It's free and the kids will love it--national performing artists Magical Music Express kick off this summer's Concerts at the Crescent series tonight at 7 at the DTC amphitheater, 8350 E. Crescent Pkwy., Greenwood Village, a pretty spot near Fiddler's Green that's picnic- and family-friendly. Musical acts for all tastes appear there throughout the season; for more information, log on to www.skylineusa.com/CONCERTS.html.
His detective-fiction fans have been champing at the bit, waiting for the next installment of the Elvis Cole saga, but it should prove well worth the wait. Rumor has it that when author Robert Crais's L.A. Requiem, the latest Cole adventure, hits bookstore shelves, it will be hailed as his best ever. This one pits the wisecracking Angeleno P.I. against the LAPD in a caper that focuses on Pike, Cole's mysterious and forbidding sidekick. The uncompromising Crais reads some passages tonight at 7 at the Rue Morgue Mystery Bookshop, 946 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-443-8346; he also appears on June 17 at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 303-322-7727.
Lights, action, champagne! The Opera Pops Picnic Without Ants, a benefit for the Central City Opera, has a little bit of each--it's part season preview, part charity auction, part sing-along favorites and fully enjoyable from start to finish. The bash, which takes place at the Marriott City Center, 1701 California St., begins with cocktails at 5, followed by a box supper at 6 and opera highlights at 7. Tickets are available at a $30 or $60 level; for information and reservations, call 303-292-6700.