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A Kansas Nutcracker - with Mandolins

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inline imageLet's just get the jokes right out in the open. I live in Kansas, and you can guarantee I've heard all the jokes about this state. It's all true.

I've been to the world's largest ball of twine, the world's largest prairie dog, the world's deepest hand-dug well... and the concrete Garden of Eden, these, our pitiful most laughed about tourist destinations and the butt of endless jokes. No, thank you, I haven't met Dorothy.

But we do the Nutcracker with mandolins in the orchestra. How cool is that?

A Kansas Nutcracker, a themed version of Tchaikovsky's set in territorial Lawrence, Kansas in the 1800s. 12-piece orchestra conducted by Jeff Dearinger includes Beth Dearinger and Scott Tichenor on mandolins and Charles Higginson on mandola and mandocello.

The show opens at a barn party in 1854 Kansas. The party is at the Drosselmeier home. Mr. Drosselmeier's one wish is that no one discuss slavery, temperance or abolition. As various groups of people show up at the party, including orphans, Delaware Indians and a family of Missouri ruffians, they perform delightful barn dances waiting for the arrival of Godfather Drosselmeier.

Performances: December 12, 13, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. and December 14 and 21 at 2:00 p.m.

It's not the hardest music I've every played, but the sheer volume--we do the entire score--makes for a pretty intense evening of music. This is the third time I've done this production, the first being 2002 and 2003 and I'm happy to be a part of it once again. Sorry, tablature not included. When you sit down for this one, you have to be able to read well and follow a conductor. I knew those years of playing trombone would eventually pay off.
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