Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker

“It’s a little scary the first time,” says Erin Crall of the fake snow descending on stage during the "Waltz of the Snowflakes." “We all have our moments where we slip on stage.” And worse: the fake flakes “get in your mouth, your tutu, stuck to your lipstick,” she adds. The Pacific Northwest Ballet production, with choreography by Kent Stowell and sets and costumes by Maurice Sendak, is 25, six years older than she is. The Nutcracker (through Dec. 30) lists 187 different roles, some two dozen of which are filled by the company’s professional division school—meaning young dancers with busy lives outside PNB. Crall’s a student at Seattle U, while 18-year-old Alice Cao is at the UW. They both came out of the same system that includes kids as young as 7 on stage. None of whom are intimidated by the Rat King. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 441-2424. $22–$120. Opens Nov. 28. Performances Fri.-Sun.; also Thurs. starting Dec. 11; and every day (except Xmas) starting Dec. 17. Ends Dec. 30. See for exact schedule. ERINN UNGER

Fridays-Sundays; Thursdays; Dec. 17-30. Starts: Nov. 28. Continues through Dec. 30, 2008

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