THRILLS

Wednesday
February 9 That ode black magic: Even bohemians need love--and this Valentine week, the beatest hipsters around can celebrate romance in their own style, thanks to the Daily Perc Coffeehouse, an Aurora java joint at 9875 E. Colfax. The Perc, which normally hosts an open poetry reading every Wednesday eve, is turning this week's event into a Romantic Love Poem Contest, with closet bards wringing their hearts out before an audience of judges. First prize is a $50 savings bond; for runners up, there's a Daily Perc gift certificate. The poeticizing begins at 7 p.m.; call 360-6195 for details.

Thursday
February 10 Artsy-heartsy: What in the world are you gonna get for your sweetie? The denizens of Cherry Creek North open their doors this evening from 5 to 9 for a Valentine Visions Gallery Walk with a focus on affordable gift ideas--made all that much more fun with coffee tastings, show openings and artist talks to boot. You'll be able to drop in at twenty or so shops and galleries in the area from 1st to 3rd aves., between University Blvd. and Steele St.; highlights include a talk by award-winning Navajo artist Allen Mose at the Canyon Road Gallery (257 Fillmore St.), a twentieth-anniversary celebration at Tapestry, a luscious wearable-art-and-jewelry shop (286 Fillmore St.), and artists in attendance at Pismo, a venue specializing in glass art and ornaments (2727 E. 3rd Ave.). See this week's gallery listings for further information.

Friday
February 11 Infamous Angel: She's been singing since she was just a little cherub in Paragould, Arkansas, where she cut her musical teeth on church music and the sound of her daddy's fiddle. But it wasn't until sweet-voiced Iris Dement was in her twenties that she began to write and perform her own songs. The result? One critic likens her to a "reincarnation of the entire Carter family." But Dement goes a step beyond the unbroken circle, contemporizing her backcountry delivery with utterly modern thoughts. She'll deliver the goods fresh tonight at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California, hitting the stage around 7:30. Tickets are $13 and available by calling 290-TIXS.

Trader Dick: Dick Clardy is a folksy trader and collector who possesses a vast knowledge about his wares, which include wildly painted Oaxacan carved animals, African, pre-Columbian and ancient Roman beads, fossils and other fascinating antiquities. Clardy will be driving up from Edwards, Texas, with a truckload of surprises to share during a Folk Art Trunk Show, taking place today through Sunday at Skyloom Fibres--a yarn, textile and bead shop located at 1705 S. Pearl St. If you've ever had a hankering to see what the inner ear of a whale looks like, or to fill your living room with the stuff of Mexico, this is the ticket. Call 777-2331.

Portrait of the artist: The Hunger Artists are at it again--they're bringing absurdity, disorder and that good old Eastern European irony to Jack's Theatre, 1553 Platte St., with a run of Vaclav Havel's Largo desolato, a dramatic staging of the Czech Republic president's own thinly disguised story. Havel's script is brought to comic life in English by playwright Tom Stoppard, who translated the play for the American theater. The show opens tonight with a preview performance (specially priced at $6.50) at 8, and continues Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 7 until March 12. Regular admission runs between $8 and $12; for reservations call 893-5438.

Saturday
February 12 Two for the road: It's women's night out at the Auditorium Theater, where Karla Bonoff and Chris Williamson, a pair of renowned singer-songwriter types, will appear in concert before their staunchest fans. You'll remember Bonoff as the lyrical darling of the L.A. folk-rock set; Williamson has been churning out the wax for Olivia and other record labels for years--her 1975 album The Changer and the Changed is one of the top-selling independent discs of all time. These two musical ladies lend their personal touch tonight at 7:30; the Auditorium Theater is in the DCPA complex, 13th and Curtis St. For tickets, $17.50 or so, call 290-TIXS.

Love over and over: What better place to snuggle up with your honey than in cozy Estes Park--just a hop, skip and jump up the Big Thompson Canyon from Valentine Central (better known as Loveland)? The touristy mountain town has a whole weekend of events planned surrounding an en masse Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremony with nondenominational minister Les Rude--to be held at 1:30 p.m. today and lustily repeated again tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the El Centro Suites in downtown Estes. There'll be champagne, a five-tier wedding cake and $4 renewal photos to go along with the ceremony. In addition, horse-drawn hayrides, romantic rides in an old-time Stanley Steamer or limousine and participation in a Kissable Lips Contest will be available between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. today, and the Estes Park Event Center will host a Valentine Dance tonight at 8 ($6 per couple). Call 1-800-443-7837. Get on the Horne: Opera lovers, drop everything. If you don't already have your tickets, it's time to dial up the Boulder Philharmonic and reserve your seats for tonight's performance, featuring the great mezzo soprano Marilyn Horne as special guest. Horne will join the orchestra in Macky Auditorium, located on the CU-Boulder campus, for a bill of Rossini arias and Ruckert songs at 8 p.m.; later on she'll be shaking hands over champagne and dessert at the CU Fieldhouse from 10 p.m. until midnight. Concert tickets run between $18 and $50; tickets to the gala reception are another $50. Call 449-1343 for reservations.

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