For many people, it's just not the holidays if they haven't planned to see at least one production of "The Nutcracker."
Various theater companies, ballet troupes and other entertainment organizations annually bring the tale of young Clara and her journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy to holiday fans. It's an enchanting place where toys come to life and dreams come true.
Being an audience member at one of the seasonal productions surely gets people into the festive mood.
The following list is just a sample of the many "Nutcracker" productions on the show scene this year.
Indiana Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker, " 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14 at Star Plaza Theatre, Interstate 65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville. Indiana Ballet Theatre presents its annual holiday dance favorite. Cost is $25. The show is one of the last productions to be staged at Star Plaza Theatre before the venue's closing in mid-December. Call IBT at 219-755-4444 or visit starplazatheatre.com.
The Joffrey Ballet presents Christopher Wheeldon's "The Nutcracker," Dec. 1 to 30, at The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Call for ticket prices and more information. 312-386-8905 or visit Joffrey.org. The Joffrey Ballet is presenting its new production of the holiday favorite choreographed by acclaimed choreographer and Tony-Award winner Christopher Wheeldon. The company debuted the new ballet last season. Wheeldon's "Nutcracker" is set during Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition and is the story of an immigrant fair worker's child.
"The Nutcracker" Through Dec. 30, The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The House Theatre of Chicago is presenting its family-friendly theatrical version of the holiday tale. The production, which is not a ballet, is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's story. Tickets are $25 to $50. Call 773-769-3832 or visit thehousetheatre.com.
"The Nutcracker," Nov. 26, performed by Kenneth von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Theatre at The Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet. Chicago Festival Ballet will present the show at 2 p.m. Tickets are $38.50 and $30.50;$22.50 for children 12 and younger. Visit rialtosquare.com.
"The Nutcracker," Dec. 2 and 3, Northeastern University Auditorium in Chicago. The Ruth Page Civic Ballet will present its version of the holiday classic at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 3. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for senior citizens and children younger than 12. Call 312-337-6543.