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A Nutcracker Christmas
Directed by Michael Lembeck
Produced by Steve Solomos
Howard Braunstein
(executive producer)
Michael G. Larkin
(executive producer)
Written by Nicole Avril
Starring Amy Acker
Sascha Radetsky
Sophia Lucia
Music by James Jandrisch
Cinematography Jeffrey Jur
Edited by Andy Keir
John Nicholls
Produced by Hallmark Channel
Crown Media Productions
Michael G. Larkin Productions
Distributed by Lifetime
Release date December 10, 2016
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A Nutcracker Christmas is a Christmas film originally broadcast on the Hallmark Channel in 2016.


Growing up in a sports-loving family in the American South, Lily has dreams of becoming a ballerina. Her ultimate goal is to dance as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Her older sister, Beth, is her biggest supporter.

She wins the 2003 American Ballet Invitational and is awarded a chance to perform with the New York Ballet. Her mother doesn't want her to go, but Beth convinces her mom otherwise.

Lily meets Mark, who has the role of The Nutcracker Prince. However, her dreams of becoming the Sugar Plum Fairy are always stopped by Mark's ex-girlfriend. Eventually the director casts Lily in the role.

However, before her debut, she receives word that Beth was killed in a car accident. Mark and the director, fearing for her well-being, refuse to let her dance. Thus, she returns to Georgia and becomes the surrogate mother to her niece, Sadie. Eight years later, Lily is now a yoga instructor. She no longer dances and no longer has room in her life for romance.

Sadie has followed in her aunt's footsteps, becoming a ballerina herself (and maybe even more talented than Lily). Sadie is offered the chance to perform with the Philadelphia Ballet, also in The Nutcracker as Clara. Lily now doesn't want Sadie to go, but Lily's mom (as Beth did years ago) convinces her otherwise.

Lily finds out that the ballet company owns her apartment building, and that the director is none other than her old flame, Mark. Lily learns that after leaving New York, Mark went into the military and did a tour in Afghanistan before returning to ballet. To the dismay of the dancers (and some of the "dance moms") Mark asks Lily to direct the lead dancers. Juliet (who was cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy) quits and her understudy is injured; Mark asks Lily to play the role she lost so many years ago. Lily is hesitant but ultimately agrees. Juliet, though, returns and wants her role back; Mark fires her but in doing so, causes Darren (Juliet's boyfriend who was cast as The Nutcracker Prince) to also quit, leaving no choice but for Mark to fill in the role.

On opening night, Sadie plays Clara's role wonderfully. Before going on stage, Lily tells Mark she loves him. Lily and Mark perform their dance to a standing ovation and the approval of cast and company (even the dance moms). As they take their final bow Lily sees a vision of Beth in the audience.


  • Amy Acker as Lily
  • Sascha Radetsky as Mark
  • Sophia Lucia as Sadie
  • Kenneth Welsh as Dimitri
  • Katherine Barrell as Beth
  • Siobhan Murphy as Jen
  • Shauna MacDonald as Sharon
  • Raven Dauda as Grace
  • Geri Hall as Karen
  • Tina Pereira as Juliette
  • Brett van Sickle as Darren
  • Sara Mitich as Jade
  • Deborah Grover as Ms. Hill
  • Shane Daly as Martin (Dad)
  • Payton Richie as Lily age 7 (as Payton Ritchie)
  • Chloe Gauthier as Lily age 14
  • Alex Hook as Beth age 12 (as Alexandra Hook)
  • Isla Zarein as Sadie age 2
  • David Alexander Miller as David (as David Miller)
  • Adrianna Di Liello as Olivia
  • Paloma Nuñez as Leanne
  • Amanda Cleghorn as Suzanne
  • Alison Brooks as Maureen
  • Tina Jung as Coffee Shop Clerk
  • Ali Hassan as Cab Driver
  • Jack Mosshammer as Doorman
  • Paula Barrett as ABI Official
  • Troy Blundell as Kevin
  • Lara Arabian as Leanne
  • Catherine Mary Stewart as Mom
  • Catherine Valle as Maria
  • Isla Zareian as Sadie (age 2-3)
  • Kim Evans as Ballerina (uncredited)
  • Katie Messina as Stage Manager (uncredited)
  • Tahirih Vejdani as Caroller (uncredited)


The film premiered on Lifetime December 10, 2016, at 8 p.m. Eastern.