For the best combination of beats and bands in town, hip-hop over to the Universal Lending Pavilion (next to the Pepsi Center) for the two-day Sprite Liquid Mix Tour, a music festival mixing all sorts of grooves and roots on stage. Headliners N.E.R.D. (the live subsidiary of the famed Neptunes hip-hop production team), the Roots, rapper Talib Kweli and others will be joined by reggae-inflected frat band O.A.R. tonight and Latino fusionists Ozomatli tomorrow, setting the table for a pair of totally tribal evenings. Shows begin at 4 p.m. daily; for tickets, $10-$35, call 303-830-TIXS.
Friday, August 15
Bring in the old and bring in the new! The reborn Avenue Theater picks up right where it left off, albeit in a new location, by resurrecting its long-running hit, A.R. Gurney's Sylvia, for an open-ended run. The original Avenue cast, including funny folks John Ashton, Bill Berry, Pam Clifton and Amie MacKenzie, retrieves the story of a man and his dog tonight at 7:30 p.m.; performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays. The all-new Avenue Theater is at 417 East 17th Avenue. Admission ranges from $18 to $22; for reservations, call 303-321-5925. Meanwhile, the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street, plays host this weekend to the Upheaval Dome Project, an imaginative crew that spent half the summer camped out near Moab, developing a script with an environmental message: The Blind Watchmaker combines a real-time story with puppet-and-mask theater segments representing the natural world. Performances are at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow only, and tickets are $8 to $10; call 303-477-9984 or log on to www.bugtheatre.com.
World dances and rhythms make sparks on two area stages tonight. At the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th Street, the renowned West-African dance and drumming troupe Les Merveilles de Guinée, in town this weekend for a three-day intensive workshop, gives a rare live performance at 8 p.m.; for tickets, $20, call 303-786-7030 or log on to www.bouldertheater.com. And local flamenco guitarist René Heredia provides the foot-stomping musical backdrop for Gypsy Chicks, a Flamenco Fantasy Dance Theatre presentation featuring gypsy dancers from Spain, Argentina, Japan, Russia and the United States that runs through the weekend at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. today and tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday; for tickets, $10 to $20, call 303-987-7875 or log on to www.lakewood.org.
Saturday, August 16
Works by over 130 artists in all media are the main draw of the Golden Fine Arts Festival, but the annual juried outdoor event has a lot more to offer. Free horse-drawn carriage rides, a Kids' Art Zone area, live entertainment, artist demonstrations and food vendors will line 11th Street in downtown Golden. Concurrently, the nearby Clear Creek History Park, 1020 11th Street, will host its participatory 19th Century Exposition: Trades, Crafts and Arts, with free admission to the park. Attend the festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow; for details, call 303-279-3113 or log on to www.ingolden.com.
The Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, has quietly cordoned off the area across 13th Avenue earmarked for Daniel Libeskind's new Frederick C. Hamilton Building, and construction has begun. To celebrate (and perhaps to really let the public know what's going down), the DAM will host ST ART Building this weekend, with free museum admission, presentations on the building to be, and family activities, including Hands on the DAM, a community construction-fence-decoration project. Free ice cream sandwiches and water will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, too. Come on down from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today or tomorrow; call 720-865-5000 for details, or log on to www.denverartmuseum.org.
Sunday, August 17
Nerds, unite: Weird Al Yankovic, the undisputedly nerdy king of music satire, brings down the pocket-protected house at the Universal Lending Pavilion. The Grammy Award-winning humorist pokes fun at idols from every reach of the pop-music pantheon beginning at 6:30 p.m. tonight; for tickets, $25 to $35, call 303-830-TIXS. And if you're a nerd with a Six Flags Elitch Gardens season pass, you're in luck: Show up at the amusement park today and you can pick up free Yankovic tickets (while they last), beginning at noon. Yow! For details, log on to www.sixflags.com/parks/elitchgardens. And for more about Al, go to www.weirdal.com.
Monday, August 18
Get ready to rumba: It's not much of a stretch to imagine yourself in Havana in the 1950s when ¡Cubanismo! gets on the stage, but the fifteen-piece Cuban supergroup led by trumpeter Jesús Alemañy takes its trademark mixture of searing-hot son-based rhythms right into the present, without missing a beat (that's the clave, folks, if you're Cuban...or a jazz musician). The ensemble, which includes Irakere flutist Orlando "Maracas" Valle, saxophonist Yosvany Terry, bassist Carlos del Puerto, tres player Pancho Amat, timbalero Emilio del Monte and celebrated conga players "Tata" Güines and Roberto Vizcaino, performs tonight at 7 p.m. at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder (tomorrow night's show at the Denver Botanic Gardens is sold out); seats are $28 each, but don't expect to spend too much time actually sitting in yours. Call 303-440-7666 or log on to www.chautauqua.com.