Hallmark Holiday Advent Day 7: Salsa Centerstage (Sugar Plum Twist)

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A plucky young ballerina befriends a hometown hero home from New York and they both get boyfriends and prove themselves to the ballet elite of Richmond. The ugly sweater party features a “All the Jingle Ladies” sweater and I saw god.

Dramatis Personae (that matter)

  • Big Dancer – fancy ballet dancer moves back to Richmond from New York to choreograph the local ballet’s Nutcracker
  • Mr. Rogers – runs lights for the theatre and runs every arts program for kids in Richmond
  • Tiny Dancer – teaches Latin dance and doesn’t get the part in the ballet, but Big Dancer works on a special project for her
  • DJ Cool Bro – Tiny Dancer’s plot boyfriend so someone can do a salsa remix of Tchaikovsky
  • “Sounds like the devil traded her Prada for ballet shoes” – the ballet director with a heart ready to melt for Latin fusion beats

Rating: 7 Sugar Plums out of 10

Sugar Plum Twist was fun with sparkly sets and bland acting that occasionally borders on playfully goofy (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding but less overtly self-aware). Many of the characters were Puerto Rican, and they slipped between Spanish and English (full exchanges, not the functional equivalent of italicized words). I also learned what a parranda is (a Puerto Rican musical tradition around Christmas) and the score and soundtrack for this one was pretty great EXCEPT for the final solo performance remix which was trash. Overall, though, Sugar Plum Twist is trying very hard but in a way that feels cheery.

Original song I wrote about all this after reading “Rage Becomes Her”

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