Created by dancer/choreographer LaVerne Reed in 1994, The Chocolate Nutcracker is an African-American-inspired rendering of the traditional Nutcracker ballet. The story is re-imagined with an emphasis on black and African elements, allowing it to resonate better with minority audiences. Although the show features African, jazz, hip-hop and other modern dances, it also includes a generous portion of standard ballet movement. Dec. 22-23, 7:30 p.m. Fri., 1 p.m. Sat., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg, $27-$47, mahaffeytheater.com.