This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, April 7A treasury of films both new and old from the Spanish-speaking world will be offered up to the public over the next four days during El Centro Su Teatro's Xicanindie FilmFest 7, a well-rounded international showcase that just keeps getting better every year. Fest spokesman and local artist/filmmaker Daniel Salazar is especially enthusiastic about this year's classic film series, featuring six flicks by twentieth-century Mexican master Fernando de Fuentes. The showcase includes what are probably his finest works, Vamonos Con Pancho Villa, a dark look at the Mexican Revolution told through the eyes of six doomed Villa followers, and All´ en el Rancho Grande, a folkloric tale laden with traditional music and dance that Salazar calls "the Mexican equivalent of Oklahoma!" In between tonight's opening-night screening (Voces Inocentes, a coming-of-age drama) and Sunday's last hurrah (Eugenio Polgovsky's Tropic of Cancer), film-goers can catch actress Miriam Colon's Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony (in conjunction with a Saturday-night screening of The Blue Diner, by Natatcha Estebañez), hobnob at a reception at the Museo de las Américas, party the night away at a community pachanga at Aztec Sol and enjoy lots of great films. Admission is $6 to $8 for individual screenings, or $30 for a festival pass that includes any four films and all receptions. Screenings are at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway, 303-820-3456; for a complete schedule, go to www.suteatro.org.

Friday, April 8Animal instinct takes over the runway at the Mutts & Models Celebrity Canine Fashion Show, a glitzy annual event that has local celebs sashaying with their favorite pets to raise funds for the Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital (psst: the list includes Fox 31's stylish Best of Denver-winning mutt Dylan with his flowing golden locks). This year's theme, "Petropolis," suggests a futuristic look (at least as envisioned in the 1920s), and tony hostesses Martha Kelce, Holly Kylberg and Leigh Sullivan promise a good time to go with the good deed being done. Mutts and Models will turn Rise, 1909 Blake Street, into a doghouse, beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m.; for tickets, call 303-830-TIXS or 303-722-2100, ext. 321.

Saturday, April 9A collection of the best high school basketball players from across our fair state will gather today at the Pepsi Center for the Show V, Colorado's own teen all-star games, hosted by the Denver Nuggets and featuring forty athletes and four coaches chosen by a panel of regional sports-media folks. B-ball lovers can make a day of it: The female hoopsters play at 3:30 p.m., the guys go on at 9:30, and sandwiched between 'em, the Nuggets take on Seattle during big-league play. A ticket package ranging from $12 to $25 includes the NBA game; for reservations, call 303-405-1212.

What better place to rub up against a Turkish Van than at Springtime in the Rockies, the Foot of the Rockies Cat Club's annual cat show, returning this weekend to the Holiday Inn DIA, 15500 East 40th Avenue, at I-70 and Chambers Road? All the exotic breeds will be there, along with a well-groomed crowd of pampered housecats, and vendor booths selling cat-related merchandise and gifts. There will even be a klatch of sweet, adoptable kitties from the Cat Care Society; peruse it all as the snooty felines compete for ribbons from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $3 to $6 at the door (or $15 for a family of three or more); for details, log on to www.frcconline.org.

Sunday, April 10Folks who read know that before the Lord of the Rings trilogy came along, there was The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien's setup story about how old Bilbo Baggins came upon that ring in the first place. It's still the obvious literary introduction for kids ready to fall into Tolkien's magical grasp, and also the perfect subject for a Stories on Stage dramatic reading session designed expressly for children. Hence the Hobbit-A-Thon, staged readings from The Hobbit with Denver Center Theatre Company actors Jamie Horton, Randy Moore and Keith Hatten doing the honors. Recommended for kids ages eight to thirteen, the readings start at 1 p.m. today at the Stage Theatre, Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex, 14th and Curtis streets. Tickets are $12; call 303-494-0523 or visit www.storiesonstage.org.

Monday, April 11"Lucy! Oh, Luuu-cy! I'm home!" Even Ricky Ricardo would do a double take when Boulderite Joan Hemm assumes her Lucille Ball-like character for A Tour Through the '50s With Lucy, beginning today at 1 p.m. The historical program, which includes a tea, is hosted by the Hiwan Homestead Museum, 4208 South Timbervale Drive in Evergreen. As Lucy, Hemm entertainingly covers the Cold War, early television, rock and roll and other significant bits of the mid-century American experience. Admission is $12 to $15; call 303-674-6262 for reservations.

Tuesday, April 12The separate yet intertwined lives of three generations of Irish sisters provide the basis for The Crimson Thread, by Mary Hanes, a drama with an all-female cast that's planted in historical bedrock and steeped in the immigrant experience. First produced for National Public Radio's "The Play's the Thing" series, Thread makes its regional premiere tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard; performances continue daily except Mondays through May 8. Admission ranges from $32 to $42; to reserve tickets, call 720-898-7200 or visit www.arvadacenter.org.

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