Music, dance, old-fashioned decorations, childhood memories and a smart-alecky elf all provide festive holiday entertainment options this month.
CSU annual holiday gala
Start the month off in the festive spirit with traditional secular and scared holiday music performed by Colorado State University orchestra, choirs, string quartets, brass, wind and jazz ensembles and operatic performers, who all combine for a grand finale each evening. Griffin Concert Hall in the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St., Fort Collins. Dec. 1-3, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4, 2 p.m. Tickets $12 Adults, $7 CSU students, $1 for anyone between 2 and 17. Info: 970-491-2787, www.csuartstickets.com.
A cappella Christmas
The Rocky Mountain Chamber Singers make a Joyful and Triumphant! noise on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 305 E. Elizabeth St. in Fort Colllins. The all a cappella program will include traditional carols and Christmas music from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Tickets available at the door for $15 adults, $7 students. Info: 970-484-3915, www.rockymountainchambersingers.org.
Avery House puts on holiday splendor
The magic of a Victorian Christmas comes alive at the annual Holiday Open House at the Avery House, 328 W. Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins. On Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the landmark home will sparkle with period decorations, music and costumed hosts. Father Christmas and Mother Christmas arrive midday on Sunday, and homemade treats and small gift items will be offered in the Avery Carriage House Gift Shop.
Christmas is most magical for children, and the Avery House has a special children’s celebration planned on Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3. This delightful evening of children’s adventures will include the reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” a tour of the four decorated Victorian Christmas trees in the house, and refreshments in the Carriage House. This event will be held at 5 p.m. followed by a second seating at 6 p.m. Cost is $3 per child (accompanied by an adult) and reservations are required. Info: 970-482-7125.
Celebrate the season with live theater
Theaters around town are already presenting their holiday shows. “White Christmas” at the Carousel Dinner Theatre has become a family tradition, and is now up and running Thursday through Sunday through Jan. 1 at the Midtown Arts Center, the dinner theater’s stunning new venue at 3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins. Tickets $44-$49. Info: 970-225-2555, www.adinnertheatre.com.
Bas Bleu Theatre Co. is staging “Almost, Maine” — which has been called “a charming midwinter night’s dream” — Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 30 at its space at 401 Pine St., Fort Collins. Tickets $10-$22. Info: 970-498-8949, www.basbleu.org.
OpenStage Theater and Co. brings “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” – adapted from the short story by Dylan Thomas — to the newly renovated Magnolia Theater in the Fort Collins Lincoln Center. Opening Dec. 2, the show runs weekends through Dec. 30. Tickets $14-$27, $12 for children 12 and under. Info: 970-221-6730, www.lctix.com.
Yes, Virginia, there is ‘The Nutcracker’
Canyon Concert Ballet and the Fort Collins Symphony will spread visions of sugarplum fairies throughout the Lincoln Center with performances of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 8 through 11, 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets $20-$30. Info: 970-221-6730, www.lctix.com.
From radio essay to holiday classic
Nearly 20 years ago, writer David Sedaris shared his memories of working as an elf in Santa’s Workshop in Macy’s department store on National Public Radio. That essay has morphed into “Santaland Diaries,” a hilarious monologue on a slacker’s Christmas in New York. Presented in the 50-seat acting lab in the CSU University Center for the Arts Dec. 10 and 11, 8 p.m. Free admission. Info: 970-491-2787.
Visit with Opera Fort Collins
The Griffin Concert Hall at the UCA is the place to catch two performances of Gian Carlo Menotti’s short opera of the Magi, “Amahl & the Night Visitors.” Opera Fort Collins and the Fort Collins Symphony will present opera in English on Thursday, Dec. 15 as part of the black-tie optional Midnight at the Oasis Gala fundraiser, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $75, $85 at the door. A family matinee performance will be presented on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets $12 adults, $6 for 17 and under. Info: 970-491-2787, www.csuartstickets.com.
Catch the glow of Candlelight Christmas
The Larimer Chorale presents “A Candlelight Christmas,” featuring old and new holiday music including a newly commissioned work by James McCray, Dec. 17 and 18 at First United Methodist Church, 1005 Stover St., Fort Collins. Saturday’s concert begins at 7:30 p.m., Sunday’s at 3 p.m. Tickets $15-$18, $5 students. Info: 970-221-6730, www.lctix.com.
And for something completely different
If you are in need of a musical interlude without the holiday trappings, stop by the Bellvue Bean in Bellvue. On Dec. 10, singer/storyteller Jeff Finlin takes the stage, and on Dec. 17, Colorado songwriter Reed Foehl performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., music at 7:15 p.m. Tickets $27, $50 couple, includes dinner sandwich. Info: 970-484-0511, www.bellvuebean.com.