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click to enlarge Your pelvis will never be the same  Cabaret Diosa at the Colorado Music Hall
  • Your pelvis will never be the same Cabaret Diosa at the Colorado Music Hall

18 Thursday

The CenturyMen have been called "the finest male chorus in America" and have performed the whole world over since 1969. Under the orchestration of Buryl Red, the 135-man ensemble presents their secular sound in the ever-appropriate Air Force Academy Chapel. Their performance is free to the public, and begins at 7 p.m. For more, visit

www.thecenturymen.com.

19 Friday

They went. They danced. They conquered. Now Colorado College alumni dancers return to CC to exhibit their even more refined skills in a performance featuring original works. The show runs tonight and tomorrow night at 8 in Armstrong Hall, on the northwest corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre. Tickets are $2 to $5, at the door. Call 389-6607 for more.

Cabaret Diosa dares to bring their incomparable vintage Latin rhythms and comedic skits to the Colorado Music Hall tonight at 9 p.m. It promises to be an evening of lusty overstimulation to the beats of sweaty, cha-chafueled mambos. Your pelvis may never recover. Tickets are $7. Call 800/965-4827.

Blues, soul and alternative rock goddess Nina Storey has got a voice that could knock the wind right out of you. She also does publicity photos in the buff carrying an apple. I smell success. The redheaded rabble-rouser performs clothed, and sans apple, this evening at the grand reopening of the Salida Steam Plant Theater in Salida. Be there by 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20. For more, call 719/539-8514.

Reggae-mon Basil Reid performs songs from his album Little Birds tonight at Tres Hombres. The free show starts at 9 p.m. Call 687-0625.

click to enlarge Blues, soul and alternative rock goddess Nina Storey
  • Blues, soul and alternative rock goddess Nina Storey

20 Saturday

They sold out the Smokebrush last year, and now they're back. The California Guitar Trio assaults the Fine Arts Center tonight at 7 p.m. with their whirlwind fingers and sly sense of humor. No genre is left untouched by these virtuosos as they jump from classical, to surf music, to rock without missing a beat. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 634-5583.

The "Paint the Town Blue" series continues tonight at the Business of Art Center with the Blue Horns -- a horn-centric band featuring several local greats. The show gets hoppin' at 7:30 p.m. over at 515 Manitou Ave. Tickets are $2 for members of the BAC and the Colorado Blues Society and then jump to $4 for the uninitiated. Call 685-1861.

Today, the County Fair kicks off in Calhan, where beer will flow like water and the smell of saw dustcovered cow pies will permeate your every pore. Just take U.S. 24 to Calhan and follow the scent of happiness. Admission is $3 to $6. Visit

www.elpasoco.com/CntyFair or call 520-7880 for more. The fair closes next Sunday, July 28.

Cinema Jou Jou II, a benefit for the International Experimental Film Festival (TIE), features the world premiere of a long-overdue new film from underground icon Kenneth Anger, films by Stan Brakhage and Thorsten Fleisch, and the music of gypsy freaks DeVotchka at Eric Verlo's Loft in Old Colorado City. There're only 100 tickets for this little soiree, and said tickets are available at Shuga's and Toons for a $5 donation. Call 389-1468.

21 Sunday

Face it, your pets are unruly hedonists that lick themselves, pee on the carpet and routinely chew up the furniture. They are filthy sinners and if you have any interest in saving their furry little souls than you'll probably want to know that Vista Grande Community Church is having its annual Blessing of the Animals Services today. The morning service is at 10 a.m. the evening service is at 6 p.m. and you're welcome to bring the four-legged, two-legged or no-legged friend of your choice. Call 599-3057 for more.

These guys must be blessed: Faster Pussycat have toured with David Lee Roth. Yup, Diamond Dave, the guy that sang "Hot for Teacher." What more can you say? The Mansfields open for FP at Industrial Nation tonight at 8. Tickets are $10. Call 520-0980.

22 Monday

click to enlarge What a bunch of pussies - Faster Pussycat at Industrial Nation
  • What a bunch of pussies - Faster Pussycat at Industrial Nation

Commies, satanists and burn-outs have reason to rejoice as the Scorpions, Dio and Deep Purple rock you 'til you puke. Seriously, if Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark" doesn't do it, then Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" will. It'll be a wonder if the World Arena can handle all this metal. The hammer falls at 6 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 to $39.50 with half of the proceeds going to Dio's fight against hair loss. Call 576-2626.


24 Wednesday

Mountain of Venus bring their instrumental virtuosity and affection for early Motown and the Grateful Dead to the Utopia Caf tonight at 8. Call 633-1080.

-- Brandon S. Laney

Art Crawl
A stroll through the latest exhibits

Perhaps the most voyeuristically satisfying of the new crop of shows that opened this past week is the Pioneers Museum's A Piece of the True Cross: Relics and Oddities from the Museum Collection. Hearkening back to the old school of museology when museums served as reliquaries for objets of supernormal curiosity (read: the booty from plunderings abroad and other delightfully creepy things), the Pioneers Museum has hauled a whole trove of their own relics up from the vaults.

