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December 2008

Scrooge Returns

Last year the Denver Center Theatre Company's elaborate production of White Christmas gave a shove to the company's annual performance of A Christmas Carol—there wasn't enough Christmas cheer to do both productions at the same time. But this year, Charles Dickens' story returns to the Stage Theatre. Since DCTC artistic director Kent Thompson took over four years ago, the company's production of A Christmas Carol has impressed, if surprised, audiences with its blend of music and fantasy. Thompson's version weaves together the tales of the Christmas ghosts, the Cratchit family, and the unhappy Scrooge with a darker, grittier tone than most versions. A Christmas Carol: Through Dec. 27, The Stage Theatre.

A Locavore's Winter

The Champagne is popped. The turkey's in the oven. Now if only there were fresh mint to garnish the holiday pomegranate salad. Easy, say southern Colorado-based gardening experts Penn and Cord Parmenter: All you need is a greenhouse. The Parmenters grow not only herbs during the cold of winter, but also bok choy, arugula, and celery, and when they lead the Denver Botanic Gardens' sustainable greenhouse design workshop this month, they'll teach others to do the same. The half-day, interactive class starts with the basics, informing newbie greenhouse users how to build, lay out, and plant their gardens. Sustainable Greenhouse Design: Dec. 13, Denver Botanic Gardens.

Icy Adolescence

When the theater version of Disney's High School Musical stopped by the Buell earlier this year, tweens were on the edge of their seats, singing along. This month, when the show hits the ice, the effect should be no different. Where the musical's giddy characters danced their way through basketball practice, detention, and the trials of teen life, this production finds them in musical numbers loaded with leaps and double-Lutz-double-toe combos. Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour: Dec. 10-14, Denver Coliseum.

Rethinking T. rex

In Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs roared, swung their heads and bodies, and, according to new paleontological research, were totally unrealistic. Using modern computer programs, scientists have recently discovered that many of the assumptions we made about dinosaur biomechanics, and consequently lifestyles, are inaccurate. (T. rex was more of a lumbering slowpoke.) To refine our modern-day perceptions, New York City's American Museum of Natural History put together the traveling exhibit Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, currently stationed at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Through models and virtual illustrations, dinosaurs come to life. Plus, newly discovered fossils, as well as a diorama of the 130 million-year-old Liaoning Forest, reveal paleontology's exciting new discoveries in China. Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries: Through Jan. 4, Denver Museum of Nature and Science.