The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Featuring Kurtis Blow, Adds Performance in Washington Heights

News   The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Featuring Kurtis Blow, Adds Performance in Washington Heights
 
The Hip Hop Nutcracker, featuring guest emcee Kurtis Blow, is adding a show to its run at the United Palace in Washington Heights.

The United Palace will have a second performance Dec. 13 at 1 PM; the world premiere was at NJPAC Dec. 5.

"We are overwhelmed by the response to our vision of holiday magic," said Mike Fitelson, the executive director of the United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA), which is producing the new show. "We knew there would be demand from local families to have a new holiday tradition in their neighborhood but we are overjoyed that so many ticket buyers are coming from all around the city."

The show, according to press notes, "celebrates old and new, retaining Tchaikovsky's famous score but replacing ballet with hip hop dancers. The adaptation is respectful of the traditional narrative with references to beloved touchstones like the Mouse King and growing tree. But the story is relocated to contemporary Washington Heights, takes place on New Year's Eve, and adds a twist to drive the action through Act II."

The special guest emcee is the "King of Rap," Blow, who charted the first rap gold record with "The Breaks" in 1980. Blow will open the show with a short set of his material before rapping the introduction to The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

The show features a dozen hip hop dancers, DJ Boo, Filip Pogády on electric violin, digitally projected scenery and spotlight appearances by children from UPCA's community arts programs (at the United Palace only). The production's 12 dancers are Virgil Gadson (After Midnight), Robert Taylor Jr ("So You Think You Can Dance"), Sammy Soto ("Step Fenz"), Angelo Saunders ("Monsters of Hip Hop/NappyTabs"), Ramone Wilkinson ("Monsters of Hip Hop/NappyTabs"), Sophia Lavonne (iLuminate), David Yijae ("Urban Dance League" on BET), Myriam Gadri (Latin Billboard Awards), Lucile "Frak" Graciano (Decadancetheatre), Megan Alfonso (Decadancetheatre), Ann Sylvia Clark (Decadancetheatre) and Taeko Koji (Decadancetheatre).

The United Palace is located at 4140 Broadway at 175th Street. For more information and tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or visit UnitedPalaceArts.org .

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