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The Nutcracker 

When: Nov. 25-27 2011

The earliest mention I could find came in a story about the origin of the Tannenbaum. "The first description of a Christmas tree in modern literature is to be found in The Nutcracker, a fairy tale, by Fougue and Hoffmann," wrote the Milwaukee Journal on Dec. 19, 1896. It first seems curious that the newspaper wouldn't mention the ballet, which was four years old at the time, but it makes sense when you learn it wasn't performed outside of Russia until 1927. So enjoy the popularity of Tchaikovsky's composition by hitting the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com) at 2 or 7 today, or at 2 tomorrow (assuming, of course, that you didn't see the 7 p.m. opening last night); tickets start at $27. — Bryce Crawford

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