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Daily Diversions


[Comedy] There are several reasons to see Todd Johnson live. He’s a giver, having done benefits for the March of Dimes. He’s from Idaho, and they’ve got great potatoes there. But best of all, he’s opened for Weird Al Yankovic. 8 p.m, Wits End Comedy Club, 8861 Harlan St., Westminster, 303.430.4242, $12

[Comedy] The coolest thing about Improv Comedy, most performers will tell you, is the “anything can happen” edge of it all. The truth: We’re waiting for the train wreck. 7 p.m., Madcap Theater, 10679 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, 303.460.3854, $18

[History] Listen Mike Nelson, you might think your fancy Dopplers and computer gizmos give you some sort of an edge on weather prediction. But we’re taking our cues from the Inuits, who’ve been doing it for so long that they’ve got a slew of different words just for snow. Learn more about their fascinating history at the Silavut: Inuit Voices in a Changing World exhibit. University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. 15th and Broadway, Boulder, 303.492.6892, free

[Art] So, the in-laws have been here for a week already, and like the tree, are starting to stink up the joint. Looking for something to do that doesn’t involve a shopping mall? Why not take them to the Leanin’ Tree Museum to see one of the most complete collections of western art anywhere? 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 6055 Longbow Drive, Boulder 303.530.1442, free

[Music] Rose Hill Drive has been lauded by Rolling Stone, performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brian, and released arguably the best album of any Colorado band in 2008—Moon is the new Earth. That you haven’t been to see them yet is a travesty. Make it right, and enjoy their flawless performance of Led Zeppelin II tonight. 8:30 p.m., Boulder Theater 2032 14th St., Boulder, 303.786.7030, $24

[Music] With the way things have been going lately for Colorado music, what with the national spotlight so heavily focused on The Fray and the Flobots, it might be easy to forget Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Spend New Year’s Eve with them, and relive the good ol’ days. 9:30 p.m., Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave Denver, 303.832.1874, $59.50

[Art] No, this isn’t the same thing you did in Mrs. Smith’s first grade class with construction paper, sequins and way more Elmer’s Paste than you needed. This stuff is good. Far better than that deformed portrait of your mother that she dutifully hung on the fridge. It’s the National Collage Society 24th Annual Juried Exhibit, featuring the work of more than 50 real collage artists. 9 a.m., Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, 400 Quail Rd., Longmont, 303.651.8374, $5

[Holidays] Some things are as romantic today as they were 100 years ago. The simple gesture of a dozen roses, a sparkly piece of jewelry, and a horse-drawn carriage ride (unless your girlfriend is a member of PETA. Then it can get a little ugly). Here’s a chance to treat her to a Free Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride. 5.9 p.m., 824 Front St., Louisville, 303.449.3137

[Skating] Who says you need ice to ice skate? The Orchard Town Center in Westminster is debuting a great alternative: Hybrid Ice, as they call it, is better for the environment, keeps skaters’ speeds a bit slower, and doesn’t need to be kept at freezing temperatures. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Orchard Town Center, 14750 Huron St., Westminster 303.450.8600, $4 to skate/$2 to rent

[Dinner Theater] Jerry Herman’s women were crafted with unusual strength and aplomb considering the way most women were drawn in the plays of the day—but first in Hello Dolly and then again in Mame, they turned out to be worldly, strong creatures with enough will to match any male counterpart. That the plays continue to be performed is a testament to the importance of creating dimensional characters. 12:30 p.m., Jesters Dinner Theatre, 224 Main St., Longmont, 303.682.9980, $32

[Art] Talking a walk down the various art districts dotting the Front Range should be enough proof that Colorado is rich with talented artists. Here’s another chance for local artists to increase their visibility: The North Metro Arts Alliance is accepting submissions for a juried show that will hang in the Westminster City Hall. 8 a.m., North Metro Arts Alliance, 688 W. 100th Ave. Denver, 303.429.1999

