Nutcracker takes center stage at RiverCenter this weekend

Many dodged rain showers today in quest of the perfect Christmas gift. Others yelled at television sets, trying to spur their favorite SEC team to victory.

In uptown Columbus, hundreds more spent some time with Clara, Godfather Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Columbus Ballet production of "The Nutcracker" kicked off Saturday afternoon in Bill Heard Theatre at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

There are two more performances of the holiday favorite. One tonight at 7:30 p.m. and another Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.

The guest artist this year is Armando Luna, former principal dancer with the Atlanta Ballet and instructor at the Atlanta Ballet's academy. He dances the role of the Cavalier and is partnered with Kelsey Hirsch as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The performance is accompanied by the Columbus Ballet Orchestra, under the direction of Andre' Gaskins.

The St. Luke United Methodist Church's children's choir also appears in several scenes.

Tickets for the performance range from $16-$20.