Wednesday May 17 Tear of the dog: Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy open up a whole slew of new possibilities in character development with their book When Elephants Weep, a volume that uses studies of joyful squirrels and vengeful whales to explore the authors' belief in the existence of animal emotions. Maybe Rover really does love you. Masson and McCarthy will read from and autograph copies of the book tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St. Call 436-1070 for details.
Thursday May 18 The new wave: Budding student filmmakers--28 of 'em--from a motion-picture production program at the Denver Public Schools Career Education Center are the celluloid heroes of the Cinema II Film Festival. The kids wrote, directed, shot and edited an eclectic collection of films while learning to work with the same sophisticated equipment used by professionals. See the results--which vary from straight narratives to experimental works--tonight at 7 at the Bug Performance and Media Arts Center, 3654 Navajo St. Tickets are $2; call 477-5977 for details.
Friday May 19 On and off the wall: There's a heaping platter of sculpture, painting and photography to be enjoyed this week in Denver galleries--starting with the annual North American Sculpture Exhibition, continuing at the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St. in Golden. Featuring 72 works ranging from found-object assemblages to the macabre kinetic creations of top prize winner Ira Sherman, the juried show is on display through June 11. Call 279-3922. Modern Realism: Five Views, a show featuring work by artists Jeff Starr, Matt O'Neill, William Stockman, Jeff Uffelman and Daniel Sprick and guest-curated by sometime gallery entrepreneur and man-about-town Joshua Hassel, opens tonight at the Carole Siple Gallery, 1401 17th St. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 7. The show hangs through June 17; call 292-1401 for gallery hours. And at Canyon Road Gallery, 257 Fillmore St., A Photographic Retrospective of Daniel Thau Teitelbaum opens for a three-day stand, beginning with an artist reception from 6 to 8 tonight. Teitelbaum, a professional toxicologist and amateur photographer who has been capturing moments most of his life, will show off images shot on location around the world--from the streets of Moscow to the American Southwest. Proceeds from works sold will benefit the Children's Hospital; the show continues through Sunday. For details call 321-4139.
Voices raised: The 17th Avenue All-Stars a cappella group will honor late member Jeffrey Harris during Celebrate! A Benefit for Young Artists tonight at 7:30 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl. Joining the All-Stars will be fellow harmonizers Silk Threads and the Poor Boys, comedian Louis Johnson Jr., emcee Greg Moody of KCNC-TV/Channel 4, and others. Proceeds will be used, under the auspices of the Jeffrey Harris Memorial Foundation, to help provide recording equipment for students at the Denver School of the Arts and Douglas County High School. To purchase tickets, $15 ($10 students and seniors), call 534-8336; for information and patron seating, ranging in price from $25 to $100, call 595-1040.
Information, please: Author Martin Amis gets it all together in his new novel, The Information, the tale of a beaten, middle-aged novelist obsessed with the fortunes of a more successful contemporary. Set in a dangerous present, the novel delivers its satirical goods in hilarious, brilliant form. Amis will read a few passages at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St., tonight at 7:30; call 436-1070.
Saturday May 20 Runway favorite: Last year's HeartRide-n-Roll, originally slated to unfold on the runways of an abandoned Stapleton International Airport, instead inaugurated the pristine concrete expanses of an unused, off-schedule DIA. This year, all will go according to plan--bicyclists and in-line skaters really get to ride the languishing Stapleton runways today to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Riders, who can choose from 10- to 100-mile courses, must pay a $15 entry fee and raise a minimum of $35 in pledges; for information, or to register or volunteer, call 369-5433.
Artists at work: You never know just how much elbow grease goes into the creative process until you see Denver artists at work in their natural habitats. You'll have an opportunity to do just that during this weekend's fourth annual Alternative Arts Alliance Studio Tour. The free, self-guided tour has become so extensive that it's been divided into two parts: Today's route includes studios east of Broadway, while tomorrow's focuses on points west. This intimate look into the artistic process runs the gamut of styles, and a number of special events will be held in conjunction with the tour. Among the most ambitious of these--a Sky's the Limit Steel Sculpture Happening--takes place tomorrow at the 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio and Gallery, 3500 W. 23rd Ave., where north Denver sculptors will collaborate on a monumental work; live entertainment and refreshments will help the project along. For information, directions and locations where studio tour maps will be available, call the AAA at 433-9359.
Beam me up: Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts is sponsoring a day of events for all ages, including an afternoon arts expo for seniors and children's workshops and entertainment. But tonight, the venue leaps off the cutting edge with the Interactive Cafe, a teleconferencing showcase that allows local musicians, dancers, videomakers, poets and other artists to collaborate with creative folks at sites in Santa Monica, New York City and other locations. And just think--you'll be there! I-Cafe will be held in a huge room, transformed for the night into a sculpture garden and sporting a ten- by fourteen-foot video screen. Admission to the 8 p.m. showcase is $14 in advance ($16 at the door); call 440-7826 to reserve a seat. The dairy is located at 2590 Walnut St., Boulder.
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Sunday May 21 All the world's on stage: From the Anoush Armenian Dancers to the Cajun Zukes of Zydeco, performers at this year's Norwest Culturefest are anything but similar. Close to fifty multicultural music and dance groups from around the region will turn the University of Denver grounds (off University Boulevard between Evans and Asbury avenues) into a mini-voyage around the globe. And it'll all be augmented by the presence of ethnic food and craft vendors. The festival, which will take place rain or shine between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. today, is free; bike racks and parking will be available on campus. For information call 871-4626.
Monday May 22 This bud's for you: Well, you can't say the current presidency hasn't been marked by its share of soap-operatic fallout. Believe the stories or not, you'll probably know more than you ever wanted to after reading the revelatory memoir Gennifer Flowers: Passion and Betrayal, written by former Clinton paramour (or so she says) and recent Denver transplant Gennifer Flowers. How does her garden grow? Get the insider's perspective--Flowers will autograph the potboiler today at noon at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. in Cherry Creek. For additional information call 322-7727.
Sweetening the pot: Sweet tooth got you in its grip? Feed the fire at Desserts With CARE, a sumptuous dessert benefit sponsored by philanthropic Starbucks Coffee. Along with the dangerous goodies, prepared by twenty Denver chefs, you'll get to sample dessert wines, flowing bubbly and/or freshly brewed cups of the Starbucks mainstay; by the time you wipe your lips, CARE will have a few more dollars in its public-serving coffers. Satisfy your cravings from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Westin Hotel Tabor Center, 1672 Lawrence St.; call 692-9622 for reservations.
Tuesday May 23 Back to the country: The band called Uncle Tupelo was hatched in a flood of thrash and later settled down into a countrified groove reminiscent of country rockers from Gram Parsons to Neil Young. That backwoods bent culminated in Anodyne, an acclaimed CD considered the group's signature piece. And apparently, its swan song--the band broke up shortly after Anodyne's release. Led by Tupelo founder Jeff Tweedy, Wilco--which also includes several other ex-Tupelos--picks up the pieces aptly, tailoring the twang into a familiar yet new sound. Wilco performs tonight at 9 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, as part of a strong bill also featuring guitarist Kevin Salem, who has backed acts as varied as Freedy Johnston and Yo La Tengo. Tickets are $8.40; call 447-0095 or 830-