Biddeford’s The Academy of Dance will present the holiday favorite “The Nutcracker” in two performances Saturday at the Biddeford Middle School Performing Arts Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

BIDDEFORD–By popular demand, “The Children’s Nutcracker,” a complete production of the traditional holiday favorite, complete with sets, backdrops, elaborate costumes and props is returning toi Biddeford on Saturday, Dec. 17.

What makes the production unique is that all the leading roles are performed by children.

“I’m happy to report that The Children’s Nutcracker has gone from strength to strength, and this year we’re preparing to stage our third annual performances,” said Warwick Varney, buisness manager for The Academy of Dance in Biddeford. “Every year we add more routines and costumes, and this year is no different: we have exciting new backdrops for the Ballroom and Land of Sweets, and new costumes for our Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy.”

He said that this year, the production also is extending the lineup with a brand new “Coffee from Arabia” routine.

The continued success of the production has had the fortunate result of it now becoming well-known within the community, as families realize it’s a real alternative to the professional Nutcrackers staged in Portland, Varney said. 

“For the first time we’re seeing significant ticket sales to the general public,” Varney said. “Not only are our ticket prices much cheaper ($15 each), but the show is far more suited to families.  It’s short, sharp and entertaining… about 90 minutes in all.  No long, drawn out solos that will have the kids squirming in their seats. We pride ourselves on being a Family Friendly studio, and that’s reflected in our productions.”

This year performances will include two shows, both on Saturday Dec. 17 at the Biddeford Middle School Performing Arts Center at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Assigned seat tickets can be booked online or at the box office an hour before each performance.

Go to www.theacademyofdance.org for more information and to book tickets.