Piccolo Theatre presents “Clara & the Nutcracker,” its 15th annual holiday Panto, written by ensemble member Jessica Puller, and composed by guest artist Derrick Gaetke. This world premiere marks the fifth collaboration between Ms. Puller and the Piccolo Theatre Ensemble. It infuses the classical fairy tale and ballet of the same name with Piccolo’s celebrated brand of joyful, goofy, family-centric physical comedy. 

Nothing says ballet like “The Nutcracker,” and this Panto-retelling of the classic has all the magic and fantasy of the original fairy tale, except for one thing – absolutely no tutus.

Joined by her mysterious uncles Fritz and Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy, misunderstood Clara journeys into the Land of Sweets to help the Nutcracker Prince claim his throne and save Princess Marie, who has been kidnapped by the Rat King and his clumsy minions. Filled with pratfalls, goofy songs, illegitimate-ballet dancing and fun, memorable characters, with Piccolo’s version of this sugarplummy, whacky-tacky, dance-in-your-seat-tastic seasonal comedy adventure promises holiday ha-has galore.

The cast includes Joshua D. Allard, Andrew Berlien, Liz Dillard, Annemarie Freido, Shane Hill, Max Hinders, Jennifer Mohr, Michael Mulhearn, Ben Schlotfelt, Hillary Sigale, Fiona Stephens, and Steven Yandell. 

Performances of “Clara & the Nutcracker” through Dec. 20 are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. There are additional performances on Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and information available at piccolotheatre.com or by calling 847 424-0089.