Fourth-Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award Goes to Debbie Allen Dance Academy "Hot Chocolate Nutcracker"

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Named Best Loved Nutcracker Production in US for 2010. Staring Jaleel White, Carlo Imperato, and Debbie Allen. Featuring Raven Symone as Myrtle the Mouse Queen. Original Score by Mariah Carey, Arturo Sandoval, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, James Ingram, Shiamak Davar and Thump

The Nutty Award is given annaully to the best loved Nutcracker in the US

Goldstar announces today the winner of the 2010 Goldstar National Nutcracker Award, honoring the best Nutcracker production as voted by Goldstar members across the country. And The Nutty Award goes to...Debbie Allen Dance Academy for The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at Royce Hall at UCLA. This fresh take on the classic Nutcracker tradition beat out 43 others productions to be named the best loved Nutcracker in the country and has earned a cash prize for education programs.

Allen says that she is, "Just over the moon to receive the news that our Production has been voted by the theater going audiences this years' winner of the Nutty Award. Incredible! The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker proved to be an amazing platform that energized my wonderful cast, creative teammates and the audiences to new levels of expression and creativity. There were times when I couldn't tell the dancers from the dance. We will use the money to start the seeds of raising funds to bring more young audiences and families to see our performance which will be ‘back by demand.’ Thank you, Goldstar members.”

The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker centers around Kara Johnson, a spirited young girl who receives a nutcracker filled with hot chocolate for the holidays. Falling into a deep sleep, Kara embarks on a mystical, magical journey from Candy Cane Lane to the Land of the China Dolls, Bourbon Street and Bollywood. Three wisecracking rats narrate the story: Harvey (Carlo Imperato), Schmink (Jaleel White) and Buckey (Ms. Allen herself). The show features an original score by Mariah Carey, Arturo Sandoval, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, James Ingram, Shiamak Davar and Thump. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this performance will benefit the children of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and the greater Los Angeles community.

“On behalf of our members, Goldstar congratulates Debbie Allen Dance Academy for the achievement of winning this year’s Goldstar National Nutcracker Award,” said Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar. “The award represents the collective opinion not just of a handful of critics but of hundreds of Goldstar members who've been to see a performance, and for that reason it really means a lot to win it.”
Debbie Allen Dance Academy will be added to an impressive list of past Goldstar National Nutcracker Award winners:

  •     2007 - The House Theatre of Chicago at Steppenwolf Theatre with their theatrical re-imagined version of The Nutcracker. House Theatre designated the award money to their On The House program, which provides tickets and transportation to disadvantaged audiences in Chicago.
  •     2008 – The Kirov Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre, presented by Dance at the Music Center in Los Angeles took home the gold. The award money was earmarked to support ongoing efforts to bring student audiences to experience dance.
  •     2009 – Boston Ballet for their performances at the The Boston Opera House. The prize money was designated to the Boston Ballet School and its extensive and nationally renowned community outreach programs.

The Goldstar National Nutcracker Award is determined by only those Goldstar members who have purchased tickets to see The Nutcracker through Goldstar and have submitted user reviews and event ratings. The Goldstar National Nutcracker Award winner will receive a monetary gift for education programs and the designation of the best loved Nutcracker in the country.

World’s Largest Source of User Reviews of Live Entertainment
In response to a Goldstar survey, Goldstar members said they consider websites with user reviews the most important source of information for evaluating a purchase and that they trust user reviews over newspaper reviews of live entertainment by a considerable margin. The Goldstar user review system has hundreds of thousands of written reviews and event ratings. In fact, 62 percent of respondents said they would be “very likely” to seek out a website with user reviews, which is more than for any other information source, compared to just 25 percent for newspapers and magazines, or even 52 and 59 percent, respectively, for the product’s website or a knowledgeable friend.
To ensure the authenticity of the user feedback and the integrity of this year’s “Nutty” award winner, only those Goldstar members who have actually purchased tickets are able to post reviews, rants, and raves on the site. Therefore, the feedback is “astroturf”-free.

About Debbie Allen Dance Academy
The Debbie Allen Dance Academy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to expanding the reach of Dance and Theater arts to enrich, inspire and transform the lives of thousands of young people in the Greater Los Angeles Area, across America and around the world. The Academy prepares young dancers for a serious career in dance, musical theatre, film, and television, all the while developing the discipline, self-confidence, and creativity that every individual needs to succeed in life.

About Goldstar
Goldstar is an Internet company that builds new, more diverse audiences for venues by reaching out to its nearly 1.3 million members with ticket offers to all things live entertainment, including theater, dance, comedy, jazz, concerts, and sporting events. A free no-hassle membership allows people to log on to and receive weekly e-mail summaries that feature the 900-1200 discounted events offered in twelve major U.S. cities – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Sacramento and now Portland.


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