From Joffrey to Salt Creek, 'Nutcrackers' by leaps and bounds

December 10, 2010
Chicago Tribune
Sid Smith

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Those sugarplums abide: The 21st century may be nearing its teens, but a tradition dating back to the late 19th is still in vogue. Here's a few of "The "Nutcracker" treats on display this season:

Joffrey Ballet: The casting for Friday's opening of the "The Nutcracker" at the Auditorium Theatre showcases some of the Joffrey Ballet's up-and-coming stars.

Yumelia Garcia will take on the key role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, partnered by Mauro Villanueva as her Act II prince. Brazilian-born Ricardo Santos steps into the triple roles of Snow Prince, Fritz and Tea from China, parts traditionally played on opening night by Calvin Kitten, who retired from the company last season.

The husband-and-wife team of Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili will be Snow Queen and King, while Anastacia Holden will dance Clara. (All casting is subject to last-minute changes.)