Thrills for the week

November 20
Songs in the key of Broadway: Nothing gets 'em going like a Broadway standard--something the Colorado Symphony Orchestra learned well during last year's sold-out Broadway showcases. This year the CSO goes whole hog for the Great White Way with an expanded Bravo Broadway Two pops program, which features a talented roster of veterans, including returnees Jan Horvath and Keith Buterbaugh and young Les Miserables phenom Michael Maguire. The show goes on tonight at 7:30 at Boettcher Concert Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; repeat performances take place at the same time and place Friday and Saturday. To reserve tickets, ranging from $10 to $20, call 830-TIXS.

November 21
Days of future pasta: If family, laughter and lotsa spicy meatballs spell holy matrimony in your book, you're invited. Tony & Tina's Wedding, an interactive dinner-theater experience that offers all this and more (singing nuns, a stripper, fireworks, a production number and, since spaghetti's involved, a food fight), is fully predicated on those values, so don't be shy: Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Pl., through the end of January. Admission, which includes chow, is $35; call 860-9360.

On the hoof: Two-steps, waltzes, swing dances and old-fashioned buckle-polishers (that's C&W vernacular for the slow songs) provide fodder for finalists in the western regional Marlboro Country Nights Dance Showdown, tonight at 8:30 at the town's biggest country dance floor, the Grizzly Rose, 5450 N. Valley Hwy. Winners will go on to the last leg of the competition in Arlington, Texas, on December 5, where they'll vie for big bucks and national recognition. And to make spectating worth your while, big-time recording artist Ty Herndon goes on after the dancing, at 10 p.m. Admission to the entire hoedown is just $10. For information, call 295-1330 or 840-8300; to reserve tickets, call 830-TIXS.

November 22
Spread the word: Seeking connections? Tellabration '97, a worldwide storytelling festival in its tenth year, binds people together in the most wonderful way: with stories, told in all languages and drawn from all manner of cultures. At least two story gatherings take place in town this weekend. Tonight at 7:30, members of The Spoken Wheel, a new collective of Front Range yarn-spinners, tell tales at the Washington Park Community Center, 809 S. Washington St. Admission is $7.50; call 604-2890 for reservations. Stories will also be dished out from 3 to 6 tomorrow afternoon at the Metropolitan State College of Denver-sponsored presentation Carriers of the Dream Wheel. The free event takes place on the Auraria campus in Room 261 of the Tivoli Student Center; call 556-3033 for information.

Also in the narrative spirit, and with an emphasis on young audiences, is the Visa Tell Me a Story Performance Tour, a national trek featuring ten favorite storybook characters (Angelina Ballerina, Babar, Curious George, Pippi Longstocking and Lyle the Crocodile among them) along with kid-lit expert Dr. Readwell, who'll educate parents on ways to encourage reading skills. Performances take place today at noon, 2, 4 and 6 at Park Meadows Mall and at 11, 1, 3 and 5 tomorrow at Chapel Hill Mall; admission is free.

Food for comfort: The world is Paula Poundstone's living room, and that's a major part of the top stand-up comedian's appeal: While expounding on subjects from politics to parking, she makes audiences feel right at home. So when Poundstone appears tonight at 8 at the Denver Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, feel free to put your feet up (although, since it's a public place, wearing shoes is recommended) and relax--you can leave the funny business to her. Tickets are $22.50; call 830-TIXS.

Dynamic duo: Perhaps the least remarkable thing about guitarist Ezra Idlet and upright bassist Keith Grimwood is the difference in their height: Although Idlet measures in at 6 feet 9 inches, dwarfing the 5-foot-5-inch Grimwood, the two are remembered more for their humor, talent and eccentric original repertoire. Together the unlikely but long-lived duo make up Trout Fishing in America (they borrowed the title from Richard Brautigan's cult novel of the same name), and you can hear them tonight at 8 at Cameron Church, 1600 S. Pearl St., where they'll put on a show that people of all ages can appreciate. Bring the family--admission is $14 ($12 for Swallow Hill Music Association members); call 1-800-444-SEAT for tickets.

Record collectors might just want to make a day of it on South Pearl--Swallow Hill is also hosting its annual Holiday Music Market today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., where a great assortment of traditional and folk CDs awaits your perusal. Swallow Hill is located at 1905 S. Pearl St.; call 777-1003.

Meter men: Even half of the legendary Meters is better than none, especially when the heartbeat of that New Orleans rhythm-and-blues machine--the influentially funky drummer Ziggy Modeliste--is involved. Put Zigaboo together on a stage with guitarist Leo Nocentelli, whose unique style puts the chunk in the funk and simultaneously establishes a lead melody, and you've got something to dance to--yes, until the cows come home. The twosome's solidly syncopated fare is featured tonight at 9 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; for tickets, $15.75, call 830-TIXS.

November 23
Fine print: Some of the best things come in small packages, which is a good reason to drop by Pirate, a Contemporary Art Oasis, to view William Stockman's Libros, a sweet display of diminutive, postcard-sized works made by a respected local painter who's best known for his monumental canvases. Stockman's wee works remain on display through November 30; Pirate, located at 3659 Navajo St., is open from noon to 5 today. Call 458-6058 for details.

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