The ambitious Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver is still in locational purgatory, but that hasn't stopped it from bringing a splashy and thought-provoking exhibition to town for a fall tenure in a temporary space. Altered Worlds: Contemporary Staged Slovak Photography, which explores fantastic worlds caught by a special school of Eastern European lensmen who emphasize the narrative by photographing arranged environments, opens tonight at Sakura Square, 1255 19th St., with a reception from 5 to 9. The show continues through January 9; a $2 admission fee benefits the museum's ongoing efforts to present international works to Denver gallery-goers. Call 303-984-9956.
You could just find yourself a new best friend at the Denver Dumb Friends League Pet Adopt-a-thon, going on today and tomorrow at the DDFL shelter, where as many as 20,000 furry creatures might be dropped off in a year's time. Unfortunately, the adoption rate still doesn't equal that number--hence this weekend's event, featuring extended hours (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.), prizes, refreshments, T-shirts and pet food for all proud new parents of shelter pooches and pusses. Festivities take place at 2080 S. Quebec St.; call 303-671-5212 for details.
It's all in the family for Dr. Meave Leakey, a member by marriage of one of paleo-anthropology's foremost research clans. While Leakey and her antecedents have spent the last seventy years digging up bones in Africa and searching for clues to the development of the human species, she's personally responsible for the 1994 unearthing of a previously undiscovered, four-million-year-old, upright-walking hominid--the oldest such fossil found to date. Leakey brings her tales of life as a scientific detective to town tonight when she speaks at a benefit dinner for the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, a research and educational hub offering regular folks hands-on scholarly archaeological adventures in southwestern Colorado. Meet Leakey tonight beginning at 5:30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Denver, 1750 Welton St.; for tickets, $75, call 1-800-422-8975, ext. 136. For more information about Crow Canyon, log on to www.crowcanyon.org.
Books and old movies go together like arsenic and old lace. No, that's not an oxymoron, it's TC Classic Cinema, an unexpected monthly film series at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St., featuring pleasantly tarnished cinema favorites introduced and discussed by film critic/host Howie Movshovitz. Charles Crichton's 1951 British comedy The Lavender Hill Mob--with tour-de-force, belly-laugh-producing performances by Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway and a host of other very funny people--screens tonight at 7. Admission is free, and reservations are not required; call 303-436-1070 for details.
Bold, modern choreography by Martha Graham helps kick off a brand-new season for the Colorado Ballet tonight, when the premier local troupe presents Contemporary Legends, a three-work program of which Graham's Appalachian Spring is simply the jewel in the crown. The first company other than Graham's licensed to perform the masterwork, the Colorado Ballet takes the stage at 7:30 in the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. The rest of the program, which runs through October 25, is filled in with Alvin Ailey's The River and Choo San Goh's Configurations. For tickets, $15 to $52, call 303-830-TIXS.
Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss--the wild women of Sleater-Kinney--started jabbing at the alternative-rock scene four years ago with such strident songs as "You Ain't It" and "Write Me Back." But they really hit their stride in 1995, with a self-titled album that cranked out less than 25 minutes of what one critic appreciatively calls "microphone kung fu." Sleater-Kinney hits the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, for an all-ages show tonight at 8; for tickets, $7.50, call 303-443-3399 or 303-830-TIXS.
Forget technology. What you need is twelve inches of raw, gritty black wax swirling around a turntable, and we've got just the place for you to find it. Okay, the Denver Record Collectors Fall Expo '98 has CDs, too, but the real gems here are the thousands of hard-to-find LPs, 45s, posters and assorted music collectibles from all of the popular--and possibly not-so-popular--genres. The expo runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Holiday Inn Northglenn, I-25 and 120th Ave.; admission to this wonderland of wax is an easy $2. Call 303-455-8408.
Buzzing from their summer performances at the Vancouver Folk Festival and as finalists at the Napa Valley Festival, as well as their designation by a San Francisco weekly as that town's "Best Band With a Conscience," the members of Rebecca Riots--all teachers by day--decided to quit their steady jobs and hit the road. Made up of three women whose harmonies are as evocative in songs about homelessness as they are transcendent in songs about finding strength wherever you can, the trio pulls into the area for several gigs this week. Following Saturday's 9 p.m. show at Stella's Coffeehouse, 1476 S. Pearl St. in Denver, today's show starts at 4 p.m. at Boulder's Cafe Luna, 2116 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-247-0124. A third show, on October 22, is at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St., 303-294-9258.
The centuries-long existence of slavery in America has perhaps been the country's greatest contradiction, one for which many questions have yet to be answered. Africans in America, a new four-night PBS series, looks for those answers through its in-depth exploration of U.S. slavery's painful evolution, charting its rise, fall and legacies. Rich with personal narratives and interviews, the program begins tonight at 8 and then airs nightly through October 22; tune in locally to KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
Like Greg Sarris (see "Hail to the Chief" on the previous page), Luis Alberto Urrea--born to a Mexican father and Anglo-American mother--has a multicultural makeup that's flavored by its polar qualities. The acclaimed author of Across the Wire and By the Lake of Sleeping Children, two-thirds of a nonfictional trilogy on life along the United States-Mexico border, Urrea now turns inward for Nobody's Son: Notes From an American Life, a haunting memoir about what it's like to grow up straddling cultures. Urrea reads from the book tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 303-322-7727. He'll also appear tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Cultural Legacy Bookstore, 3633 W. 32nd Ave.; call 303-964-9049.
You have to wonder how angst-ridden, goofy-grinning, big-haired Lyle Lovett ever made it in Nashville competing against the likes of Garth Brooks and those other hunky country stars. But if it's because of his exemplary songwriting skills and gentlemanly demeanor, well, maybe country-music fans have some taste after all. Step Inside This House, Lovett's new album of hand-picked songs by his favorite Texas tunesmiths, is now in record stores, ready to be heard by fans of every persuasion. The inimitable Lovett is guaranteed to exude class in spades tonight when he performs at 7 at the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. Admission ranges from $33 to $44; call 303-830-TIXS.
During his short tenure as a visiting artist at CU-Boulder, experimental cinema pioneer Ken Jacobs is being feted with a ten-day on-campus mini-retrospective featuring a kaleidoscopic view of his works, including the dual-projector, stop-motion technique he's dubbed the Nervous System performances. Jacobs guests tonight at 7 at the International Film Series in Muenzinger Auditorium, where he'll introduce some newer works, including Opening of the 19th Century: 1896, The Georgetown Loop and Disorient Express. Jacobs screenings continue at various campus locations through October 26; call 303-492-1531.