This Week's Day-by-Day Picks
Burn, baby, burn: Nothing will heat up your impending weekend quicker than a little recreational fire-breathing and poi (that's Hawaiian fire-spinning, folks), brought to you by Denver's local experts, the Lumina Performance Troupe. The safety-conscious group, which includes hot, hot, hot choreography, drumming, juggling, gymnastics, stilt-walking and more in its repertoire, will rub two sticks together and see what happens during the Wild Rumpus, a performance based loosely on Maurice Sendak's picture-book classic Where the Wild Things Are. At the very least, expect a slightly more grown-up (and smoky!) version of the tale; it all takes place at 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday at the Federal Theatre, 3830 Federal Boulevard. Admission is $10, or $8 if you arrive decked out in your own Wild Thing costume for the après-show DJ and dancing; call 303-399-4662 for reservations. For more on Lumina, log on to www.glozonemusic.com/lumina.html.
Have you ever noticed how a parking lot looks a whole lot prettier when you're drinking wine in it? Don't drive, sip: Entrust your keys to someone trustworthy and dive into a slew of regional vintages at the Colorado Wine Festival, a free weekend wine-tasting event featuring over sixty Colorado-made varieties of vino from twelve wineries. Colorado Farmers Markets will also participate, with booths offering produce, pasta and other fresh and edible goodies, and Outback Steakhouse will provide steak and shrimp sample plates. The festival takes place from 4 to 6 today and 1 to 6 tomorrow in the parking lot at Total Beverage, a spirits emporium at 770 East 104th Avenue, Thornton. You'll get a lot of bang for your buck; for details, call 303-280-3800 or log on to www.totalbeverage.net.
Those who think the drive-in experience is too passé (see "Drive On In," page 50) can still evoke some of the atmosphere when the Boulder Outdoor Cinema opens for the season, offering a whole new series of family films screened on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer against the back wall of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder. Tonight's kick-off flick,Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, begins at dusk (The Two Towers will screen in August), with Disney's Monsters, Inc. providing the yuks tomorrow night. Pre-movie entertainment will also be offered on select evenings (Kim Mallek performs tonight); as always, it's bring your own lawn chair. Admission is $3 to $5, which benefits the museum; call 303-444-1351 or log on to www.outdoorcinema.com.
Once in a while, a double bill so strong you can hardly believe it flies through town, and this is one of them, at least for the singer-songwriter set. Quintessential Austinite songsmith Guy Clark --a true favorite of the favorites in the country-tinged songwriting world -- headlines tonight at Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 East Yale Avenue. Husband-and-wife duo Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, whose new example of teamwork in action, a CD aptly titled Never Gonna Let You Go, is set for release next week, will open the show smartly with their own handcrafted material. Promising to be both utterly contemporary and as old as the hills, the concert begins at 8; for tickets, $23 to $29, call 303-777-1003 or log on to www.swallowhill.com.
The baseball team that takes the term "rocky road" to a whole new level still has the power to make it all up to us here at home. And now it's your turn to contribute: Our lowly Rox, for better or worse, will host the Colorado Rockies Home Run, a benefit 5K run/walk and 1K kids' fun run for the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund, this morning at 8:15 at Coors Field, 20th and Blake streets. The course will take you around the ballpark's warning track and through surrounding LoDo streets before winding up back at the stadium for a repast of ballpark food and drink. The entry fee of $15 to $30 includes a T-shirt and two home-game ticket vouchers; for information and registration, call 303-430-2969 or log on to www.coloradorockies.com.
On the other hand, families with kids still too little to reach the T-ball might opt to participate in a Park Hill neighborhood Stroller Roll hosted by local businesses, including Dardano's School of Gymnastics, 2250 Kearney Street, and Spinelli's Market, 4621 East 23rd Avenue, to benefit the Denver Ronald McDonald House. The rolling trek caters to kids ages six and under and their folks; it begins at 10 at Ferguson Park, 23rd Avenue and Dexter Street, and wends its way down city streets to Dardano's for a 45-minute slate of gymnastic activities before heading back to the park for a picnic lunch and goodie bags. The entry fee is $10 per person; pre-registration is available at either Dardano's (303-355-0080) or Spinelli's (303-329-8143), or sign on at the park for $15 each, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the event.
Chef and restaurant-verité author Anthony Bourdain made his name a household word among foodies with the biting exposé Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, but since then, he's been writing the next best thing: mysteries. You know, food, sex, mayhem -- all the stuff that made Kitchen Confidential famous. Bourdain will read from and sign his third whodunit, The Bobby Gold Stories, tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street; for details, call 303-436-1070 or log on to www.tatteredcover.com.
The Unique Lives and Experiences Lecture Series, an annual lineup of fascinating women speakers, one-ups itself for its season finale tonight by presenting a woman who truly lives up to the series premise: Lily Tomlin, the performer and comedian known for her outrageous characters, will do an about-face tonight at the Buell Theatre, where she'll talk about...herself. Of course, you never know whose voice will pop out of her mouth while she's doing so. The Buell is in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, at 14th and Curtis streets. Admission for the 7:30 show ranges from $29 to $69; for reservations, call 1-877-872-8124.
Get moving: When the sun warms your bones, it's time to put on your walking shoes, and that's what the annual Spring Into Health/Mayor's Fitness Walk, from 9 to noon at the bloomin'-gorgeous Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York Street, is all about. The easy one-mile walk hosted by Mayor Webb gives way to a full-blown health expo aimed at older adults, with health screenings, massages, music and other fun stuff. The walk fee, which includes all of the above, a T-shirt and a snack pack, is $7; call 303-458-4869 to register.
Summer is here: The concert season roars into high gear tonight when Dave Grohl and his fabulous Foo Fighters rattle the rafters at the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson Street, proving once again that there is life -- and more of it than you could ever imagine -- after Nirvana. Alt-popper and Farrelly Brothers favorite Pete Yorn opens at 7; for tickets, $30 call 303-830-TIXS or log on to www. ticketmaster.com.
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What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.