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  Play Details

The Nutcracker

Auditorium Theatre
50 East Congress Parkway Chicago

This original production combines classical elegance with thrilling explosive action, set amidst lavish period costumes and spectacular scenery depicting Victorian America in the 1850s. Fierce battles are waged, snowflakes and flowers dance with magic, and toys come joyfully to life in the hands of familiar characters such as Clara; her mischievous brother, Fritz; the King and Queen of the glorious Land of Snow; the Sugar Plum Fairy; the warring Mice led by the Mouse King; the Nutcracker Prince; and the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer. Completing the Joffrey’s dazzling production is an extravagant set design by Oliver Smith and a giant puppet designed by Kermit Love. Joffrey Co-Founder Gerald Arpino choreographed the Land of the Snow scene, which closes Act I, and the Waltz of the Flowers in Act II. The Chicago Sinfonietta will provide live musical accompaniment of Tchaikovsky’s classic score.

Thru - Dec 26, 2010



Price: $30-$115

Show Type: Dance

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  The Nutcracker Reviews

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...There are countless delights in this year’s production, which has been polished to a high gleam, and tweaked with the addition of countless little details that clarify the storytelling. But it was the bravura dancing that most impressed on opening night. (Several different casts will rotate throughout the run.)"
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Hedy Weiss


Examiner - Highly Recommended

"...It’s that beautiful merger of nearly superhuman athleticism and impossible grace that makes the Joffrey’s Nutcracker an evergreen favorite. In the seasonal sea of Nutcrackers, the Joffrey’s stands out. It is the most lavish and most technically proficient of the many productions dancing through December. And in the Auditorium Theatre, it has a home in an acoustically perfect venue that allows every note of Tchaikovsky’s score, performed by the polished Chicago Sinfonietta, to resonate with crystalline clarity."
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Catey Sullivan


NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...In the decade and a half that Joffrey’s “Nutcracker” has been presented in Chicago, however, it has emerged as the definitive version. For most of those years, Joffrey’s partner and company co-founder Gerald Arpino lovingly looked after Joffrey’s vision until his death in 2008, and the details and choreography of both Joffrey and Arpino are carefully preserved in the current production."
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Dennis Polkow


Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...THE NUTCRACKER is more than just a holiday offering or a yearly event. It is a beloved and magical escape that endures in the hearts and minds of audiences because this timeless treasure is upheld by the unsurpassed talent of Chicago’s very own world-class treasure. The Joffrey Ballet brings this endearing classic to life with polish, poise and playfulness thereby making THE NUTCRACKER fanciful, funny and a fabulous must see family classic."
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Venus Zarris


Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...The communal opening ball is, of course, a showcase for dancers, young and older. These depict the delighted guests at Clara’s beautiful American manse who marvel at Dr. Drosselmeyer’s cavorting automatons. Those mechanical dolls, rigidly presenting their preset terpsichorean displays, are a prelude to the real magic of the enchanted Nutcracker who, under a now-huge Christmas tree, helps Clara to free him from wooden bondage. That of course allows Drosselmeyer and the now humanly handsome Nutcracker to celebrate the victory with the Snow monarchs and their Snowflake corps de ballet, after which the Sugar Plum Fairy and her divertissements continue the fete in the hypoglycemic realm of sugary confections galore."

Lawrence Bommer


Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...If you're trying to decide what glamorous Christmas holiday show to take your family too, The Joffrey's “Nutcracker” is sure to be a family hit.  The first act will definitely entertain the younger patrons of the show, the second act however may not be able to hold their attention.  The second act focuses much more on the dancing rather than the story.  Not saying there is no chance for enjoyment, in my opinion ballet is just an acquired taste.  As for all those ballet lovers in Chicago, this show is for you."

Tyler Tidmore



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