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Northeast Times | July 17, 2018

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‘The MeshugaNutcracker,’ a Musical Comedy Celebrating Chanukah, Arrives in Cinemas Nationwide for One Night This Holiday Season

‘The MeshugaNutcracker,’ a Musical Comedy Celebrating Chanukah, Arrives in Cinemas Nationwide for One Night This Holiday Season

An “enchanting festival of light-hearted glee and meaningful warmth” (Los Angeles Times) arrives in celebration at the end of Chanukah when the musical comedy, “The MeshugaNutcracker!”, debuts in movie theaters nationwide on December 19, putting a unique spin on the classic Nutcracker ballet.

Presented by Fathom Events, in partnership with Guggenheim Entertainment, “The MeshugaNut cracker!” will be shown in U.S. cinemas for one night on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. local time. During this screening, Emmy Award®-winning and Broadway star Bruce Vilanch will appear on screen as a special guest.

Tickets for “The MeshugaNutcracker!” can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website ( theaters and participants are subject to change).

“It’s a show that’s really never been done before,” says Susan Gundunas, one of the stars of the ensemble cast. “Not just because there’s finally a big, beautiful show about Chanukah in the same way there are big, beautiful shows celebrating Christmas, but also because the cast is singing an amazing challenging score that was originally intended for musical instruments! We get to sing the piccolo line and clarinet line of melodies you’ve had in your head forever but that have been wordless for hundreds of years. It’s a real treat to sing such melodious, grand music.”

“The MeshugaNutcracker!” showc ases eight stories that pay tribute to the first celebration of Chanukah in the new state of Israel, as well as Judah Maccabee’s triumphant saga and accounts of perseverance. Written and directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim and Stephen Guggenheim, the full-length musical comedy features the wonderfully silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools), underscored by an invigorating Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” Alongside original lyrics in honor of Chanukah, “The MeshugaNutcrack er!” includes dancing dreidels, singing sufganiot and special guest stars bringing audiences delight as they celebrate this holiday season.

“We are always thrilled to embrace the holiday spirit with audiences and celebrate such a special time of year, and this year there’s no better way than watching a fun twist on a beloved classic,” Fathom Events VP of Programming Kymberli Frueh said. “This performance is a fun way for audiences to learn more about the history and traditions of Chanukah in a kitchy spin, using the Nutcracker’s classic music in a way they’ve never experienced it before.”

“No matter what religion you are, no matter what you celebrate this time of year – it’s about finding the light in people, finding light in yourself, letting the holidays truly illuminate everything around you,” Shannon Guggenheim, lyricist and one of the co-producers, said. “And yes, it does sound schmaltzy but that’s why we balance it with a lot of schmaltz in our show! That really is what we’re trying to do: give families something bright and fun but also poignant and meaningful to celebrate this time of year.”

This absolutely joyful musical event is produced and directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim, with music adapted, lyrics, and choreography by Shannon Guggenheim; musical direction and arrangements by Stephen Guggenheim and Thomas Tomasello; costume and set designs by Julie Engelbrecht; lighting by Derek Duarte; sound design by Steven Cahill; and film editing by Kyle Burke.

For artwork/photos related to “The MeshugaNutcracker!,” visit the Fathom Events press site.

The film will be playing locally at North East Mall 18 and Tinseltown Movies 17 Grapevine.