Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! Dances Into Los Angeles, Dec. 15

News   Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! Dances Into Los Angeles, Dec. 15 Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! makes its American premiere — as did his previous works — with the help of Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre, Dec. 15.
Two cast members in Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!
Two cast members in Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! Photo by Catherine Ashmore

The beloved London work comes stateside in a new staging for a Dec. 16 opening as the Center Theatre Group teams with UCLA Live to present the work. The run is slated through Jan. 2, 2005.

The work — co-conceived by Martin Duncan — began the journey of Borne's unique style of staging in 1992 when the production played as part of the Edinburgh Festival. The work was so enjoyed, it was revived at Sadlers Wells in 1993 and 1994.

"The original production had great irreverence, eccentricity and youthful charm," states Bourne in the show materials. "In taking another look at it, I don't want to lose that, but I do feel that I have learnt a lot about non verbal story telling in the ten years since it was made." He added "Ten years on I find Tchaikovsky's music more and more profound, its magic turns us all into kids again."

The staging resets the opening sequence at a bleak orphanage to follow young Clara's journey on Christmas Eve "through a shimmering ice-skating wonderland to the spectacular candy folk of Sweetieland." The traditional Tchaikovsky score remains with set and costumes provided by designer Anthony Ward, Howard Harrison's lighting and sound design by Paul Groothius. Brett Morris serves as music director.

This production also played Nov. 22-Dec. 5 at the Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley and Dec. 7-12 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Bourne danced his way into the mindset of theatregoers with his theatrical stagings of Cinderella (Evening Standard Award), The Car Man (L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award) and Swan Lake — which earned him an Olivier Award and two Tony Awards. He has also provided choreography for London stagings of Oliver!, My Fair Lady and the current musical Mary Poppins — which he co-directs with Richard Eyre.

Tickets to the Nutcracker! at Royce Hall on the UCLA Campus in West Los Angeles can be purchased by calling (310) 825-2101 or online at www.UCLAlive.org. For more information, visit www.matthewbournesnutcracker.com.

A scene from Matthew Bourne's <i>Nutcracker!</i>
A scene from Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! Photo by Catherine Ashmore