Michael Gagliardo, Conductor Linze Rickles McRae, Choreographer Etowah Youth Orchestras Downtown Dance Conservatory In 2008, composer and arranger Mike Gagliardo and choreographer Linze Rickles McRae began talking about collaborating for a performance of "The Nutcracker" with their respective organizations, the Etowah Youth Orchestras and the Downtown Dance Conservatory. However, Gagliardo and McRae agreed on one thing - that this version of the famous holiday classic should be like no other. At first the talk was of a "rock and roll Nutcracker," in the style of the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. However, the project soon morphed into something bigger - a new take on the show that would encompass every form of popular music from the 1920's to the present time. Gagliardo and McRae selected a representative portion of the music from the original work, maintaining the integrity of the original show while creating a production that would be both audience- and performer-friendly. From there, each selection became a different style. "Trepak" turned into a hard-swinging big band number, a la Buddy Rich. "Sugar Plum Fairy" became a soulful ballad straight out of Memphis and Stax Records. The Overture turned into straight-ahead rock and roll. "Mirlitons" tuned into western swing. And just like that, "Le Casse-noix Moderne" was born - a retrospective of modern music and dance, with all of the magic and familiarity of the timeless holiday classic! Tickets on sale now!