- One ticket to see Ellington at Christmas: Nutcracker Suite
- When: Saturday, December 13, at 8 p.m. or Sunday, December 14, at 3 p.m.
- Where: Apollo Theater
- Door time: one hour before showtime
- Full offer value includes ticketing fees
- $22 for the upper mezzanine (up to $44.20 value)
- $27 for the lower mezzanine (up to $54.45 value)
- $32 for orchestra or lower mezzanine rows A-E (up to $66 value). This option is only valid for the Saturday-night performance.
- Click here to view the seating chart
Ellington at Christmas: Nutcracker Suite
In this second-annual staging of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, audiences bob their heads to a rearrangement by one of the 20th century’s brightest jazz luminaries. In his version, Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet about magical toys and the governmental structures of mice becomes a finger-snapping, tap-dancing holiday fete. The original’s stately March becomes a raucous hullabaloo in “Peanut Brittle Brigade,” the dainty Dance of the Reed-Pipes gets a freewheeling infusion in “Toot Toot Tootie Toot,” and the minor-key mystery of the Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy becomes a hypnotic jazz meditation in “Sugar Rum Cherry.”
Joining the brass, bass, and drums are vocalists, dancers, and a heartfelt baritone narration courtesy of Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera). Emmy-winning tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith puts on his good shoes to take the center stage while operatic soprano Priscilla Baskerville does the heavy vocal lifting, backed by a 50-piece gospel choir and students from the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Jazz and R&B cantor Lizz Wright also contributes smooth vocals to evening’s soundtrack.
As a landmark of Harlem– and American–culture, the Apollo Theater boasts contributions to the history and fabric of its neighborhood in many ways. For one, it has hosted legendary performers throughout many decades, including Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder. It's also remained a significant part of the community for 80 years. In the last decade, the neighborhood has been invigorated by an influx of new residents, shops, and restaurants, and the Apollo Theater's cultural tapestry creates an destination for New York tourists and residents alike.