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THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER With Rap Pioneer Kurtis Blow Returns To The Bushnell Next Month

The performance is on December 31, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.

THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER With Rap Pioneer Kurtis Blow Returns To The Bushnell Next Month

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is back and better than ever for its 10th season! Everything old is new again with Tchaikovsky's 129-year-old ballet reimagined as a holiday dance spectacle that will be premiering this year on Disney+. The Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring rap pioneer and MC Kurtis "The Breaks" Blow arrives at The Bushnell on December 31, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $23 plus fees and are on sale now. Visit The Bushnell's Box Office at bushnell.org or call 860-987-5900.

The touring production features hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow, the first rapper to be signed by a major label in 1979. Blow is considered one of hip hop's founding fathers and will perform as the MC of The Hip Hop Nutcracker. The tour includes a cast of a dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist who turns the beloved Nutcracker score on its head.

Created in 2013 by director/choreographer Jennifer Weber (Oliver nominated and Emmy winner) and writer Mike Fitelson, The Hip Hop Nutcracker pays homage to the original (George) Balanchine ballet, retold through the modern, self-expressive gaze of hip-hop culture. The production has evolved into a masterpiece due to the creators' never-ending commitment to enhancing the production, and dancers who continue to raise the bar each year. To date, The Hip Hop Nutcracker has been performed more than 200 times in 70 cities.

"I love taking this show on the road each year and creating lifelong memories for our audiences," says Kurtis Walker, known professionally as Kurtis Blow. "And to be celebrating our 10th season this year is such a big accomplishment for the show."

It's a big accomplishment for Blow as well; who on December 6, 2020, had a heart transplant that has given him a new life. He paved the way for generations of hip-hop artists and fans after scoring the first certified gold record rap song in 1980, "The Breaks." Blow is also responsible for "Christmas Rappin'," acclaimed for being the first rap holiday song.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is executive produced by three-time Tony winner Eva Price and features an exciting group of performers who bring her imaginatively modern show to life. The cast includes Ann-Sylvia Clark as Maria-Clara; Gabriel Emphasis as The Nutcracker; Liliana "Lily" Frias as Mom; Bryan Longchamp as Dad; Lisa "Lboogie" Bauford as Drosselmeyer; Randi Freitas as Mouse King/Ensemble; Anthony "Omen" Cabrera as Toy/Ensemble; Jackie "JK-47" Agudo as Tea/ Ensemble; Zuce Morales asToy/Ensemble; Seth "Reaktion" Hillard as Russian/Ensemble; Jon "Gifted" Jimenez as Chocolate/Ensemble; Dustin "D-Payne" Payne as Flute/Ensemble; and Ethan Evaro will be Swing/Understudy; with Teofilo V. Recitas II "DJ Boo" as Performance DJ and Kurtis Blow as MC. The show features a lighting design done by Brandon Stirling Baker.

Just like the classic Nutcracker story, 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. Hoffmann's beloved story from traditional 19th century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. Through the modern, self-expressive gaze of hip-hop culture, the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker celebrate the magic of the entire holiday season on the most inclusive holiday of them all - New Year's Eve, a time for new beginnings.



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