Contemporary Ballet Theater Axelrod brings family favorite “The Nutcracker Rocks” to life from December 11-19


(OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ) – Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) returns home to the 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 conceived by the artistic director of AXCBT, Gabriel Chajnik. Based on Tchaikovsky’s beloved sheet music, “The Nutcracker Rocks”, features a reworked rock sheet music by Alex Levine and Alex Rosamilia of The Gaslight Anthem. The gas hymn, a popular New Jersey rock band from New Brunswick, NJ.

Josh Canfield plays Uncle Dross

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

Nutcracker scene
“The Nutcracker Rocks” runs December 11-19.

With a script updated by Reuben Jackson and Jason Cohen, “The Nutcracker Rocks” follows bored teenager Clara, who has to endure her family’s posh holiday party on the Upper East Side until her eccentric uncle. Dross shows up with his rock music, his 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 holiday season is fast approaching and many families are looking to bring their pets on their trip. This is a great time to update vaccinations before vacation travel begins. Call today to make an appointment. (732) 291-4400

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

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

When: From December 11 to 19, 2021 (see link below for timetables)

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 the Axelrod Performing Arts Center with performances at Axelrod PAC located in Deal Park, NJ, and Bell Works in Holmdel. Axelrod PAC produces a series of professional theatrical productions annually, 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 shows and events at

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