World premiere of 'Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker' to play at Auditorium Theatre

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, December 17, 2023
Jazz take on classic 'Nutcracker' to premiere in Chicago
There is a new show coming to the Auditorium Theatre.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The world premiere of "SUGAR HILL: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker," the jazz-steeped reimagining of The Nutcracker, based on the genre-defying collaboration of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, will play at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

The theater is located at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive., from Dec. 20 through 30. "SUGAR HILL" is set to the timeless music of Ellington and Strayhorn, and features a libretto and concept by Jessica Swan.

This original production is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominee Joshua Bergasse, with choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi.

The show features a world-renowned creative team of dance superstars, with additional choreography by Caleb Teicher and Emmy Award nominee Jon Boogz, and dance consultation from Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient Graciela Daniele.

The orchestrations and arrangements are by GRAMMY Award-winner John Clayton and three-time Tony Award nominee Larry Blank.

SEE ALSO: 'The Hip Hop Nutcracker' is coming to Chicago

An exhilarating story told in dance, "SUGAR HILL" is set to the music of the genre-defying collaboration between jazz icons bandleader/composer Duke Ellington and composer, Billy Strayhorn.

In its world premiere, "SUGAR HILL" reveals the glamour of the 1930s as seen through the lens of the nonconformist daughter of a high-society Black family in Manhattan and her own fantastic dreamworld in the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Harlem.

A jazz-steeped reimagining of the classic tale, this Nutcracker dance-story sends a stirring message that champions individuality and the journey to find the power of your unique self:

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