"The Nutcracker," Set in 2017
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"The Nutcracker," Set in 2017

This ain't your grandmother's Nutcracker.

"The Nutcracker," Set in 2017

Children of all ages: gather 'round, gather 'round! I have a beloved Christmas tale to tell of a darling little girl, her magical prince, and their adventure to a faraway land. This year, for those of us who might have heard this story one-too-many times, I have a version even your brattiest and inattentive children will enjoy. And for adults who are unfamiliar with the original story, you'd probably be bored and unwilling to pay money to see the real performance, so this version is also for you. Pull up a bean bag, grab some sugar-free-dairy-free hot chocolate, remove your bulky over-the-ear headphones, and get ready for The Nutcracker: 2017 version.


Our story begins on Christmas Eve, where the Stahlbaum family is hosting a holiday non-denominational party. The loving hosts, Frau and Frau Stahlbaum, have two beautiful children: Fritz, their young boy, and Clara, their tween-daughter. Fritz spends most of his time locked in his room, wasting away the hours of dusk til dawn playing Minecraft on his laptop, and sleeping most of the day. Clara spent most of the week practicing her smizing in front of the mirror and picking out the perfect choker for this party. She was excited to interact with her friends and family, unlike her younger brother, who was in that annoying little-kid stage of no longer being a cute toddler but not yet old enough to be spoken to like a mini-adult.

Moments before the party, the Stahlbaum’s maids scurry around the living room making sure the cans of La Croix and San Pellegrino are perfectly chilled and homemade cucumber beers are perfectly hoppy. Guests slowly start to enter into the home and out of the snow. The children gather on the floor playing with their Snapchat filters, and the adults swoon over the Frau’s gluten-free and dairy-free mac and cheese that tastes “just like real mac and cheese.”

Eventually the whole living room is filled with music and chatter, until weird Uncle Drosselmeyer shows up. He’s the anti-social and awkward brother of Frau Stahlbaum who spent his college years at MIT locked in his dorm room tinkering with electronics. He hasn’t been able to find a job since graduating four years ago, so he mostly keeps up with his old hobby and builds electronic gadgets for the children’s gifts. As uncomfortable as he makes the adults, the children love him (because he is like a child inside a 26-year-old’s body).

After awkward hugs and small talk, the kids convince Uncle D to show off his newest inventions. First, two holographic dancers appear from miniature wireless projectors the size of pennies, and dance across the floor right before the children’s eyes. Afterwards, a magical fidget spinner levitated in midair and spun itself, taking all the work out of having to spin it yourself and revolutionizing fidget spinner technology.

This year, his huge bag of gifts please the children more than ever: tablets, eReaders, smart watches, all built from scratch by Uncle Dross himself (he has a lot of free time). The children and parents alike are fascinated by Uncle D’s skills. For Clara, however, Uncle Dross had the best gift of them all: a brand-new iPhone X! Clara graciously and humbly takes the phone as all the children stare in awe.

Fritz is very displeased with his sister’s new gift, as he is the one who loves new technology and not his goody-two-shoes sister. In a jealous tantrum, he dramatically steals the iPhone. While running away with the phone, however, he slightly taps it on a soft pillow, and the entire screen shatters, both inside and out. Frau and Frau Stahlbaum don’t do much to reprimand him, reinforcing the action so he feels guiltless for behaving poorly as an adult, but Clara is left distraught. Uncle D sees the problem, and uses some of his techno-magic to fix the screen. Everyone is pleased with the problem just magically disappearing and avoiding confrontation, so the party moves on.

At the end of the night, after many goat cheese-stuffed dates and glasses of kombucha, the party files out and the Stahlbaums get ready for bed. Clara is so excited to have her new phone that she stays up past her bed time, setting up her new apps in front of the roaring fire. She soon starts to doze off and fall into a deep sleep on the living room floor.

Around Clara, something strange begins to happen….. she can feel small, male chauvinist men in suits arguing and telling her what to do with her own body and her lack of religious guidance, which is so disruptive, inconsiderate, and sexist, that it awakens her. She notices all of a sudden, she shrank down to the size of her new iPhone, and the nagging old men are coming at her! Before they reach her, however, her Uncle D appears out of nowhere, and scares them off with his use of modern technology, social media, and progressive thought.

Uncle D quickly explains to Clara that her good soul and resistance to becoming a bratty young tween who grew up too fast like her peers goes against typical societal norms, which has caused a ruckus amongst the old men. Their evil magic shrank her down to their size to make a fair battle (as if a battle between a young girl and a group of 30 or so middle-aged white men isn’t fair enough). He explains that she isn’t the real target of their blind unnecessary hatred, but instead the object with her: the new iPhone, representative of the future, modern technology, and creative unconventional jobs, are the real target of their hatred. And he warned that they will be back soon, for the real battle.

