If you're one of those insensitive types who thinks feeding the area's hungry is a laughing matter, tonight you could actually be right. The Comedy Works is hosting another evening in its month-long Dennison's Chili Stand-Up Comedy series, with a performance by Showtime favorite Robert Schimmel. Bring a can of Dennison's Stand-Up Chili (named for its ability to support a fork) and you'll get half off the admission price, while the Food Bank of the Rockies gets the canned food. The Bronx-born Schimmel is touring in support of his new release, If You Buy This CD, I Can Buy This Car, so the humor should be especially toothsome. The Comedy Works is located at 1226 15th St.; to make reservations, call 303-595-3637. Admission with chili is $6.
Santa Fe painter Joe Ramiro Garcia is nationally known for his brash and colorful paintings, which weave together elements of contemporary craft with the more primitive aesthetics of his native Southwest. Tonight from 5 to 8, he opens an eight-week show of his latest work at the Sophia Georg Gallery, 265 Detroit St. Admission is free and includes wine and hors d'oeuvres; call 303-329-3150.
"I'm not an animal": Joseph Merrick's declaration of these words made for one of the more heartbreaking moments in the stirring David Lynch film Elephant Man. Tonight and Saturday, the Red Rocks Community Theater presents its version of Merrick's life story, written by Bernard Pomerance. Tickets are $6-$8; the shows begin at 7:30 each night and take place at the Red Rocks Community College main building, lower level, at 13300 W. 6th Ave., Lakewood. Call 303-914-6458 for reservations.
If mega-budget blockbusters from Hollywood make you ill, the Denver Underground Film Festival could be your celluloid cure. Tonight through Sunday, the Bug Theater hosts this second annual event, which features more than fifty indie films and shorts from the U.S. and around the globe. Most of these flicks time out in the five- to fifteen-minute range and cover an underworld of out-of-the-mainstream topics and themes; for buffs of edgy cinema, this event will surely be a walk on the wild side. Films run from 7 to midnight on Friday, 5 to midnight on Saturday, and 5 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 for students and Bug members, $7 for the general public. The Bug hides out at 3654 Navajo St.; call 303-477-5977 for more info.
A rising star on the Boston blues scene for a few years now, Susan Tedeschi is gaining red-hot status around the U.S. as well. Her current platter, Just Won't Burn, features a slew of up-tempo blues and azure-hued rockers that showcase her songwriting skills and gritty guitar work. But while her appealing Stratocaster work recalls Freddie King and Magic Sam, her best weapon is a smooth shouter's voice that recalls a youthful Bonnie Raitt. Tedeschi hits the stage tonight at the Fox Theater, 1135 13th St., Boulder; doors open at 8. Tickets for the show are being given away on the air by KBCO-FM/97.3; they're also available at the Fox box office with a donation of one canned-food item. Call 303-444-5600.
Granted, for most of us, the syrupy strains of "Song Sung Blue" and "Cracklin Rosie" are proof that much of the music of the Seventies was downright dreadful. But if Neil Diamond meant more to you than the Sex Pistols, Super Diamond is your brand of anarchy. Tonight this nostalgic tribute to Diamond and his gems hits the Fox for a night of campy (we hope) fun. The show starts at 10:30; tickets are $12.75 at the door. Flares and polyester shirts are not required.
It's safe to say that no one at the Denver Art Museum has been honored for sleeping on the job. But that's what the DAM does today as it marks the sixteenth year of slumber for its most famous snoozing resident, Linda, the real-as-life statue by Denver resident John DeAndrea. To honor Linda's sleepy achievement, the museum is throwing a "Sweet Sixteen" bash, and you're invited. Attendees will get a chance to meet the living, breathing inspiration for the piece while enjoying slices of a cake replica of the statue, which will be on display through January 3. The party runs from 10 a.m. to noon, and admission is free. The DAM is at 100 W. 14th St., Denver. Call 303-640-4433 for more info.
For conspiracy types in need of Christmas cheer, the Impulse Theater is hosting a play you won't want to miss. In Search of Saint Nick is a ninety-minute spoof centering on Santa, a sleigh crash in New Mexico, an anti-government elf and a psychotic Salvation Army bell-ringer. True believers will enjoy the outcome of this little stocking stuffer, written by Impulse troupe member Dave Shirley. Now in its twelfth season, the Impulse Theater holds the crowd at 1634 18th St., on the lower floor of the Wynkoop. Admission is $14; make reservations at 303-297-2111.
Forget about Dollywood and the Grand Ol' Opry. Right here in our own little state, a number of Rocky Mountain belles are delivering their own take on torchy C&W. Tonight four of them host Ladies of Colorado Country Music, giving locals a look at the state's finest crooners. Lois Lane, Heidi Osborne, Greta Smith and Debbie Rohr will perform at this heartfelt event, sponsored by the Pro Country Music Hall of Fame. The hoedown takes place at the Victory Grange, at 2045 Tower Rd. in Arvada, from 7 to 10:30. Tickets are $7; for details, call 303-365-9387.