One-Man Nutcracker should be a yearly tradition in Philadelphia!

-Brenda Hillegas

Before you keep reading, click this link and text your family. If you’re hosting this holiday season, you’re taking everyone to see One-Man Nutcracker at South Philly’s Theatre Exile.

This amusing, one-hour show features writer/actor Chris Davis as he runs through the beloved Nutcracker…but this is not like the one you’re used to! Davis reenacts the ballet with two left feet (eh…he’ll explain it to you) and portrays all the characters. This version highlights some of the darker moments of the show and the history behind the plot, so pay attention. Sprinkle in some audience participation- be prepared to shout out how magical it is- and this is a holiday story you will not forget.

Davis came up with the idea of One-Man Nutcracker when he was dating a ballet dancer and saw The Nutcracker yearly. He was mesmerized by all of it and decided to take adult ballet classes with Amy Novinski, a Philadelphia-based instructor. Soon, his “what if” idea of performing the entire Nutcracker all by himself became a reality and his show premiered in 2019 at Plays & Players Theatre.

One-Man Nutcracker really is magic. This performance reminds us about the magic that is theatre and the magic of suspending realty for a bit, together inside a venue no matter how big or small. Flashy costumes and stunning sets are great, but a show is only as good as the actors on stage. Simple props (or in this case, some shadow puppets) and imagination go a long way for the audience here…and that’s all we need for a good time.

Get yourself out to Theatre Exile before One-Man Nutcracker ends on January 2nd. Most of the shows start at 7pm but there are a few 12pm performances as well. Bring a good arm and some extra money so you can buy a rose to throw at Davis too. Seriously!

Chris, can we do this again next year?!

Masks are optional, but always encouraged. Hot apple cider (with or without booze) and beer/wine is available in the lobby.

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