The MOUSE KING, acclaimed by The Miami Herald as a "delightful family show," celebrates its 10th anniversary with a four-day spectacle starting December 8 at The Mandelstam Theater in South Miami. This spellbinding musical, conceived by Sesame Street veteran Noel MacNeal and award-winning children's music composer Jim Camacho, offers a unique twist on the classic Nutcracker tale, told from the perspective of the mice.
The production features master puppeteer James Wojtal Jr., who not only crafted the show’s puppets but also performs alongside guest artists from New York City, known for their appearances on popular shows like Saturday Night Live and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The large cast also includes talented young actors from Miami, ensuring that MOUSE KING is a fresh and imaginative rendition of a beloved Christmas classic.
MacNeal's innovative idea of reversing the traditional Nutcracker narrative has turned the Mouse King into a hero and the Nutcracker into a villain. This concept, brought to life with Camacho's music, has transformed into a timeless show that continues to captivate families during the holiday season in South Miami.
Reflecting on the show's journey, MacNeal expressed his pride in the show's enduring appeal, saying, "I am still so proud and honored that this idea I had ten years ago continues to delight families for the holiday season as a South Miami tradition.” Camacho also shared his gratitude, emphasizing the energy and enthusiasm the child actors bring to the show, making it come alive.
Camacho, known for his work on several other musicals, including the off-Broadway hit Fools’ Paradise, highlights the unique elements of MOUSE KING, noting its soaring villains, magical mice, and a heartfelt message of love being the key to Christmas.
Wojtal, amazed by the show's evolution, reminisces about its beginnings as a simple story, which has now become a lavish musical featuring live performances of dancing mice and marching soldiers.
The musical's legacy extends to its former child actors. Ben Rosenthal, who played KRACATUK, cherishes his time in the show, remarking, "It was such an honor to originate the role of KRACATUK, and I'm so glad to see that the tradition continues to this day. HAPPY CHRISMOUSE!” Rosenthal, now a program manager and research assistant at Stanford University, credits MOUSE KING for igniting his love for the arts.
Similarly, Ricardo Alzetta, another MOUSE KING alum and currently a sophomore at Chapman University, recalls his role of MOUSERICK/RICKY as the starting point of his love for acting. He reflects, "Not only did The Mouse King ignite my love for acting, but it also showed me that magic does truly exist, you just have to find it!”
As MOUSE KING enters its 10th year, it's not just the creators and past cast members who are celebrating. A new generation of young actors and their families will create their own cherished memories of this unique Yuletide tradition at the Mandelstam Theater.
Mandelstam Theater 8530 SW 57th Avenue Miami, FL
December 8 at 7PM
December 9 at 1PM
December 9 at 7PM
December 10 at 1PM
Field Trip Shows
December 7 at 10:00AM
December 7 at 1:30PM