I just watched Maurice Béjart's Nutcracker
and it was stunning. I was stunned. It was really well performed, but I also just really got a kick out of what he decided to do with the premise, at least in part for the WTF factor.
I have to share:
First, Clara isn't actually a character in this version: the only kid is Fritz. It's set in the 1920s. And Drosselmeyer is quite the swinging gentleman, possibly related to Tony Stark. Keeping in mind that this is a ballet rather than a play, so a great many happenings are up for interpretation, I think the plot went something along the lines of:
Drosselmeyer had Christmas with his sister and her son, and then went out for a night of celebration in a very fancy red light district, with a sex club as the first stop. Unbeknownst to him, his nephew Fritz followed him. Luckily Fritz is way too young to understand what's going on and thus skips around the other dancers looking bemused at these strange adults but perfectly happy to play with some of them. Then Drosselmeyer discovers him and is torn: does he cut his night short and return the boy to his family or does he continue on with his plans?
He compromises: they leave the sex club and head to a burlesque show (which includes all the international dances). At this point, the mother arrives. Fritz is having such a good time, though, that she stays to supervise. Drosselmeyer is having a good time getting up on stage and interacting with the performers (definitely related to Tony Stark.) Fritz is having a ludicrously innocent time, running around waving the sword he has acquired, not noticing how all the other men on stage are suggestively fondling their own swords. And the mother gets drawn into a dance with a couple of drag queens and a drag king, winding up with the drag king.
Everybody has a fun time. Me especially, trying to stifle my laughter since I'm watching on my computer using headphones.
This is, just, awesomely hilarious.
I had to share.