The most melodramatically choreographed musical in the history of flat-front khakis comes leaping and snapping into the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.) tonight. The Repertory Theater Company rumble under the guise of Tony, Maria and the rest of the gang from West Side Story at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $25, and the show runs through May 19. Showtime is 8 p.m. Call 634-5583.
The Business of Art Center at 513 Manitou Avenue has done a little shuffling and today premiers a new show titled Mosaic, a diaspora of work by Front Range black artists. To freshen your memory in arty terminology, I looked up "diaspora." Technically, it means the dispersion of Jews outside of Israel in the sixth century B.C.. In the art world it's also used to describe "a big explosion of all sorts of stuff." So, apparently, you're going to be in for a highly diverse collection of all sorts of art. The opening reception begins tonight at 5 p.m. and the show runs through June 1. Call 685-1861.
The Irish have a lot to be ticked off about, as we all know. But they also have a fine sense of humor, and this combination of rage and levity is the staple of New York band Black 47. Formed in 1989, the expatriate band immediately gained a controversial reputation with their punked-out, urban Irish roots music -- a stew of reggae, jazz, hip-hop and rock-bracing lyrics that celebrate Michael Collins and getting laid on James Joyce's grave. While the majority of Black 47's lyrics are politically charged -- its name refers to the height of the Irish Potato Famine -- its energy and youthfulness shines through equally bright. It culminates into a sound that's quite possibly the best drinking music an intelligent person could ever hope to hear. Black 47 perform an all-ages show tonight at 8 p.m. at the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Tickets are $10. Call 800/965-4827.
Dick Dale arrives in his personal Learjet -- no words on if the tigers and lions are with him -- to Colorado Springs this weekend to rock your wetsuits off with his retro cool surf guitar stylings. This is a man who taught a young Hendrix how to hone his sound, literally burned through over 50 amplifiers as the Fender company tried desperately to design a model that wouldn't blow up with Dale's manic chord progressions, eventually became one of the most eccentric party boys of rock 'n' roll, then lost everything and was saved from impending obscurity by Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Dale performs tonight at the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Tickets are a deal at $12. Call 800/965-4827. The show starts at 9.
I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so ... oh, wait, those are your kids who're living it up Eastern-style at Colorado College's Japanese Children's Day Festival. The Japan-America society will teach kids how to write their names in Japanese and show them how to make miniature kites, floating carp and origami shapes. There will also be Japanese music and cartoons. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to noon in CC's Palmer Hall and admission is free. Space is limited, however, so call Paul Maruyama at 266-5625 to reserve a space.
Fill up the salt shaker and slice the limes -- it's Cinco de Mayo. There are myriad ways to celebrate (see Playing Around on page 36 and I Spy on page 39 for a couple highlights), but the big fiesta happens at Memorial Park today from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 520-2416 or 450-0863.
For 14 years people have been shelling out cash to gorge themselves silly in the name of those less fortunate, specifically those who can't afford food. Whatever, though -- it works, because Care & Share benefits greatly from the yearly Taste of the Nation event. The best chefs and eateries from the region -- this year over 30 are scheduled to attend -- gather at the Sheraton Hotel, 2886 S. Circle Drive, to show off their mad gourmet skills. Wine and beverage distributors also will do their part in the eat-drink-and-be-merry experience. Tickets to the gastronomical orgy are $60. Make a reservation by calling 389-0973. The tasting begins at 5:30 p.m.
As "they" always say, "If you can't landscape the digital, then digitize your landscape." And this is just what Michael and Patricia Kimak have done in "Images: Traditional & Transformed" at L.I.W. Cargo, 719 Manitou Ave. The opening reception runs from 6 to 8 tonight and the show runs through May 31. Call 685-0452 for more info.
Tonight the "World Famous" Van-O-Players perform Shakespeare's bloodiest play, Titus Andronicus. What makes their rendition different? Well, for one, they've made it a musical, and two, they're performing the whole thing from a van. If that doesn't perk your interest, I don't know what will. Despite the fact that they perform from a van, you'll have to drive to Denver to see them at the Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. Tickets are $12, or $10 for students and seniors. Titus runs through May 19. Call 720/946-1388 for more information.
The plot is a comedic mystery set in an English monastery circa 1250, complete with rotting saints and a one-eyed grave-digging minstrel. How can you not go see this? Sort of like Clue, only with prostration and vespers, and no cleavage. The Colorado College drama and dance department presents The Incorruptible tonight at 8 in Armstrong Theatre, on the northeast corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre. Tickets are $2 to $5. Call 389-6607. The show runs through May 11.
