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Oakland Ballet's The Nutcracker 

When: Sat., Dec. 22, 2 p.m., Sun., Dec. 23, 2 p.m. and Mon., Dec. 24, 11 a.m. 2012
Price: $20-60

Travel back to fin de siècle Vienna when the Oakland Ballet performs Graham Lustig'sThe Nutcracker on Saturday through Monday, Dec. 22-24, at the Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway, Oakland). Full of sparkle and surprises, this Nutcracker infused new life into the company when it premiered in 2010. The first act sets an elegant mood that makes the second act all the more delightful by contrast, with its dancing bonbons, vibrant variations, and mirthful waltzing snowballs. And after a challenging year for the company, it's especially sweet to see it back in the theater. The Oakland East Bay Symphony, Pacific Boychoir Academy, and Mt. Eden High School Women's Ensemble accompany the dancers. Receptions follow the 2 p.m. shows, with costumed characters, sweets, and refreshments; separate $15 ticket required. Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m.; Mon. 11 a.m.; $20-$59. 510-893-3132 or

— Claudia Bauer


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