Colorado Springs isn't exactly the mythical, idealistic, small Iowa town of River City, but it's close. You can, however, escape to the real thing (at least for a few hours) by attending opening night of Air Academy High School's presentation of The Music Man. The plot-line is timeless, and "76 Trombones" is by far one of the best get-up-and-dance pieces ever written for a musical. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. Call 472-1295 Ext. 402 a.s.a.p., as these shows usually sell out quickly. Curtain rises at 7 p.m.
There's just something about a good art opening that helps start the weekend off right. Tonight, you can start off right at the Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., featuring Under the Sun, an exhibit of work by local artist Kim Sayers-Newlin. Drop in any time from 5- 8 p.m., meet the artist, chat quietly about color, relax your mind and schmooze unabashedly.
As Black History Month winds to an end, it goes out with a bang at Colorado College's Packard Hall. Drummer and percussionist Batki Cambrelen will perform "Magic Rhythms," African, Brazilian, Carribean, Latin American and flamenco selections. The entire show, called A Night in Africa will also include an African marketplace and fashion show. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., and it's free and open to the public. For more information, call 389-6338.
For roughly the last decade, the Lionel Young Band has been voted the best local blues band and best blues jam around Denver. A classically trained violinist, respected composer and occasional member of the Denver Chamber Orchestra, Young is really best known for having created his own brand of blues on the electric violin. You can catch Young and his souped up violin, along with Nelson Rangell at A Blues & Jazz Festival, this evening at 7 p.m., at the Air Force Academy Arnold Hall Theater. Tickets are $12; call 333-4497.
Folk fans rejoice. Tonight is a special evening, as the Black Rose Acoustic Society presents two of folk music's finest song-crafters and melodic crooners, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen. Gillette has penned songs for many a folkie, including Kenny Rogers, Nancy Griffith and John Denver. Mangsen's crystal voice has been broadcast on such radio programs as Mountain Stage and The Folk Heritage. They'll be performing tonight at the Black Forest Community Center (intersection of Shoup and Black Forest Roads) at 7:30 p.m. $12 general public; $8 Black Rose members.
What do refreshments, door prizes, free library card registration and G columnist Rosemary Harris have in common? They are all part of the Pikes Peak Library District's Black Heritage Festival. Hosted by Harris, things get rolling at 1 p.m. with a huge variety of activities including cultural crafts for children along with a book signing by Linda Martin, author of When Dinosaurs Go to School, a live simulcast with guest speaker Clarence Shivers, local humanitarian Vera Gang Scott, African dance by Sankofa and much more. It all happens at the East Library, 5550 E. Union Blvd. Call 531-6333 for more.
If you're in the mood for something a little more low key and self-indulgent, you might want to visit the Citadel Mall (more specifically, near Foley's), for Cut-A-Thon 2000, a benefit for the Southern Colorado AIDS project. Approximately 150 hair technicians representing over 30 of our finest local salons will be clipping, styling and gelling, just waiting to make you look real purty -- for a mere $15. There will also be makeovers, massages and manicures for $10. All proceeds directly benefit SCAP. Call 578-9092 for more info.
She has been called the Patron Saint of American Music, and for good reason. The effects and contributions of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, even long after her death in 1953, can still be felt in American chamber music today. For the next three days her contributions will be highlighted in the Da Vinci Quartet's Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Festival. The musical tribute begins in the Springs tonight with a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. and a performance at 8 p.m., at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St. The lecture is free; tickets for the concert are $17.50 to $20. Call 634-5583.
National touring company Rising Star Entertainment presents I Have A Dream, a play based on the life and times of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Show times are 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. (later show includes an additional short play, Freedom is My Middle Name) at the City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa. Ticket prices are $2 to $5, with group rates available. For tickets and reservations, call 328-0206 or 685-1192.
Though juvenile delinquency is no laughing matter, one night of comedy is a great way to bring the issue to the forefront and to help raise awareness and money to benefit at-risk youth. Workout Ltd., a local non-profit United Way agency, in cooperation with Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N. Academy Blvd., is holding a fundraiser featuring a night of laughs, a silent auction and Master Hypnotist Michael Doubet. Ticket are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Call Jackie at 471-4200 for more info.
World-renowned organist Peter Richard Conte will perform this evening at 7:30 p.m. in Shove Chapel, located on the west side of Nevada Avenue on the CC campus. And yes, he'll be playing the chapel's historic Welte-Tripp pipe organ. Think about it, how often do you really have a chance to see a professional organist? It's free and worth checking out.
Author Jane Hamilton first hit the literary scene with her award-winning, dark novel The Book of Ruth. Since then, Hamilton has earned even more recognition with A Map of the World, an Oprah Book Club selection recently translated to the silver screen, starring Sigourney Weaver. Hamilton's most recent novel, The Short History of a Prince, was a loving look at how our identities are formed by our families and friends. The author will be speaking and reading from her work in CC's Packard Hall tonight at 7:30. A book signing will follow. For more information, call 389-6607.
-- Suzanne Becker