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THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER with Special Guest Kurtis Blow to Hit NY Metro This December

The Hip Hop Nutcracker with Special Guest MC Kurtis Blow will play three NY Metro area shows as part of a 23-city North American tour on Saturday, December 3 at United Palace, NY (Shows at 2pm and 7pm) and Saturday, December 17 at NJPAC, NJ (Show at 3pm).

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky's timeless music, is a holiday mash-up sure to please the entire family. Produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and co-commissioned by United Palace of Cultural Arts, The Hip Hop Nutcracker makes two NY Metro-area stops during its second North American tour of 23 cities from Los Angeles to New York.

The hit holiday show has two shows at United Palace in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan on December 3 and an afternoon performance at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on December 17.

Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber and adapted by Mike Fitelson, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a full-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ and a violinist. While Act I faithfully contemporizes the traditional Nutcracker narrative arc, Act II reimagines what happens when the mysterious Drosselmeyer casts a spell on Maria-Clara and her prince, allowing them to travel back in time to the moment when her parents first met. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann's beloved story set to the streets of New York. The dance work celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year's Eve.

Special guest MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop's founding fathers, will open the show in several cities with a short set before rapping the introduction to The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

"Three years ago, the world premiere of The Hip Hop Nutcracker was a unique holiday event that united hip-hop fans, families, and classical music and dance audiences - so many different people in our community - under one roof. This Nutcracker's dance crew, along with rap legend Kurtis Blow, simply electrified our theater," said David Rodriguez, NJPAC's Executive Vice President and Executive Producer. "We are excited to share this new classic with audiences across the country."

Tickets for United Palace (Showtimes at 2pm and 7pm). Purchase at www.boletosexpress.com/?series=The+Hip+Hop+Nutcracker. For more about the show, click here. United Palace is located at 4140 Broadway at 175 Street in Manhattan, 1 block from the 175 A-train station. For more information, call 212-568-1157.

Tickets for New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Showtime 3pm). Purchase and info: www.njpac.org/events/detail/the-hip-hop-nutcracker-2016. NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey; a short walk from the Newark Penn Station stop for New Jersey Transit, PATH Train and Amtrak trains. For more information, call 1-888-GO-NJPAC.

About Director / Choreographer, Jennifer Weber

"Outstanding Emerging Choreographer" New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) nominee, Jennifer Weber is the artistic director of the award-winning, theatrical hip-hop Dance Company, Decadancetheatre. Her work has been seen in venues across the US, UK, Russia and France including Jacob's Pillow, The Apollo Theater, The Kennedy Center, London's Southbank Center, The Everyman in Liverpool, New York City Center, Bumbershoot in Seattle, The Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow and The Music Center in Los Angeles. She has choreographed for American Express, Uber, Ulta, L'Oreal, Matrix, Reebok, Bloomberg, Philosophy, Marc Jacobs, CK2 and UK TV show, Blue Peter. Weber was the creative director for the 2016 tour of Lifetime's Bring it! Live and choreographed the 16/17 tour of PBS's Odd Squad Live. Weber and The DecaCrew were featured on Season 2 of TruTV's theatrical competition series Fake Off.

About Writer / Co-Creator, Mike Fitelson

Mike Fitelson is the executive director of the United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA), which originally produced The Hip Hop Nutcracker in 2014, and co-created the show with Jennifer Weber, adapting thestory and supplying the images for the scenery. Fitelson has worked to build the arts community in theWashington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan for over a decade. He co-founded the community's annual arts festival, the Uptown Arts Stroll in 2003; served in every capacity of the Manhattan Times, the bilingual community newspaper of Washington Heights and Inwood, from 2002-2011; and serves on the steering committee of the new Washington Heights-Broadway Business Improvement District.

About Hip Hop Legend, Kurtis Blow

A hip-hop legend, Kurtis Blow was 20 in 1979, when he became the first rapper to be signed by a major label. Mercury released "Christmas Rappin'," and it sold more than 400,000 copies, becoming an annual classic. Its gold follow-up, The Breaks, helped ignite an international "Rap Attack." He released 10 albums in over 11 years: his full-length debut, Kurtis Blow; his second, Deuce, a Top 50 Pop album and a big hit across Europe; Party Time featuring a pioneering fusion of rap and gogo; and Ego Trip, including the hits "8 Million Stories," "AJ" and "Basketball." In 1985 he released America, featuring "If I Ruled the World," a Top 5 hit on Billboard's R&B chart; Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997. For more information, visit KurtisBlow.com.

About The Producers

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among thelargest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey - where Great Performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPACbrings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state's and the world's best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

Eva Price (Executive Producer) was named one of Crain's NY 40 Under Forty Rising Business Stars and is a member of The Broadway League's Board of Governors. Selected Broadway Credits: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway!, On Your Feet!, Dear Evan Hansen, Peter and The Starcatcher (5 Tony Awards), Colin Quinn Long Story Short(Directed by Jerry Seinfeld), Annie (Tony-nominated Musical Revival), The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino (Tony nominated Play Revival), Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking,The Addams Family (starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth), as well as several other solo shows and critically acclaimed concerts starring The Temptations & The Four Tops, Kathy Griffin, Lewis Black, and Hershey Felder. Recent Off Broadway and touring projects include the Drama Desk nominated Found (Atlantic Theater Company & Philadelphia Theater Company), Benjamin Scheuer's Drama Desk winning The Lion, and Bess Wohl's critically acclaimed Small Mouth Sounds, Carefree: Dancin' with Fred and Ginger (Directed and Choreographed by Warren Carlyle), as well as The Magic School Bus Live! The Climate Challenge, Ella: The Ella Fitzgerald Musical.

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