Portland Ballet Company brings a local version of “The Nutcracker” to life with its production of “The Victorian Nutcracker.”

The show takes the classic Nutcracker story and sets it in historical Portland with sets, costumes and characters inspired by the Victoria Mansion, Hermann Kotzschmar and others. It will be performed at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Merrill Auditorium.

The cast of dancers from the Portland Ballet Company, accompanied by students from the company’s school and a professional orchestra, is known for presenting a lively take on the Nutcracker story. The story unfolds as young Olivia follows her Nutcracker Prince to the enchanted Kingdom of the Sweets, where she is dazzled by dancers from around the world, from the Russian Trepak to the Sugarplum Fairy.

Tickets cost $17 to $47 and are available through PortTIX at www.porttix.com, by calling 842-0800 or in person at the Merrill box office.

December remains a busy time at Old Port Playhouse. The aggressive downtown theater has no fewer than four shows available through the holidays.

At 7 tonight, Susan Poulin reprises her hilarious Ida role in the comedy “A Very Ida Christmas.”

At 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 23, the playhouse presents “The Gift of the Magi.” Artistic director Michael J. Tobin adapted the musical from O. Henry’s classic Christmas story. Jon Miele directs. It also will be presented at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 23.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Dec. 19, the playhouse will offer a 1940s-style radio broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Whitney Smith directs a cast of eight.

And finally, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19-20, the playhouse will host a reader’s theater version of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.”

Ticket prices vary by show, but no ticket costs more than $20. Call 773-0333 or visit www.oldportplayhouse.com.