Photo by Cheryl Mann

By Elaine Hyde

Dec. 1, 2019

This time of year you might have different options when it comes to seeing a Nutcracker performance but you should really go to see the ‘real’ one. In Chicago, you can’t get any better than The Joffrey Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’. With its dazzling whirlwind of sugar plum fairies, its rendition of the dance is so glorious, you can barely believe your eyes.

There may be nothing more perfect for a family Christmas outing than a visit to Joffrey’s ‘The Nutcracker’, partly owing to the pomp and ceremony that going to the ballet at the Auditorium Theatre affords – it’s the last time the show will take place at the theatre as the Company will move to the Lyric Opera House at the start of the 2020-2021 season – but mostly because sitting in a gilded room with an audience full of bright eyed children, bursting with questions and excitement is electrifying. 

This year, the children’s cast numbers 102 and includes students from Joffrey Academy Adaptive Dance Program for students with disabilities. “We are proud that our Academy, which is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary year, is developing the skills of all its students, no matter their specific needs,” said Ashley Wehater, The Mary B. Galvin Articstic Director.

The Chicago World’s Fair themed Nutcracker performance, first unveiled in 2016, is reshaped with new surprises. Tweaks to the set make the show feel slightly different from previous years. Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography is spot on, and takes the audience on a turn-of-the-century tale paired with Tchaikovsky’s classic score, performed by The Chicago Philharmonic.

Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” is a transformative experience, leaving you filled with the joyful energy of the holiday spirt.

Joffrey Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’, Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Ida B. Wells Drive, in 29 performances only, November 30-December 29, 2019. Single tickets start at $35 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium TheatreBox Office, by telephone at 312.386.8905, or online at

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