Wednesday June 29 Piano lessons: Practice makes perfect--directors often hone their filmmaking chops on short subjects before working their way up to full-length features as stunning as the Jane Campion flick The Piano or as quirky as Orlando, Sally Potter's Virginia Woolf adaptation. You can check out shorts by both women when the Mayan Theater screens Jane Campion and Sally Potter: The Short Films, today and tomorrow only. For showtimes and other information call 744-6796. The Mayan is located at 110 Broadway.
Thursday June 30 Put your best fetish forward: Before you stick a pin into anything remotely resembling your ex or your boss, check out Voodoo, an exhibit featuring various artifacts from Haiti, including sequined spirit flags and New Orleans artist Lois Simbach's juju (meaning "fetish charm") dolls. They'll make all your mystical wishes come true. The show will be on display tonight and tomorrow night from 7 until 10 at the Center for Visual Awareness, 2565 Blake St. For further information, don't put in a call to the spirits--call 293-9329 instead.
The Roth elements: Shutterbug Joan Roth has a thing for women--at least for images of them. Her best-known photographic essay, Shopping Bag Ladies of New York, toured extensively; the collection later was published in book form. Her latest effort, Jewish Women: A World of Tradition and Change--depicting women from the countries of Ethiopia, Morocco and Uzbekistan, as well as subjects from more likely locales such as Israel, Eastern Europe and the United States--can be viewed at the Mizel Museum of Judaica, 560 Monaco Pkwy., through August 28. Roth will speak about her experiences traveling around the world collecting the images at a reception tonight from 7 to 9. In addition, the museum plans a performance of music composed by Jewish women on July 25 and a panel discussion about the exhibit on August 18. Call 333-4156.
Friday July 1 In stitches: These days, quilters create colorful and sophisticated artworks that are as much at home on the wall as they are thrown across a mattress. The Artist and the Quilt, an exhibition juried by the Front Range Contemporary Quilters, documents this trend--at least from the Colorado angle--beginning today at the Metro State Center for the Visual Arts, 1701 Wazee St. See the show tonight during the LoDo First Friday gallery walk, 5-9, or during regular gallery hours through August 19. For details call 294-5207.
Bologna sandwich: Denver theater stalwart Ed Baierlein of the Germinal Stage will step out of the wings and into the spotlight, teamed with wife Sally Diamond, for It Had to Be You, a romantic comedy by deft New York playwrighting team Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna--also a husband-and-wife item. Catch the delightful play, which takes place on Christmas Eve and pairs a hungry and manipulative actress with the television commercial director she holds hostage, at $7 economy previews tonight, tomorrow and Sunday or during the regular run, which continues on subsequent Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 7. Tickets for the regular performances cost $9.75 to $11.75; for reservations call 455-7108. The Germinal Stage is located at 2450 W. 44th Ave.
Saturday July 2 It beats everything: The name of beat poet laureate Allen Ginsberg is inseparably entwined with Naropa Institute history. So it's fitting and wise for the spiritual-learning Valhalla's twentieth anniversary celebration to be combined with Beats and Other Rebel Angels: A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg, an event lasting several days that will bring an armada of artists, musicians and poets to Boulder, where they'll perform, speak and teach. The diverse guest roster includes Amiri Baraka, Francesco Clemente and Cecil Taylor, along with beat mainstays such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder and Ken Kesey--and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The action starts this afternoon at the Boulder Public Library; an exhibit featuring Ginsberg photographs opens at 2, and a film about the poet will be shown at 4. Composer/singer/director Meredith Monk performs with Bob Een tonight at 8 at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Rd. Tribute performances, a midnight dance, a library dedication, readings and lectures continue daily through July 7 at various Boulder locations. For details call 546-3574 or see this week's Events listings.
Everything under the sun: Today marks the return of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a prizewinning juried event now in its fourth year. Spread out on 2nd and 3rd avenues between Clayton and St. Paul Streets in Cherry Creek North, the ever-growing festival showcases 200 artists, both local and national, and features a potpourri of performing arts on several stages, gourmet street food, artist demonstrations and an extensive hands-on children's area called Creation Station. As if that weren't enough, the environmentally conscious fair even has a comprehensive recycling program for all the trash left behind by the 250,000 people who come each year to look, eat and buy. Attend the festival from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, today through Monday. Helpful hint: Wear comfortable shoes.
Sunday July 3 Jumping the gun: As any true lover of patriot games can tell you, not all Fourth of July events actually take place on the fourth. The KYGO Country Fourth Concert is just such an animal, a musical event combining performances on the Main Stage by John Anderson, Boy Howdy and John and Audrey Wiggins with a slew of local country-western talent giving their all on the smaller Festival Stage. The gates at Fiddler's Green will open at noon; after the music is a fireworks display to make it a proper fourth--er, third. Tickets are only $3 ($5 reserved); you can pick them up at local Conoco stations. For more information call 321-0950.
Monday July 4 Go Fourth: Whether you decide to celebrate Independence Day in town or out, there's plenty of fun planned--just about anywhere you like. So what are you waiting for? In Castle Rock, there's Fire on the Rock, a family affair with clowns, jugglers, puppets and performing pigs to amuse the kids, as well as bluegrass, hot-air balloons and sky divers to please everyone. And once the sun goes down, get ready for one of the largest, most awesome fireworks displays in the metro area. It's all free, and takes place at Butterfield Crossing Park (take I-25 to Exit 184, then west to The Meadows). Gates open at 4 p.m.
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If your Fourth doesn't come together well without "The Stars and Stripes Forever" for background music, Fiddler's Green is the place to be. There you'll get all the patriotic music you could want, compliments of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the CSO Chorus and the Colorado Children's Chorale--followed by the expected spectacle-in-the-sky. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.; for tickets, $10 ($25 reserved), call 290-TIXS.
Our favorite spectacular in the hills happens each year at Estes Park. This year the resort town kicks off its celebration with the Rocky Mountain Spectacle of Brass, a rootin', tootin' event that begins with drum-and-bugle corps performances of The 1812 Overture and other bombastic musical fare (6:30 p.m., Estes Park High School field, $5-$8) and ends with fabulous fireworks over Lake Estes (between Highways 34 and 36 at the east entrance to Estes Park). For additional information call 1-800-443-7837.
Tuesday July 5 A secluded Hamlet: Tom Stoppard's brilliant, funny comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead tells the story behind the story of the Shakespeare classic Hamlet. A run of Stoppard's play, acted by a fine local cast, opens tonight at 7:30 at the Theatre on Broadway, 13 S. Broadway. Shows continue on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through July 27. Tickets are $10 ($9 students and seniors); to reserve yours, call 777-3292.