This time of year, we’re bombarded by “Nutcracker” news. Every ballet school in the
county state country world universe multiverse produces the Christmas classic. It takes a lot to cut through the clutter.
Lila Doromal does.
The 5th grader attends Pierrepont School in Westport. On December 22 and 23, she’ll take the Westport Country Playhouse stage to dance the role of Clara (also called Marie).
Most people know Clara as Caucasian. In fact, the whole world of ballet is largely white.
But recently the New York City Ballet made headlines by casting their first African American Clara/Marie.
Now the Playhouse is breaking barriers too.
Lila is Indian and Filipino. She studies at the Greenwich Conservatory of Classical Ballet (and with the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive). At Pierrepont she takes modern and West African dance.
Her fellow Greenwich Conservatory dancers — and guest artists from, among others, New York Dance Theater and the European School of Ballet– are presenting the WCP show.
It’s set for Sunday, December 22 (4 p.m.) and Monday, December 23 (12:30 and 3:30 p.m.). Click here for tickets to this groundbreaking — and not-like-all-the-others — “Nutcracker.”
Meanwhile, the Westport Country Playhouse is gearing up for another holiday treat — with another hometown twist.
This Saturday (December 14, 7 p.m.), their Holiday Benefit Concert features Clay Singer.
The 2013 Staples High School grad, who starred in many Players shows, is well known to Playhouse fans. He appeared last year in “Man of La Mancha”; the year before, he went on with 2 hours’ notice in “Romeo and Juliet.”
Clay earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and is now an Equity professional.
He loves appearing on his “local” stage, before audiences filled with family and friends. They provide him with special energy, he says.
Everyone who performs at the Playhouse knows its history — but having grown up in Westport, realizing he is following in the literal footsteps of giants like James Earl Jones, Gene Wilder, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, adds special meaning.
The show is hosted by Tony Award winner (and Fairfield resident) Joanna Gleason, and includes other Playhouse favorites. They’ll perform a variety of old and new holiday favorites.