The ongoing El Centro Su Teatro Visiting Artist Series brings in a little Puerto Rican spice from the Big Apple this weekend when it presents El Apagón/The Blackout, a comedy with live music performed by New York's Pregones Theater Company. Based on the short story "The Night We Became People Again," by José Luis Gonz´lez, the play takes place during the infamous New York City blackout of 1965 (topical again in light of last summer's lights-out rerun); the curtain will rise at 8:05 p.m. nightly, today through Saturday, at 4725 High Street. Tickets are $10 to $13; call 303-296-0219 or log on to www.suteatro.org.
Friday, November 14
Thanks for the memories: The long-lived Denver improv theater group Comedy Helper will serve up some pre-holiday laughs by roasting a number of topics, from Star Wars to the NRA, in the comedy revue Basted! Basted!, tonight only at 8 p.m. at the Zang Brewing Co., 2301 7th Street (off I-25 at 23rd Avenue). The folks at Comedy Helper also note that they might sharpen some of the material in tonight's show for their scheduled appearance at the Chicago SketchFest in January; tickets for an opportunity to sit in the testing ground are $10, with an additional one-drink minimum. For reservations, call 303-299-4662. More seasonal laughs are being cooked up at the Bovine Metropolis Theater, where the resident ACME Comedy Players sock it to current events and holiday hoopla in Thanksgiving in Allen's Park, playing at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through November 29 at the theater, 1527 Champa Street. Admission is $15; call 303-758-4722 or log on to www.bovinemetropolis.com for reservations.
Saturday, November 15
Never has there been more excitement in Colorado over a mountain of myopic factoids than at the annual CU Trivia Bowl, where pop-culture know-it-alls converge each year to go head-to-head in Boulder. An old tradition on the CU campus, this year's quiz bowl (also a regional qualification tournament for national competition T.R.A.S.H., aka Testing Recall About Strange Happenings) will weed out the less-versed teams today during round-robin qualifying matches from noon to 10 p.m. at the University Memorial Center; tomorrow's finals will be held from noon to 6 p.m. in the Coors Events Center. Spectating is free, but you can't yell out the answers. Call 303-520-0200 for information.
Denver's glittery literati will turn out tonight for the Booklover's Ball 2003, a benefit for the Denver Public Library's teen and children's collections. This year's Black & White & Read All Over theme showcases an exhibit of photographs and memorabilia from local philanthropic galas through history, on view in the central library's level-one Schlessman Hall through November 17. The ball, which takes place at the library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, will add another affair to that historic roll call beginning at 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $125 to $175; for reservations, call 720-865-2051.
For a benefit of a different color, there's An Evening With Baxter Black, hosted tonight at the Teikyo Loretto Heights Theater, 3001 South Federal Boulevard, by the American Zang Foundation. Black will lend his laid-back poetry and folksy humor and pontifications to the foundation's pet cause -- the Westside Track Club, an organization for young cross-country athletes from Denver's Baker and Rishel middle schools and West High School -- beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $35; a VIP package with dinner, overnight accommodations and a reception and breakfast with Black is also available for $300 per couple. Call 303-837-0872 or log on to www.americanzang.com for details.
Sunday, November 16
Tony Hillerman fans will be glued to the tube tonight when PBS premieres the second American Mystery! Special based on the author's enormously popular best-selling series of Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee mysteries. The Navajo Reservation cops (portrayed by actors Wes Studi and Adam Beach) team up again to solve a conundrum of a murder drenched in Navajo spiritual lore and a bit of Western history in Coyote Waits, which also stars Carradine brother Keith as a grizzled trading-post proprietor and Graham Greene as a greasy Native American spiritual revivalist. The program airs tonight at 8 p.m. on KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
Meanwhile, Nick and Helen Forster's noble public-radio program, E-Town, a homespun mixture of environmental spin and musical performances, hosts its annual fundraising concert at CU-Boulder's Macky Auditorium tonight at 6 p.m. As usual, some of E-Town's favorite musical guests will grace the benefit's stage; this year's eclectic cross-section of past performers includes bluegrass/acoustic-music virtuosos Sam Bush and David Grisman, modern jazz diva Cassandra Wilson and energetic Celtic fiddler Natalie MacMaster. Wow! For tickets, $25 to $28, call 303-786-7030; for information, call 303-443-8696 or log on to www.etown.org.
Monday, November 17
Where can a girl just be a girl? For starters, there's the GO Girls Club, an empowering league for girls ages eleven to sixteen that meets from 6 to 8 p.m. every Monday at Moorhead Recreation Center, 2390 Havana Street in Aurora. The whole place is handed over for the weekly evening of girls-only pastimes, which include volunteer work, arts and crafts projects, life skills workshops, family nights and other activities that the kids plan themselves; tonight, interested girls and their families are invited to learn more about the program at a free open house during regular club hours, with games, contests and more. Girls who attend regularly pay a $3 monthly fee; call 303-366-1718 for information.
Tuesday, November 18
Take it easy! Just because that touchy-feely Initiative 101 bit the dust, it doesn't mean you can't try a few relaxation techniques on your own: Make your peace at the Auraria campus De-Stress Fest, a free event that includes everything from depression screenings to biofeedback drumming demonstrations, today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Tivoli Turnhalle, 900 Auraria Parkway. Get a chair massage, sniff some healing aromas or twist yourself into various yoga positions; details are available at www.mscd.edu/student/resources/health/healthymoves.
Wednesday, November 19
The Walden Family Playhouse will pull out all the mushy, button-pushing stops for this year's holiday season; after all, it's doubtful there's a more heartwarming story on the planet than Johanna Spyri's Heidi, goats and all. But isn't that just the way it's supposed to be? The musical production, with a cast led by popular Denver actor Mark Devine (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and his twelve-year-old daughter, Ashley (she plays the title character), opens today and continues through January 4 at Walden, 14500 West Colfax Avenue, at Colorado Mills in Lakewood; for tickets, $14 to $16, and showtimes, call 303-590-1475 or log on to www.waldenfamilyplayhouse.com.