Chicago has always done its own thing when it comes to The Nutcracker. For decades, the production choreographed by Ruth Page, doyenne of Chicago dance, played at the Arie Crown Theater (you can see this version at Northeastern Illinois University, on December 11 and 12). For 20 years, beginning in 1995, Robert Joffrey’s 1860s American take on the ballet was the flagship Nutcracker in Chicago. Then, for 2016, the Joffrey commissioned a new Nutcracker from Christopher Wheeldon (who is now at work on MJ, the Michael Jackson musical coming to Broadway). Wheeldon’s approach is set at the time of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition—a world’s fair that took place in Chicago. —L.J.
Joffrey Ballet 10 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601 Get Directions »