Visions of sugar plums: Nutcracker at UPAC and Bardavon

(Photos by Dion Ogust)

Ready for your annual visions of sugarplums? Two top-shelf regional productions of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker are in the works for this weekend, December 7 through 9. The Catskill Ballet Theatre will be performing at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston and the New Paltz Ballet Theatre at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie.

The Catskill Ballet Theatre’s production of the beloved holiday dance extravaganza – its 37th – will feature some stellar guest artists, notably the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Yinet Fernandez as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the National Ballet of Cuba’s José Carlos Losada Morales as the Nutcracker Prince. Local dance students Beatrix Airhart and Erin Machung will alternate performances in the lead role of Clara, the little girl whisked away to the Land of Sweets by her magical Christmas present.

Showtimes at UPAC for the Catskill Ballet Theatre production of The Nutcracker will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, December 7 and 8 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 9. Ticket prices are $30 general admission, $25 for students and seniors. To purchase, call the box office at (845) 339-6088 or Ticketmaster at (845) 454-3388, or visit


The New Paltz Ballet Theatre production of The Nutcracker – its 21st – is the French iteration, in which the young heroine is named Marie rather than Clara. The company’s directors, Peter and Lisa Naumann, are veterans of the New York City Ballet and always manage to recruit a few of that former colleagues as guest stars for this holiday classic.

The 2018 New Paltz Ballet Theatre run at the Bardavon gets underway with three matinées especially for school groups, at 9:45 a.m. and noon on Thursday, December 6 and again at noon on Friday, December 7. Performances open to the general public begin at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 9. Tickets cost $32 general admission, $29 for students and seniors and $27 for Bardavon members. They are available from the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072, the UPAC box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088, or online at

Catskill Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker, Friday/Saturday, Dec. 7/8, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m., $30/$25, Ulster Performing Arts Center, 601 Broadway, Kingston, (845) 339-6088,

New Paltz Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m., $32/$29, Bardavon 1869 Opera House, 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072,