The ballet is a thing most men avoid at all costs.
But if you were to go to, say, one ballet in your life, better make it this one.
Because this is The Nutcracker like no one has witnessed before: as a completely reimagined production set in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair from big-deal Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.
Step One: The Dinner
Billed as a neighborhood Italian pub, Bar Lupo serves up Italian favorites in a laid-back, low-lit setting. We suggest carbo-loading for the dance marathon with a plate fonduta fettuccine. Or if you’re inspired to eat like a ballerino, the chopped fitness salad with salumi, avocado and cheese is your the ticket (full menu right here). As for drinks, you’ll wanna direct the lady to Bar Lupo’s spritz program. They’ll keep her light on her feet. Once you’re feeling molto contento, it’s on with the show.
Bar Lupo, 217 W. Huron, www.barlupochicago.com
Step Two: The Main Pointe
When it comes to ballet (and the holiday season), there is The Nutcracker, and then there’s everything else. It’s so classic, in fact, that the Joffrey Ballet has performed the same production every year for nearly three decades. That changed last week with the world premiere of Tony-award winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s brand new production, a $4 million reimagining of the traditional story that is not without civic pride. This rendition takes place onsite at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and features a working-class immigrant mother raising two kids alone. In short: it’s still visually stunning, and more moving than ever. It also only runs until December 30th. Don’t dilly dally. Your tickets await.
Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Congress Prkway, www.joffrey.org/nutcracker
Step Three: The Post-Show Tipple
Nuts sufficiently cracked, jeté on over to Soho House in the West Loop for the Miracle Holiday Pop-Up at Fox Bar. Founded two years ago by famed bartender Nico de Soto of New York’s MACE, this globetrotting Kitschmas explosion is a delightfully lowbrow ending to the night. Balance, after all, is everything. You’ll want the Brazen Blitzen, a festive concoction of gin, pine liqueur, vanilla syrup, lime juice, mint and club soda. She’ll have the Bad Santa hot milk punch. Raise a toast to a dignified a night out. Clink, sip and enjoy.
Fox Bar at Soho House, 113 N. Green St., www.foxbar.com