It's your lucky night, kiddos. Make the Veronika String Quartet part of your St. Pat's revelry at the Lousia Performing Arts Center at the Colorado Springs School (21 Broadmoor Ave.). As part of this year's Thursday Night Recital Series, the Quartet is inviting special guest and Pikes Peak Philharmonic conductor Lawrence Leighton Smith. The program includes works by Igor Stravinsky, Franz Joseph Haydn and Johannes Brahms, to boot. The concert will start at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for students and seniors. Get yours in advance by calling 475-9747, ext. 110.
This weekend, check out a solo exhibit by Devin Arnold at the Bridge Gallery (218 W. Colorado Ave., located in the Depot Arts District). Arnold's show Enveloped/Destabilized Forms uses abstract forms to focus on the change and instability of life. The exhibit, running through Sunday, March 27, will allow the viewer to "be" in the art. Sounds kind of trippy. For more, give the gallery a call at 329-1574 and ask them what they've been smoking. Then get me some.
Also this weekend, The Firebird takes the stage at the Mount St. Francis Auditorium (7665 Assisi Heights). Ensuring that you'll get your fix of marionette theater in a live environment rather than on, say, the Internet, David Simpich presents a special Easter season show of his original production. An amalgam of Russian folklore tales, The Firebird chronicles the adventures of puppet Prince Ivan and his puppet brothers, Lisovich and Jurg, who have all sorts of zany puppet exploits in their search for puppety goodness. (That's kind of a paraphrase.) The show starts at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays through April 10. Advance tickets are $11, and admission at the door is $13.50. Tickets are available by calling 636-3272 or by going online to www.simpich.com/david/dhome.htm.
Oh, Carrot Top. You've taught me so much. First that thing about dialing down the center, then the gag with the motorcycle helmet and the oversize novelty teeth that gets me kicked out of so many parties. You've been a mentor, a guru of wackiness to me, and I'll see you tonight at the Paramount in Denver (1621 Glenarm Place), where you'll surely be going through a brand-new trunk of props. Props to you, C.T. Tickets for this one are $29-$39 and are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 520-SHOW.
Man, it's a jam-packed night. So OK, if redheaded comedians or art or puppets aren't your bread and butter, check out the Taste of Chaos Tour at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver (1510 Clarkson St.). The brainchild of Kevin Lyman, who created the Vans Warped Tour and realized that kids will actually pay $4 for bottled water in order to see their favorite bands, Taste of Chaos is a fest for the fan of heavier music. Featured acts include The Used, My Chemical Romance, Killswitch Engage, Senses Fail, A Static Lullaby and tons more for the dyed-black-hair set. For ticket prices, set times and more, check out www.tasteofchaos.com.
Let's be honest with each other here. You can't tap to save your life. You know it, I know it, your mangled floorboards know it. Stop embarrassing yourself and catch some real tap tonight at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (210 N. Santa Fe Ave in Pueblo), where Rhapsody in Taps will be dancing up a storm for you. The Los Angeles-based company has been around since 1981 and has produced over 35 original works with musical collaborators like Al "Tootie" Heath, Cedar Walton, Louie Bellson and tons more. Plus, the Los Angeles Times calls them, among other things, "inexorable as a speeding train." Wow. Tickets are $20 and are available through the Sangre de Cristo Center's box office or by calling 719/295-7222. For more, check out
- Be here now: the Bridge Gallery showing of Enveloped/ Destabilized Forms.
On this and every Sunday night at the Ancient Mariner (962 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs) see and hear the Acid Jazz Jam, an open stage for instrumentalists, vocalists, poets, dancers and artists of any sort. Hosted by Kim Stone, Wayne Hammerstadt, Bryant Jones and Inez Garcia, the jam is your chance to suck back a few, play a couple licks, sing a couple songs or poemicate to your heart's delight. It takes place from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and is as free as you possibly imagine. For more, give 'em a jingle at 685-5503.
Speaking of poetry, get yours on at Celebration Place (located on the upper level of the Citadel Mall's Mervyn's wing). Today from 12:30 to 3 p.m., Imagination Celebration's poet laureate Stacy Dyson, along with 2004 Poet of the Year Carol Horen, will introduce folks to the wondrous world of performance poetry. The class is open to elementary and middle school students and will cost $10 per student. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 597-3344.
-- Aaron Retka