Aria Ready?

It's generally agreed that the Who's Pete Townshend birthed the rock opera: If you've seen the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, you've seen that band perform "A Quick One, While He's Away," a sparkling 1966 trial-run-in-miniature that paved the way for Townshend's major works, Tommy and Quadrophenia. After that, the quibbling begins, and — if you even care — you can argue among yourselves about what's a rock opera and what's a rock musical. Whatever. What matters is that Hair then hit Broadway, bare-assed, in 1968, prompting Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to co-opt the concept and make it their own with such hits as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

Music from Webber and Rice, as well as favorites from the stage version of Tommy, cult classics from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and more, will all be rendered by a cast of Broadway voices, including those of Michael and Sarah Uriarte Berry, Trisha Jeffrey and Darius de Haas, during the CSO HealthONE Pops offering Broadway's Best Rock Operas and Musicals, tonight at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. And then the quibbling can cease, and you can sit back and enjoy.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show range from $15 to $69.50; visit www.coloradosymphony.org or call 303-830-TIXS.
Fri., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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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