My favorite thing about the annual production of ‘The Nutcracker’ at Butler University was the posting of the cast list. Oh no, not the REAL one.. I’m talking about the fake one posted by
my best friend Emily and I an anonymous source.
In this list, we downgraded the best dancers to rats, made the Angels in the opening of act two Victoria Secret Angels, made the tan people snowflakes, and invented divertissement such as the ‘Iraqian pas de deux’ and cast a favorite teacher as Osama. Oh yes, that happened. I also made myself Rat QUeen three years in a row.
I am thrilled, after a two-year hiatus, to be performing ‘The Nutcracker’ again.Here is the greatest question ever asked of a dancer by their director:
Jess, which do you want to be, Sugar Plum or Snow Queen?”
To which my answer was of course, ‘I’ll do both!’ -most selfish answer ever. Hey, if you can’t be Rat Queen…
I fully admit that dancing the role of the Sugar PLum Fairy as a professional has been on my dance bucket list and I’m excited that I have the opportunity to cross it off this year. I get to wear my pointe shoes, a gorgeous tutu, and reflect upon my early memories as an eight year dancing the role of a soldier and polichinelle with State Ballet of Missouri (now known as Kansas City Ballet) and wishing to some day be the Sugar Plum. I remember that feeling of delight and wonder and hope that there might be one child in our audience that has that same feeling when Common Thread takes the Stage at the Foundry in Saint Charles on Saturday, November 16th.
Without further adieu, I present my ideal cast list for ‘The MockCracker’- with love and laughter for all dance lovers, dance creators, and dancers in St. Louis
(Previous Nutcracker Fun: A Product Placement Nutcracker– wow, my drawing has improved!)
Clara- Jeff MItchell of Madco (understudy Sam Mitchell)
Fritz- Sam Mitchell of Madco (understudy Jeff Mitchell)
Grandfather Drosselmeyer- Dance St. Louis Artistic Director, Michael Uthoff
Party Parents: audience members in attendance at Dance New Horizons
Party Children: All dance students of everyone on this list (that’s a huuuuge party) Understudy: members of Congress
Rat King- Jessica Ruhlin
Nutcracker Prince- Uri Sands (understudy Jessica Ruhlin)
Rats: Pam Swaney, Lauren Lane, Lori Wilson of StLB/ Rachel Kilsavage, Lydia Phillips, Emily Woods of MBT/ Morgan Cameron of Big Muddy
Soldiers: Sarah Thompson from Dance St. Louis, all board members of every dance company ever
Dog Army: Jennifer Medina’s chihuahua Tobey/ Gen Huriuchi’s dog Cesar (understudy: Jessica Ruhlin’s cat Avery/ all extra-large lint balls from dirty studios)
Snow Queen: Nejla Yatkin wearing that amazing white outfit from opening night of DNH/ ALice Bloch
Snow King: St. Louis Doppler Radar (understudy Robert Poe of BM)
Snow Flakes: all of Leverage Dance THeater (since they have the paper snowball making down to a science)
Act 2- the Kingdom of the Sweets
Sugar Plum Fairy- TBA after children’s audition (understudy Kate Rouzer of StLB)
Cavalier-Cardinals superstar Yadier Molina (understudy Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford/ random bums off the street)
Mother Ginger: Erin Lane of Leverage Dance Theatre/ Janele Oros/ Tara WF Cacciatore
Mother Ginger Children: actual children of mother ginger, Elliot Geolat, Erik Hoffman of StLB, Tricia Zweier of Leverage, Jenny Battenburg of BM, Jason Gomez of MBT (other tall dancers may audition)
Arabian Coffee- coffee-lovers Mariko Kumanomido, Hannah Benditt,Jennifer Medina, and Mary VIrtue partnered by a whole lot of Starbucks baristas (understudy- Jessica Ruhlin partnered by a can of Folgers)
Chinese: supersmart Stephanie Morrow (understudy: anyone who scores a 100% on a math aptitude test)
Marzipan- Pam Auinbauh with her French Poodle, Jane and fluent French-speaker Hannah Benditt (mais oui!)
Who’s excited for rehearsal!? xo- your friend in jest (and a tutu) jess
PS -I’m excited to be hosting my first guest blogger tomorrow. Check it out!