12/10-13: The Nutcracker at Allen Theatre

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On one hand, a touring production of The Nutcracker is a painful reminder that Cleveland doesn’t have a ballet anymore. But on the other hand, it’s a chance to see a brand-new take on an old favorite. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company — which claims to be the oldest continuously operating ballet company in North America — rolls into town tonight with your outsourced Nutcracker fix. It’s the same music (by Tchaikovsky) and story (based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King), but choreographers Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon set their production in a turn-of-the-20th-century Canadian prairie house and throw in a few local traditions, like playing hockey on a frozen pond and gazing at the nighttime northern lights. Don’t worry: There are still plenty of dancing mice, a sugarplum fairy and a growing Christmas tree. It opens at 7 tonight with additional performances running at 7 p.m. tomorrow, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at PlayhouseSquare's Allen Theatre (1407 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000). Tickets: $10-$75. — Michael Gill

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