Former Oregon Symphony and Colorado Springs Philharmonic violinist Kelly Jeppesen left the orchestral grind to pursue a more individualized path. And unlike, say, Nigel Kennedy, he's doing it without the assistance of major labels or media hype. Hear the talented Springs native perform original songs (accompanied by projections of his own paintings) from his debut CD, Full Circle, tonight at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (30 W. Dale St.). It's part of the First Thursday wine tasting and gallery opening celebration for Place and Time: Reenactment Pageant Photographs by Edie Winograde and Walt Kuhn: An Imaginary History of the West. The tasting starts at 5 p.m., with exhibit tours at 6 and performance at 7; tickets are $20 for FAC members, $25 for the rest of you. Call 634-5583 or visit csfineartscenter.org for more. BF
A short story by Damon Runyon was the inspiration for the Tony Award-winning musical Guys and Dolls. First produced in 1959, Guys and Dolls returns to Runyon's hometown of Pueblo for a stint at the Runyon Theater (611 N. Main St., Pueblo), named in the playwright's honor. Both newcomers and fans of Runyon's quirky and distinctive style will enjoy watching protagonist Sky Masterson (based off a real Pueblo person) gamble and work his charm. The show, which opened last weekend and runs through Oct. 11, plays tonight at 7, with a dinner-and-show option at 6. Tickets are $12 to $29 ($40 with dinner). For matine info and more, call 564-0579 or visit runyontheater.org. KK
So, you can't lug your tots to Theatreworks' rendition of Grapes of Wrath. (It's probably for the best, kids are freaked out by grizzled Okies anyway trust me.) But don't leave them out of the whole All Pikes Peak Reads loop (and Depression-era bliss) altogether. Haul 'em to the relocated and ready-to-rock Manitou Art Theatre (1367 Pecan St.) today at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. or tomorrow at either 1 or 3 p.m. for A Bowl of Dust, a new play performed and written by Birgitta De Pree with musical accompaniment by local guitar virtuoso Benjamin Pratt. Tickets, which include art activities and milk and cookies, are $9; call 685-4729 or visit themat.org for more. MS
Beyond revealing athletes' physical strengths, the recent Beijing Olympics also highlighted unbelievable mental strength and dedication. If the gymnastic portion struck you, then perhaps seeing the gymnasts live at 6 tonight at the 2008 Tour of Gymnastic Superstars at the World Arena (3185 Venetucci Blvd.) will ignite the dream of someday attending the Games. Though a slight knock-off of ice skating tour shows that have taken place for years, you can't argue with an event that brings Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and Paul Hamm to the arena. Lower-bowl seating costs just 10 bucks more than the upper, which is $34.50. Floor seats are $76.50. Visit worldarena.com for more. EA
For those aspiring to become aerial dance performers (and who isn't?), Project Bandaloop may ring a bell. At 5:30 p.m., artistic director Amelia Rudolph will talk about the innovative performances of the troupe's 17-year existence, including shows done from suspension bridges and rooftops. Tonight's lecture in CC's Cornerstone Arts Center (825 N. Cascade Ave.) precedes a 9 p.m. performance Saturday, Oct. 11, at the same location that will take advantage of the unique architecture of the arts center and may create quite a gathering in limited space. The lecture and performance are free; for more information, contact 389-6607 or go to coloradocollege.edu. EA
Google Juan Williams and you'll see his name connected with such phrases as "right-winger from way back," "turncoat" and "Bill O'Reilly's loyal sidekick." The senior correspondent for National Public Radio, political analyst for the FOX News Channel and author of six books certainly courts controversy. At 11:30 a.m. today, Williams brings his political commentary to the Broadmoor's Rocky Mountain Ballroom (1 Lake Ave.) for the Man-Up Challenge to Succeed luncheon. The $65-a-head-fundraiser will benefit the Multicultural Male Retention Initiative at Pikes Peak Community College. Call 329-0908 to RSVP, and see what Williams has to say about our little community. KA
Unless you race to (and likely fail to fully appreciate) each show, it's tough to fit in all the local monthly art openings on their respective nights. That's why it's nice to make time on, say, any given Wednesday to catch up. Commonwheel Artists Co-op (102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs) showcases locals Tracy Miller and Susan Garment with the vibrant Fiber Now through Nov. 17. And the Smokebrush and Bridge galleries (218 W. Colorado Ave.) are offering diverse works by Eulalie J. Brown (Bridge), Douglas Rouse, Kim Polomka, Frank Gray, Spica Stolfus and many more artists through October. But that's just a drop on the whole canvas. Check our listings (p. 47) for more. MS
This week's 7 Days contributors: Kirsten Akens, Elizabeth Anderson, Bill Forman, Kevin Kehl and Matthew Schniper.