Skip to main content

Alan Cumming Stars in PBS Special ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King on PBS
(Image credit: PBS)

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is on PBS Tuesday, December 14. The musical production, a reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, features Alan Cumming. 

E.T.A. Hoffmann wrote the 1816 novella with the same name. The musical comes in three parts: the nutcracker’s origin story, the events on Christmas Eve, and what happens to the girl and the prince after the ballet ends. 

It is performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri. Cumming narrates the story onstage. 

The performance was recorded at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in December 2019. 

“It makes for a great tale, one that is both familiar and unknown,” said Mauceri. “Perhaps it can do what Hoffmann intended: encourage children to follow their dreams and never stop believing in the power of imagination and the possibility that we can all live together in raucous harmony and understanding.”

Cumming’s stage work includes Hamlet, Bent, Endgame and The Threepenny Opera. His films include Emma, GoldenEye and Spy Kids, and his TV work includes The Good Wife, Instinct and Schmigadoon!

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is produced for television by John Mauceri and Andrew Young. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.