If you're really into giant helicopters and epic love stories of fortunes of destiny, etc. (but mainly the helicopters, right?), check out the touring production of Miss Saigon this weekend at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.). Unless you're crushingly out of touch, you're well aware that Miss Saigon has been one of the most successful and longest-running Broadway shows, seen by 28 million people. Here's your chance to be number 28,000,001. Hop on that bandwagon and hit up 520-SHOW to check out the dazzling assortment of ticket prices.
My weekend is never complete without an ice show, and neither should yours be. Scurry on over to the Olympic Rink at the World Arena Ice Hall (3185 Venetucci Blvd.) tonight for some combustible bladework with the Broadmoor Skating Club's free "Fire and Ice" exhibition. This event, which will be repeated on select Friday nights throughout the summer, features BSC members and visiting figure skaters who're currently training at the Olympic center. It's a great way to beat the heat while seeing some of the sport's finest skaters. This exhibition and future ones will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For a complete schedule, call 579-6570.
Today, haul yourself up to Briargate Barnes & Noble (1565 Briargate Blvd.) to talk Xeriscape. Authors Connie Lockhart Ellefson and David Winger will sign copies of their new book, Xeriscape Colorado: The Complete Guide from noon to 2 p.m. The book is a comprehensive guide to water-conscious landscaping and gardening in Colorado and other dry states. The authors will also answer your xeriscape questions, you lucky kid. Check it out.
Alpaca Fiber Day takes place today at the Birdsong Ranch (15644 Shadow Mountain Road) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Spinning, carding and skirting will be demonstrated along with sales of fiber alpacas and herdsires. Call 495-9684 for more.
Tonight, Colorado's own award-winning singer/songwriter/ recording artist Wendy Woo will sing her wares at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (304 Highway 105 in Palmer Lake). Opening for Wendy will be local songstress, the hardest working teen-ager in Colorado Springs, Summer Hartbauer. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and tickets will run TLCA members $10 and unlucky nonmembers $12. Check out www.trilakesarts.com for more.
Author and agent provocateur Eric Schlosser delivers the commencement address at The Colorado College today, and tonight will speak and sign his best-selling books Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (a lot of which was researched in Colorado Springs) and Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market. The free event starts at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church (20 E. St. Vrain St.) and will be the final public event organized by the wonderful folks at The Chinook Bookshop, due to close their doors any day now (see cover story, page 17). Join Schlosser, a friend and fan of The Chinook, for this farewell to Colorado Springs' oldest and finest independent bookstore.
Admission is free and seating is on a first come, first served basis for this interactive concert with National Fingerpicking Champion Steven King at Falls River Music and Sound (5170 N. Academy Blvd.). King is best known for playing jazz on an acoustic steel-string, and his workshops, designed for beginning, intermediate and advanced players, are described as workshop-concerts where participants don't bring their guitars, just their eager ears. The emphasis will be on jazz improvisation. For more on King, visit
www.kingofguitar.net . For more on the workshop-concert, call 634-3717.
Tonight from 6-7, join the women of the Mighty Muse Writing Project, a local nonprofit dedicated to creative writing that exposes poverty, family violence, discrimination, addiction and the criminal justice system, all to promote personal healing and positive social change. Whew! A Taste of the Muse is a poetry and appetizer gathering/ fundraiser with readings from the project's authors, published in the soon-to-be-released Voices of the Muse 2004 anthology. The $25 admission will benefit Mighty Muse's future programs; the event will be held at the Gill Foundation's Gay & Lesbian Fund building, 315 E. Costilla St. Call 867-2102 for more.
Plan in advance to see singer-songwriter Erika Luckett who will be rocking Venue 515 at the Business of Art Center (515 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs). Luckett blends funk, folk, Latin and blues in her music and is hailed as an up-and-comer on the scene -- all the more reason for you to see her now rather than paying 60 bucks in five years like a sucker. She'll have advance copies of her new CD for this show (hello eBay!). Call 329-1644 for ticket information or steer over to
www.house-concerts.org for more information.
-- Aaron Retka