Consider this your warning: There are so many good things to do on this week's list of the 21 best events in Denver, you'll want to grab your tickets early. From an Itchy-O album release party (!) to the High Plains Comedy Festival and plenty of art and food events, you'll have no reason to stay home this week.
News flash: Yarn costs money. And without yarn, the hardworking Ladies Fancywork Society yarn-bombing squad can’t wow Denver residents with their fiber-fantastic yarn-bomb installations. To help fund their efforts in the CRUSH 2017 street-art extravaganza in September, the ladies are throwing a Ladies Fancywork Society Summertime FUNdrai$er with help from Ratio Beerworks, complete with popsicles, beer and LFS swag. And because LFS advocates yarn-bombing for all, you’ll be able to grab a pre-made crochet swatch at the Tag Bar to hang off the beer hall’s patio. Gather with the LFS crew from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 22, at Ratio, 2920 Larimer Street; raffle tickets for excellent Denver-centric prizes will be sold for $3 (or two for $5) to benefit the cause. Learn more at the Facebook event page; go to ladiesfancyworksociety.com for everything LFS.
Corner Post Meats is one of Colorado’s premier ranches, providing grass-finished beef and lamb and pasture-raised pork and chicken to restaurants and families for three generations. There are plenty of eateries around town that carry Corner Post’s products, but for one night, you can taste a variety of them — along with a selection of local wines — all in one location, at a five-course dinner hosted by Carboy Winery, 6885 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. Dinner is served on Tuesday, August 22, from 6 to 9 p.m.; tickets are $85 per person (including tax and gratuity) and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. Carboy works with vineyards and winemakers worldwide to bring in interesting varietals, which it then blends and ages into unique wines; this dinner is the perfect opportunity to partake in a Colorado double-header.
Josh Androsky is a writer, standup comedian and karaoke enthusiast who hails from Los Angeles. After a precocious career in television that brought him into contact with human-rights-violating despots, Androsky began pursuing comedy, eventually running his own regular shows and becoming a festival favorite around the country. A viral video wherein a psilocybin-addled Androsky enthusiastically competes on The Price Is Right while maintaining the premise that he is a skateboard rabbi encapsulates his commitment to pulling off absurd spectacles with a showman’s panache. A former Vice contributor and staff writer for Spongebob Squarepants, Androsky is currently running for Los Angeles County sheriff — which is not a joke, but hilarious all the same. He’ll be joined by a selection of visiting High Plains comics and Denver favorites for a showcase at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 23, at Syntax Physic Opera, 554 South Broadway. Tickets, $7, are available at nightout.com.
Greg Proops first gained national attention as a wry yet theatrical improviser on the late-’90s smash Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but he’s avoided the family-friendly pitfalls of his former co-stars. A raconteur and standup with almost vaudevillian lounge-lizard sensibilities, Proops fancies himself as something of a public wit, as evidenced by his fantastic podcast, the humbly titled Smartest Man in the World, which he spun off into The Smartest Book in the World and an international tour. Proops is kicking off his headlining weekend at the downtown Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, with a live “Proopcast” recording; it will be followed by five more opportunities to catch him in the act. Visit comedyworks.com for all the details.
The University of Northern Colorado galleries will greet a new school year with a large-scale sense of fun. The school is hosting a dual opening for a pair of shows by Denver artist Dylan Gebbia-Richards and muralists Andrew Bablo and Pat Milbery — all of whom have been in residence at UNC this summer. Gebbia-Richards’s Echo, a literal walk-through wave of dripped 3-D mediums, takes over the Mariani Gallery, while the site-specific indoor mural collaboration by Bostonian Bablo and Coloradan Milbery takes cues from the Oak Room Gallery’s classic oak paneling to create a contemporary wall pastiche. Grab some food and drink and enjoy live music at the opening, 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 24, in Guggenheim Hall on the UNC campus in Greeley; as an added attraction, UNC alumni will be live-screenprinting exhibit swag, distributed free to the first 150 art lovers in the door. Admission is free; learn more at arts.unco.edu/art/galleries.
