If you're as much of a British royals fan as I think you are, you might consider heading to the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover (1st Avenue and Milwaukee Street in Cherry Creek) this evening for a discussion and signing by author Mark Helprin. Beginning at 7:30, Helprin will be reading from, then signing, his new book, Freddy and Fredericka, a supposedly hilarious allegory of a peculiar British royal family. His other works include the critically acclaimed Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir from Antproof Case and The Pacific and Other Stories. Nothing if not prolific, that Helprin. For more, give 303/322-7727 a jingle.
Last week in this space, we ran the wrong phone number for the Back on Track Benefit Concert, taking place today from 5-9 p.m. at the Trestle Building (219 W. Colorado Ave.). The event features Dotsero, Wendy Woo and Joe Uveges, costs $30 and benefits homeless teens through Urban Peak Colorado Springs. Call Leigh Jordan at 630-3223 for more. We're not kidding this time.
If you're parched and needing the sweet, glorious nectar of zydeco, drink up this evening at Colorado College's Shove Chapel (1010 N. Nevada Ave.), where Creole crazies French Rockin' Boogie will be crankin' out some accordion goodness. Led by Geno Delafose, crowned Best Zydeco Artist at the Big Easy Awards, the group is chock full of Cajun, Creole, African and Caribbean influences, and is touring on their latest project, Everybody's Dancin'. The concert is part of the Pikes Peak Library District's World Music Series and starts at 8:30 p.m. Although the show is free, reservations are required. Call 531-6333 ext. 1234 to make yours.
Get your hips shaking at the Hawaiian Lu'au tonight from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Jenkins Middle School (6410 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.). The event costs $20 presale for adults, $15 for seniors and military, and $10 for the kiddies. The night of, add $5 to those. That sweet ticket wins you a gambit of Hawaiian and Polynesian crafts, food, fire knife dancing and more. And ladies: An award- winning male hula dancer will perform as well, so bring your cameras.
Grab your glo-stick and pacifier and make haste to Red Rocks tonight for the Global Dance Festival, a mega-celebration of the power and glory of, among other things, dance music. The show features the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Deep Dish, Bad Boy Bill, Junkie XL, Dieselboy, Motorcycle and Steve Smooth, and is bound to be a big bag of throbbing beats and songs that go, "oons, oons, oons, bwee." Are you willing to miss that? No. Tickets are $36.50 for the 5 p.m. show. Get yours at hobconcerts.com.
Pack your Sunday with some opera at the Stable Theatre (113 Eureka St. in Central City), where students from the Colorado Springs Conservatory's summer session program -- ages 5-19 -- are putting on a musical, dramatic and operatic show based on sundry works of literature. Excerpted works include Faust, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Tom Sawyer and Romeo and Juliet. It's safe to say you won't hear aria excerpts from the back of a Happy Meal box, although a Mayor McCheese /Birdie duet of "Almost Paradise" would be a show-stopper. The event is free and open to the public and begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 577-4556.
Finally, a reason (other than factory-reject Anne Kleins) to get to the Outlets at Castle Rock (5050 Factory Shops Blvd. in Castle Rock). Through July 29, Art Explorers hosts A Year in the Life of a Camera, a photographic exhibit with a theme that just might make you expel mouthfuls of lemonade in wonder. Fifty-two Colorado photographers each were given a week with the same camera, and that year is documented for your viewing enjoyment. See? This is your last week to get to the show, which is open for viewing from noon to 6 p.m., Sunday through Friday For more information, call 303/663-9972.
Tonight at Optical Reverb (3125 Sinton Road), join in on the Pikes Peak Performing Arts Awards, where local poets compete for raw vers librist glory in the form of the title Poet of the Year. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., it'll be a spoken-word fiesta. Expect to see scores of folks, each clutching a leather-bound diary and muttering to him- or herself. All poets in the Pikes Peak area are welcome to compete. To do so, call 634-2367. Cover for the event is $3.
Also tonight, get to the Universal Lending Pavilion (1700 7th St., Denver) for a hip-hop-a-palooza featuring Nas, Immortal Technique and local sweetheart Black Pegasus. Nas is touring on his new disc, Street's Disciple, the follow-up to his platinum-selling God's Son and Stillmatic. Hailed fairly hyperbolically by The Village Voice as "easily one of the most important writers of the century," Nas combines urban Mafioso storytelling with lyrical polish. There's a reason he's called the King of New York Rap. Call 520-9090 or log on to universallendingpavilion.com and pay your $25 to find out why.
-- Aaron Retka