Von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet in The Nutcracker (photo courtesy of the McAninch Arts Center).

Chicago  Festival Ballet and New Philharmonic Team for The Nutcracker at McAninch Arts Center

Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet (CFB) will perform its 27th annual production of The Nutcracker at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) this weekend. New Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, will perform Pyotr Ilyich 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 classic Nutcracker holiday fairy tale ballet is performed in two acts and depicts the magical dream of young Clara as she meets the captivating characters of the world of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen and dancing snowflakes, among an enchanting mix of others.

This year’s production features 60 dancers from Chicago and Chicago suburbs from Aurora to Bolingbrook to Elmhurst and Calumet City. 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).

The design team for this production includes Sahin Sahinoglu (set design), and Jeff Hendry and Oswaldo Muniz (costume design). Production stage manager is Tina Salamone.

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.