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Let the Holidays ‘Show’ Your Family a Good Time

ParentMap’s annual December arts guide

Published on: November 28, 2022

Let the Holidays ‘Show’ Your Family a Good Time

Ballerinas dancing in white costumes
International Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker." Credit: Rex Tranter

‘The Nutcrackers’

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’ 
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s staging of “The Nutcracker” is one of the area’s most beloved holiday traditions. If you haven’t seen George Balanchine’s 1952 choreography paired with Ian Falconer’s quirky sets, there’s no better time than now. And if you go every year, no doubt you are already looking forward to the roaming GiggleWorks magicians during opening weekend, photo ops throughout the lobby for the entire run and the “Nutcracker Suites” add-on for folks to nosh during intermission. Digital-only tickets are also available. Nov. 25–Dec. 27. $27–$180. McCaw Hall, Seattle

Wade Walthall’s ‘The Nutcracker’ 
After a two-year hiatus, Evergreen City Ballet is back with Wade Walthall’s “The Nutcracker.” The company is offering four performances each at two venues: Auburn Performing Arts Center (Dec. 9–11) and Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center (Dec. 16–18). One of the performances at each venue will be an abbreviated, one-hour performance perfect for the littlest ballet fans. $15–$35.

Nutcracker Sweets 
The annual “Nutcracker Sweets” performances by ARC Dance showcase ARC School of Ballet students together with members of the professional company. The dancers bring the magic of “The Nutcracker” to life in a 90-minute version of the classic ballet specifically designed to appeal to young audience members. Performances begin Dec. 2 in Leavenworth and will be held on successive weekends in Ballard and Shoreline. Dec. 2–17. $15–$47. Venues in Leavenworth, Seattle and Shoreline 

'The Nutcracker’ 
Tacoma City Ballet presents an all-matinee run of the original Russian version of “The Nutcracker,” featuring live accompaniment by the Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra. Dec. 10–18. $17–$102. Pantages Theater, Tacoma

'The Nutcracker’ by Olympic Ballet Theatre 
Olympic Ballet Theatre presents its annual, full-length performance of the holiday favorite. The choreography by OBT artistic directors Oleg Gorboulev and Mara Vinson includes your favorite scenes from the original — snowflakes, mouse battle, flowers and all. Dec. 9–20. $25–$39. Venues in Everett and Edmonds

The Nutcracker’ by International Ballet Theatre
International Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker” is an Eastside tradition. This production of the beloved ballet is performed in the traditional Russian style, with choreography by Vera Altunina, plus Arabian dancers and a fierce battle scene. Dec. 9–23. $25–$55. Meydenbauer Center Theatre, Bellevue

'The Nutcracker’ by Ballet Northwest 
For more than 35 years, Ballet Northwest has presented a large-scale “Nutcracker” with more than 200 dancers, including guest artists. This year, Sanford Placide from Dance Theatre of Harlem will be showcased in the production. Dec. 9–18. $15–$36. Washington Center, Olympia

'The Nutcracker’ by Emerald Ballet Theatre
Now in its 15th year, ParentMap Golden Teddy–winning Emerald Ballet Theatre’s annual all-matinee production of “The Nutcracker” is performed by a combination of talented professional and student performers. It is one of a handful of local “Nutcrackers” performed with live music, courtesy of the Emerald Ballet Theatre Orchestra, conducted by David Waltman. On Dec. 11 at 10 a.m., a mini performance will introduce the youngest dancers to the stage. Dec. 3–11. $20–$49. Northshore Performing Arts Center, Bothell

Seattle City ‘Nutcracker
Bicoastal dance company DASSdance introduced its “All-Terrain Nutcracker” in 2019. The Seattle City “Nutcracker” prefers innovation over tradition and features an LED-lit mechanical doll and black-lit AI robots in the battle scene. Dec. 10–11. $27–$32. Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle

'The Nutcracker’ by Studio West Dance Theatre 
Kicking off the holiday season in the newly refurbished Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Studio West presents its own production that hews closely to the traditional ballet — with a few comical surprises. For an extra $15, kids ages 3 and older can join Clara’s Nutcracker Party one hour prior to each matinee performance to make a holiday keepsake, enjoy a “Nutcracker” story time, take pictures with characters from the ballet and eat treats. Nov. 25–28. $18–$30. Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia

'The Nutcracker’ by Vashon Center for Dance 
The Vashon Center for Dance will present its beloved all-ages “Nutcracker” Dec. 1–4. $15. Vashon Center for the Arts, Vashon Island

Up next: ‘Christmas Carols’ and ‘Nights Before Christmas’

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