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WTTW documentary examines the making of new Joffrey ‘Nutcracker’

Victoria Jaiani and Miguel Angel Blanco in the world premiere Joffrey Ballet production of Christopher Wheeldon's "The Nutcracker" at the Auditorium Theatre. (Photo: Cheryl Mann)

The 2016 creation of a new Joffrey Ballet production of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” will be the focus of “Making a New American ‘Nutcracker,’ ” a 60-minute, behind-the-scenes documentary premiering at 8 p.m. Thursday on WTTW-Channel 11.

The film showcases the efforts of the Joffrey’s artistic director Ashley Wheater as he gathered a stellar group of theater artists to re-imagine the beloved tale about Clara’s Christmas Eve dream of holiday treats come to life. In this new “Nutcracker,” the little girl is Marie, the daughter of a 19th Century Polish immigrant sculptress — a single mother working on a statue for the World’s Fair. In Marie’s Christmas Eve dream, the fairground is completed and transformed from a European concept into a magical American inspiration.

Aiding Wheater is this monumental task were  Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, “Hugo” author Brian Selznick, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Basil Twist, famed puppeteer and scenic designer Julian Crouch and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz.

Actress Neve Campbell, who starred in and co-produced director Robert Altman’s 2003 film “The Company,” featuring the Joffrey Ballet, is the narrator of “Making a New American ‘Nutcracker.’ ”