When a bluesman of Charles Brown's stature cancels a show due to illness, major disappointment results, along with best wishes for a speedy recovery. But for local roots-music lovers, all is not lost: Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet and Beausoleil will sub for Brown in a return engagement tonight at 7:15 at the Denver Botanic Gardens outdoor amphitheater, 1005 York St. The saucy group's gig there earlier this month sold out almost immediately--here's a fine opportunity to find out why. Admission is $19 ($16 DBG members); tickets previously purchased for the Brown show will be honored. Call 777-3836.
The last of the great folksy street fairs, the Swallow Hill Folkathon, kicks off tonight when a powerhouse local roster of musicians, including John Magnie and Steve Amadee, Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore, the Heavenly Echoes, Runaway Express and Mr. Rutherford, gathers on stage at 8 at Cameron Church, 1600 S. Pearl St. It's their way of saying thanks to the Swallow Hill Music Association, which has been bringing a rich smorgasbord of live folk and acoustic music to South Pearl Street for the past fourteen years. The fun continues down the street tomorrow at and around the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 1905 S. Pearl St., where there'll be more music on five stages, crafts vendors, fun stuff for kids, and food and drink from 10 in the morning until 7 at night. It's a particularly poignant event for the Swallow Hill folks, since it will be their last folkathon at this location: The association is getting ready for a move to roomier digs farther south. Friday concert admission is $13 ($11 members), and Saturday grounds admission is $6 ($1 for children 18 and under); call 777-1003.
You'll see everything from Southwestern landscapes and gleaming silver-and-turquoise jewelry to Northwest Indian carvings and unique handcrafted dolls wearing re-creations of Arapaho tribal costumes at the Colorado Indian Market, opening today for a weekend stint at Currigan Exhibition Hall, 1324 Champa St. In addition to the artwork, the market features a cross-section of live entertainment, including traditional dance groups from Alaska, South Dakota and New Mexico and ongoing demonstrations of such things as weaving, carving, beadwork and pottery-making. Market hours are 2 to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; admission is $7 (children under thirteen free). For information call 447-9967 or log on at www.IndianMarket.net.
Here's an event that, well, packs some punch. Dynamite Dick's Summer Boxing Festival, a modern bow to local lore, gets under way tonight at 7 in Cripple Creek, southwest of Colorado Springs, when members of the U.S. Olympic and Mexican amateur boxing teams meet in the ring under a big-top tent at the gambling town's Midnight Rose Casino. Tomorrow the action turns professional with a series of bouts in various weight classes nearby at JP McGill's. Tickets for Friday night's rounds are $10, while admission ranges from $15 to $40 for ringside seats Saturday; for details and reservations, call 1-719-689-3955.
Ho-hum. What's a kid to do in the dog days of summer vacation? Ride a bike? Mow the lawn? Adults, zip your lips and take your unhappy non-campers to KidSpree, a huge outdoor children's festival that's bound to spice up the summer with live music, dancing, clowning and storytelling, Frisbee dog shows, kids' karaoke booths and street food, and more than fifty hands-on activities ranging from blowing giant bubbles to playing in a life-sized Chutes and Ladders game. KidSpree is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow in Bicentennial Park, Alameda and Potomac in Aurora, and admission is free; a shuttle to the site, also free, will be available from the Aurora Mall parking lot. For information call 478-5437 or log on at www.ci.aurora.co.us/kidspree/fun.html.
You may be one of those folks who never set foot in a place of worship on Saturday or Sunday or any other day of the week. But here's a new enticement: Historic Boulder's self-guided, interdenominational, nine-site Sacred Places Walking Tour. The tour, which is offered from 1 to 5 p.m. today, is a history lesson and architecture tour all rolled into one package, and religious practice doesn't even enter into the equation. Plus, it's free (or pay only $5 for a handy tour booklet with handy historical tidbits); call 530-2516 for details.
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Though Buffalo Bill Cody shuffled off to Buffalo Heaven a long time ago, his memory and spirit live on at the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum perched above Golden on Lookout Mountain. Golden celebrates the Western showman's colorful persona during the town's annual Buffalo Bill Days, but the museum is always the real center of attention. Today from noon to 4 p.m., kids are invited there to take part in a Buffalo Bill Challenge Course, which includes an obstacle course and frontier-skills tests; the rest of the family can tag along for an afternoon of beadwork and flint-knapping demonstrations, costumed Old West characters (including, we assume, Cody himself), live music and historical exhibits. The museum is located at 987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road; call 526-0744.
Boulder's ongoing Haunted Carnival summer film series takes a bizarre turn tonight with a screening of David Cronenberg's ultra-creepy 1991 take on William Burroughs's weird literary tour de force, Naked Lunch--one of those books you probably thought could never be translated on film. Cronenberg did it with bug-infested hallucinations, characters mainlining insecticide and other surrealistic Burroughs-inspired decadence; see it tonight at 8 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St. in Boulder. Admission is $3; call 786-7030.
Hot under the collar? Forever Tango, a sizzling love note to the sensuous Latin dance, will do nothing but fan those flames when it opens tonight at 8 for a week-long rumble at the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. The prize-winning Broadway entertainment conceived and brought to vivid life by concert cellist Luis Bravo continues daily except Mondays through August 2; to reserve tickets, $15 to $38, call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS. And don't worry: The Buell is comfortably air-conditioned.
For jazz guitarist John Scofield, playing music isn't just about artistry. It's also a matter of using the chops to take chances, travel new territory and, last but not least, have some fun. In the process, Scofield, an ax man of depth and panache, has played acoustic with sweetly charted horns in the background, funky in a guitar-bass-organ trio, harmoniously in tandem with fellow guitarists, and electric with all the stops pulled--among other things. Tonight he'll play a straightforward gig with his classic quartet, including pianist Larry Goldings, drummer Bill Stuart and bassist Steve Logan, at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave. Boulder band Fat Mama opens at 7:30; for tickets, $15, call 322-2308 or 329-6353.