You've heard of the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker,
but we bet you've never seen it like this!
The Graham Cracker: A Nutcracker Parody is the Ambo Dance Theatre's original, spectacle-filled spin on the beloved holiday ballet, The Nutcracker. This reimagined version of the show tells the coming-of-age tale of Nutcracker heroine Clara as she discovers and and acknowledges her queer identity, taking audiences on a psychedelic sugar rush perfect for the whole family. Her journey through battles, snowstorms, and the Land of Sweets helps bring a comical story behind the origin of the s'more, and helps her to process the complex emotions that come with self-discovery, acceptance, and love!
This s'morigin story features Ambo Dance Theatre's Professional Company and Pre-Professional Company dancers alongside Louisville community dancers and dancers from a variety of JCPS Dance programs! We are dedicated to inclusion and accessibility in dance, and, as such, do not discriminate in our casting based on age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or any other aspects of a person's identity!
"'The Nutcracker,' but not. This is
'The Graham Cracker'"
by Stephanie Wolf
December 1, 2021
This interview was later featured on NPR's national broadcast
Here and Now!
Graham Cracker Tickets are On Sale Now!
Our Adaptation of the Classic Story
We begin at a wintery bonfire gathering of family and friends hosted by Drosselmeyer and Auntie Sugar. As the partygoers engage in general merriment, romantic sparks fly between young Clara and another bonfire guest, Marie. Inspired by the sweetness of young love, Drosselmeyer and Auntie Sugar attempt to aid their beloved Clara in embracing her budding feelings and queer identity through the metaphor of a sugary treat: the s'more! While this angers the Marshmallow and Chocolate Connoisseurs, the majority of the party delights in the idea of bringing these delightful sweets together: chocolate, and marshmallows, and graham crackers, oh my! When Clara and Marie share a s'more together, however, Clara's mind wanders into a daydream of epic proportions...
The Battle & The Land of Snow
Clara, in a sugar-induced fantasy, soon finds herself in the throes of an epic battle between the Marshmallow Clan and the Chocolate Clan. After centuries of feuding, they have gone to war yet again over the discovery that two of their own have fallen in love with each other. Clara sets out to help the star-crossed lovers as chaos ensues. When the Marshmallow Clan and Chocolate Clan clash in an epic battle before her eyes, the noble Graham Cracker shows up to protect Clara, and together they help the Marshmallow and Chocolate lovers escape. Clara, Graham Cracker, and the lovers flee into a snow storm, ending up at the Palace of the Sugarplum Fairy in the Land of Sweets. However, their feels of safety and security are short-lived as the Chocolate and Marshmallow armies follow close behind...
The Land of Sweets
In the Land of Sweets, Marshmallow and Chocolate express their desire to be married to the Sugarplum Fairy, inciting a giant celebration. All of the candies in Sugarplum's court gather to imparts gifts and pass their blessings on to the lovers. As their wedding concludes with a bang, Chocolate and Marshmallow are euphoric and enraptured with each other. But, alas, the Lovers haven't lost their star-crossed status just yet. With their attention fixated on each other, and Clara and the Graham Cracker celebrating their great victory, hostile members of the Chocolate and Marshmallow clans are spotted sneaking around in the palace. An ambush is upon them!
Return to the Bonfire
Graham Cracker defends Clara and the newlyweds, but falls in battle. Marshmallow and Chocolate are torn apart. Shocked and devastated, Clara remembers...Marie, Drosselmeyer, Auntie Sugar, the merriment of the bonfire as everyone embraced the idea of the s'more. Love doesn't have to end this way! Remembering the support of her community, Clara's sugary hallucination wears off and she finds herself right where she had been before, sharing a s'more with Marie. Feeling assured in herself and her identity, she enjoys her s'more wholeheartedly and dances the night away.