Cinderella's glass slipper resurfaces as a black boot in one offering, and in another, the tiny-footed fairy-tale heroine joins Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Goldilocks and other make-believe gals in a therapy group. The collection of seven short films that make up LunaFest 2004 are nothing if not eclectic, but they all have one thing in common: The touring one-night screenings sponsored by Luna Bar are all about the multifaceted concerns of women, blasting stereotypes and creatively rethinking everything from ladies' underthings to murderous maids. See this year's batch tonight at 8 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder ($8; call 303-786-7030 or go to www.bouldertheater.com), or tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the REI Flagship Store, 416 Platte Street in Denver ($5 to $7; call 303-756-3100 or go to www.rei.com). Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund; for more information, go to www.lunabar.com/lunafest.
Friday, November 5
Yet another female point of view -- this one from the far left -- springs up anew when Vox Feminista, a long-lived Boulder-based group self-described as a "radical tribe of women performers," celebrates its sixteenth swashbuckling year with Pirate the Possible: The Empire Walks the Plank, an all-new multimedia performance with a piratical theme. This season's target? "Culture jamming" -- Vox's term for the revolutionary act of turning the societal tide, politically, before it's too late. The troupe performs tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, returning for additional shows on December 4 and 11; between Denver performances, they'll pillage the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder (November 12, 13, 19 and 20). Admission to either venue is $10 to $20 at the door, on a sliding-scale basis; for details, log on to www.voxfeminista.org.
Saturday, November 6
In its second year, the ambitious Colorado Art Expo appears to have scaled down a bit, with a move from the cavernous Colorado Convention Center to the more modest confines of Tamarac Square, 7777 East Hampden Avenue, but the intent is still the same: to showcase the state's diverse multitude of contemporary artists, galleries and museums. That aim should be fulfilled by this year's version, aided both by the more intimate locale and by a stronger focus on the exhibiting artists themselves. The fest features seminars and artist demonstrations, as well as performances provided by the Swallow Hill Music Association; it's also a rare opportunity to pick up affordable art. Take it all in today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for just $5 ($4 in advance at any Tamarac Square merchant); partial proceeds from the admission price benefit Metro Denver Partners and Swallow Hill. Call 303-388-2137 or visit www.coloradoartexpo.com for more.
It's time someone decided to celebrate the cup o' joe, which has risen over the past few decades from lowly diner mainstay (with a side of Boston cream pie) to a multimillion-dollar industry kept afloat by gourmet brews and blends, fancy add-ins and that commuters' lifeline, the ubiquitous latte. In an effort to publicize local coffeehouses and otherwise give its constituents a proper buzz, the City of Aurora hosts today's inaugural Aurora Coffee Fest, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fletcher Plaza, 9898 East Colfax Avenue. Live performers, steaming java and vendors of everything coffee-related, from books to biscotti, will be available at the giant outdoor cafe. Admission is free, but after that, you're on your own. Call 303-326-8617.
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities had a winner on its hands with Pinocchio, the musical adaptation directed by local wonder woman Pam Clifton that just ended its SRO fall run at the center. More than a few folks had to be turned away; it was so good, in fact, that the production will now move to the larger, ritzier environs of the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, for a two-week run. Kids ages three and up will delight in Arvada's well-tooled theatrical retelling while enjoying a real, grown-up theater experience in the ornate Paramount. Showtimes are 10 a.m. and noon daily except Sundays and Mondays, today through November 20. For tickets, $7 to $8, call 720-898-7200 or log on to www.arvadacenter.org.
Sunday, November 7
Now that October ghouls can rest safely in their graves again, it's time for a whole new set of spooks to raise their ugly heads. Like it or not, Halloween -- not Thanksgiving -- marks the true beginning of the holiday shopping season. But it doesn't have to be a chore, nor does it have to signal a mass celebration of year-end greed. You can have your shopping and do good, too, at the annual Alternative Gift Market hosted by Park Hill Congregational Church, 2600 Leyden Street. Here you can pick up everything from a Women's Bean Project gift basket to a Heifer Project contribution, which can be donated as a gift to a loved one, in his or her name. There will also be handcrafted items culled from around the world by organizations committed to human development. The market opens today from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and continues on November 10, 13 and 14; for information and hours, call 303-322-9122 or go to www.phccucc.org. And in Arvada, wares supporting international artisans will be available today at the Third World Jubilee gift sale, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community, 7400 West 80th Avenue. For details, call 303-422-9173.
Monday, November 8
Catch 'em while you can: Who knows what young phenom will blow your horn during tonight's Lamont Ensemble Concert Series Jazz Night? The big-band extravaganza features three University of Denver musical groups -- the University Jazz Ensemble, the Lamont Jazz Ensemble and the Lamont Jazz Orchestra -- trading eights on the tony stage of Gates Concert Hall in the Newman Center for Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. The free concert begins at 7 p.m; call 303-871-7720 or log on to www.du.edu/lamont.
Tuesday, November 9
Respected Colorado mystery author Stephanie Kane brings back her recurring character, dyslexic trial lawyer Jackie Flowers, in a new courtroom thriller titled Seeds of Doubt, which finds Flowers defending a woman paroled after serving thirty years for the murder of a playmate and now suspected in a new child-murder case. As expected, things aren't necessarily as they seem. Get a sneak peek when Kane reads from and signs copies of her novel tonight at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 East First Avenue. For information, call 303-322-7727 or visit www.tatteredcover.com.
Wednesday, November 10
Few people can speak on the subject of integrity more forcefully than Lynn Brewer, the former Enron exec whose book, House of Cards, tells of her insider experiences at the corrupt corporation -- and who left there after her attempts to alert her supervisors and the U.S. government to corporate wrongdoing failed. Brewer is a perfect choice to provide the keynote address for CU-Boulder's Integrity Week events hosted by the university's student-run Honor Code Council to increase awareness of academic integrity. Perhaps it's just a fancy way of saying you know the difference between right and wrong, but a little integrity never hurt anyone: Hear the dynamic Brewer speak tonight at 7:30 p.m. on campus, in the Cristol Chemistry Building, room 140. Admission is free; for details, call 303-735-0990 or go to www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode/.