By Tony Kiss
“The Nutcracker” is one of those holiday chestnuts that gets many productions over the season, but Flat Rock Playhouse has a remarkable new twist on this classic piece.
Hot New York choreographer Chase Brock has swept away the ballet, replaced it with dance theater and reset the tale in a small mountain city that might be his hometown of Hendersonville.
These are big changes, but they truly work, thanks to terrific dance performances, lovely music by Rob Berman and imaginative sets by Flat Rock designer Dennis Mauldin.
The core “Nutcracker” story is still there, and it remains a nonspoken, nonsinging work, the first time Flat Rock has staged this type of show.
This new “Nutcracker” is wondrous, joyful theater that connects with young and old alike. The timing for this gem is great, given Flat Rock’s fight to rebound from a financial pinch.
The tale revolves around 15-year-old Marie (Macy Sullivan) and her beloved pet mouse Snow (Gerald Avery), who are both swept into a “Nutcracker” world on a magical holiday night.