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Thrills for the week

Thursday
November 20
Songs in the key of Broadway: Nothing gets 'em going like a Broadway standard--something the Colorado Symphony Orchestra learned well during last year's sold-out Broadway showcases. This year the CSO goes whole hog for the Great White Way with an expanded Bravo Broadway Two pops program, which features a talented roster of veterans, including returnees Jan Horvath and Keith Buterbaugh and young Les Miserables phenom Michael Maguire. The show goes on tonight at 7:30 at Boettcher Concert Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; repeat performances take place at the same time and place Friday and Saturday. To reserve tickets, ranging from $10 to $20, call 830-TIXS.

Friday
November 21
Days of future pasta: If family, laughter and lotsa spicy meatballs spell holy matrimony in your book, you're invited. Tony & Tina's Wedding, an interactive dinner-theater experience that offers all this and more (singing nuns, a stripper, fireworks, a production number and, since spaghetti's involved, a food fight), is fully predicated on those values, so don't be shy: Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Pl., through the end of January. Admission, which includes chow, is $35; call 860-9360.

On the hoof: Two-steps, waltzes, swing dances and old-fashioned buckle-polishers (that's C&W vernacular for the slow songs) provide fodder for finalists in the western regional Marlboro Country Nights Dance Showdown, tonight at 8:30 at the town's biggest country dance floor, the Grizzly Rose, 5450 N. Valley Hwy. Winners will go on to the last leg of the competition in Arlington, Texas, on December 5, where they'll vie for big bucks and national recognition. And to make spectating worth your while, big-time recording artist Ty Herndon goes on after the dancing, at 10 p.m. Admission to the entire hoedown is just $10. For information, call 295-1330 or 840-8300; to reserve tickets, call 830-TIXS.

Saturday
November 22
Spread the word: Seeking connections? Tellabration '97, a worldwide storytelling festival in its tenth year, binds people together in the most wonderful way: with stories, told in all languages and drawn from all manner of cultures. At least two story gatherings take place in town this weekend. Tonight at 7:30, members of The Spoken Wheel, a new collective of Front Range yarn-spinners, tell tales at the Washington Park Community Center, 809 S. Washington St. Admission is $7.50; call 604-2890 for reservations. Stories will also be dished out from 3 to 6 tomorrow afternoon at the Metropolitan State College of Denver-sponsored presentation Carriers of the Dream Wheel. The free event takes place on the Auraria campus in Room 261 of the Tivoli Student Center; call 556-3033 for information.

Also in the narrative spirit, and with an emphasis on young audiences, is the Visa Tell Me a Story Performance Tour, a national trek featuring ten favorite storybook characters (Angelina Ballerina, Babar, Curious George, Pippi Longstocking and Lyle the Crocodile among them) along with kid-lit expert Dr. Readwell, who'll educate parents on ways to encourage reading skills. Performances take place today at noon, 2, 4 and 6 at Park Meadows Mall and at 11, 1, 3 and 5 tomorrow at Chapel Hill Mall; admission is free.

Food for comfort: The world is Paula Poundstone's living room, and that's a major part of the top stand-up comedian's appeal: While expounding on subjects from politics to parking, she makes audiences feel right at home. So when Poundstone appears tonight at 8 at the Denver Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, feel free to put your feet up (although, since it's a public place, wearing shoes is recommended) and relax--you can leave the funny business to her. Tickets are $22.50; call 830-TIXS.

Dynamic duo: Perhaps the least remarkable thing about guitarist Ezra Idlet and upright bassist Keith Grimwood is the difference in their height: Although Idlet measures in at 6 feet 9 inches, dwarfing the 5-foot-5-inch Grimwood, the two are remembered more for their humor, talent and eccentric original repertoire. Together the unlikely but long-lived duo make up Trout Fishing in America (they borrowed the title from Richard Brautigan's cult novel of the same name), and you can hear them tonight at 8 at Cameron Church, 1600 S. Pearl St., where they'll put on a show that people of all ages can appreciate. Bring the family--admission is $14 ($12 for Swallow Hill Music Association members); call 1-800-444-SEAT for tickets.

