At the Academy of Music, dancing snowflakes and fairies are unpacking their magic suitcases. Before Pennsylvania Ballet brought its annual production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker back to the Philly stage for the 41st year in a row, the company spent Thanksgiving week presenting the holiday classic at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Said one critic, "The Kennedy Center has been trying for years to find a Nutcracker that suits the house, and with [this production], it may have finally found the right one." Back off, D.C.: This show — the only local Nutcracker directly linked through Balanchine to the 1892 Tchaikovsky original — is one we'd like to keep for ourselves.
Dec. 12-31, $24-$129, Academy of Music, 1420 Locust St., 215-551-7000, paballet.org.