When Gypsies Collection maven and Louisiana native Carolyn Fineran rolls out her to-die-for trunk show this weekend, fans of the sumptuous feast of ethnic clothing and handcrafted jewelry won't be the only beneficiaries. Artisans delivered a blow by hurricanes Katrina and Rita will also luck out, since Fineran will earmark a percentage of the proceeds for the Craft Emergency Relief Fund's Gulf Coast efforts. The feel-good event, which features vintage Mexican and contemporary jewelry, jackets from China and Moroccan clothing, kicks off tonight with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at Shaver-Ramsey Oriental Rugs, 2414 East Third Avenue, and continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. For details, call 303-320-0474 or 303-320-6363, or go to www.thegypsiescollection.com.
Denver-based communications expert Debra Fine, an entertaining talker with a gift for gab, has been hawking her expertise on how to develop more effective conversational skills for years, offering workshops and talks locally and across the nation. Now (some might say finally), Fine's put it in print for the masses. She'll share her knowledge and sign copies of The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills -- and Leave a Positive Impression tonight as part of the Tattered Cover LoDo's Professional Pursuits series. The presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. at 1628 16th Street; call 303-436-1070 for details.
Friday, November 11
American maverick and socialist activist Howard Zinn might be best known for his radical working-man's treatise A People's History of the United States, but the leftist hardliner is also a playwright. In his one-man work, Marx in Soho, Karl Marx, given a chance to come back to earth to clear his name, addresses a contemporary crowd in New York's Soho. For anyone who hasn't got a clue what Marxism was all about, this is a good place to start. The Mercury Motley Players present Christopher Kendall in the role of Marx at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, beginning tonight and continuing through December 10 at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Admission is $10; for reservations, call 303-294-9258.
Renowned Life magazine photographer and photo editor John Loengard will be on hand tonight at a reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. when Through His Own Lens, a show of his works, including stunning shots of such fellow photogs as Richard Avedon, BrassaÔ, Annie Leibovitz, Berenice Abbott, Sebastián Salgado and others, opens for a run at Gallery M, 2830 East Third Avenue. The exhibit, which continues through January 31, 2006, also includes soul-capturing images of painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Call 303-331-8400 or go to www.gallerym.com.
Saturday, November 12
There are few cross-pollinations of popular culture and fine art more perfect than Art Trading Cards, the underground phenomenon for which folks get together -- in person, by mail or online -- to barter original artworks the size of a baseball card. Denverites can trade ATCs on the second Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon at CORE New Art Space, 900 Santa Fe Drive, where the faithful can spread out their collections on card tables. This month's "Disney" theme throws the emphasis toward pop culture; for more information, go to www.corenewartspace.com or call 303-297-8428.
It's fair to say that, at 25, Boulder's Imagination Makers Theater Company is no longer a kid. But the troupe still thinks like one. Devised by artistic director Rosie Waters to provide quality theater experiences for children by presenting works adapted from writing by young people, Imagination Makers celebrates its 25th anniversary by sticking to that mission. The group will perform Our Best Stories, a diverse collection of kids' true stories and songs, and then serve cake, today at 3 p.m. at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder. Admission is $6; call 720-565-1055 for tickets.
Sunday, November 13
It's a tad early, but the spirit is surely there: A little bit of NOLA will land on the Boulder Theater's rooftop (under a Crescent City moon?) at tonight's special 7 p.m. E-Town radio taping, Christmas in New Orleans, with the Aaron Neville Quintet (including brother Charles) and the Subdudes. The evening's live seasonal crooning, courtesy of angel-on-earth Aaron and friends, will also double as a benefit for Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana; tickets, $35, are available in advance by calling the theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder, at 303-786-7030, or logging on to www.bouldertheater.com.
Monday, November 14
Boulder and the bayou go hand in hand today and tomorrow, too, when author Alexandria Hayes brings her multimedia package, Zydeco Shoes: A Sensory Tour of Cajun Culture, to town. It's replete with stories and paintings by Cajun artist Earl Hébert (aka Mr. Earl), a forward by Blue Dog artist George Rodrigue, a CD of Cajun music by the Lucky Playboys and a treasury of more than thirty traditional Louisiana recipes, from stick-to-your-ribs gumbo to a crawfish étouffée from the famed Mulate's restaurant in New Orleans. Just thinking about it makes you long to party! Hayes will sign copies of the rollicking book from 3 to 7 p.m. both days at Barnes & Noble, 2915 Pearl Street in Boulder; call 303-442-1665 for details. For a preview of Zydeco Shoes, go to www.zydecoshoes.com.