Thrills for the week

January 25
Testing your metal: Thanks to the never-ending procession of angry-inside Beavis and Butt-head types who continue to turn fourteen years old at an alarming rate, the reigning kings of crunching, brooding metal music are unlikely to fade away anytime soon. But it doesn't hurt that James Hetfield and the men of Metallica try to keep abreast of the times--both sonically (as demonstrated on their latest CD Load) and in terms of appearance. Lean, mean, and now fashionably shorn and pierced, the eternally popular band swaggers into cavernous McNichols Arena tonight at 7:30 for the second of two Denver performances (Friday night's show is sold out). Cool. To get a load of Metallica, call 830-TIXS for tickets, $27.50 and $37.50.

January 26
The body electric: You live in it every day of your life, but how much do you really know about your body and its inner workings? Local producers Brooke Summers and Rocco Dal Vera set you straight--from the loftiest neuron in your cranium to the tip of your tiniest foot phalange--with their Denver-based series, Healthward Bound, a lifelong journey. The six-part public-television offering begins airing this afternoon at 1:30 on KRMA-TV/Channel 6. Programs continue Sundays at the same time on Channel 6; the series repeats at 6:30 p.m. on KBDI-TV/Channel 12 beginning February 2.

January 27
Caught in the act: It may seem like a long way to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, but a couple of new and unusual art exhibits on campus might make the hour's drive more than worthwhile, at least from a visual standpoint.

The fleeting qualities of light, shadow and shape take on new dimensions in Light Tracings: Photographs by Francesca Woodman, Clarence John Laughlin, Ralph Eugene Meatyard and George Woodman, a cloudy, layered and surreal view of modern photography opening tonight at the Clara Hatton Gallery, located in CSU's Visual Arts Building. Attend a reception tonight from 7 to 9 or view the show during gallery hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays), through March 7. Call 1-970-491-7041.

While on campus, drop by the Lory Student Center, where the traditional Karatsu pottery of Japanese ceramicist Takashi Nakazato is on display at the center's Curfman Gallery. Nakazato, a thirteenth-generation potter (his father, who revived the ancient form in this century, was named a National Living Treasure of Japan), works using Korean-influenced firing techniques that date back to the late fifteenth century. His lovingly reproduced work remains on display through February 28; for gallery hours call 1-970-491-5402.

January 28
Guest in the house: Ordinary People author Judith Guest made her name writing insightfully about just that, and her newest novel, Errands ($25 from Ballantine), follows suit. Guest reads a portion of her latest venture into the commonplace circle of family dynamics tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. Call 322-7727 for additional information.

January 29
Bright lights, big city: When you've got a good thing going, why stop? That's fine advice for playwright August Wilson, still at work on an epic series of plays providing an ongoing historical chronicle of the modern African-American experience, and for Denver Center Theatre Company director Israel Hicks, who faithfully brings Wilson's incremental magic to the Denver stage with new productions each year. The latest of these stunning collaborations, Seven Guitars, focuses on the post-World War II evolution of Chicago's South Side as an urban blues center, portraying its characters, in typical Wilson style, as real and complex figures at home in their cultural milieu. Seven Guitars, halfway through a month-long run at the Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, continues with evening performances Monday through Saturday (an additional matinee is scheduled at 1:30 Saturdays), through February 16; to reserve seats, $25 to $28 weeknights and matinees and $29 to $32 weekend evenings, call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS.

A worthy goal: The Colorado Avalanche, which sported the National Hockey League's best record at the recent All-Star break, plays host to the Los Angeles Kings at 7 tonight at McNichols Arena. The Gretsky-less Kings aren't faring too well this season, so the Avs are odds-on favorites to zip right past them. Call 893-6700 for ticket information.

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