Cleo's Different Drum

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance's multicultural, multigenerational Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum has been upending The Nutcracker and getting whole families in the audience to dance in their seats for more than twenty years now, and there's a reason for that. "It's different from a traditional holiday dance concert because we're celebrating so many different cultures. There's something for everyone who sits in that audience," says Granny stage manager Rhetta Shead. And, she adds, each year's performance is a little bit different: "Over the years, we've had cast changes, music changes, scene changes — some scenes might be developed more one season, or we'll pull them back. But every year, we have a little bit of something you might not have seen the year before. And it's just a fabulous production that this year also features Cleo Parker Robinson, who doesn’t always perform in her own productions."

The perennial performance that takes audiences on a journey through a world of holiday traditions, in a blaze of color and to the beat of live drummers, opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue, for a run of three weekends through December 22. Purchase tickets, ranging from $28 to $40, at newmantix.com or by calling 303-871-7720.
Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Dec. 6. Continues through Dec. 22, 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd