"Christopher Wheeldon's The Nutcracker" by The Joffrey Ballet

A scene from Christopher Wheeldon's "The Nutcracker."

The Joffrey Ballet's production of "Christopher Wheeldon's The Nutcracker," which is being performed for the third year, sets it in Chicago. The Joffrey Ballet presents  "The Nutcracker" through Dec. 30 at The Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The production was created by Wheeldon specifically for The Joffrey Ballet.

The Joffrey's story veers from the traditional one, which focuses on Clara, from a high-brow family, and turns its attention to a setting and family during the time of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This "Nutcracker" tells the story of young Marie, who is from a poor, hard-working immigrant family.

Marie, while in a dream, embarks on a journey with a life-size Nutcracker and the Impressario. They travel to the land of the Columbian Exposition, where they visit exciting ethnic pavilions.

"The company has taken real ownership of the work," said Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet. "They love that it was created here for them." Company member Evan Boersma, who grew up in Dyer, is performing in "The Nutcracker" as a member of The Joffrey Ballet.

The Joffrey's version also includes children from Chicago, its suburbs and Northwest Indiana in its cast.

Don't miss the following productions of the beloved holiday favorite.

Indiana Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker," 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at Indiana University Northwest, Main Stage, 3401 Broadway, Gary. Call 219-755-4444 for prices and more information.

"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," Center for the Performing Arts at Governors State University, University Park, Illinois and North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie. Salt Creek Ballet will present the show at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.

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