Clara & the Nutcracker | Piccolo Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Clara & the Nutcracker Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 20 2015

Piccolo Theatre’s annual Christmas panto continues its long-standing tradition of turning traditional holiday fairy tales on their heads and adding slapstick, zingers, and nonstop audience participation. This Nutcracker adaptation by Jessica Puller, who penned music and lyrics with Derrick Gaetke, is as far from the classic ballet as one can imagine, featuring Liz Dillard as a feisty Clara with two left feet. Preferring punches to plies, she embarks on a dangerous adventure into the Land of Sweets to save kidnapped Princess Marie and help the Nutcracker Prince retake his throne. On the night I attended, the only thing junior audience members loved more than booing the Rat King was shouting “Tschaikovsky!” as the southern-belle Sugar Plum Fairy, played by a lovably off-kilter Joshua D. Allard, worked her magic. —Marissa Oberlander

Price: $27

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