Thursday April 28 Not too wordy: The Central City Opera has many friends, but perhaps the most stalwart would be members of OperaPros--a group of young professionals who support, enjoy and promote the opera. They're celebrating their first anniversary with a rare screening of a silent opera--King Vidor's La Boheme, starring early film heroine Lillian Gish, who incidentally graced the Central City stage with a performance of Camille back in 1932. OperaPros invites you to shmooze at 6 p.m. and attend the screening at 7; afterward, coffee and dessert will be served. It all takes place at the Westin Hotel Tabor Center, 16th and Lawrence; to purchase your $15 tickets call 292-6500.
Blowing in the wind: Greeley's University of Northern Colorado has the bug for jazz, big-time--and to prove it it's throwing a three-day UNC-Greeley Jazz Festival that kicks off tonight with a concert of contemporary arrangements and daring scat singing by the New York Voices. The festival really gets down tomorrow evening, when the sublime Grammy-winning saxophonist Joe Henderson hits the stage, fresh off the enormous recognition he's received for recent albums Lush Life and So Near, So Far, tributes to Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, respectively. The slate is topped off on Sunday under the fine direction of master composer, arranger and trombonist Slide Hampton. In addition, various UNC combos will open each 7:30 p.m. program, all taking place in the Monfort Concert Hall of Greeley's Union Colony Civic Center. Tickets to individual performances range between $12 and $16; a festival package is also available for $33 to $43. Call 290-TIXS.
Earthly delights: Italian painter and director Franco Piavoli's first major independent film Blue Planet was made in the spirit of the screen-poem Koyaanisqatsi--devoid of dialogue or narration, the work unfolds with beautiful visual images from nature. The critically acclaimed film will be shown in Colorado for the first time in seven years, tonight at 8 Chem 140 on the CU-Boulder campus; for information call 440-6304.
Friday April 29 All you need is love: Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn has had a change of heart--he's turned from leftist politics to the perennial subject of love on his latest recording Dart to the Heart. But even at his most romantic, Cockburn could never be confused with mushy crooners. The new material is just another intellectual step forward for Cockburn, who explores the territories of human relationships with a keen and visceral eye and searing guitar work, both electric and acoustic. Native American activist John Trudell opens for Cockburn tonight at 8 in a grassroots kind of evening at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl. Tickets are $18; call 290-TIXS.
Schluger and spice: If you've missed Denver gallery entrepreneur Brigitte Schluger since she closed the doors of her Broadway venue, you're in luck. Schluger will present A Little Madness in Spring, a kaleidoscopic three-day exhibit she curated of paintings, sculpture, constructions, shrines and collages by nearly twenty artists, today through Sunday at the Inkfish Gallery, her old neighbor at 949 Broadway. The show, which will also feature Eskimo carvings, tribal and folk art, and jewelry new and old, opens tonight with a reception from 5 to 8. For further information call 722-7263 or 825-6727.
Saturday April 30 Buying into a dream: Those do-gooders at the Alternative Arts Alliance are at it again--their latest project involves mentoring and apprenticeship programs for students at the Denver School of the Arts. To garner support, they're throwing a Board of Directors Art Auction, featuring works by AAA members and background music from young School of the Arts musicians. The auction takes place this evening at CSK Gallery/ Open Press, 1637 Wazee, from 7 to 9:30. Call 433-9359.
Sunday May 1 Talking up a storm: The Arvada Center, located at 6901 Wadsworth, will celebrate the feminine spirit with Women's Voices: Telling Our Stories, a day-long cultural event filled to the brim with women narrating their tales from around the globe. The program opens at 11 a.m. with a multimedia slide presentation, A Kaleidoscope of Women's Voices, an introduction to the faces, music and poetry of women of color. Then you'll sit down to a wholesome soup lunch provided by the Women's Bean Project, followed by an afternoon of stories and dance drawn from Jewish, Asian-American and African-American female experience, all concluding at 5 p.m. Admission for the full day of activities is $29 ($20 additional family members); call 431-3939 for reservations.
Jah breakers: What better way is there to loosen up for the summer? You'll get in the sway easily at Reggae Spring Splash--back tonight in Boulder and featuring Black Uhuru, one of the genre's most militant, yet tunefully mesmerizing, exponents. The group, which went through many personnel changes over the years, is back to square one with original members Duckie Simpson, Don Carlos and Garth Dennis holding down the beat--a joyful reunion that produced their consciousness-raising album Anthem, the first-ever reggae release to be awarded a Grammy. The Splash begins at 7:30 p.m. in CU-Boulder's Glenn Miller Ballroom. For tickets, $15, call 290-TIXS.