BWW Reviews: CONNetic Dance's NUTCRACKER SUITE & SPICY More Mild Than Wild

There are many different musical styles employed from Duke Ellington to hip-hop (to the always-wretched Trans Siberian Orchestra) and as such the dance ranges from ballet to, well, hip-hop.  The dance of Drosselmeyer's automatons (Amy Merli and Gyasi Govan) and the Sugar Rum Fairy (Jolet Creary) add some fun pop-and-lock elements, but could be expanded and become even more fun.

Two big critical shout-outs to the not-credited, somewhat reluctant poodle and to Ben Stone Zelman as "Junior" (instead of Fritz).  Not only did they do a wonderful job, they amply proved the maxim that if you want to win an audience over, put an animal or a really cute kid onstage.   

So, at the end of the review, is Nutcracker Suite & Spicy worth your holiday time?  Yes, if you have managed expectations.  No, if you think "spicy" means a Nutcracker burlesque with spinning pasties instead of dancing pastries.

Photo by Bill Morgan.

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Jacques Lamarre Jacques Lamarre has worked in theatre for over 20 years. As a Public Relations/Marketing professional, he held positions at Hartford Stage, TheaterWorks Hartford and Yale Repertory Theatre/Yale School of Drama. As a playwright, he wrote "Gray Matters" which was premiered by Emerson Theater Collaborative at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (nominee, Outstanding Playwriting). His short play "Stool" was a finalist for the inaugural New Works New Britain Festival and a Top Ten finalist for the NY 15 Minute Play Festival. His short play "The Family Plan" was a finalist for the 2011 Fusion Theatre "The Seven" short play competition. Jacques has co-written seven shows for international drag chanteuse Varla Jean Merman, as well as the screenplay for her feature-length film comedy "Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads" (2011). He has written for Theater CT Magazine, Hartford Magazine and Yale Alumni Magazine. Jacques is currently the Director of Communications & Special Projects for The Mark Twain House & Museum.

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