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'Nutcracker' on stages near and far

Valley Dance Theatre rings in 30 years with the annual ballet classic

Tchaikovsky's ballet Classic, "The Nutcracker," has long enchanted audiences and has become a holiday tradition for many. While there are several performances across the Bay Area, the one at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore has special meaning this year.

For the Valley Dance Theatre, a dance company and school based in Livermore, this year marks the 30th anniversary of bringing "The Nutcracker" to the stage. One of the few full length productions, the shows are accompanied by the Livermore-Amador Symphony pit orchestra. This year, there will also be holiday carols by the Harmony Fusion Chorus and the Valley Concert Chorale prior to the opening curtain and during the snow scene. The Asbury United Bell Ringers will also perform in the lobby prior to select shows.

The Valley Dance Theatre is also known for its costuming. This year, the costumes, which are professionally and originally designed in-house, have been donated.

In keeping another tradition, the dance company was again given a grant from the Lawrence Livermore National Security's Community Gift Program to allow women and children served at Tri-Valley Haven to see the show.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 18, 19 and 20, and 2 p.m. matinee shows are Dec. 12, 13, 19 and 20. Tickets are $24, $27 and $33 for adults and $18 for students 17 years old and younger. To purchase, visit www.livermoreperformingarts.org, call 373-6800 or visit the theater box office at 2400 First St., Livermore.

Other 'Nutcracker' showings

Walnut Creek

* Contra Costa Ballet

Lesher Center for the Arts -- Hoffman Theatre, 1601 Civic Drive

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 4 and 5; 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5; and 2 p.m. Dec. 5

Tickets are $28 for adults and $23 for children and seniors

Call 943-SHOW or visit www.lesherartscenter.org

* Community Youth Center

Lesher Center for the Arts -- Del Valle Theatre, 1601 Civic Drive

Shows are 7 p.m. Dec. 5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6

Tickets are $15 for adults and free for children

Call 943-SHOW or visit www.lesherartscenter.org


*Oakland Ballet

Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway

Shows are 11 a.m. Dec. 24, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26, and 2 p.m. Dec. 27

Tickets are $15-$50 for adults, $12-$40 for children 12 and under, and $11.25-$37.50 for seniors 62 and older

Call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visit www.oaklandballet.org

San Francisco

San Francisco Ballet

War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.

Shows are at 7 p.m. Dec. 8-13, 15-23, 26-27; 2 p.m. Dec. 11-13, 17-23, 26-27; and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 24

Tickets are $18-$182

Call 415-865-2000 or visit www.sfballet.org


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