Don’t Miss This Year’s Greatest Holiday Joy!
Reviewed by Standard-Sally Jo Osborne
4 Stars Out of 4
Chicago’s Finest Ballet and the Mouse
King along with
Everlasting moments beautiful and
Really excellent dancers
The Nutcracker is often a child’s introduction to ballet as it was for my 7 year Ella this past Friday. Her love for theatre is enormous and now adding a new and intriguing facet of the performing arts is thrilling. Joffrey is Chicago’s most loved holiday traditions for many reasons:
The graceful elegance and endurance of the dancers, the beautiful music brought to us by the Chicago Philharmonic, the over the top characters like the giant Mother Ginger (designed by Muppets puppeteer Kermit Love), the sword fights, the amazing scenery (where else does it snow inside)? And of course the story that has everyone believing in the reason for the season. I do believe in Christmas! 118 children adorning the stage the story this ballet is easy to follow and full of action and beauty two very good attributes to have. The Joffrey Ballet Artists of the Company come to us from all over the world and bring with them their passion and love of this beautiful story.
It is Christmas Eve at Stahlbaum household and the evening is full of dancing, excitement and joy. Godfather Dr. Drosselmeyer (Lucas Segovia) joins the party with gifts for all the girls and boys. Young Clara (Cara Marie Gary) receives a beautiful Nutcracker that her mischievous brother Fritz (Derrick Agnoletti) grabs from her little hand and within minutes breaks the precious gift. Clara is crushed but Dr. Drosselmeyer bandages him up and Clara is relieved at least for the moment. A Ballet in Two Acts based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s children’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816) A Robert Joffrey Production conceived and directed by Robert Joffrey, Music by Peter llyich Tchaikovsky the Joffrey Ballet made its World Premier of The Nutcracker in 1987 and has been performing every year since.
We are transported to magical places where the toys come alive and we meet Mice, Soldiers, Dolls from many countries, along with the Nutcracker doll (Graham Maverick) the Nutcracker Prince (Dylan Gutierrez) from many countries and even a little scene stealing Gingerbread (Cecelia Buday). The Snow Queen (Christine Rocas) and Snow King (Temur Suluashvili) and Snowflakes , Snow Winds and Snow Tree Angels enchant the audience with a hands down show stopping way to end the first act leaving us wanting more, more, more just before intermission. Truly beautiful beyond wonder. In ACT II we enter the Kingdom of Sweets and experience delicious characters from around the globe when Clara’s dolls come to life. We move on to Waltz of the Flowers and The Grand Pas De Deux is lovely with return of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Nutcracker Prince and then the amazing Finale with the Entire cast. Do not miss this event. This is truly a 2 hour escape into the world of magic and wonder.
I highly recommend it and my seven year old Ella does as well!
The Nutcracker is playing at The Auditorium Theatre in Chicago through December 28th. For ticket information please visit www.theatreinchicago.com visit Joffrey Ballet’s Box office at 10 E. Randolph St. or call 800-982-2787/ticketmaster.com. Or visit www.theatreinchicago.com.