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When future national Chautauqua scholar Charles Everett Pace was a young man, he read a book that changed his life, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”
Malcolm X’s passionate pursuit of knowledge, justice and self-examination made him one of the most important and controversial figures of the civil rights movements of the 1950s and ‘60s.
One of the countless number of people influenced by Malcolm X’s life, Pace channeled that inspiration into a lifelong study of the man who was born Malcolm Little in 1925. Now he’s taking those years of study and bringing Malcolm X back to life, speaking to audiences all over the metro area as part of the 2018 Black History Live Tour.
“Malcolm was a bridge builder when he was alive,” Pace, who lives in Texas, said. “I wish more people knew who he actually was. Most people today just know the name, not the man.”
As a Chautauqua scholar and sponsored by Colorado Humanities, Pace will be acting the role of Malcolm X at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Gonzales Library, 1498 N. Irving St. in Denver; at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W. 6th Ave. in Lakewood; at 11 a.m. Feb. 27 at Metropolitan State University, Tivoli No. 329, 890 Auraria Parkway in Denver; and at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Bemis Library, 6014 S. Datura St. in Littleton. All presentations are free and open to the public.
Being a Chautauqua scholar means that Pace will perform as Malcolm X — he’ll even take audience questions as the man, only answering with information that is historically accurate and based on textual evidence.
“I’ve been performing as Malcolm since 1975, and read everything written on him when I first started,” Pace said. “When I was preparing to perform as him again, I reread some of those materials, as well as more recent books written about him.”
Over the years, Pace has performed as other visionary African-American leaders, including York (who explored with Lewis and Clark), Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Langston Hughes and Gordon Parks (among his many talents, he was Hollywood’s first major African-American director).Pace refers to these leaders as his “bodacious brothers,” and said his body of work is a way to explore how marginal outsiders became influential insiders.
“I hope that people who attend go to a local bookstore and buy the books my portrayal is based on and learn more about Malcolm,” Pace said. “I hope people come out, learn and continue the conversation.”
The magic or real life in ‘The Electric Baby’
For most adults, magic isn’t really part of their daily lives, but in the Arvada Center’s second show of its repertory season, magical realism brings hope to individuals dealing with grief and loneliness.
“This show is rooted in a layered style that takes a magical approach to vintage storytelling,” said Abner Genece, cast member in “The Electric Baby.” “It feels very contemporary and immediate, despite having these deep, traditional roots.”
The regional premiere of “The Electric Baby” runs through May 4 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. The show, written by Stefanie Zadravec and directed by Rick Barbour, tells the story of a group of people connected by tragedy and a longing for human contact.
“The best thing I can tell someone about the show is to come with an open mind and heart,” said Kate Gleason, cast member. “It’s beautiful storytelling and direction, and people will laugh and be moved.”
To purchase tickets, call 720-898-7200 or go to www.arvadacenter.org/the-electric-baby.
‘America’s Musical Journey’ at IMAX
One of the best gifts a person can give their eyes is to go to a movie screening at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s Phipps IMAX Theater. But the museum’s newest film is also a treat for the ears.
“America’s Musical Journey,” the newest IMAX 3D film from MacGillivray Freeman Films, opened Feb. 16 at the museum, 2001 Colorado Blvd. The film is narrated by Morgan Freeman and examines America’s diverse musical history.
The film follows Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter Aloe Blacc as he explores the roots of the country’s musical styles — ranging from jazz, blues, country, rock and rap — through stops at such cities as New Orleans, Chicago, New York City, Nashville, Memphis, and even a brief look at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
In addition to Blacc, the movie features appearances by Jon Batiste, bandleader and musical director of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”; Latin music stars Gloria and Emilio Estefan; New Orleans music hero Dr. John; Chicago jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis; teenage banjo-playing phenomenon Willow Osborne; Memphis jookin dance star Lil Buck; the Detroit Youth Choir; Chicago footwork maestros Pause Eddie and Donnetta “Lil Bit” Jackson; the Bandaloop vertical dancers; the Fisk University Jubilee Singers; the Beale Street Flippers and many more. Call 303-370-6000 or visit dmns.org/imax.
Running like a snowman
Going for a run during the winter in Colorado can mean running under bluebird skies, through a freezing blizzard and every climate in between.
But no matter what the weather holds at 9 a.m. Feb. 24, runners will be out in Littleton’s Hudson Gardens, 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, for the annual Snowman Stampede half-marathon, 10K and 5K race.
The Stampede is a flat and fast race, featuring chip timing, an innovative technical running shirt and a finish line expo with vendors and food.
For more information, visit www.coloradorunnerevents.com/Snowman.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week: Miguel at the Ogden
When R&B crooner Miguel arrived on the music scene in 2010, he seemed like just another silky-voiced Lothario. But over the following two albums, “Kaleidoscope Dream” and “Wildheart,” he developed a progressive blend of funk, Hendrix-esque rock and soul. His most recent album, “War and Leisure,” was released at the end of 2017, and continues this trend. In support of the album, Miguel will stop by the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, at 9 p.m. Feb. 28, along with up-and-coming voices in the genre, SiR and Nonchalant Savant. Go to www.ogdentheatre.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached email@example.com.
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