This way to the Land of Sweets!
If seeing THE NUTCRACKER is part of your family’s Christmas tradition, you have several different options in Tucson this year.
See below for dates, times, and tickets prices for 2022.
Performances are listed alphabetically by company name.
Celebrate the beginning of a vibrant new partnership with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for what is sure to be the highlight of Tucson’s holiday season. Ballet Tucson's celebrated production of the world’s most famous ballet brings the enchanting story of The Nutcracker to life with stunning dancing, lavish costumes and sets, and the magnificence of Tchaikovsky's timeless score performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s worldclass musicians.
Based on the beloved tale by E.T.A. Hoffman, set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score, The Nutcracker has become synonymous with winter holiday season. Ballet Rincon’s production features renowned guest artists, dancers from the Ballet Rincon Ensemble Program, and Academy students.
Presented in two acts, The Nutcracker tells the magical story of a young girl in which young Clara Silberhaus’s godfather Herr Drosselmeyer gifts her a Nutcracker for Christmas. The Nutcracker comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks Clara away to his magical kingdom of sweets, where she meets the Sugar Plum fairy and entourage.
Premiered in 1994, TRB’s flagship production A Southwest Nutcracker transports Tchiakovsky’s traditional Nutcracker in its entirety to 1880s Tucson, giving the characters and events a Sonoran Desert twist that has become a beloved Tucson holiday tradition.
The party takes place in the hacienda of young Maria Martinez. Her favorite uncle, Tio Diego, brings his dancing dolls, a Gambler, Hurdy-Gurdy Gal, and Gunslinger, to entertain the guests. He presents Maria with a Nutcracker designed in the form of a U.S. Cavalry General. That evening, Maria is menaced by King Coyote and his pack of coyotes banditos. She is saved by her Nutcracker General, now life-sized and leading a troop of U.S. cavalry soldiers. After the battle, her Nutcracker General is transformed into a handsome soldier, and they escape over Mount Lemmon through swirling snowflakes. They arrive at a beautiful Desert Dream where they are welcomed by Native American Princesses, Prairie Children, and the lovely Prickly Pear Fairy and her Caballero. The Caballero and Prickly Pear Fairy order a fiesta in honor of Maria and her Nutcracker, and all of the citizens of the Desert Dream perform for the couple: Chili Peppers, the Copper Queen and her Copper Corps, Rattlesnakes, Tumbleweeds, Ocotillo, Mama Pinata and her Dulces, the Desert Flowers, and of course the Caballero and Prickly Pear Fairy themselves. As the festival ends, Tio Diego escorts the sleepy Maria home, where she awakens with the memories of her wonderful dream.
The costumes for A Southwest Nutcracker have been professionally designed to reflect both the Southwestern aesthetic and the spirit of the traditional Nutcracker, and the sets represent the beauty of Tucson, with traditional hacienda architecture, furniture, and props appropriate to the period, a magical growing Christmas tree, and backdrops displaying snow on Mount Lemmon and a Desert Dream with desert cliffs, cacti and flowers, bathed in the glorious skies of our Sonoran Desert.
See below for a calendar listing of Nutcracker performances in Tucson, in order by date.