Thursday, October 9Author, musician and Jill-of-all-trades Jennie Shortridge has a bit of Denver and the foothills in her past, a fact that comes into play in her new novel, Riding With the Queen, the story of a weary rock singer who forsakes the road to return to the metro area, where the book is set. So even though Shortridge currently resides in Portland, it's not a stretch to say that she'll be making herself right at home tonight at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, where she'll read from the book at 7:30 p.m. Following the reading, Shortridge will move up the street to Common Grounds LoDo, 1601 17th Street, for a musical performance; for information, call 303-436-1070 or www.tatteredcover.com.
Friday, October 10Is there anything sweeter-sounding than a gaggle of mandolins all trickling together like mountain rivulets making their way to a river? Needless to say, mandolin virtuoso Butch Baldassari knew what he was doing when he first formed the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, a changing roster of mostly mandos, known for a repertoire wide enough to include Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Lennon and McCartney's Eleanor Rigby and Bill Monroe's high, lonesome Jack Rabbit Trail, all in one sitting. Tonight, Baldassari will lead a sextet -- four mandolins, guitar and bass -- in concert starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway, Lakewood. For tickets, $20 to $22, call 303-987-7875 or log on to www.lakewood.org.
A big man with a big sense of humor, Sinbad-- who first hit America as a popular, though never victorious, Star Search contestant in the '80s -- chose his namesake for that mythical character's sense of adventure. (Real name: David Adkins.) Combine those elements and you've got a comedy routine that takes chances with real life: The guy is a walking reality show who makes or breaks his own comic vision based on the pitfalls of personal experience. He's also got a big heart, it seems: When Sinbad performs this evening at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1631 Glenarm Place, he'll be doing his shtick to raise funds for KBDI-TV/Channel 12, Denver's "other" public-television station. Ticket prices are $40 to $45; to reserve yours, call 303-830-TIXS or go to www.ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, October 11Last call for the ball: Hey, Cinderella, if you don't get to the Ballpark Markettoday, the corner of 22nd and Larimer streets will turn back into a pumpkin, and you'll be in for a long, cold winter -- one that lacks the serendipity of shopping under the autumn sun and finding, say, a set of salt-and-pepper shakers shaped like a family of robins, or a chenille patchwork baby coat, or an old-fashioned covered cake plate like the one your Aunt Katie had sitting on her linoleum counter in 1962. Don't miss out: The last downtown flea market of the season commences at 8 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m., rain or shine (we don't know about snow). If it doesrain and you forget your umbrella, you can probably find one there. For details, call 303-589-2800 or visit www.ballparkmarket.com.
Spooky yet benign, the annual Halloween Cemetery Toursin Golden have that historic bent, featuring costumed actors as famous ghosts with one foot in Colorado's annals and the other rotting in the grave. This year's guided ninety-minute walking tours, which take place in Golden Cemetery from 3 to 5 p.m. today and again on October 18, feature such local luminaries as engineer Edward Berthoud and newspaper woman Eliza West. A joint fundraiser for Golden's Astor House Museum, 822 12th Street, and the Golden Pioneer Museum, 923 Tenth Street, the tours cost $12 to $15; for reservations, which are required, call 303-278-7151 or 303-278-3557. Log on to www.astorhousemuseum.org or www.goldenpioneermuseum.com for information.
Well! When actor Eddie Carroll hits the stage in Jack Benny: Laughter in Bloom decked out in horn-rimmed glasses, with crossed arms, a squeaky violin and a pained expression, he is Benny incarnate -- which translates into a joy for anyone familiar with the vaudevillian Benny persona and a fortuitous awakening for anyone who's not. Carroll, the honorary mayor of Waukegan, Illinois (Benny's home town), brings his nostalgic one-man show to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, tonight at 7:30 p.m.; for tickets, $28, call 720-898-7200 or visit www.arvadacenter.org.
Sunday, October 12Jazz purists will be streaming through the doors of Boettcher Concert Hall, 14th and Curtis streets, today at 2:30 p.m., when the Colorado Symphony Orchestra presents the poobah of jazz purism, Wynton Marsalis, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Known for pitch-perfect renditions of the compositions of Ellington, Basie, Armstrong, Monk, Mingus and cohorts, as well as bold commissions of works by living jazz musicians, Marsalis and the LCJO are well worth the ticket price, which ranges from $23 to $88. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.coloradosymphony.org.
Monday, October 13Detective-fiction fans are dancing in the streets, Mardi Gras-style, because James Lee Burkeis back with another atmospheric Dave Robicheaux mystery, Last Car to Elysian Fields, right on the tail of the well-received Jolie Blon's Bounce. All of the elements we've come to expect from a Robicheaux romp -- those swampy secrets and dark crannies of human nature bubbling up from the bayou -- are promised in this new thriller; Burke will offer a tease tonight when he reads at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 East First Avenue. Free tickets for a place in line will be handed out beginning at 6:30 p.m.; call 303-322-7727 or log on to www.tatteredcover.com.
Tuesday, October 14While real-life bouldering might not be everyone's cup of tea, you can experience life on the rocks vicariously at a local screening of Pilgrimage, a climbing adventure filmed by Josh Lowell (named the "Quentin Tarantino of Rock Climbing" by Climbing Magazine) amid granite crags and Hindu temples in southern India. Lowell will be on hand for the showing, along with rock-climbing wunderkinds Chris Sharma and Katie Brown, tonight at 7 p.m. at the Flatirons Theater, 1089 13th Street, Boulder; admission, $12 to $14, benefits the Access Fund, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving climbing environments. Call 303-447-2804 or log on to www.bigupproductions.com.
Wednesday, October 15For some loose eaters, the onslaught of fall rings in the season of added poundage: Beginning with the Halloween candy and ending with that pitcher of New Year's martinis, the next few months are fraught with dangerous calorie-snarfing opportunities, more than most of us can realistically deal with. Enter Holiday Bootcamp. The derivative brainchild of the folks who brought you Bridal Bootcamps for wedding-bound women seeking to lose the vestiges of their baby fat, this three-month health and fitness program is designed to keep you slim throughout the holiday season by subjecting you to weekly exercise and support classes, with round-the-clock drill sergeants on call to keep you on track. Sessions begin today and carry participants into the new year. For details, call 303-433-2725. And in the meantime, keep that slinky red number in your closet on hold.