The Nutcracker takes stage for River Region

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, December 5, 2018

DESTREHAN — LeeAnn Hovis was inspired ten years ago when, as a 5-year-old, she first took the stage as a cast member for the River Region Ballet production of The Nutcracker.

Outside of her performance responsibility, her attention was fixated on the lead role of Clara.

Now, it’s her role, as the 15-year-old stage veteran prepares to share the stage with dozens of others in this holiday classic.

“I have loved every moment that I have gotten to work with this amazing cast, because everyone is so loving and caring,” LeeAnn said.

“I hope to inspire someone just as much as the first Clara I saw in rehearsal inspired me. Be sure to come out and see the show, the stage awaits!”

According to fans and organizers alike, ballet is a magical event.

To celebrate and showcase that performance, the River Region Ballet is presenting seasonal favorite The Nutcracker for its 24th Season in the River Parishes.

The Snow Princesses include, from left, Jessica Vaughn, Juliet Delatte and Grace Ayton.

The full-length version of Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Destrehan High School Auditorium, No. 1 Wildcat Lane in Destrehan.

Tickets are $20 presale.

As a special gift to children, the River Region Ballet is presenting a children’s matinee at 2 p.m. Dec. 15. Tickets are $15 presale.

This showcase is an abbreviated one-hour performance for younger fans, followed by a “Sugar Plum Party.”

The audience members are invited to join the Sugar Plum Fairy onstage after the show and experience “The Kingdom of Sweets” for themselves.

They can meet and talk to their favorite characters, experience what it’s like to be on the stage under the glowing lights and take pictures. Each young audience member receives a special gift to remember their Nutcracker experience.

Lead performer  LeeAnn Hovis, of Destrehan, is the daughter of Warren and Karrie Hovis.

She is a 15-year-old, sophomore at University View Academy and The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

She is currently in her 12th year of dance and dances at River Region Ballet School of Dance and NOCCA.

Lianne Keller is one of The Nutcracker’s featured dancers. The ballet will be showcased at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Destrehan High School Auditorium.

She has appeared in Shrek the Musical Jr. (Fiona), The Little Mermaid Jr. (Flounder), Hairspray the Musical (LouAnn) and is celebrating her 10th year participating in The Nutcracker.

Tickets may be purchased at

All seats are reserved.

Tickets may also be purchased at the door: $25 Full length performances, $20 for Sugar Plum Matinee.

Cash and Checks only are accepted at the door.

The River Region Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker will utilize a cast of approximately 100 performers. Many have extensive dance backgrounds and have performed many years with the River Region Ballet.

Featured dancers and corps de ballet are: Grace Ayton, Vaniess Dufrene, IV, Mary Clare Eastland, Caroline Genius, Natalie Gilmore, Nicole Gilmore, Claire Girardot, Elise Glore, Aidan Hidalgo, Ethan Hidalgo, Corinn Hovis, Lianne Keller, Emma Loup, Ashley Payne, Caroline Payne, Grace Raymond, Ashley Triche and Haley Windstein.

Featured actors are Steven Fontenot as Uncle Drosselmeyer, Rachael Hovis as the Mouse King, Kent Cheramie as the Nutcracker, Justin Blanchard as Mother Ginger, Dennis Tauzin as Mr. Silberhaus, Natalie Tauzin as Mrs. Silberhaus and Trey McCauley as Fritz.

Other dancers are Hunter Adams, Sean Adams, Emily Ayton, Ava Bernard, Lanie Bernard, Caison Berthelot, Madeline Blanchard, Kenneth Boyd III, Ava Breazeale, Caleb Cantrell, Lily Cross, Jack Cross, Kamryn Donaldson, Kinley Donaldson, Ensley Dyess, Andrew Eastland, Eileen Fontenot, Ethan Fontenot, Spencer Fontenot, Madelyn Gilbert, Sarah Glore, Lilly Graves, Adelaide Harms, Brielle Hebert, Cadence Hebert, Addelyn Heiden, Sarah Hermus, Safia Hines, Brooklyn Johnson, Sydney Konur, Hannah Martin, Trey McCauley, Grace McDonald, Corinne Mitchell, Chloe Naquin, Hannah Ohlsson, Hayden Orkus, Breelyn Oster, Brenden Oster, Jake Perkins, Layla Perkins, Max Perkins, MaKenzie Rancatore, Abbie Rodriguez, Rhyan Rodriguez, Grace Rome, Elizabeth Schweitzer, Leah Serio, Brennan Smith, Channing St. Pierre, Zadie Stowe, Camryn Swint, Jolie Swint, Delaney Tankersley, Leah Tankersley, Christine Thomas, Chandler Triche, Drew Tuck, Lauren Webre,  Aleya Whitney, Hannah Windstein and Eleanor Zafirau.

Also performing in the Party scene are Heidi Adams, Mitchell Adams Jr., Darby Berthelot, Christina Cross, Vaniess Dufrene, IV, Karl Harrod, Kelli Hebert, Aidan Hidalgo, Ethan Hidalgo, Brandi LeBlanc, Emma Loup, Bob Oster, Erika Spengler, Lacey St. Pierre and Haley Windstein.