Holiday show can't go onmore
By COLLEEN MASTONY
The Chicago Tribune
A 90-year-old ballerina traded her toe shoes for flats long ago. She can no longer stand through a 90-minute rehearsal. So she sits with perfect posture on a wooden stool at the front of the studio and, in a heavy German accent, urges her dancers to jump higher, reach farther, to try to touch the studio's cathedral ceiling.
But this winter, for the first time in 33 years, Boehm canceled her production, ending the show's streak as the longest-running "The Nutcracker" in the Chicago area.
A former ballerina in Berlin who escaped to Switzerland during World War II, Boehm came to Elgin after her husband got a job with the Elgin Watch Co.
Boehm has had a hip replacement and eye treatments for macular degeneration. She stopped driving last summer. Since then, parents and grandparents of her students have taken turns taking her to the beauty shop, the grocery store and the studio, where she continues to teach four times a week.