Once you get past the Christmas trimmings, The Nutcracker is a pretty straight-up dream-fantasy, complete with tasty food that dances. Fortunately, that makes it work well for a seasonal treat. The real joy of the show—at least once the Mouse King is safely dispatched by the Nutcracker (and completes his hilarious death scene)—is as much as in the delighted gasps of first-time viewers at each bit of ballet magic as it is in the fine dancing of Sac Ballet’s corps.
The Sacramento Ballet, 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays, noon and 4 p.m. on Sundays; $25-$65 (children 12 and under half-price). Community Center Theater, 1631 K Street; (916) 264-5181; www.sacballet.org. Through December 23.