This weekend, check out The Rainmaker, a tale of love and hope and sundry heartwarming devices, at the Lon Chaney Theater (221 E. Kiowa). Lizzie, a plain-Jane homemaker, is caught in a small town drought. Into said small town swoops the charming, dazzling and, most importantly, titular Bill Starbuck, who along with rain brings excitement and romance. Yowza! The curtain goes up tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, with additional shows on June 3, 4 and 5. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations or more information, hit up www.starbarplayers.org or call 573-7411.
Catch Irish-Scottish powerhouse duo Willson and McKee tonight at the Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage. Back for their third appearance at BRAS, the pair presents traditional Celtic arrangements, glorious vocal harmonies and a night full of guitar, bouzouki, accordion, bodhran and folk harp. Their press photo looks like an advertisement for Wholesome Family Dulcimers, Inc., so it's a fair guess that the kids are welcome at this one. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Forest Community Center (corner of Black Forest and Shoup roads in Black Forest). Admission is $5 for nonmembers and $3 for BRAS members, with kids under eleven admitted free. For more, check out www.blackroseacoustic.org.
The days are getting longer and warmer, the lilac is blooming and it's becoming more apparent that summer's upon us. You thinkin' what we're thinkin'? Rodeo! Catch the first of the season at the Norris-Penrose Event Center (1045 Rio Grande St.), where the Circle Bar Rodeo is going on today and tomorrow. Events include a barbecue and concert at 6 p.m., and a citywide memorial service tomorrow at 2 p.m. -- these in addition, of course, to flyin' horses, rough stock and chaps, chaps, chaps! Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for kids 12 and under, free for kids under 5 and $10 for active military with ID. Head to www.circlebarrodeo.com to learn more.
For the record, calling a festival "Dark Arts" is sort of unfair unless actual evil sorcerers are present. Nonetheless, today marks the Voldemort-less fourth annual fte-o-gothitude that is the Colorado Dark Arts Festival, starting at noon at both Rock Island (1614 15th St.) and Caf Netherworld (1278 Pennsylvania St.) in Denver. Here's a chance for Colorado goths to gather, enjoy DJs and bands and local artists, let down their hair, lace up their thigh-high jackboots and smoke clove cigarettes. This day of darkness costs $10 at the door or $5 in advance. For a list of performers or for more information, steer that hearse on over to www.coloradodarkarts.org.
Mama always said no week is complete without a dose of Swedish hipster rock. Actually, she may have said something about not huffing Windex, but the lesson still applies: Catch Stockholm sassypants the Shout Out Louds tonight at the Climax Lounge (2217 Welton St. in Denver). These kiddos put out a snappy, hook-driven mlange of garage rock and dance-punk with occasional forays into synth and acoustic balladry, and this is your chance to hear them in a medium other than your scenester friend's iPod. They're joined by Marjorie Fair and The Dears, and tickets are $10. Get yours online at www.nipp.com.
This and every Wednesday, get your groove on with Tribe at Jack Quinn's (21 S. Tejon St.). This quintet of notable locals shakes out a nice blend of funky N'awlins jazz, zydeco and blues. It's a danceable, entirely listenable and fun bar-band experience, not unlike an absinthe dance party -- only, you know, legal. Most importantly, their accordion player might serenade your table, lending invaluable points to a hot date. Catch them at Quinn's from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., or check them out at Union Station (2419 N. Union Blvd.) on Thursday evenings. Find more Tribe events online at www.sceneinthesprings.com.
Ugly stepsisters can sometimes make pretty music. With that in mind, catch La Cenerentola presented by Opera Theatre of the Rockies tonight at Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College campus (14 E. Cache La Poudre St.). Penned by Gioacchino Rossini (of The Barber of Seville fame), this operatic adaptation of "Cinderella" departs from the Grimm brothers' telling by eschewing the evil stepmother for an evil stepfather and replacing the fairy godmother with Alidoro, the prince's confidant. And Cinderella's not a scullery maid in this version; she's a runty freshman yearning for football greatness at Notre Dame, if only they'd give her a chance. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets can be yours for $15-$40, found at Ticketswest outlets or by calling 520-SHOW.
-- Aaron Retka