lit & theater
OK, lit freaks, here's something to wet your whistle: Poor Richard's (324 N. Tejon St.) will be hosting best-selling author Gus Lee for a signing and discussion of his latest work, Courage: The Backbone of Leadership, at 6 p.m. The event, which is free to attend, will also serve as the launch pad for the store's brand-spanking-new speaker series. For more info, call 578-5549.
Also, while it's always awkward to term something the "first annual" anything, that's what they're doing at the Manitou Art Theater (515 Manitou Ave.) for the First Annual Six Women Playwriting Festival. The event features a half-dozen 10-minute plays from female playwrights throughout the country, and it all goes down at 8 tonight (and at 8 the next two nights, then 2 p.m. on Sunday). Tickets are $15; call 685-4729 or visit themat.org. PF
Take your pick of civic-oriented events tonight: You'll feel great come Saturday morning. The Olympic Training Center (1 Olympic Plaza) hosts the annual Child Abuse Prevention Rally from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring free food, entertainment and educational activities for the whole family. Call 442-6336 for more information.
For an adults-only event, head to The Warehouse (25 W. Cimarron St.) between 5 and 8 p.m. for Memorial Health Services' Wine Tasting and Silent Auction. Enjoy music and great wine while bidding on some fabulous items. All proceeds will help fund the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program at Memorial Hospital. Call 365-8666 for tickets and information. CS
Save some steam from all your Earth Day advocacy today for some spectator entertainment tonight. I've always said that nothin' follows up tree-huggin' like taking in a fine dance program. At 7:30, "outstanding" choreographers and dancers who've lived or trained in the Springs and gone on to professional dance careers return to offer solos, duets and group pieces in Success of the Springs at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.). Tickets cost $29 and are available at 634-5583. Call 630-7434 for more information. MS
OK, so as far as we can tell, neither Winona Ryder nor Johnny Depp will be there, but that shouldn't stop you from getting dolled up with your finest Avon products and heading to Denver for tonight's Edward Scissorhands theatrical production. Today's 2 p.m. showing is the last of the production's five-day, seven-performance run at the Buell Theatre (1050 13th St., Denver). Tickets run between $10 and $65 and are available at denvercenter.org or by phone at 800/641-1222. For more information, visit edwardscissorhandstour.com. PF
The best break-up note I ever got was more of a post-break-up note, written by a girl compelled to explain her vanishing act of three months before. From what I remember, she invoked the phrase, "It wasn't cancer, but ..." While proud of that gem, I bet you'll hear even better ones at Sorry to Inform You, Buntport Theater Company's open-mic-with-a-twist. Everyone's invited to share their own break-up notes or rejection letters, or to simply enjoy the misery of others. At the end, the audience will vote on the best one, and the teller will score prizes. It's just $4 to $6, at 717 Lipan St. in Denver. For more details on today's 8 p.m. show, or Buntport's whole "Teacher's Pet" series, check out buntport.com. KW
Today marks 30 years to the day since a group of musicians under composer and CC professor Stephen Scott effectively pioneered internationally renowned melodic piano surgery. In celebration, attend the Bowed Piano Ensemble Retrospective 30th anniversary concert in Colorado College's Packard Hall (5 W. Cache la Poudre St.) at 7:30 p.m. It follows Monday's Beyond the Keyboard: The Bowed Piano Ensemble in and on Film screening at the same location. Both events are free, though tickets, which are available at the Worner Center (902 N. Cascade Ave.), are required for the concert. Call 389-6607 for more. MS
For $85, you can enjoy a day of resort skiing surrounded by thousands of people who can tell you all about the latest fashions and nothing about avoiding mid-mountain collisions. If this doesn't sound appealing, head to Mountain Chalet (226 N. Tejon St.) at 7 tonight, when Mike Chmielarczyk will discuss "Spring Skiing Colorado Peaks." Backcountry skiing offers tranquility, solitude and new challenges for any skill level. Plus, think of all the calories you'll burn by avoiding the chairlift. Mike will show slides and talk about how to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Call 633-0732 for more information. CS
This week's 7 Days contributors: Pete Freedman, Matthew Schniper, Colin Stroud and Kirk Woundy.