The year is spiraling to an end, and first prize in the What Sucked About 2011 contest could go to reality TV or just plain reality. If crappy economic headlines and tweets from talentless Kardashians are blowing up your iPhone, consider two hours of unabashed and unapologetic escapism. Miami City Ballet is putting on its annual production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, a production that's becoming a Miami tradition in itself. It's all the more extravagant in the Adrienne Arsht Center's elegant Ziff Ballet Opera House. Ornate stage design, exquisite prima ballerinas, adorable munchkins in mice costumes, and a dazzling 30-foot tree won't solve the world's problems, but they will take your mind off them for awhile.
Dec. 15-18, 7:30 p.m., 2011