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Debbie Allen’s “The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker”

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We’ve officially made it to the holidays, and for most dance families, ’tis the season for The Nutcracker. After all of the time spent in rehearsals, one can get pretty tuckered out by this seasonal favorite, but what if you could see it as if for the first time? Debbie Allen’s The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker has breathed new life into this age-old holiday classic, and it’s sure to become one of your family’s new favorite holiday traditions!

We all know the story well: Clara’s Nutcracker toy comes alive and whisks her away to a magical kingdom, but The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker offers a more modern twist on this tale. In Debbie Allen’s reimagined production, young Kara receives a Nutcracker filled with hot chocolate at her family’s Christmas Eve Party. Once Kara falls asleep, the Nutcracker comes alive and thus begins her thrilling journey through Candy Cane Land, Egypt, the Rainforest, Bollywood, and more. In addition to classic ballet, this production is packed with Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Flamenco, Bollywood, Modern, Roller Skating, and Aerial work, and it’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker was written, choreographed and directed by the incredible Debbie Allen herself, and she’s also a contributing performer in the production. The concept started brewing in Allen’s mind after she took her then 5-year-old son to see a professional production of The Nutcracker, twenty-four years ago.

“Right in the middle of the Dorothy Chandler, he screamed ‘Mom, when is the mouse coming?’ The whole audience fell out laughing and I knew from that moment on, this is what they needed, the kids needed to see the rats.

“Right in the middle of the Dorothy Chandler, he screamed ‘Mom, when is the mouse coming?’ The whole audience fell out laughing and I knew from that moment on, this is what they needed, the kids needed to see the rats. One of the biggest differences [between The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker and the original] is that the rats take over the story- the ‘rat pack’. Three wise-cracking rats [named] Harvey, Schmink, and Buckey. Where [the original] used to have the mouse king battling the Nutcracker, they join Myrtle the Mouse Queen and take the story to a whole other place.”

The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is now in its seventh year, and its cast members range from 4-year-olds, participating in their first show, to seasoned veterans who have been performing for many, many years. When asked about her favorite moments, Miss Allen replied:

“There are so many! I love toyland, the Fairy Queen in fairyland, and the rainforest. And those rats are funny!”

Be sure to keep an eye out for the live animals, too!

Destiny Wimpye and Jalyn Flowers, two of Discount Dance Supply’s very own brand ambassadors, are sharing the role of “Kara”.  We know that they, along with the rest of the cast, will undoubtedly spread the Christmas spirit to all of the audiences who are fortunate enough to experience this incredible production.

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy encourages any young viewers who attend the performance to write letters telling them about their favorite parts of the show! Please send these letters to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. For more information about Debbie Allen’s The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, please visit www.thehotchocolatenutcracker.com.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Enter via Instagram at www.instagram.com/discountdance/ to win a pair of tickets for The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker’s Saturday, December 17 performance at 7:00 pm! Like our post and comment on why you want to win by December 8, and two winners will be announced on December 9. No purchase necessary. 

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