The Hard Nut

Mark Morris cracks open his seasonal classic

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I didn't mean it in a bad way! Why do you still like to perform in it?,
Morris: I didn't say I liked to. I'm still in it. I do like to. I don't know. Why not?

Why?
Morris: As I became the creepy uncle—when I was in my pieces with my young company, it's like, Oh, yuck. What's that creepy guy doing revving his van outside the playground with a lost puppy? That's what I turned into in my own work. But that's perfectly appropriate in this piece. I'm like the creepy drunk. But I'm not this year, you know.

You will make your debut as Dr. Stahlbaum.
Pakledinaz: But you were never that character that you described. You're making that joke, but [you were playing a character that] was just smashed at a party.
Morris: Yeah. If I get tired, I sit down. I'm the only person who's alone, which is fun. I'm funny. And yes, I'm still finding my role as Dr. Stahlbaum. John [Heginbotham as Mrs. Stahlbaum] and I have a lot of rehearsal scheduled together.

When did you know how good The Hard Nut was?
Pakledinaz: I knew it was good as I was watching it.
Morris: Immediately. Maybe before. It was a huge hit, by the way. It wasn't hated, it was adored. But it was very heavy, because it was our last big show, and a lot of people were leaving the company. It was really intense. I was bawling, I'll tell you that.

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