Attending Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s much-celebrated holiday classic, The Nutcracker, has become an annual tradition for families all over America, but few communities offer the varied wealth of productions that the East End enjoys each winter. From December 9–19, no less than five versions of the ballet are available between East Hampton and Stony Brook, and all of them are a joy to behold.
Set to Tchaikovsky’s music, The Nutcracker tells the tale of young Clara, who sets off on a magical adventure with her toy nutcracker-turned-prince on Christmas Eve. There’s something for everyone, whether that means returning to an annual favorite or mixing things up year after year. Any one of these fabulous productions will kick off the holiday season in joyful style!
HAMPTON BALLET THEATRE SCHOOL PRESENTS TCHAIKOVSKY’S NUTCRACKER AT GUILD HALL
December 9–11. Check out Hampton Ballet Theatre School’s production of The Nutcracker featuring student dancers and resident guest artists Adam and Gail Baranello of A&G Dance Company dancing as the Arabian Prince and Princess. See it at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater, 158 Main Street, East Hampton. For more information, call 631-324-0806 or visit guildhall.org.
THE NUTCRACKER AT WHBPAC
December 10–11. See Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center’s treasured holiday tradition, The Nutcracker ballet! Young student dancers join professionals from the Peconic Ballet Theatre Residency onstage. The popular ballet will also be condensed into an hour-long performance for school day audiences (grades K–5), followed by a Q&A, on Tuesday, December 13. WHBPAC, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-1500, whbpac.org
OVATIONS PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER SUITE AT PATCHOGUE THEATRE
December 10–11. The only full-length version of the classic ballet performed with live 25-piece orchestra in Suffolk County. Ovations Dance Repertory Company’s Nutcracker, featuring the Atlantic Wind Symphony, is a joy for audiences of all ages. An abbreviated version for school field trips, complete with curriculum guide, will be performed Thursday, December 8. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main Street, Patchogue. 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org.
STUDIO 3 PRESENTS MIXED NUTS: A CLASSIC HOLIDAY NUTCRACKER
December 16–18. A twist on the classic Nutcracker, featuring local student dancers, ages 7–18, from Studio 3 dance school. This mash-up of The Nutcracker and How the Grinch Stole Christmas features ballet and traces of tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor. 631-537-2008, dancestudio3.com.
SEISKAYA BALLET’S NUTCRACKER AT THE STALLER CENTER
December 16–19. One of Long Island’s most lavish productions of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet returns to the Staller Center. Choreographed by famed Russian choreographer Valia Seiskaya, this spectacular show has been crafted by internationally acclaimed artists and dancers. Staller Center, Stony Brook University, Nicolls Road, Stony Brook. 631-632-2787, nutcrackerballet.com.