‘The Nutcracker' to Pirouette Across Southern California

Clara and all of the Christmassy characters of the beloved ballet will soon return to Southern Californian stages.

Inland Pacific Ballet

What to Know

  • Los Angeles Ballet will call upon four theaters, starting with The Alex in Glendale; Debbie Allen's Dance Academy presents "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" in early December
  • The Inland Pacific Ballet will dance in Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside; "The Long Beach Nutcracker" will leap into The Terrace Theater while Anaheim Ballet will appear with Symphony Irvine
  • More productions will flower, like so many pretty poinsettias, around the region

Halloween is a holiday that's synonymous with ensorcelled sights, wizardly whimsy, and all manner of magical experiences.

But those magical-filled moments continue into the Christmas season, with fanciful stories, filled with fantastical figures, capturing our attention.

And not long after Halloween bids us farewell each year, a beloved ballet dances into vibrant view: "The Nutcracker."

Nope, the sparkly story, with its iconic Tchaikovsky score, enchanting set design, and colorful costuming, hasn't yet become a November tradition, though certainly, in some places, such as Anaheim, the Sugarplum Fairy begins to dance near Thanksgiving.

November is the time, though, when you'll want to leap, twirl, and pirouette in the direction of tickets, for seats for the holidaytime delight can fill up faster than The Mouse King can twirl his whiskers, especially on and around weekends.

But here's news that's as happy as the show's twinkling Tannebaum is tall: There are several splendid Southern California-based troupes presenting the ballet in the weeks ahead.

Los Angeles Ballet is known for making a grand jeté into multiple theaters each December, and that will again happen, with holiday cheer in tow, over the 2022 season. The Alex Theatre in Glendale is first up, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will be the last venue, and the troupe will pay visits to both Redondo Beach and UCLA's Royce Hall around the middle of the month.

Dance Dreams: The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, presented by the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, has become a cherished must-see over a dozen holiday seasons. "Three wisecracking mice from New York City" add whimsy, hip-hop and jazz weave through the wonder, and "Kara's Tea" will include storytelling with Debbie Allen. It's bringing the joy at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

Inland Pacific Ballet's take on the timeless story will perform its plucky pliés at two locations in 2022, with a two-weekend engagement at the Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga and a visit to The Fox in Riverside. Tickets begin at $24.

Anaheim Ballet summons the twinkle of the spirited tale and delivers it to the City National Grove of Anaheim starting in late November. Joining the ballet for this effervescent presentation? It's the sublime Symphony Irvine.

Long Beach Ballet takes its annual "Nutcracker" fantasia to the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention Center, where beautiful costumes, zazzy effects, and yuletide joy reign. There are five festive dates in all, including Christmas Eve Eve.

Check with the dance school in your town or local performance hall to see if they'll be "Nutcracker"-ing up their December schedules with this magical, sugarplummy, fir-scented treat.

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