The Nutcracker comes to life in Poughkeepsie, Kingston & Tannersville

(Photo by Jeff Weese)

(Photo by Jeff Weese)

It’s inevitable. Resistance is useless. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat; and it just isn’t a proper holiday season if you don’t catch at least one performance of The Nutcracker. It’s time to take a load off those relentlessly gift-hunting feet for a couple of hours and let some talented local kids and their balletically trained adult mentors do the hoofing while you drink in the sugarplummy spectacle. Here are three fine opportunities in our neck of the woods:

Bardavon 1869 Opera House, 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie: The New Paltz Ballet Theatre performs its 17th annual production of The Nutcracker, featuring New York City Ballet dancers Daniel Ulbricht and Erica Pereira, beginning at 2 and 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, December 12 and at 3 p.m. this Sunday, December 13. The ballet’s dreamlike journey through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets is created in part by the colorful costumes and scenery of renowned designer Ray Delle Robbins of the Houston Ballet. The staging and choreography are by the New Paltz Ballet Theatre’s artistic directors, New York City Ballet alumni Peter Naumann and Lisa Naumann. Tickets cost $30 general admission, $27 for students and $25 for Bardavon members, and are available at the Bardavon box office, (845) 473-2072, the Ulster Performing Arts Center box office, (845) 339-6088, or via Ticketmaster, (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. For more info visit www.bardavon.org.

Ulster Performing Arts Center, 601 Broadway, Kingston: The long-running annual production of The Nutcracker by the Catskill Ballet Theatre has become a tradition for many families and schools in the area: Tiny tykes who got their first stage experience scampering out from under Mother Ginger’s voluminous skirts have grown up to dance lead roles in CBT productions many years later. For 2015, Jennifer Moll-Safonovs dances the Sugar Plum Fairy, Norbert Nirewicz the Nutcracker Prince and Isabella Keesler and Kaitlyn Nero alternate as Clara. Performances begin at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12, with a 2 p.m. matinée this Sunday, December 13. Tickets cost $30 general admission, $25 for seniors and students and can be purchased at the UPAC box office, (845) 339-6088, or via Ticketmaster, (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. For more info visit https://catskillballet.org.

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Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center, 6050 Main Street, Tannersville: The Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory New York performs Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday ballet based on a tale by E. T. A. Hoffman this Saturday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m., presented by the Catskill Mountain Foundation. Tickets cost $30 general admission, $25 for seniors and $7 for students if purchased at the door; $25, $20 and $7 if booked ahead at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=cmf#nutcracker up to five hours before the performance. In an unusual twist, Herr Drosselmeyer, the kindly godfather who bestows the magical Nutcracker doll upon young Clara, will be cast as a woman: Auntie Drosselmeyer will be portrayed by Margo Sappington, Clara by Sydney Henson and the Nutcracker Prince by Orlando Harbutt.

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