Finally, a version of the Nutcracker featuring, in this writer's humble opinion, the most interesting characters: the rats and mice! This fresh take on a well-worn holiday tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann comes courtesy of Erik Sanborn's Metropolitan Ballet. The performance still relies on Tchaikovsky's famous score, but this time the young Marie's dreams are centered more on the fierce battle between the brave Nutcracker prince and the wily rodents. There's a bit of unexpected treachery in the land of marzipan sweets, but it turns out the littlest rat will save the day, and a happy ending, complete with plucky sugarplum fairies and a host of high-stepping dancers from around the globe, is guaranteed. Momchil Mladenov of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet appears as the Prince, and he's joined by Violeta Angelova as Marie, and Justin Sherwood as Benedict the rat. The show includes lush live accompaniment by World Voices and Land of Lakes Choirboys as well as the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra directed by Yuri Ivan.
Sat., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 16, 2 p.m., 2007