If visions of dancing sugar plums are dancing in your head, here’s a look at some of the area productions of “The Nutcracker” with some very traditional and very non-traditional takes on the beloved E.T.A. Hoffmann tale and an instantly familiar Tchaikovsky score:
The Joffrey Ballet’s staging of Christopher Wheeldon’s re-imaging of the classic tale now set at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. Dec. 1-Dec. 30 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, $35-$199.
The family-friendly, ballet-free version of the classic story has become a holiday tradition. To Dec. 30 at The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, $30-$50;
“The Nut Tapper:” Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin’s annual staging of the holiday classic recreated with rhythms of tap, Spanish flamenco and Mexican zapateado. Nov. 25 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, $15.
“The Art Deco Nutcracker”: Set in 1920s America, this is a fresh take on the holiday favorite. Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at A&A Ballet at Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan, $30-$50.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker”: Family show that re-imagines the classic score through hip-hop choreography. Dec. 1 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, $25-$75.
“Dance-Along Nutcracker”: Dancers of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in this annual performance of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. Ballet Chicago offers optional beginner lessons before each performance. Dec. 2 at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Free.
The holiday favorite performed by Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet. Dec. 2 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, $22-$38; rialtosquare.com. Dec. 15-16 at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, $34, $44.
The Ruth Page Civic Ballet performs Page’s original staging of the holiday classic. Dec. 1-2 at Northeastern Illinois University, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr, $20, $32.
“Great Russian Nutcracker”: Moscow Ballet’s staging of the classic features world-class Russian dancers, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens and Nesting Dolls. Dec. 2 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, $28-$89.
Ballet Chicago presents the holiday classic filled with beautiful music and charming choreography. Dec. 7-16 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $17-$47.
“Duke It Out! Nutcracker”: The Music Institute of Chicago collaborates with Dance Chicago for this family dance concert. Dec. 8 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston, $5.
“The Magic of the Nutcracker:” Dancenter North’s 30th anniversary staging of the classic. Dec. 8 at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee, Waukegan, $15-$36.
“The Nutcracker”: Ballet Legere’s staging features guest artists from the Cincinnati Ballet. Dec. 8-9 at Dominican University, 7900 W. Division, River Forest, $24, $29.
Presented by Hyde Park School of Dance, more than 175 dancers perform in this version of the classic that features ballet, modern dance and hip-hop. Dec. 14-16 at Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th, $10-$40.
Need more suggestions for holiday fun? Check out our complete Holiday Entertainment Guide.