October 17, 2017

Kick Off the Holiday Season with a Nutcracker 1776 Performance and Chocolate-Making Demos

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 16, 2017 — Experience the magical holiday classic The Nutcracker ballet with a Revolutionary twist! Rising stars from Philadelphia’s The Rock School for Dance Education will perform scenes from the Nutcracker 1776, an adaption of the original ballet, combining Tchaikovsky's timeless musical score with Philadelphia's revolutionary past. 

The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4 from Noon – 4 p.m. at the Museum of the American Revolution. Shane Confectionery, the Berley Brothers’ old-fashioned candy shop located in Old City Philadelphia, also will join the Museum for chocolate-making demonstrations. The festivities are free with regular Museum admission.

Throughout the day, the Museum’s Cross Keys Café will offer special holiday treats for purchase, including holiday cookies and Shane’s Hot Cocoa. For adults, the café will offer specialty winter beverages such as a Peppermint Mocha Latte with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Eggnog Latte with Spiced Rum, and Traditional Hot Toddies.

At 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m.,  a dozen dancers from The Rock School, including those playing Thomas Jefferson, General Mouse Howe, and Abby and Johnny (Clara and the prince), will perform a 20-minute battle scene from the ballet in historically-inspired costumes in the Museum’s Patriots Gallery. The dancers also will pose for photo opportunities with visitors.

At 1, 2, and 3 p.m., chocolate maker Kevin Paschall from Shane Confectionery will demonstrate how to grind house-roasted cacao on a stone metate (traditional Central American grinding stone), which he will then steep to make cacao tea, a Mayan-inspired brewed cacao drink that was enjoyed in Colonial America. Visitors can sample pieces of a Benjamin Jackson bar, which is made to emulate the stone-ground chocolate that would have been available in 18th-century Philadelphia. Jackson was a chocolate maker with a shop located just around the corner from Shane at Letitia Place, where he had a stone mill that he used to grind cocoa and mustard seeds. 

The Rock School’s full performance of Nutcracker 1776 will take place at the Merriam Theater on Nov. 24 – 25. Tickets and more information are available here.

About the Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, letters, diaries, and works of art. Immersive galleries, theater experiences, and recreated historical environments bring to life the events, people, and ideals of our nation’s founding and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, Carpenters’ Hall, and Franklin Court, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.

About Shane Confectionery
Shane Confectionery is the oldest continuously-run confectionery in the United States, established in 1863.  The Shane family took over the business in 1911, installing elaborately carved woodwork, stained glass and curved windows to showcase the chocolates and confections made onsite.  Ninety-nine years later, in 2010, the business transitioned to the Berley Brothers who own the nearby Franklin Fountain, who embarked on a meticulous restoration of the building and business. Candies and bean-to-bar chocolate continue to be made on-site, with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients, seasonal specialties, and old-fashioned quality.

About The Rock School for Dance Education
With dedication to enriching the lives of young, aspiring dancers, The Rock School is one of the nation’s premier institutions for ballet and dance training, offering classes and activities from ages two through pre-professional careers for over 50 years. Internationally recognized, The Rock School has been selected as “Outstanding School” for an unprecedented eleven consecutive years at Youth America Grand Prix, the largest ballet competition in the world, and has placed dancers in every major ballet company in the world, in film, and on Broadway.