What’s the country’s most beloved ‘Nutcracker’? You might be surprised

Every year, ticketing agency Gold Star nominates ballet companies for the Nutty — an award for the most beloved production of The Nutcracker in the country. This year, TBT’s Sir Ben Stevenson’s restaging (which continues this weekend at Bass Hall) was nominated. So was last year’s winner, the Joffrey. And Moscow Ballet Theater’s touring production. And the San Francisco Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Company.

And The Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker.

If you’ve ever played “one of these things is not like the other,” the last should set off your radar. That’s the version put on by gay-run MBS Productions, currently onstage at the Stone Cottage Theatre in Addison following two sold-out weekends. That makes North Texas the only place in the country with two of the noms — and the only two in Texas.

It’s not a complete surprise — this is a repeat.

“We got nominated the second year in a row,” says company founder Mark-Brian Sonna. “Still, we are floored by it.”

As Sonna points out, the show mixes stuff up a little every year, making the cult hit different even for repeat customers. And it’s the only one that’s really a play with music, as opposed to the formal ballet.

The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve. Here’s hoping until then, the folks in MBS’s show break a leg … or maybe, bust a nut.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones