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The Klezmer Nutcracker: Vital Theatre Company announces full cast

Vital Theatre Company has announced the full cast for its family holiday offering The Klezmer Nutcracker, book by Ellen Kushner, (Based on 'The Golden Dreydl), with music by Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky, arranged by Michael McLaughlin and David Harris, performed by The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, at the McGinn Cazale Theatre from 6 Dec 2008 - 3 Jan 2009.

The cast will feature Ellen Kushner as 'Tante Miriam' and Jonathan Bauchman, Toni Ann Denoble, Dan Gordon, Alan Houser, Christopher Michael Lacey, Lindsey Levine, Melana Lloyd, Julie Mckay, Danielle Strauss and Bethany White.

The Klezmer Nutcracker tells the story of Sara, who is miserable at the family Chanukah party. But when mysterious Tante Miriam arrives with the gift of a Golden Dreydl, everything changes. The Dreydl is an enchanted princess in disguise and whirls Sara away on an exciting adventure through a magical world.

The Klezmer Nutcracker is a delightful spin on the traditional story of "The Nutcracker," and weaves together threads of Jewish folklore with fantasy, humor and holiday cheer.

Ellen Kushner is the host and writer of the award-winning national public radio show PRI's Sound & Spirit, a co-production of WGBH Radio, Boston, hailed by Bill Moyers as "the best show on public radio!" With the band Shirim, she created the original radio version of The Golden Dreydl: a Klezmer "Nutcracker" for Chanukah (winner of a Gracie Allen Award), which was then released as a CD on Rykodisc. In 2007 an expanded chapter book, The Golden Dreydl, appeared from Charlesbridge publishing, and in 2008 Vital Theater commissioned a full-scale theatrical version.

The Klezmer Nutcracker will be directed by Linda Ames Key, with choreography by Dax Valdes, and feature sets by Adam Koch, costumes by Hunter Kaczorowski and lighting by Christina Watanabe.

The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra features some of the most respected and experienced virtuosos of the klezmer movement. Band leader Glenn Dickson was the klezmer soloist in the Hollywood film 'A Stranger Among Us,' and the band was featured on the soundtrack of Woody Allen's 'Deconstructing Harry.' Based in Boston, Shirim has four recordings out on Newport Classic and Northeastern Records. The members of The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra also perform in "Naftule's Dream", an avant jazz/klezmer band which has recorded four albums on John Zorn's Tadzick/Radical Jewish Culture label.

For tickets and further information click here.

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