Still Crackin’

The Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition pretty much everywhere. Here, the show’s history with the Kansas City Ballet reaches back 35 years. “It’s big. It’s beautiful,” says Marketing Director Mike Alley. “It’s the biggest production of The Nutcracker in, like, a 15-state region.” On December 14, KC Nutcracker alums from the past three decades of performances will gather at the Music Hall (301 West 13th Street). This year’s light-footed cast incorporates some 200 local children, who have been rehearsing since early November. With good reason. “This is the show that pays for the rest of the year,” Alley says. The dreamy Christmas story is the kind of classic that drags out folks who wouldn’t think of going to the ballet at any other time of year. Tonight marks the opening of this year’s monthlong run at the Music Hall. Today’s performances are at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Call 816-931-2232 for more information and additional showtimes.

Kansas City Ballet

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 23, 2007