Highlight: Of Mice and Men

The Nutcracker at Christmastime is a rite of passage, practically as obligatory as eggnog and It’s a Wonderful Life. But in case it’s been a while (ie, 12 months) since sugar plum fairies danced in your head, the Pennsylvania Ballet is offering up a world premiere to get back into the tradition. Their new production features, along with brand-new sets and nearly 200 costumes, all the classic ingredients that make the holiday ballet such a sweet confection: the growing tree, the battle with the mice, the ominous Herr Drosselmeyer, and of course, the Nutcracker Prince. It can’t hurt to divulge your warm fuzzy side, just once, before the year is out.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Academy of Music, Broad and Locust sts., 215 893-1999, paballet.org, $22 to $124