FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2003
CONTACT: Faith Jackson
Office of University Relations
A Jazz Nutcracker to Visit Kean University
UNION, N.J. Clara's Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker, a high-voltage
adaptation of Tchaikovsky's fairy-tale ballet masterpiece, will be performed
on Saturday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 14, at 3 p.m.
and 7 p.m. at Kean University's Wilkins Theatre, located on the main campus
at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.
In a uniquely American jazz-tap celebration, Clara's Dream is
a classic coming-of-age story in which a young girl named Clara transcends
the traditions of her parents to discover her own place in the world through
the magic of jazz music and dance. At the show's heart is Clara's dilemma:
to swing, or not to swing? In her dreams she dances wildly, but in real
life, she is held back by her mother and father. Guided by her wily Auntie
Groove (created and danced by tap pioneer Brenda Bufalino) and her clever
Uncle Dross, Clara seeks to find her way through a Christmas party and
a family nightclub scene featuring a swinging six-piece live band that
blows hot jazz originals of the cool classical Nutcracker themes,
joined by leaping snowflake-children, an African drummer who also dances,
body-percussionists, Lindy hoppers as well as Irish, jazz and tap dancers.
Clara watches and waits until she finally joins the enthusiasm in a rousing
tap dance finale.
The composer, arranger and music director for the show is Paul Arslanian,
co-founder and former musical director of Jazz Tap Ensemble. Completing the
creative collaborative are tap classicist Dean Diggins and comedic dancer
Bob E. Thomas. From mime to magic, tap dance to classical ballet, Tchaikovsky
to Ellington, the dancers bring exhilarating new life to this holiday classic.
Clara's Dream is recommended for ages 5 and up. Tickets are $15
for the public; $11 for seniors; and $9 for students and children. Black-and-white
and color photographs are available upon request. For further information,
to order tickets, or request a brochure, call the Wilkins Theatre Box
Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469).