Writer Joseph Campbell spent his life examining the archetype of the "hero," and his concept of the hero's journey in mythology is indelibly etched into our culture through vehicles such as Star Wars. The gang at Arts Street's Comedy Theatre used the idea as the basis for (in)EXPLICIT: Parental Advisory, a play written by the sixteen members of the summer session of Arts Street, an art-based program for Denver youth. The original work tells the tale of four different characters who are called to action on their own respective quests. There's Joe, a down-and-out gangbanger; Christie, a people-pleaser; and Nathan, a dweeb so nerdy he winds up in traction after a run-in with the chess club. A fourth character, Umberto, fearfully remains in the womb throughout the performance, an umbilical cord symbolically wrapped around his neck.
"This show features incredible dramatic and comedic acting you would never expect," says Comedy Theatre member Jessica Robblee. "People will be surprised by how these kids think and feel about things."
(in)EXPLICIT plays today at 4:15 p.m. at PS1, 1062 Delaware Street, in conjunction with an Arts Street gallery showing. Admission is free. For more information, call 303-880-5213. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
Argentina's Main Squeeze
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The normally staid Colorado Music Festival will take a hot-blooded side trip to Argentina when it presents Tango Inspirations, a program presided over by acclaimed bandoneón player Daniel Binelli, who perfected his mastery of the sensual squeezebox with late tango master Astor Piazzolla. Accompaniment will be provided by pianist Polly Ferman -- after all, it does take two to tango. Highlights of the concert, taking place at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Friday, July 23, at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, include Binelli's own composition, Images of Buenos Aires, Metropolis, Entre Dos, and Piazzolla's Tres Tangos Sinfonicos. For tickets, $10 to $40, call 303-440-7666 or 1-866-464-2626; for information, call 303-449-1397 or log on to www.coloradomusicfest.org. -- Susan Froyd
The Bug Theatre unveils its fifth New Playwrights Festival tonight by spotlighting a quartet of new works. "It's a little like reality theater," says Bug associate director Gary Culig. "This is what usually happens before the audience ever comes in." A Bug committee narrowed the field from more than ninety nationwide submissions. The Third Rule, by Dan Aibel; Definition, by Scott Gibson; Every Corner on Speer, by Craig Volk; and Mows, by Brendon Botipka, are the four survivors chosen to be read on stage. Actors will be supplied with basic costumes and props, as well as the pages of dialogue. "Even if the actors have the material memorized, we like to have the scripts on stage," Culig explains. "We want the focus to be on the playwrights and their plays."
The words will fly at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, July 24, with encore performances Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31. Tickets are $8 ($6 for students and seniors) and available at the Bug, 3654 Navajo Street. To make reservations or for more information, call 303-477-9984. -- Kity Ironton