at 3Below Theaters
288 S Second St, San Jose, CA
288 S Second St, San Jose, CA

The MeshugaNutcracker!

11/30/2023 – 12/24/2023

SCHEDULE UPDATE: Sadly, we have had to pull The MeshugaNutcracker! from our 2023 schedule. Please be sure you’re on our e-list to learn when this production will be added back to our season. If you currently have tickets, our box office has reached out to work with you so if you haven’t heard from us, please contact us. Thank you for your understanding.

Conceived by Scott, Shannon & Stephen Guggenheim

Book by Scott & Shannon Guggenheim
Music and Lyrics by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky 
Music Adapted and Lyrics by Shannon Guggenheim
Music Adapted and Lyrics by Shannon Guggenheim
Vocal Arrangements by Stephen Guggenheim
Orchestrations by Thomas Tomasello

Produced and Directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim
Musical Direction by Stephen Guggenheim
Choreographed by Shannon Guggenheim

Opening Night with VIP Post-Show Reception | Saturday, December 2

20th Anniversary Celebration

The MeshugaNutcracker! is a full-length musical comedy that features the wonderfully silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools) underscored by an invigorating, Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” with original lyrics that celebrate Chanukah.

– San Jose Mercury News

Add in dancing dreidels and surprise guest stars and you have the perfect recipe for a holiday gathering for all ages. Some might call it crazy…we call it The MeshugaNutcracker!

“Light! Happy! Fun! Joyful! Something completely original. The story of Chanukah told the music of Tchaikovsky – absolutely marvelous! Chanukah is even more special because of them.” – John Rothmann, ABCKGO Radio

An original musical by 3Below’s own Scott, Shannon, and Stephen Guggenheim, The MeshugaNutcracker! premiered in 2003 and has performed somewhere in the country every winter since. The production was filmed for Fathom Events. running in over 400 theaters nationwide and is now streaming on BroadwayHD.  “Members of the tribe” will devour its Jewish artistry and traditions while those who grew up celebrating in December without dreidels and latkes will delight in this new take on the very familiar Nutcracker tunes. 

  • Tickets

    Admission: $25 – $55

    $55 Regular

    $50 Students, seniors, educators, and military

    $45 Youth

    $25 for Previews

    Group Discounts and Fundraising Opportunities available | Learn more

    There is a per-ticket box office fee charged at checkout that goes toward covering box office service provider and merchant service provider costs. Fees are waived for San Jose Playhouse Series Subscribers, a benefit of subscribing to a series in advance.

  • Length

    The MeshugaNutcracker! runs 2 hours 15 minutes including one 15 minute intermission. 

  • Age Guide

    The MeshugaNutcracker! is recommended for guests age 5 and up.

  • Showtimes

    Thursdays at 7:30pm 

    Fridays at 7:30pm

    Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm

    Sundays at 2:30 | Sunday matinee on Dec 24 is at 1:00pm

    No Saturday matinee on Dec 2

    Post-show Talk-backs: Thursday April 27 & Thursday, May 25


Set and Costume Design by Julie Engelbrecht
Lighting Design by Jon Gourdine
Production Stage Managed by Phil Lowery*


Stephen Guggenheim*
Gronam Schmegegi, the Mayor of Chelm
Susan Gundunas*
Esther Schmegegi, the First Lady of Chelm
Shannon Guggenheim*
Treitel Schlmazel
Jeremy Kreamer
Velvel Schnook
Krista Wigle*
Yetta Schmendrick, The Bakeshop Owner
Jackson Davis*
Yacob Schlemiel, The Farmer
Sandra Bengochea
Rivka Schmuel, the Dairywoman
Jim Ambler*
Rabbi Motke Schmerel
Phil Lowery*
Production Stage Manager
Julie Engelbrecht
Set and Costume Designer
Jon Gourdine
Lighting Designer
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association