Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to do around the state Dec. 1-3

· Nov. 30, 2023, 2:55 pm
The 'Boleyn Tour' of "SIX! The Musical" arrives at DCPA this month.The 'Boleyn Tour' of "SIX! The Musical" arrives at DCPA this month.(Joan Marcus)
The 'Boleyn Tour' of "SIX! The Musical" arrives at DCPA this month.

This week’s Colorado Arts Spotlight includes seasonal favorites and some holiday twists.

(Mark Coggins/courtesy of Colorado Photographic Arts Center)
4H Club, by Mark Coggins, is one of the many photos being showcased in the Colorado Photographic Arts' new exhibition, "Tell Me A Story."

Friday, Dec. 1

The Colorado Photographic Arts Center will host the opening of Tell Me a Story on Dec. 1. Leaning into the idea that a picture can be worth a thousand words, the exhibition showcases the power of storytelling captured in a single frame. Juried from 546 international submissions, Mary Statzer of the New Mexico Museum of Art's Prints and Photographs section chose the 32 exhibiting artists, and 15 are from Colorado.

Tell Me A Story is free to view at CPAC’s new arts and education building at 1200 Lincoln St., Denver. The opening reception is 6 - 9 p.m., Friday Dec. 1.


The Fine Arts Center Theatre Company presents "Elf: The Musical" for its holiday show, based on the 2003 hit film. This production is directed by Denver-raised James Bruenger-Arreguin. Whether or not you believe Elf was truly the last classic holiday movie to come out of Hollywood, the musical version takes the story in new, toe-tapping directions.

Pre-theatre buffet-style dining has returned onsite to Colorado College’s Fine Arts Center at Taste.

“Elf: The Musical” runs through Dec. 31 at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. American Sign Language interpretation and live audio description are offered during the second Saturday, Dec. 9 performance at 5 p.m.


Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown just opened “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” for its holiday show. 

It is a modern take on the biblical tale of Joseph and his family, including Jacob and his eleven brothers, and the multi-colored garment. This splashy production is a sung-through musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Dinner during the show covers your entrée, with bread and a side salad, and there are plenty of appetizers and desserts on the menu too.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” runs Tuesday-Sunday, through Jan. 28 at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse at 4747 Marketplace Dr. in Johnstown.

(Courtesy of RDG Photography and Candlelight Dinner Playhouse)
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown.

Saturday, Dec. 2

Artist Irene Delka McCray, whose show “From Me in Her to Her in Me” is currently on display at Boulder’s Dairy Arts Center, leads an artist talk and community conversation Saturday afternoon.

Join McCray to share tales and learn about her moving works' depicting her mother’s last years. This is a closed-door gathering in the McMahon Gallery. Come with a story to tell, or just an open mind to, as the event guide puts it, “listen and join a community that values aging, wisdom from beyond, and sorrow and loss-based connection.”

McCray’s artist talk is Dec. 2 from 2 -4 p.m. at the Dairy Center in Boulder.


The new Miners Alley Performing Arts Center opens this weekend in Golden and the first show in its new home is “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas,” music and lyrics by Colorado-based theater maker David Nehls; book by Betsy Kelso. 

The campy musical is set during the holiday season down in Armadillo Acres (“North Florida’s premier mobile-living community”) where everyone’s filled with warmth and beer. Fair warning though, if the show were a movie, it would have an R rating.

“The Great American Trailer Park Christmas,” runs Dec. 2 - 31 at the new Miners Alley Performing Arts Center, at 1100 Miners Alley in Golden.


Denver’s 49th annual 9News Parade of Lights steps off at 6 p.m. from the City and County Building before wending its way through downtown. The parade includes marching bands, cultural displays, giant character balloons and (of course) its iconic glittering floats. However, if you’re coming downtown for any other events, be aware that lots of streets in the area will be closed starting Saturday afternoon.

Parade of Lights starts at 6 p.m. in downtown Denver. See parade route here.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
The Cherry Creek High School marching band processes downtown in Denver's annual Parade of Lights, Dec. 1, 2018.

Sunday, Dec. 3

The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) in Denver promises a whole lot of Hanukkah fun and food with its second annual Latkes and Lights Hanukkah event, including two latke competitions! There will also be a craft fair with local vendors, live music, Hanukkah games, arts and crafts for kids; and more.

Latkes and Lights at the JCC Denver, 350 S. Dahlia St. from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Early next week

On Tuesday, the Western Colorado Writers’ Forum hosts its annual Open Mic Night at the Art Center in Grand Junction. They invite locals to bring your short works and poetry and take the mic! But be prepared for brevity; the group has a timekeeper this year and each writer will have a 5-minute time limit. 

Open Mic Night from the  Western Colorado Writers’ Forum, at The Art Center in Grand Junction, Dec. 5 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Also on Tuesday, the DCPA welcomes the Broadway tour of  “SIX the Musical!” The six wives of Henry VIII take to the stage to remix five hundred years of historical heartache — remember the old rhyme: “Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived” — into an exuberant celebration of women power, including pop icons and Tudor queens alike! 

“SIX the Musical!” at The Denver Performing Arts Complex’s Buell Theatre, from Dec. 5 -through 24., 2023.


Wednesday, Visionbox Studio presents a one-night-only performance of “It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” featuring Chris Noth (Law & Order, Sex in the City) as George Bailey, directed by Jennifer McCray Rincón.The cast also features actors from Visionbox Studio as well as live music and song.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Studio Loft at the DCPA’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House


Other arts and culture events around Colorado


How we pick our events: Colorado Arts Spotlight highlights events around the state to give readers a sense of the breadth of Colorado’s arts and cultural happenings, it is not — and can not possibly be — a comprehensive list of all weekly events. Entries are not endorsements or reviews. Each week’s list is published on Thursday and is not updated. Some groups that appear on the list may also be financial sponsors of CPR, but have no input into our editorial choices.

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