THRILLS

Wednesday November 2 Signs of life: A bout with spinal meningitis left Peter Cook permanently deaf at the age of three, but that hasn't kept the Chicago performance artist from expressing himself. This amazing dynamo's Flying Word Project--a funny, topical and sometimes surreal poetic interpretation incorporating sign language, gestures and the spoken word--will be staged tonight at 8 in the atrium of the Physical Education Building on the Auraria campus. Admission to the program, sponsored by UCD's School of the Arts, is free; call 556-2279.

Thursday November 3 Tell 'em Charlie sent you: The denizens of mythical Tuna, Texas, are coming your way again--all wrapped up with a bow--when A Tuna Christmas comes back to town for three days at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis St. in the Plex. The theatrical creation of Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, who both perform multiple roles, this sequel to their enormously successful Greater Tuna marks the return of small-town eccentrics Didi Snavley, Aunt Pearl, Petey Fisk and Bertha Bumiller for a seasonal romp of a tour that ends with a Broadway stint this December. Performances are at 8 nightly today through Saturday, with one matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday. For tickets, which range from $10 to $30, call 893-4100 or 290-TIXS.

Trial run: You can stop champing at the bit, skiers. While waiting for that pristine powder to accumulate up in the hills, you can still dream--at the Colorado Ski Expo, a ski-season preview featuring over 200 exhibitors, aerial skiing, snowboarding and in-line skating demonstrations, contests, live music and autograph sessions with Olympic skiers. The expo, at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St., is open from 4 to 10 p.m. this evening, from noon to 10 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with events, fashion shows, the Children's Museum of Denver's KidSlope ski mountain and a super sale of ski equipment available throughout each day. Admission is $7 (that includes a free early-season lift ticket from one of twenty Colorado resorts); children under twelve get in free.

Two-step plan: A hardworking bunch of Western guys and gals, accomplished at two-step and swing dancing and decked out in their ten-gallon hats, kerchiefs and skin-tight jeans, have quietly earned their berths during the past few weeks to compete in the Marlboro Country Dance Showdown '94 Club Championship. These high-steppin' couples are down to the wire now--and the winners will advance to the national championships in Arlington, Texas. Imagine that: Coloradans stomping Texans! They'll need all the support they can get. You can cheer them on tonight at Stampede, 2430 S. Havana St.; for additional details call 337-6909.

Friday November 4 Deck the halls: The Grant-Humphreys Mansion is the elegant setting for the annual Holiday Art Affair, where a fun stroll through the building uncovers new things--in this case, wonderful and witty handmades in a variety of eminently giftable media--at every turn. You'll find imaginative ceramics, hand-blown glass, jewelry, dolls and clothing, among other things; if you go tonight between 6 and 9, you'll also be entertained by the romantic Gypsy Mandolins. Attend the Holiday Art Affair from 10 to 9 today or 10 to 5 tomorrow; admission is $2. The mansion is located at 770 Pennsylvania St.

Room full of Bloom: When Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom strides onto the stage, it's just him and his guitars (jovially named Rudy and Judy), along with a surprising repertoire that zigzags through a Joni Mitchell tribute, an LL Cool J rap, a traditional folk tune and you never know what else. That's really all Bloom needs: He paces the stage, exuding a hyperactive energy and singing songs that reflect eclectic influences and a hint of his Irish soul. Before you know it, the night is gone--but well spent. Bloom appears tonight at 8 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; tickets are $12.60 in advance ($13.65 day of show). Catie Curtis opens. For details call 447-0095 or 290-TIXS.

Saturday November 5 Forget the rose-colored glasses: Better load up on the DIA jokes--Seeing Red Over DIA, a Big Pineapple Foundation benefit for the National Fragile X Foundation, is set to shred the fallow airport and its myriad scandals. But all in good fun. Runway lights and actual baggage remains from DIA will decorate the room at the Sheraton DTC Hotel, 4900 DTC Pkwy., where revelers--asked to dress in airport-rela-ted or, at the very least, red garb--will walk through a metal detector, thumb their noses at the whole mess and dance to the tunes of Diana Castro and Big Time tonight from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission to the philanthropic raveup, which promises to be a wild and crazy ball, is $20 in advance ($30 at the door); for further information call 333-6155.

Sunday November 6 The really big shew: This week's edition of E-Town, the radio program where local audiences get to sit in on the proceedings, simply lucked out--hosts Nick and Helen Forster have booked up a slew of special and different guests, all in the area for other engagements. First, there's Beppe Gambetta, a breakneck-paced flat-picker inspired as a teenager in Genoa, Italy, by the corn-fed American sounds of Doc Watson and Norman Blake. And if Gambetta doesn't take your breath away, there's ex-Roomful of Blues-er Duke Robillard, a guitarist with a whole different R&B angle. On the serious side, author Douglas Rushkoff will be interviewed about his new book, Media Virus! Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture, and--filling out the bill on a bluesy note--local favorite Hazel Miller will belt out a few tunes. E-Town begins at 7 tonight at its home in the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder; for tickets, $6 to $8, call 786-7030.

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