The Nutcracker

Performance Details

  • When December 6–28, 2024
  • Choreography ©Christopher Wheeldon
  • Where Lyric Opera House
  • Music Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Running Time 2 hours

Experience magic this holiday season with two-time Tony Award®-winner Christopher Wheeldon's 'The Nutcracker'.

On a magical Christmas Eve, mere months before the opening of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the fair’s iconic Statue of the Republic, partake in a festive celebration with a surprise visit from the mysterious Great Impresario. That evening, after awakening to an epic battle between Toy Soldiers and The Rat King, Marie is swept away by a Nutcracker Prince on a whirlwind journey to the dreamlike fairgrounds of the World’s Columbian Exposition with sprawling attractions represented by countries from around the globe.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, The Nutcracker features a celebrated creative team, including two-time Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch, Caldecott Medal Award-winning author Brian Selznick, Obie and Drama Desk award-winning puppeteer Basil Twist, Tony Award®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz and Tony Award®-winning projection designer Ben Pearcy. 

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. 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 mysterious Great Impresario, the man who has designed and created the World’s Fair, brings the magic of the season to life.
The Joffrey’s beloved version of The Nutcracker takes inspiration from Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, one of the city’s great historical attractions of the late 19th century. 

The Nutcracker Springs to Life

Choreographer and Composer

Christopher Wheeldon OBE | Choreographer

The Tony Award®-winning choreographer continues to create and stage productions for many of the world’s major ballet companies.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky | Composer

Born in 1840, Tchaikovsky is widely considered one of the most popular composers of his time.



Presenting Sponsor

  • Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company

Special Thanks to Commissioning Sponsors

  • Margot and Josef Lakonishok
  • Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
  • Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa
  • And the many "Believers"