bulls & boots
Ready for Territory Days, Pueblo style? For crowds, carnival rides, a mercado and plenty of chuckwagon feasts and cowboy pancake breakfasts, enjoy the inaugural Wild Wild West Fest (wildwildwestfest.com), which started yesterday and runs through Sunday throughout Pueblo. John Elway will head the parade down Main Street on Saturday, followed by a professional bull riding invitational at the Colorado State Fair Events Center (1001 Beulah Ave). It wouldn't be quite western enough without a collection of gaudy cowboy boots worn by famous people (Robert Redford, Ronald Reagan, etc.), so hit up Art and Beauty to Boot! through Saturday at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (210 N. Santa Fe Ave., sdc-arts.org). Sarcasm aside, in this economy that's quite a lineup. — EA
brews & BBQ
I'm sure he's not the first to say it, but when he's spending a few bucks on his favorite beverage, my husband likes to remind me: If you tend to agree, now's the time to get in line for your sample glass at the first-ever Summit Brewfest & BBQ. More than 30 breweries will be pouring, and eight barbecue masters will be grilling from 6 to 11 tonight and 2 to 10 tomorrow at the Norris-Penrose Event Center (1045 W. Rio Grande St., summitbrewfest.com). Admission is $20 per day (for adults 21 and over only) and proceeds benefit military charities. — JT
"With the economy bogging us down, times are getting less enjoyable. F*ck that! Let's take that back!" That gentle suggestion describes the "F*ck It. Let's Have Some Fun!!" workshop at noon today, but it could apply to the whole Colorado Improv Festival at the Manitou Art Theatre (1367 Pecan St., themat.org) this weekend.
With help from the local RiP improv group, Jim Jackson and Co. have attracted 15 improv companies for the first-ever festival. It begins Friday, with a show at the MAT and a kickoff party at Nosh (121 S. Tejon St.). But today's the big day: We get a 7:30 p.m. "PG-16" show featuring the RiP, FORK Productions (Denver), Improv Shmimprov (Orange County, Calif.) and Fool Disclosure (Fort Collins), followed by an "R-rated," "Battle of the Sexes"-themed 10:30 show with Laughing Stock Development (Long Beach, Calif.), Dishwater Blondes (Denver) and Suburban Stage Munkys (Colorado Springs).
And then there are those workshops, which are geared toward the performance-minded, but are open to anyone who's interested. In addition to the "Fun" that Jon Jon Lannen's aggressively peddling at noon today, there's Brian McManus' 3 p.m. gathering to explore "The Time Between." (It has something to do with the time between scenes in long-form shows.)
Tickets for single shows cost $15 and workshops $25, but packages are available. Visit coloradoimprovfestival.com for more. — KW
theater & dance
Support the stage today at two locally produced events. First up: Oh, the Places You'll Go on Broadway, a 3 p.m. concert at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., ticketswest.com) presented by the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale. The $11 to $20 performance will feature almost 200 voices singing songs from shows like Ragtime, Anything Goes and Footloose, with pre-show children's activities and a silent auction in the lobby. Next up: the fourth consecutive 8 p.m. performance of Playlist at CC's Cossitt Hall (906 N. Cascade Ave., ormaodance.org). Choreographed by dancer and Juilliard graduate Posy Knight and presented by the Ormao Dance Company, the show presents contemporary dance "with the essence of tango and eclectic live and DJ'd music." Tickets are $15 in advance at ticketswest.com or $17 at the door. — MS
It's surprising that Fischerspooner hasn't had more success. Electro-savants Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner are more theatrical than Gnarls Barkley, and more musically sophisticated than most of the current bands emulating Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and other synthetic stalwarts. But the cost of extravagant live shows tended to outstrip profits from record sales and, in 2007, the New York-based duo got dropped by Capitol. Now it's stepped back into the Klieg lights with a catchy new indie album helmed by Killers producer Jeff Saltzman. The curtains rise at 8 for this 16-plus show at the Ogden Theatre (935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, ogdentheater.net). Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. — BF
Time to touch base with two town art staples, both of which recently underwent changes. First, stop into the newly renovated Michael Garman Museum (2418 W. Colorado Ave., michaelgarman.com) to see an expanded Magic Town exhibit of miniaturized city scenes and displays of Garman's works from a half-century ago. Attend the museum's grand re-opening on Saturday or Sunday, or visit any day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Next, visit the recently relocated Van Briggle Art Pottery at 1024 S. Tejon St. (vanbriggle.com), which just celebrated its grand opening. The 110-year-old outfit claims to be the oldest continuously run art pottery in the country, and still makes pieces casted by founder Artus Van Briggle. Regular hours are 10 to 6, Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5, Sunday. — MS
If you've been quietly simmering since watching Sicko and looking for some way to make change (read: to stop getting screwed by your insurance provider, if you even have one), consider attending this evening's National Healthcare Reform Forum. Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, will join current District 17 Rep. Dennis Apuan and Healthcare for All Colorado's Dr. Anne Courtright from 6:30 to 9 in the Carnegie Room of Penrose Public Library (20 N. Cascade Ave., 635-8686) for a discussion on the topic. The event's hosted by the Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission. — MS
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Bill Forman, Matthew Schniper, Jill Thomas and Kirk Woundy.