Wednesday June 14 Down in the valley: Even if you can't attend the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (this weekend at the lofty resort town), there's one part of it you can still enjoy: the inordinate number of popular acts, acoustic and otherwise, that tend to hang out--and sometimes even perform--in the region before, during and after the big event. For instance, Mary Chapin Carpenter tunes up tonight at Red Rocks before heading for the hills. And the tunes will be plentiful, as Carpenter's fellow Grammy winners, the Mavericks, start the evening out right at 7:30 with a set of their Tex-Mex-flavored, straightahead country rock. Tickets are $22.50; call 830-TIXS. If you're in the mood for something more traditional yet patently modern, the versatile Tim O'Brien & the O'Boys give a taste of their new album, Rock in My Shoe, tonight at 8 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax. Joining O'Brien will be sister Mollie, dobroist extraordinaire and recording partner Jerry Douglas, and Cajun accordionist Dirk Powell. (How good is he? The squeeze-boxer is married to a relative of the Balfa Brothers.) Call 1-800-444-SEAT for tickets; they're $14.
Super chef: When the grande dame of cooking comes to town, you can bet it'll be standing-room only. Living legend Julia Child will trundle into the Tattered Cover Book Store this afternoon to autograph copies of Cooking With Master Chefs. Already makes your stomach grumble, doesn't it? Child appears at 2; numbers for a place in line will be given out at 1:30. Later, the T.C. bats a thousand for the day: American Book Award winner and distinguished Harvard professor Henry Lewis Gates will stop by at 7:30 this evening for a few words from his acclaimed rite of passage, Colored People, in which he recalls his West Virginia childhood, touching on segregation and the affirming power of his own extended family. The Tattered Cover is located at 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 322-7727.
The shape of things: Film for art's sake is the focus of Line and the Moving Image, tonight's First Person Cinema presentation at CU-Boulder. Several short works--including an abstraction set to music by animation innovator Oskar Fischinger, a black-and-white cinematic collage by Gunvor Nelson and a treated-film melange of squiggly images set to African drumbeats by experimenter Len Lye--will be presented at 8 in Fine Arts N141 on the CU-Boulder campus. Admission is $3; for information call 492-1531
Thursday June 15 Let's get the bell tolling: The Rock Bottom Brewery will tap a malty new brew called Clock Tower Ale today at 5:30 in honor of the nearby Daniels and Fisher Tower, currently undergoing restoration. The structure, which has braved many indignities and demolition threats, is not only getting spruced up with a new coat of gold leaf on its dome--it has also gotten its long-silenced 5,300-pound McShane Bell re-rigged. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the newly tapped ale will benefit the tower renovation; dedicated preservationist Lane Ittelson will have the honors. And if weather permits, he'll ring the bell for the first time in fifty years. Rock Bottom is at 1001 16th St.; call 534-7616 for information.
Georgia, Georgia: Many of Georgia O'Keeffe's best and most recognizable works--including images of skulls, rose-colored arroyos, squared adobe buildings and clouds--were painted during the forty years she spent at Abiquiu, New Mexico. Seven years before her death, O'Keeffe let shutterbug Myron Wood photograph her at her Ghost Ranch enclave. The resulting photos are the subject of O'Keeffe at Abiquiu, a show now in place at the Camera Obscura Gallery, 1309 Bannock St., through July 23. For gallery hours or information call 623-4059.
Friday June 16 May we have this dance? Choreography and lithe movement get the spotlight this weekend during separate performances by the David Taylor Dance Theatre and a revolving roster of local dance troupes, in a round-robin showcase called Choreography! The Taylor group performs in Rainforest, a full-length multimedia groundbreaker featuring an original score, animal costumes and a stunning set, tonight and tomorrow at 8 and Sunday at 2 at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. For tickets, $10 to $18, call 777-7372 or 830-TIXS. Choreography!, on the other hand, is a six-performance festival of varied dance works by several locals, including Danelle Helander, Kim Robards Dance, Deborah Reshotko and others, taking place at the Changing Scene Theater, 1527 1/2 Champa St. at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday, today through June 25. Admission is $6 to $7 nightly or $30 for the series; call 893-5775 for program information and reservations.
Cho and tell: Here in the post-Seinfeld network-television climate, it seems like being a comedian is the prerequisite for getting your own brand-new TV sitcom. Although Korean-American comic Margaret Cho wasn't an instant prime-time success (critics said the writing for All-American Girl didn't match up to the talent), she continues to land acting gigs, and her side-splitting, leather-clad stage shtick--dropping the ax on dating, self-image and her mother--is top-notch. Cho opens a two-day run tonight at the Comedy Works, 1226 15th St.; for showtimes and information call 595-3637. Got your fill? Think again: Another TV interloper, Platypus Man Richard Jeni, performs tomorrow night at 8 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl. Tix for that jokefest are $16 to $18; call 534-8336 or 830-TIXS.
Saturday June 17 Mo' music: Get ready for a whopping helping of down-home roots music--a brilliant pairing of gospel/ Stax R&B kingpin Pops Staples and new blues traditionalist Keb' Mo' will transform the Chautauqua Auditorium into a mighty big, comfortable old front porch tonight at 8. Staples, the genius behind the Staples Singers, lends an air of patience and faith to every tune--whether it be inspirational, political or just plain rockin'--backing himself, with a haunting tremelo tone, on electric guitar. And opener Mo' (his real name is Kevin Moore), a young Delta blues picker, mixes Robert Johnson ditties with his own compositions. Chautauqua is located at 900 Baseline Rd., Boulder; to reserve tickets, $16 to $21, call 440-7666 or 830-TIXS.
Bring the family: What better way is there to gear up for Father's Day than to share some family fun in the sun? Today's Winter Park Family Bike and Hike Festival will keep everyone busy--biking off-road, communing with nature or enjoying Winter Park's usual summer attractions. Guided bike tours and hikes are scheduled throughout the day, and for $8, riders wanting to hone their skills can take a two-hour mountain-bike class. Events will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; for additional information call 892-0961.
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Sunday June 18 Fair-weather friends: A pair of outdoor festivals mark this year's Dad's Day, both tailor-made for familial bonding: Juneteenth in the Points, the annual Five Points street fete celebrating slavery's end, wraps up the weekend with a rousing Gospelfest, the foot-stomping annual crowd favorite that would raise the roof--if there were one. Booths will be open at 25th and Welton streets from 10 to 5; hop on the light rail and head on down. For details call 388-0193 or 832-3770. The annual River Festival makes the move this year from downtown Littleton to Dove Valley Park, located on South Potomac St. off Arapahoe Rd. east of I-25. Topping off those festivities is nonstop live music from 11 'til 6 and an 8 p.m. fireworks show, accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Light up your life; tickets are $5 (kids under five free). Call 290-9070.
Monday June 19 Rap artist: One of the detective genre's most entertaining and popular authors, Elmore Leonard can always be counted on to provide plenty of thrills and chills. In his latest literary offering, Riding the Rap, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is on the trail of the redundant no-show, bookie Harry Arno. Leonard will offer a sample tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St. Call 436-1070 for the straight poop.
Tuesday June 20 Dead man blues: Jazz great Jelly Roll Morton's last night on earth is the subject of the Broadway musical Jelly's Last Jam, told to the syncopated tune of Morton's trailblazing music. The show's fine touring cast, which includes dancing man Maurice Hines as Jelly Roll and Seventies pop star Freda Payne (remember "Band of Gold"?) as Gran Mimi, brings the story to life beginning tonight at 8 at the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, and continuing through July 2. Admission prices range from $10 to $40; call 893-4100 for reservations and additional showtimes.