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Mark your calendar: The Nutcracker marathon
Clara and the Columbia City Ballet gang return to the Mercer Nov. 26

Once again, Savannah’s getting a pre–Christmas treat from the world of ballet — two versions of The Nutcracker on the same day.

This is starting to become a slightly surreal holiday tradition.

Let’s unwrap them one at a time. First out of the box is the Columbia City Ballet’s big–budget Nutcracker, packed with pomp, circumstance and ornate sets and costumes, featuring all 30–plus members of that South Carolina city’s professional company along with more than 50 amateur Savannah dancers.

Tickets are available now, at, for the Columbia crew’s Savannah stop Saturday, Nov. 26. The show’s at 5:30 p.m.; tickets are $20–$42.

Then there’s The Nutcracker in Savannah from the Savannah Danse Theatre, Sue Braddy’s group of young dance students, plus professional guests. This one sets little Clara and her Christmas crazies right here in Savannah.

It’s onstage at the Lucas Theatre Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for the afternoon show and $35, $28, $21, $15 (with a $5 military discount) for the 7:30, at or by phone at (912) 525–5050.

Daring stuff

As Savannah acoustic wunderkind Dare Dukes gets ready for the Jan. 17 worldwide release of his second album, Thugs and China Dolls, he’s managed to slip back into the studio to prepare a typically quirky holiday single called “Ghosts of Christmas” (out Nov. 29).

  Here’s what the Daremeister has to say about it: “Yes, that’s right, me, valiant and cranky resister of the Hallmark Industrial Complex: I wrote a Christmas song. It’s bouncy, it’s cute, and yep, it’s a little dark. If you like banjos and doleful synthesizers you’re going to find yourself weeping into your egg nog.”

Elbows and packages crammed into cabs with drunken strangers

The children chew on cellophane

While the fat actor rings for pocket change

This time of year, it’s crazy ‘round here

Should you wish to toss a coin into Dare’s donation kettle, the single is available for download (pre–order $1) at

More dates

You read it right here, not two weeks ago, that Riverdance is high–kicking its way into the Johnny Mercer Theatre Feb. 16 on its “farewell tour.” Tickets are available now, through, with a price range of $35 to $65.

Look for these, too: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (March 1, Trustees Theater); The Pink Floyd Experience (March 12 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre).

And hey, how about that Savannah Music Festival schedule for late March and early April? Drop me an e–mail and let me know what you think about it: