It’s from Austria with love, but there are many strings attached.

The Salzburg Marionette Theatre presents “The Nutcracker” at Flushing Town Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.

With humorous, imaginative staging and detailed choreography, this production features puppets who ─ though miniature ─ are impeccably dressed in beautiful gowns, suits, and costumes. Plus, their hats never fall off their heads despite their constant motion. And just like in most anthropomorphic versions of this classic Russian ballet, they do it to a musical score by Peter Tschaikowsky.

The puppets sing, dance, and act out the story of a girl who befriends a nutcracker that comes to life on a snowy Christmas Eve in the Stahlbaum house. In a dream sequence, the nutcracker leads a group of toy soldiers into battle against an army of mice. After the girl slays the evil Mouse King, an ancient spell breaks, and the nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince. From there, it’s off to a magical forest where waltzing snowflakes lead the couple to the Land of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy rules. The girl and the prince are treated like royalty as the inhabitants, who consist of delicious desserts from around the world, dance and dance and dance until it’s time to say goodbye.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for children. As per an ongoing promotion, teenagers can attend for free. (The troupe travels to Queens from Austria, but the admission price is reasonable thanks in part to support from the Jim Henson Foundation.)

Founded in 1913 by Anton Aicher, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre has been dedicated to the craft ever since. It currently employs 12 puppeteers who are trained in a wide variety of trades and professions, including manipulation, costuming, painting and carving. Its repertoire includes “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Snow White,” “Peter and The Wolf,” “Little Prince” and “The Sound of Music.”

The Salzburg Marionette Theatre’s technique was deemed a cultural asset worthy of preservation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which granted it membership to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2016.

Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. It’s about four blocks north of the 7 train’s Main Street station, and there’s on-street parking.

Editor’s note: The borough can’t enough of a good thing. The National Ballet Theater of Odessa will offer “The Nutcracker” at Queens College’s Colden Auditorium on Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. In this show, humans will portray the fairies, mice princes, and toy soldiers.

Images: Salzburg Marionette Theatre/Flushing Town Hall


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