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Joffrey Ballet - The Nutcracker Reviews

BalletDance & BalletFamily ShowsHoliday & Christmas ShowsThe Nutcracker

Average customer review: 2.5 star rating (2.7 Stars)

Number of reviews: 14



5.0 star rating Ed Jeffries from Chicago, Illinois



5.0 star rating Marie from Chicago, Illinois


I thought it was amazing and such a welcome change.

5.0 star rating Johanna from Chicago, Illinois


Incredibly creative production. Absolutely loved it!

5.0 star rating Katherine Hussey from Denver, Colorado


Unlike the previous reviewers, we welcomed the Chicago-centered story, costumes and set. We were amused by the cowboy, and amazed at the quality of the dancing. We’ve seen other performances in earlier years of the standard interpretation and we’re glad for the variety. Recommend it for the dancing, music, superb acoustics in that venue, creativity. Don’t recommend it for someone looking for the traditional interpretation, however. Come prepared.

3.0 star rating Krista from Chicago, Illinois


I have seen the Nutcracker several times. I have to admit I prefer the Traditional version. I wouldn’t recommend it how it is. I love ballet and I love the Nutcracker. I was not a fan of all the changes. I’ll be back when it goes back to the traditional. That was the response of the people around me also. The dancers themselves were amazing as always.

3.0 star rating Jenny from Chicago, Illinois


The Joffery's Original production was stunning and a joy to attend year after year. We even sat in the same seats each season, making it a cherished family tradition. The new production is interesting, and we liked the spin on it, but the premise is so far fetched, and the mysterious magical components are erased, making it a much more grown up tale that the children couldn't grasp like the fantasy of Clara and her sorcerer uncle, the transforming Nutcracker Prince and the dream world of Candyland. Overall, it was worth seeing once, but sadly, and almost brokenheartedly, this new Chicago-specific production has too many holes in the fantasy and we haven't been able to muster the excitement to attend it in subsequent years. We hope this one has a good run, but we can't wait to get back our beloved characters and scenes when Joffery finally reverts to the timeless classic version. Until then, we will spend our ticket money on other productions closer to the original, around Chicago.

2.0 star rating Julie N. from Chicago, Illinois


My father was visiting from out of town and loves the ballet, especially Swan Lake. I thought it would be special for us to see the Nutcracker also by Tchaikovsky. I never would have gone if I realized the artistic director changed the whole traditional story line. The only reason I gave it two stars and not one was that some of the dancing was beautiful. The costumes were down right horrible and gaudy. The new story was ridiculous and stretched in a poor attempt to go with the beautiful music. There was Buffalo Bill and his cancan dancers, an unknown character sitting on the top of a house and dancing walnuts among others? I spent $200 a ticket and wanted my money back after the first 15 minutes. Why change a classic? HORRIBLE.

2.0 star rating TK from Chicago, Illinois


We were looking forward to the Nutcracker as we have seen for many years. This new version is a joke! Think of it this way - if you were going to watch the "Wizard of OZ" but instead you got the "Wiz". It just is not the same - the dancers were awesome but the storyline created in Chicago was a bummer!

2.0 star rating Chen from Chicago, Illinois


Just watched this afternoon as the first performance of the season 2019. Not a traditional nutcracker. Too much drastic changes since 2016. Won’t see this production again. Googled and found a 2016 New York Time review on this production. 100% agree with the review. If you find reviews by Chicago local newspapers, such as tribune and sun time, you will be fooled by these local reviews, it apparently looks like too much nepotism in play.

2.0 star rating Drew from Grand Rapids, MI


In short, bad! Been going to this show for 10 years, but no more after the change. This isn’t about being averse to change either, as I was very much looking forward to new sets and costumes possibly...but instead someone got the genius idea to kill the entire Christmas theme essentially. The traditional story of family and Christmas and princesses and princes and fairy lands is replaced with single mother, dark drab costumes, industrial sets and alike. My guess is the new director is more a fan of modern wokeness than the traditional Christmas and family values this ballet used to exemplify. Given the size of Chicago, I’m sure my attendance and that of my families won’t be missed though.

1.0 star rating David from Chicago, Illinois


We have attended a number of years with daughters and grand daughters as a family tradition but never again.... it was awful. Customers were gaudy. Don’t waste your time and money. Box seat chairs were threadbare and hard. I do not recommend it to anyone.

1.0 star rating from Chicago, Illinois


Disliked this version of The Nutcracker! So hard to uunderstand and follow along....iin fact, it was quite boring! I don’t believe this to be for children at all! The only thing that seemed to keep me awake were the people behind us crunching on food the whole way through!!!

1.0 star rating Britanny from Chicago, Illinois


This new "Nutcracker" gets rid of all the beauty and the ornate scenes from the original Nutcracker. It opens in a dark and sad scene with rats running around (not the mouse king's mice). Got rid of the Sugar Plum Fairy and replaced her with the "Golden lady"... or something like that. The elegance, beauty, and tradition of the Nutcracker completely disappeared. There are no beautiful fairy dances. At one point, the ballet literally mocks and tries to be funny in a clown scene. For the price, don't waste your time in getting disappointed. This wonderful older woman who I sat next to was basically in tears because she had been coming to the ballet to watch the Nutcracker for years, and when she saw this she was devastated. It truly is so disappointing.

1.0 star rating Ethel Brown from Chicago, Illinois


It was very sad to see the Nutcracker Ballet that has been a tradition in my family for years lose its warmth, it’s joyful anticipation for Christmas seen through the eyes and imagination of children. The Christmas theme was downplayed. I was heart broken and I don’t know if I will ever return. The caliber of dancing was not as good either, very slow and even off at times. Absence of good male dancers. Costumes were not great either. All around disappointment. The Salt Creek Theater delivers a better show.


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