If visions of Sugar Plum Fairies are dancing in your head, here's where to see them on stage. The ballet The Nutcracker, set to the classic music of Tchaikovsky, tells the story of a girl who receives a magical nutcracker that leads her on a fantastical journey of snowflakes and candy. Take your pick through December:
Sarasota Ballet Presents 'The Nutcracker'
In its 20th anniversary season, the Sarasota Ballet presents two shows at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. $20-$75. (941) 366-8450. sarasotaopera.org. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
Brandon Ballet presents 'The Nutcracker'
Four performances by the Brandon Ballet. Spoto High School Auditorium, 8538 Eagle Palm Drive, Riverview. $25 adults, $15 students, seniors $20. Go to brandonballet.org for tickets. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
This twist on the classic begins with a Harlem Renaissance swing setting before taking a spin through Jazzland, Gospelland, Land of Funk, Africa and Brazil. Belinda Womack appears as Aunt Pearl. The Life Force Cultural Arts Academy's production is a community project featuring more than 200 children from the Tampa Bay area. Includes sign language. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $17-$37. (727) 892-5798. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; 3 p.m. Dec. 19.
'The Nutcracker' at the Palladium >>
Gretel Batista, right, a student at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in this production by the students of the Academy of the Ballet Arts. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20, $10 students/seniors. (727) 327-4401. 7:30 p.m. today-Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
'The Nutcracker' by Moscow Classical Ballet
This classic interpretation comes close to the original performed in Russia more than 100 years ago. The treat is live music from the Florida Orchestra. Also includes local children. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$57. (727) 791-7400. 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 18; 2 p.m. Dec. 19.
'The Nutcracker' by Bay City Ballet
Three traditional performances at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $22, $25 VIP advance, $25 day of show. (727) 587-6793. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18; 2 p.m. Dec. 19.
The Great Imperial Ballet 'The Nutcracker'
With New York City Ballet dancers Abi Stafford and Jonathan Stafford, a cast from Next Generation Ballet and more than 100 students from the Patel Conservatory. Carol Morsani Hall at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets start at $22.50. (813) 229-7827. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22; 2 p.m. Dec. 23.
Moscow Ballet's 'Great Russian Nutcracker'
With whimsical sets and larger-than-life puppets. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $27.50. (727) 892-5798. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28.