Florida Keys

It’s just like the ‘Nutcracker — except there’s striptease and booze

Key West Burlesque producer Christa Hunt (center) rehearses a scene with performers Miss Zurima (left) and Scarlet Jai, who portray merry Rat Queen Army mice in the upcoming production of ‘Sugar Rum Cherry: A Burlesque Nutcracker.’
Key West Burlesque producer Christa Hunt (center) rehearses a scene with performers Miss Zurima (left) and Scarlet Jai, who portray merry Rat Queen Army mice in the upcoming production of ‘Sugar Rum Cherry: A Burlesque Nutcracker.’ Contributed

A naughty and spirited two-act performance inspired by the classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker” should bring laughter to Key West’s seasonal festivities.

The production, “Sugar Rum Cherry: A Burlesque Nutcracker,” is to be staged at 8 p.m. Dec. 14-16 at the Key West Theater at 512 Eaton St. Doors are to open at 7:30 p.m.

Created by Key West Burlesque, the show is to star magician Nick Lacapo, host of the P3Magic Theater in Columbus, Ohio. Lacapo plays the mysterious magician-like Uncle Drosselmeyer, the beloved godfather to Clara, heroine of the popular holiday ballet.

“The production is a takeoff on ‘The Nutcracker’ in a cabaret club ‘sweets’ setting,” said Christa Hunt, founder of Key West Burlesque who plays a character named Sugar Rum Cherry in the production. “Instead of a ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,’ there will be a ‘Dance of the Frozen Daiquiris.’ Instead of wind-up dolls, there may bottles of champagne that pop and a dancing nutcracker who does a striptease. Clara is a club ingenue and Drosselmeyer is a cabaret club ‘sweet’ host.”

In its 11th season, the Key West Burlesque troupe was founded in 2006 to showcase the revival of the burlesque art. The company’s shows sometimes parody well-known theatrical productions, often with Key West themes.

“I love getting my hands in on every aspect of a show — from costuming to choreography to marketing and music,” she says. “But what keeps me going is getting to see the end-result. I love seeing the shows come to life!”

Though Hunt started her career at the beginning of the neo-burlesque movement in 1998 in New York City, she found her calling as a producer when she moved to Key West, offering a theatrical take on the burlesque art form with fully original concepts and scripted parodies—something only a handful of professional burlesque companies do.

“It’s more inspiring for me to write and produce shows with scripts and full concepts than basic variety shows,” she says. “It also allows performers who have dance or theater training but don’t want to do striptease to be a part of our shows.”

The Key West Theater is a 275-seat venue and 30 VIP seats are available per performance. Ticket prices range from $35 to $65 plus tax. Go to thekeywesttheater.com or call 305-985-0433

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