Gracefully cracking nuts for at least 30 years
Image: Joe Marquez

Stage / I know, I know–we write about this every year. But it’s tradition for more than 200 dancers to gather onstage during the holiday season (which, apparently begins when Costco starts selling Christmas decorations in August) and dance their little hearts out in The Nutcracker. How can you resist a six-year-old twirling around some of the most talented dancers in the country in a production that has been a staple of Ballet Hawaii’s repertoire for the last three decades?

This year, the nuts had to get crackin’ early due to Wicked coming to the Blaisdell in prime holiday time. But it works, since we’re not all Christmased-out yet (maybe by Thanksgiving), and can get in the spirit soon enough to remember our gift shopping more than a week beforehand.

The 2012 cast includes principle dancers from the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Carolina Ballet. Megan Fairchild returns next to Joaquin De Luz and Sokvannara (Sy) Sar, a dancer from the Carolina Ballet who was in the film Dancing Across Borders. Another notable comes from KITV4: morning weather anchor Moanikeala Nabarro. Add in colorful sets, bright lights, beautiful costumes and some creepy toys and you’ve got yourself a ballet.

Blaisdell Concert Hall, 777 Ward Ave., Fri., 11/9, 8pm; Sat., 11/10, 7:30pm; Sun., 11/11, 2pm; $35-$99 plus fees, 521-8600, [], [], (800) 745-3000