Benedum Center
December 1
Various times

It’s one of the most famous ballets of all time and has been a Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre holiday tradition since the 1970s, yet during its 24-night run, no two performances will be exactly alike.

Based on the classic 1816 tale, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by German author E.T.A. Hoffman, the iconic ballet has been adapted by PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr to feature a coming-of-age story and more complex choreography.

Pittsburgh landmarks are showcased via the Mount Washington Snow Scene, Kaufmann’s-style clock, Land of Enchantment amusement parks and opening scene depicting a Christmas Eve party in early 20th-century Shadyside.

Among the 215 dazzling costumes by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown are shimmering snowflakes, flower petal tutus and elaborate Victorian frocks. A colossal Christmas tree, mesmerizing magic tricks and delicate snow flurries create a winter wonderland complete with 3D sets, a carousel and hand-painted props.

The enchanting production features Tchaikovsky’s masterful score, ethereal and virtuosic dances, and a grand pas de deux performed by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Each performance features five scene changes and 170 roles.

In the lobby, fans can take photos with the Sugar Plum Fairy, shop for Nutcracker-themed gifts and listen to live musical entertainment.

Buy tickets.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.