Written by Karen Long

Turning Tchaikovsky on
his head

Rappers, break dancers, an electric violinist and a romance set in 1980s Brooklyn combine with Tchaikovsky's beloved score to form a new production, Hip Hop Nutcracker, coming to the Orpheum Theatre on Dec. 20. Mallory Rine of the Orpheum says that both hip hop acts and cross-genre events have been enthusiastically received by Wichita audiences, so this Nutcracker mash-up promises something exceptional for hip hop enthusiasts and Tchaikovsky aficionados alike.

The production begins with the legendary Kurtis Blow rapping the intro to the story, and then explodes into high-energy hip hop and break dancing and tumbling, all telling the story of the romance between Maria-Clara and her prince, Myron, on New Year's Eve.

Maria-Clara is danced by Ann-Sylvia Clark, The Nutcracker by Josue Figueroa and Drosselmeyer by SHEstreet. "The set is minimal," says Rine, "but the audience can expect the familiar dramatic effect of a growing Christmas tree." Where sugarplums meet scratching and mouse soldiers meet b-boys you'll find a whole new holiday tradition.

For tickets see

Raise a glass ornament to
the season

Plump as a pomegranate, cloudy as a nebula, iridescent as a dragonfly's wing or swirled as a galaxy the color and texture of the ornament you create at Karg Art Glass in Kechi during the holidays is up to you. Throughout this month, for $30 you can take part in the Blow Your Own Ornament event, watch glassblowers at work and enjoy the Glorious Glass show taking place at the same time.

According to Rollin Karg at Karg Art Glass, thousands of Wichita families have made this a holiday tradition over the past seven years. "This is an absolutely fun project and a great keepsake gift for all ages. It's your own breath that gets encased in the glass for future generations," he says. Karg Art Glass has 12 glorious shades to choose from, and you can combine up to four of those hues with a speckled or swirled effect, "so the color possibilities are tremendous!" Call the shop at 316.744.2442 to make an appointment, or just walk in to create a unique holiday memento.

For more information visit or call 316.744.2442. Blow Your Own Ornament takes place every day this month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., except Wednesdays and Sundays. Closed on Dec. 25.

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