-- Kristen Sherwood
Drive It Like You Stole It
The Texas Seven come to hick fruition
The light crunch of gravel underneath a well-worn Acme heel is the only sound besides the incessant moaning wind. The sun is low in the west, slanting over baked prairie and cracking the warped facade of a faded bar. Four shadows step through the front door, looming tall and rangy. It's the Texas Seven, come for you.
It could be any bar, and it could be any town, but no -- it all happened right here, in our little alpine pleasure palace the tourists call the Pikes Peak region. It was only a matter of time before someone picked up on the name and put it to good use, and as of now the Texas Seven applies to one of the most promising new bands in town.
Formed by a quartet of local musicians who have all played in the area for years, some for life, the Texas Seven aren't so much about the renegade prison escapees who made Woodland Park their hideout last year as they are about the essence of renegade hick life -- part cowboy, part Chrysler and part cousin. Well, maybe two parts cousin.
There're two certifiable guitarists, Shifty Montana and Whitey Ford Fairlane. Sam Quentin is the band's jack of all trades, playing "whatever he can get his hands on," which usually ends up being a guitar after all. Drummer Oil Can Otis, whose motto is "Drive It Like You Stole It," fills out this unholy rectangle of hillbilly love that's rooted somewhere between Debra Winger's mechanical bull riding scene in Urban Cowboy and the arrows across Little Joe's wholesome and manly chest.
The Texas Seven hasn't yet had the time to work out all of their original pieces and so are currently doing the country cover two-step, but the covers they choose are well worth a listen. In between white-trash classics like "Man of Constant Sorrow" and "Rawhide," you might hear "Take a Letter Maria," Mojo Nixon's "The Poontango" or the theme from The Dukes of Hazzard. Early Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Link Wray have a strong spiritual sway on the band, Original pieces are rich with these influences, especially on their Western Gothic masterpiece written about the man who gave the band's namesakes their last public forum, KKTV Channel 11 news anchor Eric Singer:
"There came a gang from Texas, feared throughout the land/wanted for armed robbery, and killin' an honest man/The townsfolk lived in fear and the lawmen searched in vain/when across the prairie there came a wind whisperin' the name/of Eric Singer ..."
The Texas Seven are currently trying to get Singer himself to introduce them when they open for Dick Dale, the king of all things surf rock, this Saturday night at the Colorado Music Hall, but no word yet on if the tall shadow of a newsman will live up to his legend. Visit http://www.tex7.com for more.
-- Kristen Sherwood
The Texas Seven opening for Dick Dale
The Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Saturday, May 4, 9 p.m.
Tickets: $12. Call 800/965-4827.
Inside the Rocky Mountain cat competition
When I first received the assignment to review the spring Rocky Mountain Cat Fanciers Show taking place at the City Auditorium last weekend, I thought my keen intellect and sharp wit would find fertile ground among the fanatics I was sure to encounter.
Unfortunately, their basic scoring system and rules proved far too complicated for me to comprehend, let alone satirize. Let me try to give you just one example.
In one competition I learned that a cat that's been spayed or neutered is a "Premier" and can never become a "Grand Champion." It can become a "Champion" -- I think -- if it wins a certain number of "points" which can be acquired at any of the four separately judged "rings" within the show, that are actually all separate shows within the larger show. These "points" are somehow based on the number of other cats in one's division or breed or phylum or whatever one defeats at any particular time. Except for certain times ... or something.
These points are tabulated by a computer in New Jersey.
Once a "Champion" acquires 200 points in sanctioned head-to-head competition, he (or she) becomes a "Grand Champion."
I know this sounds like a pretty good episode of Pokmon, but I assure you, it's far more complicated.
Once I gave up trying to figure out the points system, which longtime Maine Coon breeders Ronny and Pam reported being baffled by and another fancier admitted taking three years to grasp, I began to enjoy the amazing animals and the overall soothing vibe that had descended on the City Auditorium.
There were lots of really nice Persians, their little faces seemingly smushed in by a blunt object, their owners a bit more inexplicably stoical than the others. (One lovely Persian breeder from Minnesota promotes her feline livestock in a little pamphlet that reads: "We breed for the sweetest, cutest furkids we can possibly have. Plus, we like to stuff our houses full of purr-balls.")
One of my favorites had to be the Sphynx, which looked like a Siamese cat with dolphin skin. Or the Maine Coons, which are the only native American cats and get as big as a proverbial house.
All the people I talked to were super-nice, even the ones sporting T-shirts declaring themselves possessors of "Cattitude."
-- Marc Huebert