Best Bets

Best Bets

January 2008

Lasting Impressions
This prestigious exhibit spanning the 17th through 20th centuries forms a portal into the rise and fall of the Impressionist movement. On loan from the New Orleans Museum of Art, the exhibit is French in tone (think Monet and Matisse) with an international flair (Joan Miro, Max Ernst). The pastels, oils, and sculptures tell the story of an artistic progression, from dark aristocratic and religious depictions to light, colorful representations of everyday life, and finally to a simplified, modern geometric approach. Look for favorites such as Degas' "Dancer in Green." Impressionist and Modern Masters: Through March 9, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

In Plain View
The stage adaptation of Kent Haruf's best-selling novel Plainsong offers an earnest glimpse into small-town ranch life on Colorado's eastern plains. Haruf, who lives in Salida, spins an engaging story around the quirky characters mired in the quicksand that is Middle America—a pregnant teenage girl, a pair of calloused ranch-hand brothers, a schoolteacher whose despondent wife leaves him to care for two small sons. Actors bring to life the harsh realities of life on the high plains and piecemeal sense of community that grace the book's pages. If you leave wanting more, not to worry: Haruf's new work West of Last Chance, a collaboration with photographer Peter Brown depicting the Great Plains, has just been released. Plainsong: Jan. 25-Feb. 23, Stage Theatre

Dust off the Stetson
There's no shortage of cowboys in town with the National Stock Show this month, which bodes well for the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Arvada. The four-day amassment of musical, literary, and intellectual talent is a tribute to one of the most storied cultures in our country. In countless Western-themed sessions, more than 30 performers, including the likes of Doris Daley and Chuck Pyle, share poetry readings, musical numbers, story-telling, and comedy, paying homage this year to famed cowboy performer Buck Ramsey for his contribution to contemporary Western writing and music—most notably "Anthem," the prologue to the epic poem "And As I Rode Out in the Morning." Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Jan. 10-Jan. 13, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

New Year, New Show
The Year of the Rat begins in February, but there's nothing ratty about the sparkling Chinese New Year celebration passing through town. The show features the Divine Performing Arts troupe, which showcases classical Chinese dance and traditional culture, sans communist influence. The scenery, vibrant costumes, and elegant choreography evoke ancient Chinese history, highlighting the diversity of the culture. New this year is the integration of Western orchestra music with traditional Chinese instruments for a bold, uplifting sound. No stranger to the crème de la crème of venues—Broadway and Radio City Music Hall among them—the show makes its first stop in Denver this month. Chinese New Year Spectacular: Jan. 11-Jan. 12, Temple Buell Theatre