The David Simpich Marionettes present The Puppetmaker: A Story of Christmas at the Mount St. Francis Auditorium (7665 Assisi Heights). This retelling of the Christmas story focuses on a kindly Bavarian woodcarver (but don't they all?) who discovers the true meaning of winter, or something. The show runs from tonight until Dec. 28 with performances Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. and Sunday shows at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at Simpich Character Dolls, natrlich (2413 W. Colorado Ave.), or by calling 636-3272.
Follow the joyful sounds of childlike wonder to the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.) tonight for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic/San Diego Ballet/Colorado Springs Children's Chorale rendition of The Nutcracker. Legs'll be flailin', mice'll be reignin' and sweet, sweet Clara will learn that it ...was ... all ... just ... a ... dream. Shows are tonight at 8, tomorrow at both 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets will cost you anywhere from $22 to $42, and you can get them by calling the Pikes Peak Center box office at 520-SHOW.
But hey, if you prefer your ballet to be a bit more pint-sized, truck on down to Pueblo and catch Nutcracker in a Nut Shell, a truncated and be-miniaturized version of the original by the Sangre de Cristo Ballet Theatre. This teeny-weeny performance is taking place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (210 N. Santa Fe Ave. in Pueblo). Tickets are a wee elfin $6, and are available by calling 719/295-7222.
Get rocked tonight in sort of a mellow, quiet way at Jack Quinn's (21 S. Tejon St.), where Looks Like Me frontman, Lance, will be strumming and crooning during a solo acoustic set. Joining him are fellow acousti-trons Stephanie J and James Germain, who, alone among them, possesses a last name. Lance promises previously unheard songs along with other soulful jams from Looks Like Me's catalog. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is only for those aged 21 and over. Check out www.lookslikemeband.com for more or call 385-0766.
This afternoon, catch some four-handed ivory-tickling. Quattro Mani (featuring Colorado College artist-in-residence Susan Grace and pianist Alice Rybak) will be previewing a concert they will perform in December at New York's Carnegie Hall. Expect works by Aaron Copeland, Claude Debussy and Duke Ellington, and also expect to be rocked. Things are taking place at 3 p.m. in Packard Hall on the Colorado College campus (southwest corner of Cascade Avenue and Cache La Poudre Street), and the concert is free. Call 389-6606.
Tonight, head over to the Phototroph Gallery (218 W. Colorado Ave.) for Beyond AIDS Portraits of the People. Photographer Barry Brown has collected a series of portraits of people living with HIV and AIDS and will be exhibiting these at Phototroph for one night only. In conjunction with this and in recognition of World AIDS Day, the Bridge Gallery (also 218 W. Colorado Ave.) will host Positive Art, a show of works created by HIV-positive artists. Things are taking place from 5 to 8 p.m., and a significant portion of funds raised will go to benefit the Southern Colorado AIDS Project. Call 442-6995 or go to www.phototroph.com.
If you haven't seen the Capture the Courthouse exhibit at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, it's time. The show is a collection of painting, drawing, photography, collage, printmaking, fiber and mixed media pieces, all depicting the architectural details of the 1903 courthouse. In addition to the juried show, six local professional artists were also asked to participate: Laura Reilly, Pat Dagnon, Lew Tilley, Charles Rockey, Tina Riesterer and Ken Riesterer. The museum's at 215 South Tejon St., and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is always free. Call 385-5990.
What're you thinking of for lunch today? Thai? Mexican? Greasy spoon? Architectural lecture? If the latter's your hankering, I suggest you check out "Modern at Mid-Century: An Architectural Legacy," during which Springs author Elaine Freed will discuss the legacy of locals Gordon and Elizabeth Wright Ingraham -- an apprentice to and a granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, respectively -- in the architecture of the West. The luncheon is at noon in the Gaylord Room of the Worner Center at Colorado College (902 N. Cascade Ave.) and will run you $11.50. Reservations are required and should be made by Dec. 1. Call 389-6649.
Witness some awe this evening with the Pueblo Symphony. Pianist Bernard Walz joins them tonight for a program of Christmas and holiday music as well as an arrangement of classical music's greatest hits called, appropriately enough, "The World's Greatest Concerto." Pachelbel! Pachelbel! The sweet strains will take place at the Hoag Recital Hall on the CSU-Pueblo campus. Tickets are $20-25, and are available by calling the Pueblo Symphony box office at 719/545-7967.
-- Aaron Retka