Thrills for the week

Future series offerings include the February 13 screening of a documentary film, September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill, a March concert and a special May 4 concert/film program commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day. Admission to September Songs is $5, and concert subscription tickets are available for $25 ($20 students and seniors); call 321-8297 or 399-2660 for information and reservations.

Sunday
February 2
Lotsa Luke: The impending re-release of George Lucas's visually bolstered Star Wars Trilogy is certain to set off a reverberating public mania for memorabilia and other commercial objects. It happened once, and it'll happen again: Get ready to be bombarded with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo action figures, Princess Leia dolls, Chewy masks and talking robots--not to mention a spate of incandescent sabers that could rival the Hula Hoop in terms of sudden popularity.

Or maybe you're one of the lucky ones who still has the stuff you collected twenty years ago: Because trilogy mastermind Lucas personally approved the first wave of Star Wars collectibles, including Kenner's innovative pint-sized figures (pre-Lucas action toys saw eye-to-eye with Ken and Barbie, while post-Lucas toys fit more easily in grubby little hands), scale models, posters and books, some of the items are now worth as much as $1,000. Check it out--these pricey gems of popular culture are the focus of a new exhibit at the Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. The museum is located in the historic Pearce-McAllister Cottage, 1880 Gaylord St.; admission is $3 ($2 for seniors and children ages two to sixteen). For details call 322-1053. Go, be a kid again--and really, may the force be with you.

Monday
February 3
Behind closed doors: Expressing lament over the ton of fine artwork that ends up in the exclusive environs and lofty high-rise inner sanctums of business institutions is a no-brainer. It's just a darn shame that nobody who isn't somebody in the firm ever gets a chance to see the stuff. In their favor, though, corporate art collections are a rich source of income for artists who might otherwise starve in their garrets. And, as one corporate collector reasonably puts it, "Art is not only the result of someone else's creativity, it can--and does--stimulate the viewer to be more open-minded and creative." A win-win situation? Whatever.

Now the rest of us can have a crack at appreciating the aforementioned inspirational qualities of all that fabulous, stowed-away corporate art: Corporate Collections '97, currently on display on the lobby and concourse levels of Republic Plaza, 370 17th St., features works created by an outstanding roster of national and regional artists and culled from the archives of twenty metro-area businesses. The show can be viewed through March 19; call 733-1868 for information.

Tuesday
February 4
Up on the roof: Here's the perfect chance to eat, drink and be merry--with a view. The well-windowed Fourth Story Restaurant & Bar, high atop the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover, at 2955 E. 1st Ave., hosts a Michel-Schlumberger Wine Dinner, complete with five-course meal and four award-winning wines presented by Sonoma County vintner Jacques P. Schlumberger. The oenophile's feast, which begins at 6:30, costs $69 per person, all-inclusive; for reservations (highly recommended) call 322-1824.

Wednesday
February 5
See Jane be a dick: Jane Austen and good, old-fashioned mysteries--they both have their faithful aficionados, many of whom quite likely overlap. Colorado author Stephanie Barron (aka Francine Matthews) satisfies both camps--and those who intermingle--in her ingenious new series of mysteries featuring Austen herself in the starring role as head sleuth and social observer. Barron will autograph copies of her second Austen mystery, Jane and the Man of the Cloth ($21.95 from Bantam), and discuss the mystery writer's craft from a personal point of view tonight at 7 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 960 S. Colorado Blvd. For additional information call 691-2998.

Aria ready? Be sensible--leave your good crystal at home tonight when the Boulder Philharmonic presents internationally famous lyric soprano Kathleen Battle in a solo recital at Macky Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus. The Grammy-winning diva will exercise her super, glass-shattering vocal chops on various works by Strauss, Handel, Rodrigo and Donizetti, as well as a medley of spirituals, tonight at 8; a pre-concert lecture begins at 7. Recital admission ranges from $22 to $85, and the house is certain to sell out; call 449-1343 for information or to reserve tickets.

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