Whether you’re a fan of toe shoes or can’t tell a tutu from a toucan, The Nutcracker is sure to win you over (and is the perfect introduction to ballet for children). The holiday classic receives stagings across the Front Range, from small dance school recitals to full-blown, big-budget productions with live orchestra and all the trimmings.
But no matter the dance troupe, Nutcracker dazzles audiences with glittering snowflakes, shimmering sugarplums, the thrilling battle between the Mouse King and the oh-so-handsome Prince and more, all to Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary score. Spend a little or spend a little bit more, the choice is yours. (We’ve noted any discounts.) Here are some productions to check out:
November 19 to 21. Traditional three-act production. The holiday classic transports the audience to a land of magic where dreams come true. Features elaborate costumes from Russia and Ukraine. Tickets: $30 and up. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood.
November 27 to December 24. Largest production in the state, with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. The real deal, with a full professional production with company dancers and local children. Features all new sets and costumes. Tickets: $40 and up. Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
November 27 & 28. “The Children’s Nutcracker” is performed by children ages 3 to 17 and is geared towards an audience of all ages. Enjoy a less formal but magical rendition of this holiday classic. Tickets: $25. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood.
December 3 to 5. One of Colorado’s major productions of the holiday tradition, with a cast of more than 80 dancers including the professional company and charming young student dancers, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, spectacular scenery and special effects. Tickets on sale in late October. Vance Brand Civic Center, 600 E. Mountain View Ave., Longmont.
December 10 to 12, 18 & 19. Sixty CCD students join guest artists Chase O’Connell & Beckanne Sisk of Ballet West on December 10 to 12 and Gavin Hounslow & Sharon Wehner on December 18 & 19. Tickets: $20 to $49. Save 10% on tickets using promo code MileHighOnTheCheap at checkout. Buy here. Performing Arts Complex at PCS, 1001 W. 84th Ave, Denver.
December 9 to 18. Colorado School of Dance’s performances include local casting combined with professional dancers and professional backdrops and sets. Tickets: $26 and up. PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker.
December 11 to 23. Full-length production with beautiful costumes and exciting choreography danced by Ballet Ariel’s professional company and school students. Tickets: $33 to $38. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood.
December 17 to 19. Features a cast of more than 140 children, pre-professional dancers, and guest artists, this delightful ballet (with full backdrops and beautiful costumes) will transport you to a simpler time and an enchanting place. Tickets: $25 to $40. (On sale starting October 20) Buy here. (Prices are $2 more at the door.) Joanna Ramsey Theatre, 6933 Raleigh St, Westminster.
Dates and venue TBA. Features Longmont pre-professional and academy students as well as guest artists with live orchestra accompaniment.