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by BWW News Desk
Prepare to experience The Nutcracker like never seen before as Flat Rock Playhouse, in partnership with Pardee Hospital and Pardee Hospital Foundation, presents the world premier of The Nutcracker, adapted by Chase Brock from E. T. A. Hoffman's story The Nutcracker and The Mouse King onstage November 28 through December 22 at Playhouse Mainstage. This new interpretation of the holiday all-dance classic is choreographed by Playhouse YouTheatre alum Chase Brock, choreographer of the Broadway hit, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
The traditional classical ballet will be nowhere present in this new adaptation. Brock's adaptation is very different from the conventional version of The Nutcracker. The dance theater production continues to be all-dance with no speaking or singing, however the plot is a completely character-driven narrative with contemporary characters. Brock's story is fresh, contemporary, theatrical, and fun, featuring all forms of dance - contemporary ballet, jazz dance, theatre dance, Broadway dance, athletic dance, modern dance, dance with hip-hop undertones, and much more. Expect to see perhaps one character on pointe, but otherwise the audience will not see pointe shoes - there is dance in sneakers, dance in heels, dance in jazz shoes, dance in boots, in addition to puppetry. Chase Brock's Nutcracker is filled with comedy, whimsy and magic.
A love letter to his hometown in North Carolina, Chase Brock's adaptation of The Nutcracker is nestled in mountains like the Blue Ridge Mountains, set in a town like Hendersonville, on a tiny-but-bustling street like Main Street. In a small mountain town, something magical is about to happen. It's Christmas Eve and here we meet Marie, the overachieving, independent daughter of serious and strict parents. Teased by posters and music all around town for an upcoming production of The Nutcracker, Marie is resigned to the fact that her parents will never let her see such a "frivolous" show. But, after receiving a magical nutcracker as a gift, Marie creates her own fantastical version of The Nutcracker in her bedroom, borrowing from people and places she has seen around her hometown including scenes from store shop windows, candy shops, cars from commercials she has seen on TV and flowers from the Biltmore's "Festival of Flowers." The beauty and magic of the first snow of the season prompts a wonderful and magical encounter and Marie experiences a delightful reversal of fortune, making the fantasy a reality.
Chase Brock is an American choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television, film and video games. Brock began his career as a dancer at 16 in the original cast of Susan Stroman's Broadway revival of The Music Man, and assisted choreographers and directors Ann Reinking, Kathleen Marshall, Tina Landau and Robert Wilson on and off Broadway before becoming a choreographer.
For Broadway, Brock is the choreographer for Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge) and this season's revival of William Inge's Picnic (Roundabout Theatre Company, directed by Sam Gold). His Off-Broadway credits include The Blue Flower (Second Stage, Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography), Lost in the Stars (City Center Encores!, dir. Gary Griffin). Regional: Pippin (Kansas City Rep, dir. Eric Rosen), A Little Night Music (CENTERSTAGE, dir. Mark Lamos), Shenandoah (Ford's Theatre, dir. Jeff Calhoun).
Brock has choreographed 25 dances for his Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company The Chase Brock Experience, including American Sadness, The Four Seasons, Junk and Lies, Mirror Mirror, Mission: Implausible, Slow Float and Whoa, Nellie!, has made ballets and dances for New York Theatre Ballet, Marymount Manhattan College, Montclair State University, NW Fusion Dance, Ballet Spartanburg and Vineyard Arts Project Musical Theatre Lab, and has lectured or choreographed at The Juilliard School, University of the Arts and Yale School of Drama.
Brock's Opera choreography includes Bartlett Sher's production of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Salzburg Festival), starring Nino Machaidze and Rolando Villazón (available on DVD from Deutsche Grammophon), then Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala. His video game choreography includes Ubisoft's worldwide bestseller Dance on Broadway for Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Move, and television and film choreography includes "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS), "The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" (NBC), "Broadway Under the Stars" (CBS), the Joan as Police Woman music video "Eternal Flame," and the musical Clear Blue Tuesday.
The production will feature new musical arrangements by Emmy award winning conductor and musical director, Rob Berman. Berman will adapt Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker score and write new arrangements for Brock's production. Berman received Emmy nominations in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for his music direction of "The Kennedy Center Honors" on CBS, going on to win the award in 2012. The orchestra for the newly adapted version of The Nutcracker by Chase Brock will feature: Rob Berman (piano, conductor, orchestrator) with Jim Anthony (clarinet), Paul Babelay (percussion), Amy Brucksch (classical guitar), Woody Dotson (trumpet), Daniel Iannucci (bass), Beryl Lemmons (flute), Wes Parker (sax), Mariya Potapova (violin), and Eric Scheider (cello).
Experience for the first time, the fun of The Nutcracker, featuring Gerald Avery, Arielle Campbell, Josh Christopher, Jan Javier, Willis Johnston, Alexandra Lyons, Bradford Rahmlow, Kevin Santos, Macy Sullivan and Micki Weiner - dancers from The Chase Brock Experience (Brock's Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company) as well as from international Theater Productions and dance companies (including Disney's Mary Poppins, Twyla Tharp's Movin' Out, In the Heights, Kansas City Ballet, Cirque du Soleil and MOMIX), along with local Flat Rock performers Lauren Rogers Hopkins and Andrew Hampton Livingston. In addition to the professional performers, 22 of The Playhouse's own YouTheatre students will also be featured in the production: Molly Bailey, Margaret Butler, Victoria Cambron, Jesse William Capps, Maggie Conner, Louise Cummins, Miriam Cummins, Marie Danos, Lily Goff, Emily Holbert, Nicolas Hopkin, Raja Jalernpan, Ryan Jalernpan, Hannah McCullough, Casey Mentch, Sheridan Mentch, Sarah Grace Paul, Clancy Penny, Samantha Penny, Polly Phillips, Ella Riddle, Luke Umphlett, and Kara Hope Waldbart.
In addition to Chase Brock (adaptation, director, choreographer) and Rob Berman (arrangements, orchestrations, musical director), the creative team for this new adaptation includes costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, Tony award winner for her costumes for Disney's Beauty and the Beast; scenic design by Dennis C. Maulden; lighting design by Stephen Terry; sound design by Bryan Delaney; audio recording by Robert George at Sound Temple Studio in Asheville and mix engineering by Nick Kourtides; projections by James W. Johnson; and properties and set dressing by Paul Feraldi and Ricky Hesson. The team also includes Janine McCabe as assistant costume designer; Josh Christopher as associate director and choreographer; Micki Weiner as assistant choreographer and dance captain; and Lindsey Moss as stage manager. Theatrical and whimsical, this re-imagined and totally original version of The Nutcracker is sure to become a new holiday tradition for families to enjoy.
Pardee Hospital and Pardee Hospital Foundation present The Nutcracker onstage November 28 through December 22. Evening performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm and matinee performances are Wednesday, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets to The Nutcracker are $40 with discounts available for seniors, AAA members, military personnel and groups. The Nutcracker has a special holiday student price of $20. Patrons who attend The Nutcracker can receive a $10 discount off each ticket to Celtic Christmas onstage December 5-22 at Playhouse Downtown (this offer cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions; and is not valid for previous ticket purchases).
During the first week of The Nutcracker, a Rush Ticket Discount is available two hours before for the preview performances Wednesday, November 28 through the Saturday matinee, December 3. Adult Rush Tickets are $20 and Student Rush Tickets are $10. Rush tickets are very limited and subject to availability. The Playhouse will host a special Audio Described matinee performance of the show for the sight-impaired patrons on Saturday, December 15. Tickets can be purchased, by calling The Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org. Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage is located at 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC.