Leave it to the Colorado Dance Festival to go out with a flourish. Wrapping up the fest's month-long tenure in Boulder is a trio of performances by New York's David Dorfman Dance, an urbane outfit working under contemporary choreographer Dorfman, who keeps audiences on their toes with a sharp mixture of athleticism and wit. The troupe will perform at 8 nightly, today through Saturday at the Irey Theatre, CU-Boulder campus; for tickets, $20, call 786-7030.
Tonight there's music in Denver to move your soul--or music to move your tush in Boulder, if that's where you're at. A cappella masters the Fairfield Four, whose ranks often swell confusingly to five or six members, write the book on gospel music tonight at 7:15 at Denver Botanic Gardens outdoor amphitheater, 1005 York St. The impeccable vocal group's been performing for 50 years. As modern pop artists from Elvis Costello to Lyle Lovett will gladly attest, the Four has chops good enough to last another half-century. Tickets to their not-to-miss performance are $19 ($16 DBG members). Call 777-3836.
At Boulder's Fox Theatre, King Sunny Ade will be taking care of your lower half with the exemplary Nigerian juju grooves put forth endlessly by his stage-filling band, the African Beats. Hear--and dance to--King Sunny's mesmerizing mixture of popular and traditional sounds featuring an arsenal of percussion, synthesizer, and electric and pedal steel guitars. It's tonight at 8; the Fox is located at 1135 13th St., Boulder. For tickets, $18.90, call 443-3399 or 830-TIXS.
Movie buffs young and old will have a chance to emerge from their dim, air-conditioned auditoriums for a romp in the park, without having to give up a minute of film-going fun, when City Park hosts a pair of screen-related events over the weekend. During the day, the Blockbuster Legends Movie Memorabilia Museum Tour truck, loaded with memorabilia from the silver screen, opens its doors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow at the main entrance to the Denver Zoo, 23rd Ave. and Steele St. Once inside, you'll see Vivien Leigh's waistcoat from Gone With the Wind, Alan Ladd's gun belt from Shane, Pharaoh's throne from The Ten Commandments and the black suits Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones wore in Men in Black, among other things, compliments of the American Film Institute. Best of all, though, is that you'll get to do it for free. Call 691-1127.
Families--and kids in particular--will want to hang around after dusk to enjoy Disney Channel PremEARS in the Park, a pair of free outdoor screenings taking place today and tomorrow in the meadow on the west side of the Denver Museum of Natural History, 2001 E. Colorado Blvd. Games, prizes and roving Disney characters will tour the grounds beginning at 7 each night, followed by free movies on a screen sporting humongous Mickey Mouse ears. Watch Air Bud today or You Lucky Dog tomorrow; be sure to bring a comfy blanket and a picnic. Call 202-5024.
Speaking of movies, the screen resurgence of Zorro--who, along with the Lone Ranger, has to be nearly everyone's favorite masked man--signals perfect timing for tonight's opening reception for Mascaras Marvillosas, a new exhibit at Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Dr. Featuring an armada of masks, old and new, from Latin America, the colorful show includes everything from a scary, horned and jagged-toothed Bolivian Diablada (or devil) to a beribboned Negrito mask said to represent the positive side of life. The reception takes place from 5:30 to 8:30, or see the show daily except Mondays, through October 10. For information call 571-4401.
Hooray for Colorado, it's a grand old state--122 years old today, to be exact, and ready to celebrate. The time is ripe for Colorado Day Festivities taking place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the State Capitol Building, Colfax and Broadway, and Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway. Costumed characters from Colorado history will pop up here and there from 9:30 to 11 during self-guided tours of the capitol, where formal ceremonial hoopla will get under way at 11. Then the whole megillah moves over to the museum for a Colorado Birthday Cake Contest, more tours, kids' activities galore, a 2 p.m. Denver Municipal Band concert and a chance to come face-to-face with the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl and AFC Championship trophies. In addition, museum admission is free for the day, making it a perfect time to catch The Times They Are a-Changin': Colorado in the 60s and 70s, an entertaining exhibit set to close August 9. Call 866-3682.
In the world of Latin jazz, Cuban-born trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval is as good as it gets. Equally comfortable with straight-ahead jazz, salsa, mambo, son montuno and Afro-Cuban idioms, Sandoval is the guy Dizzy Gillespie praised for having "bull chops," a flat-out master of his instrument who, like Wynton Marsalis, performs classical trumpet works with equal aplomb. Sandoval will be joined tonight at 8 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder, by the Danilo Perez Trio, led by flashy pianist Perez, whose exceptional 1997 album PanaMonk forcefully played up the Latin ingredients always known to be cloistered in the tunes of Thelonius Monk. Tickets for the blockbuster jazz show, produced under the JVC Jazz banner, range from $20.88 to $28.75; call 786-7030.
Stuffing yourself silly will take on new meaning during Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, a culinary benefit that features specialties from more than 65 of the metro area's favorite restaurants. And that's not all: Fifty wineries will be pouring drink alongside the food tonight from 5 to 8 on the Coors Field concourse, 20th and Blake streets; for those who prefer brews, there'll be a beer garden as well. Admission is $45 in advance ($50 at the door). Proceeds fittingly benefit local anti-hunger programs; call 297-0408.
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Gratuitous violence has never been more entertaining than at WCW Monday Night Nitro Live, a World Championship Wrestling extravaganza coming to the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St., tonight at 5:30. Is it real? Real as your favorite cartoon, but who cares? When pro wrestling superstars--human monstrosities such as Hulk Hogan, Sting, Lex Luger and others--wham and blam each other on the mat for fun and profit, the result is usually high comedy with a strident mass appeal. Admission is $16.50 to $33; call 830-TIXS.
Let yourself be taken for a ride. You'll be awed and amazed at the North American Young Riders' Championships, a week-long showcase featuring some of the best young equestrians from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands in international and Olympic-level show jumping and dressage competitions. Matches take place from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, today through August 9, at High Prairie Farms Equestrian Center, 7522 S. Pinery Dr., Parker. Spectator admission is free; call 841-5550.
Gardens and meadows are in full flower wherever you look. Now's the time to drink it all in, because you're in Colorado, and that means it could be snowing in six weeks. Or not. It's the perfect time for a Sunset Garden Stroll at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1000 York St., where you can enjoy live music, munch on gourmet treats and savor the moment tonight from 6 to 8. Admission ranges $2 to $6.50 (children five and younger admitted free); call 370-8187 for details. And for all the poop on where to find uncultivated meadow and mountain flora, meet Pamela and David Irwin, who will give a slide show and sign their book, Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes: The Front Range, tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St. Call 436-1070.