- The San Diego Ballet joins the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Childrens Chorale and local dancers for The Nutcracker this weekend.
Strap on your listenin' ears and traipse up to Black Forest tonight for the Black Rose Acoustic Society's annual Thanks to Our Members Concert, featuring acoustic duo Eidolon with Celtic harpist Thomas Loefke. Eidolon is fresh from a Telly award for its last Christmas special on PAX and has performed at St. Paul's Cathedral and the Royal National Theatre in London and will be joined for this show by the German harpist Loefke. All that bowing, strumming and plucking will commence at 7 p.m. at the Black Forest Community Center (corner of Black Forest and Shoup roads), and the cost is $5 for BRAS members or $15 for nonmembers. For tickets or more information, strum on over to www.blackroseacoustic.org or call 282-0760.
Or, if you've already been seized by holiday cheer, head the opposite direction to Cripple Creek for A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol, opening tonight at the Butte Opera House. This mining town take on the Dickens classic will feature cameos by southern Colorado historical figures such as Bob Womack, Winfield Scott Stratton, Charlie Tutt and Spencer Penrose. Notably absent is Doug Bruce, God-blessing everyone in sight and trying to dismantle the tax codes by hitting them with his crutch. The show will run until Dec. 26 with showtimes on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for kids under 12. For more information, call 719/440-5890 or mosey on over to www.cripplecreekchristmascarol.com.
If you haven't yet been seized by the holiday spirit, head to the Pikes Peak Center for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's collaborative production of Tchaikovsky's beloved Nutcracker and a whopping dose of sugarplums and other sundry classical icons of cheer. The San Diego Ballet provides the footwork, aided by local regional dancers prepared by Megan Yacko of the local Fusion Pointe Center for Dance. Maestro Thomas Wilson conducts, and vocals come courtesy of the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale. A guaranteed spectacle, the show runs tonight and Saturday, Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets run $22-$40, and are available at the Pikes Peak Center box office, 190 S. Cascade Ave., 520-SHOW, and at al TicketsWest (www.ticketswest.com) outlets, including area King Soopers stores.
- Yanni has dark, flowing tresses like no other and will toss them over his shoulder with a song Monday night at the World Arena.
Yes! Yanni is coming! This world-renowned New Age and world music icon will be hitting the stage at the World Arena (3185 Venetucci Blvd.) along with his world-renowned mustache, his world-renowned head of gloriously long hair and musicians from 15 different countries, all assembled to rock your freakin' face off. He's sold, like, a zillion albums and was the first Western performer to play the Taj Mahal and China's Forbidden City. Did I mention he has awesome hair? Ticket prices for this one are varied. Hit up www.ticketswest.com to get yours.
More things should be called Stand Up or Shut Up. The United States government, for instance. In any case, get on down to the Ancient Mariner (962 Manitou Ave., in Manitou Springs) for stand-up comedy open mike night, where participants will vie for chuckles and chortles and will hopefully avoid Lewinsky jokes at all costs while enjoying delicious alcoholic beverages. This is free as can be. For more, call the Mariner at 685-5503.
- Pianist Jim Brickman kicks off the holiday season Thursday night, Dec. 2 at the Pikes Peak Center.
Get the musical theater you want and the choreographed knife fights you need at Coronado High School (1590 W. Fillmore St.), where they'll be doing West Side Story tonight through Dec. 4. This 1950s-era adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is sure to delight fans of musicals, street-gang aficionados, fifties nerds and folks who just wandered in, lured by whirling bodies and shiny lights. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $6 for students and $8 for the public. Call 328-3753 to reserve yours.
Join "America's most popular piano artist" Jim Brickman tonight at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.) as he gets together with friends to perform some magical holiday favorites. Along with vocalists Jeff Timmons, Kristy Starling and Anne Cochran and electric violinist Tracy Silverman, Brickman will offer up a metaphorical stocking stuffed with memories, musical gifts and melodies. (There will probably not be any non-metaphorical stockings, stuffed or otherwise.) Tickets are $37.50 and $42.50 and are available through www.ticketswest.com,at TicketsWest outlets, or at the World Arena box office. For more on Jim, head to www.jimbrickman.com.
Buckle your sentiment belt and get over to the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.) tonight for Love Letters, the A.R Gurney play that follows a 50-year friendship and courtship in letters. Starring film and television icons Robert Wagner and Jill St. John, Love Letters is a roller-coaster ride of bittersweet charm, with stops at funny and touching. Tickets for the show are $65 for FAC members and $75 for nonmembers. Tickets that include a VIP reception following the performance run $105 and $115 for members and the public, respectively. Get tickets at the FAC box office, by calling 634-5583 or by heading online to www.csfineartscenter.org.
-- Aaron Retka