Shiver me timbers: A swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, hanging majestically off a ship's mast, needs no dialogue. But he'd appreciate the fine musical accompaniment--provided by perennial pianist Hank Troy--when the flickering Fairbanks film The Black Pirate opens this year's Silent Film Series at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Rd. in Boulder. The only people talking will be those in the audience--so shush! (Hissing, gasping and sobbing excepted.) Tickets for series offerings, taking place on Wednesdays in July, are only $2 (kids only $1); for information call 440-7666.
Thursday July 7 Chants meeting: A multicultural and adventurous Colorado Dance Festival returns today to Boulder for a full month of fancy footwork, classes, workshops and lectures. Opening the fest tonight at 8 is a performance by Urban Bush Women, a troupe utilizing movement, music and a cappella field chants and hollers culled from African, Jamaican and African-American cultures. They'll continue their run in the Irey Theatre, on the CU-Boulder campus, through Sunday, before giving way to the Afro-Cuban musicians and dancers of Los Munequitos de Matanzas, who perform at the Boulder Theater July 16. Other upcoming performances include monologuist George Emilio Sanchez (July 20-21), Sin Cha Hong's Laughing Stone Dance Theater Company (July 22-23) and the Trisha Brown Company (July 30). Tickets for Urban Bush Women are $15; for reservations or information about festival events, call 442-7666.
Roux the day: The Arvada Center has cooked up a fabulous three-day fais do do with zydeco's Queen Ida, who has appeared there annually for ten years running. The bon temps begin to roll this evening with a 6:30 p.m. Cajun cooking workshop and dinner party with the queen, who can not only knock you dead with her accordion chops but will polish you off heartily with her shrimp etouffee--the dish of honor at tonight's soiree. The royal one returns with her Zydeco Band on Friday and Saturday for two extra helpings of fun--this time, the kind that will have you shaking your booty, Louisiana-style--dished out in the center's outdoor amphitheater at 7:30 each night. Make reservations for the limited-seating foodfest ($45 per person), the concerts ($20 reserved, $12 lawn) or both ($62 covers everything) by calling 431-3939. The Arvada Center is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Friday July 8 Coastal resources: A new sculpture exhibition curated by Sylvia White of Contemporary Art Services and Gallery in Los Angeles opens tonight at Artyard, the outdoor sculpture gallery located at 1251 S. Pearl St. West Coast Sculpture focuses on the work of six coastal constructors--Richard Godfrey ("psychedelic neoconstructivist" works using light and water), Arlene Waxman (graceful works containing steel scraps, gears and chains), Tamara Patri (works in salvaged iron and wood), Tanya Ragir (figurative sculptures), Tyler Vogel (three-dimensional wall constructions) and Nobuyo Okuda. There will be a reception with White and the artists tonight from 5 to 8; the show stands at Artyard until August 8. For further information call 777-3219.
Stage write: Colorado playwrights will be in the spotlight when the Changing Scene's talent showcase Summerplay opens its ninth season. Six one-acts, some by repeat dramatists and some by newcomers, made the cut; three will run through July 24, with the other three to be staged August 4 through 21. Catch the first batch of plays--which include In Dependence, a comedy by Kristie Atwood about a women who has a three-foot-long fish for a roommate; Free Choice, by Hunger Artists member Andrew Barber; and Craig Sodero's The Man in the Upstairs Room, which places the missing czarevich Alexi, brother of Anastasia, in a communist asylum--Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ($7) and Sundays at 7 ($6). For reservations call the theater, located at 1527 1/2 Champa St., at 893-5775.
Saturday July 9 Have your Lollapalooza and eat it, too: The best in alternative music--and otherwise--will be on tap at Lollapalooza '94, the ever-changing granddaddy of alternative-music festivals. This year's smashing lineup, overseen by Porno for Pyro Perry Farrell, includes headliners Smashing Pumpkins, along with George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, the Beastie Boys, the Breeders, A Tribe Called Quest, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, L7 and the Boredoms. Whew. It all starts at 1 p.m. in the sunny confines of Fiddler's Green. And if the barrage is too much for you but you just can't get enough of that funky stuff, George Clinton headlines his own show indoors, tonight at 9 at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax. Lollapalooza tickets are $36; Clinton tickets are $21. Call 290-TIXS.