John Munger has performed in The Nutcracker more than 200 times in nearly four decades, and he's about to step back onstage in yet another production of the classic tale. But this isn't the same sugary-sweet story told in the classic ballet or in E.T.A. Hoffman's dark fairytale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. This Wednesday Bryant-Lake Bowl presents Nutbuster!! The Ballet, and if the production's name is any indication of what to expect, take those two exclamation points to heart and get ready for a unique performance. Munger, Third Rabbit Dance Ensemble's artistic director, will perform this one-man show, letting audiences know just how dark the other side of the sugarplum really is. The traditional story follows Clara, the heart-warming heroine who strives to save her nutcracker friend from the Mouse King. Little does she know that her godfather, Drosselmeyer, has a large and unsavory role in the affair. In the story's staged reimagining, Munger plays Drosselmeyer and brings new perspective to the character. And though the show doesn't have all the pomp of other holiday productions, Nutbuster!! The Ballet shows that it's okay for a story about a wooden nutcracker have a little less tree bark and a lot more bite.
Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Dec. 22, 2010