For the fifth year in a row, the High Plains Comedy Festival brings Denver to the forefront of the comedy world by inviting a gallery of national and local standups to participate in a chaotic yet judiciously curated weekend of jokes. The 2017 lineup includes top-notch comedians such as Rhea Butcher, Baron Vaughn, Eddie Pepitone and Todd Glass along with prodigal locals like the Grawlix, Sam Tallent and Kristin Rand, to name but a few. Founded by Adam Cayton-Holland, produced by Karen Wachtel and comprising “over 100 insanely funny folks,” the High Plains Comedy Festival will spread across South Broadway venues the hi-dive, Mutiny Information Cafe, 3 Kings Tavern, and Badger’s Pub. The fun begins on Thursday, August 24, with the King’s Cup at 3 Kings. In addition, a pair of headliners will take over the Paramount Theatre: Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (My Favorite Murder) on Friday, August 25, and perennial favorite T.J. Miller on Saturday, August 26. Festival VIP passes have already sold out — in record time, no less — but tickets to individual shows, as well as a full schedule, are at highplainscomedyfestival.com.
FirstBank’s Latin Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion continues at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 24, with a live performance from the talented Gaby Moreno. The Guatemalan-born singer-songwriter has won accolades and melted hearts with her soulful, bilingual blend of jazz, R&B and disarmingly catchy pop. A Latin Grammy Award Winner and perennial nominee, Moreno also received an Emmy nod for co-writing the theme song for the sitcom Parks and Recreation. Luckily for thrifty music fans, FirstBank — in partnership with local pop radio station 95.7 The Party — is presenting the concert, which also includes opening act Vanessa Zamora, for free. Levitt Pavilion is at 1380 West Florida Avenue; RSVP and get more information at levittdenver.org.
What do booze, gambling and pot all have in common, besides making for a great weekend? They’re all taxed by the government with a so-called sin tax, which is partly aimed at curbing behavior the government deems “immoral” — but mainly just fills the city’s coffers. But should government even be in the business of being the morality police? And where does all that money go? All this and more will be discussed at Warm Cookies of the Revolution’s Sin Tax B-I-N-G-O!, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 24, at the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. Hosts Erin Rollman and Brian Colonna from Buntport Theater will lead the festivities; Kansas City-style BBQ will be available from the Kitchen Table, and prizes will be given out, including tickets to the sold-out Great American Beer Festival. The event is free, but a suggested donation of $5 is encouraged; RSVP and get more information at warmcookiesoftherevolution.org.
Neo-burlesquers from around the globe will gather in Denver for the 2017 Burlypicks World Championship Finals, a titillating battle royale that’s been months in the making and will play out over two nights. First up, on Friday, August 25, at the Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street, is the Masters Competition, showcasing the best artists in specific disciplines, from comedy to tassel-twirling; the overall finals will follow on Saturday at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. Catch your local favorites, along with some new faces you’ve never seen before: Doors open at 7 for 8 p.m. shows at both venues. For Friday tickets, $30, go to clocktowercabaret.com, and for Saturday admission, $20, visit theorientaltheater.com.
Spend your weekend in the expert care of comedic royalty at Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, for two days starting Friday, August 25, as Rita Rudner takes the stage for a series of four side-splitting showcases. A veteran of packed houses on the Las Vegas strip, Rudner has released a string of classic standup specials, including PBS’s Rita Rudner: Live From Las Vegas. Famous for her precise, pithy one-liners, Rudner has authored five books, and her advice show, Ask Rita, was a staple of syndicated television. The Queen of Epigrams shows no signs of slowing down, either; her latest special, Rita Rudner and Three Potential Ex-Husbands, aired on Showtime, and she tours constantly. Catch her at 6:30 or 8:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; tickets are $39 at comedyworks.com.
