Hip-hop holiday fun at Hanover

Posted on November 12, 2020 by

Heat the cocoa, snuggle under a blanket and celebrate the holidays with cozy entertainment at home this year.

  For some, it’s not the holidays without “The Nutcracker.” But how about a mash-up of the classic for the whole family?  Tickets are on sale now for “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” being streamed by Worcester’s Hanover Theatre on Saturday, December 19 at 7 p.m. The show is a contemporary dance spectacle set to E.T.A. Hoffman’s beloved story. 

  Critics have praised it as “a crowd-pleasing and uplifting saga” that “turns Tchaikovsky on his head, in the coolest possible way.”  

  Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, the show was recorded live at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It’s a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. 

  A unique and joyful event, the evening-length production is performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a D.J., a violinist and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set.

  Just like the original, in “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince go on a dream adventure, battling a gang of mice, visiting the land of sweets and learning the lessons of the holiday season.

  Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffman’s beloved story from traditional 19th-century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City.

  The re-mixed, re-imagined version of the classic takes the audience on a journey that celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season. 

  Tickets are $20 for general admission and $50 for VIP packages, which gives viewers a 48-hour window to watch, after the scheduled time, and access to a post-show conversation with the show’s creators. The post-show chat is live and starts approximately 85-minutes after the initial scheduled showtime. The VIP package also includes an autographed show poster. Tickets are available through Stellar Tickets at https://www.stellartickets.com/events/hhn-and-hanover-theatre/hip-hop-nutcracker-worcester.

   The Hanover is also offering $10 off any one package to the virtual “Jim Brickman: Comfort & Joy at Home Live” concert, being live-streamed on Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m. The special limited time offer is valid through November 15 only and is not valid on previously purchased tickets. Use coupon code CJ10 when purchasing tickets at https://www.jimbrickman.com/worcester/.

In the wings

HE’S A MEAN ONE: Save the date for December 9. That’s when Tony nominee Matthew Morrison goes green for the holidays. The Broadway alum will star in “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical” on NBC at 8 p.m. Joining him on stage will be Tony winner Denis O’Hare as adult Max (the Grinch’s faithful dog), Booboo Stewart as young Max and Amelia Minto as Cindy-Lou Who. The musical is being filmed at the Troubadour Theatre in London. It’s been a popular holiday staple since it bowed on Broadway in 2006 and has played on tour regionally over the years, including at the Wang Theatre in Boston, where I saw (and enjoyed) it a couple of times. “The Grinch” follows in the footsteps of other NBC theatre presentations including “The Wiz,” “Hairspray” and the Emmy-winning “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

COME TO THE CABARET: Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage turns 30 this month with a special digital concert “Celebrating 30 Seasons of Groundbreaking Theatre,” premiering Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. and streaming through Monday, November 23. Headliners include Broadway stars Miguel Cervantes (“Hamilton”) and De’Lon Grant (“Come from Away”), who have starred in SpeakEasy productions of “Bat Boy” and “The Scottsboro Boys.” Other alumni adding their voices include Leigh Barrett, Kerry A. Dowling and Kathy St. George. Grant is also the host and emcee. The line-up includes hit songs from such memorable productions as “The Color Purple,” “Next to Normal” and “Big Fish.” Music direction from Paul Katz and SpeakEasy founder/producing artistic director Paul Daigneault directs. Tickets start at $30 www.speakeasystage.com

LOWELL NOTES: Don’t forget the First Look tonight, Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. of Vichet Chum’s “Kween,” a work in progress at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell. Free but registration required at www.mrt.org/vichet.

Nancye Tuttle’s email address is nancyedt@verizon.net

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