“A Christmas Carol” to “A John Waters Christmas” and all the rest

Holiday stage shows tend to fall into two broad categories – naughty and nice – but like in real life, there’s quite a bit of time in between, especially as holiday events start to grow. immersive and interactive.

Here are 10 ways to experience the vacation on stage this year that aren’t your typical “Nutcracker”. Note: Most indoor and seated shows require customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within 48-72 hours of the show, while people over 2 years old typically must wear masks when not eating or drinking.

“A Christmas Carol”

You may remember it as from a cartoon or a TV special, but this exuberant take on the Charles Dickens classic from Denver Center for the Performing Arts spares no expense in his musical staging, following the “grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant night journey to redemption”. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Various performances until December 26 at Wolf Theater, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St. Tickets: $ 30 to $ 110. denvercenter.org

Period theater productions

The holiday lineup for this Aurora-based company includes the regional premiere of “Who’s on vacation?” “ (1-31 dec.) And “The twelve dates of Christmas” (December 3 to 26). The former is a Dr Seuss-inspired and adults-only creation by writer Matthew Lombardo, while the latter explores the holiday dating glove with absurd predictable results. The two are also one-woman-shows. Different times and dates at Period theater, 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora. Tickets: $ 20- $ 34. vintagetheatre.org

“Joaquin’s Christmas”

Opening on Thursday, December 2 “Joaquin’s Christmas” has gone from a puppet performance to a live drama that explores “the traditions and struggles of the Colorado Chicano community over the holidays,” as writer and director Anthony J. Garcia recounts. The play, with original music, takes place in Pueblo in the 1950s against the backdrop of a strike by the metalworkers. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 2 to 19, at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Tickets: $ 20 for adults, $ 17 for students and seniors. suteatro.org

Margarita Taylor in Cleo Parker Robinson Dance’s 2008 production “Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum”. (Denver Post File)

“Granny dances on a holiday drum”

Although primarily a dance performance, this local classic celebrating its 30th anniversary contains a strong, multicultural tale of shared beliefs of hope. It also contains heartbreaking choreography, costumes and staging, renewed regularly with young dancers and following the pattern set by Denver dance maven. Cleo Parker Robinson. Various shows from December 11 to 19 at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, 119, avenue du Parc West. Tickets: $ 45 for adults and $ 35 for seniors and youth. cleoparkerdance.org

John Waters and the drag queens!

Naughty vacation shows, like “Santa’s big red bag” to Aurora People’s Building (December 9-24, santasbigredsack.com), have nothing new. But this year’s harvest is a gift, including legendary director John Waters (“Hairspray”, “Pink Flamingoes”) and his “A John Waters Christmas”, which is as brilliantly dirty as anything man has created (December 4 to Tainted Dove Underground via eventbrite.com).

There is also the happy, hilarious “The return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE! “ featuring “RuPaul’s Drag Race” veterans BenDeLaCrème and Monsoon jinkx (December 14 at Paramount Theater, paramountdenver.com). Also on view: “A Drag Queen Christmas” at the Fillmore Auditorium, Friday, November 26 (livenation.com).

“Winter Tales” by Factory Five Five

The factory five five The fashion and arts collective at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, with Tattered Cover Kids, presents their first children’s show with “Winter tales.” Presented as an interactive theatrical experience, it includes a diverse look at traditions, stories and music from different cultures, inspired by a quartet of children’s books. In addition to the four short plays, the books will be on sale at Ragged blanket for children store, with a reading on December 8. Repeatedly from December 3 to 19 at the Stanley Marketplace, 10255 E. 25th Ave., Unit 5 in Aurora. Tickets: $ 8 to $ 12. factoryfivefive.com/contes-d’hiver

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James C. Tibbs