Ah, so many Nutcrackers, so little time. If you had to pick one this year, the return of Mark Morris Dance Group’s The Hard Nut, an irreverent take on E.T.A. Hoffman’s classic tale, is an excellent bet. Last presented at BAM eight years ago, the performance, which takes design inspiration from the nightmarish illustrations of Charles Burns, is set in the suburbs of the ’60s. Here, G.I. Joe soldiers do battle with mice, Barbie dolls dance to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, and go-go boots and imaginative retro costumes make for some swinging eye candy. Be sure to look for Morris himself as Dr. Stahlbaum.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Dec. 10. Continues through Dec. 19, 2010