It's not Christmas without The Nutcracker, one of the season's most beloved traditions. And Dance Prism, one of New England's most well-known touring companies, has brought the classic to audiences around the region for 34 seasons.

The company completes this season's tour with performances this weekend at the Collins Center in Andover. Shows are Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2:30 p.m.

This production of the favorite tale of a child's fantasy features lively choreography, Tchaikovsky's exquisite score and the traditional delights of the holiday classic.

Dance Prism’s The Nutcracker in Andover this weekend.
Dance Prism's The Nutcracker in Andover this weekend.

Dance Prism's Nutcracker follows Clara's magical journey from a traditional 19th century Christmas party through a fantastic battle of toy soldiers and giant mice and a voyage through the lovely kingdom of Snow. Clara and her Nutcracker finally arrive at the Land of the Sugarplum Fairy, where sweets from all lands come to life and dance in her honor. Special treats include a growing Christmas tree, a reindeer-drawn sleigh amidst swirling snow and the clash of swords between the menacing Rat King battling the valiant Nutcracker Prince.

A cast of 140 dancers includes professionals and apprentices, as well as aspiring ballet students cast from state-wide open auditions.


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Young audience members are invited to meet Clara and the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier after each performance.

Tickets are $20, children, students with ID and seniors; $26, adults. Seating is reserved; handicapped seating available. Visit www.danceprism.com or call 978-371-1038.

On the marquee

Joshua Gillespie plays Tiny Tim and Sophia Wulsin plays Fan in NSMT’s A Christmas Carol.
Joshua Gillespie plays Tiny Tim and Sophia Wulsin plays Fan in NSMT's A Christmas Carol.
  • CHRISTMAS BALLET: North Shore Civic Ballet premieres new work in its annual 12 Dancers Dancing...A Christmas in Cambridge on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17, at 8 p.m., at the Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. The program features new dance pieces presented by 18 area Boston dance companies. Original choreography and various dance styles and inspirational work will be featured. $21, adults; $15, seniors and children available at http://bit.ly/2gQ2bnZ. Bring a new toy to be donated to a kid's charity and receive $1 off admission.
  • LOCAL KIDS IN 'CHRISTMAS CAROL': Joshua Gillespie, 8, of Wilmington appears as Tiny Tim in North Shore Music Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol on stage through Dec.
    Indian Hill’s Family Holiday Singalong is on Saturday.
    Indian Hill's Family Holiday Singalong is on Saturday.
    23 at the Beverly theater in the round. He is a 3rd grader at Woburn Street Elementary School. Sophia Wulsin of Lowell, who played Tiny Tim in 2013 appears in this year's production as Fan, Scrooge's sister. She is a 7th grader at the Academy of Notre Dame in Tyngsboro. Visit www.nsmt.org for tickets and info.
  • FA-LA-LA-LA-LA: The Cantata Singers perform A Seasonal Celebration holiday concert on Friday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m., in Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, and on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m., in St. Paul Church, 29 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge. Featured are works by Monteverdi, Biber and Schoenberg, among others. Scott Allen Jarrett, director of music at Marsh Chapel and music director of the Back Bay Chorale, does pre-concert talks at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets $25-$69 at www.cantatasingers.org or call 617-868-5885... Celebrate the season at Indian Hill Music School's Family Holiday Singalong on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2-3:30 p.m., at Indian Hill, 36 King St., Littleton. Faculty members Joey Pierog, Andrew Torossian and Mark Femino lead the singing and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there. Free, but arrive early since space is limited. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Visit www.indianhillmusic.org.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.