The House Theatre of Chicago once again brings holiday cheer for the whole family with its eighth annual engagement of the all-original, ballet-free The Nutcracker playing at The Chopin Theatre upstairs theatre, 1543 W. Division, November 3 – December 30. Company Members Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley created the adaptation. New to the 2017 holiday production, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, is director and Company Member Chris Mathews with original direction and choreography by Tommy Rapley. Previews take place November 3 – 9 following the regular schedule, excluding matinees. The press opening is Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Performances are Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. with 3 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Preview tickets are $15 with regular run tickets $25 – $50. Student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available for $15 for all dates, based on availability. Ticketsmay be purchased by calling 773.769.3832 or by visiting www.thehousetheatre.com.
The House Theatre of Chicago brings the wholly original, ballet-free The Nutcracker back because it truly has something for everyone. The show is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly, and moving for even those of us that might be on the Grinch’s side from time to time. This fantastical, “smart [and] layered” (Chicago Reader, 2016) expansion of the holiday classic that “simultaneously evokes smiles, tears, mirth and cringes“ (PerformInk, 2016) centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl risks the darkness, fights the Rat King and saves her family. “The play’s willingness to embrace that darker side of life makes the triumph of the light side all the brighter” (NewCity, 2016). A modern holiday tradition weaving together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope -- a fun outing fit for the whole family. The run time for The Nutcracker is approximately 2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission.