In the midst of a spring dance season marked by contemporary minimalism and abstraction comes Houston Ballet with an old-fashioned, family-friendly, evening-length story ballet with costumes, sets and spectacle to rival the “Nutcracker.” Choreographer David Bintley tells the story of the poor boy who finds adventure, riches and romance via a magic lamp with classical ballet vocabulary, theatrical staging and gesture, as well as dazzling, Hollywood-scale sets by Dick Bird and Sue Blane’s lavish, shimmering costuming, fit for a raja. Completing the sensory feast is the Chicago Philharmonic, which will perform Carl Davis’ score live. This is Houston Ballet’s first performance at the Auditorium Theatre and they’re sure to evoke some oohs and ahs from the moment the curtain rises. (Sharon Hoyer)
Houston Ballet at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress, (800)982-2787. Saturday, March 22 at 8pm and Sunday, March 23 at 2pm. $32-$92.