Every holiday season, The Nutcracker comes to life on stages across the Garden State. The classic ballet tells the story of a young girl whose beloved toy nutcracker comes to life, taking her on a magical journey. Offering something for everyone, this year’s productions include traditional full-length ballets, kid-friendly abridged versions and an unexpected hip-hop rendition.
So gather up the family and make plans to join one of these amazing dance companies as they bring the beauty of the holiday season to life.
New Jersey Ballet
Details: One of the longest running professional productions in the state, New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker has been delighting audiences for more than 50 years. The performances feature mesmerizing special effects, beautiful dancing and dazzling costumes. The critically acclaimed production has become a holiday tradition for many New Jersey families, who return to see it year after year.
– Middle Township PAC, Cape May Court House: November 19 at 3:00 pm
– The Levoy Theatre, Millville: November 26 at 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm
– Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood: December 2 and 3 at 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm
– Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown: December 8-24 at various times
More info: Visit www.njballet.org or call 973-597-9600.
New Jersey Youth Ballet
Details: The New Jersey Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker is narrated and abridged, making it the perfect choice for families with young children. The ballet is danced almost entirely by children and teens. Audiences delight in watching toy soldiers and mice do battle, dolls and sweets coming to life and graceful snowflakes dancing in a snow-covered forest.
– Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook: December 9 at 1:00 pm
– Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough: December 10 at 4:00 pm
– Kelsey Theatre, West Windsor: December 15, 16 & 17 at various times
More info: Visit www.danceconnectionnj.com or call 908-874-8800.
American Repertory Ballet
Details: American Repertory Ballet has brought the beloved holiday classic to the stage for more than 50 years. This year’s production features stunning new sets, exciting choreography, a thrilling score and a cast of more than 100 dancers. Featuring professional company dancers, joined by select students from Princeton Ballet School, ARB’s Nutcracker is the perfect holiday treat for the entire family.
– McCarter Theatre, Princeton: November 24 at 2:00 pm
– Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, Trenton: December 2 at 2:00 pm
– South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange: December 8 at 7:00 pm
– State Theatre, New Brunswick: December 15 at 7:30 pm
– Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park: December 22 at 7:00 pm
More info: Visit www.arballet.org.
Details: This award-winning professional dance company presents an extravagant production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker every year. One of the most child-friendly options in the state, this affordable version of the popular ballet features beautiful costumes, special effects and an easy-to-follow story. A sensory-friendly show will take place on December 2 at 2:00 pm.
– Kendall Main Stage Theater at The College of New Jersey, Ewing: November 25-December 3 at various times
More info: Visit www.roxeyballet.com or call 609-397-7616.
Atlantic City Ballet
Details: The Atlantic City Ballet is proud to present its stunning annual production of the Nutcracker. The ACB is an ensemble dance company made up of gifted artists from around the globe. Kick off the holiday season with this festive production, featuring exquisite sets and costumes.
– Stockton Performing Arts Center, Galloway: December 8 at 7:00 pm & December 9 at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm
– Circus Maximus Theater, Caesars, Atlantic City: December 16 at 7:00 pm and December 17 at 4:00 pm
– The Strand Center for the Arts, Lakewood: December 23 at 7:00 pm
More info: Visit www.acballet.org or call 609-348-7201.
Details: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is the biggest Christmas experience of the year. The entire family will be enchanted by larger-than-life magical props, a 60-foot growing Christmas tree and spectacular costumes and sets. This exciting production, praised by the New York Times, features 40 of the world’s most talented dancers.
– William Paterson University, Wayne: November 30 at 7:00 pm
– The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg: December 8 at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm
More info: Visit www.nutcracker.com or call 413-499-1733.
Company of Dance Arts
Details: Set to the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky, CODA’s annual production of the Nutcracker heads to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. This spectacular show features professional soloists from New York City ballet companies, as well as accomplished local dancers.
– Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank: December 9 & 10 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
More info: Visit www.codanj.com or call 732-842-4015.
Nunnbetter Dance Theatre
Details: Nunnbetter Dance Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker is a full-length, lavish presentation of the Christmas classic. The ballet is performed by NDT students, as well as professional and pre-professional dancers, and features a growing Christmas tree, snow flurries and a dazzling Sugar Plum Fairy.
– Bergen County Academies Auditorium, Hackensack: December 8-10 at various times
More info: Visit www.nunnbetterdance.com or call 201-385-9638.
New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble
Details: This year marks the 48th year of New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble’s Nutcracker. The full-length production features more than 50 young dancers from around the state, as well as renowned professional guest artists.
– Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University, Montclair: December 9 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm & December 10 at 2:00 pm
More info: Visit www.njdte.org or call 908-273-5500.
New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet
Details: This holiday season, NJCYB brings the fanciful story of The Nutcracker to life with their whimsical performance. The dramatic presentation of the classic story features a narrator, making it a great introduction to the classic tale for families with young children.
– Sitnick Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown: December 15-17 at various times
More info: Visit www.njcyb.org or call 908-979-0900.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
Details: If you’re up for a totally reimagined production of the classic ballet, check out The Hip Hop Nutcracker at NJPAC. Starring Kurtis Blow as special guest MC, this unique holiday show features explosive hip-hop choreography, digital scenery, an electric violinist and a live DJ. This contemporary urban twist on the classic story will have everyone dancing in their seats.
– New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark: December 15 at 7:00 pm
More info: Visit www.njpac.org or call 888-466-5722.
- Hero (Top) Feature Image: © State Theatre New Jersey / Facebook
- Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
- New Jersey Ballet Company / Facebook
- New Jersey Youth Ballet / Facebook
- SOPAC / Website
- Roxey Ballet Company / Facebook
- Atlantic City Ballet / Facebook
- Nutcracker.com / Website
- CODA NJ / Website
- Nunnbetter Dance Theatre / Facebook
- New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble / Facebook
- New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet / Facebook
- NJ PAC / Website