We’ve all waken from dreams of flying over houses, unexpectedly standing before a crowd or encountering a real mystery in the shadows. German writer E.T.A. Hoffman was inspired to create a dream in which the Christmas décor comes to life to battle an army of house mice. From that early 19th century tale we have what has become a holiday entertainment standard all around the world. Oklahoma is no exception. Oklahoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker returns Dec. 9-18 to the OKC Civic Center Music Hall. The traditional telling is here, a Christmas Eve party around the manor hearth, ball gowns, mistletoe and a culture in which a character such as Herr Drosselmeyer is enigmatic by virtue of his mechanical treasures. Fantasy and the magic of a burgeoning industrial age-of-wonders live through dance and Tchaikovsky’s famous sugar-dusted suite, performed by the OKC Philharmonic. www.okcballet.com.

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