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While a new marketing campaign has made the classic “Nutcracker” into a comical holiday foil for the redesigned Mr. Peanut, voiced by Robert Downey Jr., the best entertainment courtesy of a decorated Christmas figurine has always been with Tchaikovsky's beloved ballet. More than just a Pinocchio with stronger dentures, the holiday hero is the impetus for a night of military battles with mice, candied sweets and kaleidoscopic characters. Year after year offering the best professional skill, costumes and stage design in the city, the Richmond Ballet is scheduled to begin its annual production of “The Nutcracker” at CenterStage on Friday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., with shows continuing through Dec. 23. $15-$125.