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Bridgehampton-Based Dance Studio's "The Nutcracker" Set In Neverland

Nicole Barylski

Brooke Bierfriend, 14, of Sag Harbor, has been cast as Studio 3's Sugar Plum Fairy. (Courtesy Photo)

'Twas the weekend before Christmas, and once again, spectacular visions of sugar plums will grace the stage at Bay Street Theater when Studio 3, a Bridgehampton-based dance studio, presents Mixed Nuts, its adaptation of The Nutcracker. This year's production, which meshes the classic ballet's story with another beloved tale, will take place in Neverland.

"We are very excited for this year's Mixed Nuts theme of Neverland," explained Meredith Shumway, Assistant Director. "The characters from The Nutcracker and Peter Pan meshed together so seamlessly, that it really brought the whole show together immediately. So much so, that the entire cast has been eager to get on stage and bring it all to life."

Brooke Bierfriend, 14, of Sag Harbor, has been cast as Studio 3's Sugar Plum Fairy. She will be joined by over 50 local dancers.

This marks the first time that the dance studio has chosen a student to take on this coveted role. Bierfriend was introduced to ballet at just 3-years-old and now spends up to 20 hours per week at dance classes, in addition to weekend rehearsals and summer workshops. She has been accepted to train at the top ballet schools in the country, such as The American Ballet Theater, The Bolshoi Ballet, The Kirov Academy of Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy and most recently Ballet West. Bierfriend plans to continue her studies this summer at a prestigious summer school, which she will audition for later this winter.

"I am also excited that this is the first year we have cast a student dancer as the Sugar Plum Fairy," she noted. "It's truly amazing to see the transformation of Brooke Bierfriend from young dancer to a mature, beautiful ballerina - technically and performance wise."

Avery McCleland, 9, of Bridgehampton, will take on the role of Wendy (traditionally Clara), while Jack Iulo, 8, of Sag Harbor, will play Peter Pan (traditionally the Nutcracker), and David Parra, resident Studio 3 Hip Hop instructor, has joined the cast as Captain Hook (the Rat King).

"I am so beyond proud of her and the entire cast of dancers," added Shumway. "We can't wait until opening night!"

Mixed Nuts can be seen on Friday, December 16th and Saturday, December 17th at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 18th at 1 p.m. General admission tickets are $25. Tickets for children and seniors are $20.

More than 130 dancers, from Southampton to Montauk, take classes at Studio 3, which offers daily Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop classes.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-537-3008 or visit dancestudio3.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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