The Nutcrackers by Jim Boston | Script Revolution

The Nutcrackers

Pondering life after ballet and ex-dancer Vanessa Carlton's Grammy-nominated success, two star ballerinas in present-day Kansas City, MO seek to become blues musicians at a famous local bar and grill.



Page Count: 



Age Rating:


A new season for the Kansas City Ballet begins...and two of the company’s best dancers, CONCETTA “CONNY” PINAUD and SYDNEY HENDERSON, celebrate by eating pizza in the house they share in Kansas City’s Midtown Westport neighborhood.

Eventually, the question pops up: “What if we couldn’t dance anymore?”

Witty-and-confident New Yorker Sydney and clever-and-assertive Toronto Metro native Conny decide on music.

The two women relate how music played a huge role in their formative years: Conny once portrayed Amaryllis in “The Music Man” and, in the process, got to actually play an old-fashioned upright piano; Sydney enrolled at Fun City’s School of American Ballet...where she played and wrote her own songs at the same beat-up piano used by none other than SAB student-turned-Grammy nominee Vanessa Carlton.

And the two ballerinas’ experience playing Kaycee’s street pianos, where the two women had fun with Eddie Boyd’s “Five Long Years,” leads to the choice to take on blues.

Sydney and Conny put their decision to the test during a rehearsal for KCB’s first production of the campaign, “New Moves,” a show featuring all-original choreography by several artists. One of “New Moves’” segments uses Cecile Chaminade’s “Scarf Dance…” a piece troupe accompanist PIERRE LAFITTE can’t get right.

The two housemates play the selection for KCB’S THIRTEEN OTHER FEMALE DANCERS...and nail it.

The stunt initially ticks the troupe’s other women off and causes the company’s artistic director, worry wart STEPHEN SKINNER, to ask: “What were you two thinking?” But Conny’s and Sydney’s turn as accompanists helps make “New Moves” a success...and leads to party time at Victoria’s Bar and Grill, a suburban eatery/jazz-and-blues destination where the reveling hoofers hear the two buddies pound out the blues.

Sydney and Conny make such a mark at Victoria’s that the restaurant’s husband-and-wife owners, BILL and VALERIE WILLIAMSON, offer the two musical dancers a chance to perform at the venue’s “New Talent Night.”

KCB’s two blues-playing hoofers cook on piano and drums during “New Talent Night.” Result: University of Missouri-Kansas City dance instructor AVA FERNANDEZ, one of Conny’s and Sydney’s teachers when the two ballerinas attended the school, offers to join the a bassist.

Now a trio, the group’s two founders announce to their fellow Kansas City Ballet members that Victoria’s will hold a Battle of the Blues Bands next May...a message that doesn’t sit well with Stephen, and on top of that, divides THE REST OF THE TROUPE in half.

Friendly, straightforward Ava excels as a singer and bassist...and even shows off her talent as a pianist and violinist, two skills from her teenage years. The trio’s chemistry attracts Ava’s playful buddy KATHLEEN MCELHENNY, who runs a recording studio in the house she and Ava share; and levelheaded LYNDA SUE AQUINO, one of Kathleen’s fellow praise band musicians in the church they attend. When Kathleen becomes the blues band’s guitarist and Texas-born Lynda Sue joins up with her own organ-piano prowess, the act crowns itself the Nutcrackers, after KCB’s signature holiday production...and brings down the house at UMKC’s Olson Performing Arts Center in the band’s first gig away from Victoria’s.

The Nutcrackers build a following that includes veteran blues guitarist FREDDIE JOHNSON and some KCB members...including the troupe’s two youngest members, self-deprecating SAVANNAH KIELY-DALTON and awestruck ROBERT SLOTKY, both of whom Sydney and Conny help guide. Still, with the blues band taking more of Conny’s and Sydney’s time, and a rumor flying that the twosome will give up dancing, Stephen issues the two stars an ultimatum: “Win the battle of the can both retire. If you lose, you’ve gotta keep dancing.”

Sydney and Conny fight to show that they can handle playing the blues as Nutcrackers and dancing in the KCB at the same time, despite the contention of troupe members LUCINDA HUANG and BEATA ESPARRAGOSA that it can’t be done. The two blues-playing buddies sail right along in both worlds...when, on the final night of a “Cinderella” where Savannah shines in the title role and Robert impresses as Prince Charming, Conny sustains injuries to both of her knees and Sydney sprains an ankle in a backstage celebration.

While Sydney and Conny fight to recover from their hurts, the rest of the Kansas City Ballet finds it doesn’t function as well without its two stars...and Ava, Kathleen, and Lynda Sue realize their band just doesn’t sound as good with Conny and Sydney absent.