Among the many artifacts of intrigue are: A hardtack biscuit from World War I that must be really hard if it's still around (a failed attempt at a bite perfectly petrified into its surface only hints at its former gourmet glory); a macabre "Death Book" from 1832 that contains gorgeous ornamentally arranged locks of hair of a family's dead; soil from ol' Zeb Pike's grave; and a fragment of wood supposedly from a log in the cabin where Abe Lincoln grew up.

Don't worry, relics can be moving too: A swatch of "The Final Curtain" from the Burns theater and a stack of silverware fused together from the 1898 fire in the Antler's Hotel (the old beautiful one) will make you want to weep for the our city's lost architectural treasures.

The Business of Art Center hosts yet another juried exhibition in The Community Gallery at 515 Manitou Avenue: Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Photography Exhibition. Other than the obvious inclusiveness and potential talent-scouting these kinds of shows offer, too many juried exhibitions reek of gratuitous fund-raising and lack of curatorial vision.

click to enlarge John Sparks' "Windows and Clouds" at the BAC
  • John Sparks' "Windows and Clouds" at the BAC

High on technical ability and low on compelling content, this latest in the BAC's juried shows hopefully marks a long moratorium on said shows.

Happily, many of the best works in the avalanche of pieces from around the Southwest are from Colorado Springs and its immediate surroundings.

Larry Vitus' silver gelatin "In Front of St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague," Emily Greene's "Phantasy" of a hard-rocking naked bass player, Tim Davis' "Sol-Ful" from his ongoing train series, Trevor Traynor's "Blender" of a man in a frenetically stop-motioned Japanese intersection, and Owen Riss' "Neo" of a blurry-headed nude on a rock would have made a wonderful small group show.

On the group show subject: The Bridge Gallery is up to its old collective theme-show tricks again, this time with the concept "Untouched By Human Hands." Among the many takes you'll find are progressively burnt toasts on a grid, tea bags strung out on a sheet, and actual earth samples transplanted into some lovely conceptual ottomans.

Right next to The Bridge Gallery at Phototroph, Peter Kowalchuk's Lone Tree Landscapes save themselves from forgettability with their insistently consistent subject matter. Though sometimes too cute or overly ironic, the best works reflect the lonely optimism of openness Kowalchuk said he experienced when he moved to Colorado from the claustrophobically forested East Coast.

-- Noel Black

capsule

A Piece of the True Cross
Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St.,
385-5990, through December.

Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Photography Exhibition
The Business of Art Center Community Gallery, 515 Manitou Ave., 685-1861, through Aug. 11.

Untouched By Human Hands
The Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., 329-1574, through July 28.

Lone Tree Landscapes
Phototroph Gallery, 218 West Colorado Ave., Suite 111, under the Colorado Avenue bridge, 442-6995, through July 28.

click to enlarge The art of radical honesty - on stage at the FAC
  • The art of radical honesty - on stage at the FAC

Art Schmart
FACs Repertory Theatre looks at ART

It would be great to see this production of Yasmina Reza's ART again, with a hypnotized cast perhaps, or some other mad wandering to help fill in the blanks of this rather pedestrian 1994 play that seems to have seen the stage more than cast members of Cats.

The play concerns a trio of friends who come to a crossroads when one of them spends a small fortune on a large white-on-white painting. And yes, the "What is art?" question comes up here, but mostly as a backdrop to a play more about the role of radical honesty in one's relationships.

Serge, played by Michael Augenstein, bought the painting and called his friends, Marc and Ivan, to show it off and get their approval.

Approval doesn't come, however, as Marc openly pans the purchase and Ivan, self-obsessed about his imminent wedding plans and his mama, etc., won't offer an opinion. Ricardo Vila-Roger plays Ivan well, flexing his muscles in a sharply written monologue about the aforementioned wedding/mama issue. But this is like watching rapids with no riverbanks, and all the other character interactions suffer from an incredibly rocky lack of timing.

Annoyed throughout, Marc is played too statically. And Serge is too self-assured to be crushed when Marc withholds approval.

The play hints at an old dynamic between the two longtime friends, one in which Marc taught Serge everything he knows about modern art, only Marc doesn't seem to care for modern art, for the shock of the new as he sees it. At Marc's apartment a simple painting of barn and bridge will do -- one more challenge to the believability of this friendship.

The simple staging and small cast may account for the all-too-frequent productions of ART (Colorado College staged it several months ago). And sure, it lends itself to discussion of the omni-tiresome college topic "What is art?"

Time to set the question to rest. The best thing about it: short.

-- Marina Eckler

capsule

ART
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.
Thursdays Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.
Through July 21.

Pre-theater dining and pre-theater discussions are being offered prior to each performance.

Tickets: $20-$25. Call 634-5583.

  • What's happening this week in the big city-- highlights from our listings.

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