Many new phrases -- Ground Zero, "Let's roll," "axis of evil" -- have entered the American lexicon since terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The latest, "Dixie Chicked," is a term signifying political backlash -- and it's one that rebel comedian Bill Maher can probably identify with.
The past eighteen months have been rough for the once-high-flying host of ABC's late-night show Politically Incorrect. Shortly after 9/11, Maher made the comment on air that it might possibly take more courage to fly into the side of a building than to drop bombs on people from high in the sky. Bam! In one brief moment, he plopped himself right into that boiling vat of celebrity scandal that he loves to pontificate on.
The White House attacked. ABC canned his show.
But that didn't keep Maher down: He's published a book (When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism), landed a new gig at HBO (Real Time With Bill Maher), and is touring the country with his new show, An Evening With Bill Maher-- part civics lecture and part standup-comedy routine.
Chock-Full of Tunes
If you're looking to hear some smooth sounds in a natural setting this summer, head to the historic Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder. Chautauqua's annual summer music series -- this year featuring Shawn Colvin, Joan Armatrading, Randy Newman, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, k.d. lang and many others -- is already in full swing; tonight at 8 p.m., the series welcomes Branford Marsalis with Doug Wamble. "We're really excited about this lineup," says Nini Coleman, program director at Chautauqua. "We've got some really big names coming."
Tickets, $13 to $50, are available by calling 303-440-7666 ($3 discount for Chautauqua members). For a complete concert schedule, visit www.chautauqua.com. -- Julie Dunn
Blues & Bones gets brawny
My, how the Denver Blues & Bones Festival has grown. From its first incarnation, which was out on the streets (literally), it's moved to roomier quarters at Invesco Field. The finger-lickin' end of the festivities -- the sinfully sticky, spice-laden, burnt-edged Mile High BBQ Challenge -- expands each year, and additional new activities include a Colorado Rapids soccer game Saturday, the NBA Rhythm 'n Rims interactive basketball tour and the Red House Tour traveling Jimi Hendrix museum. The fest has gotten big, all right. But the grassroots heart of it -- the music -- still beats within. This year's most intriguing act? It could be Jackie Greene, a big-voiced wisp of a kid from the California gold country who squirms on "new-Dylan" laurels he's not particularly comfortable with. But even if Greene, who performs Sunday, doesn't want to be Dylan, he says he likes Dylan, and that's the tipoff to where's he's coming from: the pantheon of American roots and pop music that stretches through the decades, from Willie Dixon and Hank Williams to Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen. Not what you'd expect from a typical 21-year-old.
Summer dance at Cleo Parker Robinson
Whether you're a professional dancer or someone who has never set foot in a dance studio, the master classes offered by the Cleo Parker Robinson 9th Annual International Summer Dance Institute offer an opportunity for fun, exercise and artistic achievement. Each year, the institute invites nationally and internationally renowned guest teachers to supplement its resident faculty. This time around, Carlos dos Santos Jr., who has choreographed works for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York, the Colorado Ballet and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, among others, teaches modern Brazilian dance. Amaniyea Payne, artistic director of Muntu Dance Theatre in Chicago, teaches a style of West African that meshes African, Caribbean, traditional jazz and theatrical forms. L'Antionette Stines, head of the L'ACADCO company of Jamaica, leads a class that blends modern dance with traditional Jamaican styles. The institute also teaches hip-hop, jazz, Egyptian dance, ballet and varied styles of modern dance.
Several classes are offered each day, starting today and running through June 20, at $15 per class. They are open to anyone ages thirteen and up, and walk-ins are welcome. Sessions are geared toward beginning/intermediate or intermediate/advanced levels, with the more advanced classes during the day and the less advanced ones in the evening. All are held at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance studios, 119 Park Avenue West. Call 303-295-1759 for a complete schedule. -- Jonelle Wilkinson Seitz