Playbill: Four Plays Opening in Denver on December 4-7

Rob Riney and Regina Fernandez Steffen in Vintage Theatre's Miss Saigon.
It's okay to be a Scrooge when it comes to theater. If you want a real, grown-up show that isn't full of fluff and wrapped up in a bow, you can find plenty of performances on local stages that will make you think -- even in December. Here are four plays opening this weekend without a single vision of sugerplums....

See also: Scrooge Loose: An Improvised Christmas Carol

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Playbill: Three Holiday Stage Classics for Everyone

The Demented Divas in The Nutcracker, starting November 26 at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret.
What do you do with the family after Thanksgiving is over? You dress them up and take them to see A Christmas Carol, because some stories were just made for retelling, generation after generation. And if you don't have a family with spit-washed faces, you can throw a little whipped cream on top and see a Christmas show that's silly and glittery and features bearded drag queens. Continue reading for the details...

See also: Playbill: Four Offbeat Shows for the 2014 Holiday Season in Denver

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Playbill: Four Offbeat Shows for the 2014 Holiday Season in Denver

Matt Zambrano is back as Crumpet in David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries at Off-Center@The Jones.
Some local stages stick with the classics for the holidays, such as the Denver Center Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol and the Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker. But if you like things light and perhaps a little bit wacked, there are a few ways to buck tradition and deck the halls with plenty of jolly. Read on for four possibilities.

See also: Gone to the Dogs: Dog Park -- The Musical

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The Anschutz Collection of Western art will add expanded viewing opportunities in June

Ernest Blumenschein, "Sangre de Christo Mountains," 1926. American Museum of Western Art - The Anschutz Collection.
It's been two years since the once-private Anschutz Collection -- one of the world's most comprehensive collections of Western art -- first opened its doors to the public for limited guided tours in its home at the American Museum of Western Art. And it's been so successful -- perhaps too much so -- that to celebrate the anniversary, the museum, located in the historic Navarre Building, 1727 Tremont Place in downtown Denver, is expanding its public access hours beginning in June.

See also: Best New Museum Denver 2013: American Museum of Western Art -- the Anschutz Collection

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Still hungry? Monkey Town adds a second helping of video programming in May
If you loved Monkey Town 4 the first time, you're sure to have an equally exemplary time eating artisan dishes inside a video cube during a return visit on Wednesdays or Sundays in May, the last month of the event's Denver run. While the original program plays on during the rest of the week (except Mondays, when Monkey Town is closed), Monkey Town maven Montgomery Knott has added an all-new "Part Two" for the video-voracious, of which the highlight is a a 47-artist "exquisite corpse" film originally made for Psychic TV's seminal 1983 album, Dreams Less Sweet. And if your first experience was early in the run, you'll also note some seasonal menu changes.

Keep reading for a sneak-peek preview.

See also: Monkey Town 4: The future is here, and it's lovely

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Do at the Zoo celebrates 25 years with Under a Blood Red Sky this June

Under a Blood Red Sky re-creates the U2 experience at Do At The Zoo 2014.
The Denver Zoo has nearly 4,000 mouths to feed every day of the year, and that adds up to a hell of a grocery bill. But events like the annual Do t the Zoo gala help a lot toward filling zoo coffers. And this year's Do on June 19 -- the gala's 25th anniversary celebration -- will go extra-big to raise funds for day-to-day upkeep by bringing in popular U2 tribute band Under a Blood Red Sky to re-create the U2 experience on the Conoco Zoo Gardens stage.

See also: Photos and video: Denver Zoo hand-raising twin clouded leopard cubs born this month

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Paul Moschell's fantastical art-hats will blow the lid off of 303's Denver Fashion Weekend

Paul Moschell (in headgear) and Tootie Lynn strike a pose.
With hair genius and photo-shoot stylist Charlie Price behind the scenes at the upcoming 303 Magazine's Denver Fashion Weekend, there's little doubt that the three-night event at City Hall, featuring national and local fashion shows as well as a hair show, will look good all weekend long.

But the addition of assemblage-artist Paul Moschell's boundary-breaking, whimsical hat collection -- fantastical, wearable found-object creations to be displayed in a pop-up shop in the club's cocktail lounge before and during runway shows on April 5 and 6 -- will have people talking.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Paul Moschell

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Monkey Town 4 will bring a highbrow slice of Brooklyn to RiNo
We might live in a town where dining out with an eye-feast of visual media means heading to the latest sing-along screening at the Alamo Drafthouse, but in a few weeks, that will all change -- at least for a while. Former Denverite Montgomery Knott just announced the arrival here of Monkey Town 4, a Brooklyn-born video cube and dining installation making its first foray outside of NewYork, for a three-month pop-up run beginning February 27 in the Exdo Hall in RiNo.

See also: Now Showing: Ivar Zeile and Rebecca Peebles

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The Denver Art Museum will bring the bling in a home-grown Cartier exhibition next fall

Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier.
Necklace worn by Countess of Granard. Cartier London, special order, 1932. Platinum, diamonds, emerald. Height at center 8.80 cm. Sold to Lady Granard. Cartier Collection.
The Denver Art Museum learned an important lesson when it brought 2012's Yves Saint Laurent blockbuster to town: The art of fashion is compelling, and not just to art aficionados, but to a wide cross-section of bling-lovers everywhere. Banking on a similar reaction, the DAM announced today that it will host Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, a house-produced exhibition of Cartier jewels and objects, put together with care by YSL designer Nathalie Crinière.

See also: Mona Lucero dishes on YSL and the magic of haute couture

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Get ready to buy Book of Mormon tix again -- for 2015!

Denver loves The Book of Mormon, and the feeling is really mutual: Though the laugh-out-loud funny, touring Broadway musical from Colorado's own boy geniuses, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is in the last week of its second run at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver Center Attractions announced yesterday that it's been booked for a third, penciled in for August 11 through September 13, 2015, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Yes, 2015. That's planning ahead.

See also: The Book of Mormon really is that good, by Juliet Wittman

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