THRILLS

Sunday October 30 Get ready, get set...: It's not yet November--how can you think about Christmas? Well, it's close enough. Homey, handcrafted gifts and stocking stuffers--including pottery, jewelry, furniture, wearables, toys, ornaments and more--will fill the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St. in Golden, when the annual Holiday Art Market opens today. It's a good place to get started. Hours are from 9 to 4 Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 Sunday, right up to December 24. Call 279-3922 for information.

Monday October 31 Cream of the crop: There's not much to say about Eric Clapton that hasn't already been said--the blues-rock guitarist has been touted to be God, after all, for nearly thirty years. But in this case, you have to agree that the deification is deserved: The world dropped dead in awe of Clapton when he was the mystical thread of the Sixties supergroup Cream, only to be moved to tears during the keening Layla years. More recently, he's come out of seclusion, bucked drug addiction and stretched out into a more mature and ever-enduring Clapton--on his latest album, From the Cradle, he pays homage to the great bluesmen who influenced him, and he does it with all the right touches. He'll light up McNichols Arena with this subtle fare tonight at 7:30. Tickets are $25 to $30; call 290-TIXS.

Tuesday November 1 Moscow on the mall: Anyone who gets all choked up over those liquid sylphs in tutus that tiptoe through fairy tales and romances won't want to miss Ballet Stars of Moscow, a one-night-only performance featuring ten of Moscow's most accomplished dancers. The dancers, assembled by the ballet master of the Bolshoi Ballet, will show off all their fancy steps--and tights and tutus--during an evening of classical ballet selections. The performance, starting at 8 p.m. in the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., costs $16 to $20; call 534-8336 or 290-

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