CHICAGO – The Joffrey Ballet’s critically-acclaimed reimagined classic, The Nutcracker, by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, returns to open the holiday season at the historic Auditorium Theatre, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Ida B. Wells Drive, in 29 performances only, November 30-December 29, 2019. This season’s production marks the last time The Nutcracker will take place at the Auditorium Theatre since its world premiere in 2016. The Company moves to the Lyric Opera House with the start of the 2020-2021 season.
New this year is an additional “Worker Girl” role who appears in Act I, following the prologue, during the ballet’s iconic party scene. The role will be alternated this year by Emma Lookatch and Larke Johnson, both students of the Joffrey Academy’s Adaptive Dance Program for students with diverse movement abilities, including but not limited to those with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and down syndrome. With the new role, the children’s cast now totals 102 dancers.
“The Chicago’s World Fair storyline of Wheeldon’s Nutcracker is beautiful, and his addition of another ‘Worker Girl’ reinforces the Joffrey’s commitment to accessibility, following in the footsteps of Robert Joffrey, who believed everyone should have the opportunity to experience the art of dance,” said Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director. “We are proud that our Academy, which is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary year, is developing the skills of all its students, no matter their specific needs.”
Wheeldon’s American tale relocates Marie and her immigrant family to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and opens as young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the Fair’s iconic Statue of the Republic, host a festive Christmas Eve celebration. After a surprise visit from the mysterious Great Impresario, creator of the Fair, Marie embarks on a whirlwind adventure with the Nutcracker Prince through a dreamlike World’s Fair.
A ballet in two acts set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, The Nutcracker also features designs by an award-winning creative team, including Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch, Caldecott Medal Award-winning author and illustrator Brian Selznick, six-time Tony Award®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz and Tony Award®-winning projection designer Ben Pearcy.
The Nutcracker features live music performed by the Chicago Philharmonic, conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet.
The Joffrey Ballet performs The Nutcracker Saturday, November 30 through Sunday, December 29. The full schedule is as follows: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2:00pm; Friday, Dec.6 at 7:00pm; Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2:00pm; Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:00pm; Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:00pm; Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7:00pm; Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:00pm; Friday, Dec. 20 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Monday, Dec. 23 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Thursday, Dec. 26 at 2:00pm; Friday, Dec. 27 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; Saturday, Dec. 28 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; and Sunday, Dec. 29 at 2:00pm.
Single tickets start at $35 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre Box Office, by telephone at 312.386.8905, or online at joffrey.org.
About The Joffrey Ballet
Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its Company, audiences, and repertoire, which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works.
The Company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program, including the much-lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.
Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director, and Greg Cameron, President and CEO.
Special thanks to 2019-2020 The Nutcracker Production Sponsor Jewell Events Catering and Sponsor AARP Illinois. The Joffrey also thanks Community Engagement Access Sponsor and Student Matinee Sponsor The Allstate Insurance Company; and Student Matinee Sponsors Macy’s, Capital Group Private Client Services and Mazza Foundation. The Joffrey gratefully acknowledges The Nutcracker Commissioning Sponsors: Margot and Josef Lakonishok; Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust; Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa; and the many “Believers.”
The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2019-2020 Season Sponsors: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Sonia Florian, Live Music Sponsors Sandy and Roger Deromedi, Sage Foundation, and The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music.
The Joffrey also acknowledges our Preferred Partners Chicago Athletic Clubs, and Athletico Physical Therapy, official provider of physical therapy for The Joffrey Ballet.