Every holiday season there are productions you’re guaranteed to see popping at theaters all over — classics like “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nutcracker.” And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these stories, but it’s always nice to see a company shake things up.

Enter the Benchmark Theatre, which is staging a production of “Meteor Shower,” written by comedy legend Steve Martin. The regional premiere of the show runs at the theater, 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood, through Saturday, Dec. 18. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Audience members 12 years old and older must be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours old.

Directed by resident guest director Warren Sherrill, the show follows Corky and Norm, who are hosting Gerald and Laura in their home outside of Los Angeles to watch a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower. Since Martin is behind the show, what ensues is wild and hilarious journey. We spoke to Sherrill about the play and what makes it the right fit for the season.

Interview edited for brevity and clarity.

Tell me about “Meteor Shower” and what it’s about?

All you have to do is mention who wrote Meteor Shower and you know right away what kind of ride you’re in for. It’s a hilarious, somewhat absurd comedy about marriage and the choices we make to keep that marriage strong. Challenges to marriage are common, but how we choose to deal with them can make all the difference, whether we face them alone or as a team. On top of that, the play bounces back and forth in time as if this meteor shower has something to do with the bending of reality and time. Ultimately, it’s a “wild and crazy” night.


Why was this selected as the holiday show?

Benchmark is mostly known for putting on thought-provoking shows with strong messages and this season is no different. But this show was chosen to offset these heavier shows with something that is just plain silly and fun. And who can’t use some silly fun, right now. The holidays are a perfect time for this show.


What makes the show unique?

I think Martin’s special brand of humor makes this show unique. There’s really no one who can achieve just utter goofiness like he can but still carry an interesting arch with a smart plot.


What do you most want people who see the show to come away with?

I just want people to have a smile on their faces. This play is the sort of medicine we need right now (other than our vaccinations!) to help us escape and just laugh a little, or a lot. The message of the play isn’t deep but the experience is.

For tickets and information, visit www.benchmarktheatre.com.


Walking through a Winter Wanderland

Cherry Creek North’s second annual Winter Wanderland is back with a range of activities including a display of nearly one million lights on more than 600 trees spread throughout the neighborhood, an interactive art installation, Saturday Night Lights with complimentary holiday treats and entertainment, and the Cherry Creek North Holiday Market.


The event runs in the neighborhood, 2401 E. 2nd Ave., Suite 150, through Friday, Dec. 31. Some of the special events include Ingrid Ingrid’s domino effect, an art installation featuring 120 brightly colored dominos for people to play with, and the holiday market, which showcases options from 30 local makers, designers and artists.

All the details can be found at CherryCreekNorth.com/Holidays.


Return to A Hudson Christmas

Following two years off, Littleton’s A Hudson Christmas is back in all its dazzling, holiday glory. Aiming for a bigger and brighter experience than ever, the event will feature visuals, thousands of LED lights, holiday treats and more. The season event runs at Hudson Gardens, 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, through Friday, Dec. 31.

New to A Hudson Christmas is a winter wonderland inhabited by a family of giant, glowing snowmen, according to provided information. Additionally, Nixon’s Coffee House will be open every night to serve warm holiday beverages and treats.

Secure your tickets at www.hudsongardens.org/enjoy/christmas-lights/.


Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Chvrches at the Mission Ballroom

Scotland’s Chvrches are one of the few bands that can integrate synth pop into their sound in a way that feels organic and genuine. Sometimes their music embraces dance elements, other times it integrates New Order-esque alt-rock. Whichever way they go, their tunes are perfect for the chilly winter evenings and their latest album, “Screen Violence,” is one of the year’s best.


In support of the album, the trio will be joined by Donna Missal at the Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8. The venues requires vaccination for all attendees. Get tickets and information at www.missionballroom.com/upcoming-events/.


Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.