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click to enlarge Stick Guns  Jim Jacksons one man show at the Manitou Art Theater.
  • Stick Guns Jim Jacksons one man show at the Manitou Art Theater.

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Thursday Triple pun bonus alert! From 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Herb'n Farm at 1190 N. Cascade on the Colorado College campus, come meet authors Julie Maloney and Renee Moorefield as they sign and discuss their new book Driven by Wellth. Music will be provided by the "soulful folk-rock" band Blues Fuse. If that's a pun on "blew (a) fuse," heads should roll. For more information, call 800/694-8326.

Today through Saturday, the Taylor Theatre in Bemis Hall (920 N. Cascade) hosts the Colorado College student production of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. In case you're unfamiliar, the play is kind of like an amalgamation of Hamlet, Waiting for Godot, and Beavis and Butthead. It's also brilliant, the rare example of hyper-meta-existentialism that's as good as it is clever. You can get in for free, but you'll need a ticket from the Worner Center. Call 389-6608.

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Friday

Tonight's the first of three April Friday nights you can catch Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July onstage at the Pikes Peak Community College Mainstage Theatre, 5675 S. Academy Blvd. This is the first in Wilson's acclaimed trilogy that also includes Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley's Folly and A Tale Told, all set in Wilson's hometown of Lebanon, Missouri. Fifth of July is set in 1977 in a rural farmhouse where disabled Vietnam vet Ken lives with his lover, Jed (the play was groundbreaking for its open portrayal of a homosexual couple). A family gathering brings the requisite amount of introspection, conflict and reconciliation. Tickets are $10; $5 for students, active-duty military and seniors. The show runs through April 24; call 540-7418 for more.

Tonight, the Atheist Alliance International Convention converges on Colorado Springs with the convention theme (no coincidence) "Focus on the Real Family." Today through April 11, conventioneers can hear presenters like Bengali author Taslima Nasrin, writer-comedian Julia Sweeney, scientist-writer Massimo Pigliucci and many other advocates of secularism discuss the current state of affairs. The AAI convention holds forth at the Wyndham Hotel, 5580 Tech Center Drive, and prices range from $15 to $185, depending on how many sessions you want to attend. Meals will be served on-site. To register, go to www.athe istalliance.org/conv2004/ or call Becky at 593-9227 for more.

Head up to the Black Forest Community Center, at the intersection of Black Forest and Shoup roads for the Black Rose Acoustic Society's old-fashioned Annual Band Scramble at 7:30 p.m. Bring $4, or $2 if you're a BRAC member, or no money at all if you're under 11, in which case, that's so cute that you're reading the newspaper.

www.blackrosea coustic.org

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click to enlarge The Colorado College student production of Tom Stoppards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead begins Thursday.
  • The Colorado College student production of Tom Stoppards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead begins Thursday.

Sunday

Paul Nagem on flute and Susan Grace on piano will soothe your ears and your soul at the Colorado College Faculty Artists Concert today at 3 at Packard Hall (southwest corner of Cascade Avenue and Cache La Poudre Street). The duo will perform works by Milhaud, Messiaen, Boccherini, Gaubert and Fujikara, and admission is free.

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Thursday

America's greatest humorists have always thrived on a well-defined sense of place: Mark Twain's Midwest, Rich Tosches' "village," Carrot Top's macabre existential hell. Imagine, then, the kind of terrified chagrin one develops growing up in Cañon City. Today through April 17 and April 22-24, all shows at 8 p.m., sometime-clown Jim Jackson presents his very dark, vaguely comic one-man show Stick Guns, based on his experiences as a young boy in Cañon: death, prison escapes, and paper delivery. It's at the Manitou Art Theater, still found at 515 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs. Call 685-1861 to reserve a ticket, which will run you $12.50.

www.manitouarttheater.com

Assuming you're opposed to the wholesale slaughter of Colorado's forests, you might be interested in coming to the Old City Hall, located at 107 N. Nevada Ave. tonight at 8:30. Hearken to the call of Colorado National Forest Visions: An Inspirational Evening With Renowned Photographer John Fielder and Colorado Conservation Groups. Rolls off the tongue, no? Seriously, save those forests. They can't save themselves. Call 303/473-9525 for more.

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Sunday Today at 2:30 at the Pikes Peak Center, located at 190 S. Cascade downtown, come see the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration's presentation of Peter and the Wolf, Sergei Prokofiev's fable about a young boy lost in the woods, being preyed upon by a humongous scary wolf. Of course, these Russians are notoriously opaque, so it's probably just some metaphor for Bolshevism or Tchaikovsky or latkes or something. The show is free -- the music unforgettable. Show up an hour early so you can participate in hands-on activities and face painting and get a good seat (it's free and first come, first served). Visit

www.imaginationcele bration.org for more.

--Brian Arnot

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