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New Take on Classic "Nutcracker" Comes to Palm Desert Next Week

"Swinging Nutcracker," which opens Nov. 30, will be "unlike anything ever seen locally," according to the company putting on the performance.

California Ballet Opera will present a new version of "The Nutcracker" in Palm Desert starting next week, the ballet's director said Tuesday.

"Swinging Nutcracker," which opens Nov. 30, will be "unlike anything ever seen locally," using jazz versions of the original score arranged and performed by Les Brown and His Band of Renown, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Duke Ellington, according to California Ballet Opera Executive Director Bob Reinhagen.

"CBO is using this year's performance as a stepping stone for an exciting major change. They have commissioned a brand new treatment of the classic Tchaikovsky score to open next year for live band and dancers all on stage together," Reinhagen said.

This year, Britt Hillard of the Joffrey Ballet will dance the role of the Cavalier and Becky Johnson will portray the Sugar Plum Fairy. Sabrina Shelton will dance the role of Clara, and Jonah Corrall will portray the Nutcracker. Reinhagen will be featured in the role of Herr Drosselmeyer.

Performances are scheduled Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 1 and 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Palm Desert High School Auditorium, 74-910 Aztec Road. Tickets are $22 and will be available at the door or by calling (760) 342- 3728.

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