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Seven Days to Live


15 Thursday


Three magical words: The Christmas Donkey. That's the show you're going to see at 7 tonight at the Butte Theater (139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek,, or some Wednesday through Sunday (minus Christmas Eve and Day) before New Year's Eve. Let's just agree that Chris Sorensen's play, put on by the Thin Air Theatre Company, has it all: a donkey named Nugget as mining-era man's best friend; Old Bill Otis as protagonist (and, potentially, Santa?); mean guy Phineas Drake as villain; and a Christmas olio. Seats run $7.75 to $12.75. — Matthew Schniper


16 Friday


Two hundred years ago, "A Lady" published Sense and Sensibility. Now, of course, Jane Austen needs no pseudonym, or introduction. But to honor the bicentennial of Austen's first novel, local theater company Tin Roof Productions has created an original take on the story of the Dashwood sisters and their loves, with Sense and Sensibility, A Musical. If a songbird Elinor honks your wonk, catch one of the final weekend's shows at 7 tonight at First United Methodist Church (420 N. Nevada Ave., Tickets are $12 to $15. — Edie Adelstein


17 Saturday


Bundle up, buckaroos, and from 4 to 8 tonight, you and your kiddos can visit with St. Nicholas, take a jingle-bell-laden wagon ride, participate in a barn dance, and "experience the holiday evening of bygone eras in a beautiful historic setting" at Rock Ledge Ranch (3202 Chambers Way,, $4-$8). But don't worry that the good folks at the living-history farm will force you to eat the food of those old-timey eras they depict so well. Nope, you'll be able to stuff your contemporary face with hot dogs from Margo's Vienna Station. — Kirsten Akens


18 Sunday


I'm one of those Grinchly people who wants nothing Christmas-related anywhere until, oh, about Dec. 24. I guess it's because I miss summer, though there's probably some sad memory I'm repressing. But if anything could get me into the holiday mood, it would be today's 2:30 Christmas Symphony concert by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., Led by Thomas Wilson and accompanied by the Colorado Springs Chorale, a repertoire of classics by Tchaikovsky, Simeone, Handel and others should drain the Scrooge out of me. Or at least block the bad memories. Tickets run $19 to $57. — Edie Adelstein


19 Monday


Mixing alcohol with the holidays can be interesting. On one hand, a few drinks can buffer you from the urge to strangle a loved one. On the other, a few drinks can increase the likelihood you'll strangle a loved one. But hey — who are we to judge how you spend Christmas Eve? So go to "Drunken Christmas," a demonstration class at 6 tonight from the kids at Conscious Table (26 E. Kiowa St., Your $39 buys an opportunity to "learn how to prepare ... several different creative holiday cocktails." Use this knowledge as you will. — Bryce Crawford


20 Tuesday


Best line ever in a Nutcracker press release: "Unlike the two hour-plus productions that audiences usually attend, the Youth Ballet offering runs for only 70 minutes." OK, there's nothing inherently wrong with the Nutcracker, it's just that, well, we seem to have lots of productions of it around this time of year. If you've missed the show so far this season, today's two Colorado Youth Ballet presentations, at 4 and 7 p.m., at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.,, might chime your holiday bells with 110 cast members, all-around local arts guy David Sckolnik as Tchaikovsky, and a trained magician playing Uncle Drosselmeyer. Tickets run $15 to $28. — Kirsten Akens


21 Wednesday


Versatile guitarist Wayne Hammerstadt has become a fixture in the Manitou Springs live-music scene over the past five years or so, playing everything from classical to jazz, rock and blues, whether electric or acoustic or both. He's been a longtime favorite at such venues as Adam's Mountain Café, lawn concerts at the Manitou library, and the Cliff House. Tonight at 7, just before the winter solstice, Hammerstadt joins a talented trio of others for a special performance of Celtic, Renaissance and long-ago holiday music in a concert titled A Winter Night's Dream at Stargazers Theatre and Event Center (10 S. Parkside Drive, Admission is $10 for the show — and a free copy of Hammerstadt's CD, Music From the Days of Yore — as he joins Cynthia Robinson (longtime Colorado Springs Philharmonic first violinist), Eric Early and Marc Neihof. — Ralph Routon

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