Debbie Allen Dance Academy Wins 7th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award

Goldstar, the world's biggest ticket booth, has announced the winner of the 7th AnnuAl Goldstar National Nutcracker Award: Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at Royce Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles, which competed with nearly 60 other productions of The Nutcracker across the country. In addition to receiving "The Nutty" statuette, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker will receive a cash prize to benefit the organization's education programs, as well as the honor of being declared 'the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S.'

The creative team for The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, starring Debbie Allen and Carlo Imperato, included Mariah Carey, Arturo Sandoval, Chau-giang Thi Nguyen, James Ingram and Thump. The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker was performed on December 14 & 15 at Royce Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles. This is another win for the Debbie Allen Dance Academy who took home The Nutty in 2010 as well.

"Each year, we look forward to giving Goldstar members the opportunity to select their favorite Nutcracker production from across the country," says Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy. "Now, the members have spoken and declared the best loved production in 2013 is The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. We'd like to congratulate the entire cast and crew for their award-winning performance."

The Goldstar National Nutcracker Award is the annual initiative to shine a spotlight on the wide variety of nationwide productions of the holiday classic The Nutcracker. Voting for the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award is determined by Goldstar members who rate and review The Nutcracker productions they recently attended.

Actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen's fun, fresh spin on The Nutcracker returns to Royce Hall for the holidays. The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, starring Debbie Allen and Carlo Imperato, gives the seasonal favorite a rich new cultural context and updated characters, and features a lively contemporary score with original songs from multiple-Grammy-winner Mariah Carey and others. After young Kara receives a nutcracker filled with hot chocolate, she falls asleep and journeys to enchanted lands, including Candy Cane Lane, Egypt, the Rainforest, Jazzland, Russia and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. Little ones will have no trouble following along thanks to the narration by three wisecracking mice: Harvey, Schmink and Buckey. Allen herself appears in this fun holiday musical adventure.

Following the idea of the original, it's Christmas Eve and The Johnsons are having a grand party. The Christmas gifts are shared and young Kara receives a Nutcracker filled with hot chocolate - her favorite. She falls asleep and the journey begins when the Nutcracker comes alive! Three wise cracking mice: Harvey, Schmink and Buckey take over the story. They are The Three Stooges incarnate from N.Y.C. who call themselves "The Real Rat Pack". They go to many new lands of wonder: Candy Cane Land, Egypt, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Jazzland, Russia, and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. With dazzling choreography, music and costumes, this is a holiday theater experience all enjoyed.

Previous winners of "The Nutty" Statuette include: The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker in 2011 and 2012; Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker in 2010; Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker in 2009; The Kirov Ballet's The Nutcracker in 2008 and The House Theater of Chicago's The Nutcracker at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007.

Nominees for this year's award ranged from traditional dance productions to the more abstract, and all variations in between, in venues both large and small. Among the nominees were performances from New York City Ballet, Miami Ballet, San Francisco Youth Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet.

Goldstar makes live entertainment a part of everyday life with half-priced tickets and unparalleled site features that help members make decisions and include their friends. Millions of Goldstar members across the country are discovering high quality entertainment where they reside with offers from over 5,000+ venue partners in many major U.S. cities. It is free to join Goldstar. For iOS users, Goldstar has a free app - available for download at http://www.goldstar.com/app - putting the world's biggest ticket booth in the palm of your hand.

Photo by Lee Tonks

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