Wednesday November 8 Two's a crowd: As the dust continues to swirl around Amendment 2 and its impact on both sides of the fence, the issue of gay rights continues to occupy the state's collective mind. Inner Journeys, Public Stands, a locally produced documentary, pays homage to a number of people who jumped into the fray as allies to gay opponents--among them, Boulder mayor Leslie Durgin, Dr. James White of United Christ Church (located in the religious-right hotbed of Colorado Springs) and former state Supreme Court justice Jean Dubofsky, who served as lead plaintiff attorney on the amendment. The program airs tonight at 8 on KBDI-TV/Channel 12.
Thursday November 9 The play's the thing: Closet thespians can now warm up in a nonthreatening environment: The Denver Center Theatre Company and the Tattered Cover Book Store are joining forces to organize their Catch Us in the Act Theater Reading Groups, a unique kind of package deal combining open discussions about specific plays with the opportunity to watch professional performances. The first session, tonight at 7 in the National Conservatory Library at the old Tramway Building, 13th and Arapahoe streets, will focus on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Participants are encouraged to brush up beforehand by reading and seeing the play; included in the $20 fee is a ticket to a current DCTC production at the Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, as well as niceties such as dessert and coffee served at the discussion. For further information call 446-4849.
Neighborly gathering: Some history is sweeping, while other historical aspects might be as fine as a speck of dust. The Curtis Park Photo/Story Project, the brainchild of storyteller/shutterbug Tory Read, may be closer to the latter, but the importance of the noble little endeavor--part oral history, part photographic record--in terms of strengthening the Curtis Park community is immeasurable. A benefit concert featuring a mixed bag of local performers, from the Afro-Caribbean band Kizumba to Sisters of the Sun, an offshoot of the Eulipions theater troupe, will be held for the ongoing project tonight at 6:30 at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St. Admission is $5; call 440-9350. An exhibit based on the project, which uses stories told by Curtis Park residents, is scheduled for next March.
Friday November 10 Gould mine: So you think there's nothing drier than a room full of scientists? Think again. Led by renowned and oft-published invertebrate paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, the Denver Museum of Natural History's weekend Prehistoric Journey Lecture/Symposium will shed light on the intertwining of evolution and ecology. Beginning this evening at 7:30, when Gould lectures at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, the symposium returns tomorrow to the museum, 2001 Colorado Blvd., for a full day (8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) of discussions and talks by Gould and seven fellow paleontologists. A private tour and banquet dinner wrap things up. Admission to tonight's lecture is $16 ($12 members), while tomorrow's symposium events are an all-inclusive $110 ($105 members); call 322-7009 for reservations.
All systems functional: LoDo galleries celebrate the functional and the not-so-functional with a rash of fine shows opening tonight from 6 to 9 and continuing through year's end. The Art of Craft, 1736 Wazee St. (292-5564), repeats a successful formula with its Wearable Art Extravaganza II, featuring everything from ties and scarves to coats and kimonos, all composed of handwoven fibers, dyed fabrics and/or assembled media. (Halloween is safely over--what's wrong with a little Christmas shopping?) Sandy Carson Gallery, 1734 Wazee St. (297-8585), offers Furniture Beyond Function, a finely crafted group exhibit of sculptural, one-of-a-kind furnishings that please the eye and texturally tempt other senses with smooth or unexpected shapes and surfaces. And totally nonfunctional, but exceptional in every other way, are the sculptures of Manuel Neri, including featureless, half-gilded human forms that seem to rise staunchly out of the mud. These, along with Neri's drawings, go on display at the Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee St. (298-7788). A second festive chance to view the artworks takes place later in the weekend during the LoDo Second Sunday gallery walk, from noon to 4 on November 12; call individual galleries for information.
Saturday November 11 Bringing it all back home: Fiction writer Tim O'Brien, best known for straightforward, sad, tortured work based on his Vietnam experiences, branched out in his most recent novel, In the Lake of the Woods. The Vietnam theme is still there--the defeated politician protagonist submerges his vivid memories of the My Lai massacre into the twisting plot. But the book, now available in paperback, is ultimately a mystery, written beautifully in shifting directions. O'Brien reads tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; for details call 322-7727.
Nomad is an island: The Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., looks to the exotic climes of Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan when the blockbuster traveling exhibition opens today for an extended run. A stunning collection of artifacts organized by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Mongolia is studded with gilt bronze Buddhas, silk appliqued banners, elaborate saddles and headdresses, manuscripts and striking festival masks. But perhaps its crowning glory is an exact replica of the ger--a furnished, walk-through tent resembling those called home by nomads roaming the Mongolian steppes. A special admission price will be charged for the exhibit (full museum access is included in the fee): $4 to $6.50 (children five and under free), or $3.50 to $10 with self-guided audio tour. Mongolia continues through February 25; for advance tickets call 830-TIXS. Or call 640-4433 for additional information.
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New jazz swing: Fresh and to the point, the guitarist leader of the Rory Stuart Quintet picks through tunes with hornlike agility, creating a sound for the ages--rooted, yet looking to the future. Stuart's idiosyncratic and much-acclaimed style can be heard tonight, tangling tightly with that of sax player Glenn Wilson, a frequent bandmate, at 8 at the Bug, 3654 Navajo St. The concert, a Creative Music Works offering also featuring the Fred Hess Ensemble, costs $10 ($8 members and students); call 477-5877.
Sunday November 12 Peter and the wolf: What really frightened Peter? According to Susan Hammond's classical musical for families Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's own big, bad wolf was a fear of conducting. Hard to believe of the guy who wrote the booming 1812 Overture, but the delightful sequel to Beethoven Lives Upstairs makes it seem likely, portraying the romantic composer in a human light as he travels to the New World for Carnegie Hall's grand opening. As part of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's Family Concert Series, the dramatic presentation will be staged at 2:30 and 4 p.m. at Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. All tickets are $5; call 986-8742 to reserve yours.
Monday November 13 Flea's circus: Feeling confident riding a wave of popularity shored by a new CD and the seeming stability of new guitarist Dave Navarro, the Red Hot Chili Peppers--now doubtlessly the grand old band of alternative rock--will storm McNichols Arena tonight at 7:30, presided over by bassist/statesman Flea and a bolder, cleaner Anthony Kiedis. Warming up for the shirtless, tattooed ones are Silverchair and Oklahoma City's long-lived Flaming Lips; for tickets, $22.50, call 830-TIXS. And rest assured--that weird, cool thing they do with their hands bears no relation to the noodly thing Deadheads used to do with theirs.
Tuesday November 14 Where've you been? If it seems like E-Town hasn't been around for a while, you're right--the Boulder-based music-and-ecology radio show has been out on the road this fall. But it's back in style: Featured tonight is the vocally arresting, all-woman a cappella singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock, known for belting out a stirring compendium of spirituals, gospel tunes, African music, blues and a good helping of plain old pride. Also performing will be singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt. The public taping, happily at home in the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder, begins at 7. Call 786-7030 for additional information and tickets; they're $7 in advance ($9 day of show).