The Christmas season may seem a way’s off, but tickets to LA’s most popular Nutcracker and Nutcracker-inspired performances are already on sale. Leap at your chance to see the holiday classic (in one of its many iterations) with our guide to all of LA’s Nutcracker productions, kicking off Nov. 16. Read on for all the details. 

LAB's Nutcracker Tea

Spend an elegant afternoon at The Waldorf Astoria and enjoy a full High Tea plus a special preview performance from Los Angeles Ballet's The Nutcracker. Dine on classic tea-time delicacies and specially blended teas, while the kids enjoy a craft area that includes dance lessons with some of LAB's star dancers. Also included? A special Holiday bazaar featuring unique gift ideas and the opportunity to take a photo with the dancers.

Date: Nov. 16 & 17
Cost: $75 for children; $150 for adults

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
9850 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills
Online: losangelesballet.org

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Westside Ballet at The Broad Stage

If it’s a mix of LA tradition and classic ballet you are looking for, West Side Ballet’s production at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica is right up your alley. This is the longest running Nutcracker production in LA and is accompanied by a live orchestra to boot. This is particularly friendly for young theater-goers as there are early matinees, booster seats for the little ones and babes two and under can sit on your lap for free.

Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 1; and Dec. 7-8
Cost: $45

The Broad Stage
1310 11th St.
Santa Monica
Online: westsideballet.com

photo: Reed Hutchinson

Los Angeles Ballet

Los Angeles Ballet continually brings exciting ballet productions to Los Angeles, and their annual Nutcracker is no exception. In this production, LAB has stayed true to their classical roots with a little spin: the show is set in LA in 1912. Keep your eyes peeled for hints of iconic Southern California sights, including the Venice archway and snowy forests of The Sierras. This year LAB performs The Nutcracker at five different venues throughout the Southland, so there's plenty of opportunities to catch a performance without having to sit in too much traffic.

Dates: Dec. 7-8, 13-15, 20-24, & and 28-29
Cost: $36-104

Performances are at Cerritos CenterThe Alex Theatre, Royce Hall at UCLA, The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and The Dolby Theatre where they will be accompanied by the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra.

Online: losangelesballet.org

photo: Moscow Ballet

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

If it’s old-fashioned you’re looking for (in the best possible way), this is your production. Step into The Wiltern theater to see Moscow Ballet’s principal dancers. This production features a 60-foot growing Christmas tree, handmade costumes and hand-painted sets that will leave everyone enthralled.

Dates: Dec. 21 & 22
Cost: $40 & up

The Wiltern
3790 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles
Online: nutcracker.com

photo: The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

Debbie Allen's Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

In this rendition of the timeless tale, the great Christmas Eve party scene takes place in 1928-era New Orleans. Kara Johnson receives a nutcracker filled with hot chocolate and upon falling asleep is transported to a land of wonder by a trio of mischievous mice. This spin includes an original score by Mariah Carey, young LA dancers who are all students of the Debbie Allen Academy and Debbie Allen herself. Treat your family to this not-so-classic adventure, and even those who poo-poo the tutu will have a blast.

Dates: Dec. 5-8
Cost: $40-$110

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Redondo Beach
Online: thehotchocolatenutcracker.com

photo: Pasadena Dance Theatre

Pasadena Dance Theatre

This is a beautiful production at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse is presented by one of our local companies and the perfect opportunity to support homegrown artistic effort. With a cast of over 80 dancers, it’s a tremendous production that will please everyone. On Dec. 21 and 22, you can also purchase tickets to Clara’s Holiday Party, a pre-matinee show event, featuring refreshments and a visit from Clara and the Sugarplum Fairy.

Dates: Dec.14-15 & 21-23
Cost: $50 & up

San Gabriel Mission Playhouse
320 S. Mission Dr.
Pasadena
Online: pasadenadance.org

photo: Red Chair Productions

Red Chair Children’s Production

What’s more kid-friendly than other kids? This production features performers ages 5-18 in principal roles, along with a cast of more than 130 dancers, plus lavish sets and sparkly costumes. 

Dates: Dec. 14-15
Cost: $15 & up

Alex Theatre
216 N Brand Blvd.
Glendale
Online: redchairproductions.org

photo: E.Y. Yanagi

Inland Pacific Ballet

This company's production of The Nutcracker sets itself apart by incorporating at 40-foot Chinese Dragon into the show. The dazzling sets also include falling snow and an antique original Albany Flyer One Horse Open Sleigh. More than 80 dancers in intricately designed costumes help bring the classic story to life.

Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 1 & Dec. 7-8 at Lewis Family Playhouse; Dec. 14-15 at Fox Performing Arts Center; Dec. 20-21 at Bridges Auditorium

Tickets: $25 & up (prices vary by venue)

Online: ipballet.org

Marat Daukayev School of Ballet

You may recognize the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet from the documentary Getting to the Nutcracker, but even if you're not familiar with this local training ground for future prima ballerinas, their annual Nutcracker is worth seeing. Featuring a cast primarily composed of students, the colorful production often includes guest artists from notable companies such as The New York City and San Francisco ballets. Young audience members who remain enchanted with ballet can sign-up for classes and practice to take their place as a future Clara or Snow Queen.

Dates: Dec. 7-8 & 14-15
Cost: TBA

The Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA
5151 State University Dr.
Los Angeles
Online: luckmanarts.org

-Anna Lane

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