Wednesday April 6 Gallic symbols: It's time to bone up on your French, Francophiles. You'll need your linguistic chops for An Evening of Tales From Provence, presented by Denver's Alliance Francaise and interpreted in French (and English) by mesmerizing storyteller Jean Guillon. The stories are free, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave., and will be followed at 7:45 with a $10 buffet and additional yarns told by Guillon in the cozy confines of Le Central, located at 8th and Lincoln St. Optional sit-down dining with the artist begins at 9 p.m.; call 863-8094 for reservations. Or call the Tattered Cover, 322-7727, for tale-telling information.
Thursday April 7 Connell men: The secret to The Connells' lyrical charisma is an enduring affinity for the crisp, orderly pop-rock formula. Add the element of brotherly love, responsible for the sweetest harmonies on the planet, and you've got a drop-dead winner on your hands. Led by siblings Mike and David Connell (born and raised in Macon, Georgia, but clearly influenced by Britain's Beatles-and-everything-after), the college favorites have cut five albums, and the latest, Ring, may be the one to push them over the hump. They'll perform tonight at 9 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; for tickets, $6.30 ($7.35 day of show), call 290-TIXS.
Short and sweet: The CU-Boulder Theater and Dance Department has found a great way to introduce the lure of the stage to members of the short-attention-span generation: an eclectic One Act Festival, beginning today and continuing through April 17. The fest kicks off this evening at 8 with a trio of short works including Susan Glaspell's Trifles, a drama about the female experience dating back to 1916; Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx; and Pulitzer winner Lanford Wilson's The Great Nebula of Orion. Performances will be held in the Loft Theatre on the Boulder campus. Upcoming offerings cover a multigenerational realm of playwrights--from Aeschylus to Brecht, right on up to contemporary times. For a schedule and tickets (ranging from $6 to $10) call 492-8181.
Friday April 8 Nothing but the blues: A major player in the Texas blues diaspora, Joe "Guitar" Hughes grew up in Houston and was the musical cohort of fellow bluesman Johnny Copeland--he even says he taught his good friend Copeland (they formed their first band, the Dukes of Rhythm, while still in their teens) to play guitar. It's not easy to understand why this strumming wonder isn't better known--Hughes has worked behind early rock and R&B acts like Gene Chandler, Sam and Dave and Fats Domino, and got a big break in the Sixties when he filled the formidable shoes of Wayne Bennett, replacing the great guitarist as a sideman for Bobby Bland. Versatile and smokin', Hughes shows up tonight at Billy Blues, 695 Kipling in Lakewood, beginning around 9. You can see him for a cover charge of $6; for details call 274-2534.
Human relations: A concert by Jan Erkert & Dancers may encompass a rainbow of human situations, but perhaps the high point of Tales of Intimacy--a full bill of works being performed tonight and tomorrow at the Space for Dance--is the multimedia Turn Her White With Stones, based on Erkert's work as movement specialist for a group of Cambodian women being treated at a center for survivors of torture. Other works explore relationships and eroticism; shows begin at 8 each evening. Admission is $10 ($7 students and seniors); call 1-800-7-DANCE-0 to reserve tickets. The Space for Dance is located at 2590 Walnut St. in Boulder.
Saturday April 9 Taking their bows: Fiddling around will be heartily condoned tonight when the Swallow Hill Music Association presents the Celtic Fiddle Festival--featuring a stellar trio of Channel-hopping bowsmen and a lone guitarist for moral support. Representing Ireland is Sligo-style specialist Kevin Burke, playing alongside will-o'-the-wisp Scot Johnny Cunningham (it's been said that he plays so fast "only dogs can hear him") and the spare Breton Christian LeMaitre; each of the three also will fiddle solo. Also performing this evening is Soig Siberil, an excellent finger-style picker from Brittany. The 8 p.m. program takes place at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth; to purchase tickets ($14, Swallow Hill members $12) call 777-1003.
Back in time: If you've always wanted to take a trip in a time machine, Four Mile Historic Park has the antidote--the living history farm at 715 S. Forest St. opens for the season with a Celebration of Old Time Work and Play, featuring demonstrations and vintage baseball. Taking place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. today and tomorrow, the event will open your eyes to antiquity--you'll watch blacksmiths and beekeepers and hear old songs and stories. At 12:30 p.m. each day, the Denver Bluestockings will take the field in bloomers (yes, it's true--you once could actually see the players' stockings) for games adhering to baseball rules of the nineteenth century. Admission is $3.50 ($2 students and seniors, under 6 free); call 399-1859 for information.
A hop, skip and a jump: A pound of sweat will go a long way today for participants in the Workout for Hope--an ingenious fundraiser that helps people get in shape while benefiting local AIDS projects. The national event, which takes place from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., will include four Colorado locations: In Denver, fitness expert Vicki Ferrarello will lead a workout at DU's Driscoll Center, Evans and University; Boulderites can get pumped up at CU's Carlson Gym on the Boulder campus; and the aerobically correct also can climb aboard in Fort Collins and Aspen. For further information and registration forms call 1-800-337-HOPE.
Sunday April 10 The Ultima experience: His novel Bless Me Ultima has been touted as the definitive depiction of coming of age in New Mexico, so it's no surprise that a visit by Chicano literary giant Rudolfo Anaya is a big event in this Latino-flavored town. Anaya's play about midlife and males, Ay Compadre, will be staged at El Centro su Teatro, 4725 High St., Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:05 p.m., through April 30 (tickets $7). A special performance tonight includes a dinner reception for Anaya at 6:30 p.m., followed by the play at 7:30; the ticket package is $25 ($40 per couple)--call 296-0219. The author also will stick around a few days to sign a new illustrated hardcover edition of Bless Me Ultima at various bookstores in the area; catch him on Monday at the Tattered Cover (322-7727) and Tuesday at Cultural Legacy (964-9049) and the Boulder Book Store (447-2074).
Monday April 11 In the flesh: The Chicken Lips Comedy Theater has been a mainstay of the local comedy scene for a hell of a long time--its comic mystery Murder Most Fowl has been running now for over five years, complemented by a series of topical improv shows, including the current LipService. The theater, housed on the lower level at 1360 17th St., abandons the comedy ensemble format for one night only when it presents Born Naked, a one-man show about growing up in a small Colorado town, written and performed by local humorist Dale Stewart. Showtime is 8 p.m.; for tickets ($10), call 534-4440.
Tuesday April 12 Working-class hero: Yet another chronicler of the Latin American experience will appear tonight at the Tattered Cover for a reading and book signing. Luis Alberto Urrea, who gained recognition for his nonfiction work Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border, will introduce his latest tome, a quixotic novel set in mid-Fifties Arizona called In Search of Snow. Drop in for a listen around 7:30 p.m.; Urrea is said to be a spellbinder. For details call the bookstore, located at 2955 E. 1st Ave., at 322-7727.