Thursday, March 31
Topping off a fine season with a rustic touch, the Denver Center Theatre Company presentation of Fire on the Mountain, a rootsy bow to the music and coal-miner culture of Appalachia, opens tonight at 8 p.m. for previews. The brainchild of Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman, creative partners who've proved their familiarity with the various byways of American music in a string of well-received historical hits (It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, and Love, Janis, for starters), the show features a strong musical cast sprinkled with a good helping of the real thing, including traditional-music diva Molly Andrews, bluesman "Mississippi" Charles Bevel and hillbilly singer Ed Snodderly (O Brother, Where Art Thou?). Shows continue daily except Sundays through April 30 at the Stage Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; for tickets, $16 to $43, call 303-893-4100 or visit www.denvercenter.org.
Friday, April 1
Brazilian transplant Ricardo Nascimento took on a gargantuan task when he set out to mold an original work from a pair of massive influences: Black Orpheus, the classic 1958 film by Marcel Camus, and its inspiration, the play Orfeu da Conceio, by poet Vinicius de Moraes. Out of that tangled web comes the locally produced Orpheus in Rio, Nascimento's version of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth retold against the backdrop of Carnaval season in Rio. With help from area musician and Brazilian compatriot Chico Meira of the local bands Pau Brazil and Sambadende, Nascimento borrowed the movie's pervasive samba music to drive the plot; for visuals, he's created a set informed by tropical footage from Brazil and Mexico. What's left, except to go drink it in and shake your booty? The production opens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Nomad Theatre, 1410 Quince Street in Boulder; shows continue Fridays and Saturdays through April 23. For tickets, $20 to $22, call 303-774-4037.
Just about everything has been decorated in the name of charity, from prairie dogs to teddy bears, so it was just a matter of time before someone gussied up a bunch of unplayable violins. Under the moniker The Painted Violin, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra commissioned fifteen artists to embellish said instruments in their own styles; they'll be raffled off during a May 1 fundraising gala at the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex to benefit the youth ensemble. In the meantime, the goods have been touring the metro area to generate interest and sell raffle tickets (winners don't have to be present at the party to win). Drop by Pod, 554 Santa Fe Drive, today and tomorrow to view them; a reception takes place tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 (or six for $50); for details, go to www.dyao.org/paintedviolin.htm.
Saturday, April 2
Wanna see your name up in lights, little girl? Sure you do. Compared to what goes on in a typical Britney Spears video, the amount of flashing you have to do for a Burlesque As It Was audition is practically minimal. The Denver-based troupe, which saucily revives the old art of burlesque, is scouting out new talent today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street. Call 303-936-2254 for an appointment or visit www.burlesqueasitwas.com for information. And don't forget your feathers and flash.
Sunday, April 3
Scottish Tartan Day, an annual celebration that coincides with the signing of the Scottish Declaration of Independence in 1320, falls on April 6, though few Denverites beyond a small, rowdy crew of fellas in skirts know about it. But what better way to introduce yourself to the observance -- celebrated by noble Scots as a sort of cross between St. Patrick's Day and July 4 -- than at a Scotch Malt Whisky Tasting? Festivities, which begin at 4 p.m. today at Pints Pub, 221 West 13th Avenue, include haggis-sampling and a bangers-and-mash dinner alongside the strong stuff. The $40 admission fee benefits Ronald McDonald House and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Reservations are required; call 303-234-0469 for information.
Monday, April 4
It's been ten years since Coors Field opened its resplendently retro diamond to the public, but let's face it: Things have changed. Hope doesn't exactly spring eternal anymore, even among the diehard Colorado Rockies fans who camp out in the Rockpile. Yet here it is, the home team's opening day, and how can we help but be overtaken by lightheadedness? It's a young team, after all, and the fat lady's not even tuned up. In that spirit, Mayor John Hickenlooper, Rock Island's Dave Clamage and a host of downtown businesses will participate in a short parade replete with giveaways and prizes. The Opening Day HOP (short for "Hospitality on Parade") starts at 12:30 p.m. at the RTD Market Street Station, 16th and Market streets, leaving fans plenty of time to get to the stadium in time for the first pitch against the San Diego Padres at 2:05. May the best team win. And win and win and win. Go to www.coloradorockies.com for more info.
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Tuesday, April 5
The list of folks attending the University of Colorado at Boulder's 57th annual Conference on World Affairs, a week-long party for the cerebral, is longer than this page and as full of surprises as it is of returning celebrity guests. Suffice it to say that the event, operating this year with a La Dolce Vita theme, dishes up free, impromptu human exchange on just about everything: music, politics, movies, science, you name it, with cross-disciplinary, mismatched Bill Maher-style panels duking it out around the clock over every issue under the sun. What's not to like? One of the highlights is critic Roger Ebert's "Cinema Interruptus" film screening with commentary, taking place daily from 4 to 6 p.m. in Macky Auditorium and featuring the Fellini classic for which this year's fest is named. For a complete schedule and list of attendees, go to www.colorado.edu/cwa; for information, call 303-492-2515.
Wednesday, April 6
Eat yer heart out: You'd better pack your fat pants before taking off for the Taste of Vail, a well-timed, four-day edible extravaganza made doubly delicious by the banquet of spring skiing on some of Colorado's nicest slopes. This year's Taste, which begins today, adds a new Colorado Lamb Cook-Off to its time-honored lineup of non-stop food and wine tastings, seminars, parties and picnics. Full-event tickets are $350 (with individual event tickets also available); call 1-888-311-5665 or visit www.tasteofvail.com for information.