If outdoor winter activities aren’t your thing or you’re looking for things to do with the whole family, consider checking out some of these performances from theater companies across the Front Range. Whether you’re into holiday fare or want to use theater to escape the season, these arts organizations have you covered with a diverse array of programming for even the pickiest family members.
Pop the Holidays, presented by Local Theatre Company, Nov. 30-Dec. 17
The Savoy, 2700 Arapahoe St., Denver. Tickets: $12 – $40, localtheaterco.org
Following the success of season opener Raised on Ronstadt, Local Theater Company presents Pop the Holidays: Music with ’Shells Hoffman. This original cabaret performance, written and directed by Local Theater Company Co-Artistic Director Nick Chase, is hosted by NYC sensation ’Shells Hoffman (Roslyn Hart), a JP Morgan VP turned wannabe cabaret star. This 75-minute ride includes inspired interpretations of holiday classics, pop music, party games and jaw-dropping revelations. Watch as ’Shells bears her soul, downs several shots and shit gets real.
Away in a Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas, presented by BDT Stage, Nov. 14-Dec. 28
BDT Stage. 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. Tickets: $65-$70, bdtstage.com
As a part of their 45th and final season, BDT Stage presents Away in a Basement: A Church Basement Ladies’ Christmas. It is 1959 and the day of the Sunday School Christmas Program. As the children rehearse in the sanctuary, the ladies of the kitchen are finishing up church tasks. Little do they know what surprises are in store for them as they are called upon, once again, to step in and save the day. Church Basement Ladies is a musical comedy that looks at what life was like growing up Lutheran in the Midwest in the 1960s.
Dot, presented by Vintage Theatre, Nov. 11-Dec. 28
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora. Tickets: $20-$34, vintagetheatre.org
Looking for a new holiday tradition? Consider checking out Vintage Theatre’s regional premiere of Dot. Written by Colman Domingo, an actor from HBO’s Euphoria and writer of Summer: The Donna Summers Musical, Dot explores the wild holidays at the Shealy household. As Dotty struggles to hold on to her memory, her children must fight to balance care for their mother and themselves. This twisted and hilarious new play grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood.
Drunk Christmas, presented by Audacious Theatre, Nov. 25-Dec. 17
Performed at Epic Brewing Company, 3001 Walnut St., Denver, on Dec. 9-10 and Left Hand Brewing Company, 4180 Wynkoop St., Denver, on Dec. 16-17. Tickets: $0-$15, audacioustheatre.com
Drunk Christmas is a shortened, booze-soaked version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Audiences join a drunken cast for a beer and watch them teach Scrooge a lesson about Christmas and all its “spirits.” Spectators are invited to participate in the shenanigans with Rocky Horror-style interactive goodie bags and a Christmas Carol-themed drinking game.
Holly Jolly Holy Sh!t, presented by Springs Ensemble Theatre, Dec. 1-Dec. 18
Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 East Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs. Tickets by donation, springsensembletheatre.org
Holly Jolly Holy Sh!t, written by local playwright Kate Hertz, is described as being a Christmas play “in the same sense that Die Hard is a Christmas movie.” Milo is a smooth-talking slacker tasked with luring Ava, an activist, out of an important community center so it can be demolished. What follows is a heartwarming caper as Milo learns the importance of justice, honesty and not being a jerk. Masks are required for audience members.
acts of faith, presented by Aurora Fox, Jan. 20-Feb. 5, 2023
Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora. Tickets: $15-$40, aurorafoxartscenter.org
The new play, acts of faith, makes its U.S. theatrical debut at the Aurora Fox. It follows a young woman named Faith who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a revered religious leader attempts to take advantage of her plight, she begins using her ‘gift’ to right wrongs and punish the wicked. Featuring renowned Colorado theater-maker Betty Hart, acts of faith takes audiences on a journey that explores the struggle between good and evil, the disillusionment of youth, and the power of belief.
Alma, presented by Curious Theatre Company, Jan. 14-Feb. 18, 2023
Curious Theatre, 1080 Acoma St., Denver. Tickets: $25-53, curioustheatre.org
Curious Theatre Company continues its 25th season with the regional premiere of Alma. The play considers who the American dream belongs to through the lens of Alma and her daughter, Angel. Long ago, Alma and Angel made 16 wishes together of what they hoped would happen in the future. However, now that Angel is 17, she’s got a different vision for her future than her immigrant single mom. This poetic, funny and timely piece was developed at the Denver Center Theatre Company’s New Play Summit in 2020.
Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson — Apt. 2B, presented by Butterfly Effect Theatre of Colorado, Feb. 2-Feb. 25, 2023
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Tickets: $25-60, betc.org
Think you know your Sherlock Holmes? Butterfly Effect Theatre of Colorado presents an irreverent take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous characters with a bold new female perspective. You’ve never seen Sherlock quite like Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson — Apt. 2B, Kate Hamill’s quick-witted, absurd reboot, in which Holmes and Watson are portrayed as oddball roommates. Come along with the world’s top consulting detective and her non-sidekick as they look into nefarious scandals and question sexy villains.
Our Town and The Book Club Play, presented by Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Feb. 24-May 21, 2023
Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Tickets: $30-55, arvadacenter.org
Thornton Wilder’s seminal metatheatrical play, Our Town (Feb. 24-May 21, 2023), explores small-town America and the people who live there. The themes that permeate Our Town run far deeper than witnessing the everyday trappings of a small town. The playwright’s prescribed minimal approach and the intimate space of the Arvada Center’s Black Box Theatre combine for an immersive story of deep truths and the value of cherishing life’s passing moments.
The Book Club Play (March 17-May 18, 2023) starts innocently enough — friends form a club to explore books and discuss together, maybe with a glass of wine. But what happens when a book club is selected for a documentary film and a provocative new member joins? Directed by the Arvada Center’s Artistic Director Lynne Collins, the play treats audiences to Karen Zacarías’ hilarious new comedy about books and the people who love them.
Laughs in Spanish, presented by Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 27-Mar. 12, 2023
Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1101 13th St., Denver. Tickets: $35-66, denvercenter.org
An international art festival is about to begin and Mariana, the director of a swanky modern art gallery, has a severe problem: Her showroom is an active crime scene. Laughs in Spanish at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is part crime-comedy and part telenovela. Stylish and vibrant, this world premiere offers a light-hearted look at the struggles many Latinas go through to gain entry into cultural and artistic spaces that have historically excluded them.