(buy tickets through the
725 Sheehan, Glen
2 and 6 p.m. Nov. 20
Herrick Middle School
4435 Middaugh, Downers
2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 11
78 E. Washington St.,
11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec.
Noble Horse Theater
1410 N. Orleans,
Nov. 13-Jan. 2
Admission: $25, $18 kids
12 and younger. $52 with dinner, $42 kids 12 and younger.
Reservations are required.
Nutcracker goes to the
When Herr Drosselmeyer
takes the stage in the Downers Grove production of "The
Nutcracker," he just might be met with a big, slobbery kiss. And
Clara won't be offended if you say she's a real dog. That's because
in this production, Clara is a pug, the Mouse King is a black lab
and the Sugar Plum Fairy is played by an adorable Sheltie.
Actually, Herr Drosselmeyer is the only two-legged creature in this
The canine version of "The
Nutcracker" is performed by the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe. The
40-minute production includes 29 working dogs of all different
breeds, which spend months practicing their spins and dances. "The
owners are always on stage with the dogs. We do some spins and
jumping through arms and backing up, all kinds of stuff," says
Becky Jankowski, coordinator of the troupe. "In Act 2 we have the
Arabian Dancer and the Russian-type dancer and the lady with six
dogs under her skirt. It's very cute and very, very active."
Not only that, but it's
one of the most affordable Nutcrackers in the area at just $5 per
person. Performances are in middle school gyms with bleacher
seats-kids can sit on the floor near the show and get an up-close
look at the pups in action. The whole production lasts about 40
minutes-easy enough for even younger kids to watch.
If a canine version of
"The Nutcracker" isn't enough, check out Noble Horse's equestrian
version of the classic. Horses in costume, and their riders,
perform in a heated indoor theater. The matinees clock in at about
an hour, or make it an evening affair and grab some dinner while
you're there. Afterwards, kids can see the horses and riders as
they line up for a visit.
And if your kids are
really into the ballet after watching it performed by four-legged
creatures, let them take a twirl themselves at the Dance-Along
Nutcracker at the Chicago Cultural Center on Dec. 5. Kids, and
their parents, can wear their tutus and dance alongside
professional dancers in pre-show workshops. Then once everyone's
all tired out, sit back and enjoy the show. Just remember to leave
the pooch at home.
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