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Theater preview

A ‘Nutcracker’ full of drama, not dance

Stoneham show mixes merriment of the season with mournfulness

“There are moments of losing your breath, but then you get a release that is necessary for young children,’’ says director Caitlin Lowans (center, with members of “The Nutcracker’’ cast). “There are moments of losing your breath, but then you get a release that is necessary for young children,’’ says director Caitlin Lowans (center, with members of “The Nutcracker’’ cast). (DINA RUDICK/GLOBE STAFF)
By Patti Hartigan
Globe Correspondent / November 20, 2011

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The mere mention of “The Nutcracker’’ around this time of year instantly evokes certain stock images. A girl named Clara, all pretty in a party dress. Dancing dolls and dashing soldiers. Presents and sweet treats. Magic in the midnight hours. Playwrights Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich do manage to touch on those elements in their contemporary stage adaptation of “The Nutcracker,’’ which makes its New England premiere at the Stoneham Theatre, beginning Friday and running through Dec. 22. But this is a drama with a mournful twist.

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THE NUTCRACKER

At: Stoneham Theatre,

395 Main St., Stoneham, Nov. 25-Dec. 22. Tickets: $44-$48, $20 students, discounts for seniors. 781-279-2200, www.stonehamtheatre.org