– On Saturday, December 16, The Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring Kurtis Blow came to the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn for the first time after touring for three years.
“We’ve got some of the best dancers in the world performing in a show that is being reimagined in a truly spectacular way,” said Blow who was the first rapper to be signed with a major record label in 1979 and released ten albums in over eleven years. “The creative team has turned this old classic into a new classic, and audiences love this new adaptation everywhere we go.”
The hip hop legend had the crowd on their feet waving their hands as he opened the show rapping timeless hip-hop classics.
“That’s that ol’ school, man. We used to keep it poppin’ back in the days… Those were the good old days and it reminds me a lot of what you guys are going to see here tonight because this play actually starts off in 1987 during the holiday season… I know if Mr. Tchaikovsky was here tonight, he probably would do a Hip Hop Nutcracker just like this in a city just like this, in the ‘hood… and probably during the holiday season and probably on New Year’s Eve,” said Blow.
Hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow rocked the crowd at the Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Kings Theatre. Photo: Jeremy Jeziorski
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is contemporary dance set to Tchaikovsky’s music adding in on-stage electric violinist Emily Simone and DJ Boo with remixes to give it even more of a hip hop flair.
“I’m classically trained, but I play… contemporary music… with a beat. So, that’s hip hop, pop, electronic dance music,” said Simone. “It’s special [to be the only musician in the show]. I feel like I’m part of the cast, part of the dancers because we are kind of one team.”
The Hip Hop Nutcracker features a dozen all-star dancers and is directed and choreographed by award-winning director-choreographer Jennifer Weber who is also director of Lifetime’s Bring It Live! Tour with Coach D and the Dancing Dolls.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker maintains the theme of the conventional Nutcracker story in that Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince travel on a dream journey engaging a gang of mice, paying a visit to the Land of Sweets, and acquiring the lessons of the holiday season.
Through the magic charm of Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, trek back in time to when her mother and father first meet in a nightclub. The setting is also changed from the traditional E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1800s Germany to a vibrant, contemporary 1980s New York City.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker celebrates community, love, and the magic of that is New Year’s Eve.
“Don’t forget, love conquers hate. Love conquers evil. And we wanna spread love this holiday season,” said Blow who ended the night with a show-stopping performance of his old school hit “The Breaks” as he introduced the cast.
If you missed The Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring Kurtis Blow at the Kings Theatre, you may still be able to catch it. The tour runs until December 30. Visit www.hiphopnutcracker.com for more information.