Street corner Christmas tree lots have been springing up all over, and colored lights already twinkle merrily in just about every suburban cul-de-sac.
But admit it: It's not really the Christmas season until you've seen a Sugar Plum Fairy or two.
To get the holiday's requisite Tchaikovsky fix, go to the San Gabriel Civic auditorium, where the Pasadena Dance Theatre is staging nine performances of the "The Nutcracker," beginning Friday.
The dance company's 10th annual production of the ballet features a return to the traditional. The dances will be based on the original full-length production of "The Nutcracker" created for the San Francisco Ballet in 1944 by choreographer William F. Christensen.
Christensen, now 86, is supervising rehearsals of the Pasadena production.
The Pasadena Dance Theatre was founded in 1958 and is run by twin brothers Charles and Philip Fuller, both former dancers with the San Francisco Ballet. This year's "Nutcracker" will feature Leslie Carothers, former principal dancer of the Joffrey Ballet, as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The ballet opens Friday for performances Dec. 14 through 16 and 21 through 23 at the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium, 320 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel. Ticket prices range from $12 to $20.