‘Nutcracker' Time Is Nigh, Sugar Plum People of SoCal

Magical lands and mysterious rat kings are now appearing on various local stages, but not for long.

What to Know

  • LA, Long Beach, Claremont, Riverside...
  • Los Angeles Ballet, Inland Pacific Ballet, Los Angeles Youth Ballet, Long Beach Ballet
  • Dates/prices vary

Nowadays, the necessity of using words such as "nigh" isn't extremely high, especially when there are other terms we can easily go to, such as "near" or "almost here."

But dropping a few sassy "nighs" shouldn't engender sighs nor whys, not when it comes to "The Nutcracker," a story, and production, that hails from an age when elegance, pomp, and, yes, more formal words were all the rage.

So we tell you this: The time is very, very nigh for this Christmastime ballet, the sparkly story of a girl named Clara, an enchanted nutcracker, and a host of enchanting characters from enchanting lands.

"Timeless" isn't quite as rarely heard as "nigh," and it definitely applies here: "The Nutcracker" is as necessary a top-tier yuletide tradition as cocoa and carols.

Where, though, to find the sugarplum-scented Tchaikovsky ballet? There are several choices around Southern California, and, yes, the time is nigher than nigh, so best board your sleigh at once.

The Long Beach Ballet will present seven performances over five select December days, beginning on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Long Beach Terrace Theater.

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The Los Angeles Ballet's charming take on the magical tale is currently leaping around town right now, with visits to Redondo Beach and UCLA's Royce Hall just ahead.

The American Contemporary Ballet may be festively found at California Plaza, in DTLA, on a few December days. "The Nutcracker Suite" is an hourlong "immersive" take on the classic.

The LA Youth Ballet will summon that seasonal sweetness at The Alex Theatre in Glendale on the weekend ahead of Christmas, for four performances only.

And the Inland Pacific Ballet still has visits to Riverside and Claremont coming up, with a special "Nutty Nutcracker" spin on the Friday nights of each visit. Details and dates are here.

Are there more Nutcrackers to be found, 'round the Golden State? Indeed: The productions are nearly as plentiful as snowflakes. Check your local troupe and see if they're Nutcrackering this season.

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