Just Be Sharp!

Lewis Black and Dave Attell set out across America

 THURS, 10/9

Lewis Black and Dave Attell seem about as hard to contact these days as folks on North Carolina's Outer Banks. Still, even in the middle of a fifty-plus-city tour, Attell manages to find time to expound on the joys of hitting the road for Comedy Central Live Starring Lewis Black and Dave Attell. "Are you kidding me? If anything, it's less work" than going solo, Attell says of the pairing. "Touring by yourself, you play two, sometimes three times a night. Here I do one set and I'm ready to hit the bars!" The only drawback, Attell points out, is that "now I'm sharing the stage with some high-caliber people instead of performing after insert shit comic here."

Indeed. The caustic Black has been labeled "America's foremost commentator on everything" and "the best moron-bashing comedian of all time." A regular on The Conan O'Brien Show, Black was the winner of the American Comedy Awards' 2001 Best Male Stand-Up honor. He's probably best known for his "Back in Black" segment on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, a venue that allows him to display his loose-cannon, bile-spewing social and political comedy.

Dave Attell takes it easy on tour with Lewis Black.
Dave Attell takes it easy on tour with Lewis Black.
The cast of Blue/Orange grapple with views on 
sanity.
The cast of Blue/Orange grapple with views on sanity.
Rob Ullman
Rob Ullman

Not that Attell is any slouch. Notorious for his hit Comedy Central series, Insomniac, a travelogue of after-hours experiences around the globe, the seasoned comedic veteran has plenty of film and television appearances under his belt. And he's familiar with Denver: Attell recorded his first live stand-up-comedy CD, Skanks for the Memories, last November at the Comedy Works in Larimer Square. "Denver is a good drinking town," he recalls. Though no new CD or Insomniac episodes are planned, Attell is hoping to encounter a surge in comedy groupies here. "All I get is the same guys driving from one show to another to see me," Attell laments. "There haven't been any girls outside the theater with 'Dave' painted across their chests, waiting to flash me."

With or without flashy fans, Black and Attell make an interesting duo. Attell notes that the only common thread between their material is that "we both say 'fuck' a lot," yet anyone familiar with their work knows that there's something oddly perfect about their performing together. Black's malcontent outrage at the sheer insanity of the world complements Attell's twisted-Everyman musings. They'll be stitched together tonight in a tailor-made stage show starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson Street. Tickets are $35 to $40 and are available at the Fillmore box office or www.cc.com. Call 303-837-0360.

And ladies? You might want to start painting your chests -- just to show that you care. -- Adam Cayton-Holland

Blue/Orange weighs race and sanity
THURS, 10/9

Playwright Joe Penhall's highly acclaimed dramatic comedy Blue/Orange tells of a struggle between two white psychiatrists and their black patient, who might be schizophrenic. The Denver Center Theatre Company opens the show's local run with a preview at 8 p.m. tonight at the Stage Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets. "It's funny and really raises some important questions," says director Anthony Powell of the play. "This one messes the audience up, in a sense. It challenges you to look at your own views about race."

The action takes place in a mental hospital in London, where a large number of black people are diagnosed with schizophrenia. The production explores the issue of whether the doctors' findings are based on Western cultural criteria or scientific thought.

"It doesn't answer questions; it raises them -- about race and sanity and how we view them in the world," says Powell. "How do we define sanity in the first place, and to what extent does race become a factor in diagnosis?"

The ambiguous title isn't a reference to the Broncos, but rather a surrealist love poem by Paul Eluard that reads: "The earth is blue like an orange." (The patient says he sees oranges as blue.)

Performances continue through November 15; for details, call 303-893-4100 or visit www.denvercenter.org. -- DeNesha Tellis

Ivy League
SAT, 10/11

The century-old Fairmount Cemetery, the final resting place of many of Denver's celebrated citizens, including the Boettchers and the Bonfilses, is as well-known for its vegetation as it is for its long-term residents. Several varieties of roses and a number of great old trees give the well-manicured cemetery a foresty feel. Nestled among it all is the quaint Ivy Chapel. "It's extraordinarily beautiful," says Peter Szilagyi, chairman of the steering committee of FaithAction, a division of Historic Denver that helps to preserve churches and sacred places.

FaithAction will host a 4 p.m. concert today inside the intimate chapel. The musical program will include works by Vivaldi, Bach, Vierne and Mozart, performed by voice soloist Cyrissa Robertson and organist Richard Robertson. Szilagyi suggests taking a walking tour of the cemetery, 430 South Quebec Street, beforehand.

A donation of $5 is requested to help fund Faith-Action's projects, which have helped maintain several Denver buildings and the community services associated with them. For more information, call 303-534-5288. -- Jonelle Wilkinson Seitz

Phony Phun
Fraudulent Fake Fair spoofs psychics
SAT, 10/11

When it comes to things metaphysical, either you're a believer or you're not; there's rarely any middle ground. If you fall into the latter category, you probably won't be offended by the interactive fun being poked during local artist/performer Lisa Wagner's Fraudulent Fake Fair, a spoof of those psychic fairs where you pay ten bucks to have your chakras unleashed and your aura analyzed. Feeling blue? Green? Purple or puce? Walk into the Other Side, 1644 Platte Street, tonight at 8 p.m., and you can have your own true aura replicated by aliens; you'll also be treated to two hours of psychotic readings, third-eye makeovers, fish-healing ceremonies and the like, along with impromptu performances, including one featuring members of the Dirty Laundry Dance Company in bathing caps and white dresses. And Wagner, who conceived the event after creating her own digital-photography line of fake products, thinks her fair will be worth the $5 admission price. "It's like nothing you've ever experienced before, and you may leave feeling even worse than when you came in," she promises. Now -- or in the future. For information, call 720-273-1408. -- Susan Froyd

 
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