For those wondering what, exactly, summer tastes like, the Chaverim have an answer. Tonight, this new group of young leaders at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 South Dahlia Street, presents A Taste of Summer, offering the community a chance to get outside and celebrate on the JCC's Feiner Terrace. From 7 to 10 p.m., participants can enjoy all the food and drink they can handle while listening to music and chatting with neighbors and friends. Though the mission of the Chaverim is to find and develop the next generation of leaders at the JCC, all in the community are welcome, even those without student council experience. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door; call 303-316-6350. Who knew summer tasted like kosher wine?
Friday, July 9
Led Zeppelin is one of those immortal rock groups that feel as important and relevant today as they did in their heyday. Artists from all genres cite Zep's innovative, blues-infused sound as an influence on their own music, from burned-out college jam bands all the way to unique groups like A Tribe Called Quest. Now we can add to that long list all those poor saps shipped off to band camp. Today at Coors Amphitheater, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard in Englewood, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra performs The Music of Led Zeppelin: A Rock Symphony. The brainchild of guest conductor Brent Havens, who found the group's intricate rhythm patterns perfect for scoring, Zeppelin re-creates some of the band's most popular songs, such as "Stairway to Heaven," "Heartbreaker" and "Immigrant Song." Amplified by a full rock band and singer to reproduce what Led Zeppelin did on its albums, the CSO will expand upon the original vision, giving the music a unique richness and entirely new feel. Somewhere, on some mythic, misty mountain, Zeppelin must be pleased. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show, $10.35-$63.50, are available at 303-830-TIXS, www.hob.com and all Ticketmaster locations.
Saturday, July 10
Remember when the Star Wars movies were cool? When there was Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, and Jar Jar Binks didn't exist, and Billy Dee Williams was the smoothest player in the galaxy? Well, so do the people at Wings Over the Rockies Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard. That's why they've kept an original, full-scale X-Wing Fighter model from the 1977 film, replete with mock R2D2 behind the cockpit, on display at their Lowry hangar for the past five years. But disharmony has come to the quiet museum. The Dark Side, in the form of Lucasfilm, will borrow the Fighter for a promotional tour, leaving a gaping, albeit temporary, hole in the heart of die-hard fans. It won't go without a fight, though. Today and tomorrow, the X-Wing Fighter will be taken over by some forty members of the Mountain Garrison of the Imperial Storm Trooper Legion. The fully costumed storm troopers will protect the ship from an undisclosed number of surprise Star Wars rebels. During that time, costume contests and trivia competitions will take place, and photographs with Darth Vader and uniformed storm troopers will be available. Tickets for the battle, available at the museum on both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., are $4 to $6. For details, visit www.wingsmuseum.org.
And for obsessive-compulsives of the animal variety, Animal Planet offers an opportunity to prove that those thousands of hours spent training your corgi to walk on its hind legs while barking to the tune of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" didn't go to waste after all. Pet Star, the popular animal talent show hosted by Mario Lopez, aka Slater from late-'80s sitcom Saved by the Bell, will hold auditions for all types of multi-faceted animals today in City Park, 17th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. The impressive pets selected will receive a free trip to Los Angeles for themselves and their owners, plus a chance to compete for more than $25,000. That's a lot of treats and miniature tiaras. Pet Star comes to town as part of the Animal Planet Expo, a two-day extravaganza, also at City Park, of animal fun, with wildlife shows, animal-education areas, Frisbee dog exhibitions and demonstrations featuring the station's "emergency vets." To audition for the contest, pet owners must leave a message on the 24-hour hotline at 1-323-463-5040 and show up to the park at 1 p.m. Auditions will be videotaped and may appear on television.
Sunday, July 11
The Colorado Mountain Club will offer a workshop today titled Clear Water: Nature Poems and Haiku, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th Street in Golden. (In the haiku tradition, the phrase "clear water" is used to reference the summer season.) Published poets Penny Harter and Bill Higginson will lead the day-long seminar, which will move from a morning spent exploring themes for poems that reflect the authors' personal experience with nature to an afternoon spent writing and revising final drafts. The fee for the workshop is $45 for non-CMC members. To register, call 303-279-3080, ext. 2.
Monday, July 12
Wanting to go to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival but too embarrassed by your lack of knowledge of the classic plays to attend? Well, fear no more, you ignorant fool: Shakespeare Roundtables are just what the doctor ordered. Each week during the run of the festival, devoted volunteer and retired Shakespearean scholar Dr. Robert Griffin will lead an examination of the play currently being performed. Today's feature is Comedy of Errors, with Antony and Cleopatra up next week. Discussions will be held in the Arapahoe Conference Room of the Boulder Public Library, 1000 Canyon Boulevard, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; they're free and open to the public. Reading the play beforehand is advised.
Tuesday, July 13
Diana Krall is the rarest of jazz musicians. For the past ten years, the Canadian-born singer/acoustic pianist has broken all the rules, successfully achieving mass appeal without sacrificing the firm jazz foundation from which her music is born. Her 1999 album, When I Look Into Your Eyes, garnered two Grammys, including one for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, and was nominated for Album of the Year. Krall brings her unique sound to Coors Amphitheater, 6350 Greenwood Plaza, tonight at 7:30 p.m.
But before taking in all that jazz, why not a bit of a warmup? Southern Wine & Spirits and House of Blues Concerts have teamed up to blend wines and gourmet foods with Krall's music. Libations! An Epicurean Celebration will take place in the amphitheater's Sampson Park prior to the show. The event will feature reserve wines from over thirty wineries -- from Ballentine to Trefethen -- as well as signature dishes from several top Colorado restaurants. Tickets are $125 and include a reserved-seat ticket to the concert (concert-only tix are $31 to $63.50). Log on to www.hob.com to purchase yours.
Wednesday, July 14
Big-band leader Glenn Miller wasn't born in Colorado, but he flirted with the state on several occasions. His family lived here briefly, and the famous musician even put in a short stint at the University of Colorado before moving on to pursue his career in music. Wynne Miller, the late trombonist's niece, was born and raised here. No musical slouch herself, the Broadway, music and television star returns to her home town of Greeley today to pay musical tribute to her uncle in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth. History Alive!, at 7 p.m. at the Centennial Village Museum, 1475 A Street, features the younger Miller, backed by the Board of Directors swing band, performing vocal arrangements of Glenn Miller songs as well as recounting personal memories of her uncle. Food and refreshments are available at the show, and concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating. Tickets are $5 for those ages twelve to 59/$4 for those sixty and up; call 1-970-350-9220 for details.