Charismatic singer Bobby McFerrin, who beatboxed his way up the charts in 1988 with the Grammy-winning "Don't Worry, Be Happy," brings his bebopping rhythm and jazz -- not to mention that signature grin -- tonight to the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.
McFerrin, who studied with Leonard Bernstein, also collaborated with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and, most recently, the Vienna Philharmonic. But don't expect to see a baton at his Denver gig: This is an interactive concert crafted by an a cappella McFerrin and the audience's own hand-clapping, humming and off-key singing. A free "Behind the Curtain" lecture led by Donna Wickham, vocal-jazz instructor at the Lamont School of Music, begins at 6:30 p.m.; McFerrin will let loose at 7:30 p.m. The Newman Center is at 2344 East Iliff Avenue on the University of Denver campus; tickets, $35 to $90, are available at the center and all Ticketmaster outlets. Call 303-871-7720 or visit www.du.edu/newmancenter. -- Kity Ironton
A fan once remarked about Mary Flower: "That was an eighty-year-old dude off the plantation in the body of a Caucasian suburban woman!" It's true: There's no pretense about Flower's talents, which were built on hard work and a real love for the musical territory she so sincerely mines. No wonder so many Coloradans mourned the day the Denver-born, virtuoso fingerpicking blueswoman, a former member of the Mother Folkers and a local favorite with a thriving thirty-year-old career in music, left the state for Portland, Oregon.
As far as we know, she's not moving back, but she will visit, paying homage to such old names as Memphis Minnie and Mississippi John Hurt while continuing to forge her own mark on the blues world. See her tonight at 8 p.m. at Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 East Yale Avenue; for tickets, $12 to $15, call 303-777-1003 or go to www. swallowhill.com. -- Susan Froyd
Back to Life
Creve Coeur gets its due.
A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are generally considered the most powerful of Tennessee Williams's plays, saturated with the characteristics most often associated with the author's work: strong but brutal men; sensitive yet ambitious women; Southern settings in which characters long for a more regal past. And although such elements are clearly apparent in the playwright's canon, their significance to his legacy tends to get blown out of proportion by the great success of the film adaptations of Streetcar and Cat. During his career, Williams grappled with a variety of themes, with varying degrees of success. Since his death, in 1983, some of the writer's overlooked works have been given a second life. A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, which opens tonight at the Jones Theatre, is one such production. A portrait of four women who dream of a better life, the play deftly walks a fine line between comedy and drama.
Curtain time is 8 p.m. at the Jones, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Creve Coeur runs through March 12; for showtimes and tickets, $38 to $45, call 303-893-9582 or visit www.denvercenter.org. -- Adam Cayton-Holland