This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, October 30Sque-e-e-ak… For old-time radio aficionados, that eerie sound effect, followed by greetings from a creepy-voiced host, needs no introduction: It was the trademark opener for every episode of The Inner Sanctum, the popular '40s mystery program that enjoyed a run of over ten years, from radio's heyday until the dawning of the television era. A parade of stars lent their voices to the show, including Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Peter Lorre, Agnes Moorehead, Frank Sinatra and Orson Welles. Tonight from 7 to 9 p.m., some of those voices will be heard again at Evergreen's Hiwan Homestead Museum, 4208 South Timbervale Drive, during a spooky pre-Halloween evening of original broadcasts and refreshments. Attendance is by reservation only, and a donation is requested; for information, call 303-674-6262.

The hottest -- and possibly most expensive -- ticket in town tonight will admit you to the Pepsi Center, where the reunited super-duo of Simon and Garfunkeltake the stage at 8 p.m. to croon their way through a formidable hit list that stretches all the way from "Sounds of Silence" to "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Because it's the concert tour that was never supposed to happen (pop genius Paul and angel-voiced Art spent much of the last few decades on the outs, until they deigned to sing together again at the 2003 Grammy Awards), it makes sense that the tickets are so dear; they range from $54 to $204 and can be purchased by calling 303-830-TIXS or logging on to www.ticketmaster.com.

Friday, October 31Can your heart take it? While little goblins are tripping through the streets tonight looking for handouts and so-called grownups are decadently masquerading, some more old-fashioned Halloween celebrants will be in church -- the candlelit St. John's Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington Street, that is. But they may jump out of their seats at the first strain of spooky music during Halloween at the Cathedral, a musical featuring Dr. Joseph Galema in a haunting workout on the somber St. John's Kimball 100-rank organ. The, er, fun begins at 7:30 p.m.; admission is $12 to $14 at the door. Call 303-831-7115.

Seeking more good, clean Halloween diversion? For optimum partying, Boulder jamgrass favorite Leftover Salmon heads tonight's Halloween Grassquerade double bill at 7 p.m. at the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson Street. The great Del McCoury Band -- perhaps the most stellar and roots-perfect traditional ensemble in bluegrass today -- will be sandwiched between Leftover's acoustic and electric sets. A costume ball is included in the admission price; to purchase tickets, $27.50 to $30, call 303-830-TIXS.

Saturday, November 1Guys will be guys, and because there's no way around it, there's the Gears, Games & Gadgets Expo, a veritable testosterone-level-lifting jam that takes over the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, this weekend. Subtitled "For Big Boys & Their Toys," the expo includes an overload of Harleys, full-sized jets, rock climbing, skate parks, sports collectibles, beef-jerky vendors, electronics, mile-wide TV screens, golf gear and, oh, so much more (like the beer garden, natch); drop by from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is free; for details, log on to www.g3denver.com.

Today, while the guys are drooling over their guy paraphernalia, some lucky gals can pick up one-of-a-kind bargains at the Silver City Prop Sale. That's where items purchased to decorate sets during Denver-area filming by director John Sayles and crew -- lovely lamps, dishy draperies and lots of other stuff -- will sell for half the buying price. Browse the booty, from thrift-store finds to office supplies, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Silver City warehouse, 900 South Jason Street, just west of Santa Fe Drive (follow the signs).

Both kids and the kid-like will be tickled by today's Douglas County Libraries Fantasy Fest. The Halloweenish evening, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. tonight at Lone Tree Library, 8827 Lone Tree Parkway, will include all manner of sci-fi and fantasy entertainment, beginning with a themed costume contest for alien wannabes, mini-orcs, Potterphiles and the like, in a variety of age divisions. But that's just the edge of the universe at this event: There will also be authors appearing in person, Hobbitreadings, Hogwarts games and crafts, telescopes to view the stars, a 3-D slide show, refreshments and more. Call 303-799-4446 or log on to www.douglascountylibraries.org.

Sunday, November 2It'll be a regular ballroom bash, times four, during the annual Battle of the Big Bands, an evening of swing music in two ballrooms. The featured quartet of local bands is led, respectively, by Stephen Paul, Gordon Dooley, Dean Bushnell and Joe Peterson. Kick up your heels from 4 to 8 p.m. at the El Jebel Shrine Auditorium, 4625 West 50th Avenue; tickets are $15 and benefit Laradon Hall, an organization that provides services to people with disabilities. Call 303-296-2400.

Monday, November 3Cable-television viewers have a chance to get a graphic, unorthodox look behind the personality who dreamed up such best-selling crime novels as L.A. Confidentialand American Tabloid, when Showtime airs James Ellroy's Feast of Death. An unconventional documentary by Vikram Jayanti, the film portrays a novelist driven by his own obsession with unsolved homicides, including the notorious 1947 Black Dahlia case and that of his own mother, who was murdered when Ellroy was ten. The program, which incorporates crime-scene photos into the storytelling form, premieres tonight at 11 p.m.; check listings to catch reruns on November 11, 20 or 30.

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