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The Nutcracker meets the Revolution at this holiday show preview

The Rock School for Dance Education performs “The Nutcracker 1776” at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Nutcracker 1776. Courtesy of the Rock School (1)
The Rock School for Dance Education
Billy Penn statue

From the Museum of the American Revolution

Experience the magical holiday classic The Nutcracker ballet with a Revolutionary twist! Rising stars from Philadelphia’s The Rock School for Dance Education will perform scenes from the Nutcracker 1776, an adaption of the original ballet, combining Tchaikovsky’s timeless musical score with Philadelphia’s revolutionary past.

The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4 from Noon – 4 p.m. at the Museum of the American Revolution. Shane Confectionery, the Berley Brothers’ old-fashioned candy shop located in Old City, also will join the museum for chocolate-making demonstrations. The festivities are free with regular museum admission.

Throughout the day, the Museum’s Cross Keys Café will offer special holiday treats for purchase, including holiday cookies and Shane’s hot cocoa. For adults, the café will offer specialty winter beverages such as a peppermint mocha latte with Godiva chocolate liqueur, an eggnog latte with spiced rum and traditional hot toddies.

At 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m.,  a dozen dancers from The Rock School, including those playing Thomas Jefferson, General Mouse Howe, and Abby and Johnny (Clara and the prince), will perform a 20-minute battle scene from the ballet in historically inspired costumes in the museum’s Patriots Gallery. The dancers also will pose for photo opportunities with visitors.

At 1, 2, and 3 p.m., chocolate maker Kevin Paschall from Shane Confectionery will demonstrate how to grind house-roasted cacao on a stone metate (traditional Central American grinding stone), which he will then steep to make cacao tea, a Mayan-inspired brewed cacao drink that was enjoyed in Colonial America. Visitors can sample pieces of a Benjamin Jackson bar, which is made to emulate the stone-ground chocolate that would have been available in 18th-century Philadelphia. Jackson was a chocolate maker with a shop located just around the corner from Shane at Letitia Place, where he had a stone mill that he used to grind cocoa and mustard seeds.

The Rock School’s full performance of Nutcracker 1776 will take place at the Merriam Theater on Nov. 24 – 25. Tickets and more information are available here.

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