This season, The Joffrey Ballet celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker in a 22-performance engagement at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Parkway) from December 7 – 27, 2012. This performance has become a favorite part of our holiday routine (along with a trip to Zoo Lights and riding the CTA Holiday Train).
My daughter Ellie is a devoted Nutcracker fan. We play the soundtrack frequently during the holidays -- usually leading to kitchen dance parties and the kids do their best Mother Ginger or Sugar Plum Fairy impersonations. She and I are excited to check out the show on opening night.
If you are unfamiliar with the story, here is the abbreviated version: Following a lively party on Christmas Eve, familiar characters Clara and the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer embark on a magical adventure, encountering a battle between toy soldiers and legions of mice (where Clara unexpectedly saves the day), before being whisked away with the Nutcracker Prince to an enchanted forest by the elegant Queen and King of Snow, then being delighted by an exotic array of dancing confections from the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy. Joffrey Ballet Co-Founder Gerald Arpino also contributed to Robert Joffrey’s version, having choreographed the Land of the Snow scene, which closes Act I, and the Waltz of the Flowers in Act II.
The Chicago Philharmonic, led by Joffrey Music Director Scott Speck, provides live accompaniment of the classic Tchaikovsky score for every performance. The full Joffrey company is joined onstage by 118 young dancers from the Chicagoland area – dancing as Party Girls and Boys, Polichinelles (Mother Ginger’s children), Battle Mice and Mounted Mice, Soldiers, Snow Tree Angels and Dolls – and young vocalists from five different local children’s choirs perform the choral parts from the magical Snow Scene, including singers from the Barrington Children’s Choir, the Jones College Prep High School Treble Choir, the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Choir of Chicago Children’s Choir, the Pro Musica Youth Chorus and the Providence-St. Mel School Choir. The choirs also delight audiences with popular seasonal selections in the Auditorium Theatre's main lobby one half-hour prior to curtain and during intermissions at every performance.
The 25th Anniversary production schedule of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker is as follows: Friday, Dec. 7, 7 pm; Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 pm and 7 pm; Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 pm; Thursday, Dec. 13, 7 pm; Friday, Dec. 14, 7 pm; Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 pm and 7 pm; Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 pm and 7 pm; Thursday, Dec. 20, 2 pm and 7 pm; Friday, Dec. 21, 2 pm and 7 pm; Saturday, Dec. 22, 2 pm and 7 pm; Sunday, Dec. 23, 2 pm and 7 pm; Monday, Dec. 24, 2 pm; Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2 pm and 7 pm; and Thursday, Dec. 27 at 2 pm.
The Nutcracker Family Dinner on December 15th is a very special way to introduce your kids to this holiday tradition.
Pricing and Tickets
Single tickets, priced between $31 and $132, 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 Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (800) 982-2787 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
We are so lucky to have access to amazing performances like this right in our own backyard -- take advantage!
Disclosure: Ellie and I have been provided complimentary media tickets to check out the opening night performance in exchange for helping to spread the word about the show.