Summer blockbuster season has just begun but did you know, now is the best time to explore Chicago’s robust theater scene? Now that the weather is warming up, I’m ready to get out there and explore the city I love starting with a night at the Joffrey Ballet.

It’s been some time since I’ve made my way to the Auditorium Theater. This weekend I went to see Alexander Ekman’s North American premiere of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it was well worth the wait.

In fact, I may go out on a limb and say that this was one of my favorite Joffrey productions of all time. If this is any indicator of what’s to come, we are in for a wild and intriguing 2018/2019 season.

From beginning to end, I was in awe of the spectacular production.  The opening number alone had me almost screaming yaaass.  But, I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to disturb my fellow patrons. I’ll give you a hint because I reaaaaally want everyone to experience it for themselves. There was hay, and lots of it. Now I suddenly want to spend my Summer days rolling around in it.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann


Without further ado, here’s why you need to make room on your calendar for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Top 5 Reasons to Go

A Swedish Twist on a Classic Tale – Going into a Midsummer Night’s Dream, I assumed this would a traditional ballet; complete with 18th century costumes and period music to boot. You know, just good old fashion Shakespeare made into a ballet.  Boy was I wrong!

Alexander Ekman’s interpretation features a modern and whimsical twist to the classic tale. The setting of the performance was in Sweden which was a great introduction to the way Swedes celebrate Midsummer. Audience goers were able to witness popular traditions such as the dance around the maypole and bag jumping.  It was so immersive, it felt like we were part of the celebration. Prior to the performance, I didn’t know Midsummer celebrations were a thing but now I feel like this is definitely something worth investigating. I walked away learning about a culture different from my own so it definitely gets points for that.

An Indie Music Lovers Dream – I’m a fan of indie music so I always welcome the opportunity to discover new artists. Easily one of the standout moments from this production that separates it from any other ballet, was the live music accompaniment from Swedish singer Anna Von Hausswolff. Anna is known for her art pop and experimental rock music and it perfectly complimented everything on stage. Typically, we get a live orchestra at the ballet but the live singer definitely took this production to another level.

It’s the North American Premiere – This marks the North American première of Alexander Ekman’s interpretation of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. This means if you see it before it ends its run, you’ll be among the first in the US to see the production. Doesn’t get more exclusive than that.

Anything Can Happen  – Without giving too much away, just know that anything can happen. From floating tables, floating people, and headless dancers? You’ll be on the edge of your seat anticipating what’s next throughout the entire show.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

It’s a Beautiful Work of Art – From beginning to end, this production was seriously everything. It is clear that a ton of work and effort went into the show so bravo to everyone involved. I can guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed. It will awaken a newfound appreciation for the beautiful work that takes place in Chicago. Honestly, after leaving, it made me even more proud to be in a city that has such a deep and profound appreciation for the arts.

See it before it leaves!

All in all, I love the work that the Joffrey Ballet is producing and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Be sure to see the phenomenal A Midsummer Night’s Dream before it ends its run on May 6th. You can purchase tickets HERE.

*All photos credit to Cheryl Mann

*I received complimentary tickets courtesy of The Joffrey. All opinions are my own