Thrills for the week

Ain't too proud to bug: In anticipation of its upcoming summer exhibit, Beetle-mania, the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center presents beetle-lovin' speaker Dr. Arthur Evans for a lecture today at 1 p.m. Evans, Insect Zoo director at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, has authored an esoteric but informative tome, An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles, copies of which he'll sign following the talk. General admission ranges from $3.50 to $6.50; the pavilion, featuring over 1,200 fluttering butterflies, a chrysalis viewing area, creepy-crawly insect terrariums and more, is located at 6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster. Call 469-5441.

First things first: The old-timers remember--but do you? Long before international environmental-art couple Christo and Jean-Claude began planning their future venture on the Arkansas River near Salida, there was the curtain--a monumental, brilliant orange bolt of nylon briefly suspended across Rifle Gap in southwestern Colorado before a strong wind blew it all to bits. Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-1972, a neat little visual history lesson composed of drawings, scale models, photographs and other items documenting the Promethean project, opens today at the Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.; for more information about the show, which continues through September 14, call 640-4433.

May 25
At home on the range: When rugged buckskin-clad mountain men and women gather today in Morrison for the annual Fort Spring Rendezvous, don't expect to see many baseball caps, gangbanger wear, high-topped sneakers or campy bell-bottoms among the participating crowd. Ditto for the food: no fajita wraps, pita sandwiches or barbecued tofu. From noon to 6 at the Fort Restaurant, 19192 Highway 8, it'll be all furs and leather, jerky and fry bread, along with ongoing competitions including tomahawk-throwing, black-powder long-gun shooting, fire-starting and other useful nineteenth-century skills. Top that off with a marketplace teeming with smiths, gunmakers, bead and blanket sellers, phrenologists (fortune tellers who assess folks' futures by feeling the bumps on their noggins), military brass bands and--well, you get the picture. It's not the usual fare. Admission is free, and Western garb is optional but not a bad idea; call 697-4771.

May 26
Pomp and circumstance: Now that those lazy, hazy days of summer are staring you in the face, how about giving them a proper welcome? The Denver Concert Band opens its alfresco summer season today with a traditional Memorial Day program of light classics, patriotic marches, Broadway favorites and all the rest of the usual marching-band rigmarole. Catch the band at 4 at the Columbine Knolls Recreation Center, 6191 W. Plymouth St., Littleton; for information about this and other DCB concerts, call 83-MUSIC (836-8742).

May 27
The prosecution rests: Enough already? Apparently not. O.J. prosecutor Marcia Clark opens up in Without a Doubt, her look at the whole bloody Simpson mess. Clark, who tells all about Ito, Darden and the rest and shares her views about the trial's outcome in the new book, signs copies tonight at 7 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St.; free tickets for a place in line will be given out beginning at 6. Call 436-1030 for all the ugly, drawn-out details.

May 28
Rock slide: The blues graze the heart of Chris Whitley's dark slide-guitar riffing, but they don't tell the whole story. Whitley also has an artful streak and a complicated soul to boot, and that potent mixture yields something lean, haunting, intelligent and modern somewhere out there beyond the blues. Hear Whitley tonight at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; the Dear Janes open the show at 8. For additional information or to purchase tickets, $8.40 in advance, call 443-3399 or 830-

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