Wednesday June 8 Sweet home Chicago: Lady dicks don't get any tougher than Windy City gumshoe V.I. Warshawski, who solves crimes while dealing with midlife crises. She's the fictional creation of enormously popular author Sara Paretsky, who will autograph Tunnel Vision, the newest Warshawski mystery, from noon to 1 p.m. today at Murder by the Book, 1574 S. Pearl St., and at 7:30 tonight at the Tattered Cover, 2955 E. 1st Ave. (numbers for a place in line at that reading will be given out at 7). For details call Murder by the Book, 871-9401, or the Tattered Cover, 322-7727.
Thursday June 9 Net profits: The best of professional volleyball's best will battle for bucks under the sun at Boulder Reservoir during the Cuervo Gold Crown '94 Series, beginning at 9 a.m. today with qualifying matches and continuing through Saturday's championship game. And champions are what you'll get--Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes (top team of the 1993 circuit), along with veterans Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos and Tim Hovland and rising stars Adam Johnson and Brian Lewis, are just a few of the sizzling spikers competing. General admission is free, but fans interested in preferred bleacher seating can call 1-800-793-TOUR for information. Or keep the sand out of your eyes and watch the final rounds at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, broadcast live on ESPN.
Friday June 10 Deeply Fjeld: Norwegian songwriter Jonas Fjeld delivers his material in a voice as American as they come--steeped in classic honky-tonk twang and eerily reminiscent of Hank Williams. After earning several Norwegian Grammy awards and cutting wax in Nashville, Fjeld linked up with Eric Andersen and the Band's Rick Danko for a trio recording that helped put his name on the American map. The Norwegian folkie will appear solo tonight at 8 at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 1905 S. Pearl St. His pal Andersen sings there for two shows tomorrow night, so it isn't out of order to hope they'll sit in together--at least for a number or two. Tickets to hear Fjeld are $10 ($8 members); for Andersen's gig they're $14 ($12 members). For information call 777-1003.
Flight patterns: You've heard so much about all the spectacular public art at DIA, but with airport operations in limbo, how do you get to see the dang stuff? The Boulder Art Center, 1750 13th St. in Boulder, will present An Evening With the Artists of DIA, which includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with the 22 artists, a talk by two of them--Sherry Wiggins and Mark Villareal--a slide show presented by Jill Crow of the Airport Art Steering Committee, and for extra entertainment, theatrical vignettes from summer productions in the Continental Divide Theatre Space. In between, you might as well take a look at three interesting photography shows (works by Dorothy Dehner, Heinrich Harrer and Allen Ginsberg) hanging in the gallery. It all begins at 7 this evening; admission is $40. Call 443-2122 for reservations. Hanging around: If you've never witnessed vertical dance before, this is your big chance to hang your jaw in awe. Maintain! Climbing the Walls, a spellbinding, gravity-defying work by choreographer Carmela Weber in collaboration with indoor-climbing-wall designer Jean Marc Blanche, Paul Sibly (he rigged up the climbing scenes in Sylvester Stallone's Cliff Hanger) and composer Jesse Manno, will be performed tonight on a vertical plane, sans ropes or gear, at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. To reserve tickets, ranging in price from $10 to $15.50, call 290-TIXS.
Saturday June 11 Form and content: Taking their cue from the Bauhaus, Italians have had an influential hand in the promotion of good design as an art form. Masterworks: Italian Design, 1960-1994, a new show opening today at the Denver Art Museum, explores works by Italian designers, from "abstract sculptors" like Mario Bellini and Vico Magistretti and functionalists Achille Castiglione and Richard Sapper to the later antimodernists Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Mendini and Andrea Branzi. The exhibit's sleek examples of furniture, glass, ceramics, metal and stonework combine high-tech flash, geometric and organic forms, decorative patterns and historical eclecticism for a fascinating overview of contemporary objects. For information call the museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., at 640-2793. The exhibition runs through August 7.
Coolidge runnings: You may remember her from "Kris and Rita," a countrified husband-and-wife act that garnered two Grammy awards and a loyal following. Since then, she's recorded innumerable albums and worked with everyone from George Harrison to Bob Dylan. But you might not know that Rita Coolidge is also a staunch philanthropist whose tireless campaigning on behalf of the homeless is personified in the title track of her new album, Love Lesson. Coolidge will continue her work when she donates her time for a benefit performance for Samaritan House, taking place at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25; for additional information or to make reservations, call 980-2288.
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Sunday June 12 Out of syndication: Humorist Dave Barry regularly makes people chortle all over the country with his gently wry syndicated column--his musings have even inspired a network sitcom. Everyone's favorites have now been collected in a new book, Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up, and Barry will sign copies at 1 p.m. today at the Tattered Cover, 2955 E. 1st Ave. in Cherry Creek (322-7727). Then he heads to Boulder for a 7 p.m. E-Town taping at the Boulder Theatre, 2030 14th St., where you just might get to see another side of the funny guy, who is also a closet musician and plays in a band with fellow writers Stephen King and Amy Tan. Other musical E-Town guests include the far more professional Terrance Simien and his Mallet Playboys and folkish Tish Hinojosa, whose sweet pipes are always welcome around here--as is her tasty guitarist, Marvin Dykhuis. Tickets are $6 in advance ($8 day of show); to purchase yours call 786-7030.
Annie, get your gumbo: You have your choice of ways to celebrate ethnicity today--you can check out the zydeco, alligator pie and jambalaya at Festival New Orleans, 1 p.m. at Fiddler's Green, or get thee to the mountains, mon, for this year's Reggae Sunsplash, 2 p.m. at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge. Either way, there'll be plenty of nonstop music--all things Louisianan, including Buckwheat Zydeco, Zachary Richard, John Delafose, or Jamaican reggae with Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Marcia Griffiths and others. Tickets for the Fiddler's Green festival are $17.50 (plus a $3 facility fee), while Sunsplash admission goes for $22.50 in advance ($25 day of show); whichever way you decide to swing, call 290-TIXS.
Monday June 13 Dress rehearsal: Perhaps you forgot that America's favorite wacky wabbit Bugs Bunny often appeared wagging his eyelashes on screen as anything from a Southern belle to a rose-between-the-teeth flamenco dancer. Bugs in Drag, a new perspective on cartoondom's perpetual wiseass, will have you on the floor laughing at the Mayan Theatre, 1st and Broadway, where the brassy animated collection ends a short run today. For showtimes or other details, call 744-6796 and ask, "What's up, Doc?"
Tuesday June 14 A commercial success: Admit it. When a commercial is good, you don't mind seeing it over and over--as any couch potato must. And you won't mind seeing it again if it was selected for The World's Best Commercials 1993, a review of commanding, silly and slick advertisements from around the world. The flick, which includes Nike's pitting of Charles Barkley against Godzilla, a raunchy British offering for Foster's Lager and computer-animated wonders from Japan, opens a three-day run at the Mayan, 1st and Broadway, today. Call 744-6796 for showtimes.