Break A Leg? The Nutcracker's Night Before Christmas by Keith Brockett
BUT BACKSTAGE THE MOOD WAS UNCERTAIN AND STRESSED.
DISASTER HAD STRUCK AS THE DAY PROGRESSED.
First, the programs come back from the printer with the title of the show misspelled as THE NUTSNACKER!
But things only get worse as time for the curtain to rise draws near. The wardrobe mistress finds the costumes a mess. It seems the company's cat has shredded the tights and torn all the tutus. The stagehands have all called in sick, leaving no one to pull the curtains or shift the sets.
THE SPOTLIGHTS HAD FALLEN--THE STAGE WAS LEFT DIM.
AND CLARA SPELLED GRAPE JUICE ALL OVER THE SCRIM..
Someone breaks the most important prop--the Nutcracker itself--and then the Christmas tree in the center of the opening party scene crashes to the stage. Nobody thinks it's safe to deliver the traditional Thespian blessing "Break a leg!" to the cast. It might happen!
It looks like the curtain is not going to rise for the beloved Christmas play.
THE SET BEGAN SHAKING AND THEN THE STAGE, TOO!
UNTIL OLD ST. NICK BURST FROM THE CHIMNEY FLUE.
The show must go on, and it's Santa and his retinue who arrive just in the, er, nick of time to save the performance. The elves, experts at expediting, get busy fixing everything, and the play takes the boards after all, with the Sugar Plum Fairy arriving, not in her sparkly carriage, but in Santa's sleigh!
For kids who are familiar with the meter and rhyme scheme of Clement Clarke Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas, or The Night Before Christmas hardcover: The Classic Edition, The New York Times bestseller, and the story line of that seasonal performance, The Nutcracker, Keith Brockett's new The Nutcracker's Night Before Christmas (Sleeping Bear Press, 2015) is a jolly storytime amalgam of the two Christmastime classics. Brockett wields the familiar verse form ably to tell the tale of the performance that almost didn't happen, and Joseph Cowman's retro-styled child actors and Santa and his cohorts are just as jolly as can be as they save the play and the day. The author appends a brief history of the Nutcracker Ballet and a glossary of stage terms such as scrim and cue. As Publisher's Weekly says, "The familiar rhyme and rhythm of "The Night Before Christmas" serve as the structure for this clever melding of two beloved holiday stories."