Thursday, November 16, 2006

Arts Overload (well, almost)

With the holiday arts season upon us, this weekend is as packed with intriguing arts events as any I can remember. Just a few highlights:
  • Through Saturday, the Manitou Art Theater presents spousal comedians Hannah Rockey and Jeff Harms in a new piece, “Tangled up in You.” Both are outstanding comedians with distinctily different styles. Rockey is a master of dialects and accents who brings her evangelism into her work in a way that's unusual, at least among comedians who are really funny. Harms is a more conventional stand-up comic, but he's one of the best.
  • Is potica an art? It is in Pueblo, where Italian families have made the traditional rolled sweetbread for generations. The John Deaux Gallery hosts its 6th Annual Potica Fest, 5-9 p.m. Friday at 221 S. Union Blvd. (719-545-8407). Then head next door for the opening of the annual exhibit of Palekh boxes (amazingly painted Russian folk art) at Nemick & Thompson gallery — 5-9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m Saturday (719-545-8933). If you want to combine this with a visit to the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center for the “Own Your Own” art sale — the region’s hugest holiday art show — keep in mind that the center closes at 4 p.m.
  • Two major art exhibits also open Colorado Springs on Friday — “Hot Off the Press,” a printmakers’ invitational exhibit at the Business of Art Center (opening 5-8 p.m), and Commonwheel Artists Co-Op's annual holiday market (but the opening reception isn't until December 9.
  • On Saturday, Christopher Lynn, the new director of UCCS’ Gallery of Contemporary Art, fires a shot across the Fine Arts Center’s bow with “Bad Chihuly Noon,” the first of what I hope will be many Bad Art Nights. For $3, armed only with melted LPs, acrylic paint, and eye patches (all supplied by the GCA), Chihuly wannabees can test their skill, or lack thereof, at Chihuly’s rippling style. The event is set for noon-2 p.m. at the gallery in the Science Building. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is at 1440 Austin Bluffs Parkway; 262-3567.
  • Good stuff always happens when Lawrence Leighton Smith conducts an orchestra. At 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic performs Haydn's bouyant and joyful Symphony No. 98, Beethoven's ultra-stirring Leonore Overture No.3, and Kodály's Galanta Dances, a rarely performed but approachable orchestral showpiece based on Hungarian folk music.
  • Last but not least, there are the two events previewed in Friday’s Go!: The Rep’s “The 1940s Radio Hour” (opens Friday) and the Cuban art exhibit at Cucuru (opens Saturday). I was not thrilled to see “Radio Hour” on the Rep’s season, but director Alan Osburn and music director Roberta Jacyshyn have actually made me want to see it.
  • And even more last, because technically it doesn’t open this weekend, on Nov. 21st and 22nd, Buntport Theater will premier its new theatrical sit-com, “Starship Troy.” The always-interesting Denver troupe’s new show appears to involve an interstellar garbage truck.


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