Thrills for the week

Thursday
September 18
Nothing but the blues: One of the best blues lineups you'll experience in these parts will turn all of Boulder into a non-stop boogie parlor this weekend. The three-day Boulder Blues Festival festival comes in with a roar tonight at 8 when Chicago blues veteran Son Seals heads up a stellar bill that also features former New Orleans cabbie Mem Shannon at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. But that's only the beginning. Tomorrow at 8 p.m. the action moves to the Boulder Theater, 2040 14th St., Boulder, where Tiny Town, the new project of onetime Subdudes Tommy Malone and Johnny Ray Allen will join forces with R&B shouter Kelley Hunt. John Mayall, the hardest-working and longest-lived British bluesman around, closes the fest at the Boulder Theater Sunday at 9 p.m., with the current incarnation of his star-incubator of a band, the Bluesbreakers, and opener Corey Harris, a former Denverite who's one of the best of a new crop of young acoustic blues revivalists. Ticket prices are $10 to $15.75 nightly, $22 for two shows or $30 for all three (call 786-7030 for reservations). But if you're caught short on cash, a revolving succession of local and national blues acts will perform free from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Boulder's Central Park, Broadway and Arapahoe. Food, drink and a catch-all bazaar complete the afternoon revelry; for more information call 637-8937.

You're putting me on: Color and texture in clothing enter whole new realms at the fourth annual Wearable Art Extravaganza, opening today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Art of Craft, 1736 Wazee St. Works include handpainted silks, elegant patchwork and lush woven fabrics fashioned into kimonos, drapey dresses, scarves and neckties; the exhibit continues through November 2, although attending tonight's reception will allow you an opportunity to peruse other fresh shows at some of Art of Craft's fellow LoDo district galleries. Call 292-5564.

Friday
September 19
Make your moves: The French Revolution might have been avoided if Marie Antoinette had instead said, "Let them dance." The Boulder Dance Alliance, a loose league of area choreographers and their troupes, will aspire to that egalitarian if capricious wish this weekend, when it presents Dance Is for Every Body, a joyful fusion of performance, demonstrations, ethnic dance classes and plain old partying designed to draw attention to the college town's proliferation of dance events. The celebration leaps off the ground tonight at 7 at Boulder's new Space for Dance, relocated in the Steel Building at 2696 30th St., where a grand opening party will include an art exhibit and a formal fundraising dance; admission is $25 in advance ($35 at the door, or $8 to $10 for the party only). A free showcase event at which you can get to know the local companies takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Boulder Public Library, 1000 Canyon Blvd. And from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, you're invited to participate in an entire day of half-hour dance classes back at the Space for Dance, all for one nominal fee. Give dance a chance: To purchase tickets for Friday's gala or Sunday's classes call the Boulder Theater box office, 786-7030.

All in the family: How many Armenians does it take to move an entire audience to tears? According to playwright Leslie Ayvazian, it takes about Nine Armenians--three generations' worth, to be exact. The first visiting production in the Denver Center Theatre Company's national exchange program brings a company from the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. to Denver to perform in Ayvazian's exploration of Armenian heritage and hard times. The play opens tonight at 8 at the Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; shows continue daily except Sunday, through October 11. Tickets range from $27 to $33; call 893-4100.

Rockin' bones: From the tip of his flashy blonde flattop to his pointy-toed leather boots, rockabilly original Ronnie Dawson is absolutely the real thing, straddling country and straight-out blues with rootsy savoir-faire. Dawson will raise the energy level--and possibly the dead--during a rare Denver appearance tonight and tomorrow at the 9th Avenue West, a hotsy-totsy new swing palace at 99 W. 9th Ave. For more information call 455-8408.

Saturday
September 20
From dust to dust: Ma Nature's bounty comes of age this time of year, making it a good time to take to the road. Oenophiles can make the most of the state's fledgling Western Slope vintners during the Colorado Mountain WineFest, an annual event that combines fall scenery and Indian summer weather with the tasting of local wines. Early risers can pedal between vineyards during an 8 a.m. bike ride, while loafers can wait until 11 a.m. to attend a day-long Festival in the Park, which will continue until 6 p.m. in Palisade Park, thirteen miles east of Grand Junction. Amateur wine judging, live entertainment, arts and crafts and a grape-stomping contest round out the day; gate admission ranges from $5 to $12. The fest wraps up tomorrow with a seminar and luncheon (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., $30) and an afternoon of winery open houses. Call 970-256-4656.

If you'd rather motor to flatter climes but still long for a hot old time, try the Pueblo Chile and Frijole Festival, an earthy annual fiesta dedicated to the typically southwestern crops of capsicums and beans. Pungent green chile smoke will hang tantalizingly over the festival grounds in downtown Pueblo as the celebrated peppers roast, setting the mood for two days of events, including cooking competitions, a jalapeno eating contest, a Silly Chili Kid Fest and an old-style Mexican mercado. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow (admission is free); call 719-542-1704 for details.

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