The Joffrey Ballet bills its Nutcracker as "America's Number One" and for good reason. From the elaborate set pieces to the expertly crafted costumes to the outstanding special effects to the top-notch dancing, The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition to be revered, relished and repeated.My own experience with The Nutcracker began when I was seven years old -- my mother dragged us all downtown for a double-header: Lunch in the Walnut Room (in the former Marshall Field's on State Street) followed by an early evening production of the Nutcracker. This was before the Joffrey moved here, when the production was at the McCormick Place, I think, but the memory is hazy. What I do remember is the magic of watching the story unfold, the familiarity of the music, which I listened to religiously on my Fischer Price record player, and the beauty of the dancing.Not much has changed -- the whole experience is still magical. (I nearly wept when it snowed glittery snow onstage...) If you're looking for something to take the whole family to this holiday season, look no further than The Joffrey's production of The Nutcracker. It's pure holiday magic incarnate.
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