Internationally renowned ballet stars and prominent role models Ashley Murphy and Brooklyn Mack guest star in Los Angeles Youth Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker by award-winning choreographer Andrea Paris-Gutierrez, which caps the holiday season with four performances Dec. 21 to 23 at Glendale’s Alex Theatre.
Enhancing the rich compendium of this much beloved classic, Paris-Gutierrez’s youth-inspired version of the two-act ballet featuring Tchaikovsky’s quintessential score and more than 80 dancers was premiered last season to critical acclaim. (See our review.)
Murphy (Sugar Plum Fairy), a “fearless technician” (Washington Post) heralded for her “charm and fire” (New York Times) who has “made it her mission to inspire young people of color” (Pointe), is a principal dancer with The Washington Ballet and previously danced for 13 years with the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Kirov-trained, Mack (Sugar Plum Fairy’sCavalier), formerly a principal dancer with The Washington Ballet and in demand as a guest principal dancer worldwide, is celebrated for his “explosive leaps, incredible precision…and onstage charisma” and is “the first African-American man to win gold at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria” (NPR).
The Nutcracker is performed by Darrion Sellman, a 14-year-old virtuoso who moved from Virginia to Los Angeles specifically to train with Paris-Gutierrez and LA Youth Ballet. Sofia Monroy, 15, and Ellie Wein, 14, alternate as Clara; and Malcolm McLaurin Takumi, 11, and Marcel Ramirez, 12, alternate as Clara’s brother Fritz.
Friday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 22, 2 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 23, 2 p.m
Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale 91203
Tickets start at $25.