THRILLS

This magic moment: Larger than life in every way imaginable (including having Claudia Schiffer for a girlfriend), magician and Forbes magazine cover boy David Copperfield is the ultimate showman, and one who's never said no to an illusion. As for those claims that he disappeared the Statue of Liberty, walked through the Great Wall of China and ripped up and reconstituted Wayne Gretsky's $500,000 Honus Wagner baseball card--well, no one's saying those things didn't happen. Copperfield prestidigitates big-time in the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, today at 1, 4:30 and 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m.; it would be a trick not to find time to go. For tickets, ranging from $17.50 to $39.50, call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS.

The Five Points Renaissance: Langston Hughes--poet, author, playwright and glowing figure of the Harlem Renaissance--came up with the kind of ethnic, rhythmic Christmas pageant where folks get down. And Denver's Eulipions theater group puts on a razzle-dazzle, gospel-drenched, multimedia version of Hughes's musical, Black Nativity, each year--to great applause and celebratory clamor. This year's reprise performances will be staged on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings through December 23 and for three matinees, one of them today. Admission is $15 ($12 seniors and students); for reservations call 295-1135. Eulipions is located at 2425 Welton St.

Sunday November 26 Noel tidings: Some Christmas-season lightings come on a smaller, sweeter scale, including the Fort restaurant's Farolito Lighting Ceremony, a re-enactment of an old Southwest custom that's happening today from 4 to 6. Participants are asked to bring a pine cone, into which is tucked a slip of paper with the name of a loved one, to be thrown simultaneously into a bonfire, causing beautiful pops and sparks that rise into the skies. Old-fashioned refreshments--gingerbread cookies, warm cider and hot chocolate--will accompany the ceremony; as an added attraction, erudite Denver historian Tom Noel will be honored. It's free, but call ahead--RSVP by ringing 697-4771. The Fort is at 19192 Rte. 8, Morrison.

Monday November 27 A good read: The first stage of putting on a new play can be a forum in which to test it out--that's the thinking behind the Colorado Dramatists Open Reading Program, which offers free readings of works by hopeful playwrights not yet ready or funded for fully staged efforts. Tonight the readers will be emoting on Headset, or A View From the Light Booth, a short, full-length comedy by Bill Downs, who's had work produced at the Berkeley Rep and beyond. Hear the 7 p.m. reading at the Red Rocks Community College Theater, located on the 6th Ave. frontage road between Union and Indiana; a short discussion follows the play. Call 595-5600 for information.

Tuesday November 28 Brand Ax: Few names in the classical-music circuit are more respected than that of pianist Emanuel Ax, winner of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, the Avery Fisher Award and countless other honors and instances of recognition. It'll be just Ax--and his piano--tonight at 7:30, when he appears in recital at Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, as a guest of the Colorado Symphony. In company like this, who needs more? Tickets range from $8 to $35 ($4 to $35 children and students); reserve yours by calling 986-8742.

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