Hola, dystopia! Nothin' makes for better drama than the end of the world (except syphilitic pirates -- I love those guys), and you can experience the goodness at Colorado College, where Far Away is being shown tonight through Saturday. Not to be confused with a similarly named Cruise/Kidman vehicle, playwright Caryl Churchill's 1984-esque vision of the future reportedly is harrowing, disconcerting and mind-'sploding. It's showing at 7 and 9 tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at CC's Armstrong Theatre (14 E. Cache La Poudre St.). Tickets, available at the Worner Campus Center (902 N. Cascade Ave.) or at the door, are $5, or $2 for students or those with CC IDs. For more, call 389-6607.
Get your fix of sketch comedy tonight at the Impossible Playhouse (1201 N. Main St., Pueblo), where The (Almost) Live Show is taking place at 8. Billing itself as a "southern Colorado version of Saturday Night Live and Mad TV," the show promises two-or-so hours of comic hijinks -- although it might do better to avoid the latter half of the SNL/Mad TV equation to focus on things that are actually, say, funny (like syphilitic pirates!). But enough of my yakkin'. Tickets are $15, available at the door, or in advance by calling 719/569-0003.
Join the Colorado Springs Chorale, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and four talented soloists tonight for Handel's Messiah at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.). Need I even tout Messiah, one of the most celebrated works of symphonic and choral music, like, ever? (No, I needn't.) Just know that with soloists like Amanda Raddatz, Shannon Magee, Jeong-Kwon Kim and Branch Fields, there's no way you're leaving the PPC without a glow of holiday-ish affirmation about you. Tonight's concert is at 8, and tomorrow's is at 2. Tickets are $12-$50, and you can reserve them at the Pikes Peak Center box office, any TicketsWest outlet or ticketswest.com, or by calling 520-SHOW (7469).
It's apparently a weekend battle between players of holiday-themed classical music, each group competing for jolly supremacy in an unforgiving arena of brutality and Yuletide wishes. Or not. Check out the Pikes Peak Philharmonic's Christmas from England to America, today at 3 p.m. at Radiant Church (4020 Maizeland Road). The concert's program includes jingly-jangly works by Giordano, Holst, Anderson, Vaughn Williams, Torme, Gould, Mozart and Berlin, in addition to traditional Christmas carols. This spells good times. Tickets are $8 for adults or $5 for students and seniors, and available at the door. For more, visit pikespeakphil.org.
Counteract all those glad tidings at The Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave.), where D.C.-based rockers Reflux are throwing down. With a biting political conscience, a ton of heaviness and a precious creative sense, Reflux are the yellers du jour for a great deal of hardcore fans. With them tonight are the equally awesome Ed Gein and August Burns Red. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $8; to get them, or for more information, check out sodajerkpresents.com.
When I went to college, my mother did the unforgivable: She threw away the Dukes of Hazzard lunch box I used in elementary school. She also threw out most of my formative years' artwork and stories, but it was the lunch box that really pissed me off. Why I was so attached to the smiling plastic faces of Bo and Luke is a mystery, but I didn't speak to her for weeks, unless I needed money. I'll be sure to relive these bittersweet memories at the Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St.), where Lunch Box Memories is showing through Jan. 7. This exhibit runs through the history of American lunch boxes, from Roy Rogers through Star Wars. Laugh or sob at will. Admission is free, as always. For more, head to cspm.org.
Tonight's the night for suckin' down a microbrew or two and listening to some good foot-stompin' music. In order to fulfill both needs, I suggest you head to the illustrious Bristol Brewing Company (1647 S. Tejon St.), where Ceol Cil (that's pronounced "keol kaylee," for those of you who aren't hip on the Gaelic tip) is performing. There's sure to be fiddling galore as they play Irish ballads and drinking songs. The shindig kicks off at 7; call the brewery at 633-2555 for more info.
-- Aaron Retka and Kara Luger