Cue the Tchaikovsky.
The familiar strains of the Russian composer’s beloved Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker,” will fill auditoriums across Northeast Pennsylvania in the coming weeks thanks to local and international dance companies.
The story follows a girl, Clara, as she receives a nutcracker on Christmas Eve and begins a journey to otherworldly realms where she encounters magical creatures.
So grab your tickets and settle in for an extraordinary trip full of holiday spirit. Weekend Times has rounded up all the ways you can experience the classic production this season.
Linn McDonald School of Dance
Seventy students ranging in age from 3 to 60 will dance in the performance, which stars Sadie Hughes as Clara and Mark Dolph as Drosselmeyer.
When: Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m.
Where: Scranton High School, 63 Mike Munchak Way
Tickets: $15, available at the door
Details: Visit the school’s Facebook page.
The “Great Russian Nutcracker’s” Dove of Peace Tour comes to Wilkes-Barre and features hand-painted sets and such elements as nesting dolls, snow maidens and more.
When: Friday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.; doors open, 5:30
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square
Tickets: $28, $38, $48 and $68, plus fees; visit the box office or kirbycenter.org or call 570-826-1100
Degnan Ballet Center at the Conservatory of Wilkes University
About 60 people star in the production, which consists of Wilkes University students as well as local students enrolled at Wilkes Conservatory’s Degnan Ballet Center. The cast includes Rachel Whitenight as Klara and guest artists Julie Degnan, Ruben Suarez, T.J. Firneno and Connor Cohen.
When: Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m.
Where: Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts main stage, Wilkes University, 239 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre
Tickets: Adults, $22; seniors, students and children, $15; call 570-408-4426
Scranton Civic Ballet Company
This marks the company’s 32nd annual edition of the classic production. Eighty students and adults ages 8 to 75 will present the ballet, which will feature company dancer Robert Zaloga as Cavalier. Civic also will present its annual free “Eye on Dance” educational performance of the ballet Friday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m.
When: Friday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m.
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Tickets: Individual, $18.50; family four pack, $55.50, plus fees, available at the box office or by calling 570-344-1111
Details: 570-346-7369 or scrantoncivicballet.com
Ballet Theatre of Scranton
In partnership with Marywood University, the dance troupe once again will offer several free performances of “The Nutcracker” as a gift to the community. This marks Ballet Theatre’s 43rd year presenting the ballet, which stars Lucy Doherty as Clara. The cast also includes Abby Leoncini, a guest professional alumna.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 26, through Friday, Dec. 28, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts, Marywood University, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton
Tickets: Free; available at the box office the day of the show on a first-come, first-served basis two hours before curtain.
Details: 570-347-2867 or balletscranton.org