The Colorado Symphony Orchestra honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tonight with a SuperClassics Concert that's contemporary, stirring and all over the musical map--but as CSO maestra Marin Alsop points out, the selections are the work of African-American composers, pay tribute in some way to the African-American struggle for freedom and equality, or are performed by outstanding musicians of color. Duke Ellington's Harlem sets the evening's mood; along the way, you'll hear pianist Terrence Wilson, Gregory Walker's original composition micro*phone for Amplified Orchestra and Joseph Schwantner's New Morning for the World (Daybreak of Freedom), narrated by Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor Joseph Marcell. The program begins at 7:30 in Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis streets; for tickets, $12 to $46, call 303-830-TIXS.
The newly expanded CU Art Galleries continue to celebrate their wide-open spaces with a trio of compelling and noteworthy art exhibits. Georgia O'Keeffe: The Artists's Landscape, Photographs by Todd Webb chronicles thirty years of O'Keeffe's ascetic, near-mythical life in New Mexico as seen through the lens of her contemporary, Webb, a student of Ansel Adams and friend of Alfred Stieglitz; POP! Selections From the Colorado Collection takes a whole different route through recent Americana to explore the art boom inspired in the '60s by billboards, advertisements, road signs and other pop phenomena through prints by such recognized names as Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenberg; and Mark Makers: Painterly Abstraction From the Colorado Collection does the same with the gestural abstractions of Sam Francis, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler and others. The exhibits open tonight with a reception from 5:30 to 8 (including an O'Keeffe discussion at 6) and continues through March 20. The galleries are located in the Sibell Wolle Fine Arts Building, 18th and Euclid, CU-Boulder campus; call 303-492-8300.
Poetry with a biting edge is just the beginning of what you'll get tonight from spoken-word artist Don Becker, whose verbal performance I'd Like to Buy a Vowel could include bits and pieces of humor, wisdom and vitriol culled from a career that's jumped from stand-up comedy to playwriting to poetry reading and back again, with a few strange stops along the way. Becker delivers his poetic free-for-all tonight at 8 at the Bug Performance & Media Art Center, 3654 Navajo St., but admission isn't free for anyone--it's $5. For details call 303-477-5977.
Look in their eyes and you'll see a light that shines no place else. The varied visages in Over 30: Portraits of Unmarried Women, an exhibit of black-and-white photographs by Jamestown artist Barbara Colombo, reflect a unique, self-reliant, unwed bunch who range in age all the way up into their eighties. The show opens tonight at the Women's Arts Center, 282 Delaware St., with a reception from 5 to 9; for more insight into the spirited subject matter, Colombo delivers a talk on February 5. The exhibit continues through February 28; call 303-836-2787.
Blame it on the arid landscape or the coyote calls or the desert moon, but the hills of Taos and environs are suffused with a mystique that just won't quit--it's no wonder so many artists flock there to do their thing. They're the motley crew of subjects for 100 Years of the Art of Taos, the umbrella title for four related exhibits opening today at the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., Golden. Included are artworks by some of the Taos art community's most prestigious names; a retrospective of works created in the '60s by a Denver-based artist colony; colorful woodblock landscapes by German printmaker Gustave Baumann; and contemporary images by R.C. Gorman and Ed Sandoval. The exhibition, which also includes examples of folk-art santos and indigenous pueblo pottery, continues through March 21; call 303-279-3922.
Here's pie in your eye. Or your face...or, most certainly, your stomach. When the Fifth Annual National Pie Championships open today at the Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St., Boulder, there'll be plenty of samples, along with classes, pie judging, vendor booths and even a pie-throwing contest for charity. And the whipped cream on top? "Diva of Desserts" Rose Levy Beranbaum will give pie-crust demos and sign copies of her book The Pie and Pastry Bible tomorrow from 11 to 2:15, and--of course--the all-you-can-eat pie buffet will be open daily, for as long as you need. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow; admission is $5 (children five and under free). For general information call 303-442-2911.
Then again, if a pie fest's too rich for your blood, switch gears, think low-fat and head over to Boulder's Whole Health Fair, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today in the Whole Foods Market parking lot, 2905 Pearl St. You'll be able to check out everything from acupuncture to biofeedback during the day; then a whole passel of speakers deliver the good and bad news about alternative health beginning at 6:30. Call 303-545-6611.
And for those of you who'd rather just drown in your beer--bottoms up! Here's a tribute you can appreciate: the Wynkoop Brewing Company's Beerdrinker of the Year Awards, during which a handpicked jury chooses from three previously designated finalists. Mister, you're a better beer drinker than I--pay homage from 5 to 8 in the Wynkoop's Mercantile Room, 1634 18th St. Call 303-297-2700 for details.
Enormously popular but not the least bit stuffy--that's the trademark of travel guru Rick Steves, whose Travels in Europe series on PBS emphasizing the inexpensive and the undiscovered has captivated armchair voyagers everywhere. Steves, who will now embark on the new series The Best of the Mediterranean, lectures from 1 to 3 p.m. today at the KRMA-TV/Channel 6 studios, Rocky Mountain PBS, 1089 Bannock St., before a marathon airing of his shows from 3 to 8. Admission to hear Steves is free, but reservations are required; call 303-620-5731.
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Still got the travel bug? You can trek to Indonesia and back in the course of an afternoon during A Celebration of Balinese Music and Dance, featuring music and dance by local Balinese orchestra Gamelan Tunas Mekar and visiting dancers from 4 to 7 at 9th Avenue West, 99 W. 9th Ave. Proceeds from the benefit will be used to ship new gamelan instruments here from Indonesia; for tickets, $20, call 303-433-3782.
Glam rock, that platform-shoed, gold-lamed, spike-haired, lipsticked, pop-culture dinosaur of the '70s, was simply made for the camera, and it proves positively photogenic in Velvet Goldmine, independent filmmaker Todd Haynes's re-creation of bygone days in the UK. The story of fictional flash-in-the-pan hero-performer Brian Slade and the mystery behind his eventual disappearance screens tonight (and again on February 2) at 7 and 9:30 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder. Admission is $4.50; call 303-786-7030.
Donkeys and elephants may seem like strange bedfellows, but in Washington, anything's possible. How else do you explain the improbable marital merger of Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matalin, who met and wed after masterminding presidential campaigns for their respective parties in 1992? The controversial couple looks at the current presidency and ventures speculations about the next round of top-gun elections when they appear together as speakers for the Denver Distinguished Lecture Series, tonight at 7 at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets. For tickets, ranging from $15 to $52, call 303-830-TIXS.
It's about a pig and some ski-bum drug-dealing hippies in the '70s, but that description just touches the surface of Scrapple, a low-budget wonder made in Telluride by filmmaker siblings Christopher and Geoffrey Hanson that's been opening critical eyes wherever it travels. Set in the fictitious town of Ajax, Colorado, and boasting a score by country bluesman Taj Mahal, Scrapple already bagged honors at the Telluride and Breckenridge film festivals; now it travels to the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder, for a pair of "meet-the-director" screenings tonight at 7 and 9:30. Admission is $5.25; call 303-786-7030.