To send email to this website, kcdance.com click here and add message text:
To send someone a link to this page click here and fill in their email address


Unless otherwise noted photos and copyright 2009 Mike Strong KCDance.Com and Mike Strong Photo Gallery and CV Site - Email This Page

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Owen/Cox Dance Group - http://www.owencoxdance.org - Tech and Dress Rehearsals

with
The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City
December 11, 12 & 13 (Friday & Saturday 8:00 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m.)
H&R Block City Stage Theater - Union Station

Wed/Thu, 8, 9 December 2009
H&R Block City Stage Theater in Union Station , Kansas City, Missouri


Jennifer Owen as Fritz in a particularly good mood after a particularly mean deed.
Jennifer Owen as Fritz in a particularly good mood after a particularly mean deed. (Chris Peacock in the background)

From Owen/Cox Announcement:

The Owen/Cox Dance Group brings together a "who's who" of Kansas City artists and musicians to breathe new life into an old classic. Fifteen musicians of the People's Liberation Big Band, horn sculptor Mark Southerland, artist Peregrine Honig, and students from the Paseo Academy of the Performing Arts join in presenting a familiar story that turns out to be not so familiar after all.

Returning to the original and notably darker E.T.A Hoffman story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816), this production will feature original music and radical rearrangements of Tchaikovsky melodies created by a host of innovative Kansas City jazz musicians, as well as the award-winning choreography of Jennifer Owen.

Tickets $20, $15 for students, seniors and groups, $10 children age 12 and under Tickets available through the Union Station box office. Call 816-460-2020. Tickets available online November 17th at www.unionstation.org


These are rehearsal pictures - tech on wednesday and dress on thursday - This may be to the Marius Petipa / Alexandre Dumas version of Nutcracker what The Wiz is to The Wizard of Oz.

Fanciful, colorful, lively funny and high steppin' it is a refreshing and fun version of the old children's story by Hoffman. Kids will love the color and the music while adults will enjoy a sly second layer of humor. Boris and Natasha go Nutcrackers.

The Owen/Cox version of The Nutcracker starts with a cow bell, goes to sheer raucus cacaphony sliding into Jazz riffs and disorganization and finally the tone of sassy exhuberance. The Nutcracker just got a body lift. Part The Wiz, Part Natasha and Boris, part Rocky Squirrel and part street carnival this is a fun cartoonish romp.

As the cacaphony begins to smooth, Gavin Stewart (as Father) and Laura Jones (as Mother) dance onto the stage. Soon they are joined in a jazzy dance of family, friends and primary characters for our drama. As the musical instruments move in and out of the music so too do the cast members, in a sort of rotating, raucus, New Orleans like, party with musical themes for some of the characters, for example, a Squeaky, scurrying sounding music for the mice.

Chris Barksdale as godfather Drosselmeyer - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
A tail (or trail) of two capes - Dress (left) and Tech (right) Chris Barksdale as godfather Drosselmeyer

Chris Barksdale as godfather Drosselmeyer - behind L-R: Laura Jones, Gavin Stewart, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Betty Kondo (hidden), Chloe Abel and Christopher Peacock in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Chris Barksdale as godfather Drosselmeyer - behind L-R: Laura Jones, Gavin Stewart, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Betty Kondo (hidden), Chloe Abel and Christopher Peacock

Cast

Lauren Fitzpatrick - Marie
Randolph Ward - Nutcracker
Christopher Barksdale - Godfather Drosselmeyer
Laura Jones - Mother
Gavin Stewart - Father
Jennifer Owen - Fritz
Betty Kondo - China Doll
Chloe Abel - Spanish Doll
Christopher J. Peacock - Hussar Doll
Mark Southerland - The King of Mice
Monica Sitton - Mirlton, Mouse
Kosha Johnson - Mirlton, Mouse
Corey Lewis - Mirlton, Mouse
Gabbrielle Davis - Mirlton, Soldier
Reginald Summers - Mirlton, Mouse
Marcus Yates - Mirlton, Soldier

Reggie Summers, Paseao Academy dancer in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Reggie Summers, Paseao Academy dancer

Betty Kondo (front) with Chloe Abel and Lauren Fitzpatrick - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Betty Kondo (front) with Chloe Abel and Lauren Fitzpatrick

Laura Jones - during break - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Laura Jones - during break

What a bad-sound-trumpet playing fashionable evil mouse king wears, now-a-days - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
What a bad-sound-horn playing fashionable evil mouse king wears, now-a-days. Mark Southerland, who also designed his costume and the costumes for the Mouse Army.

