Are Ewe Ready?

SAT, 1/15

Chip Walton's Curious Theatre Company is starting the year in the highest of style, with Edward Albee on its platter. The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? is a witty comic drama that's also a deadpan shocker: It's about a middle-aged architect who announces to his family that's he's in love with a goat.

In lesser hands, such a premise could dissolve into farce, but Albee's forceful dialogue fuels a dramatic dilemma that's both believable and provocative. Walton calls the work "a perfect fit for Curious," an ensemble that's always looking to keep audiences thinking as they exit the theater. Add in a fine cast and the able directing of the Denver Center Theatre Company's Nagle Jackson, and it would be difficult to come up with anything less than a hit for this regional premiere.

According to Walton, the story provides a kind of dramatic shock treatment people seem to need these days -- thus the choice of playwright, and play. "There's very little that shocks us into re-examining the limits of our tolerance anymore -- not homosexuality or sex or vulgarity," he explains. "We've become so immune to all those things. In writing this, Albee was trying to find something that would really stop us in our tracks."

All the more reason to make tracks: Performances of The Goat are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, today through February 26 at the Acoma Center, 1080 Acoma Street. For tickets, $20 to $26 (two for one on Thursdays), call 303-623-0524 or visit www. curioustheatre.com. -- Susan Froyd

O'Brien Time
An Evergreen family tunes up for cowpoke poets.
THURS, 1/13

Rugged individualism is going the way of the American bison, the sandlot and the mom-and-pop gas station, but you can still root out a few pockets here and there. Sometimes, as in the case of Evergreen's O'Brien Family Band, you can find it right in your own back yard. Made up of full-time musicians -- from guitar-strumming dad Dan and bass-plucking mom Janette to prize-winning, home-schooled fiddlers eleven-year-old Maura and fourteen-year-old Kyle -- the family travels by motor home throughout the year, bringing its blend of old-time, bluegrass and Western musical styles to festivals across the nation.

The nomadic performing clan will appear alongside other free thinkers, some from as far away as Australia, at the annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, beginning today at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard; hear them play at various times during the day on Friday and Saturday, or at a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Admission is $12-$24; call 720-898-7200 or visit www.arvadacenter.org for details. -- Susan Froyd

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd