"Nutcracker" season begins in Utah with two productions in three places during the coming week.

The Nevada Dance Theatre of Las Vegas will bring its "Nutcracker" to the Cedar City High School auditorium on Thursday, Dec. 6, for performances at 2 and 8 p.m. The production is staged and directed by Vassili Sulich, who founded the company (now 26 members) in 1972. Tickets are $10, available at the door, or included in Cedar City Music Arts season tickets. Iron County School District and full-time SUSC students with activity cards are admitted free, but students through middle school age must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder.On Saturday, Dec. 8, NDT moves its "Nutcracker" to the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center in St. George for performances at 4 and 8 p.m. Tickets for the matinee are $7, $5 youth; for the evening performance, $10 and $8, on sale at the Dixie Center box office.

The Mountain West Ballet of Sandy will present its sixth annual "Nutcracker" beginning Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mount Jordan Middle School, 9360 S. 400 East in Sandy. Performances will continue on Dec. 8, 10, 11, 13 and 14 at 7:30 and Dec. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

Dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy is Melissa Weston, a Willam F. Christensen Foundation scholar (Dec. 7, 8, 11 and 14), alternating with Nicole Warr, who was MWB's first Clara in 1985. Matthew Christensen will dance the Cavalier.

Drosselmeyer will be played by former Ballet West dancer Gary Horton, who is also responsible for lights and special effects and has choreographed the Snow and Sugar Plum pas de deux. Robyn Bishop wil perform Madame Ginger. Stephanie Weston and Shawna Sennett alternate as Snow Queen, with Matthew Christensen as the Snow Cavalier.

Mountain West Ballet, with Karen Chatterton as artistic director, is comprised of dancers 14-18 years of age. Nearly 80 children from throughout the Salt Lake Valley, chosen by audition, dance the children's parts. Admission is $5 adults, $4 children, with tickets available in advance at Sandy City Hall or Dan's Foods on 8600 South; also at the door, though some performances sell out in advance.