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The MeshugaNutcracker! Original Cast Recording

The MeshugaNutcracker! Original Cast Recording
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Guggenheim Entertainment and the National Jewish Theatre Festival are proud to announce the release of the Original Cast Recording of “The MeshugaNutcracker!” After a successful live production run, the cast took to the recording studio to capture the magic of this original Chanukah musical that is destined to become a perennial favorite.

A new musical by Scott Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim, and Stephen Guggenheim, "The MeshugaNutcracker!" is a wondrous and witty original Chanukah celebration for the entire family. Originally presented as a live theatrical event, the charming characters from Chelm folklore burst to life on stage. Now, families can enjoy this original Chanukah musical with a new cast recording, available on CD and for digital download. With music by Tchaikovsky from his Nutcracker Ballet the soundtrack immediately feels familiar, but add in original lyrics and tales of Chanukah from the days of the Maccabees to the year when Israel became a state, the score is transformed into something entirely Jewish, though still delightfully accessible to all who partake. “Members of the tribe” will devour its Jewish artistry and traditions while those who grew up celebrating in December without latkes can hum along to the very familiar Tchaikovsky “Nutcracker” tunes.

Complete with a 24-page, full-color story booklet, "The MeshugaNutcracker!" Original Cast Recording is a full-length musical comedy that features the wonderfully silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (the fictional town of fools) underscored by an invigorating, Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, now with original lyrics that celebrate Chanukah. Judah Maccabee's triumphant saga, medieval fables, and accounts of perseverance during the Holocaust as well as the celebration of the first Chanukah in the new state of Israel emerge with a genuine sense of wonder as the Chelmniks tell eight stories that pay tribute to the holiday. Add in dancing dreidels, singing sufganiot (jelly doughnuts), and audience participation and you have the perfect recipe, (not unlike the one for your Bubbe's latkes!), for a perfect holiday gathering. Some might call it crazy...we call it, The MeshugaNutcracker!

This beautifully produced album is the perfect gift for family, friends, teachers, Jewish community volunteers - everyone will love this recording of the musical the Los Angeles Times calls “an enchanting festival of light-hearted glee and meaningful warmth.” John Rothmann of ABC/KGO Radio says of the production, “Light! Happy! Fun! Joyful! An explosion of ideas! So creative. You are in for a treat! It’s a marvelous production! Something completely original. The story of Chanukah told to the music of Tchaikovsky. It’s absolutely marvelous! Chanukah is even more special because of them.”

The recording artists are Stephen Guggenheim and Susan Gundunas as Gronam and Esther Schmegegi, the Mayor and First Lady of Chelm; Shannon Guggenheim and Jeremy Kreamer as Treitel Schlamazel and Velvel Schnook; Benjamin Pither as Rabbi Motke Schmerel; Hilary Little as Rivka Schmuel, the Dairywoman; Jackson Davis as Yacob Schlemiel, the Farmer; and Krista Wigle as Yetta Schmendrick, the bakeshop owner. This absolutely joyful musical event is directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim, with music adapted, lyrics, and choreography by Shannon Guggenheim; musical direction and arrangements by Stephen Guggenheim and Thomas Tomasello; and production design by Julie Engelbrecht.


1 The Prologue
2 Welcome
3 The Dance of the Chanukiah
4 This Is A Menorah
5 Judah's Gift
6 Little Matchstick
7 Golden Latkes
8 Entr'acte
9 A Dreidel For Tikvah
10 Dance Of The Dreidels
11 Even Here
12 The Story Of Judah Maccabee
13 Chanukah Medley
14 Goodbye
15 Finale
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