Contemporary ballet

Axelrod’s Contemporary Ballet Theater brings family favorite ‘The Nutcracker Rocks’ to life December 11-19

(OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ) — Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) returns home Axelrod Performing Arts Center on December 11 to begin his series of “The Nutcracker rocks, a family favorite annual holiday tradition.

This contemporary adaptation of the ballet was designed by AXCBT’s artistic director, Gabriel Chajnik. Based on Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, “The Nutcracker Rocks,” features a revamped rock score by Alex Levine and Alex Rosamilia of The Gaslight Anthem. The Gaslight Anthema popular rock band from New Jersey originally from New Brunswick, NJ.

Josh Canfield as Uncle Dross

Playing the lead role in Uncle Dross is Broadway’s Josh Canfield, once a cast member of NBC’s Survivor. “I was so excited that I was asked to join ‘The Nutcracker Rocks’ at Axelrod, because to be honest, I never thought I’d be in The Nutcracker for the very obvious reason that I don’t I’m not a ballet dancer. But Gabriel, our director, did an amazing job with the writers of the book to improve the story… Add some fun additions to the Gaslight Anthem score and I can guarantee audiences are ready for a real holiday treat that will be fun and festive for the whole family.

Nutcracker Scene
“The Nutcracker Rocks” runs from December 11-19.

With an updated script by Reuben Jackson and Jason Cohen, “The Nutcracker Rocks” follows a bored teenager, Clara, who must endure her family’s posh holiday party on the Upper East Side until her eccentric uncle Dross shows up with his rock music, magic toys, and a special gift for Clara. He then transports Clara to a magical land – the Jersey Shore – where the traditional Land of Sweets is a candy store in Asbury Park.

Other Jersey Shore contributors include associate choreographer Dylan Pearce (Point Pleasant), whose credits include assistant choreographer for the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” Other collaborators include costume designer Jose Solis and set designer Fred Sorrentino.



The fully staged and costumed production features the company’s professional members and AXCBT apprentices. “The Nutcracker Rocks” runs from December 11-19.

*All audience members (12 and over) must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed by a medical provider within 72 hours of the performance start time. Masks are still required in the arts center. Tickets range from $48 to $56, with exclusive student discounts. Group rates are also available for groups of ten or more.

When: December 11-19, 2021 (see link below for times)

Or: Axelrod PAC, 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, NJ 07723

Handicapped accessible and offers ample free parking on site.


Box office: 732-531-9106

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater is a program of Axelrod Performing Arts Center with performances at Axelrod PAC located in Deal Park, NJ, and Bell Works in Holmdel. Axelrod’s CAP produces a series of professional theater productions per year, including musicals, concerts and student productions. A 501c3 organization, the Axelrod PAC receives major funding for its programs from the NJ State Arts Council.

Learn more about the Axelrod Performing Arts Center and their upcoming performances and events at

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