Time to get crackin'

Medford's annual production of "The Nutcracker" is on the stage at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater all weekend, including for two performances today.

Shows are at 2:30 and 8 p.m. today at the theater at 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. Tickets go for $22-$27. A 2:30 matinee also is scheduled on Sunday.

Ballet Rogue is in its 23rd year of producing the show, which has been headed by the group's artistic director, Diane Hyrst, since 1996. This will be her final time at the helm, however. Hyrst has announced her retirement this year.

As it has in past years, Ballet Rogue has made some changes to the production. This year's shows feature new costumes, choreography and dancers. It also features aerialists from Le Cirque Centre in Ashland.

The show's story involves a girl who receives a nutcracker doll as a gift and then dreams about snowflakes and fairies and a life-sized nutcracker who fights life-sized mice.

The Ballet Rogue production features 70 local dancers, including children, and six guest artists.

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