The night of the Battle of the Blues Bands arrives...and it’s also the night KCB’s final production of the season, George Balanchine’s “Jewels,” wraps up. Freddie’s band and the Nutcrackers wind up to be the only acts in competition at Victoria’s...and “Jewels” running overtime threatens to hand Freddie’s unit the title by forfeit. But Sydney and Conny arrive at the suburban venue...just in time to team up with Lynda Sue, Kathleen, and Ava to give the Nutcrackers the crown.

And when logic takes over in Stephen, he cancels his ultimatum and encourages Conny and Sydney to continue their two-ply careers.

Submitted: August 1, 2021
Last Updated: October 7, 2021

Want to read this script? You must join the revolution first. Don't worry, it's free, easy, everyone's welcome, and you can start reading right away.

This Script Is Loved By

Kevin Fleenor's picture
Jim Boston's picture

The Writer: Jim Boston

I first got interested in screenwriting as a college student in 1979 (Iowa State University); an additional impetus was the paperback version of the "American Graffiti" screenplay. From 1980 to 1994, I pursued screenwriting with a vengeance...but other things happened in my life. Since 2016, I've been back chasing the dream...and it's only because I inherited a Power Mac from one of the codirectors (Nick Holle) of a documentary I was in: "The Entertainers," about the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. (Nick received the computer from the husband-and-wife couple who helped produce the film, Brent and Jackie Watkins.) The Power Mac has a copy of Final Draft 6... Go to bio

More Scripts From Jim

Pixie Dust
Two modern-day University of Minnesota-Twin Cities students start their own sorority in order to reach out to other female UMN-Twin Cities students tired of being marginalized.
Feature Comedy For sale 120pp
4 readers love this script
Tin Mine
Looking to get their musical careers out of a rut in 1939 New York City, a song plugger and a radio organist become composers.
Feature Comedy, Music For sale 104pp
2 readers love this script
Fine Tooth Comb
Inspired by a videotape, a teenager in 1994 Davenport, IA forms her own band with the hopes of playing at the local Dixieland jamboree, the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival.
Feature Comedy, Family, Music For sale 112pp
2 readers love this script
Bleeding Gums
A math teacher at an all-girls' high school in present-day Omaha, NE seeks to fill a void in her school's activities by forming its first jazz band.
Feature Comedy, Music For sale 128pp
1 reader loves this script
Jingle Belles
Seeking to usher in the new breed of rock-and-roll hitmakers, a songwriter-manager-record producer and a record-store clerk unite to start their own music-publishing company in 1959 New York City.
Feature Comedy, Music For sale 114pp
1 reader loves this script
Got Any More Bullets, Sister?
Two siblings struggling as vendors in 1930 Cleveland seek to better their lives...but while one woman decides to enter music, her sister chooses a life of crime.
Feature Action, Comedy, Crime For sale 95pp
1 reader loves this script
Gayle Strawberry and Her Soda Pop Music Makers
It's the summer of 1942, and a Los Angeles teenager starts her own swing band in the hopes of entering it in the first annual National Swing Contest.
Feature Comedy, Drama, Family, Music For sale 130pp
Pipe Up!
When she learns a restaurant in contemporary Mesa, AZ is closing for good and the building's repurposing, an Arizona Cardinals cheerleader, a frustrated musician whose granddad played the organ there, seeks to save the eatery.
Feature Comedy, Sport For sale 127pp
Seeking coveted hands-on instructional experience, and to convert prostitutes, a modern-day music-education student at California State University, Long Beach teaches melodies to the hookers working at a Los Angeles massage parlor.
Feature Comedy, Music For sale 119pp
Yes, Indeed!
Tired of being out of showbiz, two child TV stars of the 1970s ride the late-1980s swing revival by forming their own big band in hopes of playing a respected Los Angeles jazz club.
Feature Comedy, Music For sale 119pp
Seeking to break away from the mainstream, three teenage ragtime musicians in 1984 Sioux Falls, SD strive to establish their band's sound...and work to build an appreciative following.
Feature Comedy, Family, Music For sale 128pp
Really Old School
Inspired by a piece of 1910s sheet music, a modern-day Omaha, NE teenager wants to honor and emulate the tune's author: Her newly-deceased great-grandmother, a ragtime-era composer-musician-bandleader-arranger.
Feature Comedy, Family, Music For sale 130pp
Golden Oldies
Thanks to a phone call from a fellow former Iowa State University student, a librarian in modern-day Ames, IA looks to put her old rock band back together...and conquer a legendary local venue.
Feature Comedy, Drama, Music For sale 123pp
Shorthose and Flaxbeard
An inept comic magician playing Seattle in 1917 seeks to turn her career around by landing herself a partner...a beloved theater organist-piano teacher who's fascinated with vaudeville.
Feature Comedy For sale 117pp
Rivertown Rock!
It's Sunday, February 9, 1964...when the Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" inspires a Sioux City, IA teenager to start her own rock group and show that girls can play the music, too.
Feature Comedy, Family, Music For sale 124pp