By Community Contributor Ann Fink, Chicago Tribune, Glen Ellyn
Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet (CFB) performs its 27th annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC), Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1 and 5 p.m. New Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, will perform Tchaikovsky’s classic “Nutcracker” score live for this full-scale, lavish production.
“There is nothing like seeing this beloved classic performed to live music,” says MAC Director Diana Martinez. “We’re thrilled that Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet and New Philharmonic have once again teamed up to bring this holiday tradition to life at the MAC.”
“The Nutcracker,” featuring the exquisite music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is a classic holiday fairy tale ballet in two acts. As a family’s Christmas Eve party ends, a dream takes the young daughter Clara to a magical world where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen, dancing snowflakes and many other enchanting characters.
This year’s production features 60 dancers from Chicago and Chicago suburbs including Aurora; Bolingbrook; Calumet City, Ind.; Channahon; Darien; Elmhurst; Harvey Homer Glen; Lemont; Lisle, Naperville, Plainfield, Wheaton and Woodridge, and even as far as Cuba. They will be joined by guest artists in principal roles including former Joffrey Ballet company member Michael Anderson (Uncle Drosselmeyer former apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance Patrick Ingram (Mouse King), Thodos Dance Chicago’s Brennen Renteria (Nutcracker Prince), former Bolshoi Belarus Prima ballerina and Milwaukee Ballet principal dancer Deanna Stetsura (Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy and Arabian) and former Luna Negra company dancer and Momenta dancer/choreographer J.P. Tenuta (Snow King, Cavalier, and Arabian).
Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet, under the artistic direction of Kenneth Von Heidecke, produces a repertoire of classical, romantic, and neoclassical works focusing upon the great musical compositions of the 19th and 20th century masters. Von Heidecke opened The Von Heidecke Dance Center in 1990 in Naperville, Ill. as a training center for young dancers to learn the art of classical ballet. More than two dozen of Von Heidecke’s students have gone on to professional careers in the U.S. and Europe.
New Philharmonic, the professional orchestra in residence of the MAC, and the only professional orchestra based in Illinois’ DuPage County., has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for 40 years. Under conductor/music director Maestro Kirk Muspratt, it continues to thrive with the goal to give innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works while striving to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts.
Tickets for “The Nutcracker” are $43 Adults, $41 Seniors; $32 for youth ages 18 and under. There will also be an opportunity to meet with Santa preceding the matinee performances. For tickets or more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.