December means Nutcrackers galore Yes, it's true, pretty much any weekend this month you can find a showing of The Nutcracker at your neighborhood theater, any regional theater, or down in the Arts District. We've selected our top picks here, so get out your calendars and start planning.
But if you're done with The Nutcracker and are looking for a little something else to do during the holiday season, we have some other choices--one that is just for adults, and a couple that are family-friendly.
All the Nutcrackers you could want:
Now-Through December 7: Texas Ballet Theater presents Ben Stevenson's production of The Nutcracker. It's a pretty straightforward retelling of the classic tale. Clara receives a mysterious Nutcracker from her godfather and it becomes the center of an astonishing dream. Come join Clara on her magical journey as she travels with a Nutcracker turned Prince to The Land of Sweets where she is treated to a celebration of sweets from around the world who dance just for her. There's flying carpets and snow too. And maybe, if we're lucky, there will be real snow on the ground while you're watching these dancers do their thing. Multiple times at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street, Dallas. $15-$150. 877-828-9200. texasballettheater.org/
December 12-27: TBT will come back for round two, this time at their home base in Fort Worth, so if you live closer to Tarrant County, save some gas money and see it at Bass Hall. December 12-27, 2014 at multiple times at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce Street, Fort Worth. $15-$150. 877-828-9200. www.texasballettheater.org/
December 5-7: Dallas Ballet Company Under the artistic direction of Judy and Brent Klopfenstein, DBC has invited special guest artists April Daly and Miguel Blanco of the Joffrey Ballet to Dallas for their presentation of The Nutcracker. DBC has been training young dancers since 1987, original under the name City Dance Theatre, and is known for their professionalism and impressive technique. That history coupled with these invited guests, this performance shows a lot of promise. Friday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. at Garland's Granville Arts Center. 300 N. 5th St., Garland. $23-$25. 972-205-2790. www.garlandarts.com
December 6-7: Ballet Ensemble of Texas Under the artistic direction of Lisa Slagle, the Ballet Ensemble of Texas will present a full production of this holiday classic. The performance will feature Dallas Blagg (who used to dance with the Bruce Wood Dance Company) and Gabriela Gonzalez from Tulsa Ballet.Saturday, December 6 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 7 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd, Irving. $25-$30. 972-252-ARTS. www.irvingartscenter.com
December 13-14: Festival Ballet of North Central Texas For those of you who live north on 35, Festival Ballet has their version of The Nutcracker for you. Now in its twenty-seventh year, this production has become a holiday tradition in Denton. The dancers you'll see at this show represent 30 communities in the North Central region of Texas, as well as dancers from New York and Washington, DC. Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 14 at 2:30 p.m. at Margo Jones Performance Hall, Texas Woman's University, 1322 Oakland Street, Denton. $15, $25, $35. www.festivalballet.net/ December 20-21: Tuzer Ballet Join Tuzer Ballet as they celebrate their 30th annual production of The Nutcracker. 30 years! Now that's an impressive run of a show. This company always puts on a good Nutcracker that is both family friendly and technical proficient, so it has a little something for everyone. Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. $15- $50. 972-744-4650. www.Eisemanncenter.com/
December 22-23: Collin County Ballet Theatre Under the artistic direction of Kirt and Linda Hathaway, this production features some really incredible young dancers in prominent roles, as well as professional dancers from the area. They will also be welcoming the Plano Symphony Orchestra, who will be playing Tchaikovsky's classic score live. Monday, December 22 and Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. $22-$77. 972-744-4650. www.eisemanncenter.com/
And for those of you who are looking for something different in the dance department for the holidays:
December 2-14, 2014. A Christmas Story, The Musical Direct from Broadway, A Christmas Story, The Musical, which was nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical, comes to life at the Music Hall in Fair Park. Based on the classic 1983 movie--"You'll shoot your eye out!"--you have the chance to relive all those wonderful memories live and in front of your face. Just watch out for those frozen flagpoles. December 2-14, 2014 at multiple times at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave, Dallas. 800-982-ARTS. www.dallassummermusicals.org/
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December 5: Rhythmic Souls' Everything Old is New Again Rhythmic Souls' hit series Legends Never Die is back with its second installment, Everything Old is New Again. These fierce rhythm tappers will be translating memorable Hollywood movie musical scenes from screen to stage, featuring tributes to famous tap dance legends including Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, The Nicholas Brothers, Ann Miller, Eleanor Powell, Bill Robinson, Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines and more. If you loved movies like Swing Time, Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, and 42nd Street, this show is for you. Friday, December 5. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; performance begins at 8:00 p.m. Kessler Theater. 1230 W Davis St Dallas. Tickets: $20-$30. www.rhythmicsouls.org December 7: Eight and One Dance Company presents In The Spirit Eight and One Dance Company's holiday offering promises to get you "in the spirit" with their live music, seasonal goodies, and of course, dancing. This show will be a bit more chilled out (excuse the pun) than the other performance listed here. It's in a more relaxed environment, The Quixotic World in Deep Ellum, and the bar is right next to the stage--literally, you could still be sitting at the bar on your third Hot Toddy and be watching these dancers work. If this sounds more like your speed, then let 8&1 entertain you. Saturday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Quixotic World, 2824 Main Street, Dallas. $22.50 adult, $15 child age 5-12, under age 5 free. www.8and1dance.com/ December 16-21: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. The beloved TV classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, returns to the stage in Dallas for all of us who are still kids at heart, and for our own kids for whom we can't wait to share this holiday classic. This is also the 50th anniversary of Rudolph's time on TV, so it's kind of major. Celebrate with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. December 16-21 at multiple times at the Majestic Theatre. 1925 Elm St Dallas. www.ticketdfw.com December 19-20: Epiphany DanceArts presents Winter's Dance Featuring music from Mumford & Sons, Celine Dion, Nichol Smith, David Nevue, and more, this five-year celebration from Epiphany DanceArts gives a pop music twist on the holidays. Just from the artists named above, you might get a reprieve from the Christmas music that will be blaring out of every radio station you have programmed in your car, while being treated to some contemporary dance. Friday, December 19 and Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. $17-27. 972-744-4650. www.eisemanncenter.com/
December 20-21: imPULSE dance project presents Snow This two night wintery event consists of works choreographed by Artistic Director, Anastasia Waters, and imPULSE company members Krista Langford, and Hannah Requa. This not so traditional Christmas and Holiday dance performance touches on nostalgia of winter seasons gone by. The candlelit modern dance performance brings the outdoor wintery, snowy atmosphere indoors to ignite the spirits of children and adults alike with that wonderful sense of mystery, and excitement that comes with the winter season. Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the MCL Grand Theater, Recital Hall, 100 North Charles St., Lewisville. $15. www.imPULSEdanceproject.org/
And as we promised, a show just for adults (or for those of you with teenagers who are just over The Nutcracker [insert eye roll as they say it]):
December 19: The Nutty Nutcracker Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutty Nutcracker, a PG-13 spoof of the classical ballet. This show incorporates pop culture and current events to parody the story of the traditional holiday favorite. Set to the original score, this performance is said to be not like your typical Nutcracker. We haven't seen it, but we can only hope Clara and the Prince get a little one-on-one time in this version. You know, to spice things up.Friday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Bass Performance Hall, 330 E 4th Street, Fort Worth. $25-$65. 877-828-9200. www.texasballettheater.org/