Laura Vernaci, KCMetropolis.org
It was fun to say goodbye to the traditional and expected concepts for a night, and embrace this classic tale with a delightful and touching twist.
After seeing The Nutcracker & the Mouse King, presented by the Owen/Cox Dance Group Friday night to a sold out house at the H&R Block City Stage Theater, the visions in my head will be of slightly different characters. Rather than sugar plums and the accustomed Nutcracker, I might instead dream of a hot pink burlesque Sugar Plum, danced by the ever-so-amusing Jennifer Owen. Or Mark Southerland’s version of the seven-horned Mouse King, aptly named for his bounty of instruments, and not to be confused with protruding head growths. It was fun to say goodbye to the traditional and expected concepts for a night, and embrace this classic tale with a delightful and touching twist.
Ann Spivak, The Kansas City Star
If the “Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by the Owen/Cox Dance Group and the People’s Liberation Big Band were simply a twisted take on the classic ballet, I doubt there’d be much to savor.
But this production has it all — great jazz reworkings of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky melodies (a delight to listen to), top-notch dancers (Christopher Barksdale makes a splendid and scary Drosselmeier), a suspenseful story and fanciful costumes and designs by Peregrine Honig, Peggy Noland and Mark Southerland, which make the stage at Union Station pop with color and life.