We love a classic Nutcracker, but appreciate variety in the Christmas standard, too. This season the holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for family audiences in venues across the city; for free at the World Financial Center; in a gay, Latino theatrical version in the Bronx; and a grown-up version by the American Ballet Theatre in a Brooklyn.

The original Nutcracker—Marius Petipa’s ballet based on an E.T.A. Hoffman story with music by Tchaikovsky—first premiered at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 17, 1892. The Sugar Plum Fairy, the dancing rodents led by a mouse soldier, the young heroine Clara (sometimes called Marie) and Tchaikovsky’s score have become a holiday favorite in New York, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to the ballet.

From late November through early January, die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers, or choose to chew them all up.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    Ballet for Young Audiences: The Nutcracker

    Flushing Town Hall

    Queens

    Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Tchaikovsky’s classic music comes to life and introduces children to the story of Clara’s Nutcracker. Visit the Enchanted Forest with its magical dancing snowflakes, and the wondrously beautiful Sugarplum Fairy in the Kingdom of the Sweets.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

    The Nutcracker in New York

    Die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers this season—or choose to chew them all up. The holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for young audiences; free in the Winter Garden; as an R-rated cabaret; and many more variations.

Angela Harriell’s Nutcracker: Rated R

158 Bleecker Street

new york N.Y. 10012

2125053474

"Nutcracker: Rated R" cracks open the heart of the classic children’s ballet to uncover drugs, sex, family secrets and all the other delights that make the holidays so special.

Ballet for Young Audiences: The Nutcracker

137-35 Northern Boulevard

queens N.Y. 11354

7184637700

Tchaikovsky’s classic music comes to life and introduces children to the story of Clara’s Nutcracker. Visit the Enchanted Forest with its magical dancing snowflakes, and the wondrously beautiful Sugarplum Fairy in the Kingdom of the Sweets.

Joffrey Ballet School: The Nutcracker

199 Chambers Street

New York N.Y. 10007

2122201459

A two-act production of "The Nutcracker" ballet performed by children and Joffrey Ballet company dancers.