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Nutcracker Rouge

Members say: Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing
26 reviews
72 reviews

Company XIV brings back its modern riff on the classic holiday tale that's a hedonistic fusion of nightlife and theater.

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This sexy reimagining of 'The Nutcracker' is infused with elements of opera, circus, vaudeville, and burlesque, and is told with erotic, sensual, and opulent flair. The wide-eyed heroine is now an adult named Marie Claire, and the world she discovers is a wintry realm of half-naked dancers and acrobats, gyrating and performing physical stunts that send her into a state of ecstasy.


Cast & Creatives (28)

Reviews (98)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

for a previous production "If the plain old 'Nutcracker' causes you to zone out, this one will surely wake you up...The show looks at times like an adults-only Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, with trapeze acts and other athletic displays...But Mr. McCormick has much grander ambitions than a 'Nutcracker' under the big top or a bawdy parody. The cast is full of classically trained dancers, and when he turns them loose, the result can be dazzling." Full Review


for a previous production "This show has everything: Vivaldi, circus performance, S&M, The French Revolution. These are all compelling elements on their own, but can too many good things in one show turn bad? Rather than wowing me with delicious stage spectacle, 'Nutcracker Rouge' gave me a theatrical tummy ache with its unfocused pastiche. It isn't sexy. The secret to happy indulgence really is moderation. The secret to good burlesque? Restraint." Full Review


for a previous production "Although eroticism flavors every aspect of his creations the textures and levels of excitement, romance and humor he achieves through dance, burlesque, gymnastics, non-traditional storytelling and an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary music is unmatched in terms of elegance and sophistication...Sometimes a little kinky, often hedonistic, it is, above all, quite tasteful and beautiful. An enchanting evening of adult fun." Full Review

Time Out New York

for a previous production "A lavish erotic reimagining of a classic holiday tale...'Nutcracker Rouge' is the perfect hot date: a rated-R riff on the tale...These delectable divas and the rest make for a savory mix of sweet, spicy and salty. For a winter treat that will get you in the mood but not cloy the palate, 'Nutcracker Rouge' does the trick." Full Review

Time Out New York

for a previous production "Austin McCormick and his risqué neo-Baroque dance theater Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of the classic holiday tale, complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity. Definitely leave the kids at home: The word nutcracker has customarily conjured innocent wonder; now be ready to add glitter pasties, stripper poles and comically large stuffed penises to the, shall we say, toys to expect in wonderland." Full Review

The Huffington Post

for a previous production "It's a deliciously decadent, sumptuously erotic tale, which retains Tchaikovsky's soaring music, but adds several pop tunes, accompanied by Austin McCormick's glorious choreography. There are several scenes so exquisite it will bring tears to your eyes…The dance ensemble is as eye-popping for their physiques as their talent...The company and direction astound. And the climax will take your breath away. There is one essential on any holiday list: a trip to 'Nutcracker Rouge.'" Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

for a previous production "Until the orgy with a giant stuffed phallus the show stays sensual and carnal and less lascivious and vulgar. At times it borders on the S&M, '50 Shades of Grey' side, where anything goes...XIV takes burlesque and showcases it as one hell or heavenly sexual entertainment where talent is exhibited with a flourish." Full Review

Theater In The Now

for a previous production "The production is a stunning spectacle. 'Nutcracker Rouge' is an aesthetic wonderland of color and splendor...If you’re looking for something that will put you in the festive spirit 'Nutcracker Rouge' is definitely for you. Even if a sexy night at the theater is not your cup of tea, you’ll still have your sweet tooth satisfied." Full Review


for a previous production "Company creator Austin McCormick is the visionary who conceived this event. Mr. McCormick’s wild choreography and his energetic direction make for an enthralling spectacle of numerous Baroque hijinks celebrating sensuality…The good-natured eroticism of 'Nutcracker Rouge' is showcased in this playfully decadent presentation that’s terrific adult merriment during the holiday season." Full Review

Bob's Theater Blog

for a previous production "It could just as easily be 3 C’s — circus, cabaret and camp. It does not earn a fourth C for coherence...The attempt to graft some of the excellent acrobatic routines onto the Nutcracker story are strained, to to put it mildly. The 14 scantily-clad cast members are talented performers who provide lots of eye candy... Both men and women wear high-heeled pointy baroque shoes — and often very little else. Strangely, the show is not very sexy." Full Review

Woman Around Town

for a previous production "Austin McCormick’s rollicking, risqué interpretation of 'The Nutcracker' is smart, fun, metaphoric, and marvelous to look at...All is unequivocally entertaining, well performed, and often a hoot...Perfectly concocted for limited attention spans, the piece moves from one scene to another with an audacious shrug. Thespians are in the moment, each and every one with an appropriate expression." Full Review


for a previous production "This bare, beautiful cast do their best in this retooling of the Nutcracker story filled with erotic dance, sexy acrobatics and music. 'Nutcracker Rouge' is playful and beautifully performed. It is a perfect alternative to the routine family entertainments. And, let’s face it, it’s always nice to gaze at beautiful, talented people." Full Review


for a previous production "It’s a glorious blast of beautiful adult fun...The technical achievements in three dimensions are of a very high caliber, without being ostentatious...For dance aficionados, lovers of the comfortably outlandish, and anyone who appreciates spectacular creativity!" Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "Fans of both holiday festivities and burlesque will surely be delighted...Despite a few lulls and some banality, the evening is mostly a delightful fantasy romp...Whatever was lacking in writing, the actors and Serena Miller’s wonderful musical arrangements more than made up." Full Review

Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "If we have nothing to absorb us emotionally, no compelling story to hold our attention, our minds wander, picking at flaws here and there–flaws which in a moving show might well have been overlooked. This is the case with the visually beautiful but unsatisfying 'Nutcracker Rogue,' a dark, sexual burlesque reimagining of 'The Nutcracker.' Full Review

Perez Hilton

for a previous production "'The Nutcracker Rouge" is a true delight of the senses! Mainly centered around dance it also seamlessly and quite effectively incorporates acrobatics, comedy, song and more!" Full Review

New York Theatre Review

for a previous production "'Nutcracker Rouge' is a work of fine art rooted equally in theatrical tradition and iconoclasm. The melange of theatrical styles, all framed with the burlesque sensibility, gives a mature glance to all facets of sexuality...Performance highlights make themselves endlessly present, outshining any possible cracks in the facade with a magician’s sleight of hand." Full Review

Edge New York

for a previous production "It’s a sexy, silly, thrilling and very, very enjoyable mash-up of baroque, ballet and burlesque, pas de deus and pole dancing. Above all, it’s entertaining...The tiniest smidgeon of context would have transformed the wonderful performances into something greater than themselves...If all of this sounds like too much, it is. But then again, so is the 'Nutcracker.'" Full Review


for a previous production "Brassy, irreverent, naughty, whimsical, and delightfully creative...From terrific singer Shelly Watson‘s grandiose take on Madame Drosselmeyer right down to the dedicated ensemble members who bare more than their unique talents, it’s a fantastical feast for the eyes...This is one unified troupe of gifted players that demand you sit up and pay attention. Take your cue from them and enjoy this holiday spectacle while you can still grab a ringside seat." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

for a previous production "The piece as a whole is stronger in Act II and my suspicion is that’s due in part to the fact that 'Nutcracker Rouge' relies more heavily on its source material and the music of Tchaikovsky in its latter half. With so many sources of inspiration- the narrative of the classic ballet tale grounds the show preventing it from spinning off its axis into a Lady Gaga-Louis XIV-gender-bending-burlesque flavored fever dream." Full Review

Brightest Young Things

for a previous production "The erotic numbers soared while the Baroque-inspired pieces did not...Come for the performances—from Cirque-like dance to Lana Del Rey-like singing—and stay for the libations served before, during, and after the show. And good news: the show was just extended. And where better to spend one of those romantic dates you promised yourself you’d have in 2015?" Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "You need to go see Company XIV’s 'Nutcracker Rogue' (unless you’re bringing children or you’re a prude). The highly designed, ingeniously staged, and endlessly entertaining reimagining of 'The Nutcracker' is decadent, debaucherous, and delicious...This is an incredible show by an incomparable company, stunning to look at, gorgeous to watch, and unfailingly entertaining." Full Review

Theater Life

for a previous production "'Nutcracker Rouge' is a sparkling reimagining of the beloved Nutcracker tale told with erotic, sensual and opulent flair. Award-winning director/choreographer Austin McCormick creates a baroque-burlesque confection of theatre, dance, music, circus, opera, fashion and sumptuous design as you immerse yourself in a hedonistic display of gorgeous and decadent winter entertainment. Nutcracker Rouge is a thrillingly unique fusion of nightlife and theatre." Full Review

Stage Buddy

for a previous production "Hailed all over New York as a holiday wonder, 'Nutcracker Rouge' truly lives up to its reputation. Part circus, part dance, and part opera Austin McCormick’s creation brings together all corners of the theatrical world into one voluminous, sexy, opulent, and overall spectacular evening...Mr. McCormick’s brainchild is at once dramatic, technical, hilarious, and kinky, and all aspects of 'Nutcracker Rouge' are enormously successful." Full Review

Stage Buddy

for a previous production "Fun, dark, mysterious, and full of skin-tingling, breath-taking, and eye-catching acts... So many luscious moments exist within this production. Audience members stare, mouths agape and eyes wide, at its riches -- much like our protagonist, Marie Claire, as she enters the Kingdom of Sweets where sensuality and sexuality are explored and celebrated." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Beautiful, Great singing, Great staging, Great dancing, Sensuous

See it if you love beautiful people dancing exquisitely. Best edition of Nutcracker Rouge to date. They fill the wide stage astonishingly with joy.

Don't see it if you expect a play or a traditional Nutcracker. Although this is all dance using music and ideas from the Nutcracker it is not for children

Clever, Edgy, Raunchy, Obscene

See it if Like off-color edgy productions; many funny parts but shocked by excessively violent raunchy portions.Greatly enjoyed other shows by group

Don't see it if object to repeated violent sex, often graphically depicted--and seen as if funny

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Must see, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a spectacular holiday extravaganza! It is an incredible combo of camp, music, dance, talent, glitter, and theatrical Magic!

