While most of the hullabaloo about John Fielder's book has worn down, Colorado 1870-2000 is still an amazing body of work. Fielder spent an entire year hunting for the exact place from which William Henry Jackson shot his photographs more than a century ago, and then re-created the shots with his own camera. Fielder also spent time creating a traveling educational presentation that included television and newspaper serialization, slideshows and a lecture that he brings to the Pioneers Museum tonight. A show of the comparative works hangs in the museum through May. The presentation is free and begins at 7 p.m. Call 385-5990.
There ain't nothin' like the smell of cowboy poets in the mornin', all rasseled up and sippin' coffee, yassir. Over 35 cowpersons and ranchers from 11 Western states and Australia are having a little rendezvous at the Arvada Center in Denver, something called the 13th Annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It also features yodelers, balladeers, comedians and bands all shuckin' and jivin' that cowboy talk and reliving the hard ways of the West through verse, story and song, through Saturday. Tickets are $8 to $18. To find out more, visit arvadacenter.org or call 303/431-3939.
Stephen Sondheim gets props tonight when the Colorado Springs Conservatory and the Colorado Jazz Dance Company join forces to perform Gypsy, based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee, quite possibly the most famous stripper of all time. A slice of good old-fashioned Americana. The performance opens at 7 p.m. and runs through Saturday at Pikes Peak Community College, 5675 S. Academy Blvd., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets to the Broadway legend are $12 to $15. Call 577-4556.
See me, feel me, touch me and heal me, for real, tonight at the opening of The Who's grandiose rock opera, Tommy, in the Temple Buell Theater up at the Denver Center. Written by Pete Townshend, the Broadway performance has won numerous awards, including five Tonys. Tickets to the show are $15 to $48 and Tommy runs through Saturday. Call 800/641-1222.
After Life is a fascinating film. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, the critically acclaimed Japanese film is a complex examination of what really matters to people, what moments and events they truly hold dear when all is said and done. In the film, when you die, you're allowed one week to choose a memory. That memory is then the one thing you're allowed to take over to the other side, whatever that is. It's a quiet, introspective film with barely any music, just the perplexing decisions the characters must make to accent the drama.
While After Life itself does not address the concepts of religion and death, Professor Craig Detweiler of Fuller Theological Seminary will lead a discussion on the film's theological dimensions after the screening at Vanguard Church, in the old Academy Station 6 movie theater at the corner of Austin Bluffs and Academy. Even if a God talk isn't your usual Friday night bag, you may change your mind after viewing this multi-layered movie. Admission is free and the screening begins at 7 p.m. For details, call 491-0428.
The Art of Living Foundation brings a calming presence to our fair city, in the form of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Shankar (not the sitar player) is a spiritual teacher of the Sudarshan Kriya, a therapeutic breathing and meditation technique, and has become an inspiration after forming the Foundation, which is active in over 140 countries. Tonight, Shankar speaks on Finding Security in Insecure Times at 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St. There's a $10 suggested donation, but all are welcome. Call 488-9478 for information.
About two months ago, skate rap band Kottonmouth Kings were rolling out of Cleveland after a show when they were pulled over by The Man. Normally, this is not a cause for panic, but the Kings are no normal, God-fearing band. They're a bunch of stoners -- smoked-out, green-thumbed connoisseurs of the herb called ganj -- and proud of it, crooning their love for smoke in each and every song.
Now, don't get me wrong; these guys aren't a bunch of lowlife longhairs with no jobs and bad attitudes. They're incredibly hard-working, business-minded musicians who developed and run their own label, Suburban Noize Records. Aside from producing their own music, tours and merchandise, the label handles 10 other artists and maintains a Web site that allows the fans to keep in close contact with their favorite artists.
So anyway, The Man gave them the shakedown and searched their vehicle, but found nothing. They drove away free and clear, enabling them to perform for the likes of you tonight at the Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Tickets to the all-ages show are $15. Call 800/965-4827 or visit
www.suburbannoizerecords.com for more info.
