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SUNDAY 11/25


3 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $37-$191.

I have only vague childhood memories of what happens with the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King in the Land of Sweets (seriously, "The Nutcracker" must be our most psychedelic of holiday traditions), but Tchaikovsky's gorgeous score is still stuck in my head all these years later. The familiar music, lavish costumes, and kitschy production make for a family favorite that's more spectacle than high art, and the Moscow Ballet, on tour with its 20th-anniversary production of "The Great Russian Nutcracker," has a rep for going all-in on the Christmas schmaltz. In addition to the Russian pros, local student dancers from DanceArts Studios will be on stage as various mice, snow maidens, butterflies, and the like. DR

SUNDAY 11/25


6:30 p.m. Big Dam Bridge. Free.

OK, odds are that by Sunday, you'll have had three full days of cramming into your gullet a ridiculous amount of turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean bundles, mashed potatoes and gravy, potatoes au gratin, cranberry sauce, rolls, pies and other desserts of various types. Also: you've probably spent some time sitting on the couch watching football or a "No Reservations" marathon or something. I know that once Thanksgiving is over, it's really easy to just acquiesce to the Holiday Slide and eat however much you want of whatever you want. It's hard, I know. Right now there's probably a casserole dish half-full of something delicious and not-so-nutritious just sitting there, on the counter, waiting. But how about taking the holiday season equivalent of a mid-meal minute, and doing something healthy for a change. That's what's in store at the Big Dam Bridge Full Moon Walk. There'll be local dignitaries on hand, such as First Lady Ginger Beebe, who'll discuss the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Both sides of the bridge will host health fairs, where you can get a variety of health screenings, information and more. Take note: there are no pets, bicycles, skates, skateboards or rollerblades allowed. One other thing to note: If you're going to attempt to actually do a full moonwalk all the way across the bridge, keep an eye out, or better yet, have a friend help you out by walking forwards behind you so you don't run anybody over. There will be shuttle services from Murray Park and Crystal Hill Elementary running people back and forth starting at 5 p.m. RB



7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $25-$68

It's like Cirque du Soleil, the kiddie version, except that it's not Cirque du Soleil at all — it's Cirque Dreams, the American answer to Soleil, and Holidaze is one more in a list of similar projects that creator Neil Goldberg has been cranking out since 1993. Holidaze is the proverbial tale of beloved objects coming to life — in this case, ornaments flipping off the tree and crash-landing into our hearts. The whole thing seems a touch trite — a familiar cast of whirling Santas, toy soldiers and rag dolls, executing some serious acrobatic trickery on a high-tech glittering stage, to an original soundtrack that elevates cheese to a whole new strata. But hey, 'tis the season — our defenses are low, our sentimentalism is high, and there's nothing like high-flying holiday acrobatics to awe the wee ones. Anyway, I'd guess that Holidaze will be a lot less painful than much of the other holiday-related fare that might awe the wee ones. CF



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