Cabaret Red Light's NUTCRACKER, in Philadelphia   THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING The holiday classic that everybody knows today as Balanchine’s Nutcracker has its inauspicious beginnings in an 1816 short story by E.T.A. Hoffman – a macabre, unsettling and anti-traditional adult fairytale called “The Nutracker and the Mouse King.” Its conflation of fantasy and reality, as seen through the eyes of its heroine Marie, was intended as an affront to the pretentions of class society and a provocation to Enlightenment reason.  
  E.T.A. Hoffmann      

  Using a variety of media, including shadow puppets, kinetic sculpture, live music and narrative dance, Cabaret Red Light's Nutcracker combines Hoffmann's original tale with Peter Gaffney's 2005 short story "The Legend of the Ratman," with all new orchestral score by Rolf Lakaemper, choreography by Christine Fisler, and costumes by Anna Frangiosa. The new production also restores many of the elements not included in the Balanchine adaptation (based on Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 reworking of the tale) and even features several musical pieces composed by Hoffmann himself. It also tells the back story of a mysterious figure who haunts the halls at night called the Ratman – a modern bogeyman of Cabaret Red Light’s own invention.   Cabaret Red Light's NUTCRACKER, in Philadelphia  
      Marie (Ariana Kampanelas) and Ratman (Nick Gillette)