Nut Uncrack'd | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

For fans of Attack Theatre, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that after several months of homelessness, the dance-based performance group has new headquarters: a rented portion of a building in the East End's Penn Avenue arts district that's already home to Penn Avenue Theatre.


The bad news is that, for the first time in several years, Attack won't be mounting "This Ain't the Nutcracker". In an anti-tradition on the verge of becoming a tradition itself, Attack reserved the final week of the year for a new show incorporating dance, live music and video -- resolutely eschewing any holiday theme. But a recent touring schedule that included a visit to Japan with the Japanese group Nibroll, plus the closure this year of the Hazlett Theatre ("This Ain't the Nutcracker"'s usual venue), led artistic directors Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza to give the show a year off.


Instead, they'll concentrate on renovating the latest addition to Penn Avenue's burgeoning arts district. In October, Attack Theatre lost its previous home, a Downtown storefront, when the building was sold. The new space -- formerly a laundry and drycleaner's, and most recently home to the 1877 arts collective -- is likewise a storefront with big streetface windows. Kope and de la Reza plan not only to renovate it for their own use, but also to make it available for informal performances, rehearsals, workshops, exhibitions and events for others. Kope says he figures the recent growth of galleries, studios and other venues along Penn can only help: "There's a really strong neighborhood right around here."

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