For many, The Nutcracker is as much a part of the holiday season as overeating and overspending. But unlike the crippling guilt felt after any overindulging, the ballet provides viewers with heaping helpings of joy, a sense of awe inspired by the dancers' amazing adroitness, and feelings of calm and comfort, thanks in no small part to Tchaikovsky's stunning score. Yes, spend an afternoon or an evening with the Missouri Ballet Theatre when the group presents The Nutcracker, and it'll be easy to leave thoughts of your bloated belly and empty wallet behind, as you witness the defeat of the terrifying Rat King and travel with young Clara to magical, faraway lands. The ballet company fills Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard) with plenty of holiday spirit at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday (December 14 through 16). Tickets, which cost $28 to $42, are available by calling 314-534-1111 or visiting www.metrotix.com. In addition to the performances, Missouri Ballet Theatre also offers Sugar Plum Parade Parties before the afternoon shows, which include a ballet lesson, a backstage tour, an autograph session, a ticket to the performance and much more; party admission costs $48 to $57.
Dec. 14-16, 2012

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