Mark Southerland (when not in Mouse King Costume) in August 2008 at Bar Natasha Playing with Beau Bledsoe's Al Andaluz - photo Mike Strong
Mark Southerland (when not in Mouse King Costume) in August 2008 at Bar Natasha Playing with Beau Bledsoe's Al Andaluz.

Southerland used his considerable horn talents to play to most wonderfully awful and painful music from his horn, in character as the Mouse King.

Later, when Marie (Lauren Fitzpatrick) hits the Mouse King with her toe shoe, knocking him out of a fight, Southerland's horn playing milked Mouse-King emotions all the way out of the theater, retreating from the stage battle, becoming ever more plaintive and lingering and sad, finally succumbing, drawing huge laughs from the crowd, clearly enjoying the character embodied by that very expressive horn.

   

Jennifer Owen as Fritz - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Jennifer Owen as Fritz

Christopher Peacock - Hussar Doll - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Christopher Peacock - Hussar Doll


The pain of the sound from evil mouse king horns

Randolph Ward and Lauren Fitzpatrick - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Randolph Ward and Lauren Fitzpatrick

"Taking five"- (L-R) Betty Kondo, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Chloe Abel, Randolph Ward and Rebka Sakati (t-five en l'air) - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
"Taking five" during dress - (L-R) Betty Kondo, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Chloe Abel, Randolph Ward and Rebka Sakati (take-five en l'air)

Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (dress) - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (dress)

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong

Chris Barksdale, Randolph Ward, Gavin Stewart, Laura Jones, Betty Kondo - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Chris Barksdale, Randolph Ward, Gavin Stewart, Laura Jones, Betty Kondo

Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward

Randolph Ward, Nutcracker - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Randolph Ward, Nutcracker, here going through cartoonish pantomime for "big eyes" as a voice over describes his character.

Betty Kondo
Betty Kondo

Betty Kondo being lifted by Christopher Peacock. (L-R behind) Jennifer Owen as Fritz, Gavin Stewart (as king), Laura Jones (as mother) - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Betty Kondo being lifted by Christopher Peacock. (L-R behind) Jennifer Owen as Fritz, Gavin Stewart (as king), Laura Jones (as mother)

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong

Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (tech) - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (tech)

Laura Jones (mother) and Christopher Peacock, Betty Kondo - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Laura Jones (mother) and Christopher Peacock, Betty Kondo

Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (dress) - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (dress)

(front) Randolph Ward and Lauren Fitzpatrick (L-R behind) Laura Jones, Gavin Stewart (hidden), Christopher Barksdale, Chloe Abel - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
(front) Randolph Ward and Lauren Fitzpatrick (L-R behind) Laura Jones, Gavin Stewart (hidden), Christopher Barksdale, Chloe Abel

Betty Kondo - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Betty Kondo

Betty Kondo in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Betty Kondo

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Randolph Ward (tech)

Laura Jones - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Laura Jones as a sultry Mother.

Gavin Stewart and Laura Jones - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Gavin Stewart and Laura Jones, playing Father and Mother then perform the Arabian Dance as a sexy pair, purple pants, patterned thigh-high stockings and lingerie, all very sultry. Part of the humor includes Father and Mother in steamy roles while their children, Marie and Fritz are giving us a "Yetch!" reaction.

Jennifer Owen - The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Jennifer Owen in a hot-pink outfit and Marilyn wig and cartoon moves, for a steamy temptress of a Sugar Plum Fairy. This was an un-expected and delightful take on Sugar Plum.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong

Randolph Ward in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong Randolph Ward in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Owen/Cox Dance Group photo, copyright 2009 Mike Strong
Randolph Ward performed yeoman duties as Nutcracker, and then the cousin from Nuremberg. Ward seemed to be in just about everything. He has the lithe moves of a twisting rope while handling lifts and jetés one after the other.


Please Enter Your Comments Below, Thank you.
Owen/Cox Nutcracker 2009
Items with an Asterisk (*) are required
Subject
* First Name
* Last Name
* EMail
Password Allows later editing
Phone
*

Enter Text from Image Above