Classic Tale Gets Reimagined in NUTCRACKER! THE MUSICAL Readings This Week

By: Dec. 05, 2016

Amas Musical Theatre and The Amas Musical Theatre Lab in association with Marc L. Bailin, are presenting readings of Nutcracker! The Musical, with book and lyrics by Nancy Holson, music by Peter I. Tchaikovsky, with arrangements and additional music by Bruce Kieslieng and Peter Rigano.

Directed by David Rigano, the readings will be held today, December 5th, at 6pm and tomorrow, December 6th, at 1pm & 4:30pm at Pearl Studios - Room 404 (500 Eighth Avenue - between 35th & 36th Streets). The readings are free, although reservations are required. Visit or email

Using the score of Tchaikovsky's classic ballet and drawing from the classic story by E.T.A. Hoffman, Nutcracker! The Musical is a story of magic, far-off places and fairy tale kingdoms, of love, friendship, and family. When the beautiful princess Pirlipat is magically disfigured by the evil Mouseyrinks, Queen of the Mice, the King enlists the mystical Royal Clockmaker, Drosselmier, to travel the world to find an antidote to the curse. His young nephew, the handsome and stalwart Christian Elias falls in love with the princess at first sight, despite her appearance. Although they are able to cure her, Mouseyrinks turns her magic on Christian, transfiguring him into a wooden nutcracker doll. Travelling through time to save his nephew, Drosselmeir and his petrified nephew find themselves in contemporary America. Does Marie, a typical American teenager, have what it takes to journey to the Land of the Sweets and break Mouseyrinks' spell? Funny and clever, the tale is new and familiar at the same time - and of course, the music is terrific!

The cast of Nutcracker! The Musical will include: Mark Ryan Anderson (Eight of Spades), Rebecca Baxter (Diary of a Domestic Goddess), KLea Blackhurst (Hazel, The Musical), Ian Brodsky (In Love With The Arrow Collar Man), Nicholas Dromard (Jersey Boys), Kevin R. Free (Gemma & The Bear!) Morgan Siobhan Green, Tim Jerome (The Phantom of the Opera), Kevin B. McGlynn (The Gold), Lauren Morgan, Nelson Patino, Jr., and Cathy Trien (Gypsy). The music director is Yan Li.

"Its always exciting to discover and develop new works" says Ms. Trinkoff. "We look forward to working with the Nutcracker team, especially during this joyous time of the year. The story of the Nutcracker is a family classic and this new interpretation is bound to become a perennial holiday entertainment."

These presentations are part of the ongoing Amas Musical Theatre Lab, a development series for writers, lyricists and composers to mount public readings of their new musicals. The Lab is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the Actors' Equity Association Foundation, BMI Foundation, the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, the Friars Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, and through the generous support of many individuals.


Nancy Holson (Book & Lyrics) is an Emmy-award winning writer, director and producer whose 25-year career spans the worlds of commercial live theater, corporate theater, and television. Nancy wrote, produced and directed the long-running hit show The News in Revue (1992 - 2011), on PBS (5 Emmy Awards), NPR, Off Broadway, the Berkshires and numerous venues from coast to coast. Writer/Director/and/or Producer - Off Broadway: Bush Wars and Ludwig Live! NYC and Regional: Parenting 101:The Musical, Dear Mom, Can I Really Date a Guy Wearing a Yarmulke? London: Ludwig Live!. Nancy is excited to be developing Nutcracker! The Musical, as a family musical that she hopes will become a perennial holiday tradition.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is one of Russia's most famous and popular composers. Among his renowned works are the scores for The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. In 1891, following the success of their ballet The Sleeping Beauty, the Russian Imperial Theatre director commissioned senior ballet master Marius Petipa and Tchaikovsky to collaborate on a new project based on Alexandre Dumas' adaptation of Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and The Mouse King. It is said that Petipa was very prescriptive with Tchaikovsky, which resulted in Tchaikovsky not being entirely happy with the resulting final score. That having been said, he is thrilled to be collaborating with Nancy Holson on this, his first musical.

