They say Mahler's Symphony No. 7 isn't often performed because it's just so darned long, and even the most dedicated classical music fans have been known to squirm in their seats when that happens. But the faithful know that it's worth it: When Maestro Giora Bernstein and the Colorado Music Festival trot out the lengthy soul poem interwoven with themes from popular music of the era tonight and tomorrow night at 8, it'll be certain cause for celebration among Mahler-maniacs, and an emotional learning experience for everyone else in the audience. Bernstein and orchestra perform at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Rd., Boulder; for information and tickets, ranging from $12 to $35, call 303-449-2413 or log on to www.coloradomusicfest.com.
Here's an absolute musty for local bibliophiles: The annual Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Book Fair features thousands of one-of-a-kind bookshelf collectibles, along with maps, illustrations, photographs, prints and other literary ephemera guaranteed to put you in that wood-paneled, leather- and tapestry-upholstered, books-to-the-ceiling state of mind one can only get from a pile of old tomes. Fair hours are 4 to 9 tonight and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Denver Merchandise Mart, I-25 and 58th Ave.; in addition to the vendor tables, Boulder author Sylvia Pettem gives a slide show and signs Separate Lives: The Story of Mary Rippon tonight and actor Charles Wilcox (aka William Shakespeare) appears tomorrow from 1 to 3. Admission is $4 ($6 for both days); for details call 303-480-5193.
While photography giant Ansel Adams is probably best known for his awesome, chiaroscuro landscapes and moonrises, he also photographed many a building during his extended career, forming a kind of visual and complementary counterpoint to his images from nature. That's the focus of Building Form: Ansel Adams and Architecture, an exhibit covering a forty-year stretch of architectural works opening today at the Metro Center for the Visual Arts, 1734 Wazee St. Ron Wohlauer will walk gallery-goers through the exhibit tonight from 6 to 7, and the show continues through August 28; call 303-294-5207.
Year after year, prospective home buyers have an opportunity to dream a little dream when the Home Builders of Metro Denver put on their annual new-home showcase touting the freshest and the best trends in modern home construction and decoration. So it goes with the 1999 Parade of Homes, featuring nine unique homes at the Broadlands, a Broomfield golf course community boasting mountain views and nearby parks and hiking trails. Admission is $8 to $10 (kids twelve and under free); proceeds from the event, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through September 6, benefit the Children's Hospital and the Broomfield Community Foundation. Call 303-778-1444.
Interactive is where it's at for up-and-coming sports fans everywhere, and in that spirit, the NHL Breakout '99 is just one of the latest in a long line of tournament/festivals stopping over in Denver--a classic sports town--as they tour the country. The focus at breakout is street and in-line hockey, another rising pastime, which can be observed during tournament play on state-of-the-art inflatable rinks and experienced firsthand in skill-testing exhibits, activity centers and challenges. In addition, Colorado Avalanche players are expected to appear; it all takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow in the Coors Field parking lots. Festival admission is free (there's a $160 team entry fee for tournament play); for additional information call 303-405-1117 or log on to www.nhlbreakout.com.
Everyone has some kind of athletic skill, though it's sometimes difficult to discover just what that might be. Well, suits and suitesses, here's the perfect opportunity to show your stuff. At the first annual LoDo Games, you'll have to get by on your unique urban survival skills--and maybe the seat of your pants. The games, which benefit the Lower Downtown District Inc., are made up of a collection of LoDo-apropos obstacles that ten-member relay teams must bravely overcome. As a consolation (after all, are there really any winners in this kind of competition?), there will be prizes in such categories as most interesting uniforms, best team name and greatest talent, and--one can only hope--the brews will be flowing. Teams compete from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today after gathering in front of Dixons Downtown Grill, at 16th and Wazee streets; sliding-scale team fees range from $250 for LoDo Lightweights to $1,000 for LoDo Corporate Conquerors. Call 303-628-5428 for more details.
It's a long way from Newport, but the annual Augustana Jazz Fest--this year featuring performances by the 17th Avenue All Stars, Wake Up Call and Dotsero--always promises a good time for everyone in attendance, offering pizza and soda and kids' activities along with the music in return for admission donations earmarked to benefit Lutheran Refugee Services, an agency helping Kosovo refugees in the Denver area. The party lasts from 5 to 9 this evening at Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 E. Alameda Ave.; suggested donation is $10 ($30 for families; children under six admitted free). Call 303-388-4678.
If you or yours have ever had a hankering to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, here's your chance. You don't have to be an expert to take part in the 1999 Aerial Dance Festival, a week-long session of workshops, lectures and demonstrations organized by Frequent Flyers Productions founder Nancy Smith and featuring aerial-dance faculty from across the nation, focusing on aerial dance techniques, today through August 7, Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder Rock Club and Chautauqua Community House, Boulder, 303-444-5569.
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Lucky E-Town--and lucky you. The Boulder-based public radio program snags some talented fallout from the weekend's RockyGrass fest in Lyons for a special taping tonight at 7 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St. in Boulder. In addition to presenting its usual environmentally oriented conversations, E-Town will feature two incomparable duos: virtuoso mandolinist David Grisman and guitarist Tony Rice, along with country/folk songwriting sensations Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, all performing tunes for the audience and the airwaves. For tickets, $11, call 303-786-7030.
If you're one of those folks--and there are many--who never seem to tire of the magnetic Wild West mystique, a new book by Mesa State College history professor Paul Reddin might at least lay to rest one aspect of that age-old call of the wild. Reddin's scholarly study, Wild West Shows, takes on the era's greatest glamorizers, fromBuffalo Bill Cody to Tom Mix, exploring the roots, heyday and demise of their commercially driven art form. Reddin discusses and signs the book tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. in Cherry Creek; for details call 303-322-7727.
Discover another side of film pioneer Charlie Chaplin--that of non-comedic director--when the Colorado Chautauqua Association presents the silent-screen comedian's A Woman of Paris as part of its summer Silent Film Series. But since Chaplin barely appears in the sophisticated drama starring Adolph Menjou and Edna Purviance--and then only in a momentary Hitchcockian walk-on--film fans hoping for a taste of the classic Little Tramp will appreciate the addition of the short Easy Street to the bill. In that little gem, Chaplin is a meek policeman who is challenged by a gargantuan street tough. Screenings of both films, with live accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, begin at 7:30 at the Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Rd., Boulder. Admission is $4 to $6 at the door; call 303-440-7666 for more information.