[Kids] Studies have shown that kids who’ve been encouraged to develop their creativity excel in other areas as well, ranging from math to reading comprehension to general social skill development. Discovery Days at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center is an ongoing, drop-in program that does just that for children ages 2.5. It provides the supplies needed for the kids to participate in a variety of projects ranging from painting to puppet-making. 400 Quail Rd., Longmont, 303.651.8374, $3

[Theater] Some might think that turning a story about topics like racism, murder, assault and faith into American musical theater is a bad idea. Add to that the fact that it was already made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg that garnered 11 Oscar nominations and the idea passes from bad to absurd. Nonetheless, producer Scott Sanders saw something no one else did and the end result is a critically lauded production, The Color Purple, that lives up to the mantle. 8 p.m., Temple Buell Theatre, 1101 13th St. Denver, 303.893.4000, $25+

[Literary] Steve Knopper has written for everyone from the Rocky Mountain News to Rolling Stone, covering topics ranging from prostitution to rock and roll. His new book, Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age, not only sells itself well in the title, but is written from a uniquely credible point of view by someone who’s covered the rise and fall of the industry over the last few decades. Meet him in person and have him autograph a copy for you. 7:30 p.m., Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St Boulder, 303.447.1252

[Art] Why is it that art and walking seem to be so heavily intertwined? It seems every city in the state has an artwalk; and many have more than one, depending on the day of the week. Longmont’s not one to be behind the times, and the Second Friday Art Walk has quietly become one of the best this side of New Mexico. 6 p.m., Main St., Longmont, 303.651.8484

[Art] If the art walk the night before is a little too busy for your tastes, check out Against the Sky, a fiber and textile exhibit a day after it opens. Artists Judith Trager, Carol Watkins and Charlotte Ziebarth are featured in this show that runs through Feb. 14. 10 a.m., Old Firehouse Center, 667 4th Ave., Longmont, 303.651.2787

[Fitness] Apparently there’s some sort of issue with weight among Americans. We know, we were shocked, too. Don’t be a statistic; try the My New Phys1que fitness contest. Head to Anytime Fitness in Longmont or Lafayette today and have your “before” picture taken as well as an official weigh-in and body fat measurements. Then, get busy burnin’ as you compete for prizes. 6 a.m.-6 p.m., 325 Waneka Parkway, Lafayette, 720.939.2335

[Music] It’s safe to say that after playing keys for Leftover Salmon for as long as he has, Bill McKay’s rolodex likely has some pretty decent musicians in it. On his regular Monday night gig in Denver, you might be surprised at just who shows up. 5 p.m., Ziggie’s Saloon, 4923 W. 38th Ave., Denver, 303.455.9930

[Lecture] Charles Barkley has a big mouth, and if you’ve ever watched him on TV, it turns out he’s pretty funny, too. Whether he can turn his witty observations into a whole evening’s speaking engagement remains to be seen. Well, you be the judge (then drop a line and let us know). 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Theatre, 700 14th St., Denver, 303.228.8000, $58+

[Music] Beyond a cool name, this Austin-based country-soul-rock quintet just plain rules, especially when you get to hear The Band of Heathens at one of our favorite breweries. 8 p.m., Oskar Blues, 303 Main St., Lyons, 303.823.6685

[Music] Alisa Weilerstein isn’t just a cellist. She’s a virtuoso known the world over for her distinctive musical personality. Matching her with the talented Colorado Symphony Orchestra is a pairing of souls in musical form. Sure, there will be plenty of musicians on the stage, but, as they say, there’s always room for cello. 7:30 p.m., Macky Auditorium, 17th St. and University Ave., Boulder, 303.492.1411

[Art] Ever heard of the Westminster Paletteers? No, it’s not some strange off-shoot of the kennel club, it’s a group of local artists who exist to further the cause of local art in general, hosting juried shows and sponsoring exhibitions all over the state, like this one hanging at the Broomfield Auditorium. 2 p.m., 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield, 303.460.6800

