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Local dancers perform tonight at The Palace

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If your children — or you — can’t sit through an entire production of “The Nutcracker,” consider the Cliffsnotes version starring 48 Oldham residents.

“Nutcracker In A Nutshell” celebrates its fifth year with two public performances Saturday at the Louisville Palace.

The show still includes the ballet’s major components, said spokeswoman Marie Gould, but condenses it to 65 minutes.

The show is performed by the MAGIC dance company — Making Art Grow In Children, a non-profit pre-professional dance company.

Denise Gillman, owner of Gillman’s Dance Academy in Crestwood, is MAGIC’s artistic director.

Gillman said the show is unique because performers are ages 4 to 18 — adults are only appear in the party scene.

Gould said Gillman tweaks the show every year, including removing the intermission this year to make the show a little shorter. Rehearsals began in September.

Nearly 75 percent of the performers are Oldham County residents, Gould said.

Performers include Ella Horn, Harmony Elementary, and Annie Tapp, Crestwood Elementary, as Clara; Miranda Hileman, South Oldham High, and Grace Mahlbacher, homeschooled, as the Sugar Plum Fairy; and Colton Viehmann, Oldham County High, as the Nutcracker.

And, Harmony cross-country coach and Goshen resident Terry Mulligan plays grandfather Drosselmeyer. 

Students performed Thursday and Friday for about 3,400 students and teachers from greater Louisville, including students from Harmony Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Oldham County Middle and Pewee Valley Junior Academy.

Families also had an opportunity to attend Clara’s Tea Party with the show’s matinee star, Ella Horn, and other characters midday Saturday at The Brown Hotel.

Gould describes it as a “true tea party,” with crumpets, petit fours and tea. And fruit punch and sandwiches for younger visitors.

“Nutcracker In A Nutshell” performances are 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at The Louisville Palace Theater. Tickets are $20 for orchestra seats and $17.50 for balcony. 

For information, visit www.nutcrackerinanutshell.com.