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Nutcracker Nemesis

I've never been much of a Nutcracker fan. Although it starts out rather magically, it's way too long for antsy children — and adults, for that matter — all primped up in their holiday garb. By about intermission time, it begins to remind me of one of those chaotic Mexican variety shows. On drone the Sugarplum Fairies while I nod off and try to keep my feet from falling asleep. But here's the real wonder: I can't figure out why people don't flock to see Cleo Parker Robinson's robust annual holiday weigh-in, Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum, instead.

This year, Granny has moved to the cozy Byron Theatre in the University of Denver's Newman Center. The intimate, in-the-round venue is an ideal choice, as it allows the audience to be involved at all times in the joyous, hand-clapping action. Unchanged are the beautiful costumes and child-friendly multicultural holiday themes, as well as the kick-ass dancing and the fine live band rattling the rafters. And the muscular West African drummer featured prominently on and around the stage throughout the show is worth the price of admission. Très bien! What are you waiting for?

Granny's run ends today with a performance at 2 p.m. Admission ranges from $25 to $38; call 303-871-7720 or go to www.du.edu/newmancenter.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15, 2 p.m. Starts: Dec. 2. Continues through Dec. 23


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