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 in 2022 to check out:
November 18 to 20. 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: $35. Discounts available for seniors and children. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood. 2022
November 26 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. 2022
November 26 & 27. “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: $30. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood. 2022
November 25 to 27. 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 Boulder Philharmonic, spectacular scenery and special effects. Tickets TBA. Macky Auditorium, 1595 Pleasant St. (CU Boulder campus). Additional performances on December 3 & 4 in Longmont at Vance Brand Auditorium and December 10 & 11 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. 2022
December 10 & 11, 17 & 18. Sixty CCD students join guest artists Ji Young Chae and Patrick Yocum, of Boston Ballet on December 10 & 11 and Chisako Oga and Daniel Durrett of Boston Ballet on December 17 & 18. Saturday performances at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday performances at 1 p.m. Tickets: $24 to $54. Buy here. Performing Arts Complex at PCS, 1001 W. 84th Ave, Denver. 2022
December 15 to 20. Full-length professional performance with professional backdrops and sets. Tickets: $29 to $34. PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker. 2022
December 10 to 23. Full-length production with beautiful costumes and exciting choreography danced by Ballet Ariel’s professional company and school students. Tickets: $35 to $40. Discounts for students, seniors and children. Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood. 2022
December 2 & 3 and 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. December 2 & 3 shows at Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Buy Newman tickets here. Tickets: $25 to $40. Buy Ramsey Theatre tickets here. (Prices are $2 more at the door.) Joanna Ramsey Theatre, 6933 Raleigh St, Westminster.
December 17 & 18. Features Longmont pre-professional and academy students as well as guest artists with live orchestra accompaniment. Tickets: $22 to 30. Niwot H.S. Auditorium, 8989 Niwot Rd., Niwot. 2022