World premiere production of The Nutcracker offers Chicago vision

World premiere production of The Nutcracker offers Chicago vision
Announcement of the artistic team for the world premiere production of Christopher Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

With anticipation running at a fever pitch, a standing room only crowd was on hand yesterday for a press conference announcing the artistic team and what audiences can expect when the all-new “Nutcracker” premieres in Chicago next December.

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, winner of the 2015 Tony Award® for Best Choreography for the Broadway hit, An American in Paris, has completely reimagined the beloved holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” for a new generation.

The highly respected artistic team for Wheeldon’s Nutcracker with hand-picked award-winning artists includes:

  • Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shockheaded Peter)

  • Author and illustrator Brian Selznick (Caldecott Medal Award-winning author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into the Academy Award-winning film Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese),

  • Obie and Drama Desk award-winning puppeteer and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Basil Twist (The Addams Family, The Pee-Wee Herman Show),

  • Five-time Tony Award®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz (An American in Paris, Once, Frozen),

    AND Tony Award®-winning projection designer Ben Pearcy (An American in Paris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Big Fish).

Magic along with snow was in the air at Monday's press conference. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Magic along with snow was in the air at Monday’s press conference. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

The newly reimagined “Nutcracker” will feature Tchaikovsky’s original classic score conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet leading The Chicago Philharmonic.

Wheeldon and his team are replacing the traditional 19th century setting of  “The Nutcracker” with a uniquely Chicago presence that has the ballet being played out on the grand concourses of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair White City–celebrating the turn-of-the-century as seen through a child’s eyes.

Christopher Wheeldon. Photo by Angela SterlingWheeldon elaborates saying “This Nutcracker will push the boundaries of classical dance and transport audiences to a magical moment when Chicago was transformed into a beacon of wonder. I’m honored to partner with the Joffrey once again and bring this vision to life with today’s best creative minds.”

Tickets: Tickets for Christopher Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker start at $35. They can be purchased at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of 10 East Randolph Street; the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office (50 East Congress); by phone at 312 386 8905, or online.  The  27 performance series runs December 10-30, 2016.

Preview performances of Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker will take place at The University of Iowa’s brand new Hancher Auditorium, December 1–4, 2016.

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