How can you not be curious about an ancient civilization whose idea of a decent microbrew process was to grind up corn and boiling water, pop some in the gob for a good chew, then spit it into the recipe to help the fermentation along? That's a trick worthy of Survivor. To learn more, visit Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas, opening today at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and running through May 9. It's the largest exhibition on the Incas ever assembled in the United States; it also explores the origins, builders and uses of this famous archaeological site in Peru. Many of the area's artifacts were unearthed in 1911 by Yale professor Hiram Bingham III.
"It's one of the biggest cultural shows we'll put on this year," says museum spokeswoman Julia Taylor. Although it's aimed at the whole family, she says the display is especially cool for kids. "They can walk into huts, build pyramids, see mannequins and dioramas, and learn about the Inca calendar and they way they told time." They can also get a taste of archaeology at the Dig Site -- with its cloud forest, friendly llamas and mock ruins -- as they look for artifacts and clues into the Incas' way of life. Admission to the show is $9 for adults, $6 for juniors three to thirteen and seniors 65 and over; the fee includes access to the museum. For hours, and information on activities (some require reservations), call the museum at 303-370-6319 or visit www.dmns.org/machupicchu/. -- Hart Van Denburg
Classic Western CSO lassos the family-friendly Cowboy Jamboree SUN, 2/15
The National Western Stock Show is over, but you can stay in tune with the horsey set at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's Cowboy Jamboree, today at 2:30 p.m. at Boettcher Concert Hall. CSO associate conductor Adam Flatt will lead the gig, and Denver actor Frank Oden, who has written and performed the CSO's Halloween specials for the past five years, will narrate. Oden lends wit and charm to the production, about a young Yankee heading west, with his original poems "Go West," "String Bean," "Barn Dance" and "The Yellow Kid."
Along with the CSO, the show will feature the Denver Young Artists Orchestra. The two groups will perform such Western classics as "Ghost Riders in the Sky," the overture from John Williams's The Cowboys, and Aaron Copland's "Four Dance Episodes," from the ballet Rodeo.