- A lift for the new millennium Return to Gaia at the Fine Arts Center
The players may not be dressed like Dieter on SNL's Sprockets and probably won't be spouting the virtues of nihilism, but Top Dogs will possess all the disenchantment and vagueness of any good Continental entertainment export. The popular play takes a satirical look at the actions of large corporations and will be presented entirely in German. English commentary will be provided, whatever that means. Urs Widmer's play will be performed in the Max Kade Theater inside Armstrong Hall (on the northeast corner of Cascade and Cache la Poudre). Admission is free but you must reserve your seat by calling 389-6635.
Kids today ... they used to be so normal, and now they're all just a bunch of exhibitionists. And we'll all be the dirty old voyeurs tonight as both the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, and Pikes Peak Community College's Downtown Campus, 100 W. Pikes Peak, host openings of their annual Student Art Shows. The show at UCCS, juried by artists Sushe Felix and Sarah McKenzie Smith, will open at 5 p.m. PPCC's opening reception will also begin at 5 p.m. Admission to both shows is free. Call UCCS at 262-3567 or PPCC at 527-6000 to find out more.
If you listened to the Prairie Home Companion Joke Show two weeks ago on NPR, you already understand why Scotsmen Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain are good for much more than wicked fiddling, accordion-wielding and vocalizing -- they told what I thought was the funniest joke of the entire show. Remember the one about the Shetlander and the lonely American? The highly entertaining and respected lyrical Celtic duo will return to Colorado Springs for a performance at the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave. The show begins at 8 p.m.; tickets are $15-$17. Call 447-9797 for more.
A group of local dance instructors is asking all HepCats, FemCats, Zoots, Swingers, Suavecitos, Salseras, Salseros, Tangueras and Tangueros with itchy feet to cruise over to 430 E. Pikes Peak Ave. to shake it at One Night, Three Dances, where swing, Salsa and Tango music will rotate throughout the evening. Sequins, boas, fedoras, "creative black tie" and tuxedos are encouraged -- there's no such thing as "overdressed" at this party. Tickets are $9 at the door and there will be a cash bar. Call Scott McLane at 303/595-0706 to get the lowdown or if you want to secure a space on the dance floor.
In 15th century England, the cities of York, Chester and Wakefield joined together to create a theatrical production in order to teach Christianity to mass audiences. The cycle of plays, called The Mysteries, were split into 48 separate plays, telling the Bible story in its entirety. UCCS Theaterworks will perform two of the plays: The Nativity, the story from Creation to the birth of Jesus; and The Passion, the story from Palm Sunday to the crucifixion, beginning tonight in a performance space at 3214 N. Nevada Avenue. The Nativity plays Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and will also be held at 4 p.m. on the weekends. The Passion plays Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Both run through April 23. Tickets are $10-$20; call 262-3232.
Get earthy tonight at the Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. Opening is the new exhibit Seeding Limited: A Garden Art Show. While there won't be giant hedges trimmed in animal shapes or Shining-style mazes, you might see a birdbath or two among the garden-inspired painting, sculpture and wandering "avant-garden" poets. The reception for this all-natural, no-preservatives-added show begins at 5 p.m. Admission is free; call 685-1861. Seeding Limited will run until May 27.
In 2099, the elders of Gaia (Earth) are forced to send their children into space in order to save their race. They end up on a heartless wretched planet called Anarchia, where they live in fear of encountering the hostile, fantastical creatures who capture and enslave them. They must battle the evil Queen Moroda and her crazy sidekick Donada in order to get back to Gaia. This is the plot of the jazz ballet, Return to Gaia, which will be performed by 40 young dancers and soundtracked to the music of Pink Floyd. The ballet begins at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., and will be performed again at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $10. Call 596-1134 to find out how you can get some of what these people are on, or just for details.
The voices of the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble will soar in First Christian Church, 16 E. Platte Ave. The CVAE will be performing the beautiful and challenging works of composers Charles Ives, whose Psalm 67 pitches male against female singers in a battle for tonality; Aaron Copland's biblically inspired In the Beginning; Samuel Barber's Agnes Dei, a vocal arrangement of his famous Adagio for Strings; and Leonard Bernsteins's Chichester Palms, sung in Hebrew. Grant Us Peace: Masterpieces of American Choral Music begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5-$7 at the door. Call 633-9373 for details.
Castaways Theater, 103/107 Manitou Ave., will host a little rock and blues divertissement tonight with the Derek Trucks Band, local favorites Rikki Dee Hall and the Voodoo Hawks and Leaving the Trees. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50-$15. Get the skinny at 685-3300.
For three years now, Bare-Knuckle Poetry, an informal group of local poets, has vented through bouts of below-the-belt free verse, naked prose and inspired spoken word at their poetry slams, and tonight they'll celebrate their anniversary with an open mike night at The Warehouse, 25 W. Cimarron. Readers, listeners and anyone interested are welcome. Bare-Knuckle Poetry begins at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free. Visit http://home.earthlink.net/~bknuckles for info.
In conjunction with the recycled art exhibit Deja Views at the Fine Arts Center, Ron and Julie Burnham, and Pat and LaRue Eversole will discuss their experiences building and living in earth-friendly homes. The two couples live in Earthship houses -- homes made with recycled materials such as tires, aluminum cans and newspapers. A slide show will also be presented. The gallery talk begins at noon at the Center, 30 W. Dale St. Admission is free for members, and only basic gallery admission for non-members. Call 634-5583.