be sponsored by WRAL-TV.

Thomas was named “The World’s Greatest Magician” by Millionaire Magazine.  For over fifteen years, he headlined shows in Las Vegas  at hotels like the Tropicana, the Stardust, the Orleans and the Sahara. His new Las Vegas show, "Mansion of Dreams” opens this summer at the Riviera.

Carolina Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker runs Dec. 16-24 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts with additional performances at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill on Dec. 3 and 4 and the company’s inaugural performances at DPAC in Durham on Dec. 10-11.

Tickets for the Raleigh and Durham performances go on sale to the general public on Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. Patrons may purchase Nutcracker tickets in advance of that date by subscribing to Carolina Ballet’s 2011-2012 season by calling 919-719-0900, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.