Here’s an old Hollywood secret: Want to make your protagonist instantly likable? Give ’em a dog. It worked in Gladiator, The Artist and John Wick, and now it can work for you! The Alamo Drafthouse in Sloan’s Lake is partnering with MaxFund Animal Shelter for a dog adoption event and screening of Best in Show. The event starts at 5 p.m., the screening at 7, on Friday, August 25. “MaxFund is a true no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter that specializes in placing abused, sick or injured animals,” says the organization’s Kathy Gaines. “Because of this, our operating expenses are higher. We depend on community partnerships, such as this one with the Alamo, to create awareness of our organization.” Even if you just go to the screening and opt not to adopt a dog, you’ll be helping, as proceeds will go to MaxFund. Tickets are available at drafthouse.com/denver. Note: Children (six and up only, please) must be accompanied by an adult.
The streamlined and space-age mid-century ethos still strikes a chord for everyone, from the boomers who lived it to today’s hipsters, who are drawn to its clean modernity and distinctive design sense. The 2017 Denver Modernism Show: Space Age will keep that all-ages devotion alive, as it has for more than ten years. All of the annual expo’s signature attractions will be back, including the spot-on Tiki Lounge (this year with special guest DJ Fred Schneider of the B-52s on Friday), the popular vintage mobile-home display, the Miss Modernism Pageant, and a Motorama Car Show on Sunday. Throw in a full two and a half days of modernist tchotchke and furniture shopping, a juried art show, live music and an array of lectures and slideshows, and your mid-century longings will be more than sated for another year. Doors open for the preview party from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, August 25, and the show proper follows from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the National Western Expo Hall, 4655 Humboldt Street. Admission is $20 ($50 VIP) on opening night (includes re-entry throughout the weekend) and $10 on Saturday and Sunday (kids under twelve admitted free). Learn more and purchase tickets in advance at denvermodernism.com.
As many DIY spaces have shuttered this past year, the scene — which some claim is dying — manages to keep trucking on. Case in point: Titwrench. The experimental-music festival is back for its ninth year, and will be shining the spotlight on women and LGBTQ musicians, performance artists and dancers, touring acts and Denver artists. If you’re looking for a sampling of experimental and underground music, this fest is for you. This year’s lineup includes the Denver act Midwife, New York City’s Laura Ortman, Shooda Shook It from Tucson and Chicharra from Albuquerque. Events will take place at venues across town on Friday, August 25, and Saturday, August 26. For more information and tickets, $20 to $45, visit eventbrite.com.
When watching a dance in motion, it’s easy to forget that there’s been a choreographer behind the scenes, imagining every step before the dancers ever hit the stage. The Choreographers Collective, a group of seven Denver-area choreographers led by AnnaClaire Brunelli, has banded together to educate and entertain audiences with a Collaborative Evening of Dance. Thanks to a successful GoFundMe page, the collective will bring its work to the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, 119 Park Avenue West, on Saturday, August 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $15 at choreocollective.bpt.me.
Unsung found-object archivist and assemblage artist Jerry Simpson is one of those collectors whose dumpster-diver’s junk trove is more than a mere collection. It’s his life’s work, his legacy, and more than anything, it’s a must-see for anyone interested in Denver’s art scene. Here’s your chance: Jerry Simpson’s World of Found & Scrounged is the next stop on the Art Students League of Denver’s summer studio-tour series, offering a walk-through led by Simpson himself of his Platt Park home mini-museum of potential art materials and other beautiful, whimsical, colorful stuff. Bring your camera. The tour gets under way on Saturday, August 26, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; registration is $5 to $10 at asld.org.
