Debbie Allen's 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker' Returns for a One Night Gala Performance November 19th


November 4, 2021

Los Angeles, CA - Emmy Award winner and Kennedy Center Honoree Debbie Allen and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) in association with The Annenberg Foundation presents its award-winning family spectacular 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker' on Friday, November 19th at 7pm PST at the Drive-Up Santa Monica Airport.

This year's "Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" Gala performance is written, directed and choreographed by Allen and will mark the return of this new holiday classic in the wake of COVID-19. In this adaptation, three laugh-out-loud wise-cracking rats take over the story, whisking us off on an adventure to Toyland, Candy Cane Land, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Egypt, Birdland and on a magical train ride choreographed by Tony Award winner Savion Glover. Filled with lively characters, new music and spectacular dancing, Debbie Allen's 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker' is a three-time Nutty Award winning production that is not to be missed and promises something for the whole family! The making of this wonderful production can be seen on Netflix's Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.

"I am so excited to get our amazing DADA dancers back on stage. This year we are introducing a new land 'Under the Sea' and welcoming Vivian Nixon as Myrtle." said Director/Choreographer and Grey's Anatomy Executive Producer Debbie Allen. "This will also mark Kylie Jefferson's return as the Fairy Queen along with Mathew Johnson. Carlo Imperato, Brandon O'Neal, Olivia Joseph and myself."

Starring Debbie Allen, Mathew Johnson (Netflix's Christmas On The Square), Carlo Imperato (FAME), Vivian Nixon (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Memphis, Hot Feet, Grey's Anatomy), Kylie Jefferson (Netflix's Tiny Pretty Things) and

Brandon O'Neal (The Lion King, Wicked) the show includes additional choreography by Terry Beeman, Rasta Thomas, Karen McDonald, Chantel Heath, Deepa Patel and Kevin Harris.

"Debbie Allen is a magician," said Academy Award winner Denzel Washington of the 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.' "What she does with those young people on stage is pure magic."

Keeping in the spirit of giving, 100 percent of the show's proceeds will benefit arts education for youth in the greater Los Angeles area. Gala tickets start at $500. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit or call (310) 202-1711.

About the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

It's Christmas Eve and The Johnsons are having a grand party. The Christmas gifts are shared and young Kara receives a Nutcracker filled with hot chocolate - her favorite. She falls asleep and the journey begins when the Nutcracker comes alive! Kara takes the audience on a mystical, magical journey, from Candy Cane Land, Egypt, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Birdland and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. Four wisecracking rats narrate the story: Myrtle (Vivian Nixon), Harvey (Carlo Imperato), Schmink (Brandon O'Neal) and Buckey (Debbie Allen). With an original score by Arturo Sandoval, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, James Ingram, Shiamak Davar, Tena Clark and Thump, the 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker' has been a hit with audiences of all ages for the past ten years.

About the Debbie Allen Dance Academy

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is committed to expanding the reach of Dance and Theater Arts to enrich, inspire, and transform the lives of thousands of young people in the Greater Los Angeles area, across America and around the world. The character education and creativity ignited through arts education are invaluable to individual achievement and our success as a nation.


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