Everybody knows that Queens is the most diverse borough in the United States, but who knew that even the performances of The Nutcracker are varied around here?

Queens College will host a classical version of this two-act Russian ballet at Colden Auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa will offer this edition, which stays true to composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 1892 original. (It’s also back by popular demand.)

The plot stays on course with a girl befriending a nutcracker on Christmas Eve. Then in a dream sequence, the nutcracker comes to life and leads a group of toy soldiers in a fancy-footed battle against an army of evil mice. As they prance around the stage, the girl, whose name is Clara, kills the Mouse King. The nutcracker turns into a handsome prince and accompanies Clara on a waltz through a magical forest full of Sugar Plum Fairies.

Ticket prices run from $23 to $42. Colden Auditorium is at 153-49 Reeves Ave., near Horace Harding Expressway on Queens College’s Flushing campus.

Things will be a bit different at Queens Theatre, where “Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas” will show four times this weekend.

The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company melds rituals from both sides of the Rio Grande with many Nutcracker themes in this rendition. The star is a boy who is caught between his Mexican immigrant family’s traditions and those of his native NYC. Through a dream sequence, he unites the cultures with Aztec-inspired choreography done to Christmas carols and a Mariachi-fused “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Ticket prices run from $20 to $30, and the shows are on Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Queens Theatre is at 14 United Nations Ave. S. inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Take a week off, then there’s “The Nutcracker: Saturday Family Matinee” at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center on Dec. 21 at 2 p.m.

The Ballet for Young Audiences, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that introduces theater to children of all ages and backgrounds, presents this adaptation, which adds dialogue to the usual song and dance. Clara is an adolescent with childlike fantasies and a desire for romance. She’s the favorite godchild of Herr Drosselmeyer, a clockmaker, who helps transport her and the Nutcracker Prince to a special realm with help from a narrator.

Tickets are $5. Jamaica Performing Arts Center is located at 153-10 Jamaica Ave.

Images: Dominick Totino (top); Ballet for Young Audiences


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