[Music] Blue Note Records has long been hailed as the premiere label for jazz in the world. Everyone from Louis Armstrong to Joe Zaniwul has recorded on the label, which is now celebrating its 70th year in operation. The deserves a major celebration. The Blue Note Records 70th Anniversary Tour, an amazing lineup to promote the event including Ravi Coltrane, Bill Charlap, Nicholas Payton and Lewis Nash, to name a few, blowing through tunes by artists like Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock and more. 7 p.m., Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder, 303.786.7030, $30+

[Music] Sure, Boulder made its name thanks to an alien from Ork, but it turns out that word about the strange town made it out intergalactically as well. This time it’s Schnoodle, an alien who’s got a thing for classical music. The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra’s Family Concert introduces Scnhoodle from the planet schnarp to Schubert so he can take it home to his people for them to play. 3 p.m., Macky Auditorium, University and 17th St., Boulder, 303.449.1343. I think this has been canceled.

Powerman 5000 was playing rap metal before it was cool. Rob Zombie’s younger brother Michael Cummings launched the act back in the early ’90s, slowly building a strong grassroots following before signing to the Dreamworks label and releasing Mega Kung Fu Radio in 1997. Trading industrial for punk, the outfit remains a rock/rap amalgam. 8 p.m., Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 303.322.2308, $18

[Music] What do Homer Simpson and John Legend have in common? They’re both from Springfield, and they both hate Flanders. Actually, only Homer hates Flanders, Legend loves everyone. 8 p.m., Temple Buell Theatre, 1101 13th St., Denver, 303.893.4000

[Music] Good food, plentiful drinks, great friends. The bimonthly Celtic Music gathering is a reason to visit Old Town Erie. The grub, booze and people make it even better. 6 p.m., Colorado Coal Company, 578 Briggs St., Erie, 303.828.4005

[Music] Souls of Mischief broke in the mid-’90s and drew comparisons to the Native Tongues Posse despite the fact they were West Coast-bred. Hey, something good had to come out of Oakland. 8:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303.443.3399

[Sports] Corpus Christie’s in Texas, right? Where there’s pretty much no ice ever, right? And what the heck is an Ice Ray, anyway? No matter, watch the Rocky Mountain Rage mop the floor with ’em. 7 p.m., Broomfield Events Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane Broomfield, 303.410.0700, $22+

[Culture] Native Americans have such a vibrant culture. Witness the art, music, dance and more at a unique event, The Colorado Indian Market. The three-day event brings the metro area the best in Indian culture. 10 a.m., Denver Merchandise Mart, 451 East 58th Ave., Denver, 303.292.6278, $10

[Art] Katagami’s kind of like origami, except instead of folding paper intricately, you cut intricate stencils into paper. Jennifer Falck Linssen is a Katagami expert. Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Rd., Longmont, 303.651.8969

[Exhibit] Photographer Steven Kaslowski spent eight years tracking the cutest land mammal that could rip you to shreds in a moment, and now global warming threatens to do them in. Catch The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World, then buy a hybrid. Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Rd., Longmont, 303.651.8969

[Sports] With any luck, Nuggets tickets will be in high demand by now, so opt for a Colorado 14ers game. Watch them dismantle the Erie Bayhawks. 7 p.m., Broomfield Events Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, 303.410.0700, $14+

[Music] As band names go, the imagery conjured by Cradle of Filth is pretty much exactly what the band sounds like, which makes it awesome for a small set of serious metalheads. 8 p.m., Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, Denver, 303.788.0984

[Music] Denver has more than its share of beloved children, but Nina Storey’s gotta be in top five. There may not be a better singer anywhere in the Mile High. 7:30 p.m., Nissi’s, 2675 North Park Drive, Lafayette, 303.665.8101, $12

[Music] When was the last time you listened to the clarinet? Perhaps your kids’ elementary school recital? Listening to Leah Biber’s Doctoral Student Recital is way better. 4:30 p.m., University of Colorado College Of Music, Boulder, 303.492.8008

[Theater] The Hunch Back of Notre Dame is really a depressingly sad tragedy about a deformed man and a beautiful woman whose paths cross, only to further ensure their mutual unhappiness. Jesters Theatre, 224 Main St., Longmont, 303.682.9980, $32

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