One Man Nutcracker Brings Holiday Cheer and the Sugar Plum Fairy to Philadelphia

-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
photo by Kimberly Paynter (WHYYY)

Get ready to experience The Nutcracker like you’ve never seen it before. Award-winning actor and writer Chris Davis brings Marie, Fritz, creepy Uncle Drosselmeyer, the mice, and even the Sugar Plum Fairy to life in his hysterical and surprisingly moving show One-Man Nutcracker. Directed by MK Tuomanen and featuring Davis as, quite literally, all of the characters, this wildly unique experience will play at Theatre Exile (1340 South 13th Street, Philadelphia) from December 20, 2022 through January 2, 2023.

“I dated a ballet dancer and went to see The Nutcracker every year, but in doing so, I fell in love with the story,” noted Davis. “I was mesmerized by the spectacle, the costumes, and the virtuosic dancing. I started to take adult ballet classes with Amy Novinski and I thought, what if I just did the entire Nutcracker myself? One-Man Nutcracker is a celebration of the magic that theater can offer an audience as we explore this timeless story about radical change.”

One-Man Nutcracker uses both the original E.T.A. Hoffman Nutcracker story and the classic Tchaikovsky ballet as inspiration for this heart-filled extravaganza, which premiered in 2019 at Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia. One-Man Nutcracker delves into a sense of play and discovery to show audiences what really lies at the core of the Nutcracker tale. Davis also explores some of the darker parts of The Nutcracker, examining its original story and some of its racist past. All of it comes together for an hour-long evening of comedy, filled with whimsy and childlike wonder.

Davis resides in Philadelphia, PA, but his solo shows have toured throughout the United States and Europe. He won the Special Jury Prize as part of the Thespis Monodrama Festival in Kiel, Germany. Recent projects include solo shows One-Man Nutcracker, The Presented (★★★★ – The List), The Last Emperor of Mexico, One-Man Apocalypse Now (★★★★★ – “superbly crafted” – Underdog Reviews), Juan-Winfield, Bortle 8, Drunk Lion (“A potent success” ★★★★★ – Wee Review), and Violence of the Lambs (“…absurd comedy at its very best.” ★★★★★ – The Student Newspaper ).  He has participated in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 6 years.

Other projects include Alchemist with Mary Tuomanen (Sep 2017), Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3), Damned Dirty Apes! (Renegade Theater), Alias Ellis Mackenzie (Thaddeus Phillips), Anna K (Philly Fringe 2014), Holly’s Dead Soldiers (Philly Fringe 2013),The Post-Show (Berserker Residents), and Vainglorious (Applied Mechanics).  He was selected as one of Billy Penn’s “Artists to Watch Out For 2017.” He is a coordinator of the experimental DIY festival SolowFest ( that takes place in Philadelphia. He is also part of the group that founded and runs Free Fringe Philly, a new alternative festival that began in 2019.

Tickets ($35 general, $15 student/industry/child) available at Appropriate for ages 10 and over.

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