If the play is as gut-wrenchingly emotional as the 1980 David Lynch film, then the audience is in for a heavy experience tonight at the Smokebrush Cabaret, 235 S. Nevada Ave. Upstart Performing Ensemble presents the opening performance of The Elephant Man tonight at 8. The play is the true story of John Merrick, an intelligent, sensitive but horribly deformed man who was exploited and shunned his whole life. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for everybody else, and the play runs until April 14. Call 636-5089.
Tonight's HyperARTivity event, Swing Into Spring, brings together young professional art enthusiasts to meet, mingle and enjoy the Fine Arts Center's collections, all to the sounds of the Changing Times Big Band. A cash bar will be open. Admission is $4 to $8 and the evening begins at 5:15. But if swinging with the hip crowd doesn't float your boat, go to the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., tonight to check out some of the works by New York photographer Weegee. Also known as Arthur Fellig, Weegee had an uncanny knack for being at the scene of a crime just as it happened, and he caught some of the most chilling images of destruction and reaction in Big Apple history. The photos are part of the A.G. Edwards photography exhibit, which showcases black-and-white New York City scenes from the '20s, '30s and '40s. Call 634-5581 for details.
We've got good music this week, and it kicks off with a performance by AMM, making a rare trip across the pond to play their improvisational "free-jazz" in Colorado College's Packard Hall, on the southwest corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre. Composed of guitarist Keith Rowe, percussionist Eddie Provost -- both students of the avant-garde jazz tradition of the mid-'60s -- and classically trained pianist John Tilbury, the English group prides itself on being unclassifiable and cutting-edge. The performance is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. Call 389-6607.
I tend to get tired of the same old Celtic music that comes jigging and reeling through town, but I've heard very good things about Danu. The young Waterford-based septet is rumored to be a group of high-energy, focused musicians worth catching for their songs and their skillful execution. Danu performs at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., this evening at 8. Tickets are $14 to $16; call the box office at 634-5583.
No matter what your religious inclinations, in the company of Marcus Borg, you're sure to flex your spiritual muscles. The world-renowned scholar of Jesus and author of Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time presents a series of lectures at Colorado College this weekend and, for $20, you can get lunch and attend the Saturday lectures, including "Jesus and the Christian Life: Taking Jesus Seriously," "Jesus Before and After Easter: Jewish Mystic and Christian Messiah" and "The Death and Resurrection of Jesus: History and Metaphor." Tonight's lecture, "The Battle for the Bible Today," is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Shove Chapel. For details or registration information for Saturday's lectures, call 385-6147 or 389-6607.
If there's one thing this town has got, it's twang... The Uptown Twang Songwriter and Artist Series at Barnes & Noble, (1565 Briargate Blvd.) is a veritable smorgasbord of local talent, from pickers to grinners and everything in between. The String Dudes, JW Warren, CD Woods, Jody Adams, Clay Jeffreys, Nick Moore, Shelly Rose, Kay DeLynn and Elaine Holt all perform at the free concert, from noon to 3 p.m. Their CDs will be available for purchase, and a portion of the moolah goes to the Pikes Peak Hospice. Call 266-9960 to find out more.
Bands like Fugazi make the world go round, I swear. Completely inventive, wholly devoted and not obsessed with money, Fugazi produce their own records on their own label, Dischord. They're bent on making their music accessible through low ticket and CD prices and an "always all-ages" policy. The band plays the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave., tonight at 9. Tickets are $6, but you better get on it because, within days of the announcement, their Denver shows sold out -- this one should, too. Call 800/965-4827 for ticket info.
It's the second Sunday of the month and you know what that means... the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society presents the Second Sunday Jazz Affair at The Original Castaways (107 Manitou Ave.) at 2 p.m. The sounds of the Springs Contemporary Big Band will be made even bigger by the addition of the Coronado High School Jazz Ensemble. Admission is $4 to $6. Call 685-5626 for details.
So your bid to hitch a ride to space with Russians is still being blocked by NASA. What's a young cosmonaut to do? Might I suggest jetting on over to Space 2001: An Earth Odyssey, the 17th annual National Space Symposium. Everyone who's anyone in the industry with be there talking shop, presenting exhibits and figuring out that pesky, complicated U.S. space policy. The whole thing goes down at the Broadmoor Hotel (they have copper toilet seats, you know), 1 Lake Ave. For registration information, call 800/691-4000. The symposium continues through Wednesday.
Voyager/author/earth scholar/ sage William Least Heat-Moon will sign the third book in his trilogy on traversing the country, River-Horse: Across America by Boat, today at 5:30 p.m., at the Chinook Bookshop, 210 N. Tejon St.
10 Tuesday Tonight the Fine Arts Center's Classic Film Series goes one step past classic and into golden with the David Emrich Perspective. Emrich, an Academy Award-winning short documentary editor, is the author of Hollywood Colorado. He will present special silent film features and discuss Colorado's history of early filmmaking, before California even built the sign. Admission is the regular $3; call 634-5583. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the FAC, 30 W. Dale St.
The other day, I was complaining to someone about the lack of a diverse music scene in Colorado Springs, and they simply said, "Yeah, but you get a lot of really great metal acts, don't you?" Actually, yes. Yes, we do. Take, for instance, Sepultura with Puya, Hatebreed and Flybanger tonight at the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave. You can coast off this rock fix for weeks. Tickets are $20. Call 800/965-4827 for details. The show starts at 8 p.m.