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Southern California's 5 Best 'The Nutcracker' Ballets

The Nutcracker Header credit Festival Ballet Theater
(credit: Festival Ballet Theatre)

The Nutcracker season is set to dance across stages throughout Southern California. See Clara, Sugar Plum Fairies, toy soldiers and more as the magic unfolds during the holidays. We've picked five top spots where you can enjoy the classic ballet from LA to OC to SD.

The Nutcracker Ballet list credit Festival Ballet Theater
(credit: Festival Ballet Theatre)

Festival Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker
Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(714) 962-5440

This beautiful, popular production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre's Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla. The full-length, professional show is performed at the Irvine Barclay December 13-24, 2013. Celebrate the season with visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy, her dashing prince and heroine Clara, while a cast of more than 100 takes you back in time to mystical lands of old world charm. Family-friendly and affordable, FBT's The Nutcracker features internationally acclaimed guest artists, professional company dancers and budding young talent from across the Southland. American Ballet Theatre Guest Artists include Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky American Ballet Theatre, Sascha Radetsky & Stella Abrera American Ballet Theatre and more. For tickets and show information, visit

Los Angeles Ballet
(credit: Los Angeles Ballet)

Los Angeles Ballet presents The Nutcracker
Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 243-2539

Los Angeles Ballet's celebrated original production of The Nutcracker returns Dec. 7 and 8 at 7:30pm and 2pm respectively. In addition, the Nutcracker Holiday Festival by the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre returns on December 1st at 7pm. Follow Clara and her Nutcracker to the magical Land of Snow and to the enchanted Palace of the Dolls where all of Clara's favorite companions come to life. Running time is approximately two hours with one intermission, and the performance is suitable for all ages. For ticket prices and additional information, visit

Long Beach Ballet Nutcracker
(credit: Long Beach Ballet)

Long Beach Ballet's 30th Anniversary of "The Nutcracker"
1122 E. Wardlow Road
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 426-4112

Celebrate the holidays with the Long Beach Ballet's 31st Anniversary Performance of "The Nutcracker." The Long Beach Ballet intends to astound audiences this December with multiple performances of The Nutcracker at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Dec 14, 15 and 21-22. The 31st Anniversary production will be accompanied by a full symphony orchestra (the only Nutcracker in Southern California with live music) and promises special guest performances and surprise treats the family will love. The Long Beach Ballet's Artistic Director, David Wilcox, pulled out all the stops for the production of the classical tale and promises a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, astounding stage magic and a cast of more than 200.

nutcracker ucla
(credit: UCLA)

Los Angeles Ballet
Royce Hall at UCLA
340 Royce Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
(310) 825-4401

In a holiday tradition, the Los Angeles Ballet presents their annual presentation of the Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 21 and Sunday, Dec. 22 from 1pm to 5pm both days. Join Uncle Drosselmeyer, Clara and her beloved Nutcracker as they battle the Mouse King and his army, take a journey to the land of snow and to the enchanted Palace of the Dolls. The artistic directors are Thordal Christensen and Collean Neary. For additional information, please visit

San Diego Ballet Nutcracker
(credit: San Diego Ballet)

San Diego Ballet - The Nutcracker
Mandeville Auditorium
9500 Gillman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093
(619) 294-7311

In its 23rd year, this ballet fantasy features a cast of more than 100 beautifully costumed dancers, reveling in Tchaikovsky's beloved score. Join the San Diego Ballet on an enchanting journey through a landscape of Yuletide dreams. Look for leaping Cossacks, flurries of snowflakes and a legion of rats. The ballet is directed and choreographed by Robin Sherertz-Morgan and Javier Velasco. Performances are Dec. 20, 21 and 22. For performance times and more, visit

Debbie Lavdas is a Southern California writer who also writes for Laguna Beach Magazine and more. Keep up with her at @DebLavdas on Twitter or

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