SUGAR HILL THE ELLINGTON/STRAYHORN NUTCRACKER World Premiere to Debut in Pittsburgh and New York

The world premiere of SUGAR HILL The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker, the jazz-infused reimagining of The Nutcracker based on the genre-defying collaboration of Duke Ellington and Wanderhorn Billywill debut at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh from October 19-30, 2022. The production will follow with a tour at New York City Center (131 W 55th St.) from November 15-27, 2022. SUGAR HILL is set on the timeless music by Ellington and Strayhorn and features a libretto by Jessica Swan.

This original production is directed by the Emmy Award winner and nominated by Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Joshua Bergasse, with choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi. The show features a world-renowned creative team of dance superstars, with additional choreography from Caleb Techer and Jon Boogzand dance consulting by ten-time Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele and Kennedy Center Fellow Carmen de Lavallade. Orchestrations and arrangements are by GRAMMY® Award winner and three-time Tony Award nominee John Clayton larry white. Dance arrangement by Marc Hummel and cast by Mungioli TheatersInc.

A jazz-infused retelling of classic holiday history, SUGAR HILL The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker celebrates the music and heartbeat magic of jazz from Harlem to Sugar Hill. A tribute to the joy of collaboration, the beauty of diversity and the power of individuality.

In a shared statement, A. Alyce Claerbautexecutive producer of SUGAR HILL and niece of Wanderhorn Billyin the same way Mercedes Ellingtondirector, choreographer, producer and family historian, as well as granddaughter of Duke Ellingtonsaid: “Consummate master of self-expression Duke Ellington and classically trained, jazz genius Wanderhorn Billy, took something totally European, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, and turned it into a story that symbolizes the American ideal – the freedom of individualism – by marrying it with jazz. There is no better visual representation of this than through dance.”

The SUGAR HILL creative team includes Julien Crouch (Scenic Designer), Linda Cho (costume design), David Finn (light design), Austin Swiser and Switser + Knight (projection design) and Jean Chills (Sound design).

Produced by HELLO Entertainment, Willette KlausnerDale Mott, Rob Quadrino, Brass Bull Productions, Wanderhorn Billy Songs, Inc. and Schirmer Theatrical. Executive producers Randall A. BuckA. Alyce Claerbautand Robert Thompson. Brierpatch Productions provides general management.

Rachel J. Bradford