Nutcracker (Not So) Suite

Opening: The "Nutcracker" gets transported to 1960s New York City for Myron Johnson's holiday ballet about an Upper East Side teenager named Marie whose socialite mother still treats her like she's a little girl. This fabulous romp offers a lively mix of musical styles, from hip-hop and R&B to a dose of Christmas carols. Presented for many years by Johnson's Ballet of the Dolls, it is being staged for the first time by James Sewell Ballet — a collaboration of note, since Johnson was Sewell's first dance teacher. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. $25-$45. Ends Dec. 20. Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-206-3600,



Opening: Mu Performing Arts kicks off its season with a new play that speaks to a wide swath of the world. Jessica Huang's "Purple Cloud," directed by Mu artistic director Randy Reyes, deals with the gains and tensions inherent in hybrid culture. Those dry and academic ideas are embodied by people in this show about a hapa, or mixed-race, character who goes to China to explore her heritage. The cast includes fierce actor Meghan Kreidler and Rich Remedios, a veteran of the regional theater circuit. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. $20. Ends Dec. 20. Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. 651-789-1012,