If you’ve been having visions of sugarplum fairies, perhaps you should get out and see them live. Or, if you really are seeing visions of dancing sugarplum fairies, get on some pretty powerful medication. Anyway! “The Nutcracker,” the most tights-clad of all holiday traditions, is once again saturating local stages with its story of a toy that comes terrifyingly to life and spreads holiday cheer through warfare with mice.

Washington Ballet’s D.C.-centric version of the on-toe tale is celebrating its 10th anniversary; here George Washington is the Nutcracker and the whole thing grinds to a halt at intermission because of partisan bickering. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW; through Dec. 28, $30-$200.

Also having an anniversary — its 25th — is the Maryland Youth Ballet, made up of kids who had to learn their steps in between homework assignments. In addition to the main event, on Dec. 21 there’s a Sugar Plum Party ($30) for kids ages 5-8 and a tea ($20) with the Sugar Plum Fairy for ages 2-4, all of whom will ask if she knows Elsa from “Frozen.” Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville; Dec. 20-28, $30-$35.

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The Loudoun Ballet Company’s “Nutcracker,” a reconstruction of the original 1892 production, is 25 years young this year. Freedom High School, 25450 Riding Center Drive, South Riding, Va.; Dec. 19-21, $20-$25.

The Olney Ballet Theatre’s version was choreographed by Mary Day, founder of the Washington Ballet. The leaping here is done by a mix of area ballet students and professionals. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md.; through Dec. 24, $15-$45.

If you want your nuts cracked with fewer leaps and tutus, Chicago’s venerable Second City Comedy Troupe is bringing its Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue to the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. The improv group offers the opportunity to laugh at songs and sketches, and to play “let’s guess which cast member will be the most famous in five years” with your friends. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; Dec. 19-20 and Dec. 26-27, $30.

More holiday cheer from Express:

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