Visions of Sugar Plums (2013 Nutcracker Preview)

Dylan Gutierrez & Jack Thorpe-Baker in Joffrey's The Nutcracker, photo by Herbert Migdoll
Dylan Gutierrez & Jack Thorpe-Baker in Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, photo by Herbert Migdoll

The Joffrey Ballet has been delighting audiences with its Nutcracker for 26 years. I remember seeing it about ten years ago and remarking on what a special production it is. It was the heyday of Calvin Kitten, and the lavish costumes, sets, and dancing made for a really fun experience. Nutcracker can get a little: “if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all,” but Joffrey’s is different and definitely worth checking out. Plus, you’ve got 23 opportunities to do so. So there’s really no excuse.

Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker runs Dec 6 – 28, Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Parkway). 

Tickets are $31-132, available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s box office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower (10 E. Randolph Street), at Auditorium Theatre’s box office,  at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (800) 982-2787, or online at  

Assuming you can’t attend one of the billion performances listed above, or if you’re wanting to try something a little different, here is a list of a few regional offerings of our favorite holiday ballet classic…

Ballet Legère

Ballet Legere's Nutcracker in River Forest

In its 29th year, Ballet Legère’s Nutcracker boasts an 120 member cast including guest artists Joseph Caruana and Megan Walsh of Elements Contemporary Ballet and Vanessa Woods and Erik Hoffman of the St. Louis Ballet dancing the Grand Pas de Deux.

Saturday, Dec 14 at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, Dec 15 at 2pm
Dominican University Performing Arts Center
Lund Auditorium 7900 W. Division, River Forest IL.

Presale ticket prices are $25.00 at 773-237-1874. Seniors and children under 12 are $20.00. Add $2.00 to tickets purchased at the door.




Hyde Park School of Dance

Flowers-Nut-2012Hyde Park School of Dance celebrates its 20th anniversary season with an impressive 170 member Nutcracker cast of all ages. Staged by HPSD Founding Artistic Director August The (ballet mistress and choreographer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago) this Nutcracker chooses a VIP each year for the role of Mother Ginger. South Siders will enjoy seeing 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston and Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wallace Goode in the notorious role.

Saturday, Dec 14 at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, Dec 15 at 2pm
Mandel Hall
1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL.
Tickets are $20; $10 for children ages five to 18, seniors and students with ID; and free for children younger than five available at 773-493-8498 or        

Ruth Page Civic Ballet

unnamedAs Victor Alexander adjusts to his new Directorship, the Ruth Page Civic Ballet presents its original Nutcracker as Ms. Page herself imagined it. With 80 cast members including prestigious guest artists Jennifer Goodman, Randy Herrera, Meredith Seeley, Ariel Cisneros, Katherine Bruno and Yosvani Ramos, city dwellers and our neighbors to the north will have equal opportunity to see this production.
Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 pm and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1pm and 5 pm
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 N. St. Louis Ave.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $18 for students and senior and $5 for Northeastern Illinois University students, faculty and staff. To purchase tickets or for more information visit or call 312.337.6543.
The Ruth Page Civic Ballet also performs The Nutcracker Saturday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. Tickets range from $12-$30. For more information and to purchase tickets visit

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