The Joffrey’s Nutcracker

I made an almost last-minute decision to go see the Nutcracker at Joffrey Ballet this morning (and to take mom with me). That’s because it was still so cold that you could barely walk outside, and I knew mom would have to be Ubered whenever we decided to go.

Most museums closed on Thursday afternoon and didn’t reopen yet, but Joffrey ballet sent an email saying that they keep all performances and that the 25% discount still works. Also, I found incredibly cheap seat very close to the stage, and that was perfect for mom (she can’t hear the orchestra from the balcony). So I purchased tickets for the 11 AM (!!!) performance and pre-ordered Uber both ways.

It was so good, I can’t even describe it! I love this Chicago version much more than the classical version – it is better in al possible ways. Each time I see it, I love it more, and it was something special in today’s performance. I overheard somebody saying that she had tears in her eye throughout the whole first act, and I felt the same. I hope Joffrey will never return to the classical version 🙂

Since if was so cold outside, I expected it to be chilly at the Opera house and was surprised to find it warm enough to check in the coats. A lady at the coat check told me that they started heating at 3 AM to make it comfortable!

2 thoughts on “The Joffrey’s Nutcracker

  1. It’s a different story. It happens in Chicago at the World Fair. And everything is very realistic, except for the golden sculpture was not made my a woman:) Here is a Chicago libretto from the booklet:
    The Nutcracker
    ACT I

    It is Christmas Eve in Chicago, 1892. Workers from around the world are constructing the World’s Columbian Exposition, which will open in five months. Marie, the daughter of one of the workers, encounters a gang of boys on the construction site who show off things they’ve stolen.

    Marie’s younger brother Franz steals a small red bundle from a rich boy’s sled, and a Rat Catcher terrifies Franz.

    Marie and Franz return to their home, a little shack where their widowed mother, a sculptress, is creating a great golden statue, which will preside over the fair.

    Workers from the fair and their families soon arrive at the shack with decorations, a small tree, and much food and drink. A wonderful Christmas party begins.

    The man who has designed and created the World’s Fair, a mysterious figure known as The Great Impresario, surprises everyone and shows up, along with his apprentice (the rich boy from whom Franz stole the red bundle earlier). The Great Impresario entertains the workers with an enchanting vision of his fair.

    He distributes gifts for everyone, but one is missing. Franz realizes it’s the red bundle he’d stolen. The Great Impresario produces it like a magic trick and gives it to Marie. She unwraps it and discovers a beautiful nutcracker inside. Just then, the Rat Catcher frightens Franz, who drops the nutcracker, breaking it. It is swiftly fixed by The Great Impresario, but the party is now winding to a close and soon everyone leaves.

    That night something very strange happens. Marie awakens and is shocked to see rats kidnap Franz! The Great Impresario returns, and with a wave of his hand, the little tree from the party grows until it seems to have taken over the entire world. The Nutcracker, now life-size and alive, appears from within its branches. The Rat King leads a battle against the Nutcracker. Marie distracts the Rat King and the Nutcracker kills him.

    Franz is rescued, and the rats carry off their king, vowing revenge. The Nutcracker is transformed into Prince Peter. It begins to snow. A magical gondola comes to take The Great Impresario, the Prince, and Marie off into the night.

    ACT II

    The gondola delivers The Great Impresario, the Prince, and Marie to the edge of a lake, where they are greeted by the Queen of the Fair, a vision in gold. The Queen grants them a visit to the Dream Fair. They move from pavilion to pavilion, where countries from around the world are represented. Soon The Great Impresario and the Queen of the Fair have fallen in love, which causes the Dream Fair to explode with light.

    Marie wakes up from her dazzling dream. It is Christmas Day.


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