Thrills for the week

June 22
Women and children first: The annual Safehouse Run/Walk '97 has undergone some organizational changes, but the event still takes place for precisely the same reason: a chance to turn the public focus toward SafeHouse Denver's ongoing assistance programs for victims of domestic violence and raise funds for the same. Sounds okay to us. The race, being held this year in Washington Park, features several events, starting at 8:15 a.m. with a 5K run/walk for women and girls only; a fun run for little kids, an open 5K event, a diaper dash and a family stroll follow during the next couple of hours. Nobody gets left out at the finish line. Registration fees range from $12 to $25; for details call 892-8400.

June 23
Tried and true: Red Rocks and Lyle Lovett are beginning to look like a solid tradition--there's something about the two that says "glom." And we mean right together. Maybe it's the hair and the way it emulates the rocks, towering loftily against the evening stars; more likely it's the mood that Lovett's songs evoke: romantic, with a chip on its lanky shoulder, and smoky as an Alabama roadhouse. Throw in the hell of a hand-picked band Lovett always seems to bring along, matching his wit note for note, and you've got a night for the ages. Where else could it happen but at Red Rocks? The rest of the bill is solid as the rocks as well: Alison Krauss & Union Station, starting the show off nicely at 7:30, blend bluegrass with some of the sweetest country-pop music this side of the mighty Miss. For tickets, $25, call 830-TIXS.

June 24
Black & blues: Is buzz-saw metal deader than a doorknob? Heck, no: Spandex 'n' hair metal seems to have lost its, um, charm with the throngs, but deep, dark, crunchy, leathery metal still has an audience, and Ozzfest is coming to town to prove it. Led by the Ozz himself, Ozzy Osbourne, the headbanging ball features a Black Sabbath reunion with original members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, creepy-crawly Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Type O Negative and others at Mile High Stadium, beginning at 12:30 this afternoon. In addition, there'll be a second stage called Never Never Land, a carnival midway with rides, counterculture vendors (we presume that means tattoos and other mutilations) and food. Drone on! Tickets are $32.50; call 830-TIXS.

Feminist fatale: Bra burning? Didn't dinosaurs do that? A provocative and controversial leader of a modern, streamlined feminist movement who's unafraid to use proper foundations, Naomi Wolf takes on the female rite of passage in her third book, Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle Toward Womanhood. An exploration of sexuality and young women, the study is shot with Wolf's own witty insights; she'll discuss and sign the book tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St. Call 436-1070.

Water world: We all know how the Colorado River starts as a trickle in the Colorado high country and begins its grand sweep down to Mexico. But the entire truth of what happens to the river between here and there is something we're not quite so clear on. Fortunately, the four-part documentary Cadillac Desert, based on a pair of candidly investigative books exploring water-use issues and history in the West, is a sure shot to fill in the holes. In the first episode, Mulholland's Dream, director Jon Else (who also made The Day After Trinity, a definitive bio of atom-bomb researcher Robert Oppenheimer) intercuts footage from John Huston's film classic Chinatown with the real story of Los Angeles water czar William Mulholland. Interviews with a diverse group of onlookers, from Mulholland's granddaughter, Catherine, to Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne, enhance the program's fact-to-fiction qualities and help to expose the wholesale exploitation of scarce water supplies by greedy Los Angeleno kingpins. The first episode airs tonight at 9 on KRMA-TV/Channel 6; future installments look at the damming of the Colorado River, the transformation--and what some call a ruination--of California's Central Valley through extensive irrigation, and power struggles taking place over water use in other countries.

June 25
Big wheels: Bumpity-bump. Hope your mountain bike's got a nice, comfy seat. You and your tush will need one during the Crested Butte Fat Tire Festival, a five-day celebration of off-road cycling designed to appeal to anyone with a helmet and a ride. A mixture of pro events (featuring one of the nation's most dizzying downhill races) and recreational rides for the rest of us, the festival also offers an obstacle course, clinics, parties, and circuit and cross-country events for those brave enough to test their mettle. Packages including lodging start at $177 for three days; for more information call 1-800-484-5737.

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