It's a fundraiser that makes it so easy to give, you'll hardly know you're doing it. Here's the deal: All you have to do is go out to eat. Nearly 100 metro-area restaurants will participate in today's Dining Out for Life event by donating 25 percent of the day's receipts to Project Angel Heart, an organization that provides meals on wheels to people living with HIV/AIDS. On your end, the variety is endless--you can go ethnic, toney, laid-back or dressed to the nines; for information and maps, call 303-830-0202 or log on to www.denver.sidewalk.com/diningout.
Spring has sprung at the Mizel Museum of Judaica, where the galleries will come alive with colorful quilts and fiber art. The works of a regional group calling itself Quilt Explorations celebrates a Jewish holiday set aside for tree-planting and enjoyment of the fruits of the earth in The New Year of the Trees: Tu B'Shvat, an exhibit that also explores the contemporary outer reaches of quiltmaking, an art changed in modern times by the inclusion of hand-painting, photography and other mixed media alongside more traditional stitchery. Another facet of fiber is explored in Torches: Art Tapestries, an exhibit of symbolic tapestries by Czech artist Iva Vodrazkova, who learned as a teen that she was Jewish and had lost numerous family members in the Holocaust. Vodrazkova's Cycle of Blind Prints, a series of linocut reliefs based on stories of the Kabbalah, will also be shown. All three shows open with a reception tonight at 7 and continue through May 11; the museum is at 560 S. Monaco Pkwy. Call 303-333-4156.
The Denver Center Theatre Company pulls out all the stops for Shakespeare when its production of The Tempest, featuring a pair of National Theatre Conservatory students as Miranda and Ferdinand, DCTC veteran and former Royal Shakespearean Tony Church as Prospero and a large cast of other company stalwarts, opens today at 6:30 for previews. Sporting all the earmarks of a winner, right down to an imaginative Pavel Dobrusky set and sumptuous costuming by Andrew Yelusich, The Tempest continues daily except Sunday through April 17 at the Space Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets. Admission to previews, which continue through Wednesday, is $23 to $26; regular tickets range from $28 to $34. For reservations call 303-893-4100.
Ah, if walls could talk. The Swallow Hill Music Hall Grand Opening and 20th Birthday Party pays tribute to an acoustic-music landmark in Denver, which recently moved to roomier digs, making it one of the largest folk-oriented venues in the country. Now boasting two concert theaters and a ballroom as well as expanded music-school space offering instruction to students of all ages, interests and abilities, Swallow Hill is ready to celebrate its good fortune--and ours. Tonight at 8, folk legend U. Utah Phillips drops by to entertain; some of Swallow Hill's handpicked own--Carla Sciaky, Harry Tuft and Mary Flower--make merry at the same time tomorrow. Swallow Hill is located at 71 E. Yale Ave. at Broadway; concert tickets are $12-$14 nightly ($20-$25 for both nights). Call 303-777-1003.
It's an all-around good thing when the Colorado Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art opens its International Women's Day Exhibit, which features works donated for auction to benefit SafeHouse Denver, with a preview party from 7 to 10 tonight at Edge Gallery, 3658 Navajo St. Silent bidding continues through a closing celebration on March 26, when final bids will be taken, also from 7 to 10 p.m. You'll already be seeing a variety of works and artists, but this is a good opportunity to see what the folks at Edge are doing, too; also opening tonight is an Edge Associate Members Show, which continues through March 28. Edge is open Friday evenings and weekends from 1 to 5 p.m.; call 303-477-7173.
Kids just wanna have fun, and there'll be more than enough of that commodity at the All About Kids Expo, a huge wonderland of fun stuff--including climbing walls, laser tag, pony rides, computer displays, a life-sized dinosaur and more--that's open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow at Currigan Hall, 1324 Champa St. The weekend's highlight, however, is the inclusion of Nickelodeon's Game Lab, with live shows and goofy games. Expo admission is $6 for adults, with two children admitted free per paying adult; additional children $3).
Any tribute to the music of jazz bassist/bandleader Charles Mingus is bound to be a complicated, rootsy and celebratory affair--much like Mingus himself. That's how it'll be when the seventeen-piece Creative Music Works Orchestra performs a selection of Mingus's music, from "Better Git It in Your Soul" to "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," tonight at 7:30 at the Houston Fine Arts Center, 7111 Montview Blvd.; tickets are $12 at the door. For details call 303-759-1797.
Feeling lucky? Hightail it on down to McCormick's Fish House and Bar for the annual Runnin' of the Green, an annual St. Patrick's Day 7K run and walk (and time-honored runners' tradition in Denver) that benefits programs of the Volunteers of America. Four separate wave categories--wheelchair participants, runners, race and fitness walkers, and "elite" runners--leave 17th and Wazee streets beginning at 10:15 a.m.; after everyone's wound their way through LoDo and the Central Platte Valley, it's back to the starting spot for a block party. Entry fees range from $18 to $25 (advance registration available at Runner's Roost stores); for information, call 303-322-9342 or log on to www.bkbltd.com.