Where to See ‘The Nutcracker’ This Season
Need your holiday sugar plum fix? There are lots of choices in the area.
The Nutcracker is celebrating its 125th Season with a beloved storyline that is remembered throughout history as the holiday season’s ballet. Originally performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky, the story of a little girl named Clara on Christmas Eve unfolds into a whirlwind adventure, eventually culminating in a battle with the Mouse King. Here are some local performances of The Nutcracker this holiday season.
Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
Runs December 8 — 31
Tickets range from $25 to $125
This performance by the Pennsylvania Ballet is a Philadelphia classic, and includes more than just a ballet performance. A Nutcracker Magic Day happens on December 9 with a family luncheon, and December 10 and 16 are “Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy” days with photos and snack buffet. Sensory-friendly performances are also available.
McShain Performing Arts Center, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont
December 16, 1 pm and 4 pm
Tickets are $15 to $35, and save $5 by purchasing in advance online.
This Paoli-based dance company is hosting their first take on the classic ballet that combines dance and desserts. A big-band style of the show puts a new take on the music, and desserts will be available for audience members to enjoy during the show. Stop by a half an hour before the show and enjoy a story time and pictures with the Sugarplum Fairy.
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Road, Drexel Hill
Runs November 17 — 19
Tickets are $10 to $22, UDPAC members save $2 and children younger than 12 save $1.
This Narberth ballet company is one of the few in the region to solely focus on classical ballet. Each 90 minute show is sure to entertain ages 4 and older, and so will the Winterland setup before and after each performance. Cast members will be available for pictures after the Saturday afternoon performance. Tickets range from $10 — 22, UDPAC members save $2 and children younger than 12 save $1. For more information, visit udpac.org or call 610-622-1189.
Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, William Penn Charter School, 3000 W. School House Lane, Philadelphia
November 24, 7 pm; November 25, 1 and 4 pm
Tickets are $22 for kids, seniors, and students, and $25 for adults
“A Philadelphia Nutcracker” has a local flair, with scenes set in the Northwest Philly neighborhoods many of the school’s dancers call home. It’s become a weekend-after-Thanksgiving tradition for local families.
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia
Runs December 18 and 19
Tickets range from $28 to $68
This Russian ballet troupe is on its 25th international tour, and stops in Philadelphia for two nights. Backdrops are created by the set designer for La La Land and elaborate props literally fill the stage. Tickets start at $28, and can be purchased online on the Moscow Ballet’s website.
November 24, 7 pm
November 25, 1 and 4 pm
Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
December 9, 1 and 4 pm
December 10, 2 pm
The Haverford School, Centennial Hall, 450 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford
Each 70-minute performance is an adaptation of the original Nutcracker involves the history of the city of Philadelphia into the plot, but is still sure to entertain with Ben Franklin and General Mouse Howe leading the story. Prices start at $35 for the Family Circle for the Philadelphia performance, and at $15 for the Haverford performance.
December 10, 2 pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia
See a kid-friendly production of the beloved ballet, then try it yourself during a post-show ballet lesson for the audience. This event is free.
Mandell Theater, Drexel University, 3220 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
Runs December 16 and 17
Tickets range from $15 to $20
Each two-hour performance will feature students of the Philadelphia Youth Ballet, Philadelphia Dance Academy, and professional guest artists. Mezzanine seats are $15 and orchestra seats are $20.
Emilie K. Asplundh Hall, West Chester University, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester
Runs December 8 — December 17
Tickets range from $25 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.”
Upper Merion Middle School Theater, 450 Keebler Raod, King of Prussia
November 25, 1 and 4 pm (Santa Tea Party from noon — 4 pm)
This 60-minute, no-intermission performance is in a small theater, so it’s a close-up experience for kids. Tickets are $20 and include a tea party with Santa before or after the early show, or before the later show.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy, 1345 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley (November 25)
Strath Haven Middle School, 200 S. Providence Rd., Nether Providence Township (December 16)
Tickets are $20
A combination of students and professional dancers makes this a “hidden gem,” according to one of our readers.
Fred T. Meagher Theater, Neumann University, 1 Neumann Drive, Aston
Runs December 9 and 10
Tickets $28 for adults; seniors and children $18
This is the 26th year of IBC’s Nutcracker, and features European dance artists as well as original set pieces from Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Tickets are $18 for children, seniors, and students, and $28 for adults. Tickets may be purchased by credit card on their website, or reserved by phone at 610-986-2474.
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting
Runs December 16 and 17
Tickets $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and students
The Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine troupe travels the world and this performance is sponsored by the International Ballet Exchange, bringing high-quality ballet performances to aspiring dancers. The award-winning cast invites 50 local students to be a part of the performance. Tickets are $20 for children, seniors, and students, and $30 for adults. For more information, call 215-849-7950.
Photographs by Alexander Iziliaev and courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet.