Thrills for the week

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Admission is $14 ($12 for Swallow Hill Music Association members); call 786-7030 or 1-800-444-SEAT to reserve tickets.

Rock around the clock: It's yee-haw time--with a bit of the twist--when the Bluebird Theater hosts a Big "K" Barn Dance tonight at 7. Featuring hillbilly and roots music galore provided by Austin hellraisers the Horton Brothers, Salt Lake's Atomic Deluxe and local yokels the Dalhart Imperials and the Throttlemen, the party is nothing more--and nothing less--than a great chance to kick up your heels, so don't be late, pardner. The Bluebird is at 3317 E. Colfax Ave.; for tickets, $8, call 322-2308.

March 2
On beyond Schindler: Less well-known than Holocaust heroes Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler, Chiune Sugihara--then the Japanese Consul in Lithuania--issued visas to over 6,000 European Jews, allowing them passage to safer climes and saving their lives in the process. Sugihara, who died in 1986 but whose legacy is carried on by his son, Hiroki, is the focus of this month's Holocaust Awareness Events, sponsored by the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center and other area Judaic organizations and taking place today in Boulder and Tuesday in Denver. The younger Sugihara and one of the thousands his father helped, Rabbi Gerson Chanowitz, will speak today from 2 to 4 at Burbank Middle School Auditorium, 290 Manhattan Drive, Boulder; for tickets, $5 to $7, call 494-2285. The program repeats at 7 p.m. March 4 in the JCC's Pluss Theater, 350 S. Dahlia St.; call 871-3013.

Fiddler on the hoof: Fiddler Ashley MacIsaac not only wows you with his whirlwind instrumental prowess, but he's also mighty light on his feet, making every performance a tour de force of tornado-like energy expenditure on stage. It makes us sweat just thinking about it. The athletic MacIsaac could upstage anyone, but tonight at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., it won't be necessary--he tops the rollicking bill, with opener Tara MacLean starting things off at 8. Tickets are $8 to $10; call 322-2308 or 830-TIXS.

March 3
Slow boat to China: Last chances so frequently go untaken. Don't let it happen to you. The Denver Museum of Natural History's spectacular Imperial Tombs of China exhibit ends March 16, giving you only about two more weeks to see it before it moves on. In conjunction with the blockbuster show, which includes a group of life-sized terra cotta figures, the museum hosts Folk and Minority Arts, the last in a series of lectures held in Ricketson Auditorium. Admission to tonight's 7 p.m. talk by DMNH ethnology curator Joyce Herold is $9 ($6 members); call 322-7009. Timed admission to the Tombs exhibit, ranging from $7.50 to $9.50, is best arranged in advance; call 322-4462 for reservations.

March 4
Bare essentials: Strip men and women of all their civilized pretensions and the truth becomes evident: We're simply sophisticated mammals who use tools and walk in an upright position, driven by instincts and biological directives as old as, well, the cavemen. Playwright-actor Rob Becker's Defending the Caveman, a comic one-man exploration of relationships that's also a record-breaking Broadway hit, deftly combines science and craft in a brave attempt to explain some of life's little mysteries we heretofore considered inex-plicable. Becker brings Caveman to the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex, for a three-week run beginning tonight at 8. Shows continue daily except Monday, through March 23; for showtimes or to reserve tickets, ranging in price from $15 to $40, call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS.

You are what you write: In her earlier novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, author Julia Alvarez mirrored her own personal experience by eloquently depicting an emigrant Dominican family's assimilation process in the United States. Her new work, Yo!, focuses on the further acculturation adventures of Yolanda, one of the middle sisters and the one who seems most closely patterned after Alvarez herself. Alvarez is in town for a pair of book signings today--catch her at 5 p.m. at the Cultural Legacy Bookstore, 3633 W. 32nd Ave., or at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave., where she reads at 7:30 p.m. For details call 964-9049 or 322-7727.

March 5
Practice makes perfect: How often have you wished to fall headlong into a beautiful bath of music, with nothing else on your agenda than the sweet strains of instrumentalists at work? These days it comes off as utter fantasy, yet faculty and students at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music will endeavor to make it perfectly possible. Between 10:30 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. today, they'll participate in A Day at Lamont, a public event at the Houston Fine Arts Center, Montview Blvd. and Quebec St., that combines practice and performance with lectures and demonstrations for all. The full day's entertainment costs $25 per person and includes lunch; reserve tickets no later than February 28 by calling 688-2597 or 694-9101.

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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

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