THRILLS

Wednesday May 3 Step up to the Bar: Today is one day when it won't be considered poor manners at a party to ask a lawyer for free advice. In recognition of National Law Week, volunteer attorneys from the Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will answer questions at Law on the Mall, a week-long informational celebration in progress at the 16th Street Mall, 16th and Lawrence in Writer Square. Line up between 11:30 and 1:30 for advice; lawyers will be at your mercy through Friday. Call 860-1115 for information.

Thursday May 4 The good author: Novelist Sue Miller has written movingly about the intertwining ins and outs that families experience in bestsellers such as The Good Mother and Family Pictures. She covers that ground again with similarly touching results in her latest offering, The Distinguished Guest. Miller will read from and autograph copies of the novel tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. For additional information call 322-7727.

Friday May 5 In the driver's seat: So much for a passive night at the movies, folks--it looks like interactive film experiences are here to stay. Ride for Your Life, the latest "movieGame" to hit the screen, tells the story of a bicycle race in Manhattan but offers audiences the option of changing the course of events with a flick of the old selector button, located on special pistol grips at each seat. New sets of options, three at a shot, are flashed on the screen every minute or so; everyone sitting there in the dark wins points according to his individual choices. The gigantic video game opens today for an exclusive run at the United Artists Greenwood Plaza Theatre, 8141 E. Arapahoe Road. Admission, $5, is good for two consecutive viewings of the movie, which clocks in at just under a half-hour in length. Not a problem, since no two shows seem to turn out the same. Call 741-1200 for showtimes.

Scotch rocks: Some exasperated critics might throw up their hands at Del Amitri and insist that the Scottish rockers haven't found themselves yet. But maybe it's just that they don't want to be found. Justin Currie's shining vocals could lead this band anywhere--through Beatle-esque harmonies, gritty slide-guitar rock and introspective pop tunes--and they'd follow willingly. Del Amitri's fans love their eclectic, rock-steady sound, and they'll be out in force when the band plays the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, at 8 tonight and tomorrow. Melissa Ferrick opens. Tickets are $15; call 447-0095 or 830-TIXS.

Saturday May 6 Together again: Lovers of updated versions of traditional British and Celtic music will have a field day tonight, when the Swallow Hill Music Association presents John Renbourn and Robin Williamson at the Bluebird Theater. The duo--one a revered finger-style guitarist who first electrified audiences with the moody folk-rock band Pentangle, and the other a literate Celtic Renaissance man who once led the Incredible String Band--will bring together the best of their talents at 8 at the Bluebird, 3317 E. Colfax. For tickets, $15 ($13 Swallow Hill members), call 1-800-444-SEAT or 777-1003.

We're havin' a party: May brings more than those first promising rays of summer sun, but that's certainly an incentive for celebrations--indoors and out--and there's a slew of fun stuff going on this weekend to take care of the party-down urge. Cinco de Mayo will be cause for more than one weekend fiesta; among the biggest is today's Cinco de Mayo 1995--All Day Music celebration, featuring big-name Latin band Malo, with guest Jorge Santana, Tierra, several local groups and mariachi music, beginning today at 1 at the Mammoth Events Center, 1510 Clarkson St. For ticket information call 455-6798 or 830-TIXS. Or save yourself for the huge annual Cinco de Mayo fete on Sante Fe Drive (which will be closed to traffic from 10 to 7 Sunday between 6th and 12th avenues). Along with everything from corn on the cob and Mexican specialties to lowrider shows, live entertainment and craft booths, there will be several free special events, including a Mariachi Mass (10 a.m., El Patio Stage, 10th and Santa Fe), the Celebrate Culture Parade (leaving La Alma/Lincoln Park at 11) and La Batalla de Puebla, a dramatization of the Cinco de Mayo story (2:15 on the children's stage, 7th and Santa Fe), 534-8342. On a completely different note is the omnipresent annual KBCO-Budweiser Kinetic Sculpture Challenge--the only race offering so many awards that it's almost impossible not to win something--held today at Boulder Reservoir. As usual, the zany race of bizarre all-terrain (including water) vehicles is accompanied by all kinds of hoopla, including a 6:30 a.m. pancake breakfast, followed by a hot-air-balloon classic at 7 and a volleyball tournament at 7:30--and that's just to warm you up for the big event at 11. Be there to cheer on teams with typically idiotic yet good-natured names; admission is $20 per carload or $2 per person for those arriving by other forms of transport. Call 444-KBCO for details. Talk of the town: Created by producer Sam Safarian of KBDI-TV/Channel 12, The 11th Hour series has brought an incredibly diverse mixture of speakers through town to present their unique messages to future generations--including such diametrically opposed celebrities as the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Dick Gregory. This time around, the live taping will continue in that vein by including Native American activist Russell Means, anti-war protester Daniel Berrigan and abortion foe Randall Terry on the docket. Sit in for some daring rhetoric tonight at 8 at the Source Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. Admission is $25 and includes a post-taping reception; call 296-1212 or 830-TIXS.

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