The fourth annual production of the alternative, East Village-based adaptation of "The Nutcracker" begins tonight.
La MaMa Experimental Theater in association the GOH Productions presents this production of "The Shell-Shocked Nut," featuring an intergenerational cast of dancers and musicians.
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In this unconventional take on the seasonal staple, a wandering child and a war veteran suffering from PTSD take a magical voyage through the East Village. The pair of characters visit Tompkins Square Park, Economy Candy Store, St. Mark’s Place, and other East Village landmarks while exploring themes of loss and recovery.
"The Shell-Shocked Nut is conceived and directed by Martha Tornay and co-directed by Victoria Roberts-Wierzbowski. The pair also spearhead East Village Dance Project (EVDP), a dance development program that has offered after-school classes in ballet, modern and choreography in lower Manhattan since 1997.
The show first emerged as a studio showing in the weeks after Superstorm Sandy created as a means of brightening spirits after a challenging time for the community. “I started thinking about the cathartic process of working through a stressful situation,” Tornay said.
The sister and daughter of war veterans, Tornay was inspired to use the structure of the Nutcracker to tell a more personal story of the effects of trauma, while maintaining the accessible, family-friendly nature of the traditional ballet.
In the years following its inception, the piece has grown to a full-scale production, featuring young students from the dance program alongside an array of professional performers, artists and guest choreographers from NYC and beyond.
"The Shell-Shocked Nut" is tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20, and $15 for seniors, students and children 12 and under. You can buy tix online at lamama.org or at the box office: (212) 352-3101.
Contributor Stacie Joy, who has covered the production in the past (here and here) for EVG, shared these photos from rehearsal last night...