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Houston Ballet’s costume shop, in late November, bursts at the seams with costumes for the The Nutcracker. When I visited the week before Thanksgiving, the show’s 1,750 opulent costumes bulged from rolling racks and hanging racks and steel shelves on casters. (For perspective, that’s more than twice the number of costumes for Cinderella, Swan Lake, or any of the company’s other big story ballets.) The whole shebang would soon be wheeled across the street to the Wortham Theater Center and divvied up into specific dressing rooms and quick-change boxes for the first rehearsals. (This year’s 35 shows run through December 27.)Beyond the cluttered tables of sewing machines, cutting tables piled with bits of fabric and boxes, and all those racks of pink tutus, blue toy…

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