NEW YORK (AP) - It's not yet Christmas, but Debbie Allen has already gotten a nice present _ the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award.
The ticket discounter has declared the award-winning director and choreographer's school the winner of the 7th annual contest that crowns the best version of "The Nutcracker" in the land.
The Debbie Allen Dance Academy's show, "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" that was mounted earlier this month in Los Angeles, beat out nearly 60 other productions of "The Nutcracker." It's Allen's second time winning the award.
Her show begins when young Kara Johnson receives a nutcracker filled with hot chocolate, falls asleep and the nutcracker comes alive. Written and directed by the "Fame" star, the show stars Allen and Carlo Imperato and had an original score by Mariah Carey, Arturo Sandoval, Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, James Ingram and Thump.
Voting for the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award is determined by Goldstar members who rate and review "The Nutcracker" productions they recently attended. Allen's academy, which was founded by Allen and Norman Nixon in 2001, will also win a cash prize.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)