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click to enlarge Igor Makarevichs "Lingoman" in The View from Here opening this - Friday at UCCS
  • Igor Makarevichs "Lingoman" in The View from Here opening this Friday at UCCS

Not many places to go slumming this week; it's all a bit highbrow. But it's good to exercise those eyebrow muscles -- keeps the face as firm and plump as a baby's butt. Go, Magnum, go.

11 Thursday

Gabriel's Story is set in the American West, during the 19th century. Gabriel Lynch, a 15-year-old African-American boy, sets off from the racial strife of Reconstruction-era Kansas in search of adventure and tolerance. The book, with its rarely seen historical perspectives, has been highly praised by critics, and its author, David Durham, has been awarded the Richard Wright/Zora Neale Hurston award. Durham will discuss Gabriel's Story at 8 tonight in Colorado College's Bemis Dining Hall, 920 N. Cascade Ave. There is no charge. Call 389-6607.

Real basketball (sort of) will be played this evening at the World Arena. The Denver Nuggets, while not really a bad team, are forever doomed to live down their crappy scoring history. However, they stand a damn good chance in the pre-season game against the Seattle Supersonics, a team neither super nor sonic. Tickets range from $11 to -- no joke -- $101. Call 576-2626.

12 Friday

One of the most beautiful buildings in Colorado Springs often goes unnoticed. Set back from Uintah Street at Glen Avenue, the old Van Briggle Pottery building is a freestanding work of art. Signature Van Briggle tiles line the walls, and the two ornate smokestacks slope gracefully (and in recent years, destructively) from their perches on the roof. Now owned by Colorado College, the building has been rarely displayed -- that is, until the Women's Educational Society of CC got it into their heads that this great beauty must be shared. Ain't nobody gonna mess with the W.E.S. Admission is $5, and the tours will be conducted from 1 to 5 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow. Call 481-3907.

13 Saturday

This is the single most glorious, anticipated and exciting event of the year. I kid you not -- the third annual John Denver Celebration begins today in Salida, Colo. "This is a beautiful remembrance of John Denver. Anyone who truly values who the man was and the gifts he gave us will find this to be deeply meaningful and inspiring," says promoter Christine Smith. Church services, meals and live performances of the late artist's music will celebrate Denver's life today and tomorrow. Call Smith at 719/942-9620 for details.

Miguel Espinoza, master strummer of acoustic guitars, performs at the latest installment of the 2001 Classical Guitar Series, presented by the Colorado Springs Guitar Society. Guitar, guitar, guitar. And then some. 7:30 p.m. Fine Arts Center. 12 dolla. 634-5583.

14 Sunday

I will be the first to admit that folk music is not my preferred bag. But when something good comes along, I can sit Indian style and drink in the auditory kava kava with the best of them.

Right. So, here's a good one. And she's not exactly 100% folk either, so that helps. Seattle-ite Jill Cohn has a beautiful voice, and her feminine melodies match her pipes in grace and charm. She's got all the bones for folk: rainforest depletion, inner spirit searches and rights for women all figure heavily in her lyrics, but her frets and keys are rooted in acoustic pop. Cohn plays her first Springs show at Borders on Briargate, so not only is it free but it'll be relaxed, in a mega-chain bookstore sort of way. Starts at 4. Call 266-1600.

Michael Tomlinson is "internationally known." I wish I knew why performers find this such a bonus; I bet we're all internationally known. I have a friend in Ireland; he knows me. The Indy's former Web boy just left for Antarctica; that's international. If my little brother does, in fact, become Buzz Lightyear after all and shoots into space, then hell, I'll be universally known. We can only hope.

What I'm saying is, our dear Mr. Tomlinson should focus on his more recognizable skills, like playing the guitar real pretty-like, and singin', too. This afternoon, the songwriter plays the little cabin in the woods, Black Rose's little joint on the corner of Shoup and Black Forest Roads. Foreigners are especially welcome. Call 278-8108.

UCCS' Gallery of Contemporary Art opens a new show tonight called The View from Here. The collection of 70 works by 22 contemporary Russian and American artists focuses on "issues of cultural identity a decade after Peristroika." The show was developed by Hand Print Workshop International studios, based in Alexandria, Virginia and Moscow, Russia, a nonprofit which offers resources to visiting foreign artists. The opening reception begins at 5 p.m., and is free. Get details at 262-3567.

15 Monday

Both are skilled political powerhouses and both have devoted followings, but there can be only one -- so Marcy and Nancy are takin' off the gloves. Manitou Springs mayoral candidates Nancy Hankin and Marcy Morrison participate in a forum tonight at the Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., and will discuss art and culture, Manitou's bread and buttah, and whatever else the audience comes up with (read: open space and Red Rock Canyon). Our own dear publisher and Manitou resident, John Weiss, will moderate (and sign autographs afterwards, if you ask nice). The celebrity deathmatch, er, forum begins at 7. Call Daniel Breckenridge at 532-1565 with questions.

16 Tuesday

Tonight, you go see live music. Wayne Hammerstadt plays Adam's in Manitou (685-1430), Orquestra Sabroso grace Colorado Springs' newest juke joint, Classics (260-7057), and Johnny and the Jukes do their regular Tuesday night thing at Jack Quinn's (385-0766). Meadow Muffins (633-0583) has Gary Cover, and Rum Bay (634-3522) features the lovely stylings of Bradford & Dave. And last but not least -- oh, so very not least -- Terry Brandon plays the Whazzup Tavern (392-2700). Yes, that is the real name.

17 Wednesday

Anybody who has played with Rosemary Clooney is all right by me. There's no screwing around with Rosemary. You either got it or you don't, and if you don't, she's going to kick your ass like so many Fred Astaires, Holiday Inn-style. Gerard Carelli's Dorseyesque trombone and vocal stylings passed the Clooney test, but now he must take on the 19-player Springs Contemporary Big Band. The rumble begins at 7 at the Fine Arts Center, what all the swingers call the FAC. Call 578-5263 for the skinney.

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

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