Developers who've made financial investments and volunteers who've put lots of sweat and emotional equity into the Uptown neighborhood are again showing off the fruits of their labor at the Eleventh Annual Uptown Sampler, from 5 to 9 this evening. A $16 button buys food and drink samples at a veritable world tour of restaurants between Broadway and York St. and Colfax and 23rd avenues, including Taj Mahal, Port Melbourne, Cafe Berlin and the Streets of London Pub. But the evening is not just about eating: The tour (you can walk or, if you prefer, take a double-decker bus) also includes historic buildings, art galleries, bed-and-breakfasts and other shops in the neighborhood. Buttons are available at King Soopers and at the restaurants on the day of the event; for information call 303-575-1007.
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra welcomes new composer-in-residence Libby Larsen tonight at 7:30 with a run-through of her monumental piece Deep Summer Music, a show-stopper incorporating orchestra, dancers, vocal and choral touches and theatrics galore. But Larsen's fabulous work is only icing on the cake; the rest of the program, titled Pictures, Pathos and Puccini, includes operatic works by Verdi, Mussorgsky and Puccini, the voice of Ukrainian soprano Oksana Krovytska, and CSO maestra Marin Alsop brandishing the baton. The program repeats tomorrow night at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Boettcher Concert Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; for tickets, $12 to $46, call 303-830-TIXS.
Chances are you've never heard of Jeff Krulik. But the Washington, D.C., indie filmmaker, who'll be screening some of his wacky documentaries tonight at the Bluebird Theater, is something of an underground sensation. He first came to cult prominence in 1986 with the release of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, a canny foray through the scene outside a Judas Priest concert that he filmed with partner John Heyn. He's since committed to reel such gems as Mr. Blassie Goes to Washington, in which former pro wrestler Freddie Blassie hits town with an entourage of strippers; Ernest Borgnine on Tour, a travelogue with the earthy character actor; and Neil Diamond Parking Lot, another concert-venue doc with a different point of view. See Krulik and films tonight at 8 and 10 at the Bluebird, 3317 E. Colfax Ave.; admission is $7. Call 303-322-2308 or log on to http://idbdnet.com/krulik for more info.
Once a year, the folks at the Bug Performance & Media Art Center pass the hat among friends, hoping for some much-needed handouts. But they make it worth your while. At the Bug Spare Change Open House, running tonight from 7 to 10, you'll be treated to a plethora of arts and entertainment, including live local music, a selection of short experimental films and a preview of the new Bug Theatre Company's production of I Hate Hamlet. Neighboring galleries will join in the fun by hosting concurrent openings. The Bug is at 3654 Navajo St.; call 303-477-5977.
There has never been a quartet of moptops quite like the originals, and nearly anyone who can remember the Beatles' electric Ed Sullivan Show debut in America will gladly attest to it. A milestone in popular history of the '60s, the performance was the first exposure to England's Fab Four for many a fledgling teenybopper. Now The Beatles: Historic Images, 1962-1967, an exhibit of early photographs by Dezo Hoffman that opens tonight at the Walnut Street Gallery in Fort Collins, brings back memories of the Beatles as they were then: young, bright, and surprisingly well-groomed symbols of innocence long since lost. Talk about reliving your childhood. A reception takes place from 7 to 9 at the rock 'n' roll image emporium, 217 Linden St.; the show continues through October 25. Call 1-970-221-2383 or 1-800-562-3387.
Where except in the deepest bowels of Hollywood does one get to preview and discuss screen-hits-to-be before they're released? Talk Cinema, a program previously launched by former Film Comment magazine editor Harlan Jacobsen at venues in New York, Chicago, Washington and Philadelphia, now comes to Denver audiences with local film critic Howie Movshovitz as host. There are seven films in the series, which begins this morning at 10 at the Mayan Theater, 110 Broadway, and continues through December 12. Viewers arrive for each installment not knowing what film they're about to see, and each screening/discussion will also be attended by a guest critic. Past showings have included The English Patient, L.A. Confidential, The Crying Game and other future box-office boffos. Series subscriptions are $99; for information call 1-800-551-9221.
The Swallow Hill Music Hall welcomes a sweet double bill to its brand-new digs tonight. Richard Buckner, a Bay Area songwriter by way of Fresno who sounds about as Austin as they come, heads the bill, bringing an ironic, guttural voice to the Swallow Hill stage. That voice is a perfect match for his songs, angst-laden heartbreakers that, with an unexpected grace, always stop at the edge of going overboard. Local banjo player and slide guitarist Tony Furtado, a virtuosic gent who's not afraid to blur the edges between his two instruments, provides the counterpoint when he opens the show at 8. Swallow Hill is at 71 E. Yale Ave.; for tickets, $11 to $13, call 303-777-1003.
House tours have a way of making the wanna-haves drool, but here's a residential safari with a nobler mission: Today's annual Park Hill Home Tour focuses on the home-improvement angle by providing trekkers with notable renovation and remodeling ideas. Aside from that, though, it is always fun to trudge through someone else's house, and to that end, seven homes in the area between Fairfax and Hudson streets and 16th Ave. and Montview Blvd. will be open for perusal today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, a street fair with local artisans, food vendors and entertainment will be under way at 19th and Montview during the same hours. Tour ticket prices range from $4 to $10; for details, call Greater Park Hill Community, Inc., at 303-388-0918.
So you think you're funny. Well, nobody's gonna know if it's true or not unless you take it to the streets. The U.S. Comedy Arts Open is a contest just for wiseguys or -gals hoping to make it to the prestigious U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. All you have to do to enter is make a reservation, show up and make 'em laugh hysterically for two minutes. It couldn't hurt: Nationally known comics such as Ray Romano, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and Anthony Clark got started the same way. More than 100 comics are expected to compete before judges during the day; the top ten picks return for finals at 8 p.m., which are open to the public. It all takes place at the Comedy Works, 1226 15th St.; evening admission is $5. For reservations and information call the Comedy Works at 303-595-3637 or the USCAF Talent Line, 1-323-468-4269.
Wherever it goes, the mind-body percussion crew Stomp leaves a lasting impression. Audiences lucky enough to have caught the ensemble here in the spring of 1997 won't forget its pounding, choreographed symphony of brooms, Zippo lighters, hub caps and trash-can lids anytime soon. But those who missed that performance now have a second chance: Stomp stomps back into town tonight at 8 at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; shows continue daily except Mondays through October 11. You won't believe your eyes or ears, guaranteed. Admission ranges from $19 to $38.50; for showtimes and reservations call 303-893-4100 or 303-830-TIXS.
Classically trained but moved by a spirit that rises above the static pages of written composition, jazz pianist Keiko Matsui has a decidedly light touch on the keys. But that doesn't mean she's not a heavyweight. The gifted musician performs tonight at 8 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder; for tickets, $18.90 and $25.20, call 303-786-7030.