"The Nutcracker is the most well known ballet of all time, and it's very beloved, and we have quite a reputation in Tampa for this beautiful production, and I add more elements every year," said Philip Neil, the artistic director with Next Generation Ballet.
The age of the cast goes from ages six to 20. Neil said he begins prepping the cast in August for this production.
"I think the Nutcracker is very often someone's first trip to the ballet," Neil said. "If anyone's been shopping at Christmastime, they know the Nutcracker music."
Next Generation Ballet's Nutcracker at the Straz starts Friday evening and run through this weekend only. For more information and how to purchase tickets, visit www.strazcenter.org.