If The Nutcracker isn't performed in December, will Christmas still come? It's a question for which we shall never have to find an answer, because December always brings a wealth of stagings of Tchaikovsky's most popular ballet. Among your many options to scratch your Nutcracker itch is the one produced by the Joffrey Ballet. Theirs is an epic conception of the tale, with choreography by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Victorian costumes and sets, more than 160 St. Louis-area singers and dancers and the full power of the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis producing Tchaikovsky's beloved score. Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better, but this production is the sort of magnificent spectacle that really defines grand ballet. You won't see another one like it in all of December. The Joffrey Ballet performs The Nutcracker at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday (December 3 through 6) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1111 or www.fabulousfox.com). Tickets are $20 to $75.
Dec. 3-6, 2009

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