First, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn place the Tchaikovsky classic square into 1940s America, with "Nutcracker Sweeties." Boasting sharp irony, a swinging, bluesy score, and a Birmingham Royal Ballet cast dressed in colorful Jasper Conran costumes, the production is a jazzy riff on a timeless classic. Next, "The Judas Tree" is a fascinating ballet centered around the darkest aspects of the male libido, telling the story of one flirtatious woman's relationship to a group of construction workers. Irek Mukhamedov stars. 73 min. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English PCM stereo.