It's a tale of two Nutcrackers this weekend, with Orlando Ballet and Russian Ballet both performing their versions around town

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There are Nutcrackers everywhere in Orlando this weekend - Photo by Zavesco Photography⁠, courtesy Orlando Ballet/Instagram
Photo by Zavesco Photography⁠, courtesy Orlando Ballet/Instagram
There are Nutcrackers everywhere in Orlando this weekend

Orlando's ballet devotees will be spoiled for choice this weekend, with two large-scale productions of the holiday classic The Nutcracker happening around town.

Orlando Ballet's annual staging of the Tchaikovsky classic is winding down with final performances happening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16-18. Additionally a final closeout evening performance has just been added for Sunday at 7 p.m.

Orlando Ballet promises a Clara reunion as part of the final Sunday performance. And speaking of final, this will be Daniel Benavides' (who recently also played Dracula for the ballet) last turn as the magician Drosselmeyer, who sets the fantastical events of the story in motion.

Meanwhile, the Russian Ballet are also doing the rounds this weekend in our area with their own production of The Nutcracker, in collaboration with the Orlando Symphony Orchestra.

The Russian Ballet will feature 150 dancers in their company participating in the performance, with the Symphony out in force also. You have two chances to catch this. First is Friday night, Dec. 16,  at 7 p.m. at the Wayne Densch Center in Sanford. And their finale performance will be outdoors at the Lake Eola Bandshell on Saturday, Dec. 17.  And this last performance is free to the public.

If you've got someone in the family who perhaps can't make it through the whole ballet but would love to catch the highlights, there will be one last Family- and Sensory-Friendly Performance on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m., courtesy of the Orlando Ballet.

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