The Joffrey Ballet’s critically acclaimed reimagined classic, The Nutcracker, by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, returns to open the holiday season at the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway, in 29 performances, December 1-30, 2018.
“The Joffrey Ballet’s holiday gift to Chicago is a Nutcracker that the city can call its own, one that tells the story of Chicagoans and the magic of family,” said Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director. “I can think of no better way to end the 125th anniversary year of the Chicago World’s Fair than with this magical production that delights audiences of all ages. Creating this work with Christopher Wheeldon has been one of my proudest moments as Artistic Director at the Joffrey.”
A ballet in two acts, The Nutcracker opens in Chicago on Christmas Eve, 1892, mere months before the opening of the 1893 World’s Fair, a marvel unlike anything the city has ever seen. Marie and her younger brother Franz arrive at home, where their mother—a sculptress of modest means—designs the seminal masterpiece that will preside over the Fair. A festive Christmas potluck ensues, only to be interrupted by the mysterious Great Impresario, creator of the World’s Fair. He entertains with enchanting visions of what is to come, distributing gifts in the process, including a mercurial nutcracker doll for Marie. That evening, Marie awakens to an epic battle between toy soldiers and rats led by The Rat King and the now life-size Nutcracker. Unexpectedly, Marie saves the day, as The Great Impresario and the Nutcracker, now transformed into a Prince, set sail on a magical journey into the night.