In the News

Welcome to our little corner of fame!  Thank you to the kind members of the press, both locally and nationally that have taken an interest in our show to help us grow over the last 17 years.  Thank you! – Tony

If you are a member of the press and wish to contact us about our show please email our Public Relations Director, Stephanie Janes at

or Dustin Rennells, Operations Manager for logistical information.

Download our Urban Nutcracker 2017 Press Release here.

Download our Urban Nutcracker 2017 Autism Friendly Performance Press Release here.

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The Nutcracker and his crew of toy soldiers are back to fight the ruthless Rat King, but this time around, they are protecting a young city girl named Clarice. It’s not the traditional version of the beloved holiday production, but since its premiere in 2001, “Urban Nutcracker” has become a modern-day classic in Boston. Read More from WBUR 2017

Urban Nutcracker: Anatomy of a Ballet, Teaser Trailer

tap city 2016

The Tony Williams Urban Nutcracker has become a staple in Boston during the holiday season because it provides the opportunity for audience members of all races and ethnicities “to see people who look like them on stage,” Williams says.  “If you go backstage during the performances, it looks like a traffic jam. But all the kids know their roles and their entrances. I don’t know how we get the trains running on time, but we do. How often can you come to a show that’s transformative, not just for the audience but for the performers? That’s what the Urban Nutcracker is all about.”

Read More from Huffington Post, 2017

NBC Feature

Tony Williams, the founder of the performance and owner of the Tony Williams Dance Center, combined ballet, urban tap, hip hop, swing, flamenco, step, and jazz into this original performance.

Williams compared his version of the classic ballet to, “a stew.”

“You’ll see the traditional with the contemporary, sort of like a big stew, it’s sort of all put together…and I’m always experimenting with the spices,”

Read More from NBC News

Open Studios WGBH 2016

Urban Nutcracker on WGBH Open Studios with Jared Bowen 2016

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‘Urban Nutcracker’ brings healing, heart and soul to the holiday season

In its 16th season, Tony Williams’ Boston-centric dance production takes aim at those in need of a postelection distraction. Read More from the Metro 2016

Red Shutters

The Urban Nutcracker has something for everyone (including Fenway Park for New England sports lovers), which is what makes the two-hour show such fun. The mix of music and types of dance knit together an accessible, joyful performance. Joyful really is the word to describe the show; there was an energy that emanated from the cast that cheered the audience and reminded me how important it is for us to find space in our lives for creativity. Read more from the Red Shutters Blog


The LGBT show allows the company to have some fun, drawing inspiration from the Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the legendary, all-male comic ballet company Williams has worked with in the past and which combines classical ballet with camp. Last year, for instance,  the intimate “Arabian Nights” segment of “Urban Nutcracker” was danced by two male dancers including Rick Vigo who, says, Rennells, “performed a stunning showcase. It was so beautiful; it was my favorite part of the show last year.” Read more on Boston Spirit

Urban Nutcracker Mommy Poppins

 The atmosphere is relaxed, the variety of dance styles keeps young children engaged, and the diverse cast is full of kids who young audience members can connect to. Best of all, the Urban Nutcracker makes going to the ballet fun. Here are the top ten reasons I recommend taking kids to see the Urban Nutcracker, plus a few tips for getting the most out of the experience.

1. One-of-a-kind. From the moment the Doo-wop singers start down the aisles,

Read more on Mommy Poppins


Urban Nutcracker will also honor the iconic story of Make Way For Ducklings, written and illustrated in 1941 by Robert McCloskey. The production will partner with the Boston Police Department to invite an officer to play the role of “Officer Michael” at each performance. Representing a variety of neighborhoods and towns within Greater Boston, “Officer Michael” will lead the ducks, dancers ages 7-10, in their procession across the stage.

Russian ballerina Kseniya Melyukhina will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and former Boston Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem dancer, Erika Lambe, will play Clarice’s mother. Read more from Sampan


BOSTON – Just as the first notes of the overture to Tchaikovsky’s score for “The Nutcracker” fill John Hancock Hall, a hip-hop dancer climbs over the railing from the orchestra pit. Followed by two buddies, he leads the way onto the stage where the curtain opens on a street scene in Boston. The contrast between the 19th century music and the dudes dressed in street clothes and rocking their limbs and bodies as if they were dancing on a corner in the neighborhood is guaranteed to put a grin on the face of everyone in the audience. Read more from the Boston Herald


An Urban Nutcracker Transcending Race, Gender, Sexuality, Autism, You Name It…

Read more from Huffington Post

“The dancing is superb. ” 

“Tony Williams’s 14th edition of the street smart Urban Nutcracker soars aesthetically and satisfies emotionally.

The eye popping and heart lifting dancing from classical ballet and swing to krump and tap, the sweet mix of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score for ballet with swing orchestration from the great Duke Ellington and his orchestra, the silly jokes and belly- laughs and the solemn parts that tug at the heart and bring a tear or two.”The Edge

“But the moment the curtain rose on Boston dance guru Tony Williams’s 13th season of the “Urban Nutcracker,” I got it. The scene wasn’t some snowy, woodsy setting that could just as easily have been a backdrop for a Lexus December to Remember TV commercial. It was a street corner, with a park bench, a vendor, and apartment buildings in the background. There was a different kind of energy, one not at all driven by the powerful music of an orchestra but by the excitement of the people on that corner.” — Boston Globe

“Williams gets more savvy in providing surprises in “Urban Nutcracker” year after year. In response, his audiences grow in number, appreciating this excellent addition to the holiday stage treats.” — Patriot Ledger

“A Nutcracker with real soul” — Boston Metro

Urban Nutcracker featured on ABC Nightly on 12.23.2011. Urban Nutcracker is featured 6 minutes into the clip and after the advertisement.

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Urban Nutcracker on Chronicle 2013

MasTv 2012

Urban Nutcracker on Mas TV 2012


Jamaica Plain: Out of the Projects (Dancing out of Danger)

Tony Williams, director of the Urban Nutcracker, talks about his rise from the Bromley-Heath project to an international ballet star on Chronicle, 2014.


Read more from El Mundo


Read more from Edge Media Network


In honor of our LGBT friends and family, this special performance will feature local LGBT groups, performers and supporters. This truly revolutionary performance is an extension of Urban Nutcracker’s dedication to Equality and every member of our diverse community.

Urban Nutcracker Comes OUT! will feature La Cage aux Follesperformers and Massachusetts natives, Matt Anctil and Todd Lattimore! Read More from Bay Windows 


“It’s the only show of its kind,” he said. Williams said the show is a full-scale production that competes with the big-time producers in the Boston. Not only does his ballet show have diversity, so to does Williams’ life. Read more from JP Gazette

Holidays in JP: ‘Urban Nutcracker’ brings diversity to holiday

Williams said he was a lost 13-year-old kid who was in a youth street gang, getting into trouble and fights. He began taking the trolley from Centre Street downtown to the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union, similar to a YMCA, where he lifted weights and did gymnastics.

–JP Gazette