What do the “Sex & the City” girls, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan and the Twilight movies have in common? They’re all woven into a classic holiday ballet to create “Nutty Nutcracker” on Thursday at the Fox Theatre.
The dancers of Atlanta Ballet work for months to bring back their popular take on the holiday ballet that they perform endlessly through December. The annual rendition of “Nutty” (photos) lives up to its name, says Brian Wallenberg, one of the company’s openly gay performers.
“It’s like ‘Family Guy’ meets ‘Nutcracker,’” he says. “We did our first run-through, and I was sitting there laughing my ass off. It’s really fun and really funny. We turn ‘Nutcracker’ on its head, and people love it.”
Conceived and staged completely by the performers themselves, “Nutty” meetings began as early as September. The cast makes the time to pull together the storyline, choreography, props and even videos for the one-night-only show between rehearsals for and performances of “Nutcracker.”
“We start with ideas about pop culture references to include, and take the good ones and see where they fit into the context of the show. It really takes the entire company to fit it all together. It’s definitely a process, and exciting to see it all come together,” Wallenberg says.
Prepare for borderline inappropriate humor, current music, and well, total ridiculousness sure to put a smile on your face. Guys in full-tutu a la “Swan Lake” are not unheard of. “Nutty” benefits the Dancers’ Resource Fund, which helps dancers transition from their performing careers into the rest of their lives. So it’s close to their hearts, but they have fun with it too and take the opportunity to let their hair down, Wallenberg says.
“We spend lots of time on “Nutcracker” in December,” he says. “So it’s fun to step back from that and have fun with it a little bit. It’s really going to knock people out of their seats. I promise they’ll be laughing the whole time. You get a little culture, but you get a lot of fun.”
Did we say “Sex & the City”? We did. Here’s a piece of video recorded for this year’s “Nutty Nutcracker.” Look for the full video as part of Thursday’s performance. You’ll have to be there to see how they fit it into the show. Buy your tickets online now to this one-of-a-kind show.
Photos by Charlie McCullers courtesy Atlanta Ballet