Best Community-Theater Troupe 2001 | The Evergreen Players | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
The oldest community-theater group in the state, the Evergreen Players celebrated their fiftieth anniversary last year by winning the regional American Association of Community Theatres competition in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The group's production of All in the Timing qualified the actors for the national AACT competition, which takes place this June in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Back on their home turf, the players are presenting La Cage Aux Folles at Evergreen's Centre Stage Theater through April 8. Give them a hand.

Teachers at Denver's East High School remember Don Cheadle (class of 1982) as an able student and a dedicated student actor; his turn as the Artful Dodger in Oliver is still cherished there. Since then, this talented character actor has stolen a show from Denzel Washington in Devil in a Blue Dress, broken hearts in Boogie Nights and, last year, turned a police stakeout (with fellow cop Luis Guzmán) in Traffic into a miniature comic masterpiece. Fortunately, fame hasn't caused Cheadle to forget his humble beginnings: Teachers and staff at East say the actor returns to say hello whenever he's in Denver.

Best Alternative to the Screaming Guitar Wank

Neil Haverstick

Following his own muse and intuition, local six-stringer Neil Haverstick coined the term "micro-noodling" a few years ago in reference to his disciplined knack for coaxing more than twelve notes from a musical scale. Using custom-built instruments (including an electrified ax capable of producing 34 tones per octave), Haverstick brought his sixth and best annual Microstock Festival to St. Paul's Church last fall with koto player Yoko Hiraoka, waterphonist John Starrett and customized keyboard tickler Chris Mohr. Darkly exotic "space music" might best describe the evening's display of electronic meditation -- an aesthetic that Haverstick continually expands upon with his obvious love for exotic Indian and Arabic sounds. (See for samples.) Sometimes fretless, always seamless, his soft-spoken tribute to outer space makes infinity seem damned near containable.

Before it was disbanded, the Denver Center Theatre Company's Playwrights Unit gave local playwrights a chance not only to see their works receive a major production, but also to collect some actual cash. The group rewarded us with an embarrassment of artistic riches, including such plays as Molly Newman's Quilters (which is still performed across the country), Terry Dodd's Goodnight, Texas, and Frank X. Hogan's Ringers. A lack of funding dropped the curtain on the program over a decade ago, but thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trust, it's now been re-established. Action!

Alex Lemski, the driving force behind Denver's Creative Music Works, is on a mission to keep the spirit of jazz alive, and his fanatical promotion of concerts featuring acts that share his goal is doing just that. His efforts to bring underground music into the light help make Denver a more interesting place.
When the proprietors of perennial punk establishment the Raven got tired of their old digs on Welton street, they simply packed up and moved down the road to a space they christened The Cat. The new club is not an entirely different animal, however: The adornment is still minimal, the crowds are still a little unruly, and the calendar still regularly includes an impressive number of all-ages shows -- which could go by the wayside, if the City of Denver has its way. If not, young and old alike can continue to enjoy the best -- and loudest -- in local and touring punk and indie-rock acts. Hello, kitty.
Matt Need and his friendly staff do what few proprietors of Denver music rooms do: They treat local bands with respect. Beneath the Gothic Theatre's large stage lies a greenroom with furniture you're not afraid to sit on, a shower you're not afraid to step into, and bathrooms with toilet paper. Better still, the staff equips bands with free beer (even the good stuff), hot tea and snacks -- perks that should delight the average hometown player.
Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. The raver's clever acronym seemed almost like an actual religion during the second annual Colorado Dance Music Awards, where club kids, candy ravers, promoters, performers and DJs put down their pacifiers to give each other big fat pats on the back. The event, organized by local rave advocate Jessica Hydle, was a glamorous, giddy affair at which winners in numerous categories took the stage to accept awards bestowed on them by peers in the dance-music community. After the ceremony? To the dance floor!
Undercover cops develop a sixth sense about people who may not be what they seem. That skill is probably what helped Steven Cowles win $510,000 on ABC's reality show The Mole. For 28 days, Cowles, who works for the University of Colorado Police Department when he's not in the limelight, ran around Europe with the rest of the show's contestants trying to determine who among them was the saboteur. Now that he's back on the force, Cowles won't be working undercover anymore: Starring on the show kind of blew his cover.

Save the first Saturday in August for all the Olathe sweet corn you can eat. Last year the Western Slope Vegetable Growers Association donated more than 70,000 ears of the Colorado specialty, which were consumed by an estimated 20,000 attendees, all to benefit nonprofit organizations in the Uncompahgre Valley. It sounds corny, we know, but when they aren't chowing down, festivalgoers can take in continuous live entertainment, contests and games, and more than 150 food, arts and crafts, educational and carnival booths. A downtown parade and pancake breakfast kick off the festivities, and a fireworks show ends them. Come on down and lend an ear.

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