Holiday Cabaret

Telluride Theatre actors prepare for this weekend’s Holiday Cabaret during a rehearsal early this week. The shows are Friday through Monday at 7 p.m., with a matinee show at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Sheridan Opera House. (Courtesy photo)

Even for the most jaded, the holidays can be merry and bright. The Telluride Theatre team aims to spread the holiday cheer to local and visiting audiences with their highly anticipated holiday show this weekend at the Sheridan Opera House. Holiday Cabaret shows Friday through Monday at 7 p.m., with a matinee show at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $10 for students under 18 years old, $15 to $20 for adults and $35 for VIP cabaret table seats. For more information visit, telluridetheatre.org.

Last year’s gift was “Dude & Bro Get Real,” which artistic director Sasha Sullivan called “a love letter to Telluride.” While not specifically about the holidays, “Dude & Bro” — with its pitch-perfect Telluride characters and wry, incisive look at what it means to live in Telluride — served to deepen locals’ connection to the community.

Holiday Cabaret is an original, family friendly variety show that will keep the audience singing, dancing and laughing their jingle bells off, according to a news release.

“It is fun for the whole family and a great way to get into the holiday spirit,” Sullivan said.

Filled with endless surprises, the audience can expect a merry ole time as the opera house is transformed for the production, and the cast brings the show off the stage and into the crowd.

“We are setting up the opera house like a cabaret, with VIP cabaret table seating and then theater seats behind. The action will be all around the audience,” Sullivan said.

The show features a cast of all local actors, dancers and singers, and was written as a collaboration with Sullivan, the cast of the show and Colin Sullivan, Telluride Theatre executive director.

Growing up celebrating Christmas in New York, Sullivan was inspired to bring holiday magic to Telluride in a way that is uniquely Telluride Theatre.

“I grew up going to the Radio City Musical Hall Christmas Spectacular every year as a kid,” Sullivan said. “It was an awesome holiday tradition that is engrained in me. I just loved the celebration and spectacle, the music and dance, the fact that it was family friendly. I wanted to create a show that came from a similar place, but is still totally Telluride Theatre.”

While the show isn’t a full-fledged cabaret, Sullivan explained it has “cabaret elements,” along with skits and dances.

“We haven’t really done a cabaret show like this in a while, but this is an original show; we created it from scratch,” she said. “I’d say it’s like a really fun holiday variety show. It’s silly. It’s nostalgic. It has a little bit of everything. It’s family friendly. There’s comedy, of course, because we love comedy.”

The writing process was refreshing, she added, as the theater company typically produces larger plays that aren’t necessarily always family friendly. Plus, this is the first such Telluride Theatre show.  

“We’ve been writing full-length plays, so this was a good challenge, but also really fun to do,” she said.

Telluride Theatre will also host a holidays-themed Downlow event Dec. 28 at the Bob Saunders Memorial Theatre at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. A hat will be passed around at the end for donations. Telluride Theatre members and sponsors get reserved seating. They’re asked to show up 10 minutes before the event to claim their seats.