- Gas er up at the Balloon Classic.
It's gonna be a weird and awesome fall at the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.), and this is the evening that starts it all. Tonight marks the opening of the Andy Warhol's Dream America exhibit at the FAC, and you'd be a big schmuck to not catch the 100-or-so screen prints from the 1960s icon, along with hors d'oeuvres, live jazz, wacky Warhol merchandise in the gift shop, complimentary Quaaludes and a heroin-addled Nico to take home with you. Events take place from 5 to 7. This is a members-only event, so sign up now to ensure your admission. Do so at csfineartscenter.org.
It's an ascension convention this weekend at Memorial Park (Pikes Peak and Hancock avenues), where the 29th annual Colorado Balloon Classic is going on today, tomorrow and Monday. Onlookers can see hot-air balloons shaped like ducks, vans, trees and houses in addition to the normal balloon-ish shape. There also will be live music, vendors and all the goodness you could want from a gaggle of balloon-hobbyist dorks. Things are taking place at 5:30 a.m. each day (with the mass ascent at 7 a.m.), and everything is free and open to the public. For a lot of pictures of and words about balloons, get thee to balloonclassic.com.
Get to Leadville this afternoon for a way-wicked historical review, done up all musical-like. Starring Elizabeth Bond and Lori Isley Lynn, The Dueling Divas as Molly Brown -- A Tribute to Leadville's Leading Ladies is a trip through the opening of the Tabor Opera House in 1879 to the Unsinkable One's experience on the Titanic. Expect sequins, fur, feathers and a whole lotta songs, including one called "Beautiful People of Denver," which implies that Ms. Brown never made it to Kitty's at 4 in the morning. Appropriately, the fun is taking place at the Tabor Opera House (308 Harrison Ave. in Leadville). For tickets, more information or cool clip art, check out taboroperahouse.net.
School's! In! For! Autumn! That's right, gals and pals -- your favorite creepily mascara-ed uncle, Alice Cooper, is lurching into southern Colorado and will be rocking the last night of the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. With Mssr. Cooper is the almighty Cheap Trick, who want you to want them, et cetera. They'll be at the State Fair Grandstand at 7, as will you, your fist in the air. For tickets or more information, steer yourself to coloradostatefair.com, where you also can look at pictures of goats.
Hey, howzabout you drop that remote and pick up a friggin' book? Howzabout that book is Eye of the Wolf, by local New York Times best-selling mystery author Margaret Coel? Howzabout you get it at a discussion and signing at the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover (1st Avenue and Milwaukee Street)? Howzabout I use the word "howzabout" again? No? 'Kay. Just know that the signing is taking place at 7:30 p.m., the book is a thriller of sorts, and that it's free for you to attend. You should call 303/322-7727 to find out more. Howzabout that?
Asks the press release, "What's chiseled, stitched, dyed, and sanded, turned, embroidered, appliqud and painted?" I dunno. Mom? Nope -- turns out it's the 21st annual Quilts and Fine Woodworking Exhibition at the Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St.). This, the finest in contemporary quilting and woodworking, includes 41 one-of-a-kind quilts and as many wood items, all carefully crafted in order to blow your freakin' mind. I strongly urge you to get there this week, although the exhibition is going on until Oct. 28. Admission is free. For more, head to cspm.org or call 385-5990.
A lot of people like Dave Matthews Band. Not being one of them -- and emphatically -- I could care less if you get to Red Rocks to see them during their three-day stint tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. But hey, if you're into Mr. Matthews' beer-faced, Muppet-voiced charm and a violinist who mainly stands around and claps, be my guest. Tickets are $58.50, which works out to approximately 50 cents for each minute that they'll suck. For tickets, get to redrocksonline.com or call 520-9090.
-- Aaron Retka