Trauma Flintstone (Captain Drosselmeyer)
Trauma Flintstone returns for his seventh appearance in the Dance-Along Nutcracker®. In previous years, he’s been Nutty the Cavalry Nutcracker (Blazing Nutcrackers! 2009) Scrooge/Drosselmeyer (2008), the Rat King (2007), Mother Goose (2006), Patty Andrews (2003) and a Jewish mother (1999) … everything but Clara! Trauma is a prominent figure in the local cabaret scene, running Bijou (an eclectic variety show, now in its eighth year). With Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Trauma co-produces the Cabaret Showcase Showdown. Most recently, Trauma produced “Pardon My Southern Accent,” a centennial concert celebrating Johnny Mercer’s words and music. He’s been a drag queen and stage actor for a long, long time. He’s married to armchair entomologist Bill ‘the Bug Guy’ and together they look after a menagerie of 19 critters (mostly invertebrates).
Tina Sogliuzzo (Queen Rattannia)
Nutcrackers of the Caribbean marks Tina Sogliuzzo’s first appearance in a Dance-Along Nutcracker production. Performing burlesque under the name Ms. Ruby Vixen, Tina is a creative entrepreneur with a talent for performance, costume creation and fundraising. Tina appears most recently in the Thrillpeddlers’ SHOCKTOBERFEST 14: Jack the Ripper at the Hypnodrome, where she also appeared as Gina Lolafrigida in their hit production Vice Palace.
San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band
Named the “Official Band of the City of San Francisco” in honor of its 25th anniversary in 2003, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is the first openly gay music organization ever, inspiring the formation of lesbian and gay bands, choruses and performing troupes around the world. Founded in 1978 by Jon Sims at the height of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade, the Band debuted marching behind Supervisor Harvey Milk’s convertible in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. The Band has been making music to build understanding between gay and non-gay communities for 35 years.
The Band serves the Bay Area from Santa Clara to Contra Costa and Marin counties with 15-20 annual performances in support of civic and community services, low-income seniors, schools, safe places for LGBT youth, health services, and human rights organizations. Thanks largely to the support of individual donors, SFLGFB has presented community concerts featuring major wind band repertoire free of charge since 1993. This year marks the 278h anniversary of its Dance-Along Nutcracker®, a Bay Area holiday tradition each December.
Named the Most Absolutely Fabulous Contingent of the 2006 San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and awarded for Absolutely Fabulous Music Contingent in 2009, the Band performs for hundreds of thousands at parades throughout the year, including San Francisco’s Chinese New Year’s Parade, the Corte Madera 4th of July Parade and at pride parades throughout the region, including Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Marin, Reno, Los Angeles and Fresno. Some of the Band’s credits include performances at the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Seeing Gertrude Stein Exhibit, the filming of the Oscar-winning Gus Van Sant film Milk, the unveiling of the Harvey Milk Statue at City Hall, the Hayward Gay Prom, the Union Square Grand Reopening, the 9/11 memorial ceremony, the Jewish Community Center, Clarendon Elementary School’s Gay Awareness Day, the 5th anniversary of the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Cultural Center and the Lucasfilms company picnic at Skywalker Ranch. Members have performed in the Inaugural Parade of President Barrack Obama and at both Presidential Inaugurals of Bill Clinton and at Gay Games in Chicago as part of the Lesbian & Gay Bands Association’s (LGBA) massed bands. Website: www.sflgfb.org.
Pete Nowlen, Artistic Director/Conductor
Pete Nowlen takes the podium as the 11th conductor of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. Mr. Nowlen has a broad range of conducting experience. He has been a member of the UC Davis faculty since 1988 and its Director of Concert Bands since 2002 and has taught at CSU Sacramento since 1990. He is also Artistic Director of Sacramento’s VITA Academy, Camerata California (a chamber choir) and the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra, and Artistic Advisor of Nevada County’s Music in the Mountains.
Heidi Beeler (Creative Director)
Nutcrackers of the Caribbean! marks Heidi’s seventh year collaborating on the script for the Dance-Along Nutcracker. Working with teams of zany-brained musicians from the Band, Heidi previously scripted the 2006-2009 Dance-Along Nutcrackers – Clara-fied, Rat-ified, Bah Humbug! and Blazing Nutcrackers! and the 2011’s Clara’s Magical Mystery Tour! and 2012 Dance-Along Nutcracker Goes Hollywood! A proud member of the band since 1991, Heidi plays in the trumpet section, frequently appearing in over-sized head gear in spite of the advice of her chiropractor and numerous anonymous death threats traced back to other members of the trumpet section. She also performs with Dixieland Dykes +3, The Fog Horns brass quintet and is a former member of City Swing. She is a freelance writer from the East Bay. Her column, Brass Tacks, is published in the SF Bay Times.
Flynn De Marco (Director / Reginald / Al Capone)
Flynn De Marco has been performing since his star turn in the Cromwell Valley Elementary School production of The Fat Cat. Since then he has performed in many productions in SF with The Sick and Twisted Players, Theater Rhino , Artfull Circle Theater and others. In 2000, he moved to New Orleans to found the Running With Scissors theater company. While with “Scissors,” he won a Big Easy Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as well as a dual Best Director Award for Bad Seed and Sordid Lives with his theater partner Richard Read. Returning to San Francisco after Hurricane Katrina, he adapted and directed a stage version of the horror classic, Bride of Frankenstein alongside his husband, Richard Board. Soon after, he was welcomed into the Thrillpeddlers fold with roles in Pearls Over Shanghai, Shocktoberfest: Kiss of Blood and Vice Palace which he associate directed. Honored to be a part of this functionally dysfunctional family, he also serves as Thrillpeddlers’ company manager and wig master.
Carolyn Carvajal (Choreographer)
Twelve-year Dance-Along Nutcracker® veteran Carolyn Carvajal apprenticed with the Joffrey Ballet and began her professional career with the San Francisco Ballet. As a principal dancer with S.F. Dance Spectrum, she performed the works of Carlos Carvajal and associates with the Arthur Fiedler Pops Concerts and in numerous Bay Area dance showcases. For 12 years she toured extensively with Dances Through Time, expanding her knowledge to include social dancing of the past 500 years. Carolyn retired from the San Francisco Opera Ballet in 1998 after 29 years on the Opera House stage. Currently, she maintains a busy teaching and choreographing schedule with San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Francisco Boys Chorus and Shan Yee Poon Ballet School.
Kelly Collins (Sailor/Emperor Norton)
This year marks Kelly’s seventh year with the Dance-Along Nutcracker® dance company. Kelly has been in various college music and stage productions with Spotlight Players and toured for 13 months throughout North America and Europe with Up With People. His claim to fame is having performed a Mexican Hat-dance for Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Square. The question is whose hat was bigger?