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A Christmas Carol

21 Wednesday

click to enlarge A Christmas Carol
  • A Christmas Carol

Certain experiences are holiday constants: Every retail establishment under the sun will play carols and holiday hits over their loudspeakers, the Salvation Army bell ringers will brave the cold outside your local grocery store, and someone somewhere will put up a production of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.

We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly old man who learns the true meaning of Christmas through his encounters with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. They shine a light on how his greed affects those around him and convince him to change his ways. The story's the same, but every retelling of it offers its own unique spin. This weekend alone, you've got multiple iterations to choose from.

For a classic interpretation with high production value, look no further than TheatreWorks' rendition, adapted and directed by Murray Ross. This version presents all your favorite characters in the tried-and-true storyline, and TheatreWorks' website says it is "guaranteed to warm all hearts." They ask that you leave your little 'uns — kids younger than 5 — at home, but otherwise it's a great family show. (7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23, 2 p.m. Dec. 24, Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, 3955 Regent Circle, $36-$42/adult, $18/child, theatreworkscs.org.)

For a local take on the tale, check out Thin Air Theatre Company's A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol. Locals love this production, since it retells the events of A Christmas Carol in a setting we all know, and brings in a little of our local history to boot. Plus, you get more than just the play for your ticket. A Christmas-themed olio, which is the theater term for a collection of variety acts like song-and-dance, follows each performance. It's a nice interactive, audience-friendly way to enjoy the holiday. (7 p.m. Dec. 21-23, 1 p.m. Dec. 24, Butte Theater, 139 Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, $12-$18, buttetheater.com.)

Those who might be a little too "bah humbug" to enjoy a more traditional tale have another option in Funky Little Theater Company's staged reading of Timothy's Carol. This screenplay checks in with Tiny Tim as an adult when he comes back to his hometown. Turns out, in spite of those heartwarming Christmas lessons he learned as a child, he becomes a bit of an ass. (7 p.m. Dec. 23, Funky Little Theater Company, 2109 Templeton Gap Road, $6, funkylittletheater.org.)

So wherever you fall on the spectrum between Scrooge and Bob Cratchit, at least this weekend offers some kind of Christmas Carol suited to your particular level of holiday cheer.

The Older We Get...

21 Wednesday

click to enlarge The Older We Get...
  • The Older We Get...

These 12 porcelain, small-scale sculptures are the work of local artist Jo Hart, and each tells its own story. She says there's a narrative to each piece that she wants the viewer to interpret for themselves

Each sculpture has a number on it, which represents a particular age in a woman's life. With this, Hart is trying to break down stereotypes and start a discussion about the emphasis placed on youth in our culture

The project started when Hart began to notice a change in how she was treated by strangers, friends and family, then discussing her experiences with friends of various ages

Eventually, Hart plans to increase the scale of this project, making a sculpture for every age from 18-90

Holiday hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 21-23, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 24, closed on Christmas Day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 26, Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., manitouartcenter.org.

X-Mas in Necropolis 7

23 Friday

click to enlarge X-Mas in Necropolis 7
  • X-Mas in Necropolis 7

An annual holiday hip-hop show tied to 17 Entertainments (also known as 17 ENT)

17 ENT: A group of local beat-makers, rappers and hip-hop artists that started in 2000

The event name refers to the record label Necropolis Recordings, which combined with 17 Entertainments a while back

Featuring performances by guest artists #PressPlayDoe, Jolka, OE & Vile, MiiiGZTapes, RrichardrayY and more, plus folks from 17 ENT, of course

7 p.m., Black Sheep, 2106 Platte Ave., $5-$10, blacksheeprocks.com.

Feast of the Seven Fishes

23 Friday

click to enlarge Feast of the Seven Fishes
  • Feast of the Seven Fishes

This is the fifth year in a row that the Margarita will host this event, a local favorite holiday meal

"The Feast of the Seven Fishes" is an Italian-American version of a traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal. In Italy, it is referred to as "the Vigil" or "La Vigilia"

Your five-course meal will include shrimp, swordfish, scallops, oysters and more, all prepared by Margarita's Chef Eric with wine pairings and dessert

5-7:30 p.m., Margarita at Pine Creek, 7350 Pine Creek Road, $60/person, margaritaatpinecreek.com.

Kwanzaa Celebration opening ceremony

26 Monday

click to enlarge Kwanzaa Opening Celebraiton
  • Kwanzaa Opening Celebraiton

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 to provide an opportunity for people of African descent living all over the world to celebrate and connect to their culture

Make sure you show up on time — the opening ritual is a big deal, highlighting Kwanzaa's cultural importance

This event will include poetry, spoken word, African drumming and dance

Check out the closing ceremony on Dec. 31, which will include live entertainment and an African marketplace

6-7:30 p.m., Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave., free, 337-6409.

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