The first snowfall descends on Chicago, bringing with it the reality of the approaching holiday season and a hearty craving for diversions, rich foods and elaborate sweets. Enter the Joffrey’s annual sugar-encrusted treat, a Baroque construction of eye candy replete with children’s choruses, puppetry, the Chicago Sinfonietta, an immense Christmas tree on hydraulics, well over 100 young dancers and the entire Joffrey company dripping with frosting and lace. Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino’s vision of the European holiday standard injects Tchaikovsky’s most famous work with some good old-fashioned twentieth-century American athleticism. The divertissement is a mounting parade of jaw-dropping feats of flexibility and acrobatics—a healthy balance to the many hours of equally impressive physicality presented by the NFL you’re sure to gape at in the coming weeks. (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Auditorium Theater, 50 E Congress Parkway, (312)739-0120. December 11-27. $25-$100.