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The ultimate guide to museums, culture, and entertainment attractions in Chicago

Bolshoi Ballet
Bolshoi Ballet
Photography: (Bolshoi Ballet) Damir Yusupov; (The Nightmare Before Christmas) © Disney; (Auditorium Theatre) Brendan Dimitro

Auditorium Theatre

Outstanding Historic Theatre Award
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Auditorium Theatre
Auditorium Theatre

Chicago’s own Auditorium Theatre, a National Historic Landmark, celebrates its 130th anniversary on December 9, 2019. Designed by the legendary architectural duo of Dankmar Adler andLouis Sullivan, the theater originally opened in 1889 and has played an important role in Chicago’s cultural and architectural landscape ever since.

The theater’s opening night performance was attended by important political figures and luminaries from across the country, including President Benjamin Harrison and Vice President Levi Morton. Since then, the Auditorium has hosted performers and speakers including Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Theodore Roosevelt, Aretha Franklin, Luciano Pavarotti, Pink Floyd, New York City Ballet, Prince, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and countless others. Visitors can learn more about the theater’s incredible history on a Historic Theatre Tour, offered four times a week.

The Auditorium’s 130th anniversary season brings the best local, national, and international performances to the theater’s stage with its American Music, International Dance, “Made in Chicago” Dance, and National Geographic Live Series. On Halloween, the theater presents a special concert screening of the classic stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas, with the Chicago Philharmonic performing Danny Elfman’s beloved score live to film. Visitors are encouraged to dress in their Halloween best and arrive early for trick-or-treating, a costume contest, and other spooky activities. In March 2020, the acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns for its annual engagement at the Auditorium, its Chicago home of more than 50 years, to perform new works and audience favorites. The Auditorium closes this amazing season in June with the Bolshoi Ballet, considered the “the world's greatest dance company" (The Independent), when it returns to Chicago for the first time in 16 years with its world-renowned production of Swan Lake. Chicago is one of only two U.S. cities to host the Bolshoi in 2020, and the exclusive presenter of Swan Lake.

For more information about the Auditorium Theatre or to purchase tickets, visit AuditoriumTheatre.org or call 312-341-2300.

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