Join the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails tonight as they host Stand-Up for SafeHouse at the Rattlebrain Theater. The women of Denver's most fabulous not-so-secret society are joining nationally known comics Teresa Logan, Edith Weiss, David Gray, Stephanie McHugh and Dave Burdick to raise awareness and much-needed cash for SafeHouse Denver, the city's only shelter exclusively for victims of domestic abuse.
Born four years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, LUPEC began as an outlet for a group of twenty- and thirty-something women who were concerned about having less and less time for their girlfriends. But instead of creating just another monthly happy hour, the gals developed a full-blown league, on a mission to "breed, raise, and release cocktails that are endangered." In 2003, a group of Denver women picked up their mantle and started the first (and so far only) satellite of the Pittsburgh "mothership."
While LUPEC might just seem like an elaborate excuse to get plastered, that's far from the truth. The ladies sample rather than chug the magical concoctions created for each meeting, and they prohibit anyone with a DUI from being a member. "LUPEC isn't about going out and getting trashed and dancing on the bar," says Denver chapter president Gail "Gin Daisy" Bransteitter. "There are so many negative connotations with women and drinking, and we want to avoid that."
And it's not all about drinking: LUPEC is more of an edgy Junior League for the Capitol Hill crowd. Like their "forebroads" -- who held book clubs, quilting bees and Tupperware parties in order to get time away from the men to talk about feminist issues, do Œgood work' for the community and plot revolution -- the ladies raise their glasses in salute of the official LUPEC slogan: "Chipping away at the patriarchy one drink at a time."
Part of the subversion involves going out and spreading the gospel of retro booze, feminism and support of causes that benefit other women. In October the ladies gathered at the Red Room after Race for the Cure and encouraged post-race brunchers to fill up the LUPEC Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation donation bucket and indulge in a "Pink Ribbon" LUPEC cocktail designed by Skylark bartender Ronnie Crawford. Later that month, they hosted Breakfast for Boobs at Hotcakes, filling in for the regular waitstaff and pooling their tips to once again support the Komen foundation.
Standup for SafeHouse is their latest effort to support women- centered causes. The doors of Rattlebrain, 1601 Arapahoe Street, open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30. Tickets are $20; proceeds plus 20 percent of bar sales will go to SafeHouse Denver.
"The best part about being a member of LUPEC is that not only do you get to help others, but we always have a good time doing it.," says member Ashley "Velvet Hammer" Vinson, who will emcee the event. "What could be better than that?"
Calm Before the Storm
Stop the madness at Prom Fest.
So you've got the perfect prom tuxedo in mind, but how to make that dream a reality? Just head to the local tux shop, you say. Man, have you got a lot to learn. You think every Tom, Dick and Harry has that leopard-skin cummerbund you want? You think you can just walk around the corner and find a matching fedora and oversized bolo tie? Wake up!
Fortunately, Prom Fest, taking place today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Invesco Field, has you covered. More than 75 vendors will be hawking prom-related goods and services for your perusal, from dresses to photographers to DJs to event planners. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or at any Mister Neat's Formalwear shop. For details, call 1-888-NICE-TUX.
Now, about that prom date... -- Adam Cayton-Holland
Booze and Books
Amy Krouse Rosenthal's recently published memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, catalogues her life from A to Z, occasionally breaking for charts with titles such as "What My Childhood Tasted Like." The NPR commentator, whose work is a fresh take on the saturated look-at-my-life genre, will be at the Fourth Story Restaurant and Bar (above the Tattered Cover at 2955 East First Avenue) this evening at 5 p.m. as part of the national Wine & Words Author Tour of independent bookstores. Joining her will be fellow tour companions and first-time memoirists Steven Sorrentino (Luncheonette) and Karen Spears Zacharias (Hero Mama). Their books are "wonderful, unique, dramatic and sometimes hilarious stories that are each completely and utterly different from one another," observes TC marketing director Heather Duncan. The Fourth Story will offer free appetizers and specials on its extensive wine list; no tickets or reservations are required. For details, call 303-322-1965 or visit www.tatteredcover.com. -- Shara Rutberg
Lakewood now has something to rival neighboring Arvada's Church at the Bar: It's the Church of Craft, brought to you by the suburb's remarkably hip Belmar shopping center. Here, creative congregants can nourish their can-do spirit on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m. But this is no schoolmarm stitch-and-bitch: Urban pioneers will learn to do such things as knit with non-traditional materials, make lamps and design stationery. DIY-ers will start their projects on the initial Tuesday at Flash Gallery, 7124 West Alaska Drive, then finish up two weeks later at a more informal get-together at The Press Coffee Company, 7150 West Alaska Drive. The Belmar Church of Craft, one of nine chapters nationwide, runs through August; reservations are recommended, and there's a $20 fee per monthly session. For information and registration, call 303-742-1520 or go to www.belmarcolorado.com. -- Amy Haimerl