Just about every ballet company worth its salt puts on its own version of the 120-year-old two-act ballet The Nutcracker. Why? Well, force of habit, perhaps, but also ticket sales: Some productions of Nutcracker can rake in enough to float a troupe’s entire season. Good thing ballet lovers never seem to tire of Tchaikovsky’s score or the Sugar Plum Fairy’s pas de deux with her cavalier; in fact, the toughest decision for local dance fans probably isn’t whether to see The Nutcracker, but which one to invest in.

So here’s a guide to the area’s Nutcrackers. Some, like the Washington Ballet’s, have assumed a comfortable place in local tradition. Others, like the GW Ballet Group’s, are a little more off-the-cuff. Some are so affordable, you may not even have to choose just one.