Seven Days to Live 

click to enlarge Holiday Extravaganza comedy

18 Wednesday


There is something luxurious about the concept of "dinner theater," which brings sensory indulgence to a new level. Iron Springs Chateau (444 Ruxton Ave., ironspringschateau.com) embraces it all, then ups the ante with sing-alongs, in its Holiday Extravaganza comedy Danger, Ranger Granger — A Bigfoot Tail. Iron Springs performances are known for their campy nature and eccentric characters, but you'd best not take my word for it. Dinner starts at 6, doors open for the show at 7:30. For prices — including discounts and show-only options — visit the website. Gracie Ramsdell

click to enlarge Burt Bacharach

19 Thursday


You may know him as the pop genius behind the sublime melodies and sophisticated chord progressions of songs like "Walk on By," "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "I Say a Little Prayer." Or as the eight-time Grammy winner who wrote hits for Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield. Or maybe just as that guy who shows up in all the Austin Powers movies. In any case, Burt Bacharach has arguably contributed as much to pop music as Dylan or the Beatles. Like other inimitable songwriters, from Hoagy Carmichael to Allen Toussaint, Bacharach may not be the best interpreter of his own work, but just to hear him play and talk about his hits is reason enough to catch this rare appearance at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com). Showtime is 8 p.m., with tickets starting at $49.50. Bill Forman

click to enlarge Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season

20 Friday


Considering that it holds 987 people, Colorado College's Shove Chapel (1010 N. Nevada Ave.) can feel remarkably intimate. That in mind, Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season figures to make the Shove vibe positively studio-apartment-esque, what with the a cappella music, candlelight and, you know, holiday spirit. Again under the direction of founder Deborah Jenkins Teske, the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble provides this night of song and spoken word starting at 7:30. It's free, though you'll have a chance to make an offering if you so desire. Kirk Woundy

click to enlarge Improv Colorado

21 Saturday


When it comes to audience prompts like "Gimme a feeling," don't make it easy on improvisational actors with simple commands like "happy" or "sad." Go with big words like "parsimonious" or "diffident" to really make 'em sweat. After all, what's an Improv Colorado show without the humor-inducing creative challenge? Tonight's performance, $8 to $10, at the quirky 7:37 hour at Manitou Art Center's Venue 515 (515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, improvcolorado.com), includes a Best Christmas Sweater contest for potential extra laughs. ("Gimme a crappy,pixelated reindeer!") Matthew Schniper

click to enlarge Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Colorado Springs Chorale

22 Sunday


The story of Handel's Messiah offers all kinds of fun details, like that the composer wrote it in a fury of religious fervor, or that the tradition of standing during the Hallelujah chorus stems from King George II standing during the show's London premiere. OK, scholars doubt both of those old chestnuts, but it hardly detracts from the masterwork, which sits with The Night Before Christmas in our holiday canon of traditions. Hear the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Colorado Springs Chorale perform selections from Messiah today along with other holiday favorites and a reading of The Night Before at 2:30 at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., csphilharmonic.org). Tickets start at $19. Edie Adelstein

click to enlarge The Nutcracker

23 Monday


I've seen The Nutcracker, you've seen The Nutcracker, but likely neither of us has seen it performed by a combination of the Colorado Youth Ballet, the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony and the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale. That powerhouse of blossoming talent will offer its take at 4 and 7 today at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com), where Christmas enthusiasts will find a 75-minute show with no intermission, according to director Patricia Hoffman. "All our men perform in pants — [narrator and news anchor Joe Cole] won't be in tights!" she says in a release. "It's always family-friendly and especially popular with men and boys." Tickets start at $18. Bryce Crawford

click to enlarge Blossoms of Light

24 Tuesday

Christmas Eve

This Christmas Eve, you can experience the Blossoms of Light in 3D while wandering through the beautiful, tranquil and lit-up Denver Botanic Gardens (1007 York St., Denver, botanicgardens.org). Apparently, these 3D glasses will "magically transform" the 1 million-plus colorful lights into different holiday shapes. But if you're perfectly content without the added hype, then grab a warm beverage and some treats as you stroll and enjoy the holiday music, from 5:30 to 9:30 tonight. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for children and free for children 2 and younger. Anna Palmer


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