Thursday January 20 Hot and steamy: Those Boulderites love to have a good time. That must be why they turn out time and time again when The Radiators come up from New Orleans, bringing with them a gumbo of rock, blues and that inimitable spark of the bayou better known as "fish head music." Whatever that is, it's guar-on-teed to heat up a room right quick--which is what the Radiators will surely be doing tonight and tomorrow at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St. in Boulder. Tickets for either 8 p.m. concert are $15 ($16 day of show) and can be had by calling 290-TIXS.
Friday January 21 The Penn is mightier: Penn Jillette is big, loud and obnoxious; the other guy doesn't say a word--but it's nearly impossible to imagine magic act Penn and Teller as anything but a duo. And what a duo they are: The mute Teller performs a card trick--exquisite sleight-of-hand; Penn picks the act apart, giving away every move; in a silent rage, Teller stabs Jillette in the hand. Stage blood everywhere. Their shows have been known to include live bees, simulated drownings, fortune-telling monkeys and copious amounts of the aforementioned fake plasma. Keeping all this in mind, the strong of stomach will surely split a gut or two when Penn and Teller hit the stage of the Buell Theatre, 13th and Curtis, tonight at 8. To reserve tickets, ranging in price from $15.50 to $23.50, call 777-7372.
A writer's notes: This might just be the night to check out the Denver Chamber Orchestra, a pleasing, scaled-down classical ensemble performing regularly at historic Trinity Church. Tonight's theme--"Words and Music"--is literary in nature, with the orchestra interpreting works by Telemann, De Vienne, Barber and Shostakovich. And they'll have a little help from a special friend: Writer and flutist Eugenia Zukerman, whose mile-long list of credits is both global and interdisciplinary, performs in De Vienne's Flute Concerto No. 7. Tickets, $12 to $18 in advance ($1 more at the door, students under 21, $5), can be reserved by calling 825-4911; the program begins at 7:30 this evening and will be repeated at 4 p.m. Sunday. Trinity Church is at 1820 Broadway.
Saturday January 22 A little bid at a time: Nobody works harder to keep the Denver Art Museum on the modern track than the Alliance for Contemporary Art, a support group for the museum's modern and contemporary art department. The group will be auctioning off 70 artworks, ranging in value from $55 to $15,000, by major artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Lucas Samaras and Jim Dine--including 25 works representing artists working in Colorado--during Much Ado About Something, a biannual event to be conducted by Patrick Meade, of Christie's in America. A portion of the funds raised will go toward the purchase of new contemporary artwork for the museum's collections. To preview auction works, visit the museum, located at 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., during regular hours, through 5 p.m. this afternoon. Auction tickets are $125; for further information call 757-1695.
I like Spike: The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra matches legend with legend tonight when it presents the Gershwin Festival--an event tailor-made for Boulder saxophonist Spike Robinson and his quartet. Robinson will join the BPO at CU-Boulder's Macky Auditorium for a program that includes a plethora of Gershwin favorites, topped off by Gershwiniana--a special medley of George's tunes, arranged for Spike by composer Charles Eakin, a retired professor of composition from CU. To purchase tickets for the 8 p.m. concert call 449-1343; they run between $9 and $25.
A long day's journey: Marathons come in all shapes and sizes--and for those of you who like to sit on your duffs, there's a brand-new Compass Theatre Company production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Parts I & II, presented through February 20 on the Denver Civic Theatre's Main Stage. David Edgar's adaptation of Dickens's classic novel is epic indeed--so epic that it must be seen in two separate performances, each lasting approximately two and a half hours. While Part I can be seen on Thursday evenings and alternate Sunday afternoons, and Part II will run on Friday evenings with matinees on alternate Sundays, perhaps the most enjoyable way to see it is all at once--on Saturdays you can catch the whole thing from beginning to end. For authenticity, throw in an all-you-can-eat fish and chips feast across the street at El Noa Noa, offered on Saturday only, between shows. Tickets are $10 to $15 for each part; add $7.95 for the optional food ($3.95 children). The Civic Theatre is at 721 Santa Fe Dr.; to purchase tickets and make dinner reservations call 893-0080.
Sunday January 23 Radio days: E-Town (Boulder's own environmentally bent public radio program) is still shuttling between venues, looking for a permanent home. But wherever Nick and Helen Forster park their show for the night, it's always a winner--mixing lively talk and exemplary musical entertainment in that good old down-homey atmosphere. Tonight's show--it's at the Fox Theatre this time--hauls out one of folkdom's very best, Tom Rush, who'll set awhile and sing some tunes, along with John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame. It all begins at 7 p.m. and costs only $6 in advance ($8 day of show). For tickets call the Fox, 1135 13th St. in Boulder, at 447-0095.