If you've read Dave Barry, you know the guy has a great sense of humor and he can write. I've had the fortune to see him up close in some workrooms at the Olympics, knocking out columns as diligently as anyone. Still an author and syndicated columnist, Barry will be coming to Parker today for the Douglas County Libraries Foundation's fundraising Author Extravaganza at the Wildlife Experience (10035 S. Peoria St.). There's a $50-a-head reception at 5:30 p.m., which will give you a chance to meet and talk to Barry; $20 will at least get you into the 7 p.m. interview/Q&A, and the book signing afterward. For tickets, contact 303/791-READ (7323) or douglascountylibraries.org. RR
Ronnie Baker Brooks, as you may have guessed, is the son of Chicago bluesman Lonnie Brooks, who himself was born Lee Baker, which is where Ronnie gets his middle name. Now that we've gotten his genealogy out of the way, you should know that Ronnie's sound is every bit as big as his Stetson and very much steeped in the Chicago electric blues tradition. A powerhouse guitarist, vocalist and showman, Ronnie also incorporates funk, rock and soul into the mix. Catch him at 7 tonight at the Crystola Roadhouse (20918 E. U.S. Hwy. 24, Woodland Park), for $16 in advance, or $21 at the door; call 687-7879 for info. BF
Time goes by and the world changes, but pro wrestling endures. Sure, the sport has its wild superstars on TV, but you'll also find familiar names with just as much character in the monthly Asylum Championship Wrestling shows at Phil Long Expo Center (1515 Auto Mall Loop). The card tonight includes the well-known Dr. Death (Steve Williams), along with Mike Dibiase, The Unreal (Joshua Michael) and Mr. Saturday Night (Michael Barry), among many others. Doors open at 6, bell time at 7:30. Tickets are $10 in advance at ticketswest.com and King Soopers, or $12 at the door. (Military with valid ID get in free.) For more, contact 388-6527 or asylumwrestling.com. RR
Looking at current financial news, you can't help but think the people of All Pikes Peak Reads got the 2008 pick just right. This year's book selections and events all center around The Grapes of Wrath, the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Tonight, in the spirit of those times, you can join the festivities without leaving home or spending a cent. Starting at 7, tune in to KCME-FM 88.7 to hear Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, a two-hour, all-ages radio show featuring music of the 1930s along with a little history highlighting local artists and musicians whose projects were funded through the New Deal. Call 531-6333 or visit ppld.org. JT
Let's face it: Higher education subsists more or less as a luxury these days. College is outrageously expensive, and underrepresented students and immigrants face the system as a minority group. Without essential help, they would see slim chances to excel. Alejandra Rincn, winner of the 2006 Human Relations Award from the National Association of College Admissions Counseling, advocates for rights in the educational system, and has implemented programs such as one that allows undocumented high schoolers to attend Texas schools at in-state tuition rates. At 7 p.m., she'll present "Undocumented Immigrants and Higher Education: Si Se Puede!" at CC's Gaylord Hall (902 N. Cascade Ave.). Admission is free; call 389-6607 for more. EA
For adults and children who enjoy the mystical feeling of being drawn into a fairy tale, AlleyCat Theatrics' Into the Woods Jr. should come as a delight. Inspired by the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, the play is an abridged version of the original Into the Woods, with performances by middle and high school students. Catch it tonight and Thursday evening at the City Auditorium's Lon Chaney Theater (221 E. Kiowa St.). Shows are at 5:30 and 7:30, with tickets running $10 in advance or $12 at the door. For reservations, call 209-1484. EA
Two forms of brilliance converge at the Cornerstone Arts Center (825 N. Cascade Ave.) this afternoon, as Melinda Barlow gives a lecture on Scale 1/16 = 1 foot, Runa Islam's film-based installation in Colorado College's Architecture of Desire exhibit. In 2008 alone, Islam, who's won numerous awards for her fusion of visual art and film, has put up solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Vienna, Zurich and her home city of London, among other exotic locales. For her part, Barlow's a University of Colorado at Boulder film professor who's earned a trio of prestigious teaching awards and has written for Sculpture magazine and journals including Camera Obscura. Soak it all in for free at 4:30, or call 389-6607 for more. KW
This week's 7 Days contributors: Elizabeth Anderson, Bill Forman, Ralph Routon, Jill Thomas and Kirk Woundy.