While Jose Rivera is probably best known for his screenplays -- he wrote the script for The Motorcycle Diaries and was writer and creator of the short-lived but excellent TV series Eerie, Indiana -- he is also regarded as an innovative playwright. The winner of two Obie awards, Rivera once studied with novelist Gabriel García M´rquez at the Sundance Institute. That influence comes across in his non-linear tragicomedies, stories that present the extraordinary in a conventional way. His play Marisol, presented by the Pangaea Theatre Company and opening tonight at 8 p.m. at the Crossroads Theatre, 2180 Stout Street, is no exception. In it, guardian angels descend to earth to inform humanity that God has become senile and must be ousted. An epic holy war ensues, and once the smoke clears, humanity is left to fend for itself without any help from above. Marisol will run through April 2, with 8 p.m. shows on Thursdays and Saturdays. For tickets -- $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors -- call 303-320-4011.
Friday, March 10
As part of Myths, Legends, Folk Heroes and Icons, an exhibit at the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, 772 Santa Fe Drive, artist Patricio Córdova has prepared an installation on the notorious Espinosa brothers. Alleged to have murdered 32 people in the 1860s in southern Colorado, the brothers were killed by separate posses in 1863, and their heads were displayed like trophies in alcohol-filled jars. In his installation, Córdova argues that the portrayal of the Espinosa brothers as bloodthirsty, savage killers is grossly exaggerated. Curious parties can see the paintings and research on the notorious brothers, along with a variety of works from numerous other artists and writers involved in the show, at a special poetry and storytelling event tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. Bring a pillow to sit on while you listen to Dr. Ramón del Castillo, Alfredo Cardenas, Stevon Lucero and other CHAC members expound upon the richness of Chicano culture. Myths runs through March 12; for information, call 303-571-0440 or visit www.chacweb.org.
Saturday, March 10
Denver's 43rd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off today at 10 a.m. at 27th Avenue and Blake Street, but don't just go home afterward and put back the pints of Guinness alone, waiting for the 17th of March to roll around. There's more celebrating to do! Specifically, the First Annual Capitol Hill Hooley is happening from noon to 11 p.m. today at the Irish Snug, 1201 East Colfax Avenue. "Hooley" is Irish for a wild party and dance, and revelers can hooley till they're puking green in a special tent area adjacent to the bar. Internationally acclaimed Irish-dance instructor Patrick O'Dea will lead an Irish ceili (social dance) on the wooden dance floor while traditional Irish seisiun and instrumental bands Bodha, O'Leary's Ghost and headliners the Reals perform throughout the day. An Irish marketplace will offer Irish food, drink, crafts and jewelry, along with face-painting and games for the children. And that's what it's all about, isn't it -- the children? Organizers think so: A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Friends of Kids in Crisis. Admission to the Hooley is $3, but that's a small price to pay for an early start on St. Paddy's festivities and the chance to help out a good cause. For information, go to www.irishsnug.com.
Sunday, March 13
Normally, if someone approached you on the Pearl Street Mall talking about blood, your inclination would be to flee. Today, however, give mall strollers the benefit of the doubt, because from 1 to 6 p.m., teams and individuals will compete for prizes as they don detective outfits and participate in a scavenger hunt to raise money for the Bonfils Blood Center Foundation. Now in its second year, Bloodhounds of Boulder is fun for both participants and spectators. The sleuthing runs the length of the mall and features pre- and post-hunt activities at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street. Over the past six years, such events have raised more than $470,000 for Bonfils, and organizers are hoping for a record-breaking turnout today. To learn more about the scavenger hunt, go to www.bonfils.org or call 303-363-2394.
And today at 2 p.m., El Centro Su Teatro will host a Stories on Stage installment called "Tales of Life and Laughter." The production will include actress Angela Maez reading from Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo, Denver's One City, One Book selection this year. Also on the bill are excerpts from Jesus Shaves, by David Sedaris, read by Hugo Carbajal; Reginald McKnight's The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas, read by Jeffrey Nickelson; and Personal Testimony, by Lynna Williams, read by Hannah Duggan. Tickets are $10. El Centro is located at 4725 High Street; call 303-296-0219 for information.
Monday, March 14
Like bats? Want to see them up close and learn more about them? Well, shoot, this will work out just perfectly. The City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation department is hosting an animal-education program called See Live Bats today from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling Street. Organizers invited the Michigan-based Organization for Bat Conservation to attend, and its members will bring with them an African fruit bat, otherwise known as a flying fox, as well as a variety of species native to North America. Handlers will offer a firsthand glimpse at these elusive and intriguing creatures. Tickets are $2 at the door; for information, call 303-231-1300.
Tuesday, March 15
A lot can happen in ninety seconds. NCAA basketball teams can pack more lead changes into the last ninety seconds of a game than a first-time local-theater director. And last year, in a mere ninety seconds, James Lee of Boulder devoured 89 oysters, slurping, gulping and sucking his way to the gold in the Charitable Mollusk Oyster Eating Competition. Tonight at 8 p.m. at Jax Fish House, 928 Pearl Street, Boulder, Lee intends not only to defend his title, but also to set a new Guinness World Record in the process. Beforehand, eager upstarts wishing to dethrone the mollusk king can get some practice in at Jax, where oysters are 75 cents all night, every night, until the competition is over. Organizers hope to raise $8,000 to contribute to a tsunami-relief fund. Those interested in participating through competition, donation or sponsorship should call Jax at 303-444-1811 or log on to www.jaxfishhouseboulder.com.
Wednesday, March 16
What do a seamstress from Thornton, an apartment-leasing director from Lakewood and a customer-service representative from Denver all have in common? The possibility that they can all sing better than you or me. The three, taped earlier this month, will appear with other pop-star wannabes in a segment of Gimme the Mike! at 9 p.m. tonight on KTVD/UPN 20. Producers have whittled the group of contestants down to 42, from over 700 candidates who tried out. Tonight, the second batch (there are six in all) will compete for the opportunity to sing on stage at Red Rocks. The panel of celebrity judges includes musician and entertainer Lannie Garrett, Opie Gone Bad's Jake Schroeder, Jason Miller of House of Blues and KS 107.5's Larry Ulibarri.