Give Them a Hand

THURS, 11/13

Mayor Hickenlooper doesn't have to worry about cleaning up the city after The Day It Snowed Tortillas. Fortunately, the edible precipitation will be confined to the Denver Puppet Theatre, 3156 West 38th Avenue. The 45-minute Southwest-inspired production tells the story of a small town in which villagers save their gold all year, only to have it stolen by a bruja (witch). A clever old woman finds a way to retrieve the treasure and run the bruja out of town, and the villagers celebrate.

"It's a trickster tale. I like it when someone uses their wits to figure out how to make life work," says theater owner Annie Zook.

It took Zook at least four months to create the production's hand and full-body rod puppets and adapt the script from a tale written by professional storyteller Joe Hayes of Santa Fe. Fiesta music that Zook brought back from Mexico completes the Southwestern ambience.

Before and after each show, children can create their own puppets by decorating a paper-doll cutout affixed to a straw. Six stages, including a shadow-puppet setup, are available for kids to act on their imaginative impulses. Visitors can also peruse the hundreds of puppets for sale at the Puppet Store.

Today's performances are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; tickets are $4. Tortillas, which is appropriate for kids ages three and up, runs through November 30. Call 303-458-6034 or visit for information. -- DeNesha Tellis

Children Welcome
ASTER sings out for kids
SAT, 11/15

When it comes to making music, the three-year-old ASTER Women's Chamber Choir has never taken the easy way out. "We've done only difficult music during the past few seasons," confirms artistic director and founder Christina Lynn-Craig. "This year, we wanted to try something more fun for us that would be more accessible to a wider audience." Listen up, if you're six or older: ASTER, named for the flower, will kick off its fourth season with The Child in Us All, a family concert that features interpretive choreography by Deborah Reshotko's Speaking of Dance and such childhood-inspired compositions as "Evening Prayer" from Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, tunes from Lucy Simon's musical The Secret Garden, and "Playing My Song," an ASTER commission by Boulder composer Kathleen Fagre that muses on the trials and tribulations of studying the piano. To complement the latter, young attendees at the free concert, which takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Drive, will be invited on stage to test the venue's brand-new concert grand piano, purchased through ASTER's fundraising efforts. To find out more, call 303-464-1334 or log on to -- 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
DeNesha Tellis