Is watching ‘The Nutcracker’ part of your holiday tradition? 6 places to see it this season

Nutcracker 3
Nutcracker 3
A dancer from South Shore Ballet Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker” awaits to entertain a full house crowd at its Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, 2021. Courtesy image.

WICKED – There are many things that signal “it’s the holidays,” from Black Friday to 24-hour holiday music on the radio to eggnog lattes on the cafe menu. For theater and dance lovers, it isn’t Christmas-time until they’ve seen “The Nutcracker” ballet — and there are plenty of places throughout Massachusetts performing it.

Some performances are traditional, others are re-imagined. Some are performed by adults, others by children. Some are even “sensory friendly.” With performances staggered throughout the month, there’s nothing stopping you from checking them all out!

The ballet’s plot —adapted from German author and composer E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and originally scored by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsk — tells the tale of young Clara and a nutcracker gifted to her by her uncle which, after much partying, dancing and a snooze, magically comes to life. The Nutcracker Prince and his tin soldiers fight the Mouse King and his mice soldiers. There’s a Kingdom of Sweets, a Sugar Plum Fairy and other wonders in what surely must be Clara’s dream. Or was it?

Here are six “The Nutcracker” performances to catch in the 2022 holiday seasons:

Boston Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

The Boston Ballet production runs from now through Dec. 25. The group has been in Boston for about 50 years.

Boston Ballet dancers perform “The Nutcracker,” which is running now. Image by Liza Voll.

Tickets cost anywhere from $50 – $300, depending on seating.

“The company is comprised of 69 dancers of 11 nationalities, representing the highest caliber of international talent on our Boston stage,” according to the Boston Ballet. “We perform in the historic, 2,500-seat Citizens Bank Opera House and reside offstage in a state-of-the-art facility headquartered in Boston’s South End.”

The opera house is located at 539 Washington St. in Boston.

There will be a “sensory-friendly” version of the show performed on Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m. at the Citizen’s Bank Opera House.

Visit for more information.

‘A New England Nutcracker,’ by the New Bedford Ballet

The New Bedford Ballet show runs Dec. 3 -11 at the NBB Community Theatre, 2459 Purchase St. in New Bedford. It is a re-imagining of the traditional “Nutcracker” show. The theater describes the show by noting, “Journey back to the 1850s, as this favorite holiday story is re-imagined through New Bedford’s historic whaling era and prepare for the ‘City That Lit the World’ to light up your holiday season.” This show is set to the traditional score by Tchaikovsky.

Dancers from the Melrose Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” include, standing: Olivia Matias (Dartmouth), Georgia Roderiques (Fairhaven), Avamarie Khazan (New Bedford). Kneeling: Michaela Murray (Acushnet), Isabella Francisco (New Bedford), Marley Senra (Dartmouth), Sophia Hughes (Dartmouth). Sitting: Olivia Camacho (Dartmouth).

“This original adaptation of the traditional ‘Nutcracker’ ballet, created by Rebecca Waskiel-Marchesseault, artistic director of the New Bedford Ballet, features choreography by Waskiel-Marchesseault, Erin Allen, and Eugenia Zinovieva,” according to the New Bedford Ballet.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, and children. Check out the website for various showtimes.

‘The Nutcracker’ at the Melrose Youth Ballet

The show runs from Dec. 2-4. Since 1995, this dance group has been presenting the holiday classic each year. It is always held at the Melrose Memorial Hall, located at 590 Main St.

According to the dance group, the show is “an annual tradition in the city of Melrose. This classic ballet has been staged annually at the Melrose Memorial Hall. On average, our youth cast consists of hundreds of dancers from more than 19 surrounding communities, enrolled in as many as 33 different dance studios.”

Tickets are $25. Check out the website for showtimes.

‘The Nutcracker’ at South Shore Ballet Theatre

The South Shore Ballet Theatre will present the show on Dec. 17 and 18, with performances at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The ballet will take place at the Thayer Academy Center for Performing Arts, 745 Washington St., Braintree.

“This year is very special as we welcome back two South Shore Ballet Theatre graduates to perform the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop,” stated the ballet’s founding artistic director, Marthavan McKeon. “We are also thrilled to welcome back Leslie Woodies as part of our production team, who is sharing her expertise with the dancers as well as working with me to update this year’s production with quite a few surprises for the audience.”

The Sugar Plum Fairy entrances young dancers on stage in a prior production of SSBT’s The Nutcracker, image by Abbey Knoll Photography

Tickets range from $20 to $30, available for purchase now, available at For more information, check out

A dancer in the Dance Prism production of “The Nutcracker.”

Dance Prism presents ‘The Nutcracker’

“For 40 years, Dance Prism…has enchanted Worcester audiences – both young and old – with the ballet’s beauty, joy, and magic,” according to Dance Prism. “Whether it’s your first time seeing The Nutcracker, or your 40th, don’t miss this Christmas tradition at Mechanics Hall. Young audience members will be invited to meet a special Nutcracker character after each performance.”

Performances will be held on Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. and at 5 p.m. Tickets cost between $38-$45. Mechanics Hall is located at 321 Main St. in Worcester.

Abridged version of ‘The Nutcracker’ at Cape Symphony

Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra Conductor Jung-Ho Pak
As part of the Holiday on the Cape celebration on Dec. 2, 3 and 4, the Cape Symphony will present an abridged version of “The Nutcracker.”

Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra Conductor Jung-Ho Pak, courtesy image

As part of the Holiday on the Cape celebration on Dec. 2, 3 and 4, the Cape Symphony will present an abridged version of “The Nutcracker.”

According to Cape Symphony, “The Cape Symphony Dance Company, led by Dance Director Michelle Chwastiak, will take the stage with the orchestra to perform favorite scenes from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Miya Henderson and Annika Waynen will alternate as Clara and the Snow Fairy. For these performances, the Company will be joined by dance majors from Dean College: Hyannis native Christopher Luz Rouque as the Snow King, Chiara Salzillo as the Snow Queen, Elisha Lesure as the Flower Fairy, and McKenna Talbot as the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

By Seth Jacobsen

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