- Dig big hats with Buntports Musketeer.
Asleep at the Wheel leader Ray Benson tells a story about fellow Austinite Carolyn Wonderland, how Bob Dylan called him up one day asking after her. "She's something else," proclaimed Dylan. "She should be nationwide!" Of course, this is back in the days when you could still understand what Dylan was saying. Wonderland, who appears at 8 tonight at the Thirsty Parrot (32 S. Tejon St.), has a bluesy rock approach that situates her somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin. Astonishingly, Wonderland's current tour will take her to two other Colorado venues named after animals: Boulder's Fox Theatre and Denver's Dulcinea's 100th Monkey. Tickets are $13 in advance and $18 at the door. Call 884-1094 for more. BF
If you're set on staying in town tonight, the island-themed Gala in the Garden party from 5:30 to 8:30 at Rock Ledge Ranch (3202 Chambers Way) surely deserves a visit. The $40-per-head affair benefits the Trails and Open Space Coalition; call 633-6884 or visit blacktie-colorado.com for more. But if you're feeling, shall we say, sassy, then align yourself with an 8 p.m. event in Denver on this night of 8/8/08. It's the debut of Buntport Theater Company's eighth season with Musketeer, a show that promises "adventure, comedy, love, betrayal and big hats." The show runs weekly until Sept. 6 at 717 Lipan St., with tickets $13 to $16; visit buntport.com. MS
When most people think of opera, they don't think of accordions, '20s nightclub outfits and Kurt Wiel. Vagabond Opera calls itself opera with an edge, consisting of gypsy and jazz music and flashy costumes. Performers cite Edith Piaf and Wiel as influences for their songs, in which 11 languages can be heard. This will be the closing performance for the 2008 World Music Series, created by the Pikes Peak Library District to promote cross-cultural awareness. Admission is free for this 7 p.m. show at CC's Armstrong Quad (14 E. Cache la Poudre St.); call 531-1202 or visit vagabondopera.com. MM
Let's all sweep the studio's racist history under the rug today and enjoy ourselves at Salute to Disney, Colorado College's Vocal Arts Symposium Finale. Directed by the award-winning Martile Rowland and other renowned faculty, students will regale you with all your old favorites from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Cinderella. Plus, you can bet they won't make you uncomfortable by digging up old ghosts, like the 1953 Peter Pan classic, "What Made the Red Man Red?" The performance is at 3 p.m. in Packard Hall (5 W. Cache la Poudre St.). Tickets are $15, $5 for students, and available at the Worner Center Information Desk or ticketswest.com. For more details, call 389-6607. MA
At 3 p.m. today, and for the next 20 days, a park interpreter at Starsmore Discovery
- The Vagabond Opera busts out smiles and gypsy jazz Saturday.
Center (2120 S. Cheyenne Cañon Road) will dole out a whole load of animal information for you, all for free. Stop by Colorado Wildlife and you'll get a 20-minute dissertation on a single animal native to our region. Admittedly drawn to butterflies more than beetles, I called the center (385-6086) to see if I could squeeze out a little info on which creature would be kicking things off. The tongue-in-cheek response: "Well, it depends on which one we can catch." Touch, Starsmore, touch. KW
If you have ever accessorized with crystals, owned a set of Tarot cards for more than their aesthetic appeal, or insisted that your yogurt grew mold that perfectly resembled the countenance of Mary Magdalene, then tonight is your night! From 7 to 9, Black Cat Books (720 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs) is hosting a free occult science class, where the inexplicable will be explained and divination discussed. Previous topics have included animal communication, how to work with the powers you have (not everyone can have "the gift," after all), and how to read "auras." For more info, call 685-1589. MR
OK, this one's for the readers who flinch at our mentions of all the outdoor musical events downtown and west out to Manitou Springs, and wish we'd talk about events on the east side. This evening, pack a picnic dinner and take yourself or the family to a Jazz in the Park show starting at 6:30 on the Cordera Community Grand Lawn, off Briargate Parkway east of Powers Boulevard. (If it rains, everyone will go inside the nearby Cordera Community Center.) Tonight's lively performance features the Brad Bietry Jazz Group and is presented by Imagination Celebration and the Pikes Peak Jazz & Swing Society. For more, go to imaginationcelebration.org. RR
This week's 7 Days contributors: Mike Alberti, Bill Forman, Mandy Moench, Maddie Rogers, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.