David Keplinger, poet and author of The Rose Inside (winner of the 1999 T.S. Eliot Prize), will read tonight as part of Colorado College's Visiting Writers Series. Most likely, Keplinger will present a world of love and alienation through poems that involve metaphors and allusions. We're hep. The reading takes place at 7 p.m. in McHugh Commons (1090 N. Cascade Ave.) on the Colorado College campus. Free to all. For more, call 389-6606.
Also tonight, experience the wondrous wonders of technologically enhanced works of art. Mary Flanagan will exhibit examples of her works as part of the Art in the 21st Century Lecture Series hosted by the visual and performing arts department at UCCS. An associate professor of multimedia design at the University of Oregon, Flanagan creates interactive electronic media and computer controlled installations. Her work has been exhibited in museums and universities worldwide. For more information, call 262-4306.
Tonight, come experience a nice family-style meal while experiencing dazzling song and dance numbers featuring Santa Claus, Elvis and Jacques Cousteau during the Iron Springs Chateau Dinner Theater's (444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs) presentation of its 2003 Holiday Extravaganza Revue. The entire evening will overflow with mutated versions of all your favorite Christmas tunes. This may be your one and only chance to hear a disco version of "Walkin' In a Winter Wonderland." Dinnertimes are 6-6:45 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 685-5104.
Experience the exotic and the ordinary tonight at the opening of the Far and Near art exhibition at the Cottonwood Art Academy (102 W. Cucharras). The show features works by local artists and world travelers Kazuko Stern and Richard A. Hoge and will highlight oil paintings inspired by far-off subjects and landscapes as well as scenes from everyday life. Selected works from both artists will be on sale. The reception will last from 6 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call 633-1131.
Get lit today at the Festival of Lights. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., stop by the Pioneers Museum for all-day fun, including a sing-along with Tom O'Boyle. Shop around downtown, and then at 4 p.m., plant yourself in Acacia Park to hear Tuba Christmas toot their horns. From there, settle in to your favorite spot for the Festival of Lights Parade. The parade starts at 5:50 p.m. at Tejon and St. Vrain. Afterwards, hit the Fine Arts Center for It's a Wonderful Life to warm your buns and your heart. Call the museum at 385-5940 or the Fine Arts Center at 634-5583.
Forget about relaxing this afternoon; come get blown away (if you catch our drift) at Tunjung Sari, a concert of Balinese dance and Gamelan music, featuring bronze xylophones, gongs, cymbals, drums and flutes. The event takes place at 3 p.m. in Packard Hall (southwest corner of Cache La Poudre and Cascade) on the Colorado College campus and will be directed by I Made Lasmawan, a native of Bali, trained in music, dance and puppetry from the national conservatories of Bali and Java. Admission is free. For more, call 389-6606.
Also today, learn the fine art of D.I.Y (that's do-it-yourself for all you S.E.D.I.F.Y.s, you know: someone-else-does-it-for-you!) at the Carpentry Workshop at the Highlands Ranch Home Depot (1200 Mayberry Drive, Highlands Ranch). The workshop is hosted by Carter Oosterhouse of the television show Trading Spaces (you know: the show where friends totally redecorate each other's houses). Oosterhouse will sign autographs, answer questions and demonstrate how to build a toy box that you can use to store ... something in. The event starts at 1 p.m., you may want to bring some tools. For more information, call 310/384-5651.
Check out some fret-board gymnastics tonight at the Colorado Springs Guitar Society's annual Member's Benefit Concert at the All Soul's Unitarian Church (on the corner of Tejon and Dale streets). Ten CSGS guitarists will be jammin' their own solo pieces as well as the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Manuel Ponce, Antonio Vivaldi, Francisco Tarrega and many more. A wide range of guitarists will be performing, from mere students to six-string masters. The wailing commences at 7:30 p.m. and $5 tickets are available only at the door. Refreshments will be served and CDs recorded by CSGS members will be available for sale. For more, call 599-8761 or log on to www.coloradosprings guitarsociety.org.
If you're looking for something with a little more holiday flavor, the Woodland Park Community Band Christmas Concert takes place tonight at the Ute Pass Cultural Center (210 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park). All the usual Christmas favorites will be performed along with some nontraditional tunes. Visual enhancements (read: Christmas lights) will be included. Mellow out, brother. Show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call 687-2210.
This afternoon, get a hefty dose of Eastern art and philosophy at the Many Points of Light exhibition in the Coburn Gallery (on the main floor of the Worner Campus Center) on the Colorado College campus. The exhibition will feature three Chinese artists (ceramicist Chou Pang-ling, painter Liu Min and furniture designer Yuchien Chen) who will present works influenced by Chinese philosophy and culture. The event is sponsored by the CC art department and the Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation and will last through Feb. 10. The gallery will be closed for winter break (Dec. 19-Jan. 6). For more information, call 389-6606.
-- Grayson Mendenhall