House Theatre’s Ballet-free Version of “The Nutcracker” – Review by Jeffrey Leibham

****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** If you mention “The Nutcracker” to anyone they will more than likely have visions of sugar plum fairies dancing through their head or at least the iconic music of Tchaikovsky’s famous “Suite” ringing in their ears. But for those of you who may want a slightly different interpretation than what the Joffrey Ballet is offering (or any other dance company, for that matter), you should head to the Chopin Theater — and quickly. For the tenth consecutive year, the House Theatre of Chicago is offering their ballet-free version of this family-friendly holiday classic. If you’ve never seen it before, you will be surprised by how emotionally raw this work can be at times. If you have been fortunate to have seen it over the recent years that have turned this into an annual holiday gem for the House Theatre, a repeat visit is in order as this adaptation has been gently refined with some key changes in casting and technical execution. With a show that is this unique and special, here’s hoping that it may run for at least another ten years or more. 4 SPOTLIGHTS

“The Nutcracker” continues through December 29, 2019

The Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division, Chicago, IL

Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 3:00 and 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM with added performances Friday, Nov. 29 at 3:00 PM, Sundays, Dec. 8, 15, and 22 at 7:00 PM and Monday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 PM.

Accessible performance dates: Open Captioned on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3:00 PM.

Touch Tour/Audio Described on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3:00 PM and Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly on Saturdays, Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 at 3:00 PM.

Note: There is no performance Thursday, Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Day).

Tickets are $30 to $50. Student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available at $20 for all dates, based on availability. Single tickets are now on sale and may be purchased by calling 773-769-3832 or by visiting www.thehousetheatre.com. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are on sale now.

Running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission.

Read reviews by Carol Moore and Jeffrey Leibham at www.spotlightonlake.com.