Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Much Bigger Than a Mouse 

Wednesday, Dec 14 2011
Here's our theory: The Nutcracker remains a holiday mainstay after almost 120 years in existence because it's so malleable. Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographed a version in the 1990s. Macaulay Culkin was in a theater adaptation. Tim Curry played the voice of the Mouse King in the animated film Barbie in the Nutcracker. (Yes, that Barbie.) It stands to reason, then, that it can be used to re-tell the story of Hanukkah. That's just what choreographer Katy Alniz Rous has done in The Jewish Nutcracker – A Maccabee Celebration. Maccabee (which is Hebrew for “hammer”) takes place at a family Hanukkah celebration in modern-day San Francisco. Rather than the characters of Clara, the Nutcracker, and the Mouse King, it's Miriam, Judas Maccabee, and a Greek army leader. Miriam is a bored teenager uninterested in the gathering, Alniz Rous says, until an interesting guy her age comes to the party in the form of Judas. The ensuing midnight battle between Judas and the soldiers retells the story of the Maccabean Revolt and the rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. In the production, Alniz Rous includes Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, and Russian dance, which follow the original Nutcracker sequence of dancing sweets – Spanish chocolate, Arabian coffee, Chinese tea, and Russian candy. “There's no nutcracker,” Alniz Rous says. “The only part that's The Nutcracker is a score.” There's also no Barbie – and that's probably a good thing.
Dec. 15-18, 2011

About The Author

Keith Bowers

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Pritkin Mansion 2014
    Browse through the eclectic Pritkin mansion. Photographs by Nathaniel Y. Downes.
  • Rock Scully Tribute 2014
    Moonalice and Fall Risk perform at Slims on December 20th for the Rock Scully tribute. Photographs by Jamie Soja.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular