The Nutcracker? It likely brings to mind, and heart, and ear, several different things for anyone who has experienced it. Tchaikovsky's sublime score, the centerpiece Christmas tree, the candy cane dancers, and, of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy.
But memories of going to a theater for the first time, with your parents, also loom large (and lovely) in our collective Nutcracker-based world. Is it time for your tot to see Clara's journey, live and on stage? A number of companies around SoCal shall dance in December. They include...
The Marat Daukayev Ballet: The "former star of the Kirov Ballet" plays Drosselmeyer in this production, which is "(b)ased on the St. Petersburg production of 1934. Children will be dancing in many of the roles, which means this: It's the perfect first-time Nutcracker experience for your own small one. And for you, too. It's at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on Dec. 7, 8, 14, and 15.
The LA Ballet: The troupe isn't tied to one theatre when it comes to its Christmas spectacular; rather, there are plans to call upon the Alex in Glendale, UCLA's Royce Hall, the Valley Performing Arts Center, and Redondo Beach. A nice thing? Shows start early in the month and run a few days past Dec. 25, in case the holiday has you busy up until the very last moment.
The Moscow Ballet: This touring company always calls upon California for a few performances, and it is set to pirouette smack dab in the middle of the month at The Wiltern. It's one day only but there are two shows. If this is a young one's first Nutcracker, a matinee is definitely the way to go. For more details on the Dec. 15 Great Russian Nutcracker, read on.
Long Beach Ballet: It's one of the fictional-fantastic parts of calling SoCal home: Entertainment wizards often have a hand in other projects in the community. "Three Disney Designers" had a hand in creating the scenery look for this production, which unfurls Long Beach Terrace Theater. Also? There's a "full symphony orchestra," too. Talk about magical times in the snowy world of what is possibly the most famous ballet of all.