Thrills for the week

November 3
Let's do the twist: They were our girls of summer. While Amy Van D. was whomping through the water and rivals Devers and Torrence were clearing the hurdles and stirring the gossip mill, the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics troupe was twisting, vaulting, flipping, flying and contorting its way to a team gold medal and a group picture on a Wheaties box. Led by perky medal-brandishing Shannon Miller (ever since Nadia and Mary Lou, it seems perky is a prerequisite), a crack crew of Olympic acrobats will be on hand for World Tour of Gymnastics Champions, a leaping exhibition at McNichols Arena featuring not only women's-team stars Miller, Moceanu, Dawes, Phelps, Borden and Chow, but Ukrainian medal-winner Liliya Podkopayeva and a muscled selection of U.S. men's teamers as well. Admission to the 3 p.m. performance ranges from $19.50 to $35; call 830-TIXS.

What's your sign? The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities celebrates its open approach to accessibility for people of all abilities with a full week of related performances and activities. Kicking off events is Curioser and Curioser, a new take on Lewis Carroll's Alice character--a subject that's been annotated, staged, filmed and translated into dozens of languages. But not this one: Today at 2, the National Theater for the Deaf performs in what is touted to be the first Alice production to be translated into American Sign Language. Music, stunning choreography and spoken words complete the interpretation, which weaves Carroll's fantastic fictional Alice together with his real-life source of inspiration, Alice Liddell. Admission is $18; for tickets and information about this and other events--including a tactile gallery collection on loan from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, a children's play with the Little Theater of the Deaf and a shadowing workshop with renowned interpreter Jaine Richards--call 431-3939. The center is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.

November 4
Classic act: When world-class cellist Yo Yo Ma teams up with country fiddle monster Mark O'Connor and bassist Edgar Meyer, you might think it's an unlikely mix. But the immaculately smooth blend actually recalls both the folk classicism of artists such as Norman and Nancy Blake and the ordered realms of chamber music. In other words, what these skillful guys do--without question--is make simple, elegant, beautiful music together. It works like a charm on their Sony CD, Appalachia Waltz, and it ought to be impressive when they perform live on stage at Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, tonight at 7:30. Meetings this magical are few and far between; for tickets and information call 777-3836.

November 5
Toe the line: Tap dance, the ultimate vaudevillian skill, has been raised to high art over the years by the likes of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Fred Astaire, Bunny Briggs, Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines and, now, Broadway phenom Savion Glover. A rhythmic combination of clackety-clack athleticism and street-corner grace, it's never been bigger. That's just one reason Tap Dogs, the rollicking, nonstop creation of Australian choreographer Dein Perry, is worth a look. See the touring Tap Dogs for one week only at the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, beginning tonight at 8 and continuing through November 10. Admission ranges from $10 to $29; call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS for reservations and additional information.

November 6
Hail to the Hawking: One of our best documentarians, filmmaker Errol Morris, has created award-winning works ranging from the deadpan, tragicomic cinema verite Gates of Heaven to The Thin Blue Line, a fascinating dissection of crime and punishment in America. (The latter, by the way, led to a real-life acquittal.) Perhaps his best-known piece, though, is the riveting study of scientist and thinker Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, filmed exquisitely with complete cooperation from Hawking, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease. A guest this week at CU-Boulder, Morris will be present on campus tonight at 7:30 for a screening of the film and a question-and-answer period afterward. The screening, shown as part of the school's ongoing International Film Series, takes place in Muenzinger Auditorium, located on campus in the Sibel-Wolle Fine Arts Building. Admission is free; call 492-1531 for more information.

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