"Vinylogue," with Patrick McConnell, 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $15-$20; 465-6321, themat.org.
Local storyteller Patrick McConnell grew up amid rows of corn in Dixon, Ill. Those ears fired much inspiration.
His preadolescence is the basis of many of the stories he's shared at "The Story Project" and the Millibo Art Theatre's "10 Minutes Max." "Vinylogue" is his first original, full-length solo show. It opens Thursday at the MAT.
"It follows us as we try to make sense of growing up being surrounded by corn," McConnell says, "and being bored out of our wits."
Music saved him and his buddy, Ace. Namely, Columbia Records - with its multiple albums for a penny deal - and Osco Drug, where the boys would drop $1 for a 45. They'd spend their days listening to the same songs over and over.
"We'd get trapped inside these songs. That was our escape," he says. "We were skinny kids with no girlfriends and lots of chores. It's (the show) about getting trapped and escaping and being able to see past the hundreds of miles of corn."
McConnell has more than 5,000 records, he says, and he'll have 1,000 on stage for the show. As he spins his yarn, he'll play DJ and weave in his favorite old tunes.
"It was a 'Lord of the Flies' existence," he says. "Parents worked really hard back then to make money, and kids were left to their own devices and to entertain themselves any way they could."
Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble - Choral music from Scandinavia and the Baltics, 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 631 N. Tejon St., free; 577-4192, cvae.org.
"Pop Culture Monsters and Monster Make-Up" - Presented by ChitChat, with Chris Bell, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professor of pop culture, and Mark Modeer, owner of Zeezo's, 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Gallery of Contemporary Art 121, 121 S. Tejon St., $5-$10; 255-3504, uccs.edu/~goca. Contact Jennifer Mulson, firstname.lastname@example.org; 636-0270