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (ETA Hoffmann) was the author of the novella on which the Nutcracker ballet and Nutcracker! The Musical are based. He was born in Königsberg, East Prussia in January 1776 and named Ernst Theodor Wilhelm later changing the Wilhelm to Amadeus in honor of Mozart. Hoffmann was a German author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, a composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. He was an influential writer during the 19th century and was a major author of the German Romantic Movement. The stories Hoffmann wrote explored fantasy and reality. Although Hoffmann's stories were fantasy-based he was not himself a Bohemian being a trained lawyer and working as a judge. Hoffmann's novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was published in 1816.

Bruce Kielsling (Arrangements/Additional Music) currently serves as the music director of two professional orchestras, the Adrian Symphony in Michigan and the Tulare County Symphony in California. He also leads the orchestra and opera at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His previous conducting positions include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as YOLA conductor, working with Gustavo Dudamel on building this El System inspired program from 85 to more than 600 students. Also spent several years working for the Greensboro Symphony and the Pasadena Symphony. In the theater, he has musical directed in regional theaters throughout the US and for the 5-time Emmy Award-winning musical satire revue, "The News in Revue."

Paul Rigano (Arrangements/Additional Music) has been working on Nutcracker for four years now, and having the time of his life. As a composer, he has written The Holy Cows of Credence South Dakota, which was produced at the 2013 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and Saving Seatown: The Underwater Musical, produced at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, among others. He has served as Associate/Asst MD on shows with Joe Iconis, Nick Blaemire, and Charlie Rosen. He is very happy to be working with Tchaikovsky again.

David Rigano (Director) is the director of Wild Women of Planet Wongo and the upcoming Save the Robots. His musicals include Facing East, The Holy Cows of Credence South Dakota, and You Heard It Here. Along with his brother Paul he is the creator of the hit cabaret series "I Ought to Behave" and Other Naughty Songs.

Marc L. Bailin (Producer) - Practicing entertainment, media and corporate law in New York and California for over thirty years, Marc's clients have included Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, L.L. Cool J.,best-selling author and video star, Callan Pinckney ("Callanetics"), playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out) and others. He has served as the Executive Producer of a series of action oriented feature films, including "Hangmen" (with Sandra Bullock), "Covert Action", "Blue Vengeance", "Mob War", "Shock Troop" (with Danny Aiello), "Comrades In Arms" (with Lance Henriksen and Lyle Alzado), "The Outfit" and, "Backfire" (with Kathy Ireland and Robert Mitchum). In theater, he has represented the author E.R. Braithwaite in the recent British stage version of the iconic To Sir With Love, the authors of the Broadway show Brooklyn, Off-Broadway shows Bush Wars, Parenting:101and Primetime Prophet and has produced Can I Really Date a Guy Wearing a Yarmulke? in New York and regionally. Marc sits on the boards of Amas Musical Theatre and Alphapointe/ NY Industries for the Blind. He is also a founder and co-manager of W Financial Fund LP (

Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer) now in its 48th year of continuous operation is New York City's award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968. Amas ("you love" in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, the emergence of new artistic talent, and the training and encouragement of underserved young people in the New York area. In recent years, Amas has emerged as a leading not-for-profit laboratory for new musicals, the most recent being Broadway and the Bard, starring Len Cariou and Red Eye of Love, which was awarded the Joseph A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography. Its production of The Other Josh Cohen received six 2013 Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical, a 2013 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical, and a 2013 Off-Broadway Alliance nomination for Best New Musical. Other shows that Amas has developed include A Taste of Chocolate, Triassic Parq, The Countess of Storyville, Distant Thunder, Marry Harry, Me and Miss Monroe, Aesop & Company, Signs of Life, Wanda's World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love, From My Hometown, Zanna, Don't!, 4 Guys Named Jose and Stormy Weather: Reimagining Lena Horne. Amas education programs include the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, Lens on Live Theatre and in-school theatre arts residencies designed in partnership with elementary, middle, and high schools.


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