The Grinch and the Nutcracker come to town |

The Grinch and the Nutcracker come to town

Stina SiegPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Forget those 11 shopping days until Christmas. Coming up is the last chance of the year to experience two holiday traditions, performed by local artists.The Nutcracker in CarbondaleCARBONDALE For Crystal River Ballet School director Jeni Ptacek, The Nutcracker isnt just a holiday event. Its a family thing. This year, like every one since she began her own version of the ballet in 2000, she, her husband and her two children, Sarah, 14, and Andy, 11, will be on stage together.Its fun for us, she said. Christmas just wouldnt be the same if we werent doing The Nutcracker every year.Theres something about the show that brings out everyone, she said, even those who might not usually like ballet or at least admit to it. Along with watching one of the worlds most famous dance performances, attendees can rest assured that their money is going to a good cause. According to Ptacek, every year the children in her company choose a different charity to support with the proceeds. This year, the funds will go to Univision, which buys farm animals for poor families around the globe.During its biggest night, the show will boast 85 dancers, some as young as 3. When asked if its difficult to put on such an event each Christmas, Ptacek laughed. You know, she said, you just do it one scene at a time. The Grinch at the Hotel ColoradoGLENWOOD SPRINGS Did you know that its been 50 years since How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was first published? Thats one anniversary Ruth Mollman, director of New Creation Church Productions, wasnt about to let go unnoticed. It just puts the meaning back in Christmas, she said. Its not all about presents and toys.This year, the popular childrens story will be the centerpiece of NCC Productions annual dinner theater. During the meal, which will feature such dishes as roast beast, the audience will be treated to pre-show entertainment. A Who trivia game and a lesson in how to speak Who will all be part of the presentation.In the end, she said, she just wants people to leave the show feeling entertained and happy, steeped in the Christmas spirit. Since starting six years ago, her dinner theaters have become a staple in the community. In her words, its a real valley tradition, which usually sells out every show.We have people from all over come every year, who say send me that postcard about the play right away, she said. Shes only too happy to oblige. Contact Stina Sieg:

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