THE NUTCRACKER Begins Performances 11/8 at House Theatre of Chicago

The House Theatre of Chicago makes the holidays merry with the return of The Nutcracker for its fifth annual production. The family-friendly original play by Company Members Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich with music by Kevin O'Donnell begins performances November 8, 2013 at The Chopin Theatre (1543 W Division St.)

House Company Member Tommy Rapley once again directs this innovative take on the classic Christmas tale. Six of last season's cast reprise their roles. The Chicago production previews November 8 - 16 and opens on Sunday November 17th at 7pm at the Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St). THE NUTCRACKER will run through December 29.

The House's fresh and moving take on this holiday classic centers on young Clara's journey to rescue Christmas after the heart-breaking death of her older brother. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave little girl will fight the Rat King and unite her family! This modern holiday production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and intimate spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope - a fun outing fit for the whole family.

The House's original play version of THE NUTCRACKER first premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007 under the Visiting Company Initiative, and enjoyed highly acclaimed new productions at The House in 2010 and 2011 as well as simultaneous productions in Chicago and Miami in 2012 .

THE NUTCRACKER is adapted by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich from "The Nutcracker and the Mouse," a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. THE NUTCRACKER is directed and choreographed by Tommy Rapley with original music by Kevin O'Donnell.

Six familiar actors reprise their roles from 2012. New Company Member Brenda Barrie returns in the dual roles as the mother, Martha, and Really Scary Rat. Fellow new Company Members Paige Collins and Kevin Stangler return as our young heroine, Clara, and as Fritz, the nutcracker. Company Member Johnny Arena dons the wool sweaters once more as Monkey, and Company MemberChristine Perkins is back as Phoebe, the doll. Guest Artist Benjamin Sprunger(recently seen at About Face in The Pride) does triple duty as David, Clara's father, Quite Scary Rat, and long-lost toy Teddy. Guest Artists Jason Grimm joins the cast as Hugo, the robot, and Karl Potthoff completes the cast in the role as Uncle Drosselmeyer.

Company Member Collette Pollard has designed a warm, cozy home where Clara's family hosts their annual holiday party. This set in-the-round gives everyone an up-close experience with the magic of the season. Company Member Debbie Baer, along with associate Mieka van der Ploeg, craft whimsical costumes for family, toys and rats. Company Member Lee Keenan designs lights that carry us through the bright magic of the season to the dark losses the family must face and back again. Jeff Award-winning composer and Company Member Kevin O'Donnell shares a beautifully scored evening featuring well-loved numbers "Let's Bake Cookies" and "Homecoming". Company Member Michael Griggs (Sound), and puppet designer Dan Kerr-Hobart complete the team.

Previews are $15. Regular Run tickets range from $25 to $45 at or by phone at 773.769.3832, $10 Student and Industry Same-Day discounted tickets available for all dates, seats permitting. Tickets are now on sale.

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