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"Art Beat" With Stephanie Kaye - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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Bust out the nuts! Although it's not yet Thanksgiving, "The Nutcracker" already is lining up for some seasonal shows...

(November 24-29) PHILLY 'CRACKER The Kennedy Center imports its Nutcracker from Philly, as the Pennsylvania Ballet takes up residence in the opera house through Sunday. This is the D.C. premiere of George Balanchine's version of the famous nut cracking tale, full of princes, protectors, a Mouse King and small singers from Bethesda's Norwood Middle School Chorus.

(December 3-5 and 10-27) BELTWAY 'CRACKER Holiday cheer and local history intersect in the Washington Ballet's version of the Nutcracker, running December 3rd through 5th at THEARC in southeast D.C. and the 10th through the 27th downtown at the Warner Theatre. This version, set inside-the-beltway, stars George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker and England's King George III as the villainous "Rat."

(December 19 & 20) JAZZY 'CRACKER And in Maryland the Nutcracker gets jazzed up at the Publick Playhouse in Cheverly December 19th & 20th. Momentum Dance Company takes the 'Cracker to new heights with Duke Ellington's musical take on this holiday classic, adding hip hop, breakdancing and Latin rhythms.

You can also find Nutcracker madness with The Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Rockville, Maryland, performing on the cozy yet state-of-the-art stage at Montgomery College December 18-20.

Maryland Youth Ballet gets in on the act at Montgomery College as well, with performances that range through December 27th.

Being handy is the specialty of the Puppet Co. Playhouse as they lend their fingers and strings to The Nutcracker fest this Thursday though the end of the year.

And for little people with little attention spans, American Dance Institute puts together a version that's sweet as condensed milk, December 18th through 20th.

And in Virginia, The Center for Ballet Arts presents Nutcracker in a Nutshell at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College December 19th & 20th.

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