Here's your chance to take a gander at DU's highly touted, newfangled Gates Concert Hall: The Lamont School of Music's Opera Theater Department will break the place in with a four-day production of Franz Lehár's operetta The Merry Widow, beginning tonight at 7:30 and concluding with a 2:30 matinee Sunday. Yuk it up with the husband-free gal for $10 to $25; to reserve tickets, call 303-871-2336. Gates Hall is located in the spanking-new Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue; for information, call the Lamont Concert Line at 303-871-6412 or log on to www.du.edu/lamont.
The trend in small-scale independent theater seems to be veering toward finding ways to increase community involvement. Among the most effective, so far, are the proliferation of play readings and workshop productions that invite participation through feedback. Su Teatro jumps on the play-in-progress bandwagon this month by presenting The Sun That You Are/El Sol Que Tú Eres, a work by ST guiding light Tony Garcia that's based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, with an Aztec twist. Sun, a longtime Garcia project in collaboration with his musician friend Daniel Valdez, will tentatively premiere in October, but you can see the rougher version now, nightly at 8:05, today through Saturday, at El Centro Su Teatro, 4725 High Street. Tickets are $10 to $13; call 302-296-0219 or log on to www. suteatro.org.
Friday, May 23
The enterprising young lads and lassies in the Denver School of the Arts Theatre Department have been nominated and selected to perform at the American High School Festival of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. To raise funds for the trip, they're putting on a production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. During the intermission, they'll try, try again with a benefit auction featuring Denver voice-over celebrities Maggie Roswell (The Simpsons) and Hal Rayle (who's distinguished himself vocally as Toucan Sam and Miss Piggy, among others). Silent bidding begins at 6:30 tonight in the Seawell Ballroom of the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex,14th and Curtis streets, followed by the performance and live auction at 8; admission is $25. Call 303-300-8906.
Saturday, May 24
Memorial Day Parade. The annual tribute to our fallen takes place, with the usual marching bands and units, floats, vintage vehicles and general hoopla, beginning at 10 this morning in downtown Denver. After wending its way from 15th Street and Court Place to the State Capitol, the parade dissipates. But the festivities march on: The Veterans Memorial Fair 2003, featuring all manner of military-related entertainment and displays, continues from 11 to 2 at Colorado Veterans Monument Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue. For information, log on to www.memorialfairandparade.com.
It's a common complaint in this day and age: Technology keeps passing us by, and everyday consumers are left with a stockpile of obsolete computers and electronic equipment that used to fit in a closet someplace but now threatens to bury us all alive. Well, we know that Dell makes and sells a lot of computers, but give 'em a little credit: The computer empire is atoning for its progressive sins and coming to our collective rescue with the Dell/Recycling Tour, a fifteen-city recycling event at which folks can drop off their old motherboards and modems for donation to local charities that can still use them. Pack up your car and head for Parking Lot A at Invesco Field at Mile High; for information and a list of acceptable items to donate, log on to dell.com/recyclingtour.
The annual Memorial Day weekend Boulder Creek Festival began life as a smaller-scale community cleanup project sixteen years ago, but it's grown into a People's Fair-style extravaganza, with the grassroots eco-conscience left intact. This year's event, a sprawling affair with lots of live entertainment, arts and crafts, booths and speakers, starts this morning at 10 and barely stops before 7 p.m. Monday in Boulder's Central Park, Broadway and Canyon Boulevard. The free event, open to visitors of all ages and dispositions, culminates on Monday with a rubber-duck race on the creek to benefit the Boulder Parks and Recreation EXPAND Program; for more information, call 303-449-3825 or log on to www. bouldercreekfestival.com.
Sunday, May 25
It's not too late to experience the vibe of Cinco de Mayo once again. Explore culture today through live music, arts and crafts, a kids' carnival and more, at the free Fiesta de Mayo, from noon to 7 p.m. at Invesco Field at Mile High. Call 303-722-5150 or log on to www.denvergov.org/special_events for details.
At Boulder's rustic Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, the summer concert season gets off to its traditional start with a family-friendly performance of Eastern European music and dance by the Tamburitzans, a renowned troupe from Duquesne University, where one of the world's largest collections of folk artifacts and resource materials resides. The colorfully costumed and exuberant group whirls on stage tonight at 6:30; for tickets, $13 to $18, call 303-440-7666 or log on to www.chautauqua.com.
Monday, May 26
The all-volunteer Denver Concert Band kicks off its time-honored open-air concert season (the DCB's been tooting its horns for over forty years) with a free program of Memorial Day fare this afternoon at 4 at Columbine Knolls Park, 6191 West Plymouth Drive, Littleton. The band, which varies its repertoire with everything from marches and show tunes to children's favorites, will then set off on a series of summer shows, including a few at the newly renovated Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre. For the lowdown on the showdowns, call 303-83-MUSIC or log on to www.denverconcertband.org.
Tuesday, May 27
Take a hike: Mall-walking is a sport in which everyone with two working feet can indulge. And if you've been lax about toning up this spring so you can squeeze yourself into a swimsuit by Memorial Day, you've run out of time: Join the Mills Milers, a walking group sponsored by St. Anthony Hospital, as it power-walks through Colorado Mills mall, 14500 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood, from 8 to 10 this morning. For information, call 303-777-6877.
Wednesday, May 28
If you're one of the lucky ones who are still on vacation, how about a gallery hop? It's a grand opportunity to beat the reception crowds and poseurs and really see the art. A few worthy destinations: At Carson-Masuoka Gallery, 760 Santa Fe Drive, see Barbara Shark's Consider the Meal, mixed-media photorealist works dealing with table manners, and Models, featuring sculptural works by Tsehai Johnson and Mia Fetterman-Mulvey, through June 13. Call 303-573-8585. Judish Fine Arts, 3011 Vallejo Street, celebrates its fifth anniversary with an exhibit of works by Michael Chavez, John Clark, Norman Epp and Clay Magidson, through June 14. Call 303-571-5556. And Judy Pfaff's show at Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, is one of those not-to-be-missed events in the local gallery world; you'll have your chance through June 14. Call 303-298-7788.