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Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Way, Chicago, IL 60605


Ended 27 Dec 2015 after 23 days

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"A theatrical event of irresistible power."

Washington Post

Closed 27 Dec 2015

THE final season OF robert joffrey's holiday ballet

This year sees The Joffrey Ballet's classic, as choreographed by the iconic Robert Joffrey and Gerlad Arpino in 1987, receive its last performance run before a major reinvention by esteemed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon (Swan Lake, An American In Paris), which is to receive its world premiere in December 2016 and set at Chicago's 1893 World's Fair. Joffrey's production has become the Number One Chicago Christmas tradition, and has returned annually to the Auditorium Theatre to wow their die-hard fans since 1987.

During the performance the entire Company is joined on-stage by 118 young dancers from Chicago land area, and beyond as well as vocalists from five local children's choirs, who will also perform for guests half an hour before the curtain and during intermission at all performances.

It's time to revel in the awe-inspiring Nutcracker with brilliant costumes, larger than life scenery, entrancing storytelling and of course, Tchaikovsky's famous score, played by the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra.

what is it about?

Set in Victorian-era Chicago, our story starts at the elegant home of the Stahlbaums, where a Christmas soiree is getting into swing. The children are excited, especially when the toymaker Herr Drosselmeyer arrives with beautiful dolls for them. To the eldest girl Clara he presents a beautiful wooden nutcracker soldier. Dancing with it, she is delighted - until her boisterous younger brother Fritz grabs it and breaks its jaw. Devastated, Clara tries to fix the doll with her hankerchief.

Soon it is getting late, and the guests are leaving; Clara settles down under the Christmas tree with the nutcracker and falls asleep. At midnight she is awakened by the sound of pattering; the clock strikes 12 and she finds that the tree has grown to a magnificent size, and that she is surrounded by full-sized mice and rats, led by a dastardly king. They are armed with swords and ready to close in, but look! A squadron of tin soldiers march in, led by none other than the Nutcracker, who has transformed into a handsome prince!

Together they defeat the mice in an almighty battle, with Clara throwing her slipper at the king himself. To thank Clara for her help, the prince leads her on a magical sleigh ride to a snowy forest, where they meet glittering snowflakes and angels. They carry on to the Land of Sweets, where awaits the benevolent Sugar Plum Fairy, her Cavalier and a host of sweet treats from across the world, who are ready to put on the dance spectacle of Clara's wildest dreams......

Did you know?

Continually fresh, The Joffrey Ballet work hard to keep The Nutcracker as relevant and spectacular as possible, with constant rehearsals and a rotation of those in starring roles to give every one of the 40-plus company their moment in the spotlight!

Additional Information


Opening night: 4 December 2015

Closing night: 27 December 2015


Ages four and above

Run time

Two hours and five minutes with one interval

Show times


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Please note: The term Auditorium Theatre and/or Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker as well as all associated graphics, logos, and/or other tradermarks, tradenames or copyrights are the property of the Auditorium Theatre and/or Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker and are used herein for factual descriptive purposes only. We are in no way associated with or authorized by the Auditorium Theatre and/or Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker and neither that entity nor any of its affiliates have licensed or endorsed us to sell tickets, goods and or services in conjunction with their events.

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