Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 W. Riverside, Austin, 78704, 512/474-5664
Built on the footprint of Palmer Auditorium in part with reclaimed materials from its predecessor, the Long Center opened in 2008. It serves as home to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, and Austin Opera. Between a marquee setting across the lake from Downtown and civic-minded integration with surrounding areas, the Long has proven transformational. The multi-tiered Dell Hall, the complex’s largest venue, seats 2,442. Even the upper balcony seats provide good sight lines. The hall’s acoustics eliminate dead zones by design and a series of movable banners and curtains enable the room to be custom-tuned for the music at hand.
It's the 55th year for this Austin holiday tradition, with all the colorful characters, pomp, and pageantry among the confection-filled Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where sweets of all kinds come to life, featuring Stephen Mills' choreography for hundreds of dancers, lavish sets and costumes, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra whipping that beloved Tchaikovsky score into glorious shape. Dec. 8-17: Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. Dec. 19-23: Tue.-Thu., 7:30pm; Fri.-Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $19-90.
Well, of course it's Tapestry Dance Company presenting this modern and percussive take on the holiday classic, led by that nationally acclaimed Acia Gray, featuring the Mouse King who leads an army of tapping mice in their spectacular battle against The Nutcracker. Bonus: live music, making the ol' Tchaikovsky jump all jazzwise and jaunty. Through Dec. 17. Thu.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $23 and up.
- 2015: Readers Best Downtown View (The Long Center)
- 2015: Readers Best Performance Space (The Long Center)
- 2013: Readers Best Performance Space (The Long Center)
- 2011: Readers Best Downtown View
- 2011: Readers Best Performance Space
- 2010: Readers Best Downtown View (Long Center)
- 2010: Readers Best Performance Space
- 2009: Readers Best New Building (Past Five Years)
- 2009: Readers Best Performance Space (Long Center)
- 2008: Critics Best Structural Update (Stan Haas for the Long Center)
- 2008: Critics Best Room for Listening (Dell Hall at the Long Center)
- 2008: Readers Best Performance Space (The Long Center)