Editor’s note: Today we’re pleased to welcome New York writer Royal Young as a regular columnist on The Lo-Down. Royal contributes literary coverage to Interview Magazine and the new web site Holy Diver. Young recently completed “Fame Shark,” his memoir. After six years living in exile (in Brooklyn), this Lower East Side native is back in his natural habitat, rediscovering the old neighborhood.
As a kid in the early ‘90s, I spent my time haunting the halls of Henry Street Settlement and the backstage at the Abrons Arts Center, chasing the creative energy that pulsed through those corridors. Now that energy has exploded on the Abrons’ stage with the Urban Ballet Theatre presenting its 10th anniversary run of “Nutcracker in the Lower.” A modern, Lower East Side take on the classic Christmas tale, this urban Nutcracker is bursting with life and longing. Following Clara, a lonely young girl whose father has disappeared, leaving her only a collection of soldier style dolls, the colorful production whirls into fantasy when she falls asleep beneath a patchwork, glittering pine tree.