Some productions are Broadway-caliber, with more than 100 dancers and high-tech special effects. Others trim down the story to fit the limited attention spans of young audiences while retaining most of Tchaikovsky’s memorable melodies.
Regardless of the version, “The Nutcracker” is a holiday tradition. Below is a list of many of the productions of “The Nutcracker” that can be seen in Southern California this year.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Torrance’s Lauridsen Ballet Centre presents its annual “Nutcracker.” 2 p.m. Dec. 16-17. Marsee Auditorium, El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. $36. balletcalifornia.org
Dance! To Your Heart’s Delight
The Tustin-based ballet company presents its 19th annual production of the classic ballet in Downey. 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. Downey Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey. Adults $33-$53, children/seniors $31-$51. dtyhd.com
Debbie Allen’s ‘Hot Chocolate Nutcracker’
This contemporary take on the classic ballet from the acclaimed choreographer’s dance academy features three wise-cracking mice from New York City who lead the audience on a trip to exotic locales such as Candy Cane Land, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Jazzland and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7-8, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. $50-$135. eventbrite.com
Long Beach Ballet
This version of “The Nutcracker” is known for its production values, which include a flying sleigh, on-stage pyrotechnics and other special effects. A full symphony orchestra plays the score while scores of dancers fill the stage. Terrace Theatre, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 17 and 23. $35-$85 ($125 for VIP tickets with souvenir program and backstage pass). longbeachballet.com
Los Angeles Ballet
Los Angeles Ballet’s Southern California-specific version of “The Nutcracker” moves around several venues in the county and this year adds the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to its itinerary. The production keeps Tchaikovsky’s score but the settings suggest a SoCal locale, with a Spanish-style home, the snowy forests of the Sierras and moonlight over the Pacific Ocean. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Pasadena Civic Auditorium,300 E. Green St., Pasadena. $61-$137. 8 p.m. Dec. 8, noon and 5 p.m. Dec. 9 at Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles. $44-$137. 8 p.m Dec. 15, noon and 5 p.m. Dec. 16 and 2 p.m. Dec. 17, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. $44-$137. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23, 2 p.m. Dec. 24 and 2 p.m. Dec. 26. Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. $38-$138. losangelesballet.org
Pasadena Dance Theater
This year, the 65-year-old dance company presents “The Nutcracker” over two weekends, with Elise Holmes and Augusto Silva of San Jose Dance Theatre performing Dec. 16-17 and Katherine Williams and Eric Tamm from American Ballet Theatre dancing Dec. 22-23. 2 p.m. Dec. 16-17, 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 1 p.m. Dec. 23. San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, 320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel. $25-75. pasadenadancetheatre.org
San Pedro City Ballet
The ballet company that gave the world Misty Copeland celebrates its 30th anniversary production of “The Nutcracker.” 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th Street, San Pedro. $35-45. sanpedrocityballet.org
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica
This company celebrates its 50th anniversary “Nutcracker” production by bringing in professional dancers (and Westside Ballet alums) Tiler Peck, Lucia Connolly and Lyrica Woodruff to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. 1 and 5 p.m. Nov. 25-26, a and 5 p.m. Dec. 2-3. The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. $60. westsideballet.com
American Ballet Theatre
More than 100 performers, including world-class dancers from American Ballet Theatre, as well as top-notch sets and costumes and the accompaniment of the Pacific Symphony elevate this annual “Nutcracker” production, which comes to Costa Mesa for 12 performances. 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 7 p.m. Dec. 13-15, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16, 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $29-$179. scfta.org
Anaheim Ballet’s production features staging and choreography by director Sarma Rosenberg with live accompaniment from Symphony Irvine. 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25. City National Grove of Anaheim 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim. $30-$65. anaheimballet.org (Additionally, this production will be at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nev., Dec. 14-17. Tickets are $35-$40 for adults with fees. Call 800-227-3849, ext. 616)
Festival Ballet Theatre
Longtime Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla choreographs and directs this production, which features top-tier guest artists in principal roles augmenting student performers from Southland Ballet Academy. Guests this year will include Sasha De Sola and Wei Wang from San Francisco Ballet (Dec. 9-10), Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez of Joffrey Ballet (Dec. 16-17) and Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia of New York city Ballet (Dec. 21-22). The company has been presenting “The Nutcracker” since 1989, staging it in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Long Beach before moving to the Irvine Barclay Theatre in 2007. 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 9, 1 p.m. Dec. 10, 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 16, 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 17, 6 p.m. Dec. 21, 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 22, 6 p.m., 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 23 and 11 a.m. Dec. 24. Irvine Barclay Theatre 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. $45-$115. festivalballet.org
The Pacific Symphony
The Pacific Symphony brings back its scaled-down, 45-minute “Nutcracker for Kids” to Costa Mesa. This sets up in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, featuring the orchestra and dancers from the Festival Ballet Theatre. The performance is designed for kids 5-11 and concludes with a visit from Santa and a holiday sing-along. Guests can enjoy activities in the lobby before the early curtain or after the late performance. 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 2, Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $49-$110. pacificsymphony.org
David Allan’s Nutcracker
This production, presented by BRAVA and Performance Riverside, will feature Daniel Applebaum and Emma Von Enck of New York City Ballet. 8 p.m. Dec. 15, 1 and 8 p.m. Dec. 16 and 1 p.m. Dec. 17. Landis Performing Arts Center, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside. $20-$45. brava-arts.org/riverside-nutcracker
This production, presented by Inland Valley Classical Ballet Theatre, stops by the Old Town Temecula Theater for five performances over Thanksgiving weekend. 7 p.m. Nov. 24, 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 25, 1 and 4 p.m. Nov. 26. Old Town Temecula Theater, 42051 Main St., Temecula. $30-$40. temeculaballet.com
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Inland Empire Contemporary Ballet
Artistic director Jamie Azpeitia-Sachs and Inland Empire Contemporary Ballet present their seventh annual “Nutcracker” production. 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 9 and 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Yucaipa Performing Arts Center, 12062 California St., Yucaipa. $25-$35 ticketmaster.com
Lake Arrowhead Classical Ballet Company
This company was founded by Sharon McCormick in 1993 and presented its first “Nutcracker” the following year. 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3. San Manuel Performing Arts Center at Aquinas High School, 2772 Sterling Ave., San Bernardino. $25. arrowheadballet.org
Inland Dance Theatre
Inland Dance Theatre has staged “The Nutcracker” since 1976 and also does annual performances for local schools. 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, 2:15 p.m. Dec. 10. California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. 4th St., San Bernardino. $40-$50. idtnutcracker.org
Inland Pacific Ballet
Montclair-based Inland Pacific Ballet brings its “Nutcracker” production, with more than 80 dancers, life-size dancing dolls and falling snow, to three different venues in three counties. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 2 p.m. Dec. 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at Lewis Family Playhouse at Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga; $63-$91. 2 p.m. Dec. 16-17 at Bridges Auditorium, 450 College Way, Claremont; $37-$95. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Fox Performing Arts Center. 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, $48-$112. ipballet.org
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