"The Nutcracker" on Valley stages

Enjoy the "Nutcracker Ballet" Nov 26-27 at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts

I’ve attended every production of Ballet Arizona’s “The Nutcracker” — now an Ib Andersen piece — since my children were tiny.

Two of them, Jennifer and Lizabeth, have danced in the production — which means I’ve also logged plenty of “Stage Mom” hours at Symphony Hall.

I’ve tied party girl bows, adjusted angel wings, placed red stickers on the cheeks of toy soldiers, even helped children don mouse heads. It’s always a joy.

“The Nutcracker Party” presented by Ballet Arizona features dance, children’s activities and other family-friendly festivities

This season, Ib Andersen’s “The Nutcracker” will be performed by Ballet Arizona Dec 10-26. Their annual “The Nutcracker Party” takes place Dec 5 at the Camelback Inn, and Dec 9 has been designated a special “Angel Night.”

Those eager to get a jump on the holiday season can enjoy a “Nutcracker Sweet Tea” on Nov 20 in Queen Creek, or see the Ballet Etudes production of “The Nutcracker” Nov 26-Dec 5 at the Chandler Center for the Performing Arts. They’ll perform at the Mesa Arts Center Dec 10-12.

Paradise Valley Community College is proud to share that 15 of their students will perform Nov 26-28 in the Ballet and Friends and Master Ballet Academy production of “The Nutcracker” at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. The performances benefit the “Toys for Tots” program.

Theater Works and Ballet Academy of Arizona present their “Nutcracker Ballet” Nov 26-27 at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. Theater Works notes that “children will perform in New York City Ballet costumes.”

Those who’ve enjoyed the work of Ballet Arizona will remember dancer Yen-Li Chen, who once danced with the company but now serves as artistic director for Southwest Youth Ballet.

Their production of “The Nutcracker,” featuring music by the Chandler Symphony Orchestra, takes place Dec 17-18 at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts.

Southwest Youth Ballet performs "The Nutcracker" featuring music by the Chandler Symphony Orchestra

Like the many dances in “The Nutcracker” — featuring Russian, Arabian and Chinese dancers — each production of this timeless Tchaikovsky piece has its own special flavor.

You wouldn’t eat just a single bon bon, so why settle for seeing just one performance of “The Nutcracker” when there are so many treats to try this time of year.

Experience “The Nutcracker” early and often — it’s a magical piece of theater that your children are likely to remember, and cherish, for a lifetime.

— Lynn

Note: If your Arizona school or organization is presenting “The Nutcracker” this season, feel free to share brief details with our readers in the “comment” section below. Comprehensive listings of holiday-related and other family-friendly events are always available in the print and e-zine editions of Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

Coming up: More holiday dance delights, Valley theaters present holiday productions from classic to contemporary, Music of the season