Paramount Theatre Downtown
Recommended by Chase Burns
I count myself among the Christmastime grinches, but I'm also here to sing the praises of one Nutcracker production that I think is always, without a doubt, forever worth your time and money: Mark Morris Dance Group's The Hard Nut, a gender-bending contemporary classic from the funny and inventive Seattle-born choreographer Mark Morris. If you, like me, find the typical holiday fare to be too sweet, please heed this recommendation and go see Morris's take on The Nutcracker. It has the power to soften even the hardest and most cynical nuts among us. It's faithful to the original production of The Hard Nut. Recently, I rented a DVD copy of The Hard Nut from Scarecrow Video because I liked the graphic design on the DVD case. It was done by Charles Burns (which I misread as Chase Burns—we're not related), a cartoonist with deep ties to Seattle, and specifically Sub Pop and Fantagraphics. The ballet's production design is based on the work of Charles Burns, which gives the show an overall dark, edgy, dare-I-say alt-weekly vibe.