The Star Bar Players present Tina Howe's Painting Churches, opening tonight for a four-week run at the Lon Chaney Theater, corner of Kiowa and Weber streets downtown. This much-heralded comic drama about an elderly couple moving from their longtime home with the help of their daughter, stars Bob Pinney, Cecile Gort and Amy Brooks. Tickets are $12 and $15. Call 573-7411 for reservations. Tonight's show is at 8 p.m.
Tonight through Sunday, the Acting Company brings some misshapen murder to TheatreWorks at UCCS. Shakespeare's Richard III, that marvelously Machiavellian tale of exploitation, manipulation and political assassination, is presented by an award-winning traveling company as part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national touring theater initiative. Show times are 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m at the UCCS Bon Vivant Theater (3955 Cragwood Drive). Tickets will run you $30 and are available online at www.uccstheatreworks.com or by calling 262-3232.
Show your support for the great young artists among us by attending the opening of Wunderkind, a juried exhibition featuring the work of 11 extraordinary high school artists from the Pikes Peak region. Now in its fifth year, this collaborative event sponsored by the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration and the Business of Art Center is always an eye-opener. The show's up at the BAC, 515 Manitou Ave., through April 24. Tonight's opening reception takes place from 5 to 8 p.m.
Attention Adaptation sycophants: This weekend, the Denver Orchid Society holds its annual Spring Orchid Show and Sale at the Denver Botanic Gardens (1005 York St., in Denver). This exhibition of frankly sexual flowers will include a large variety of orchids available for purchase, and orchid doctors will be on hand to assist with any orchid-related woes. Things will blossom today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the show is free with DBG admission. Call 303/913-9323 or head over to www.denverorchidsociety.org to learn more.
- Carnivale, a production that pays tribute to dance history, will be at Doherty High School on Saturday and Sunday.
Put some honk in your tonk tonight at Benny's (517 W. Colorado Ave.), where the notoriously Texan Lil' Bit and the Customatics will be doling out a heapin' helpin' of sweet rockabilly goodness. Fresh from two My Texas Music nominations for Album and Musician of the Year, Lil' Bit promises twang and grit along with classic honky-tonk stylings. Hit up www.thecustomatics.com to learn more.
If cigarette smoke, beer and sawdust won't do it for you, check out Carnivale, a classically styled Italian commedia dell'arte ballet performance presented by DanceQuest. This family-friendly tale of the greedy merchant of Venice Pantalone and his four daughters will be presented today and tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Doherty High School (4515 Barnes Road). Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids under 12, and are available through the Dance Center (596-1134) or at the door on the day of the performance.
Also tonight, The North Mississippi All-Stars come to 32 Bleu to unleash their brand of blues-country-rock-jam-funk amalgam on the masses. Compared variously to R. L. Burnside, G. Love and Special Sauce, and jam standbys Phish and Widespread Panic, the All-Stars can be expected to play notes on their instruments and sing into microphones. Tickets are $16 and are totally obtainable through www.32bleu.com.
15 Monday Tonight, guitar-driven power-pop up-and-comers Stereo 360 come to Southside Johnny's (528 S. Tejon St.). Drawing from the anthem-rock influences of bands like Cheap Trick along with indie-cred inspirations Nirvana and the Pixies, the Los Angeles quartet is touring in support of their debut release, Enjoy Your Life Poolside. Plus, they're wearing really expensive leather jackets in their photo and they have a number in their name. Wicked! Hit up www.stereo360.com to find out more.
Tonight and tomorrow, the Broadway smash Rent comes to the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.). This multiple award-winning, hugely original voice-of-a-generation musical -- based, as it were, on Puccini's La Boheme -- redefined Broadway, brought the Gen-X voice to the stage and remains the 14th-longest running musical in Broadway history. Tickets are $25-$45 and are available by calling 520-SHOW, by logging onto www.ticketmaster.com or by hitting up one of many Ticketmaster outlets.
Man, everything should be on ice. This world of ours would be a whole lot more bearable if everyone strapped on some skates and gave in to the spectacle. Noam Chomsky ... On Ice! Signing a Loan Application ... On Ice! The PATRIOT Act ... On Ice! Having said that, I urge you to take the kids, your spouse and all of your friends and extended relations to Disney's Jungle Adventures On Ice, a frozen-water and oversized-head retelling of three Disney classics: The Lion King, Tarzan and The Jungle Book at the World Arena tonight through Sunday, March 21. There are a variety of ticket prices with which to line Mr. Eisner's pockets. Learn more about tickets and showtimes by calling 576-2626 or hitting up www.disneyonice.com.
Nothing says "springtime" like a Greater Prairie Chicken Viewing Tour, as you very well know. In that spirit, the city of Wray, Colo., along with the East Yuma Country Historical Society presents five delightful weekends of chicken-lookin' in March and April. You can watch the prairie chickens perform their mating rituals, complete with their distinctive "dance" and booming calls. These overnight outings are available in both Basic and Special Tour packages, with a delightful array of prices. Reservations are required. Call 970/332-3484 to register or for more information.