February 5, 1998
Telling tales: When elder Ediberto, called "Papi-tres" by his great-granddaughter Camila, uses cuentos, or traditional stories passed down among generations, to connect with the modern young girl, he doesn't seem to get through at first. But eventually, with help from El Cucui, the Mexican béte noire, Camila learns to celebrate the old stories and, in the process, her own unique culture. That's the sweet, simple story of When El Cucui Walks, an original drama by San Francisco playwright Roy Conboy making its regional debut tonight at 8 at El Centro Su Teatro, 4725 High St. The play continues Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through March 14; to reserve tickets, $9, call 296-0219.
February 6, 1998
World in motion: Cirque du Soleil's scintillating LoDo run this past fall gave Denverites an appetite for the Cirque's magical brand of theatrical grace. That spectacle took down its tent and moved along to another town, but in its wake, we still have Peter Davison to make us happy. A bit of a human rubber band with a pinpoint sense of balance (not to mention a vaudevillian sense of humor), Davison juggles, dances, does lasso tricks and poeticizes on stage, all in elegantly choreographed synchronization. Catch Davison in his beautiful act this weekend at the Changing Scene Theater, 1527 1/2 Champa St.; showtimes are at 8 today and tomorrow and 2 and 7 Sunday. For tickets, $10, call 893-5775.
South Park exposure: Everybody's talking about Comedy Central's hit animated series South Park--but hardly anyone's watching it in these parts, since the local cable company doesn't even broadcast the ha-ha network. That's doubly strange, too, because the show's offbeat creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are Coloradans who cut their directorial teeth in CU-Boulder's film studies program. Media-men-of-the-moment Parker and Stone, now the darlings of Sundance, Rolling Stone, Spin and Jay Leno, won't be present tonight when uninterrupted South Park episodes roll at CU's International Film Series, but they'll be there in spirit: The screening, which also includes some early Parker/Stone odds and ends, is a benefit for their film alma mater. Shows are at 7, 9:15 and midnight on campus in Chem 140; admission is $7 ($5 students). Call 492-1531.
February 7, 1998
Take your pick: The Swallow Hill Music Association gives its faithful a double shot of blues with a juicy twin-killing of a bill featuring old-timey blues picker Paul Geremia and local blossom Mary Flower, who's opening eyes and ears across the nation with her top-notch chops. Both artists work with a transcendent archive of traditional music--not only covering the masters, from Charlie Patton to Skip James, but throwing originals into the blend without missing a beat. This sweetheart of an evening begins at 8 at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 1905 S. Pearl St.; for tickets, $13 ($11 members), call 777-1003.
Populist culture: Sometimes it's the little guys who deserve to be heard the most--at least, that's how it is in the world of progressive activist Jim Hightower, a politician, journalist, radio commentator and author dedicated to making certain the real voice of America gets heard in high places. The folksy but hard-hitting Hightower, who describes himself as an agitator, or "the center-post in the washing machine that gets the dirt out," can normally be heard at 8:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays on Boulder's KGNU-FM. But tonight you can hear him live at 7 in the Baseline Middle School auditorium, 700 20th St., Boulder, during a benefit for the community-radio station. Admission is $7 ($5 for KGNU members); call 449-4885.
February 8, 1998
Disorder on the court: Nuggets fans can take a break from feeling glum this season--if only for the day--when the Harlem Globetrotters dribble, slam-dunk and smile their way through an afternoon performance at McNichols Arena. The perennially sunshiny court jesters, including crowd favorites Michael "Wild Thing" Wilson, Fred "Preacher" Smith, Curley "Boo" Johnson and Paul "Showtime" Gaffney, hit the floor at 1 sharp; tickets range from $10 to $17. It's totally the bomb--call 575-1900 or 830-TIXS.
Under the gun: He was on the scene at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, in the center of Romania's anti-Ceausescu uprising and at ground zero during the Gulf War. So how did prize-winning foreign correspondent Arthur Kent, otherwise known as the SCUD stud, finally find himself caught in crossfire right here at home? Kent's memoir, Risk and Redemption: Surviving the Network News Wars, describes how hard news is being sacrificed to a lighter, more entertaining style of reporting--and how he fought the trend. He'll discuss and sign copies of the book today at 2 at Borders Books & Music, 9515 E. County Line Rd. Call 708-1743 for details.
Here's a man who can eschew the fancy stuff and make it work beautifully: Delta-style bluesman John Mooney needs little more than a battered Strat and his own ragged vocals to drive home his point. A protege of the great Son House, who moved to Mooney's hometown of Rochester, New York, when the young guitarist was just 17, Mooney learned every trick in the book before he was 21; later he hit the road and landed in New Orleans, where he fell under the syncopated spell of piano genius Professor Longhair. Hear the fabulous results tonight at 8 when Mooney appears as a guest at a taping of E-Town at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder, along with singer/songwriter David Wilcox. Tickets are $9 in advance ($11 day of show); call 786-7030.
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February 9, 1998
Unburied treasure: Is there a children's classic more classic than Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island? Let us know if you come up with an answer--in the meantime, we'll be at the Space Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, fantasizing about hidden treasure, South Sea islands and pirate king Long John Silver. That's where the Denver Center Theatre Company is staging its musical version of the dandy adventure, replete with billowing jibs, verdant palm trees and plenty of scalawags. Ahoy, mateys: The play sets sail tonight at 6:30, and performances continue daily through March 7. Admission prices range from $22 to $33; call 893-4100 for reservations.
February 10, 1998
Divided we stand: Plenty has been made about deep divisions in American society as a whole, and particularly between races and economic groups. Tonight, author and social critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes the theme to a more pointed level in The Two Nations of Black America, a Frontline segment exploring deepening schisms between middle and lower classes that exist within America's black community. Gates offers a historical perspective, beginning with a study of intellectual/activist W.E.B. Du Bois and continuing with interviews with current members of the black intelligentsia, including Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis and Cornel West. Frontline airs at 9 p.m. on KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
February 11, 1998
The Doctor is in: What's a medical pathologist doing writing detective novels? If he happens to be Robert Greer, he's spinning some darn good yarns, made all the more entertaining for locals because they're set right here in Denver, with forays throughout Colorado and beyond added for spice. Greer's favorite protagonist, bail bondsman C.J. Floyd, collects antique license plates, likes soul food and hangs in Five Points; his latest caper, The Devil's Backbone, ought to further satisfy Denver's indigenous mystery fans. Greer reads tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 322-7727.
The Beats go on: Along with the pleasant rejuvenation of Vartan's Jazz Club in a new location comes a newly inaugurated Wednesday Dinner/ Jazz Series, offering a changing roster of local musicians paying homage to different periods in the jazz canon. Tonight from 8 to midnight, a quartet featuring Phil Urso on saxophone, Jeff Jenkins on piano, D. Minor on bass and Tom Tilton on drums will play cool beatnik music from the Fifties; organizer Tilton promises poetry and visual-arts performances to enhance the overall effect. If you choose to dine at Vartan's, located downtown at 1800 Glenarm Pl., the music is free; the budget-minded will appreciate the $3 to $5 price offered for concert-only patrons. Call 399-1111.