The first step toward a successful career might be lookin' good, but it don't mean a thing without presentation skills to bring. That's the message of the My Career Day suit sale and job-readiness day, an annual event hosted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, 360 Acoma Street. For only $10, women job-seekers will have an opportunity to peruse racks of inexpensive, gently used business clothing and take part in mock interviews, resumé workshops and critiques, career counseling and more. To ensure that no one is left out, scholarships are available. Reservations are recommended (and clothing donations are always appreciated from those already employed); call 303-539-5600 or visit www.mycareerday.com for information. Proceeds benefit Mi Casa programs.
When you walk through the front doors of Sandra Renteria's Indigena Gallery, you're passing through a work of art by Haitian artist Turgo Bastien, whose mysterious, contemporary vodou folk-art figures grace the facade of the building; they were a gift to Renteria, who is a friend of the artist. Beginning tonight, you'll also find a treasury of Bastien's works inside when the solo exhibition Masque opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Bastien will be in the house (and again during tomorrow night's First Friday event, from 7 to 11 p.m.), adding to the festive mood; the show continues through May 29. Indigena Gallery is at 4320 Tennyson Street; call 303-618-2268 or go to www.indigenagallery.com.
Friday, May 6
All the world, or at least the complex, will be a stage once again when the annual Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival delights locals with a fanciful day of student performances on eleven stages at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. More than 3,000 metro-area schoolkids participate in the event each year. They first march through downtown streets in costume for the Festival Rout (Elizabethan for parade), which leaves 16th and Arapahoe streets at 10 a.m. for the DPAC Galleria, then break into groups to either perform non-stop from 10:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. or compete in a Challenge Bowl at 1:30 p.m. at the "Old Globe Theatre" stage. You'll never see cuter Hamlets anywhere; admission is free, as are everyone's spirits.
As is often the way for even the best Celtic bands, the lineup of Scotland's Old Blind Dogs has undergone the musical-chairs thing over the years, leaving extraordinary fiddler/founder Jonny Hardie as the only remaining original member. It matters not: The band -- whose unique sound was christened "Caledonian groovery" by The Scotsman newspaper -- is a keeper, mixing deep roots with a modern sensibility. It's time to do a jig, then: Denverites will be treated to a live show by the boys tonight at 8 p.m. at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue. For tickets, $17 to $20, call 303-322-2308 or log on to www.nipp.com; for more information, call 303-777-0502.
Saturday, May 7
Denver's huge Cinco de Mayo celebration, traditionally the first big outdoor festival of the season in these parts, has grown into one of the nation's largest events commemorating the 1862 victory of the tiny Mexican army over the French in the legendary Battle of Puebla. It exposes all of our city to an important cultural component of Denver's large Hispanic community. But mostly, the annual two-day fiesta at Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, is a place to partake of Latin-flavored good times augmented by a variety of live music on several stages, miles of arts-and-crafts and ethnic-food vendors, lowrider car and bike shows, carnival rides and more. Join the party from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and tomorrow; admission is free. Call 303-534-8342 or go to www.newsed.org.
Enter the Newman Center's Gates Hall tonight at 7:30 p.m. and you'll know you've climbed to the top: When Brazilian jazz vocalist Luciana Souza sings, a lifetime of immersion in music will fly through her facile lips in a smooth blend of jazz, poetry, art and the sublime. It really doesn't get any better than this. Souza, the daughter of Brazilian bossa nova-era musicians Walter "Waltinho" Santos and Teresa Souza, grew up in a scene visited regularly by the likes of Antonio Jobim, Jo„o Gilberto and Milton Nascimento, and began to sing before she could walk. She makes it all look and sound so easy. She'll bring with her a monster quartet -- master guitarist Romero Lubambo, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Clarence Penn -- when she performs at the Newman Center, 2344 East Iliff Avenue; for tickets, $25 to $40, call 303-830-TIXS or log on to www.du.edu/newmancenter.
Sunday, May 8
Partake in a serious lesson on peacemaking (or the lack of it) tonight when local grassroots organization VoterCrew hosts Promises in Conflict: Israel/Palestine Since 1897, a free public role-play/workshop in which participants reenact the last hundred years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while portraying assigned roles, including such figures as Yasir Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Mahmoud Abbas and others in a long lineage of public figures, as well as lesser-known Palestinian rappers, suicide bombers and more. To make it just a little more interesting, members of the Buntport Theatre ensemble will share in the play-acting. Join the fracas tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at P.S. 1 Charter School, 1062 Delaware Street. Reservations are recommended; call 720-273-4270, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and write "I want to register" in the subject line.
Monday, May 9
High camp will rule the night when the Theatre Group presents queer Texan Del Shores's Sordid Lives -- a play based on the 2000 movie starring Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia and Delta Burke -- during a rare actors' benefit performance tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Theatre on Broadway, 13 South Broadway. Shores, a writer for Showtime's Queer as Folk, delivers a raucous truth-is-stranger-than-fiction comedy about an eccentric white-trash family gathering for the matriarch's funeral. Regular shows continue Fridays, Saturdays and selected Thursdays through June 18. For tickets, $20 (or two-for-one on Thursdays), call 303-777-3292 or go to www.theatregroup.org.
Tuesday, May 10
Be glad: Albuquerque indie-rock band the Shins will shower the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson Street, with shiny, jangly, hook-heavy, slightly strange guitar pop tonight, led by talented songwriter, guitarist and frontman James Mercer, whose turn with a melody is matched only by his skill with words. New Zealand bubble-gummers the Brunettes open the show at 7:30 p.m.; for tickets, $18.50 to $20 call 303-830-TIXS or visit www.fillmoreauditorium.com.
Wedesday, May 11
It's no mistake that retro rocker Lenny Kravitz calls his current tour "Electric Church." Nobody in the modern-rock arena approaches his repertoire with more high-energy reverence for stair-stepping roots -- and besides, the guy looks like some kind of god, with or without the requisite guitar strapped on. Kneel and pray! Nikka Costa opens for Kravitz tonight at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson Street; admission ranges from $45 to $48. Call 303-830-TIXS or go to www.fillmoreauditorium.com.