Don't see it if you have a problem with nudity. This is Burlesque, so it's Risqué. Otherwise, this show is utter perfection! RUN, don't walk to see it!

Bawdy, silly, irreverent fun., Very talented cast who seem to love what they do., Entertaining and clever., Lots of creative genius here., A good evening out.

See it if Ballet/opera/circus/jazz/pole-dancing in pasties and g-strings sounds like fun. This show is suggestive and sly, with highly skilled cast.

Don't see it if You are straight-laced and don't want to see partial nudity and gender-fluid spectacle, and if these descriptions make you cringe.

Raunchy, Entertaining, Sexy, Sumptuous, Saucy

See it if you enjoy burlesque and cabaret-style shows in a nightclub atmosphere and are bored with typical holiday nutcracker shows.

Don't see it if you are a prude or a purist.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Masterful, Must see, Romantic

See it if Boys & Girls ... I see a lot of theater. A lot. Nutcracker Rouge by Company XIV may be the finest show I have ever seen in NY! Perfection!

Don't see it if You'd be an absolute fool not to see this out of this world staging! Their finest production to date! I cried 5 times due to beauty alone!

Ambitious, Enchanting, Raunchy, Entertaining, Amazing acrobatics

See it if you enjoy a very talented and exhibitionist cast preform great, creative and unique numbers of various songs, dance and acrobatics.

Don't see it if you need a clear plot and/or are offended by partial nudity and simulated sex acts.

Also This show is a lot of fun, but leave the kids home. It's not your gran... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Exquisite, Must see

See it if You love sex appeal, glitter, and arialists with your Christmas stories.

Don't see it if You're looking for a classic retelling of the nutcraker.

Absorbing, Delightful, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy a fun burlesque show mingled with the classic Nutcracker Suite. Beautiful costumes, amazing dancing with great tricks. Inexpensive

Don't see it if you're not into burlesque shows. Not just ladies, either, so if you're uncomfortable with glitter thongs, this is not for you.

Enchanting, Quirky, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like stylish burlesque, truly impressive singing & dancing acts, gender-bending performance, sexy & chill atmosphere, gorgeous costume

Don't see it if you prefer linear & clear narrative, you're not comfortable with even minimal immersion/interaction with the audience, if nudity offends you

Edgy, Disappointing, Boring, raunchy, tasteless,

See it if you are desirate to see some flesh

Don't see it if you want to enjoy the Nutcracker music

Clever, Delightful, Exquisite, Indulgent, Sexy

See it if you enjoy ballet, opera & pop, cabaret, fabulous sparkly costumes & a great talented near naked cast dancing, singing & doing acrobatics.

Don't see it if you are expecting a traditional Nutcracker, or even a parody of it, or if you are turned off by hilarious depictions of sex and seduction.

Also This is decidedly not your grandmother's Nutcracker! Part ballet, part... Read more Read less

Funny, Entertaining, Great dancing, Beautiful singing, Cabaret fun

See it if you like a loose-cabaret-risqué version of The Nutcracker, with wonderful singing, fantastic dancing, fun costumes, and circus acrobatics.

Don't see it if you are sensitive to skin, pasties, codpieces and thongs. The show is a bit risqué but not raunchy.

Absorbing, Delightful, Exquisite, Sexy, Whimsical

See it if you love ballet, opera, and acrobatics, and would love them all together and served up by an energetic troupe clad in sparkly g-strings.

Don't see it if you are offended by nudity, or are expecting a fairly faithful Nutcracker adaptation minus a few clothes (modern music is mixed in).

Also It may just be that I caught the high of the closing performance, but ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you are looking for an eccentric departure from the traditional Tchaikovsky - Balanchine Nutcracker.

Don't see it if Felt too ambitious. The use of modern songs, felt jarring at times.

Also It's impressive that one acrobat sang an operatic version of a Sia son... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if its a good show

Don't see it if you dont like long shows

Enchanting, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if You like circus and dramatic performance in an adult taste of a holiday classic

Don't see it if If you are looking for a traditional holiday show

Delightful, Refreshing, Great writing, Dated, Entertaining

See it if you like a classic

Don't see it if hate Christmas

Funny, Clever, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy dancing and beautiful costumes.

Don't see it if you are easily offended by nudity or are not open to a burlesque interpretation of The Nutcracker.

Also Loved everything about it! Perfect for near the holidays (we saw it ar... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You have a deep fascination and enjoyment of fairy tales or classic ballet dance with a hint of magical mystery

Don't see it if You attest magical beauty or the art of dancing

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if It was great

Don't see it if n/a

Delightful, Edgy, Raunchy, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Costumes and scenery delight you You enjoy sensational dancing

Don't see it if You're easily offended/don't enjoy partial nudity

Also One of the best shows I've seen this year!

Ambitious, Raunchy

See it if you like circus act dancing

Don't see it if you don't like ballet.

Also interesting setting- a converted church


See it if Great

Don't see it if You don't like music

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Must see

See it if you like the arts

Don't see it if You don't like ballets