A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas @ Emerald City Children’s Theatre

The cast of Emerald City Theatre's "A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas."

Prior to American Buffalo at Steppenwolf, I caught a matinée of Emerald City’s praised production of A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas. (Talk about theatrical whiplash!) From what I could tell, the packed house of eager children loved this clever and silly retelling of the holiday classic The Nutcracker. They were completely into it.

Unfortunately, the performance I attended featured a woefully under-prepared understudy on for the lead, and he clumsily balanced a script while attempting to act, dance, sing and sword fight. This dragged things down a bit, but I don’t think the kids in the audience noticed or cared. They cheered and screamed and clapped, which is refreshing. These are tomorrow’s theatre audiences, after all. Get ’em while they’re young, I say!

The show is just over an hour long — perfect for shorter attention spans. The youthful, spirited cast features a wonderfully wicked performance from Shea Coffman as the Mouse King. It’s the type of villain you just love to hate.

I particularly enjoyed Ralph Covert’s peppy, bouncy score. This isn’t your typical children’s theatre fare. I’m still humming some of the songs, particularity “Welcome to Christmas Wood.”

Grab a kid and go. Along they way, they’ll learn a thing or two about consequences and making good choices — two running themes in this smart little show.

“A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas” plays through Jan. 2, 2010 at the Emerald City Theatre. Go here for more information.

One thought on “A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas @ Emerald City Children’s Theatre

  1. I once saw “If you give a mouse a cookie” and “Charlotte’s Web” both on the same day at Emerald City. (I had friends in both shows.) Both productions were high-quality, well-acted, and tremendously worth my money. Though kids theatre isn’t really my thing, I’d return to Emerald City in a heartbeat.

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