It's Greek to us--and you, and everybody else--when the Greek Festival '99, one of Denver's oldest ethnic celebrations, returns for its 34th year. Featuring a craft market, import bazaar, taverna and live entertainment, the festival has always been its own best advertisement. But maybe everyone's favorite reason to go is for the authentic Greek food: a scrumptious, redolent spread of gyros, lamb sandwiches, dolmades, souvlaki and dripping, sweet homemade baklava. Festivities begin today at 4 p.m., last until 11 p.m., and continue Sunday at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 4610 E. Alameda Ave. Admission is $1 (children under twelve and seniors get in for free) but rises to $3 after 9 p.m., when the music and dancing in the taverna area pick up steam. Call 303-388-9314 for more info.
Get a head start on Fourth of July festivities and help raise funds to support programs that fight youth violence tonight, at An Evening of Stars and Fireworks hosted by the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund. The event, which takes place at Coors Field (20th and Blake streets) and features a celebrity batting practice and softball game presided over by team captains Bubby Brister and Larry Walker, begins when gates open at 6:30 p.m.; a spectacular fireworks show follows the game. Tickets, which range from $2 to $15, can be purchased only at the stadium or Rockies Dugout Stores; for information call 303-ROCKIES.
There simply couldn't be a more suitable choice for a concert under the stars than Beausoleil, the king of Louisiana's Cajun bands and a sure bet to sweep the entire audience off--or, actually, onto--its feet tonight at the Denver Botanic Gardens outdoor amphitheater, 1005 York St. Led by Michael Doucet, a champion of the age-old bayou musical traditions who's still not afraid to try new tricks, Beausoleil's performance begins at 7:15 p.m.; for tickets, $20 ($17 DBG members), call 303-777-3836.
To each his own: Everyone has his own way of getting festive. In Titanic's massive wake comes Molly's Garden Party, a Victorian-themed benefit for the Molly Brown House Museum that includes several of Brown's descendants and Brown biographer Kristen Iverson as guests. The evening begins with a 6:30 cocktail hour and book signing by Iverson, followed at 7:30 by the very sort of garden dinner Brown herself might have thrown, and ends with a silent auction of Titanic and Brown memorabilia. It all takes place at the elegant Grant-Humphries Mansion, 770 Pennsylvania St.; tickets are $75 for dinner or $100 to include preceding events. Period dress is encouraged but not required; call 303-296-9887, ext. 11, for reservations.
Less formal, but no less charming, is tonight's kickoff of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, featuring a free dessert reception at 7 on CU-Boulder's Norlin Quadrangle. Then, the curtain rises on Henry IV, Part One at 8:30 in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre (also on campus); this year's repertory, which continues through August 15, also includes Henry VI, Part Two, The Comedy of Errors and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Admission ranges from $14 to $38; call 303-492-0554. Even more informal, yet: Another new music hall enters the local fray this week when the refurbished Gothic Theatre in Englewood reopens its doors at 3263 S. Broadway. As a way of extending a warm welcome, the folks there are throwing a Get to Know the Gothic weekend, featuring free shows at 9 tonight (the Czars and Space Team Electra) and tomorrow (Slim Cessna's Auto Club). For the skinny on who's coming there to perform in the weeks to come, call 303-380-2333 or log on to www.gothictheatre.com.
More indescribable than the average art show, The Zippy Bones 'n' Bugs on Edge Show, opening tonight at Edge Gallery, 3658 Navajo St., is touted as a tribute to the north Denver block's little arts venues, the Zip 37, Pirate and Edge galleries and Bug Theater. The show features a juried selection of works dealing with zippers, bugs, bones or things on the edge--to be awarded by a zipper manufacturer, an insect exterminator, an anthropologist and a therapist. Oh, boy. Want something alternative, but maybe a little more like what you expect from a gallery show? Hop across the street to Pirate, a Contemporary Art Oasis, 3659 Navajo St., where new work by Stephen Batura will be featured in the main gallery, along with a sideshow by Michelle Baldwin in the associates' gallery and an installation and performance in Pirate's Treasure Chest by Batura's little kid, Lydon. Receptions take place at both galleries from 7 to 10 p.m.; shows continue through July 11. Call Edge, 303-477-7173, or Pirate, 303-458-6058, for details.
Get on the stick: Vintage Base Ball, currently being played by more than 80 teams in 26 states, is all the rage with the re-enactment set. For the uninitiated, the third annual National Vintage Base Ball Festival, today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Broomfield Baseball Fields, will allow onlookers to experience a full day of the past, with its packed roster of regional tournaments, an all-star celebrity game, ladies' team exhibitions and more, all played according to the game's classic rules--circa 1862. Games take place three blocks north of 120th Ave. on Main St. in Broomfield; admission is free and picnicking is encouraged. Proceeds from booth and food sales will benefit the Bal Swan Children's Center; to play or volunteer call 303-460-8060.
You can watch as careers are made or waylaid during the Colorado Independent Film Festival and Screenwriting Contest, a day-long event at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., filmmakers, writers, performers and models will duke it out for top honors in various categories. It's the kind of three-ring circus we don't see often enough in these parts; for information call 303-400-1525.
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The Hard Rock RockFest isn't exactly a stadium show, but it should be as loud as one, with high-energy bands such as ska-punkers Smash Mouth and the power-popping Marvelous 3 performing tonight at 7 in the West Parking Lot at Mile High Stadium, one of six stops on the Hard Rock Cafe-sponsored tour. Purchase tickets, $16.50, in advance at the Denver Hard Rock Cafe, by calling 303-825-4849 or by logging on to www.ticketweb.com.
Many happy returns: Summer at Chautauqua just wouldn't be right without a stopover by Richard Thompson, whose combined gifts for storytelling, songwriting, blending influences and playing wicked hell out of the guitar never cease to hold an audience spellbound. But it all seems just a little bit deeper and a little bit spookier when heard under the rustic roof of the Chauatauqua Auditorium, where Thompson has often sung solo, but has now taken to bringing along a band so he can rock out. Either way, he'll knock you out. Thompson performs tonight at 8 at Chautauqua, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder; for tickets, $22 to $28, call 303-440-7666 or 303-830-TIXS.
The blues meet the Celtics tonight, and we're not talking basketball. This is a unique concert bill featuring headliner and modern blues phenom Robert Cray along with upbeat openers the Young Dubliners at 8 at the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St. That should make for an interesting crowd--admission is $22.50; to reserve tickets call 303-830-TIXS.
The wienie roast is an integral part of anyone's summer (so integral, in fact, that someone had to invent a vegetarian wiener), but did you ever stop to wonder why? We eat them at ballgames and picnics without pondering for a moment what they're really made of or why we can't resist them, but now all those frank questions can be laid to rest: A Hot Dog Program answers them for us, taking sidetrips to visit dog-eating contests and hot-dog shaped diners and a reindeer-dog vendor in Alaska. Go to the store, buy your wienies, buns, mustard and relish, start up the grill and then tune in at 7 p.m. on KRMA-TV/Channel 6. You could do wurst.