Record collectors might just want to make a day of it on South Pearl--Swallow Hill is also hosting its annual Holiday Music Market today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., where a great assortment of traditional and folk CDs awaits your perusal. Swallow Hill is located at 1905 S. Pearl St.; call 777-1003.

Meter men: Even half of the legendary Meters is better than none, especially when the heartbeat of that New Orleans rhythm-and-blues machine--the influentially funky drummer Ziggy Modeliste--is involved. Put Zigaboo together on a stage with guitarist Leo Nocentelli, whose unique style puts the chunk in the funk and simultaneously establishes a lead melody, and you've got something to dance to--yes, until the cows come home. The twosome's solidly syncopated fare is featured tonight at 9 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; for tickets, $15.75, call 830-TIXS.

Sunday
November 23
Fine print: Some of the best things come in small packages, which is a good reason to drop by Pirate, a Contemporary Art Oasis, to view William Stockman's Libros, a sweet display of diminutive, postcard-sized works made by a respected local painter who's best known for his monumental canvases. Stockman's wee works remain on display through November 30; Pirate, located at 3659 Navajo St., is open from noon to 5 today. Call 458-6058 for details.

Silent night: Isn't it about time you passed on something timeless to your kids? Pry them away from the computer games and cartoons and--take a deep breath!--introduce them to Charlie Chaplin. His classic silent comedy The Gold Rush might make them work a little harder to appreciate the humor, but Chaplin's certain to win them over with a wiggle of his mustache before the last flicker on the silver screen. And what a screen: The film, considered by many to be Chaplin's purest achievement, plays today at 2 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., the last of Denver's downtown movie palaces. Admission is $7; call 830-TIXS.

Monday
November 24
Royal gorge: We all remember our first time--the waiting, the tension, the divine, endorphin-fed afterglow...and don't forget the cranberry sauce. It's a fact: Every cook has to tackle a turkey sometime--and Thursday's almost here. If you find yourself face-to-face with a gargantuan carcass this week and haven't a clue as to what to do with all that poultry, Reynolds Kitchens offers a free, 24-hour Turkey Tips Line through New Year's Eve. Options include instructions on three popular roasting methods, as well as pointers on thawing, cleaning and stuffing your bird; call 1-800-745-4000 or log onto the Reynolds Kitchens Web site, at www.rmc.com/wrap, and you'll have every reason to give thanks on Turkey Day. Now, mellow out, turn on the game, watch Denver cream the Raiders, and listen to the turkey melt.

Tuesday
November 25
Friendly fire: When dueling politicos go head-to-head on the policy-making front, anything can happen--behind the on-camera smiles and handshakes. Author Jeff Shesol examines that divisive, party-polarizing oil-and-water situation in depth in Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade, an eye-opening look at how the headstrong president and attorney general locked horns and, in the process, shaped the government and the future of the Democratic Party. Shesol will discuss and autograph copies of his book tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 322-7727.

In this corner: Big laughs make the spotlight tonight at an out-of-the-ordinary local competition as entertaining as it is adversarial. The laughs are on the line at the Comedy Works, 1226 15th St. in Larimer Square, when the Colorado Comedy Heavyweight Championship pits a stellar field of comics--including Todd Jordan, Darryl Collier, Dave Sipos, Jeff Harms, Nancy Norton and P.J. Moore--against one another; the comedians put up their jokes and fight beginning at 8. For tickets and information call 595-3637.

Wednesday
November 26
Let's do the twist: If you haven't already seen it, hop on down to the Vogue Theatre, 1465 S. Pearl St., for a special pre-holiday staging of the long-running A Brief History of White Music, a local favorite in which a talented all-black cast does the music of Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys, the Beatles and a bunch of other lily-white pop stars their way. Which is great. Catch History tonight at 7:30; regular showtimes are at 7:30 Thursday and Friday, 6 and 9 Saturday, and 2:30 Sunday. Tickets range from $20 to $26; call 765-2771 for reservations.


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