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Seven Days to Live 

click to enlarge Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

10 Wednesday

dance

The Moscow Ballet performs Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. But its website is nutcracker.com, so it's pretty obvious that the traveling Russian company has one signature performance. That would be The Great Russian Nutcracker, called a "knockout" by The New York Times. The performance comes to Pueblo's Memorial Hall (1 City Hall Plaza, pueblomemorialhall.com) at 7 tonight. Tickets run from $27.50 to $102. — Kirk Woundy

click to enlarge Christmas shorts

11 Thursday

stage

Given the high volume of man's-inhumanity-to-man in the world just now, it's a struggle to hold on to the hopeful, light-filled spirit of this festive season. We suggest upping your quota of random acts of kindness, and perhaps joining a bunch of total strangers for an evening of short Christmas plays by the Springs Ensemble Theatre (1903 E. Cache la Poudre St., ticket info at tiny.cc/e1qeqx). Opening at 7:30 tonight and running through Dec. 20, these five Matt Hoverman works are described as "somewhat-sweet, slightly irreverent plays covering everything holiday." And the lobby opens early for eggnog and cookies, and that should help a little, right? — Mary Jo Meade

click to enlarge Mary Poppins

12 Friday

stage

Everybody loves a musical, except for the people who don't. Mary Poppins has likely spawned more lovers than haters, judging by the record-setting number of Oscar and Tony awards racked up by P.L. Travers' cheerful homage to dashing chimney sweeps and umbrella-borne nannies. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's stage production will bring us all that, along with music from the songwriters who gave us countless Disney scores, plus the regrettable "It's a Small World" theme. Whistle along in your head to tunes like "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" as the production takes up residence on the Fine Arts Center's main stage (30 W. Dale St.) from Dec. 11 through Jan. 4. Tonight's show is at 7:30. You can also look for a review in next week's issue, and find more information at csfineartscenter.org. — Bill Forman

click to enlarge satsmall.jpg

13 Saturday

word

From the mind of local spoken-word artist, playwright and Colorado College professor Idris Goodwin comes Verbal Vaudeville. Envisioned as "a concert of words" and "a recitation of the real" by Goodwin — known for such works as the play How We Got On; a collection of essays on hip-hop and race, These Are the Breaks; and his most recent solo rap album, Blackademic — VV will deliver "a dynamic evening of performance poetry and short plays" written by Goodwin as well as CC students, who will also perform. Shows, which started Thursday, happen at 3 and 8 p.m. today at CC's Cornerstone Arts Center (825 N. Nevada Ave., coloradocollege.edu). Tickets are $5 and available at the Worner Campus Center desk. — Edie Adelstein

click to enlarge The SantaLand Diaries

14 Sunday

stage

Though you can doubt the veracity of humorist David Sedaris' stories, it's hard to argue with their effect. Actually, just Sedaris reading "The SantaLand Diaries" on NPR's Morning Edition in 1992 was enough to jump-start a career that hasn't slowed to this day. The essay is now a one-man play starring the fabulously misanthropic Macy's elf Crumpet, who, at one point, imagines responding to a lady who's telling him that she's going to have him fired with, "I'm going to have you killed." The whole thing acts as a salve on the wounds of retail slaves everywhere, so hit The SantaLand Diaries at 7:30 tonight at the Millibo Art Theatre (1626 S. Tejon St., themat.org). Tickets are $22. — Bryce Crawford

click to enlarge Electric Safari

15 Monday

illumination

Each night at this year's Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, cmzoo.org), a different predator animal will quietly be released from its cage to stalk and terrify zoo guests in the glow of more than a million lights. OK, not really, but wouldn't that be high-larious!? Anyhoo, you know what to do from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (last admission at 7:30) tonight through Jan. 1 (minus Christmas Eve). Entry for the lights and limited indoor exhibits is $6.25 to $9.25 (free to members), but see the zoo's website for an animal gift list; bringing items like fruit and nuts can get you up to $2 off per admission. — Matthew Schniper

click to enlarge December Write Brain: "Finding the Perfect Outline"

16 Tuesday

writing

[Cue old-fashioned hawker's voice.] Writers of Colorado Springs: Do your emotional hooks fail to sink? Do your story structures collapse? Are your characters lacking character? Well then, my friend, it seems you need a better outline. And today is your lucky day! Come on down to the Carnegie Room at the Penrose Library (20 N. Cascade Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. and sit a spell while noted sci-fi/horror author Kevin Ikenberry tells you all about finding that perfect outline. This free event comes courtesy of your friends at Pikes Peak Writers; for more information, go to pikespeakwriters.com/events. — Griffin Swartzell

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