The school of hard knocks comes to Denver on Saturday, August 26, with two separate events that will have competitors seeing stars while ticket holders kick back with craft beers. In Glendale, Bruises and Brews hits Infinity Park, 4400 East Kentucky Avenue, with the RugbyTown Sevens tournament (a fast-paced version of standard rugby) and a beer festival pouring suds from more than twenty brewers from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 on glendalebeerfest.com. And for indoor action, you won’t want to miss the freewheeling Brews and Bruises, a beer celebration to help send off Denver Roller Derby’s all-star team, the Mile High Club, to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association playoffs. While there won’t be a roller derby match, you’ll get to mingle with the ladies on the team while enjoying Colorado craft beers, food-truck fare, live music and other entertainment. Get tickets, $27, at denverrollerderby.org, then roll on over to the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Have you ever had the urge to just rip off your shirt and walk down the street? If you’re part of the better — and female — half of the populace, chances are you resisted, thanks to gender-specific social mores about female nudity. If you think that sucks, and want to exercise your rights as a human to go shirtless in public, get ready to bare your feelings — and your girls — at the fifth annual GoTopless Day Parade in Civic Center Park. Participants will gather along Bannock Street between 14th and Colfax avenues at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 26. Be there for body painting and opening remarks before the 1:30 p.m. march down the 16th Street Mall; after returning to the park, there will be a group photo shoot in front of the State Capitol Building. Last year, nearly 1,000 folks of all genders went topless at the march; perhaps this year’s event will surpass that mark. Feel good about yourself! Learn more at the Facebook event page.
Calling all stitchers, quilters and crafters: The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, 200 Violet Street, Suite 140, in Golden, is holding its annual Garage and Book Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 26. Shoppers can find unbeatable deals on handmade quilts as well as the kits, fabrics and accessories they need to make their own. Guests can mingle with fellow quilters and perhaps even peruse the museum’s fine exhibits. Admission is free; visit rmqm.org/events.htm to learn more.
Itchy-O, a costumed collective of avant-garde percussion wizards, are titans of the Denver music scene whose fan base spreads from here to Tasmania, where they were centerpiece performers at the DARK MOFO Festival in Hobart. The band, which also shared bills with David Byrne & St. Vincent, Beats Antique and Devo, has been hard at work on the followup to 2014’s Burn the Navigator, and the results are finally here. Itchy-O’s latest work, From the Overflowing, is being released on September 7 by tastemaker label Alternative Tentacles. For those who can’t wait that long, the group will be holding court at the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway in Englewood, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, to perform songs off From the Overflowing after a rousing performance from vacation-rocking opening act SPELLS. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Visit itchyo.com — soon — to get yours.
Brunch is Denver’s favorite meal; there’s no better way to roll out of bed and cure a hangover than with loaded breakfast platters and morning cocktails. Denver BrunchFest brings some of the city’s best brunch destinations to one spot for an outdoor celebration of eggs, pancakes, mimosas and Bloody Marys. BrunchFest hits Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, with tickets priced at $65 for general admission and $95 for the Brunch Club Express Pass, which gets you in the gates at 10:30 a.m. and gives you access to express bar lines. Find out more and purchase tickets at eventbrite.com.
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There’s a reason that people line up to get into the Affordable Arts Festival year after year, and, yes, it has to do with money. They’re hoping to save at this short-and-sweet (six-hour) fire sale of fine art purchased directly from the artists. Organizers note that it’s really a win-win on both ends, as the fest offers artists an opportunity to clear their bins and make room for new work by selling off unsold work at a fraction of the original price. Join the crowds on Sunday, August 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Arapahoe Community College, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, and feel free to go a little crazy collecting art. For information and tickets, $10, go to aaf.wellattended.com.
Trying to eke out a living as a stage actor is a tough racket even before medical emergency strikes. The Denver Actors Fund is a team of performers and patrons who pool their resources to help members of the theater community in need. Celebrate their efforts while enjoying a screening of quintessential backstage musical A Chorus Line at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 28, at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue, as well as a live performance from the cast of the Arvada Center’s current production. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Denver Actors Fund. Visit drafthouse.com to learn more and buy tickets, $20.