When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 6, 3 p.m. Continues through Dec. 20 2015
THE NUTCRACKER VS. NUNCRACKERS
SATURDAY, DEC. 5–SUNDAY, DEC. 6, CHAPEL HILL/RALEIGH
MEMORIAL HALL AT UNC/NORTH RALEIGH ARTS & CREATIVE THEATRE—Do you like your eggnog straight or spiked? (Do you like your eggnog at all?) Carolina Ballet's The Nutcracker, which chassés over to DPAC (Dec. 12 and 13) and Raleigh Memorial Auditorium (Dec. 1827) after this two-night stand with Carolina Performing Arts, is a beloved annual tradition marked by high-flying fantasy, magic-show set pieces and a cast of thousands (well, like 100). But if marzipan and sugarplums give you a toothache, North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre has a less reverent holiday tradition. Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical, directed by Jon Todd, cookie-cuts a Nutcracker riff, family-friendly song parodies and other gentle yuletide razzes into the setting of a cable-access Christmas special filmed at a convent. Do a very sincere show and a very silly one even out to a very merry Christmas? Find out by taking in these holiday harbingers on consecutive nights—if you think you can handle that much Christmas spirit. Forced to choose, we'd still take Tchaikovsky's deathless music over nunsense like, "We three kings of orient are us / We came here on camels 'cause we missed the bus." The Nutcracker: 2 p.m. Dec. 5–6; 8 p.m. Dec. 5, $49–$89, 114 E. Cameron Ave, Chapel Hill, 919-843-3333, www.carolinaperformingarts.org.
Nuncrackers: 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. and 2 p.m. Sun. Dec.4–20, $12–$18, 7713-51 Lead Mine Road, Raleigh, 919-866-0228, www.nract.org. —Brian Howe