Thursday, February 26An outgrowth of the Colorado Ballet's private annual Patron Performance, tonight's special Dance Celebration gives the public a one-time opportunity to view rarely seen works. Members of the company will show off a little and stretch their range for a night, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place; general-admission tickets start at $20 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tomorrow the troupe will be back on its toes for the weekend's final performances of Rodeo/Rubies/A Little Love. For information and reservations, call 303-830-TIXS or log on to www.coloradoballet.com.
Friday, February 27Bet you didn't know that thousands of snow geese (lesser snow geese, to be precise) migrate through southeastern Colorado in late winter and early spring each year on their way back to the arctic tundra, where they graze on grasses and sedges all summer. Take a gander at these and other interesting facts during the city of Lamar's second annual High Plains Snow Goose Festival. The day-long celebration comprises a gaggle of educational activities and hikes, a nature arts-and-crafts fair, a luncheon and more, including sunrise and sunset viewing tours to see the snow-white travelers in the field. Registration takes place tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. at Lamar's Cow Palace Inn, 1301 North Main Street, where lodging is also available; honkfest activities begin tomorrow at 5 a.m. For information, call 1-719-336-4379 or log on to www.lamarchamber.com/goose.
A controversial figure who broke ground in her field while withstanding criticism for the stereotypical roles she took, Oscar Award-winning black actress Hattie McDaniel reached her pinnacle as the inspirational Mammy in Gone With the Wind. But few folks know that she grew up in Denver, where she started in vaudeville before eventually making her way to Hollywood. Now McDaniel's life is getting the musical treatment -- in Hi-Hat Hattie!, a one-woman show by Larry Parr that opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 East Colfax Avenue. Local actor/songstress Sheryl Renee sizzles in the title role; catch her Fridays through Sundays, through March 28. For tickets, $15 to $20, call 303-361-2910.
Saturday, February 28The Longmont Museum and Cultural Center heads into spring like a lion with Surf the Wind, an interactive exhibit on kites that opens today for a two-month run. Featuring 22 colorful kites from around the world, as well as hands-on computer-modeling and kite-building stations, kite videos and a "wall of wind" kite-testing area, the exhibit is a family-friendly call to cast your fate to the wind. So go fly a kite at the museum, 400 Quail Road, Longmont, through May 30; additional activities include a "Kites of the World" lecture with artist George Peters on March 17, a children's kite workshop on April 18, and a family Kite-Fly Day on April 24 in Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue. For details, call 303-651-8374 or log on to www.ci.longmont.co.us/museum.
The family's also invited to the weekend's two big Buffalo Bill's Birthdaycelebrations, annual paeans to Buffalo Bill Cody, the beloved Wild West showman buried on Lookout Mountain. Today at Denver's oldest restaurant, the Buckhorn Exchange (1000 Osage Street), a roster of events to rival Cody's own extravaganza kicks off at 11 a.m.: Along with a buffalo lunch menu, visitors will be treated to stagecoach rides, live music by cowboy crooners Roz Brown and Bill Barwick, and special appearances by Buddy the yak, BJ the longhorn steer and various Old West characters. And don't forget the costume contests: Kids in Western gear compete at 1 p.m., while Buffalo Bill and Wild Western wannabes duel at 6 p.m.; afterward, festivities for grownups go on into the night. Most Buckhorn events are free, but reservations are recommended if you'd like to dine inside; call 303-534-9505. Tomorrow the fun moves up to the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum in Golden, with free museum admission, Buffalo Bill look-alikes, kids' games and crafts, a buffalo-chip toss, and free cake and ice cream from noon to 3 p.m. The museum is at 987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road; be sure to check out the well-heeled cowboy-boot exhibit while you're there. Call 303-526-0744 or log on to www.buffalobill.org.
Sunday, February 29Wonder women and super men are invited to apply, but so is everyone else: The Bolder Fitness Challenge, sponsored by the folks who bring you the Bolder Boulder Memorial Day marathon, offers people of all ages and abilities the chance to step up and have their speed, strength and stamina levels counted. Between 9 and 10:30 a.m. at Fairview High School, 1515 Greenbriar Drive in Boulder, adult participants will compete in seven fitness trials -- from push-ups and pull-ups to the 100-meter dash and one-mile run -- while kids ages six to seventeen can participate in the five-event President's Challenge. When it's all over and you're huffing and puffing, trophies will be handed out to the top man and woman, and kids will receive special emblems and certificates. Registration fees range from $10 to $25; for advance registration, available through February 26, log on to www.active.com.
Monday, March 1The Columbine tragedy comes back to haunt us in PJ Paparelli's new work columbinus, which blends elements of fact and fiction distilled from student workshops, interviews and actual police-documented conversations in an exploration of issues that led to the shootings. Get a head start on your own opinions when the Curious Theatre Company New Play Development Program hosts a staged reading of the dramatic piece tonight at 7 p.m. at the Acoma Center, 1080 Acoma Street; a catered reception and discussion follow the performance, which is free. For details, call 303-623-0524.
Tuesday, March 2Hop on your donkey and march across Asia with the Visiting Scholar Program of the University of Colorado at Boulder's Department of Art and Art History. This year's theme, Across Cultures: The Silk Road, Past to Present, is the subject of a free public lecture series featuring four invited art historians familiar with the annals of the ancient trade route. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Fine Arts N141, Wu Hung of the University of Chicago will discuss "Contemporaneity in Contemporary Chinese Art." Lectures continue on March 16 and April 13; call 303-735-5314.
Wednesday, March 3In the West African tradition, community members will gather for storytelling, drumming and dancing this week in Boulder as part of BaoBao Fest 2004. But in the absence of any baobao trees, under which their African counterparts commonly meet, participants will make do with a variety of venues while attending workshops, demonstrations, performances and celebrations. All-stars of the Ghana National Dance Ensemble will join with local performers and teachers for the event, which begins today with a workshop on the CU-Boulder campus and continues tomorrow at Bantaba Dance Studio and New Vista High School in Boulder. The week's efforts will culminate in concerts at the King Center on the Auraria campus (March 5) and at the Flatirons Theater, 1089 13th Street in Boulder (March 6); tickets are $10 to $15. For a complete schedule and registration information, go to www.baobaofest.org.