Director’s Chair: For holiday traditions, you can’t beat the Vilar Center |

Director’s Chair: For holiday traditions, you can’t beat the Vilar Center

Zach Mahone | Special to the Daily
Zach Mahone | Special to the Daily |

BEAVER CREEK —Spending the holidays in our community has become a tradition for many families. Of course, we’re situated in a gorgeous winter wonderland — locals and visitors alike know how magical the Vail Valley and, in particular, our Beaver Creek Resort can be this time of year. The dusting of the snow, the inviting ice rink, the manicured slopes — it’s no wonder travelers from across the globe make it a priority to spend the holidays in our beautiful community.

At the Vilar Performing Arts Center, we hope to enhance and share in your holiday experience by presenting a variety of performing arts programs that your family can enjoy together. Many of these performances, such as “The Nutcracker,” “A Christmas Carol” and “Messiah,” have become annual holiday traditions, passed down and shared from generation to generation. In addition, we present exciting, family-friendly programs such as the Golden Dragon Acrobats of China or Rhythmic Circus, which provide a great opportunity to get out and experience the joy and wonder of live performance with your family and friends.

So grab the kids (from ages 1 to 92), get your tickets and join us at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. With only 535 seats, our intimate and acoustically superb venue creates the perfect setting to enjoy a show. We mean it when we say, “There isn’t a bad seat in the house.”

Here’s what we have in store for you during this season’s holiday week.

• On Monday at 6:30 p.m., we welcome the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus for a joyful concert featuring Christmas classics concluding with Handel’s “Messiah.” So many of our audience have sung in “Messiah” throughout the years, and we encourage you to sing along with the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

• Bah humbug … yes, you could watch that same old holiday tale on television. But wouldn’t you rather share an even stronger and more memorable experience through a live, onstage classic with your entire family? That’s what we have in store for you on Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” This is a big, theatrical show with 16 professional actors, beautifully realized costumes, stunning puppet work and a cinematic set design. God bless us, every one!

• Your family will flip for the group of amazing acrobats and athletes coming to the Vilar on Dec. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 27 at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Yes, your family has three chances to see the Golden Dragon Acrobats of China. Enjoy award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques in a show overflowing with breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty. These performers are awesome!

• Since we announced our winter series lineup a few months ago, tickets to the concerts by this California band have been flying out of the box office. But seats do remain for both shows. On Dec. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m., we will present The Beach Boys! Bringing a little sunshine to the Vail Valley during the chilly winter, the famous harmonies and classic songs of The Beach Boys will warm us up and fill us with “Good Vibrations.” Original members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston will be “Surfin’ U.S.A.” in this epic performance. This is a great opportunity to bring your kids or your grandkids to share in the music you listened to in your youth.

• Our final show during the holiday week on Dec. 30 at 6:30 p.m. is probably the one I’m most excited about and likely one you’re not familiar with. For their “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” show, Rhythmic Circus will bring a trunk full of tap shoes, funky costumes and a big brass band to the Vilar stage. This exciting concert is an exuberant parade of genre-hopping music and hard-hitting percussive dance. I predict this will be a show your family will ask us to bring back each season.

From the entire staff, cast and crew at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, we wish your family a happy and safe holiday season. We hope you enjoy your time and make lasting memories with your family in the Vail Valley!

Kris Sabel is executive director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

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