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TUES, 1/6

Theater-goers, rejoice! The Producers, one of the country's hottest musicals, will finally take the stage in Denver, beginning with an 8 p.m. preview performance tonight at the Buell Theatre. "I think that because the show has generated such a buzz and has garnered such great reviews, people here are really excited to see it," says Jenny Schiavone, spokeswoman for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. "It truly is a Broadway blockbuster."

Written by Mel Brooks and choreographed by Susan Stroman, the Tony Award-winning musical is the story of Max Bialystock (played by Lewis J. Stadlen) and Leo Bloom (played by Alan Ruck) and their scam to profit off a surefire theatrical bomb called Springtime for Hitler. And while the characters hope for a bust at the box office, Schiavone says that real-life ticket sales "have been very, very strong."

The Producers officially opens on Thursday, January 8, and will play through January 31 at the Buell, 14th and Curtis streets in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Ticket prices range from $30 to $70; call 303-893-4100 or visit -- Julie Dunn

Crack the Case
FRI, 1/2

Step back in time tonight with the premiere of McGuinn and Murry, a 1940s period comedy performed by Buntport Theater Company. Buntport's thirteenth original collaboration, McGuinn and Murry is the tale of two down-on-their-luck detectives who spend the majority of their time at Sweeney's Sunset Lounge, throwing back shots of whiskey. "They give each other pretend cases to solve just to keep their chops up, and then a real crime erupts in their faces," explains Buntport member Erin Rollman, who plays the part of Murry.

The play runs now through February 1, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday nights and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors. This Sunday is a "pay what you can" performance, and admission is discounted by five dollars every Thursday.

The Buntport Theater is at 717 Lipan Street. For reservations, call 720-946-1388. -- Julie Dunn

Soul Man
Lou Rawls gets down with the CSO
FRI, 1/2

Movie aficionados might know Lou Rawls from one of his many on-screen cameos -- his turns as the sagacious cabbie in Leaving Las Vegas or as Blue Lou in Blues Brothers 2000, among others -- while kids may recognize him as the voice of the Postman in Hey Arnold! or various other cartoon characters. But the Chicago-born Rawls really made his name as a golden-throated R&B troubadour during the 1960s and '70s, an era highlighted by the 1976 smash hit "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."

Rawls's career spans five decades, and he continues to release new albums (2002's gospel tinged Oh Happy Day is his most recent recording). Don't miss your chance to see the venerable crooner as he performs with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets. The song may not last forever, but it's sure to be enjoyable. For information or tickets, $9-$60.50, call 303-893-4100 or visit -- Dave Herrera


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