SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — 70-years ago this Christmas Eve, The Nutcracker made its U.S. debut in San Francisco.

Despite its age, the popular holiday classic hasn’t changed much aside from a few tweaks here and there.

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The night is also an anniversary for the company’s Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, who put his own spin on The Nutcracker ten years ago, setting it in 1915 San Francisco during the Pan-Pacific Exposition.

“It must have been a magic, magic place to be so I thought, why don’t I set The Nutcracker at this particular time?” Helgi told KPIX 5.

In honor of the anniversary, the set and the costumes got a revamp.

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“10-years, 75-uses per costume puts a lot of wear and tear,” Head of Women’s Wardrobe, Andrea Pelous said.

Everything must be just as it was from the day the costume first made its debut, and Helgi says it’s that consistency that keeps audiences of all ages coming back year after year.

“The feedback I get from people in the audience, parents bringing their children, grandparents bringing grandchildren is the stableness that they know it’s nutcracker.  They know it doesn’t change.”

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Elizabeth Cook