|Haley Carlucci and AJ Shively|
While overall The Nutcracker and I is a funny show, the idea of setting lyrics to Tchaikovsky's music doesn't always come off so well. Alessandrini is good at writing comical lyrics, as the over 20 year run of his Forbidden Broadway shows Off Broadway and across the country attests to, but not all of Tchaikovsky's score is prone to having lyrics added to them. The opening sequence, especially, doesn't quite gel into what a good opening number for a musical should be and a lot of that has to do with the music that isn't exactly crying out to have lyrics set to it. Fortunately the cast, set, direction and the majority of the rest of the musical moments help offset a few of the more clunkier moments to make the evening into a fun show. It is just too bad that Alessandrini and Brash didn't let some of the music play as an underscore and substitute simple dialogue for some of the more mediocre lyrics or the sequences where the music doesn't need lyrics, as Brash's book and dialogue are not only humorous and modern but in some scenes are quite touching as well.
|Peter Scolari and the cast|
With just a few tweaks from the writers, The Nutcracker and I could easily turn into a nice annual humorous alternate to the traditional Christmas Carol and Nutcracker productions that most theatres provide at the holidays.
Highlights from the show: