Philly Nutt Crak-Up

ContempraDance Theatre presents the hilarious holiday dance spoof, “Philly Nutt Crak-Up” at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, PA.

ContempraDance Theatre’s Rappin’ SugarPlum Fairy is back in Philly with her battling Hip Hoppin’ Rats, City Hall Dolls, Captain Philadelphia and Liberty Belle-Anne for another season of the hilarious holiday dance spoof, “Philly Nutt Crak-Up”. This crazy holiday take-off of the Nutcracker is based on an original rap song written by the SugarPlum Fairy herself. A story filled with superheroes, kung-fu fighting and making friends at the Kingdom of Prussia, the “Philly Nutt Crak-Up” combines comedy, hip-hop, jazz, modern and ballet to create a memorable event for our audience. The story is filled with references to local Philadelphia places, personalities, foods and skylines. “Philly Nutt Crak-Up” has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine, Dance Magazine, the City Paper and a feature segment on 6 ABC’s Prime Time Weekly show (Dec. 2007).

This original story is written by Artistic Director and choreographer Gail Vartanian and Assistant Director Michelle Jones Wurtz. The piece begins with the main character, Liberty Belle-Anne. She becomes obsessed with a delivery boy and has to deal with an over-protective uncle who enjoys teasing her with his schoolboy antics. Liberty-Belle finds she is pining over the delivery boy’s sweater and is able to snuggle with it at night before she dreams about her unusually nerdy love interest. As she’s sleeping her dolls, which represent today’s pop culture, battle with break dancing rats in a “Matrix type” scenario. Later, Liberty Belle and her friends arrive at a shopping mall where there is a pop-lockin’ Arabian dancer at the local coffee shop, Charlie’s Angels practicing Martial Arts and Russian break dancers. As the story unfolds Liberty Belle realizes that her nerdy scholastic love interest is someone other then she thought.

Described by the Palm Beach Post as “powerful and bold” and “a vibrant addition to the dance scene”, ContempraDance Theatre seamlessly blends elements of classical and contemporary styles with a jazzy, “street” verve in bringing its captivating performances to local, national and international audiences.  The company’s eclectic repertoire employs original music, video art, innovative lighting and set designs along with new choreography for maximum audience impact. ContempraDance Theatre’s 15th season will include original choreography by Artistic Director and founder Gail Vartanian and Assistant Director Michelle Jones-Wurtz. The Company sponsors annually Philly’s Dance Collective, a collaboration of top professional Philadelphia dance companies as well as the Youth Regional Dance Festival, a collaboration of pre-professional dance companies from throughout the region. In 1993 Artistic Director Gail Vartanian founded the company in Florida and soon after relocated to the Philadelphia area. The company has toured Poland and performed at various prestigious festivals such as Florida Dance Festival in Tampa, Florida, 2000 Feet World Dance Celebration in Philadelphia, Delaware Dance Festival in Newark, Delaware, Philly Fringe Festival in Philadelphia, International Gala Dance Festival in Finland and Ladek Zdroj International Dance Festival in Poland with performances in Wroslow and Klodzko.

ContempraDance Theatre’s repertoire includes over twenty works ranging from classical modern dance to post-modern multi-media works and the Philly Nutt Crak-Up. In April 2006 the company received its first grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts premiering a multi-media dance work, “Intersect”, involving live original music, video art, dancers and imaginative lighting and set designs. Since then the company has been honored with grants for new works including “TimeDance”, depicting dance, music and costumes through different eras and “LifesCircle”, portraying the evolution of woman and a celebration of life. The company captivates audiences through its artistic innovation and explosive performances year-round both locally and abroad. “Breathtakingly Flawless”, “Vartanian’s brilliant choreography shines,” Suburban Wayne Times.


Philly Nutt Crak-Up performances are December 12 & 13 at 8:00 pm. Matinee performances are December 13, 2:30 pm and December 14, 12:30 & 4:30 pm.  There is a post reception wine & hors d’oeuvres party on Friday, December 12, (price includes the 8:00 performance and post party reception). Meet the Rappin’ SugarPlum Fairy and the crazy Philly-Nutt cast.

Fun for kids! Bring your cameras to our Sunday 12:30 show for a special autograph and photograph session for kids onstage with the cast of the Philly-Nutt-Crak-Up! Your kids get to meet the cast, have programs or posters signed by their favorite characters and kids can take photos with the cast, pictures that’ll give you a smile for years to come!

Children and college students (with ID) $22 Adults $28

Friday evening performance and post-performance wine & hors d’oeuvres reception combo ticket $50.00
Group rates available for organizations and groups of 20 persons or more. For more information call 610.225.3007. Order online at or call the Painted Bride at 215.925.9914 Ext. 1

About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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