Best Bets for the week of February 20—February 27

February 2008
—FAMILY— What: In an unusual artistic combination, the Central City Opera pairs up with the Butterfly Pavilion for an family friendly afternoon of Ballads, Bugs, and Ballet. Learn songs and choreography with the opera and check out bugs with the Pavilion. Why: Finally, you have a reason to let your child worm his way across the floor or spider over his friends. With all this buggy energy expended in the afternoon, there will be no fights about bedtime. Bonus: After the fun, both the Central City Opera and Ballet Nouveau will give professional performances. Details: Sun, 2-4 p.m. Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster. $5-$10. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700. —MUSIC— What: Since her 2006 Red Rocks music video Stand Up Girl, which won Pick of the Week from Country Music Television, local alt-country artist Angie Stevens has taken her music to an edgy, more mature level. Hear her belt out emotive lyrics with her band The Beautiful Wreck. Why: Local critics love Stevens' sound, calling her voiced "seasoned" and her lyrics a wonderful blend of right and wrong. Bonus: Catch Stevens and band members pulling their signature move—performing while standing atop the band's upright bass. Details: Fri, 8:30 p.m. The Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave. $7. For more information, visit www.theorientaltheater.com or call 303-455-2124. —OUTDOORS— What: After a 20 year hiatus, the Governor's Cup snowshoeing and cross-country skiing extravaganza returns to the groomed trails at Devil's Thumb Ranch. Why: With a medley of different events, from a 5K snowshoe loop to 20K cross-country race, everyone in the family can find a favorite activity. Cash prizes go home with the winners of the most competitive races. Bonus: Afternoon barbeque, brats, and beer promise fuel for the long drive, through 1-70 traffic, back to Denver. Or make it an overnight at the Ranch's new lodge. Details: Sun, 8 a.m. registration. Devil's Thumb Ranch, 3530 County Rd. 83, Tabernash. $35-$50. For more information, visit www.active.com or call 970-726-8231. —EXHIBITION— What: To placate all of us who are cursing the groundhog for seeing his shadow, The Lab at Belmar offers an exhibit for the season—"Failure: Feel Free to Hate This Exhibition." The works of about 35 artists consider disappointment, rejection, malfunction, and breakdown. Why: If failure is art, then so are your uncompleted home improvement jobs and duct tape patches. Now, a reason to feel at ease about your personal failures. Bonus: Friday night, 7 p.m., percussionist Andrew Lindstrom pairs up with other local artists for a live creative music program. Enjoy the music and The Lab's special evening hours. Details: Tue-Sat, noon-6 p.m., Sun noon-5 p.m. The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar, 404 S. Upham St. Free. For more information, visit www.belmarlab.org or call 303-934-1777. Oscar Parties: The Oscars turn 80 this year, and although the cameras may be focused on the red carpets of L.A., there's no reason Denver shouldn't throw a good party. For local blowout bashes check out the Denver Film Society's Vegas-styled party (www.denverfilm.org) or the DPS benefit show at Neighborhood Flix (www.neighborhoodflix.com).