- Deborah Coonts
A guy grows up in a small West Virginia coal-mining town. He gets a poli sci degree at his state university, then goes into the Navy. Does a couple combat cruises in Vietnam, returns home, gets a law degree and works for an oil company. Following his career path to its logical end, he's now writing books that go like this: "Tommy is up to his eyes in beautiful women and corpses as he tries to piece together the puzzle ..." Stephen Coonts, bestselling author of Flight of the Intruder, will be signing The Assassin, at 7 tonight at Borders (2120 Southgate Road). Visit coonts.com for more on the author, who (surprise!) lives in Colorado Springs. KW
- John Shermans Divinely Red hangs through Sept. 30 at Hunter-Wolff.
Words that end in "gasm" give everyone a giggle; "Theatregasm" is no exception. And in fact, with short plays like "Waiting for Godot to Leave" and "Bozos Lament," Theatregasm II: Son of Theatregasm, put on by Theatre 'd Art, promises plenty of giggles. The two-weekend premiere of nearly 20 locally written and directed plays kicks off at 8 tonight in UCCS' Osborne Studio Theater (3955 Cragwood Drive) and continues through the weekend and the following Friday through Sunday. Tickets for each evening are $10 ($5 for students; free for UCCS students), with schedules and more info at theatredart.org. MS
The summer festival days will be over as quick as an August thunderstorm, so clear your schedule today. From noon to 5 p.m., visit the second day of the second-ever Everybody Welcome: A Celebration of Culture and Diversity (see story on p. 11). More than 80 booths and 40 performances, plus a passport fair, kids' activities and a beer tent will harmoniously jam into Acacia Park (115 E. Platte Ave.) and surrounding downtown streets. From 3 to 9, you and family or friends can visit Fiddles, Vittles and Vino at Rock Ledge Ranch (3202 Chambers Way). While supporting agricultural programs at the ranch, you'll by charmed by local cuisine samples, a showcase of Colorado microbreweries and wineries and live bluegrass music. Tickets are $40; visit fiddlesvittlesandvino.com. MM
I want to like National Product. After all, frontman Danny Casler recently sold a bunch of stuff on eBay to finance a trip to India and help fight human trafficking. And he obviously pours heart and lungs into his Orange County-based outfit's music. So what's not to like? Just that the band's overblown, under-imaginative pop rock is formulaic enough to put you to sleep at any decibel level. Still, someone's gotta like them enough to merit their headlining gig at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., 7:30 p.m., all ages, $8 in advance, $10 at the door). And besides, to tell the truth, there's pretty much nothing else going on in town tonight. BF
Today, catch art shows that are soon to end and make up for recent openings you missed. For instance, if you didn't attend Saturday night's premiere of local artist John Sherman's show Divinely Red, then you can head to Hunter-Wolff Gallery (2510 W. Colorado Ave.) between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sherman's regarded for vibrant, multi-layered mixed media on canvas landscapes, still lifes and nudes. Or head to the Commonwheel Artists Co-op from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to see regional clay works in Fire Bright Invitational, which opened Friday. Visit hunterwolffgallery.com or commonwheel.com for more. MS
- Calling all Hippy Dippies to Manitou, Wednesday.
I feel like I haven't gone to see a movie that was under two hours long in years. More often than not, by the end of the film I'm squirming in my seat, and would rather the protagonist just get hit by a runaway bus than sit through another 20 minutes. If you're equally attention-span-deficient, check out the August Short Film Screening and Schmoozer tonight at the Rocket Room (230 Pueblo Ave.). Several short films will be shown, some with such promising taglines as "A single mom discovers the perils of Internet dating." They're all made by local filmmakers, and all under a half-hour long. Call 447-4990 for more on this free event, which runs from 8 to 10. MA
Where has the summer gone? Hard to believe, but this is the last day for the Manitou Springs Farmers Market at Soda Springs Park (1016 Manitou Ave.). And if you're a regular, you know what that means. Each year, the grand finale includes the Hippy Dippy Chili Fiesta, with professionals and amateurs preparing five-gallon pots of their best green or red for the judges, who will decide the winner of the traveling Chili Garcia Trophy. The rest of everyone's chili will be sold in sample cups, and the cook selling the most samples will get the People's Choice Trophy. The cook-off, like the market, goes from 4:30 to 8. For more, call 685-9741. RR
This week's 7 Days contributors: Mike Alberti, Bill Forman, Mandy Moench, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.