- Gee Wiz! The Wiz opens Friday at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
We Americanos would be nothing without that wonderful bit of foresight on the part of our Founding Fathers -- the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise ... of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble ... ." And that's exactly what the people will be doing: assembling and free speechifying at No Permit Required, a free (and legal) poetry reading from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in front of the Fourth District Judicial Court, 20 E. Vermijo Ave. Readers, listeners and fist- shakers are welcome. Admission is free.
Artist Celeste Rehm, professor of painting and drawing at CU Boulder and one of seven artists in UCCS's current exhibition Women and Allegory, will speak about the themes in her art this evening at 7. Rehm is especially interested in the connections between humans, wildlife and the Earth. The free talk will be held at the Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway. Special parking tags are available. Call 262-3567.
Local boy wonder and misplaced soul Jesse Cotton Stone and his fabulous blues band plays tonight at Tres Hombres, 116 Midland Ave. in Woodland Park. You see, Jesse actually belongs in a suds-soaked roadhouse deep in the Mississippi Delta, circa 1935. We have no idea what he's doing here, but were damn grateful. Tickets are $5 and the show begins at 9 p.m. Call 687-0625 for details.
Ease on down, ease on down the ro-oad to the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., where the members of the Acting Workshop have gathered to delight you with their performance of The Wiz, the L. Frank Baum story with the flying monkeys and funkadelic flair. This fine group of young actors and actresses take the stage at 8 p.m., and the musical runs until Sunday. Tickets are $10. Call 634-5583.
They may have ripped up the concrete in front of the band shell in Acacia Park and ruined your boarding schedule, but everything has an upside. Now you've got somewhere cool and cushy to sit and listen to the many live bands playing the Acacia Park Music Fest. The Ghetto Cherubs, the A-Holes, Secret Sauce, Lab Rats, Ninety-Nine Cent Wonders, Intoxicants, and Monica's Cigar will play from noon to 9 p.m. today. And the best part is, it's free, free! Bring a blanket to prevent those pesky grass stains.
"Ohhhh, now bow to your partner, bow to your beau, smack him on the head and kiss him on the nose. ... Do the hustle like John Travolta while I take a picture with this here Minolta. ..." sounds probably nothing like what Spike Cowlishaw will call at the Black Forest Community Square Dance at the Black Forest Community Hall, Shoup and Black Forest roads. Spike's got talent when it comes to square-dance calling and do si do-ing. All are welcome tonight from 8 to 10 -- singles, couples, beginners and those of you who already own color-coordinated dancing outfits. Admission is a mere 6 bucks. Call Judy at 495-8750 to find out more.
If you're not really into geometric patterns but you still want to dance, Hot Tomatoes is hosting a big band dance tonight at 7. Jump, jive and wail at the Ute Pass Cultural Center, at the intersection of Midland Avenue and Fairview in Woodland Park. Tickets are $35-$40, and proceeds benefit the Dickson Performing Arts Center. Get details at 687-5284.
Dr. Joseph Galema, director of Cadet Chapel activities at the Air Force Academy, will perform at the next installment of the pipe organ series at the First Christian Church, 16 E. Platte Ave. 633-8888. Galema will play works by Franck, Vierne, Mendelssohn, Handel, Couperin and James Woodman on the newly restored instrument. The concert is free. Call 633-8888.
There is so much excitement this week, we decided to give you Monday off. Use your free time wisely.
Polish up your ropers and squeeze into those tight jeans, shine up that belt buckle and prepare for the earthy smell of livestock -- the El Paso County Fair begins today on the El Paso County Fairgrounds in Calhan. The rides will be in full operation, the cows will be freshly brushed, the chickens will be on sale, and the buckle bunnies will be at their prettiest from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Be sure to check out Swink Hall -- that's where they house the prize-winning domestic entries such as pies, quilts, cakes, giant pickles, etc. The fair runs until July 30; admission is only $2-$5. Call 575-8690 for an event update.
Edward Albee began writing plays at the end of the 1950s, a time of serious upheaval in American society. His works reflect the turbulent undercurrents of these years, and won him two Pulitzer Prizes. Colorado College alumni Amy Brooks, Chris Burns, Jane Fromme, Dee Baker and Brian Taylor perform two of these works -- American Dream and Zoo Story -- in Armstrong Theater, on the northeast corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre tonight at 8. Tickets are only $2-$4. Call 389-6607 to find out more.
Okay, so it's in Boulder, but this event is so wonderful that it can't be overlooked. Huun-Huur-Tu, the Throat Singers of Tuva are performing at Chautauqua Auditorium. Throat singing lies somewhere between the death grunts of a crocodile and lilting Ojibwa tribal songs. If you dig rhythm, you will love these guys. Tickets are $18-$25, and the show begins at 8 p.m. Call 303/786-7030.
-- Kristen Sherwood