Mark Morris puts the nut in “The Nutcracker” ballet with his 1970s campy gender-bending send- up of Tchaikovsky’s classic, with “The Hard Nut” from Cal Performances at Zellerbach Auditorium, December 14 – 16 and December 20-23, 2012. The Berkeley Symphony performs along with the Piedmont Boys’ Choir. Leaping snowflakes! Party Guests, Rat Soldiers, Suitors, Spaniards, Arabians, Chinese, Russians, Frenchmen and Flowers! The classic elements are all here but twisted and gender-bent. Mark Morris himself will appear in the role of Dr. Stahlbaum/King.
Joining Morris, dancing Barbie dolls, G.I. Joes and a gender-bent cast with 90 costume changes and 60 set pieces. Lauren Grant dances the lead Marie, the little girl whose magical Christmas dream we see unfold as her toy Nutcracker comes to life. June Omura plays Fritz, John Heginbotham plays Mrs. Stahlbaum/Queen, Kraig Patterson plays Housekeeper/Nurse. Dancers Aaron Loux, Billy Smith and Jenn Weddel will perform the roles of Nutcracker/Young Drosselmeier, Drosselimeier, and Louise/Princess Pirlipat respectively. Shawn Gannon, another returning dancer, danced with the company from 1995–2004 and returns as one of the Party Guests in Act I and the Dentist in Act II.
The show involves twenty pounds of confetti snow, not still in the bag and not on the same person, although the concept comes from the comic book artist and illustrator Charles Burns.
Morris, in his mid-fifties, was born in Seattle and his distinguished career has taken him to the San Francisco Ballet. His long time collaborators helped him create “The Hard Nut”, with Adrianne Lobel designing sets, Martin Pakledinaz designing costumes and James F. Ingalls designing lighting.
Tickets for “The Hard Nut” Friday–Sunday, December 14–16 and Thursday–Sunday, December 20–23 in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00– $110.00, subject to change.
Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.
Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.
Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 p.m.
Thursday & Friday, December 20 & 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 22 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 23 at 3:00 p.m.
Zellerbach is at Telegraph and Bancroft Way on the UC Berkeley campus. Zellerbach is an easy five-minute walk from downtown BART and has many bike racks. Patrons enjoy a café with Peet’s coffee on the upper level of the lobby.
For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.
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