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Where to See ‘The Nutcracker’ This Season

Need your holiday sugar plum fix? There are lots of choices in the area.

Everyone knows The Nutcracker is performed every year here in Philadelphia, throughout December, by the Pennsylvania Ballet. The tradition continues this year with the usual December run at the Academy of Music. But it’s not the only place to see sugar plum fairies and Clara.


Looking for something different? Here are all the ways to see the timeless classic this December:

The Pennsylvania Ballet

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

Runs December 9 — 31

Tickets range from $35 to $135


The big one — the George Balanchine version — is now in its 48th year in Philadelphia. The Nutcracker became a U.S. holiday tradition in the late 1960s, and has come to Philadelphia for all of that time. This year’s Pennsylvania Ballet production is state-of-the-art, featuring opulent costumes and a top-notch rendering of the Land of Sweets. The production comes from artistic director Angel Corella.

nutcrackerfeature1Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’ 

Zellerbach Theater, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia

Runs December 12 and 13

Tickets range from $28 to $68


For those looking for some Russian authenticity, the Moscow Ballet brings their touring production to Philadelphia for two days at the Zellerbach Theater. This production features Russian-made costumes and a 60 feet tall growing Christmas tree.


The Rock School Presents ‘Nutcracker 1776’

Centennial Hall at the Haverford School, 450 Lancaster Ave., Haverford (December 10 and 11)

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., Philadelphia (December 16 and 17)

Tickets in Haverford are $25 for adults and $15 for children and students; tickets range from $34 to $54 in Philadelphia


The Rock School’s production, performed for the ninth time, sets the Nutcracker story against the story of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The cast includes professional performers as well as 200 student dancers.

The Philadelphia Dance Academy

Mandell Theater, Drexel University, 3220 Chestnut St., Philadelphia

Runs December 17 and 18

Tickets range from $15 to $25


This entirely student-performed production, with the Philadelphia Youth Ballet, is in its seventh year.

nutcrackerfeature2Brandywine Ballet

Emilie K. Asplundh Hall, West Chester University, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester

Runs December 9 — December 18

Tickets range from $18 to $45


This eight-performance production, featuring original choreography from David Kloss and Donna L. Muzio, promises “a tour de force of beauty and elegance.”

Academy of International Ballet

Unionville High School, 750 Unionville Road, Kennett Square

December 10 (2 and 7 pm)

Tickets are $20


A combination of students and professional dancers makes this a “hidden gem,” according to one of our readers.

International Ballet Theater

Fred T. Meagher Theater, Neumann University, Aston

Runs December 10 and 11

Tickets $28 for adults; seniors and children $18


This is the company’s 25th season performing the ballet.

International Ballet Exchange

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

Runs December 17 and 18

Tickets $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and students


This exchange brings in a Ukrainian ballet company, the Donetsk Ballet, for two performances during its U.S. tour. Local schoolchildren fill out the cast.


Photographs by Alexander Iziliaev and courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet. 


  • Melissa December 7, 2016

    Don’t forget about International Ballet Theater. They put on the most beautiful show! Two shows left Sat & Sun Dec 10th & 11th at 2pm, Neumann University, One Neumann Dr, Aston, PA. Tix $18-28.