Jacksonville man, 85, to perform in his 41st 'Nutcracker'

Henry Rogers plays grandfather in ballet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's been a Christmas tradition for decades, and one man has performed in nearly every "First Coast Nutcracker" since the production was brought to Jacksonville over 40 years ago.

Henry Rogers, 85, plays the grandfather character in the ballet, and this year will be his 41st year performing. 

"I've had several different parts," Rogers told News4Jax on Wednesday. "Since I'm the oldest one, I have been grandfather for the past 15-20 years."

Rogers was born in Jacksonville at the old Riverside hospital, and grew up in Avondale.  

"It has been good advertising for me. I've got coverage over the years and had others call me today for a different interview on it," he said. "As a real estate broker I'm still active. It is interesting to some people."

Rogers plans on performing in "The Nutcracker" until he "can't do it anymore."

"Several years I think, 'maybe I won't do it this year.' Come August, I say, 'I will do it one more year,'" he said.

You can see Rogers perform this weekend in the Jacksonville Symphony's First Coast Nutcracker at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Click here for show times and ticket information. 

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