Wednesday November 29 At your bidding: It's a small service, but one that brings great joy into the lives of AIDS patients for whom pets provide a sense of well-being and belonging. Members of the organization PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) help provide supplies and assistance in caring for those therapeutic pups and pusses. To raise funds for their efforts, pet-themed local works--including paintings and photography by a pair of artists living with AIDS, artwork by a father-daughter combo, quilts, charcoal pet portraits and illustrations, among other things--will be auctioned off tonight at the Pet Art for PAWS silent auction, from 5 to 8:30 at GOOG Industrial Gallery, 1835 Blake St. Donations of $5 will be accepted at the door; for more information call 861-PAWS.
It's all happening at the zoo: You've been there a zillion times, but did you ever stop to contemplate the history of the Denver Zoo? Locals Carolyn and Don Etter have, and they share their findings in a new book titled The Denver Zoo: A Centennial History. Backed by archival images, old architectural plans, zoo lore and photos of memorable animals and attractions from over the years, the book's wide perspective ought to do wonders for those tunnel-visionists still whining about Klondike and Snow. Get a life, people--the Etters will autograph copies tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 322-7727.
Zoned out: Anyone who ever ventured down the odd corridors of television's The Twilight Zone ought to be duly fascinated by Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval, an in-depth profile of the imaginative guy who made it all happen in the first place. The ninety-minute Serling bio, filmed in black and white, will be aired as part of the American Masters series on PBS; tune in tonight at 8 to KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
Thursday November 30 Dead ringers: Here's an auction for the truly weird, and don't let the title fool you: The fifth annual Bizarre Wreath Auction for Normal People, a benefit for the Denver School of the Arts, offers some of the most unusual Christmas hangups you've ever seen (as well as plenty of the more traditional kind), all provided by artists, media members, businesses and DSA students. From 5 to 6:30 at the Denver Petroleum Club, on the 37th floor of the Anaconda Tower, 555 17th St., guests may view and bid silently on the creations (the live bidding begins at 6:30). Admission is $25; for details call 436-9449.
My own private Iowa: Sleepy-voiced singer-songwriter Greg Brown has the stuff cult figures are made of. Like his folk-circuit pal Bill Morrissey, Brown is a storyteller of literary dimensions, and like the best of his genre, he's as likely to sing about fishing as he is to dwell on more important issues such as sex or death. The son of an Iowa holy-roller preacher, Brown grew up with gospel, if not the gospel, a spiritual musicality that remains with him, somewhere in the back of his head. Brown appears, with guest Richard Shindell, in a Swallow Hill concert at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St., tonight at 7. Tickets are $14 ($12 members); call 1-800-444-SEAT.
Friday December 1 Time out: Somber remembrances and other events will mark the area's observance of World AIDS Day. The Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., will again host Day Without Art ceremonies recalling countless arts-community members lost to AIDS and paying homage to those now living with HIV/AIDS. A gathering and memorial slide show will be held from 4:30 to 6 in the museum foyer and Silber Hall; participants are invited to come forward and share stories about how their lives have been affected by the disease. In Jefferson County, updated HIV/AIDS information and resources will be available from 11 to 3 in the atrium of the Jeffco Courts and Administration Building, 100 Jefferson County Pkwy., Golden; data-seekers can peruse a display honoring Jeffco residents who have died from or are now living with the virus. A pair of NAMES Memorial Quilt panels will be on display today at the Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, where live entertainment, including exemplary jazz by the Jerry Hahn Trio at 7 p.m., will be offered throughout the day, as will informational materials about AIDS and an opportunity to leave your own personal message on a blank canvas. The center is located at 2349 E. Orchard Rd. in Greenwood Village; call 797-1779. And rounding out the day is a simple but beautiful and effective tribute sponsored by St. Patrick Church at 33rd Ave. and Pecos St. Beginning at dusk, hundreds of luminarias--candlelit paper bags--will be lighted on the church steps until 8:30 p.m. Call 433-6328.
Heart and stroll: Walking is good for you, right? And art--isn't that good for the soul? Put them together and you've got the time-honored tradition of the gallery stroll, several of which will welcome the holiday season this weekend. LoDo First Friday, always a good bet, now features close to forty art venues offering a dizzying variety of stuff to admire. New and different? Between the gallery-trek hours of 5 and 9 p.m., check out the Opicka Gallery, 1743 Wazee St., for Wood Water Rock Bone: Sites and Glyphs, an interesting melange of photographs and found-object assemblages by artist/naturalist W. Andrew Beckham, on display through December 17 with more photography by Blake L. Milteer. And at the William Matthews Gallery, watercolorist Matthews covers the walls with just the thing he's best known for--Western-flavored works depicting modern cowboy life (tonight through the end of December). Meanwhile, the Boulder Art Walk also gets in the holiday act with a full weekend of special openings, open houses, demonstrations and other activities in downtown Boulder, beginning tonight from 6 to 9 and continuing on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Standouts include a trunk-load of folk art at the new 2020 Gallery, 2020 11th St.; a Judaica Show for Hanukkah shoppers at the Boulder Arts and Crafts Cooperative, 1421 Pearl St.; a sprawling show of Colorado-made gift items (that also benefits the Boulder County Safehouse) at Art Space Gallery, 1135 Broadway; and the returning modern icons of Romanian artist Ileana Barbu at Ruth Linton Gallery, 1217 Spruce St. For additional information, see the Thrills gallery listings.
Saturday December 2 Sparkle plenty: Nothing says sugarplums better than the ethereal Parade of Lights, downtown Denver's annual cheek-chilling paean to the kilowatt. This year's fete--a heady 7 p.m. confection of themed floats, marching bands, horse carriages and those now-famous giant balloons reminiscent of the Macy's Parade--rolls from Civic Center on 14th, then on to Tremont, 17th, Arapahoe and 15th streets before wending its way back to 14th and Colfax in time for a Laser Spectacular, which lights up the night skies before the parade at 6:30 and again at 8:30. The truly enthusiastic can warm up beforehand by running the 1.5-mile Reindeer Dash (6:40 p.m., just before the parade); entry fees range from $12 to $15 ($5 additional on race night). For race registration information or general parade details, call 478-7878.
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Sunday December 3 Sing along with George: No, "greeting the season with voices raised" does not mean feuding loudly among yourselves at the mall sale tables. More likely, it refers to something like a Messiah Sing-Along, during which an auditorium full of grown--and not so grown--people get together and sing their hearts out to the tune of Handel's holiday masterpiece. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra hosts its annual event this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; tickets to the free-for-all are ten bucks ($5 students and children). In addition, scores will be sold in the lobby for $7; for details call 986-8742. Hallelujah, baby!
Monday December 4 Shapes of things: The innovative First Person Cinema series at CU-Boulder closes out its fall schedule with a fanciful Absolut Animation program that proves, once and for all, that there is poetry in motion. The three colorful, image-laden contemporary works included will be screened at 8 p.m. on campus in the Fine Arts N141 auditorium; admission is $2. Call 492-1531.
Tuesday December 5 This boy's life: The braids and rabbi duds are things of the past for onetime Culture Clubber Boy George. After a celebrated comeback on the coattails of The Crying Game, the gender-bending flick for which he sang the title song, George O'Dowd--who's now bound to show up wearing almost anything from a three-piece suit to a feathered femme-fatale chapeau--has settled into something that sounds a little like, well, rock and roll. The boyish one performs tonight at 7:30 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl.; to reserve tickets, $18.50, call 830-