Thursday December 7 From the cradle: The original site of one of Denver's oldest neighborhoods--the Auraria campus--will host a pair of separate but related events at nearby campus venues. In what is becoming a yearly tradition, The Miracle at Tepeyac--a modern folk drama by El Centro Su Teatro's Anthony Garcia--will be staged at St. Cajetan's Church at 7:30 p.m., beginning tonight and continuing through Sunday. Preceding nightly performances will be a participatory community candlelight procession, featuring musicians and singers, from Mariposa Street and Colfax Avenue to the church. Tickets are $15; for reservations call 543-8342 or 296-4010. Meanwhile, the Daily Grind Coffee House's weekly poetry series Toads in the Garden presents local poet/activist Anthony R. Vigil, who will give a hard-hitting, politicized performance, The Xicano Poetry Resistance, accompanied by guitarist Amaurante Montez and conguero Eduardo Jaramillo. Admission to Toads, which features an open reading at 7:30 p.m., followed by the guest reading at 8, is $2 ($1 with student ID); call 615-9795 for information. The Daily Grind is located in the Tivoli Student Union, 900 S. Auraria Pkwy.
I'm your puppet: There's nothing stodgy about this Beethoven. Beethoven 'N' Pierrot, a multi-disciplinary performance that writer/director Pavel Dobrusky says "takes place in Beethoven's mind," will enjoy a US West-sponsored world premiere run at the Space Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, beginning tonight at 8. The fascinating production, which incorporates music, dance, marionettes and theater, is the collaborative effort of Dobrusky and Per-Olav Sorenson, a Czech-Norwegian team that won the Denver Center Theatre Company kudos last year with a similar stage piece called Stories. Ticket prices range from $18 to $30, with shows daily through December 23. Call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS for showtimes and reservations.
Friday December 8 Out of the bag: One of Denver's best-kept secrets isn't really so much a secret anymore. Local resident jazz guitarist and onetime Kansan Jerry Hahn, en route next week to Seattle to record with Ginger Baker on the drummer's next CD, will gig this weekend at Vartan Jazz, 231 Fillmore St. Busy man. Let's hope he'll do some tunes, with help from bandmates Eric Gunnison, Dwight Killian and Randy Bowen, from his own album, Time Changes, a bright new effort on the Enja label getting national recognition from the critics. Hahn performs at 8 and 10 tonight and tomorrow; for ticket information call Vartan, 399-1111.
Saturday December 9 Lighting strikes: Some of Denver's most fanciful holiday lights come on this evening, during the joint public openings of the Denver Zoo's Wildlights and Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens, where the respective daytime displayers of fauna and flora try to outdo one another each year with fabulously orchestrated nighttime lights accompanied by general festivities. Beginning tonight from 6 to 9, the zoo (331-4110) and gardens (370-8187) will both feature roasted chestnuts, hot drinks and carolers amidst a blaze of lighted trees and animated displays of leaping froggies and the like through the end of the year. Admission to each venue is $4 ($2 children and seniors). Slightly more sophisticated but pleasantly blinding is Windows of Light, an experimental installation of changing, computer-driven light sculptures by J.D. Neafus, on view weekdays through January 1 at the Museum of Outdoor Arts' Madden Gallery in Harlequin Plaza, 7600 E. Orchard Rd., #160N. A reception and museum faculty sale will be held December 14 from 4 to 7. Also by Neafus, Architectural Painting in Light III--a colored light display--will be on view evenings at Greenwood Plaza Boulevard and South Fiddler's Green Circle, though the holiday season. Call 741-3609.
This time it's for real: Making a play for the civic limelight is--at last!--the fully reunited and restored Denver Central Library, 10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., celebrating its total completion today and tomorrow with all sorts of fun and games. Though parts of the new structure have been open and serving the public since last spring, this weekend marks the reopening of the newly expanded Children's Library, including a storytelling pavilion (that nifty copper appendage in back), a project area for workshops and a teen space, as well as the inception of public access to a full spectrum of everyday and special library collections, kept--if you can believe it--on over 240,000 linear feet of shelving. Yow. There will be free non-stop entertainment from 10 to 5:30 each day of the celebration, from the Kim Robards Dance Company to a fourteen-foot Corythosaurus--that's a duckbilled dinosaur, folks--on loan for the festivities from the Denver Museum of Natural History. Bring the family; for information call 640-6377.