Colorado holiday happenings to get you in the spirit

As Hanukkah begins and Christmas draws closer, CPR’s Arts Bureau has assembled a list of cultural offerings from around the state to put you in the holiday frame of mind.

Photo: Denver Center 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Dec. 17 - 28
Buell Theater, Denver

This musical version of Dr. Seuss’ tale about a mean and scheming Grinch who decides to steal Christmas includes many of the familiar songs from the original 1966 cartoon such as “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.”

Colorado Bach Ensemble presents “Messiah”
Dec. 18
Montview Presbyterian Church, Denver
Dec. 19
Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village
Dec. 20
First United Methodist Church, Boulder
Dec. 21
Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall, Fort Collins

Fort Collins-based Colorado Bach Ensemble tours composer George Frideric Handel’s revered 1741 oratorio along the Front Range. The concerts feature internationally acclaimed soloists Mireille Asselin, Abigail Nims, Derek Chester and Andrew Garland.

Photo: Western Colorado Chorale
The Western Colorado Chorale of Grand Junction

"A Carol Celebration” with the Western Colorado Chorale
Dec. 18 - 19
Love Recital Hall, Moss Performing Arts Center, Grand Junction

The Western Colorado Flute Choir joins the Western Colorado Chorale for an evening of old and new Christmas carols. The annual concert also features guest organist Dr. Martha Sanford-Heyns.

8th annual Vodka Latke Party
Dec. 20
Jake’s Food & Spirits, Denver

Spin the dreidel over cocktails with other young adults and professionals at one of Denver’s biggest Hanukkah parties.

Up Close and Personal with Linda, Linda and Diana
Dec. 21, 3 p.m.
Jazz at Jack's

Denver female vocalists Linda Styles, Linda Theus-Lee and Diana Castro headline this holiday cabaret-style salon. Following the performance, the three women will share stories from their pasts and aspirations for their futures.

“A Christmas Carol”
Now - Dec. 28
The Stage Theatre, Denver

Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this musical adaptation by Richard Hellesen – with music and lyrics by David de Berry – follows money-hoarding miser Ebenezer Scrooge’s overnight journey to redemption.

Read CPR Classical's Jon Pinnow insights about this classic holiday production and the Denver Center Theatre Company's interpretation of it in his latest blog post.

Photo: KlezFest
Klezmer ensemble Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe at the 2013 KlezFest

Photo: KlezFest4th annual KlezFest
Dec. 24
Mercury Cafe, Denver

Denver’s Jewish art and culture museum, the Mizel Museum, hosts an evening of Klezmer music, a danceable genre rooted in traditional Jewish melodies. Featured performers include nouveau Klezmer troupe Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe, singer-songwriter Rabbi Joe Black and Boulder-based folk musician Sandra Wong.

“Red Ranger Came Calling”
Now - Dec. 21
Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora

This musical is based on the true story of playwright Berkeley Breathed’s father who, at the age of nine, insisted on being addressed as the “Red Ranger of Mars.” Through a chance encounter, a young boy and a curmudgeonly old man rekindle each other's faith in the magic of Christmas.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble presents “Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum”
Dec. 6 - 21
Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble blends dance, live music, spoken word and holiday celebrations from around the globe for the 23rd year of this Denver holiday tradition.

Photo: The Familiars
The cast of "The Familiars" (L to R): Paula Jayne Friedland, Augustus Truhn, Jim Valone, Carol Bloom and Patty Yaconis

Photo: The Familiars“The Familiars”
Dec. 5 - 28
The Edge Theatre, Lakewood

In this world premiere comedy, Denver playwright Ellen K. Graham asks what happens when a holiday-obsessed matriarch decides on Christmas Eve she is uninterested in continuing the family’s long-standing traditions.

“Heebonism 2014”
Dec. 24
The 1UP Colfax, Denver

E-3 Events at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, which blends popular culture and traditional Jewish values, hosts this holiday party at Colfax’s arcade bar. The evening features specialty cocktails, vintage games, comedy and DJs spinning tracks past midnight.

The 40th annual TubaChristmas Concert
Dec. 21
Skyline Park at 17th & Arapahoe, Denver

Three hundred tuba players from the Rocky Mountain region will gather in Denver’s Skyline Park for this annual holiday celebration produced by the University of Denver’s Arts & Media Department.

The Polar Express Train Ride
Now - Dec. 28
Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden

This family-friendly event is a traveling, theatrical recreation of the 2004 holiday movie “Polar Express.” It includes caroling, hot chocolate, a reading of the book that inspired the film and gifts from Santa for every young passenger.

29th Annual Winter Solabration
Dec. 20
Sons of Italy Hall, Denver

This community-led celebration of Christmas and Winter Solstice traditions commemorates the year’s longest night with dancing, singing, juggling, storytelling, potluck dining and more.

Photo: Colorado Ballet Nutcracker
Artists of the Colorado Ballet in the Act II Finale of "The Nutcracker."

Photo: Colorado Ballet Nutcracker“The Nutcracker”
Now - Dec. 27
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver

The Colorado Ballet presents its 54th annual production of this holiday classic, featuring artists from the professional company, Colorado Ballet Academy students, 350 elaborate costumes and Tchaikovsky’s musical arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

Blossoms and Trail of Lights
Now - Jan. 1
Denver Botanic Gardens & Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

Twinkling lights arranged in artful designs illuminate the city’s two botanical gardens locations. Warm beverage and treats are available, accompanied by seasonal entertainment on select nights.