Couple will perform in 28th Nutcracker with TJC - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Couple will perform in 28th Nutcracker with TJC

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

The 28th annual production of The Nutcracker is going on this weekend at Tyler Junior College.

The holiday classic has been a staple in the East Texas community ever since it got started, so much so that some cast members never wanted to leave!

It's a show that dozens of East Texas dancers participate in each year. For, some it's become part of their Christmas tradition.

Tom Jones, who portrays Drosselmeyer, and Gwen Jones, who plays the grandmother, have been performing in TJC’s Nutcracker since it began 28 years ago.

“We needed more men so I recruited my husband to be a father with me as a mother in the party scene,” Gwen said. 

“At the end of that year I told the directors I wanted to do the Drosselmeyer part,” Tom added.

Gwen said it was the beautiful music that initially drew her in.

“I decided I know I'll never be a professional dancer but I want to dance again and I started taking ballet classes,” she explained.

She's done a large number of roles since she first stepped on stage, even dancing en pointe for some shows.

But Tom said Drosselmeyer is his role.

“Drosselmeyer is my alter ego. I like to fix things. We do window treatments for a living but we do this because it's fun,” he explained.

They say the show has changed a lot throughout the years...from the set pieces to the steps themselves.

“The first year we took the cardboard tubes out of carpet rolls and painted them white during class and wrapped them with red ribbon to be candy canes for the land of the sweets,” Gwen said.

“We built the Christmas tree. We built the mother ginger,” Tom added.

And they say the company has become like family.

“It's like a family reunion for us. We don't have any children of our own so they're all of our children. We get to come and watch them grow up,” they said.

“It's great family entertainment and it's got a happy ending, suspense, it's got a great Christmas story,” they added.

They say as long as the directors will have them, they plan to continue entertaining audiences for years to come.

There are five performances happening this weekend at wise auditorium at TJC. Friday at 7pm,  Saturday at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm and 6pm.

Tickets are going fast so be sure to get yours in advance. You can purchase tickets on TJC’s website

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