The Denver Jewish Film Festival explores the full gamut of Jewish issues on the screen, beginning tonight at the Mizel Family Cultural Arts Center at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St. The festival, now in its third year, offers more than twenty films over its weeklong span, including the Colorado premiere of The Assistant, directed by Daniel Petrie and based on Bernard Malamud's novel; Ira Wohl's documentary Best Man, which follows up his Academy Award-winning Best Boy; and Lauren Chiten's adaptation of the best-selling book The Jew in the Lotus. Celebrity appearances, thought-provoking presentations and the usual opening and closing night parties tie together the whole megillah. Tickets are $5 to $7 per showing, $36 for an opening-night screening and festivities and $18 for closing night. For information call 321-8297.
It's time again for the annual Gavin A3 Summit, where the movers and shakers of the AOR radio market gather in Boulder to gab while listening to some of the reigning stars and upcoming phenoms in the music business. Capping the convention is a series of concerts open to the public--and that's where you come in. Although headliner Robbie Robertson has bailed out of tonight's powerhouse song circle with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois, the other three are still scheduled to perform, along with Neil Finn and Grant Lee Buffalo. Tomorrow's bill includes Chris Isaak, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and Rufus Wainwright; Saturday finds Bela Fleck and the Cowboy Junkies on stage. All three shows begin at 8:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; for tickets, ranging from $28.50 to $31.50, call 443-3399 or 830-TIXS.
Anyone still in the grip of World Cup fever won't want to miss tonight's Colorado Rapids game against the Chicago Fire, if only to see the daring, jauntily clad Chicago goalkeeper Jorge Campos, also a star on the Mexican national team. But here's an additional AAAgooooaaaallll!!! you'll score by attending tonight's 7:30 game at Mile High Stadium: The enormously popular Norteno band Los Tigres del Norte will don attire even flashier than Campos's for a live appearance at 9:45, immediately following the game. Tickets are $12 to $20; call 288-1599 or 830-TIXS.
This weekend promises a cornucopia of cultural festivals and general foofaraw in the streets, starting with the daylong Colorado Irish Festival, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Stapleton Events Center, 26th Ave. and Quebec St. If it's Irish, it'll be there--entertainment includes a Riverdance-style feis (dance competition), storytelling with Irish Theater troupe Tir Na nig, a pub-worthy tug-of-war and lots of music, capped with an appearance by Celtic songbird Cathie Ryan and her new band. The $10 admission (children twelve and under are admitted free) also includes access to vendors, food, drink and even an ancestry booth where you can trace your family name; for details call 620-7014.
Or celebrate Latino culture in style at this year's Chile Harvest Festival, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow at a new site in Civic Center Park, Colfax and Broadway. A free-flowing fiesta with one of the best folk-art markets you'll see in these parts, the festival--including demonstrations, storytelling, entertainment and booths selling tasty traditional foods--is free. Call 571-0440.
And a Western flavor will reign today at Littleton's Western Welcome Week Festival Day, a culmination of events that have been ongoing in the downtown area since last week. An arts and crafts festival, children's and grand parades and live music are just a few of the delights along Littleton's Main Street; other tie-in events include an annual used-book sale at nearby Arapahoe Community College and an afternoon country-Western dance at the Elks Lodge, 5749 S. Curtice St. It's all free; call 797-5774.
Lower downtown Denver will play host today when the LoDo Fais Do Do Crawfish Boil and Street Party gets under way for its second year, on 17th St. between Blake and Wynkoop streets from noon to 6 p.m. Promising to be bigger, more organized and better stocked than last year's fledgling party, the Fais Do Do features free music and dancing, family activities and plain old good spirits. But the food--a gazillion pounds of crawfish, red beans and rice, sweet corn, watermelon and pecan pie--is undoubtedly the star of this event. Call 458-6685. And save some room: A few blocks away from the LoDo fete, the Colorado Harvest Market will share late-summer farm bounty with the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Larimer Square; call 607-1276.
It's not much of a stretch to make a connection between Cajun cuisine and Tiny Town--after all, the new project of former Subdude Tommy Malone is about three-quarters Louisianan. So, heck--what better way to wrap up your day on the pseudo bayou than with Malone and bandmates when they crank up their R&B-flavored repertoire tonight at 9 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder? Work off your red-bean bloat in style, cher: On the bill with Tiny Town are The Derailers, a no-holds-barred, slick-haired honky-tonk outfit inspired by Buck Owens; for tickets, $10.50, call 443-3399 or 830-TIXS.
Cascades of transparent color trip the light fantastic at the annual Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, which opened yesterday at the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., Golden. A 99-work visual tableau of painstakingly executed still lifes and portraits, atmospheric landscapes and florals bursting with rainbow colors, the show continues through October 18; a public reception introduces the exhibition today from 2 to 4 p.m.; 279-3922. The center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday; call 279-3922.
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Local pianist/percussionist/composer Mike Vargas is a musical free spirit who's come full circle in his art, going from playing classical piano to cocktail jazz to worldbeat to free improv to music for dance before finding himself back where he started. But with all that experience under his belt, don't expect Vargas to play Mozart. The only way to understand his current introspective genre is to hear it--and you'll have the opportunity tonight when the Creative Music Works/Lamont School of Music Series presents Vargas at 7:30 at the Houston Fine Arts Center, 7111 Montview Blvd. He'll perform new music for solo piano, and that's all we know; admission is $8 ($5 students). Call 759-1797.
Denver's Alternative Arts Alliance is alive and well, and the evidence is in CO=Excellence '98, the organization's annual juried traveling exhibit of works by Colorado artists. Jurors Jim Robischon and Renee Stout selected works for the show, which debuts today at the Emmanuel Gallery, 10th & Lawrence streets, Auraria campus, before moving on to art centers in Steamboat Springs and Pueblo. A reception takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 29; the show runs through September 17 at Emmanuel. Call 556-8337 for gallery hours.
Neurologist/author Oliver Sacks writes fascinating accounts of people distinguished by their rare and unique neurological conditions. Now he makes the jump to television in a new PBS series, Oliver Sacks: The Mind Traveller, in which viewers will meet some of the doctor's most interesting patients. Tonight's opener, "The Ragin' Cajun," profiles Danny Delcambre, a deaf and nearly blind restaurateur who staffs his Seattle eatery with fellow members of the deaf community; three more installments follow in the weeks to come. See Sacks tonight at 9 on KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
What Bela Fleck did for the banjo, Jamie Masefield and members of the Jazz Mandolin Project are doing for the mandolin--they're liberating the eight-stringed hummingbird of an instrument from bluegrass bondage forever. Bye-bye, Bill Monroe--what you'll hear tonight at 9 when the band plays the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, is a wild mixture of jazz, rock, hip-hop grooves, swing and the kitchen sink. Tickets are $8.50; call 443-3399 or 830-