By their Hats, Horses and Homes, We Shall Know Them 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway in Denver, through Jan. 8, 2017. Free with admission. Visit historycoloradocenter.org.
Coloradans weren’t always easily spotted by Subarus, Crocs and cycling gear. History Colorado’s many collections of historic photographs tell a story much more in line with whatever preconceived notions you have of the Old West and the American frontier. This new exhibit — sharing time with the less-than-historic Awkward Family Photos national exhibit — exposes those frozen moments of the Centennial State’s past to native Coloradans and recent arrivals alike. A time when Denver broncos were saddled and a Colorado avalanche meant a key trading route was closed for weeks.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 & 26; 2 p.m Nov. 27. The Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Adult tickets start at $33. Call 303-739-1970 or visit aurorafoxartscenter.org for more information.
This ain’t your grandmother’s “Porgy and Bess.” With a revamped book by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks and a musical score adapted by Dierdre L. Murray, the show set in 1930s South Carolina should be a freshly stirring take on the Gershwins’ classic. The show’s action centers on crippled beggar Porgy, who courts the troubled and beautiful Bess in the Catfish Row area of Charleston, South Carolina. If nothing else, the show should provide a much-needed musical reprieve from the typical holiday jingles that permeate the chilly airwaves this time of year.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 & 26; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 27. The Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St.Tickets start at $31. Call 303-856-7830 or visit vintagetheatre.com for more information.
Luckily, for Aurora theatergoers, the arrival of the ever-dreaded “holiday season” doesn’t only mean more mistletoe, red-capped hooligans and hackneyed musical numbers. Well, maybe a few of the latter, but we certainly aren’t complaining about the breed of tunes headed for the Vintage stage this weekend. We’ll take “Be Our Guest” over “Jingle Bells” any day of the damn year. That’s right, folks, Belle, Lumiere and Mrs. Potts are taking up residency on Dayton Street for a November through January run of Disney’s beloved musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” Angela Mendez is starring as Belle and James Francis is taking the reins as the Beast. Clay White directs.
A Christmas Carol Showtimes vary. Nov. 25 through Dec. 24, at Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St. Tickets are $35 and up. Visit denvercenter.org for more information.
Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. “A Christmas Carol” illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.
The Santaland Diaries Showtimes vary. Nov. 25 through Dec. 24 at The Jones, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St. Tickets are $25 and up. Visit denvercenter.org for more information.
Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hi-jinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris’ offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy’s elf in New York City is the sure cure for the common Christmas show. Mature language makes this one best enjoyed by adults.
The Nutcracker Showtimes vary. Nov. 26 through Dec. 24 at Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St. Tickets are $30 to $155. Visit elliecaulkins.operahousedenver.com for more information.
The holidays are not complete until you see the Colorado Ballet perform their annual “The Nutcracker,” featuring unforgettable characters, dazzling costumes, classic choreography and Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. This dazzling spectacle of glittering snowflakes and shimmering sugarplums will transport audiences to the Land of Sweets.
Santa’s Big Red Sack 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 & 26; 4 p.m Nov. 27 Avenue Theater, 417 E. 17th Ave., Denver. Tickets start at $27.50. Information: Avenuetheater.com or 303-321-5925. The show runs through Dec. 24.
Now this is what we’re talking about. Billed as “the holiday show you shouldn’t take your kids to,” this raunchy series of sketches pokes fun of every painful holiday cliché – from White Elephant to the Whos of Whoville. Picture holiday-themed SNL. For the eighth consecutive year this production is storming into Denver and leaving no reindeer un-rustled and no carol uncooked. Some may say that the show unnecessarily fills our moral stockings with coal, but those are definitely the same people who have seen “The Nutcracker” every year since the Johnson administration and frown at the thought of a “kegnog.”