‘Urban Nutcracker’ Celebrates 20th Anniversary this Weekend

‘Urban Nutcracker’ Celebrates 20th Anniversary this Weekend

Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, the modern Boston-centric holiday classic presented by City Ballet of Boston, celebrates 20 years this weekend! The live in-person performances at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre, showcase winter scenes set in present-day downtown Boston, blending the rhythms of Duke Ellington with the classical music of Tchaikovsky. Anchored by classical ballet, the performances also include a broad range of dance forms such as tap, hip-hop, flamenco, and jazz, accompanied by a 16-piece live orchestra of local musicians.

Deemed “a holiday arts tradition reflecting the rich multicultural diversity of Boston” by The Boston Globe, more than 150 performers – local children and professional dancers – take the stage in this joyful rendition of heroine Clarice’s adventure with the street magician Drosselmeyer.

They explore iconic Boston landmarks such as the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues, the golden dome of the State House, the Boston Public Garden, Fenway Park’s “Green Monster,” the Citgo sign, the Hatch Shell, and Downtown Boston. The stage comes alive with hundreds of colorful costumes re-imagined by local designer Dustin Todd Rennells, and with eye-catching sets by Janie Howland.

Featuring original cast members—tap phenomenon Khalid Hill, local hip-hop legend Ricardo Foster Jr., and Cyrus Brooks reprising his role as the hip-hop Soldier Doll—along with new partnerships with the Brooklyn Ballet, Unyted Stylz, the Northeast Youth Ballet, and Revels, Urban Nutcracker can be enjoyed by the whole family, and all ages!

Tony Williams says, “Our production draws in many aspects of Boston and its backdrops–it is really a show I created to honor Boston and our history…Our production captures the essence of the traditional Nutcracker story, while using the glorious music of Tchaikovsky along with the inner-city twist of the incomparable Duke Ellington, played live by the Urban Nut/Band. One never gets bored while watching the many dance styles.”

“We couldn’t be happier to host City Ballet of Boston’s iconic Urban Nutcracker again this year for their 20th anniversary season,” said Joe Spaulding, President & CEO of the Boch Center. “Urban Nutcracker was built around themes of inclusion, community and diversity. Sharing this type of programming with the City of Boston is central to the Boch Center’s mission and we value our partnership with City Ballet greatly.”

Urban Nutcracker will play at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre from December 18-December 22. Ticket prices begin at $29. Visit www.bochcenter.org/UrbanNutcracker2021 or www.urbannutcracker.com for more information.