Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) returns home to the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park, on Dec. 11 to begin its run of “The Nutcracker Rocks,” an annual family favorite holiday tradition.
This contemporary adaptation of the ballet was conceived by AXCBT Artistic Director Gabriel Chajnik, according to a press release.
Based on Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, “The Nutcracker Rocks” includes a revamped rock score by the Gaslight Anthem’s Alex Levine and Alex Rosamilia. The Gaslight Anthem, a popular New Jersey rock band, originated from New Brunswick, according to the press release.
Playing the lead role of Uncle Dross is Broadway’s Josh Canfield, once a cast member of CBS’s “Survivor.”
“I was so excited to get asked to join ‘The Nutcracker Rocks’ at Axelrod because if I am honest, I never thought I would be in the ‘Nutcracker’ for the very obvious reason that I am not a ballet dancer.
“But Gabriel, our director, has done such an amazing job along with the book writers to enhance the story … Add in some fun additions to the score by the Gaslight Anthem and I can guarantee audiences are in for a real holiday treat that will be fun and festive for the whole family,” Canfield said.
With an updated script by Reuben Jackson and Jason Cohen, “The Nutcracker Rocks” follows a bored teenager, Clara, who must endure her family’s posh holiday party on the Upper East Side until her eccentric Uncle Dross shows up with his rock music, magical toys, and a special gift for Clara.
He then transports Clara to a magic land – the Jersey Shore – where the traditional Land of Sweets is a candy shop in Asbury Park.
Other Jersey Shore contributors include Associate Choreographer Dylan Pearce (Point Pleasant), whose credits include assistant choreographer for the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.”
Other collaborators include costume designer Jose Solis and scenic designer Fred Sorrentino, according to the press release.
The fully staged and costumed production features the professional company members and apprentices of AXCBT. “The Nutcracker Rocks” runs from Dec. 11-19.
All audience members (12 and up) must provide proof of COVID vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed by a medical provider within 72 hours of the performance start time. A mask is always required while in the arts center.
Tickets range from $48 to $56, with exclusive discounts for students. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. For tickets, visit https://ci.ovationtix.com/35486/production/1075480 or call 732-531-9106.
The Axelrod Performing Arts Center is handicap accessible and provides free parking onsite. For more information, visit AxelrodArtsCenter.com