Hip Hop Nutcracker reimagines the classic with a Hip Hop feel

Nutcracker, Photo by Timothy Norris.
Nutcracker, Photo by Timothy Norris.

 Hip Hop Nutcracker reimagines the classic with a Hip Hop feel

By Tia Carol Jones

The Hip Hop Nutcracker infuses the story of the classic Nutcracker, with the timeless music of Tchaikovsky, reimagined to take place in New York City with breakdancers, a deejay and a violinist.


MC Kurtis Blow described it as an extravaganza for the whole family and a time for them to celebrate peace, love and unity during the magical holiday season.


“If you like Hip Hop, if you like theatre, if you like classical music, if you like dancing, this is the show for you,” he said.


While the classics elements are still there – Maria Clara, The Mouse King, Drosselmeyer – the deejay is playing beats under Classical music. Kurtis Blow has always been an avid supporter of the infusion of rap and other forms of music. He was the first to do rock n roll rap on his first album, Kurtis Blow in 1980; country music rap with “Way Out West,” Hip Hop and Reggae with The Fat Boys in 1984.


When Kurtis Blow, known for his song “Christmas Rappin’,” first saw the talented breakdancers dancing to Classical music, and heard the deejay with the beats under the Classical music, he thought it was a good look for Hip Hop. He knew he wanted to be a part of the show. That was 11 years ago.


The Hip Hop Nutcracker has been on tour playing at great venues across the country to celebrate the holidays. Kurtis Blow said that people will be amazed at the passion of the performers. He said the theme of the story is that love is the key, love conquers all and that love can defeat evil.


Kurtis Blow said 50 years ago he was just trying to get his name out there, be a b-boy, be a deejay, then he became an emcee. When he first started making records and was the first rapper to be signed to a major label in 1979, with Christmas Rappin’, people told him not to get rid of his day job.


“Here we are 50 years later, and I want to celebrate with everyone. Why not celebrate with the Hip Hop Nutcracker,” he said.


Kurtis Blow said that the Hip Hop Nutcracker is a very special show. It has even won an Emmy Award in 2021 for Long Form Entertainment.


“I really want people to take away the inspiration, that feeling, that passion, that motivation to go back to their friends and their communities, and their families and their loved ones and just give them a big hug,” he said, adding the Hip Hop Nutcracker really embodies the joy of the holiday season.


Kurtis Blow said it is so special that the Hip Hop Nutcracker can come to Chicago, represent and leave the audience with a good feeling inside and spread the love, because love conquers all.


Kurtis Blow recognized all the performers in the show, as well as Director and Choreographer Jennifer Weber, Executive Producer Eva Price and Writer Mike Fitelson. He said the show is something really special and he is honored to be a part of it.


The Hip Hop Nutcracker runs through Sunday, Dec. 17th. The cost is $35-$95. For tickets, visit www.broadwayinchicago.com.

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