The Joffrey Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' Named Best-Loved Nutcracker in the Nation Winner of 9th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award

December 22, 2015

The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker Named Best-Loved Nutcracker in the Nation

Winner of 9th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award


NEW YORK (December 22, 2015) – The Joffrey Ballet’s farewell performance of The Nutcracker, beat out more than 106 other Nutcracker-themed productions to win the 9th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award. As winner of the audience-favorite competition, The Joffrey Ballet takes home "The Nutty" statuette, a cash prize for its education programs, and bragging rights as the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S. They join the ranks of past winners that include Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Boston Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, The House Theater of Chicago and MBS Productions.


"Robert Joffrey's The Nutcracker has been an indelible trademark of The Joffrey Ballet’s repertoire for 28 strong years," added Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. "As we celebrate this production's final year, we're honored to be named America's most beloved Nutcracker and are proud to commemorate this production's enduring legacy one final time with this award. We're thrilled to receive our third Goldstar National Nutcracker Award, and look forward to maintaining our beloved status with the World Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's The Nutcracker next season."

Since premiering in 1987, The Joffrey Ballet's production of The Nutcracker has become Chicago's most popular holiday tradition. This beloved holiday masterpiece takes the stage one last time for its final season at Auditorium Theatre. The entire ballet company, local children's choruses and young dancers together tell the magical tale of young Clara, whose Christmas gift of a nutcracker doll comes to life and brings her to a fantastic winter wonderland, while the Chicago Philharmonic performs Tchaikovsky's famous score live. "Beautiful" is how many Goldstar members described the production, adding that the magical snow scene, set design and costumes were the highlights. For its 2016-2017 season, The Joffrey Ballet has commissioned Christopher Wheeldon -- whose direction for Broadway's An American in Paris earned him the 2015 Tony Award for Best Choreography -- to re-envision a new Nutcracker to receive its World Premiere in December 2016.

The Goldstar National Nutcracker Award, the only nationwide award for live Nutcracker-themed performances, showcases the astounding quality and variety of Nutcracker productions each year -- from classic ballet to hip-hop, burlesque and more. Created by live entertainment ticket seller Goldstar (, an event discovery service that helps people go out more often, the competition uses Goldstar purchasers' post-show ratings to rank Nutcracker productions nationwide in order of audience favorite.


"There were so many Nutcracker productions people loved in cities all across the country, but in the end, The Joffrey Ballet proved to be the crowd favorite," says Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy. "We’d like to congratulate the entire cast and crew for their remarkable work."


Goldstar is the largest seller of excess tickets to live entertainment. We help our six million members discover and get out more to live entertainment, like theater, concerts, nightlife, comedy, sports and more.

The Joffrey Ballet ( Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino's uniquely American vision of dance first took form in 1956. The original company consisted of six dynamic and highly individual dancers. While Robert Joffrey stayed in New York to teach ballet classes and earn money to pay the dancers' salaries, Gerald Arpino led the troupe across America's heartland, in a station wagon that pulled a U-Haul trailer. Their repertoire of original ballets by Robert Joffrey set them apart from other small touring companies, who often performed scaled-down versions of the classics. From the beginning, Joffrey and Arpino wanted a company that came out of their roots, out of America.


For more on the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award, visit