THRILLS

Garden of eatin': Though you might think of it as a steak-and-potatoes, brew-swilling and/or upscale-yuppie-dining kind of town, Denver is actually an adventurous eater's paradise, boasting plenty of ethnic, cheap and unordinary food to choose from, all over town. Readers of Susan Permut's Adventures in Eating, a fabulous guide to eateries, markets and delis throughout the Denver-Boulder area, already know that, but for them and the uninitiated, Permut will sign copies of a new, improved version today at noon at the Tattered Cover, 2955 E. 1st Ave. For details call 322-7727.

Sunday November 5 Watergirl: Accordionist Sharon Shannon, once a touring member of Mike Scott's Celtic revivalist/popster combo the Waterboys, has plenty of fire now that she's her own bandleader. The extraordinary squeezebox artist builds on traditional influences--Irish, Cajun, Portuguese, Swedish, Scottish and more--yet all with her own strong, unforgettable contemporary mark and a virtuosity that's stood on end the ears of Van Morrison, Nanci Griffith, Alison Krauss and others who should know. Shannon performs tonight at 7 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave.; admission is $15. Call 322-2308 or 830-TIXS for tickets and details.

Monday November 6 To jail or not to jail: Well, of course he did it. Hamlet murdered Polonius. But did Shakespeare's mad prince know what he was doing? The Trial of Hamlet, a mock trial pitting Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter and U.S. Attorney Henry Solano as prosecutors against local barristers Walter Gerash and Isaac Kaiser as the defense, will decide once and for all whether or not the Dane was out of his gourd. And just to make it exciting, local celebrities and audience members will be chosen during a jury selection at the beginning of the event, taking place from 7 to 10 at the new Acoma City Center, 1080 Acoma St. Call 722-7994 to purchase tickets, $35; proceeds benefit Colorado Lawyers for the Arts.

Tuesday November 7 New Bjork, new Bjork: Once in a while an artist comes along who's so weird and eccentric that you can't put a label on her. Icelandic shrieker and ex-Sugarcube Bjork fits--or doesn't fit; you decide--the bill, mixing punk, pop, dance beats and, lately, a hokey big-band production number first recorded by Betty Hutton, into something strange, exotic and wonderful. Bjork brings her bizarre voice to the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., tonight at 8. Tickets, $20, can be purchased by calling 830-TIXS.

In the 'Nam of the author: Memoir is the powerful oeuvre of author Tobias Wolff, whose sad, funny, painful rite of passage This Boy's Life--both the book and the film with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio--struck a deep nerve in anyone whose adolescence was less than perfect. In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War, his latest, has Wolff casting his unwavering wit and candor on his own Vietnam War experiences. He'll read some passages tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. in Cherry Creek. Pick up a copy, now in paperback, for $12; for details call 322-7727.

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