New Jersey Stage

Friday, November 11, 2011

George Street Playhouse Presents World Premiere of The Nutcracker And I

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -– Fans of George Street Playhouse's holiday hit INSPECTING CAROL had best be getting their laughing muscles ready for another laugh-out-loud comedy from the same theatre and director. George Street Playhouse and its Artistic Director David Saint will bring THE NUTCRACKER AND I to New Brunswick beginning November 29, perpetrating yet another holiday spoof upon the patrons of the Playhouse. Master of parody, Gerard Alessandrini of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY fame, and Emmy award-winning writer Peter Brash have set the beloved holiday classic on its ear, with a hilarious take on the ballet, utilizing the music from the original Tchaikovsky score with a new story and original lyrics.  The show closes On December 31.

At a chaotic dress rehearsal for the local dance company's annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet, the lead dancer has an unfortunate accident with a prop Christmas tree – bringing new meaning to the old adage "break-a leg!" When the pain killers kick in and vision of sugar plums dance in her head, we're off for a wild adventure in Snow Globe City with a life-sized Nutcracker (of course) and the Sugar Rush Fairy in hot pursuit.

George Street Playhouse audience favorite (from GSP productions of INSPECTING CAROL and Ken Ludwig's THE FOX ON THE FAIRWAY; TV's NEWHART, BOSOM BUDDIES) and farceur extraordinaire, Peter Scolari returns to New Brunswick, and gets to flex his comedic muscles in a variety of roles. Annie Golden, noted songstress and actress (from the band The Shirts, the movie version of HAIR, and Broadway's LEADER OF THE PACK) joins in the fun playing the Sugar Rush Fairy. They are joined by a cast of notables including Haley Carlucci, Maria in the recent Broadway revival of WEST SIDE STORY; Nick Dalton from the national tour of LEGALLY BLONDE; AJ Shively the son from the recent Broadway revival of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES; Ed Staudenmayer from the Broadway cast of Frank Wildhorn's WONDERLAND and 13-year-old newcomer Aidan Benavides, a veteran of local stages who hails from Morganville, NJ.

The creative team for THE NUTCRACKER AND I consists of director David Saint, choreographer Joseph Simeone, and music director and arranger David Caldwell. They are joined by Scenic Designer James Youmans, costume designer David Murin, lighting designer Joe Saint, sound designer Dan Moses Schreier and projection designer Steve Channon.

"I have known Gerard since we were both growing up in Massachusetts and he was writing parodies to Christmas carols," said Mr. Saint. "I am so pleased to be bringing this hilarious holiday farce to life in New Brunswick. We have assembled an amazingly talented cast, and a slate of extraordinary designers as well, and I am thrilled to be bringing them all to George Street for the enjoyment of our patrons and their families."

Flexible admission and subscription packages, as well as a individual tickets, are now available through the George Street Playhouse Box Office, 732-246-7717 and online at THE NUTCRACKER AND I is recommended for audience members aged 10 and older. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more may be purchased by calling 732-846-2895, ext 134. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district, and easily accessible by car or public transportation.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Noted Arts Administrator Norma Kaplan was appointed Managing Director in September 2011. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 70,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by its lead season sponsor, Johnson & Johnson.