This year, there are many different spins on the classic holiday tale of the Nutcracker. Among them, the current Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms is in theaters now, the Nashville Ballet will present their annual Nashville’s Nutcracker, and a returning favorite is The Hip Hop Nutcracker. The Hip Hop Nutcracker celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year’s Eve. Special guest MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, once again will open the show with a short set before rapping the introduction to The Hip Hop Nutcracker.
Just in time for the holidays, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary twist on the timeless Tchaikovsky classic tale, comes to James K. Polk Theater at TPAC for two shows on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The Hip Hop Nutcracker returns to Nashville as part of a fourth national tour following the success of three previous sold-out tours, and an extremely popular two-show engagement at TPAC last year and the year before.
Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a full-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, and a violinist. Through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her Nutcracker prince travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story of a palace of sugarplums into a romance set in 1980s Brooklyn.
Weber is the artistic director of the all-female hip-hop crew Decadancetheatre in Brooklyn. The story is adapted to today’s New York by Mike Fitelson, executive director of UPCA – the work’s original producer – and includes hip-hop interludes remixed and reimagined by DJ Boo and an on-stage electric violinist.
Meet the amazing principal cast of The Hip Hop Nutcracker: Maria-Clara is played by Ann-Sylvia Clark, The Nutcracker is played by Josue “BEASTMODE” Figueroa, Mom by Nubian Nene, Dad by Micah “Just Jamz” Abbrey, Drosselmeyer by Lisa “LBOOGIE” Bauford, and the Mouse King by Randi “Rascal” Freitas. Also in the ensemble: Jackie “JK-47” Agudo, Lily Frias, Anthony “OMEN” Cabrera, Seth “REAKTION” Hillard, and Brandon Ron; Dustin Payne plays flute and is in the ensemble; Jarvis L. Benson is the Violinist; the Performance DJ is DJ Boo, and Special Guest MC is Kurtis Blow.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a unique holiday event that united hip-hop fans, families, and classical music and dance audiences – so many different people in our community – under one roof. This Nutcracker’s dance crew, along with rap legend Kurtis Blow, simply electrified our theater,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s executive vice president and executive producer. “We are excited to share this new classic with audiences across the country.”
“Elle Magazine” calls The Hip Hop Nutcracker “a truly one-of-a-kind experience, filled with high-powered choreography and a very modern storyline,” while CBS-TV raved, “The Hip Hop Nutcracker turns Tchaikovsky on his head, in the coolest possible way.” Tickets, $40 and $55, to both shows are available now at the TPAC website, or by phone at (615) 782-4030, and in person at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St., in downtown Nashville.