Cute Clara 

The Kansas City Ballet isn't making a big deal out of it, but one of the stars of the ballet company's 37th annual production of The Nutcracker is 13-year-old Brittany LaPointe, granddaughter of millionaire arts patron Julia Irene Kauffman. LaPointe dances the pivotal role of Clara on alternate performances with Elena Loyacono-Bustos. But LaPointe wasn't simply handed the role: The kid is a very serious dancer and an eight-year veteran of Nutcracker performances. "She wanted to dance in The Nutcracker since she saw it as a toddler," says her mother, Lauren LaPointe, a close friend of the late Todd Bolender, the ballet company's founder. The ballet runs tonight at 7:30 and through December 27. Call 816-931-2232 or see kcballet.org. 

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