Normally, you wouldn't be able to see a performance by FACET (Fine Arts Center Educational Theater) unless you wanted to squirm on the bleachers with the rest of your middle-school class. Lucky for you and your hindquarters, the theater company has come home to roost for a day or two, and will perform a couple run-throughs of the O. Henry play The Ransom of Red Chief. The humorous play will be followed by a discussion with the cast and materials will be provided to assist students with their learning. The play runs at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. today and tomorrow at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St. Tickets are $3. Call 634-5583.
-- Kristen Sherwood
Putty in Your Hands
Nobody's arguing that Charlie Chaplin wasn't brilliant. To don a pair of Fatty Arbuckle's pants, a too-small jacket and a bristle mustache and fall down, tumble up, moon over a girl and make the entire world laugh through the most tumultuous times in human history is no joke. And the guy did it without ever speaking a word (well, mostly -- his speaking role as a parody of Hitler in The Great Dictator got him wrongly blacklisted during the days of McCarthyism).
More than any other film star in history, Chaplin used his facial expressions and physical humor on the silent screen to bring the Tramp to life with irrational love, deadpan comedy, heroism, sadness and nobility. Chaplin was one of the greatest mimes ever, and nobody ever got annoyed with his rambunctious behavior.
Dan Kamin, himself a mime extraordinaire, is the first practicing artist to have studied Chaplin's body language and the effect it had on his audiences. The comedian was as flexible as Silly Putty, even running himself through a series of factory gears in the film Modern Times.
Two of Chaplin's best films, Easy Street and Pawn Shop, will be shown during The Magic of Mime, Kamin's insider presentation on Chaplin's physical craft at the Fine Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 17. Kamin has spent years studying the actor's craft, his flexibility and his perfect timing. Often, Chaplin's infusion of physical slapstick elevated mediocre scripts to classic status, something that annoyed other actors but caught the attention of studio heads and turned Chaplin into something of a hot prospect in early Hollywood.
It's not surprising that Kamin found enough fodder in this fascinating performer to pen Charlie Chaplin's One Man Show, a critically acclaimed book upon which his presentation is based. Kamin will be on hand after the two-hour event to sign the work.
On Sunday, the mime steps out of Chaplin's big shoes to battle for control of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. Kamin will use all his mimey wiles to wrench the music free from the oppression of the conductor, making your kids laugh. Best of all, you'll be slipping them a heady dose of classical music, and they probably won't even notice. The show starts at 2 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade. For tickets to the concert ($6), call 520-SHOW. For tickets to the presentation at the Fine Arts Center ($3-$5), call 634-5583.
-- Kristen Sherwood
A presentation on the art of Chalie Chaplin's comic body language
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center,
30 W. Dale St.
Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $3-$5. Call 634-5583
Magic of Mime
with the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra
Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m.
Tickets: $6. Call 520-SHOW.
Woo Tang Clan to Bum Rush the Acoustic
You won't find ODB and Method Man at the Acoustic Coffee Lounge this Saturday, but you will find music for mountain lesbians and the men who want to sleep with them as chanteuse Wendy Woo and her crew break you off somethin' funky with their funkin' folk beats.
Often compared to the Indigo Girls, Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morisette, Woo gained regional fame when she appeared on stage at the Denver stop of the 1999 menstrual-minstrel Lilith Fair as the closing act, and from her tireless touring nationally, and on the Denver/Boulder circuit.
Born in New York City and raised in Boulder by Naropa Institute-affliated poet/painters, Woo has been studying music and performing since childhood. Her albums, Angels in the Crowd, Wide Awake and Dreaming and Ecolalia, reflect the extensive training she's had as a classical guitarist, a collaborator with blues, jazz and gospel artists, and as a self-taught producer and engineer at Sky Trail Studio in Boulder.
Voted "Best Acoustic Artist" by Denver's Westword, Woo recently collaborated with Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon. She has opened for Sarah McLachlan, the Indigo Girls, and Sheryl Crow, and is the co-founder of Women from Mars, a group of constantly interchanging female musicians.
For more information, go to www.WendyWoo.com
Acoustic Coffee Lounge, 5152 Centennial Blvd.
Saturday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $7. Call 268-9951.