Sunday December 19, 2010 / 1:30pmThe MeshugaNutcracker!
Assigned at Box Office
How was your experience?
The cast of The MeshugaNutcracker! put their all into this production. It's colorful. It's loud. It makes a joyful noise. This musical is largely based on the Chelm stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer and it's a valiant attmept to make some sort of production that can compete with the nonstop onslaught of Christmas-themed music, television, and live production facing any Jewish family during this time of year. At the matinee production we attended, the last of this season, there were a huge number of children present. And that's the problem. Many of the eight stories used in The MeshugaNutcracker! are based on the Polish/Russian Shtetls or the Nazi Holocaust. They are stories of bravery in the face of extreme danger and death, and the narrative went far over the heads of the young crowd. In other words, the kids became very restless. Several were whining that they wanted to leave. It's not Disney. Nevertheless, the use of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker score for a Hannukah-themed musical is a devilishly clever conceipt. The words set to the ballet score are clever including the five-minute musical sales pitch (that's based on the favorite children's story "Stone Soup") used to sell potato latkes during the intermission.