OPENS DECEMBER 12 Let visions of sugarplum fairies dance through your head—and right before your eyes—in the annual holiday performance of The Nutcracker, brought to life by The National Ballet of Canada. The timeless story of siblings Misha and Marie navigating a dream world will enchant young and old alike. Tchaikovsky’s memorable score, paired with James Kudelka’s choreography and libretto and set against the backdrop of Santo Loquasto’s lush backdrops and costumes, creates a magical re-imagining of this classic 19th-century Russian tale. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, $33 to $121; call 416-345-9595 or visit the National Ballet’s website for times and tickets.
DECEMBER 12 & 13, 19 & 20 If you just can’t get enough sugar-plum fairies and toy soldiers, this city hosts a second production of The Nutcracker, performed by the Toronto International Ballet Theatre with a global roster of special-guest dancers. Choreographed by Bolshoi-trained ballerina Tatiana Stepanova, this version seeks to pay tribute to the imperial beauty of the original Russian ballet. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, December 12 and 13; Cardinal Carter Theatre, December 19 and 20, $35 to $60; click here for further details and to buy tickets.