Since its 1892 premier in St. Petersberg, Russia, E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker has been enchanting audiences worldwide. With new versions of the classic appear every year, here are three different Nutcrakers on stage this holiday season, each bringing to life to magic of Christmas through the story of Clara and her nutcracker that springs to life on Christmas Eve.
The Nutcracker at The Hyde Park School of Dance (12/15-16)
The Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD) concludes its 20th anniversary season with Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. The show will feature a record 170 dancers, from four-year-olds to grandparents, supported by more than 100 volunteers, on December 15 and 16 at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1131 E. 57th Street. Staged by HPSD Founding Artistic Director August Tye, ballet mistress and choreographer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, this 90-minute production follows Clara, Fritz and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party to the the battle with the Mouse King and his troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. At the special Sugar Plum Tea following the December 15th matinee, guests will have the chance to meet Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and more while tasting delicious treats and refreshments.
The Nutcracker at The House Theater (Through 12/26)
The House Theatre's fresh and moving version of The Nutcracker brings audience members smack dab into the Clara's family drawing room, as everyone gathers to celebrate Christmas Eve. Though it centers on young Clara's journey to rescue Christmas after the heart-breaking death of her older brother, this magical take focuses on bravery and unity in the face of fear, and features amazing puppetry, original song, and many laugh-out-loud moments. Now onstage at the Chopin Theater, this performance engages kids of all ages, and is one of our family's favorite holiday shows.
The Joeffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker (Through 12/28)
And of course, the classic adaptation of The Nutcracker as told through The Joeffrey Ballet's rendition, set in 1850s America. Considered by the Chicago Tribune to be the "most indulgent "Nutcracker" in Chicago, this ballet will stir the magic in your soul and have everyone ready for Christmas Eve, children and adults alike. Be sure to buy your tickets for this holiday splurge performance before time runs out - these tickets are high on everyone's Christmas list.