Theater Arts collaborates with Tandy Beal & Company for ‘Nutz Re-Mixed’

Holiday hit returns to the UC Santa Cruz Mainstage for a three-week run beginning Nov. 20

UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts alumnus David Poznanter (Photo courtesy of David Poznanter)
Contortionist/hand-balancer Fleeky Flanco (Photo courtesy of Fleeky Flanco)
Amazing foot-balancer Wang Hong (Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo)

Over 30 dancers and world circus artists will perform acts of comedy and outrageous skill--to the music of Tchaikovsky vocalized a cappella-style by Bay Area favorites SoVoSó--in Nutz Re-Mixed, running November 20 to December 6, at the UC Santa Cruz Mainstage Theater.

Directed and choreographed by California’s circus and dance maestro Tandy Beal, it’s a full-length variety spectacle that playfully reimagines the traditional Nutcracker for a family-friendly holiday extravaganza.

The production features original songs, seasonal favorites, and a re-scoring of Tchaikovsky’s well-loved music, all wrapped up in Beal’s multi-colored vision of circus, dance, and comedy. It’s literally a two-hour celebration of the arts.

The troupe of world-class performing artists includes circus acts such as Chinese footbalancer Wang Hong, who continues to charm Santa Cruz and international audiences with her grace and skill; contortionist/handbalancer Fleeky Flanco, whose stunning combination of acrobatic skills will amaze and delight; circus wheel artists, such as UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts alumnus David Poznanter; and rhythmic gymnast Saki, performing her popular Rag Doll routine.

The cast also features hip-hoppers, local gymnasts, and dancers from the UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts Department.

Several of the acts featured in Nutz Re-Mixed were recently enjoyed at UC Santa Cruz’s 50th anniversary Founders Day event held in September in the big tent on the East Field.

Notable alumni in the cast include Poznanter, a professional mask-maker, circus artist, singer, actor, and dancer.

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Theater Arts in 2001, he earned an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, did three years of contemporary dance training at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (Austria), and studied at the professional training program at Helikos: International School of Theatre Creation (Italy).

In recent years, Poznanter has worked as managing director of Havik Circus in the Dominican Republic, performed acrobatics in an 80-city North American tour with Cirque Dreams, and spent two years in India as circus coach and personal trainer to Bollywood movie star Aamir Khan.

Another alum in the show, Natasha Kaluza, graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in theater arts and followed up with a graduate year of dance studies. She then completed the first and second year of the Clown Conservatory at the SF Circus Center under Jeff Raz.

Since 2003, Kaluza has been performing solo and ensemble works in theater, circus, music, and dance. Her credits include Circus Bella, New Pickle Circus, San Francisco Circus Center, Bread & Roses, and the New York Clown Theater Festival.

The UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts Department and Tandy Beal & Company will present Nutz Re-Mixed” on November 20 through December 6, at the Mainstage Theater on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Tickets are available at, the UC Santa Cruz Ticket Ofice (831) 459-2159, and the Santa Cruz Civic Box Office: (831) 420-5260.