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Debbie Allen's twist on 'The Nutcracker' wins

By By MARK KENNEDY

NEW YORK (AP) — It's not yet Christmas, but Debbie Allen has already gotten a nice present — the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award.

The ticket discounter has declared the director and choreographer the winner of the 7th annual contest that crowns the nation's best version of "The Nutcracker."

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy's show, "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker," which opened earlier this month in Los Angeles, beat out nearly 60 other productions of "The Nutcracker."

Her show begins when young Kara Johnson receives a Nutcracker filled with hot chocolate and falls asleep and the Nutcracker comes alive. Written and directed by the "Fame" star, the show had an original score by Mariah Carey, Arturo Sandoval, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, James Ingram and Thump.

Voting for the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award is determined by Goldstar members.

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