If you remember anything about him, it's that voice--the halting, weathered, lizard-like Germanic drone of Henry Kissinger. But anyone with the tiniest sense for recent world history knows that Kissinger's also been a key player in the outcome of numerous global affairs, serving in both the Nixon and Ford administrations and even winning the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize as a result. From Vietnam to Kosovo, his opinions continue to carry weight. One of the world's most important behind-the-scenes political figures, Kissinger should have plenty to say when he wraps up this year's Denver Distinguished Lecture Series tonight at 7 at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets; for tickets, $25-$52, call 303-830-TIXS.
Here's the kind of exhibit that literally swallows up sports fans whole. When the ESPN SportsCentury Tour roars into Westminster Mall, 5433 W. 88th Ave., with a nonstop multi-media, end-of-the-century barrage of sports history and memorabilia, more than one wife can kiss her husband goodbye for the rest of the weekend. Featuring everything from a "you make the call" booth where ordinary folks can be commentators for classic sporting events to an animatronic replica of Lou Gehrig spouting his tear-jerking "Luckiest Man" speech, the extensive exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; admission is free.
You've heard of world music, but somehow the Mollys take it one step further--their out-of-this-world sound, developed in the basements of Tucson, Arizona, is a joyful composite of Tex-Mex and Irish roots music, all cranked up with a touch of punk-rock energy. The Mollys bring their patented, not-to-be-missed musical soup to the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 E. Yale, tonight at 8; for tickets, $10-$12, call 303-777-1003.
A beautiful lady with pipes to match, Cassandra Wilson walked a crooked line through her career before arriving at her current status as the female jazz singer of the present and future, something she evolved into after starting out as a singer/songwriter in the Joni Mitchell mold. She's been hailed by critics, not just for her warm, emotive vocals, but for her brilliant redefinitions of the standard, something she's clearly learned from listening to another pioneer, Miles Davis, whose melding of jazz and pop idioms revolutionized the jazz genre. Wilson's latest endeavor, Traveling Miles: Music From Miles Davis, is a touring paean to her stylistic mentor; hear her mix and match tonight at 7:30 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl. Admission ranges from $22 to $32; call 303-830-TIXS.
In the shadow of a flashy Toulouse-Lautrec blockbuster currently on display in the first-floor Hamilton Gallery, the Denver Art Museum has managed to slip in another gem. Art in the Age of Queen Victoria: Treasures From the Royal Academy of Arts Permanent Collection opens today up on the seventh floor and features a fascinating array of Victorian works from Britain, including paintings by William Blake, Sir John Millais and J.W. Waterhouse. The show continues through July 4; for more information call 303-640-4433 or log on to www.denverartmuseum.org. The museum is located at 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.
Now, don't go getting all starry-eyed over this event: Open Telescope Night at Pine Valley Ranch Park is quite scientific and not so romantic. You will, however, hear tales of lunar lore and more while viewing galaxies far, far away through the refracting lens of the park's 1937 Fecker telescope tonight or tomorrow night from 7 to 11--after a half-mile hike to the mountain observatory. Once a private facility built by amateur astronomer William Beahr, the observatory's been open to the public under the auspices of Jeffco Open Space since 1996--so take advantage. Advanced registration is required for this weekend's events; call 303-526-0594.
Bill Maher, step aside--KBDI-TV/Channel 12's 11th Hour lecture series is doing it live. Known for teaming up a diverse collection of notable speakers from the old melting pot, the oddly variant event this time features some of the strangest bedfellows yet. Tonight at 7 at the Denver Center Media Studio, The 11th Hour presents affirmative-action foe Ward Connerly, action artist Denny Dent, United Farm Workers matriarch Dolores Huerta, and Marc Klaas, father of California kidnap/murder victim Polly Klaas, each delivering his or her unique message to future generations. All you need to bring is your open mind. The studio is located on the fourth floor at 1245 Champa St.; for tickets, $25, call 303-296-1212 or 303-830-TIXS.
All the world's on stage today when the Norwest CultureFest gets under way from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. near Iliff Ave. and University Blvd. on the University of Denver campus. Be there, and you'll not only see and hear performances representing assorted traditions from around the world, you'll also get to sample from a global menu and admire--or buy--crafts from an international array of vendors. Expect less dreck and more culture per square inch here as opposed to the usual street affair; as always, admission is free. Call 303-871-4626.
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Whether you prefer to walk, run, bike, canoe or...whatever in the great outdoors, there'll be a competition for you at today's South Platte Park Stampede, a benefit for the South Metro Land Conservancy, taking place today at the South Platte Park's Carson Nature Center, 7301 S. Platte River Pkwy., Littleton. Proceeds will go to open-space land purchases, especially at South Platte Park, a well-kept nature area that's close to the city and brimming with wildlife, short hikes and plenty of places to daydream. For an entry form, stop by the nature center or call SMLC, 303-797-6949.
It's about bloomin' time--literally--when the Denver Botanic Gardens presents Celebrating Wildflowers, a week-long display on wildflower identification and preservation. Learn where to find the fragile blossoms of plain and wood, as well as what you can do to help keep them thriving there. The display runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through next Sunday; the gardens are at 1005 York. Call 303-370-8065 for details.
Whatever generation we come from, we always think we know more than anyone else. Well, guess what? The same was true of folks who lived a century ago, but in the present, we have something they didn't: hindsight. Dave Walter of the Montana Historical Society will hold forth on the accuracy--or lack thereof--of millennial predictions made by fortune-telling experts at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair in his lecture Today Then: Looking Backward at Looking Forward, tonight at 7 at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway. For tickets, $6.50 ($5 Colorado Historical society members), and reservations, call 303-866-4686.
In the mind of anyone even faintly lured by the now-tarnished magic of San Francisco's Summer of Love era, the import of renaming Denver's old Mammoth Gardens the Fillmore Auditorium is mighty weighty. Named in honor of the late Bill Graham's Fillmore music halls of the Sixties and Seventies (the San Francisco branch has been reopened after years spent shuttered by fire damage and disrepair), the new Fillmore, at 1510 Clarkson St., is going to have to perform well to live up to its moniker. But it's off to a nice start: Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, whose free and easy experimental approach to music exemplifies the spirit, opens the house with a solo show tonight at 7:30. Tickets are $23; call 303-830-