Full casting for the dance musical Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker has been announced. The jazz adaption of The Nutcracker featuring the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn will run at New York City Center November 17—26 before playing Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre December 19—30.
Joshua Bergasse will direct and choreograph the production, which centers on a non-conformist daughter of a high-society Black family living in 1930s Manhattan and her inner dreamworld. The jazzy twist on the beloved ballet encourages audiences to celebrate what makes them different to find their inner magic. Sugar Hill features a libretto and concept by Jessica Swan.
The cast will include Jinhao Zhang and Josué Gomez as Nutcracker, Alicia Mae Holloway as Lena, Shavey Brown as Sweet Pea, Jennifer Jade Ledesna as The Angel, Kenneth Darryl Ard as Uncle Dross, and Brenda Braxton as Mother Sugar/Mama Stall. They are joined by Nikolas Danilovich-Eugene Gaifullin, Larissa Gerszke, Nayara Lopes, Natascha Mair, Tatiana Nuñez, Scott Weber, Audrey Borst, Joshua Dawson, Nathan Fister, Johnathon Darcelle Hart, Ayaka Kamei, Laura Katherine Kaufman, Amarachi Valentina Korie, Muata Ayodele Langley, James Luc, Chase Maxwell, Charlotte McKinley, Dario Natarelli, Megan Prout, Jocelyn Iris Rajkumar, Ange ‘Gregg’ Sainvilus, Tyler D. Singletary, Olivia Tang-Mifsud, and Matt Wiercinski.
Sugar Hill will feature will feature music direction and vocal arrangement by Rob Cookman, choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi, additional choreography by Caleb Teicher and Jon Boogz, dance consultation by Graciela Daniele, orchestrations and arrangements by Grammy Award winner John Clayton and Larry Blank, dance arrangement by Paul Masse, production stage management by Tripp Phillips, and casting by Mungioli Theatricals, Inc.
Sugar Hill is produced by Hello Entertainment, Dr. Ron Simons, Rob Quadrino, Valencia Yearwood, Willette Klausner, Dr. Yemin (Yuan) McDougal, Nicole Eisenberg, Chinese Performing Arts Production International, Carol Hefren Tillotson, Harris Ferris, Kathleen and Chip Rosenbloom/Mary Cossette, Brass Bull Productions, Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc., and Schirmer Theatrical. A. Alyce Claerbaut and Robert Thompson serve as executive producers, and Christian McBride, Mickalene Thomas, and B'in Live are associate producers.
For tickets and more information, visit SugarHillNutcracker.com.