A stranger rise to semi-fame is hard to find. A latter-day country-music Job, Stacy Whited is rockin' tonight at Borders (1710 Briargate Blvd.). A beauty pageant queen, mother of two, former cosmetologist, onetime Colorado Springs resident, direct-sales marketing guru and now a rising country star, Whited's had a weird ride, and she'll probably be singin' all about it tonight. Supporting the Colorado release of her debut album, Give, Whited's performance starts tonight at 7 and tomorrow at the Navajo Hogan (2817 N. Nevada Ave.) at 8 p.m. For more, check out her Web site, www.stacywhited.com .
Geeks, here's your chance: Enter your thumbs and minds to compete in The Colorado Cutthroat Console Tournament, taking place today and tomorrow at UCCS (1010 Austin Bluffs Parkway), where you can flaunt your skills and pit yourself in a pixilated bloody duel for PlayStation, Xbox and GameCube glory. A state champion will be crowned, amid all the pomp and videogame groupies the title confers. It could be you! For more, call 303/808-7746 or wander to www.uccs.edu/~opnupes/KT.htm .
Get your giggle on tonight and tomorrow at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.), where Defending the Caveman pokes some fun at females and males alike. The longest-running one-man show in Broadway history, Caveman delves into the interactions between the sexes, with 6,000 times the wit and humor exhibited by, say, Paul Reiser. The show stars Colorado native Cody Lyman and will run you between $27 and $39.50. To get tickets, log on to www.ticketswest.com , visit the PPC box office or any TicketsWest outlets, or call 520-SHOW.
Tonight, as part of Friends House Concerts, catch Kerrville Folk Festival regular Bernice Lewis, who brings her dulcet tones and witty lyrics to a locale I'll not disclose here, though you can head to
www.house-concerts.org to find out. The show starts at 7 p.m., and the cost is $10. Seating is limited, so please do check out the aforementioned Web address or call 329-1644 to land a spot or get more information.
Round your weekend off with some Shakespearean sweetness at the Runyon Theater (611 N. Main St., in Pueblo), where the Runyon Repertory is performing Love's Labor's Lost. If you're not aware, William Shakespeare was a woefully underrated playwright and poet whose 16th-century works, including Die Hard, Die Hard 2 and Dude! Where's My Lute? are timeless tales of explosions, flatulent humor and time-traveling Nazi robots. Love's Labor's Lost is the story of men going off to war and the women who try to change their minds. It's a comedy. Today's performance is preceded by High Tea and runs $8-$18. For more information, call 719/564-0579.
Steroids schmeroids. The true driving story of baseball lies in its economics, and you can tap into that sucker tonight at Gaylord Hall (inside the Worner Campus Center, at 902 N. Cascade on the Colorado College campus). There, Michael Leeds is presenting "Baseball: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," a lecture on economic lessons drawn from the careers of a few of baseball's greats. The talk is free and starts at 7:30 p.m.
Tonight, witness the truthfully unbridled rock power of Mastodon at Rock Island in Denver. The Georgia outfit combines heavy, intelligent candor with full-on smartass rock 'n' roll and is among the most relentless touring bands in the country. Plus, in almost every press photo I've seen, they're hurling beer cans at the camera, which is pretty cool. They're tearing up the joint with Burning Brides and Early Man, and tickets are $12. To get yours, head to a TicketWeb outlet, to www.ticketweb.com or call 866/468-7621.
Saul Williams makes you want to coin a new word. A word like "linguistimusigactician." This multitalented actor and poet and musician and writer comes to Jack Quinn's (21 S. Tejon St.) tonight to read his poetry. Williams, the co-writer and star of Slam, winner of Sundance's Grand Jury Prize and Cannes' Camera d'Or, has been featured in the New York Times, Esquire, Time, Elle, Details and about a billion other publications, and you should feel damn lucky he's comin' to town. Thank him by paying $5 for his reading tonight at 7. Thank me for spreading the word by paying for my ticket. Or not. For more, go to www.uccscab.com, or call 262-3532.
If you've ever spent a sleepless night agonizing over the works of George Gershwin and how they relate to his psyche, here's a chance to put all those queries of "What does it all mean?" to rest. Catch noted psychiatrist and acclaimed concert pianist Richard Kogan at the Denison Auditorium at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (4200 E. Ninth Ave. in Denver). Today Dr. Kogan is discussing the connections between Gershwin's musical output and his mind. He gets going at 4 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, whip out those typin' digits and head to www.uchsc.edu/ugme/artsinmedicine .
You're a jerk if you don't get off your butt and truck up to Arvada for The Crimson Thread, showing at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities (6901 Wadsworth Blvd., in Arvada). First performed on National Public Radio's "The Play's the Thing" series, this is the lyrical tale of three generations of Irish sisters and immigration to the United States. Their show runs Tuesday through Saturday nights until May 8, and tickets are $32-$42. Log on to www.arvadacenter.org , or call 720/898-7200 for tickets.
Join Colorado College's dean of students, Mike Edmonds, and Class of '06 student Renise Walker at CC's Arstrong Hall at 12:30 p.m. for the official opening of two full, dialogical days of the Race Matters Symposium. Events include panel discussions, lectures by notables such as Jennifer R. Holladay and Dr. Beverly Moran, gospel music performances and a whole lot more. All events are free and open to the public. Check it out at www.coloradocollege.edu/news_events/ RaceMatters.asp .
-- Aaron Retka