Chicago Dance Crash Presents LIL PINE NUT

Chicago Dance Crash and Artistic Director Jessica Deahr are proud to present Lil Pine Nut: The Learning Curve of Pinocchio, fit for all ages, playing at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Ave., August 23-31. Opening Night is Friday, August 23 at 8pm. Lil Pine Nut is choreographed by Deahr and company Rehearsal Director KC Bevis with additional choreography by Dionna PridGeon and Jim Morrow. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. There is one matinee on Sunday August 25 at 3pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under and may be purchased at

After winning the 2017 national award from Dance Magazine for "Most Inventive New Work" with Bricklayers, Crash revisits the "breakdance fairy tale" formula by mixing color and energy with universally human (or puppet) life lessons. 19th Century political satirist Carlo Collodi's original works via newspaper comics and ultimately a novel, "The Adventures of Pinocchio," are largely considered unsuitable for children today... considering the dismemberments and consistent slandering of formal education.

Although Lil Pine Nut's wise old Cricket died before the show begins via a hammer to the head, he aids our wooden hero as a ghost in a journey that's "not a kid's show per se, but definitely suitable for children" according to creator Jessica Deahr. Pinocchio experiences first-hand the good and bad consequences of ditching school, trying to get rich quick, embracing the spotlight and grasping mortality. All the while, the Midwest's premier concert hip hop company weaponizes their branded aesthetic of high-energy movement in conjunction with recognizable hip hop and pop music artists, stylized costumes and forward-moving narration.

"There was a huge sense of creative freedom and play in our rehearsals because we got to hand pick this journey based on the scenarios we chose to tackle from the original publication," Deahr says. The end result is truly something for everyone. We've got puppets breakdancing while connected to their puppeteer followed by 'jaded sheep' floorworking to Kanye and body percussion to The Beach Boys followed by 'Land of Cocagne' kids doing pro wrestling-inspired partnering to Kid Rock. Each piece felt really fresh and unique to us and I think that reads in the final product. We can't wait to get this one in front of an audience!"

These performances are sponsored, in part, through the Ruth Page Center Subsidized Theater Rental Program. This will be the only original, evening-length performance from Dance Crash in 2019.

The cast for Lil Pine Nut includes: Elijah Motley as Pinocchio, Monternez Rezell as Geppetto, introducing Logan Paschall to Chicago as the Cricket, Kristi Licera as the Turquoise Lady, Porscha Spells as the Fox with Logan Howell as Side Cat in addition to KC Bevis, Kelsey Reiter, Jasper Sanchez and introducing Diamond Burdine to Chicago.

The Lil Pine Nut Artistic Team includes choreographers Jessica Deahr & KC Bevis with additional choreography by Jim Morrow and Dionna PridGeon. Costumes by Jeff Hancock, and original lighting design by Erik S. Barry.

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