Not to worry! Uncle Dross gathers the other toys he brought. Magically before her eyes, the homemade tablets, smart watches and other electronics transform into young men in their mid twenties! Each man has their own specific style, to ponytails and ironic-unironic facial hair, to wanderlust tattoos on the backs of their necks or on their forearms and beanies. The Army of the Millennial was to take on the evil old men, with their great leader in tow: Clara’s iPhone X! It transformed into a millennial man himself; thin but toned, at least 6 foot 2, with the most perfect man bun and thick-framed glasses she’d ever seen. He greeted Clara and his army, and they were ready for battle. The holographic dancers and fidget spinner join the cause as well, and just in time.

From the deep, dark depths of the living room, the most monstrous of monsters climbed from his cave, unprofessional and inexperienced, pompous and rude, disgustingly ignorant and inconsiderate, a ‘uge disappointment to our Founding Fathers, the Tangerine King appears, tight lipped and orange, surrounded by his flailing posse from before. With a quick Tweet to everyone in the room announcing his grand entrance and his readiness to fight, he stands with his phone at the ready for more tweets.


At the sound of the airhorn app, the two armies charge at each other. They pass by the other army calmly, without directly saying anything to other, and run to opposite sides of the room where they form a huddle and pull out their phones. They begin to tweet rudely at each other, calling each other out for hypocrisies and differences of opinion, of what is morally correct to each group. Both sides fight hard and silently, but the real battle is between the iPhone Prince and the Tangerine King.

With the final blows of the battle going back and forth, the iPhone Prince’s battery starts to get lower and lower. The Tangerine King lashes out his worst and most incorrectly-spelled Tweet just as the Prince’s battery gets down to 3%. It looks bad; things are almost over, when luckily Clara remembers she has her phone charger in her pocket! She quickly plugs it in just as the Prince’s final tweet gets sent, and the blow is hard enough on the opposing team that the Tangerine King finally has nothing left to say. The group of old men angrily admit defeat with a quick press conference explaining it was their goal to lose the whole time, while the holographic dolls pass out participation trophies to all who were involved.

As the old men go back off into the darkness to torment some other group of young people, the iPhone Prince explains since he is so thankful to Clara for saving his phone, he wants to reward her with a trip to his magical homeland to meet all his friends. She agrees, and he calls an Uber so they can travel to the magical land. They traveled through the Land of 80 Degree Weather Although It’s December And Proves That Global Warming Does Exist where, they meet the melted snowflakes, who dance for them in puddles, and guide them on their way to the Land of the Litty.


The iPhone Prince and Clara to the come up on the entrance of his home: The Land of the Litty. Different groups of magical beings come to greet Clara and thank her for helping to save the Prince. She even meets the iPhone Prince’s casual bae, The Sugar-Free Fairy, adorned from head to toe in millennial pink. The magical beings offer to put on a show for Clara, and she accepts as she sits on a throne made from recycled plastic.

And in order, each of the magical beings presented themselves in thanks to Clara:

The Dance of The Avocados, who spend too much money on fancy toasts and sushi burgers, and doesn’t mind that guac is extra.

The Dance of The $9 Cold Press, who slowly and coldly warn the young girl about the evils of college costs and student loans, and kindly offer her a pamphlet on colleges in Europe to start looking into.

The Dance of The Mason Jars, who explain the great benefits of composting and only eating food that you grow yourself in your self-made guest bedroom-made greenhouse.

The Dance of The Lumber Jack Beards, who explain how they’re supportive of feminism by mansplaining feminism to Clara.

The Dance of The Thick Eyebrows and Shiny Cheek bones, who offer Clara the gift of a mermaid blanket, and seem to be too into glitter and unicorns for women in their mid-twenties.

The Dance of the Rose Gold Polaroid Camera, who complains about being broke while going out every weekend and taking lavish wanderlust vacations.

The Waltz of The Succulents, who have been Instagram Live-ing the show the entire time and let Clara know how lucky she is to be featured on their story.

And to conclude, the Dance of the Sugar-Free Fairy and her iPhone Prince, who explain their complicated relationship of how they met on Tinder and are too afraid of commitment but still like to post pictures of themselves together on every social media platform and make everyone in the room uncomfortable and confused by their PDA.

After the performance, the Prince explains that it’s time for Clara to travel back home. The room starts to get fuzzy and each magical character starts to slowly fade away. Clara suddenly wakes up back on her living room floor, realizing the entire adventure was merely a dream! She looks beside her to find her iPhone X sitting next to her, back in its technological form, the background a selfie of Clara and all her new magical millennial friends.

The End, Happy Holidays to all, and go support your local arts organizations' holiday performances (please).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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