Want More Great Coverage of Chicago's Amazing Arts & Culture at Your Fingertips? Subscribe to Clef Notes' Digital Edition Using eCoupon: PRYB2XJ7NSX7 and get 50% Off the Standard Subscription Rate!

Von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet to Bring Nutcracker to McAninch Arts Center

Jessica Campbell, Edge of the Forest, 2018 (photo by James Prinz, courtesy of Western Exhibitions).


Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet will perform its 29th annual production of The Nutcracker at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) this December. New Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, will perform Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker score live for this full-scale, lavish production. As a special treat, there will be photo opportunities with Santa and a three-foot tall wooden Nutcracker in the lobby.

“Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet is thrilled to once again, team up with New Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, to bring this holiday tradition to life at the MAC. We know many Chicago area residents see The Nutcracker as a must for the season and we’re pleased that we are able to present our classic production guaranteed to entertain all ages and create lasting memories,” says Von Heidecke Chicago Festival Ballet Founder and Artistic Director, Ken von Heidecke.

The Nutcracker, featuring the iconic score 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 more than 50 dancers from Chicago and Chicago. They will be joined by guest artists in principal roles including former Joffrey Ballet company member Michael Anderson (Uncle Drosselmeyer); former Nevada Ballet Theatre company dancer Grigori Areqelyn (Snow King, Cavalier); Elements Contemporary Ballet company member and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre rehearsal director Brennen Renteria, (Nutcracker Prince); Chicago’s Caitlin Gee (Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy) and former Joffrey Ballet company member Jennifer Goodman (Arabian). The male Arabian role will be shared by Chicagoans JP Tenuta, former member of Luna Negra and the Nashville Ballet; and Luke Joiner, who has performed with the Alabama Ballet and Elements Contemporary Ballet.

The role of Clara will be shared by Naperville’s Madelyne Lowe and Jacquie Liedtke and Homer Glen’s Reagan Davidson. The cast will also feature three tumblers, Terrance Green, William Green and DeAngelo Woods, from Chicago’s Ultimate Tumblers (The CUT), coached by Orpheus Floyd. The CUT appeared on the 2011 edition of America’s Got Talent.

The performance takes place at the McAninch Arts Center located at 425 Fawell Blvd., on the campus of College of DuPage Saturday Dec. 15 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 and 5 p.m. For tickets or more information visit or call 630.942.4000.