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nightmare-poster-page-001A line from the opening song in “The Nightmare Before Christmas asks, “Boys and girls of every age, would you like to see something strange?”

Fans of the Tim Burton stop-motion animation film who answer “yes” to that question should get their tickets to Ultimate Dance Center’s inaugural holiday showcase, “The Ultimate Nightmare Before Christmas” Dec. 3-4 at Polk Theatre.

The production uses costumes, makeup and dance to follow the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloween Town’s beloved pumpkin king, who is bored with the same annual routine of scaring people. Jack discovers Christmas Town and plots to take over Santa’s Christmas duties.

This stark departure from traditional holiday dance performance favorites includes a cast of more than 60 dancers, ranging in age from toddlers to young adults, that includes many of the movie’s most popular characters: Skellington, Sally, Sandy Claws, Lock Shock and Barrel, Doctor Finklestein, and the Mayor of Halloween Town.

Creative Artistic Director Ferdinand “Freddie” De Jesus, co-owner Jennifer Davis, and their production team remixed some of the music from the film to incorporate jazz, hip hop, ballet and contemporary dance into the performance.

Besides paying homage to Burton, whose work De Jesus and Davis admire, the weekend performance is a nod to a common phrase that gets uttered at some point prior to most productions.

“Every time before a show we joke, ‘Oh what a nightmare’ as we get ready,” De Jesus said as he laughed. “Now we are taking on the nightmare and paying tribute to Tim Burton’s genius.”

De Jesus described the performance a colorful, expressive, creative show that emphasizes the story of being true to yourself.”

Show times and details are as follows:

Saturday, Dec. 3: 7:30 p.m.

Sunday Dec. 4: 2 p.m.

Admission: $15 per person

Location: Polk Theatre- 121 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland

Tickets can be purchased at Ultimate Dance Center: 3234 S. Florida Ave. in Lakeland, or online via Tutu Tickets: https://www.tututix.com/tickets/. Tickets cannot be purchased at the Polk Theatre Box Office. Please call (863) 644-5275, ext. 334 for more information.