The Nutcracker is best known as the silently heroic character who saves Clara from the dastardly mouse king. He rarely says a word, but that all changes in The Nutcracker Unhinged.
The short play, back for the second year from Teatro La Quindicina, transports the Nutcracker and company to the modern day, and the familiar haunts of Old Strathcona.
“He’s got quite the story to tell,” Andrew MacDonald-Smith says of his character. “It’s a part of the story you never really hear, how he became the Nutcracker, and I really love telling that story because it’s from the original, from all the books. I really like that the Nutcracker gets to speak, and speaking as him, because he’s someone who’s cursed and that’s just a special, fun thing.”
Along with a contemporary twist on Tchaikovsky’s classic, director Stewart Lemoine has two more short plays in store. The comedic, yet undeniably romantic Christmas In Patagonia is being remounted along with a new play, but the details are under wraps.
“It’s actually so brand new I don’t even know the title of it,” MacDonald-Smith laughs. “It’s being formed and sort of secretly held as we speak. We start that right away. It no doubt will be a hilarious and touching piece.”
With so many shows to take in during the holidays, MacDonald-Smith views Teatro’s production as a budding tradition unto itself, for the audience as well as the cast.
“We try to make Christmas traditions with anything: people do it with It’s A Wonderful Life and Love Actually even,” MacDonald-Smith notes of holiday entertainment. “And they’re not even Christmas movies particularly, but everyone still sees it as that way with the tradition of the Christmas season and going back to something that has heart, so on our end, as the actor who plays the Nutcracker it’s really fun to come back to it.”
Until Sat, Dec 14 (7:30 pm; 2 pm Saturday matinee)
Directed by Stewart Lemoine
Varsonca Theatre, $21 – $26