Wednesday September 28 Back in action: In the real world, there are few things you can really count on to be pleasing all the time, but the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble has a way of dancing all over that theory. The group will put its trademark skill and elan to work again this week with its annual fall concert, which begins tonight at 6:30 and continues daily through Sunday. The bill includes Robinson's collaboration with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, Wisdom of the Baobab Tree, a piece that made its debut last summer at the Lincoln Center in New York. Admission is $16 ($18 Friday and Saturday); for daily showtimes or to make reservations, call 295-1759 or 290-TIXS. The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre is located at 119 Park Ave. W.

Thursday September 29 Nature boy: Author Barry Lopez has a unique talent for putting man smack in the middle of his rightful place in the universe--a quality that continues gracefully in his new collection, Field Notes. The poet-philosopher masquerading as a nature writer will be on hand tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave., to read and autograph the book. Numbers for a place in line will be given out starting at 6; for further information about the event call 322-7727.

Look, Ma--hands!: Any performance by the National Theatre of the Deaf is bound to be fascinating--for hearing and hearing-impaired persons alike. The troupe's format, an engaging combination of both signed and spoken word, is especially suited to the satirical French farce An Italian Straw Hat--a broad and madcap romp marked by close calls and mistaken identities that will be staged tonight at 8 in CU-Boulder's Glenn Miller Ballroom. Admission to the performance is free; call 492-3227 for details.

Silents, please: You may want to put on a flounce or a bowler hat tonight if you go to the Paramount Theatre to see the silent film Broken Blossoms, a 1919 D.W. Griffith chiller starring the incomparable Lillian Gish. The evening, set to begin at 7, promises to be authentically old-fashioned from start to finish, with a prefilm vaudeville act put together by locals Al Fike and Larry Wegner and accompaniment by Patti Simon on the Paramount's blessedly resurrected mighty twin-console Wurlitzer pipe organ, a tuneful old stalwart that has survived fire, bankruptcy and neglect. The Paramount, 1621 Glenarm Pl., deserves this fond return to its heyday. Tickets are $10; call one of these numbers to reserve yours: 422-4263, 449-6358 or 421-1190.

Friday September 30 Full service: An arts merry-go-round taking place today and tomorrow will open your eyes and satisfy your stomach, all in one fell swoop. Art a la Carte features "Colorado Quickies," performances of six ten-minute plays written by members of Colorado Dramatists; a chance to watch artists at work in the studio; and a $6 Spaghetti del Arte pasta dinner to keep you from fidgeting too much while absorbing all that culture. Events, all happening at Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W. 6th Ave., kick off today at 1 p.m. and wrap up at 10; they continue tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10, although discerning attendees may pay separately for the plays ($8) or the art demonstrations ($2). Call 988-6160, ext. 231, for reservations and event times.

Range rover: He's one of those guys who has been around for years, getting by on sheer talent until a gradual reincarnation takes place and allows a return to the limelight. In truth, Ian Tyson--who first made history as half of the '60s folk duo Ian and Sylvia--has always been a cowboy. But now you might say that his avocation has insinuated its way into his vocation: Tyson puts his crystal-clear pipes to work on his own brand of traditional cowboy music, heard on albums such as Old Corrals and Sagebrush and the more recent 18 Inches of Rain. The Swallow Hill Music Association presents Tyson tonight at the Houston Fine Arts Center, 7160 Montview, as part of its fine Troubadours Series. Popular local country belle Celeste Krenz opens. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are $17 ($15 members); call 777-1003.

Saturday October 1 One in a million: There's no one out there in the music world quite like Ted Hawkins, a Venice Beach street musician to date known and appreciated better in Europe than in the States, but now getting national recognition for his album The Next Hundred Years. Hawkins's voice and phrasing, reminiscent of Sam Cooke and other great soul singers, meet his admirable guitar strum on material that veers from country to blues and back again. The end result? An unforgettable sound, elementally old yet fresh as a coat of new paint. Get in on the ground floor of what could be a monumental rise in popularity--Hawkins will be on stage at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 1905 S. Pearl St., tonight at 8. For tickets, $10 ($8 members), call 777-1003. Flute massage: Jazz flutists, a rare breed to begin with, don't often rise to the level of recognition enjoyed by Hubert Laws, a consummate piper whose idiom-surfing moves have paired him with Zubin Mehta's New York Philharmonic and other great orchestras, fellow flute masters Jean-Pierre Rampal and James Galway, and Chick Corea and other notables, from Lena Horne to Quincy Jones. Laws brings a basic band--keyboards, bass, guitar and drums--with him to perform tonight at 8 at Macky Auditorium, located on the CU-Boulder campus. For tickets, $6 to $28, or additional information, call 492-8008.

On cloud nine: The fascinating world of multiple-image photographer Jerry Uelsmann can literally put one's head in the clouds--his gorgeous, surreal images float resting women above ocean waves or collage them into a pathway of snow-capped mountains; his self-portrait includes a bed of vines, a cosmic, atmospheric backdrop and a backshot of him holding his own face in his hands. A proponent of postvisualization--a discipline allowing creative and experimental alterations in the darkroom--Uelsmann will show some of his work and speak on photography tonight at 7 at the Boulder Public Library, 1000 Canyon Blvd., Boulder. Tickets to the lecture are $15 in advance ($20 at the door) and are available for purchase at Mike's Camera and Photocraft in Boulder or Pallas Photo Lab in Denver. For more information call 534-9215.

Sunday October 2 Art of the state: Catch this one before it's too late--the Colorado Art Open exhibition opened in mid-September at the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St. in Golden, and ends October 19. The juried show features 127 works (chosen from over a thousand entries) in various two- and three-dimensional media, all standouts and all by Colorado artists. It's a worthy tribute to the state's wonderful artistic diversity, displaying both traditional and nontraditional landscapes, ethnic portraits, sculpture, dreamy photography and computer prints. For information and gallery hours call Foothills at 279-3922.

Monday October 3 Celluloid heroes: "Cinema Classics" is a picture-perfect description of the films of Michael Curtiz--what could be more classic, after all, than Bogie and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca or dashing Errol Flynn in Robin Hood or Captain Blood? They're films many of us remember fondly all our lives, filled with incandescent names from Hollywood's glamour days. The Boulder Public Library Fall Film Program kicks off a series of these cherished flicks tonight at 7:30 with a screening of Mad Genius, the story of a dance teacher and his student that sports such stars as John Barrymore, Marian Marsh and Boris Karloff. The series continues on Monday evenings through November 28; admission, believe it or not, is always free. The Boulder Public Library auditorium is at 1000 Canyon Blvd. in Boulder; call 441-3100 for details.

Tuesday October 4 Pass the psaltery: If you've ever wanted to know more about the krummhorn, schreierpfiefe, rackette, cornamuse or psaltery--or even if you'd simply like to know what they are--you'll be glad to know that these and other unfamiliar musical instruments of decades past will be at the forefront of Living Roots of Music, an all-ages performance lecture series beginning tonight at 7:30 at the Boulder Public Library, 1000 Canyon Blvd. Boulder music historian Lauren Pelon will trace the beginnings of the instruments while performing music from the first through the twentieth centuries (so you'll know what they sound like, too). Program admission is free; for additional information call 441-4492.


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