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The Definitive Bay Area Nutcracker Guide 2011

Photo courtesy of Erik Tomasson/SF Ballet

Dancing fairies, pirouetting snow queens, and prancing men in tights - no, we’re not talking about the nutty relatives. The first company to bring the Nutcracker to America–the San Francisco Ballet–is back with their can’t-peel-your-eyes-from-the-sparkly-stage production. Set in early twentieth century San Francisco, Clara's trippy journey is an ode to our awesome city – complete with Chinatown, Conservatory of Flowers, and Painted Ladies inspirations. Expect sword-fighting mice, waltzing party-goers, crazy-beautiful snowfall scenery, impressive tech chops, choreography by Helgi Tomasson, and orchestra-performed Tchaikovsky. This nut-cracking spectacle promises to chassé the “bah, humbug” out of the most cynical of San Franciscans. Trust. December 9–27; War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness; http://www.sfballet.org

Craving an encore? From wild dance-alongs to traditional tales, there’s a suite of Nutcracker performances to keep you on your toes this holiday. In a nutshell, here’s your Bay Area guide to the land of Sugar Plums. You’re welcome. 

In San Francisco:

2011 Dance-Along Nutcracker: Clara's Magical Mystery Tour at Yerba Buena; Dec 10–11

The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie - The Kidz Version at Brava Theater; Dec 10–11

City Ballet School's 9th Annual Nutcracker at Palace of Fine Arts; Dec 10–11

Mark Foehringer's Nutcracker Sweets at Children’s Creativity Museum; through Dec 23

 
In the East Bay:

Alameda Civic Ballet's The Nutcracker Ballet at Kofman Auditorium; Dec 17–18

Oakland Ballet presents Graham Lustig's The Nutcracker at Paramount Theatre; Dec 22–24

Berkeley Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts; Dec 9–11, 16–18

 
In the North Bay:

Marin Ballet's The Nutcracker at Marin Civic Center; Dec 10–11

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker (Santa Rosa) at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts; Dec 17

 
In the South Bay:

Santa Clara Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker at Santa Clara Convention Center Theater; Dec 10–11

Valley Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Livermore Performing Arts Center; Dec 10–11, 16–18

Ballet San Jose’s The Nutcracker at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts; Dec 10–23

Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre; Dec 10–11, 17–18