Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to do around the state Dec. 22-24

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(Martha Wirth/5 Points Nutcracker)
“The 5 Points Nutcracker” by the performance collaborative LuneAseas celebrates the holiday classic with a particularly Denver twist.

Colorado is mostly in full holiday mode, and the potential for a white Christmas — at least in some places — is setting the mood for a variety of events across the state.

(Persephone Stone/Benchmark Theatre)
“FoMo: Formerly Mormon,” at the Benchmark Theatre, is the tale of a young man who joins the Mormon church at the same time he’s learning about his queer identity.

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 22 - 23

“The 5 Points Nutcracker” by the performance collaborative LuneAseas celebrates the holiday classic with a particularly Denver twist. Larea Edwards (of The Flobots and Deep Pocket Thieves) recasts the Nutcracker characters as local 5 Points legends to create a locally-rooted African-American Christmas story. Jazz legend Tenia Nelson adds her own style and incorporates the Duke Ellington score of the Nutcracker. The production aims to create an immersive experience for the audience, allowing them to move around the space and interact with different installations.

The 5 Points Nutcracker” plays December 22nd and 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Savoy Denver, 2700 Arapahoe St. Denver.

In Lakewood, Benchmark Theatre’s world premiere of “FoMo: Formerly Mormon” continues Friday and Saturday as an alternative to holiday fare. In the play he wrote and stars in, Frankie Less tells the tale of a young man who joins the Mormon church at the same time he’s learning about his queer identity. 

Lee brings humor and emotion to this reflection on the chance he took by leaving Mormonism to live as a gay man, despite the pain and opposition he faced. 

FoMo: Formerly Mormon” plays at Benchmark Theatre in Lakewood through Dec. 30.

The Annie Booth Trio is marking the 10th year of its popular Denver holiday tradition — a live performance of songs from the classic Charlie Brown Christmas. This is the show’s inaugural run at the new incarnation of Dazzle at Denver’s Performing Arts Complex. Guest jazz vocalists join the trio to celebrate Guaraldi's timeless soundtrack, along with dynamic takes on other Christmas favorites. Family-friendly and open to all ages.

Charlie Brown Christmas w/ Annie Booth Trio & Friends will be at the new Dazzle location in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from Dec. 18-24.

Last minute shoppers can visit fooLPRoof art gallery’s first ever Holiday Art Market in the Main Gallery in Denver’s RiNo art district. Organizers describe the market as the fooLPRoof version of a holiday party, showcasing paintings, ceramics and multimedia pieces by 15 artists, with works from many other gallery artists also on hand. Note that parking right outside the gallery is in short supply — one street to the east on Lawrence can be a good choice, and there’s also a large parking lot at 26th and Blake if you don’t mind a walk. The gallery is also accessible by light rail and ride share.

Visit fooLPRoof art gallery’s Holiday Art Market from 3-8 on Friday and 3-6 on Saturday.

Also on Friday and Saturday, the Colorado Symphony performs Elf in Concert, delivering John Debney’s score live as the holiday classic is projected on on four giant screens in Boettcher Concert Hall.

See  Elf in Concert on Friday, Dec. 22 or  Saturday, Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boettcher Concert Hall.

Saturday, Dec. 23

Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins presents “A Drag Christmas Spectacular'' on Christmas Eve. it's an immersive experience that welcomes everyone while providing a space where the LGBTQIA+ community can truly feel seen, heard, and celebrated during this festive holiday.’ 

A Drag Christmas Spectacular Saturday Dec. at 7 p.m. at Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, with an 'Epiphany Edition' encore performance on Saturday Jan. 6.

(Foothills Unitarian Church)
Dance rehearsal for A Drag Christmas Spectacular from Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins.

All weekend

The Royal Gorge’s 2nd annual Christmas drive-through event, “Bridge of Lights,” allows guests to drive their personal vehicles through a dazzling light extravaganza across the bridge. The speed limit is a max of 10 mph, to ensure visitors don’t miss out on any of the sights.

Royal Gorge Bridge of Lights is open through Dec. 31 but closed on Christmas Day.

“Home for the Holidays”, an annual variety show at Lone Tree Arts Center, showcases dancers, singers, and holiday songs, with special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The lineup has been updated for 2023.

Home for the Holidays” runs Thursday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 23 at Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St, Lone Tree, CO

Other arts and culture events around Colorado

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story had the wrong date for the Drag Christmas Spectacular; it is being performed on Saturday.

Some groups mentioned in the CO Arts Spotlight may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.

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.