The dancers were laughing stage left at the Von Braun Center concert hall.
They could not help themselves.
No one knew what was unfolding on the stage, not even the dancers of Nutcracker Gone Wild. All of the dancers had been performing The Nutcracker for days. Today, after the one final performance of the popular Christmas classic, the dancers were allowed to be free.
During Nutcracker Gone Wild, the dancers of the Nutcracker are allowed to improvise, but to the score of the original Nutcracker.
It includes everything, but not limited to: a cowboy proposing to a cowgirl, a pregnant dancer, drinks being swerved, and in the middle of the performance Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning pronounced a character dead after a shooting on the stage. All of this was reported by Erin Dacy live on television and there was also in impromptu weather report from Gary Dobbs after which he was escorted off stage by security. Needless to say, there was almost constant laughter from the audience and the actors were having fun doing improv after a number of Nutcracker performances.
The audience, which filled about a third of the concert hall, laughed as much as the dancers. The unexpected turns, including an impromptu magic act in the middle of the show, kept the audience wondering just what might happen next.
The dancers even played on the sports fans in the audience with the mice wearing Auburn logos and the toy soldiers wearing Alabama’s signature red A. The audience responded appropriately.
In the end, everyone laughed.
The dancers reveled in the joy of improvisation in a show many of them have been doing for years. The audience was at the edge of their seats trying to figure out what might happen next, because the Nutcracker had obviously cracked.