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Joffrey Ballet: The granddaddy of all Nutcrackers. Friday through Dec. 27 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway; $30-$115
Moscow Ballet: The "Great Russian Nutcracker." 3 p.m. Saturday at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont; $26-$86.50
Noble Horse Theatre: "Nutcracker on Horseback" features trick riders from all over the world. Through Jan. 1 at Noble Horse Theatre, 1410 N. Orleans St.; $20-$35; 312-266-7878, noblehorsechicago.com
Salt Creek Ballet: Guest artists join Salt Creek's performance in grand Russian tradition. 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Center for the Performing Arts, Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park; $15-$48; 708-235-2222, centertickets.net; and Dec. 17-18 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie; 847-673-6300, northshorecenter.org
Von Heidecke Chicago Festival Ballet: Score performed by New Philharmonic. Dec. 16-18 at McAninch Arts Center, Fawell and Park boulevards, Glen Ellyn; $37, $35 for seniors; 630-942-4000, atthemac.org
Why go: This is a ballet everyone gets.
Reconsider: Hmm, toys that come to life and menacing mice -- festive or scary?
Details: All tickets on Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com unless otherwise noted.