What are all those people doing in that long line snaking out of the Denver Performing Arts Complex? Odds are that they're waiting for free tickets to tonight's 6:30 p.m. performance of Almost Heaven: The Songs and Stories of John Denver. The Denver Center Theatre Company will reopen Almost Heaven tomorrow night at the Ricketson Theatre, but if you just can't wait another minute (much less 24 hours) to hear "Rocky Mountain High," you'd better join the queue.
"The show was such a huge success, the people pretty much demanded that we bring it back," says DCTC spokesman Chris Wiger about the production, which premiered during the 2001-2002 season. He warns that those not in line by 2 p.m. today probably won't get one of the 240 available seats. "When you put John Denver fans into the mix, you never know what is going to happen."
The freebies will be doled out today at 4:30 p.m., one per person. If you don't make the cut, you can buy your way to Heaven: Ticket prices for the extended run range from $16 to $43. For more information, visit www.denvercenter.org or call 303-893-4100. -- Julie Dunn
Funny kats kompete in kontest
Find out who's the funniest cat in town at tonight's final round of the Wit's End Comedy Club's third annual Kool Komedy Kontest. With only six comedians still standing, audience members will vote to crown a new king or queen; the winner earns a regular gig at Wit's End. "The audience gets to help decide who is the funniest. It's like American Idol," says Wit's End co-owner Don Walters. "The crowds get into it big time."
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The Kontest starts at 8 p.m. and is hosted by Wes Sakamoto and Rick "Coach" Marshall from radio station KXKL/Kool 105; admission is $7. The Wit's End is at 8861 Harlan Street in Westminster; call 303-430-4242 for more information. -- Julie Dunn
While jazz is one of America's great contributions to world culture, it is also an art form often overlooked by the mainstream. Traditional jazz, in particular, is sometimes considered only good for background music to old movies. But to those who know the style better, it has a healthy pulse -- one that'll be thumpin' during tonight's kickoff to 2003 Summit Jazz.
A highlight of the weekend of performances will be San Antonio's Jim Cullum Jazz Band, which hosts PBS's weekly Riverwalk -- Live From the Landing show (heard locally on KUVO/89.3-FM). A Washington Post critic described the Cullum septet's playing as "boisterous, foot-tapping, contagious improvisation." And while Cullum's stompers may hold the marquee for this 25th Summit, others blowing steam include the Summit Jazz Allstars, the Alan Frederickson Jazz Ensemble and the Titan Hot Seven. Each featured group plays in four sessions, from tonight through Sunday evening, at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center, 7899 East Tufts Avenue; tickets are $27 to $98. For more information, call 303-670-8471 or log on to www.summitjazz.org. -- Ernie Tucker