Experience Tchaikovsky’s Christmas Classic in an entirely new way by coming to Paramount Theatre for their presentation of The Hard Nut. This tale transforms the classic Germanic story for a more modern audience by taking the story to the post-war era of 1960s America. You’ll be able to join the many audiences that have already experienced Mark Morris’ choreography that tells a tale of guilt, childhood, adolescent sexuality, and the confusion that comes when you enter an all-new world. The Hard Nut is a story that you won’t be able to forget.
Your ticket earns you entrance to the wonders of Seattle’s Paramount Theatre as well as the gorgeous set designs by Adrianne Lobel that have been inspired by Charles Burns’ comic art. You’ll be able to see James Ingalls lighting design that sets the perfect tone for a dark retro re-imagining of this classic holiday play.
Hard Nut Tickets:
Ever since it’s premiere on January 12, 1991, at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, The Hard Nut has delighted fans of live performance from all over the world. If you enjoy ballet performances and the heartwarming story of The Nutcracker, then you will love the incredible experience that awaits you when you go to see The Hard Nut. So don’t miss out on this wonderful tale and order your tickets today!
Wit, Verve, and a Timeless Swerve
The Hard Nut is more than just a retelling of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, it captures the naughty brilliance of its Mark Morris and the budding sexual freedom of the late 60s and early 70s. Even with the production being over 25 years old, the play still manages to feel fresh, thanks to the energy of the performers and the production style that could only come out on the Paramount Theatre stage. The creativity and witty language and scene direction of this play cover the same story beat that classic Christmas story fans know and love, while still bringing an exciting update that first-time viewers will find incredible.
These innovations include drag performers to play with gender identities in the roles of characters such as a maid and stage direction that shows how the story brings the young lovers together during the second act. Morris wants this live show to bring the magic of Tchaikovsky’s magic to today’s audience and he does it with gusto.
But how does The Hard Nut stand up compared to other holiday plays and classics?
We would say that the play stands up among fans and critics alike. The play has been aired on PBS Stations in 1991’s Great Performances series, and it has earned recognition in Ovations annual “Battle of the Nutcrackers” three years running from 2007-2009, It has also been released for home viewing on VHS and Laserdisc in 1992 and on DVD in 2007. It’s safe to say that audiences love this play that looks to be still going strong nearly three decades after it’s first showing.
If you’ve never seen this clever energetic production, then you can’t afford to miss out! So order your ticket today!
About the Choreographer
No discussion of The Hard Nut is complete without looking at the heart of the production team that brought this incredible timeless show to life. The Hard Nut owes its existence to none other than American choreographer and director, Mark William Morris. He has been hailed for his unparalleled craftsmanship, creativity, humor, and eclectic musical choice. Morris’ love of catchy and unforgettable music has made him a favorite for dance show lovers, music world aficionados, and audiences across the world.
His start in choreography begins in 1980 when he put on a concert of his choreography with a group he called the Mark Morris Dance Group. The brand new company just held two annual performances at On the Boards in Seattle and at Dance Theater Workshop in New York. He was later invited to join a young choreographers and composers program for The American Dance Festival in 1984. His company was later recognized and featured on Great Performances, as part of the PBS Dance in America series. This success would lead Gerard Mortier to approach him as a potential replacement for Maurice Béjart, who had held the position of Director of Dance for a long 20-year career before leaving with his company. It was said that Mortier was convinced to ask Morris about taking the position after seeing one Mark Morris Dance Group performance.
Mark Morris accepted the position and his company became the Monnaie Dance Group Mark Morris, where he and his staff and dancers were given comfortable space, full health insurance, and all the amenities that a famous European patron could offer.
Mark Morris later established the White Oak Dance Project in 1990 alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov, while continuing to create works for this company until 1995. But moving away from his prodigious past, he continues to earn acclaim as a ballet choreographer especially when working with San Francisco Ballet where he created eight works as well as commissions he received from various companies in Ballet and Opera. Morris’ hard work has earned him 11 honorary doctorates.
While many may be more familiar with his work on The Hard Nut, his version of The Nutcracker, he has also created famed works including Gloria, Championship Wrestling, Dido and Eneas, Four Saints in Three Acts, and controversial production of Romeo & Juliet in 2008. Morris has never shied away from pushing a story to new and exciting areas and that commitment continues to this very day.
Hard Nut at Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre came about in the 1920s when vaudeville and silent movies were the number one source of entertainment across the United States. Seattle had more than 50 movie palaces alone, each playing films for the enthusiastic audiences that craved a taste of cinema and performances. So it’s no surprise that Paramount Pictures constructed a grand movie palace in nearly every major city in the country. The Hollywood-based movie company decided to build a location in Seattle between late 1926 to early 1927.
Adolph Zukor, the president and movie magnate for Paramount Pictures at the time, invested $3 million for construction of their grand movie palace project. The building hired some of the best international architectural firms and talent to design and build the movie palace that overcame its remote location by designing for opulence. The Seattle Theater opened on March 1, 1928, and was recognized in The Seattle Times as being a “magnificent cathedral of entertainment…Indescribable beauty! Incomparable art! The stage productions will be of the most lavish design.”
During that first opening night, customers lined up 8 abreast outside The Seattle, where they would be admitted into the grand lobby. From there, patrons would experience the interior decorated in the French Renaissance style of the palace in Versailles as well as the four-tiered lobby, French baroque plaster moldings, lacy ironwork, and more. Everything about the theater was designed for class, elegance, and beauty and was well worth the then admission fee of 50¢.
The Seattle Theater continued to entertain and delight fans and performance goers even though their change of name in the 1930s to The Paramount.
Ever since its construction, Paramount Theatre has held itself to a higher standard for entertainment by providing innovations that no other US-based Theatre had ever dreamed of. This includes Paramount Theatre is the first venue in the United States to have a convertible floor system that could transform it into a ballroom. The venue stands at a 3000 fan capacity with main floor unreserved standing area that still has room for balcony seating. Every month, there are a dizzying number of gorgeous productions that you can enjoy with your ticket.
Join this timeless and storied theater for their production run of Morris’ The Hard Nut.