A delicious burlesque take on Tchaikovsky's ballet is downtown's best gift to winter-weary New Yorkers.

The weather in the Northeast this holiday season caught a lot of folks off guard with balmy temperatures and a conspicuous absence of snow. But around this time of year at Greenwich Village's Minetta Lane Theatre, snowflakes never stand a chance anyway with all the steamy warmth emanating from the stage. I'm speaking of course about the latest incarnation of Company XIV's Nutcracker Rouge, which, happily, is establishing itself as a wintertime, adults-only tradition of song, dance, and incomparable burlesque that warms the cockles of your heart better than a hot toddy.

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