As another weekend approaches, many Denverites find themselves searching for something to do yet despairing over how to fund their fun. Fret not: Colorado's creative community has yet again scheduled enough free or cheap entertainment to keep locals giggling and wiggling for the next five days. From screenings of summertime classics and tequila tastings to festivals and joyous concerts, all our readers need is an open mind and a crisp Hamilton to see the best our city has to offer.
Complimentary Tres Agaves Tequila Tasting
Thursday, July 13, 7 p.m.
Hear the story of how Tres Agaves Tequila went from an upstart project for founders Bill Fleck and Barry Augus to a major competitor on the world scene. Better yet, try their signature resposado, blanco and añejo tequilas for yourself at this complimentary tasting event. The talk and tasting begin at 7 p.m., and admission is free. Visit Mezcal's events page to learn more and make a reservation.
Comedians' Power Hour
Thursday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
Since its humble beginnings in Albuquerque, where it was co-hosted by Sarah Kennedy and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller, Comedians' Power Hour has evolved into a regular showcase in New York City as well as an adaptable format for festivals and traveling road shows. Prodigal Denverite Brett Hiker, who's stepped in for Mueller on the New York shows, is bringing the whole drunken spectacle to El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom, a fitting venue for boozy standup showcases. Power Hour, not unlike the college drinking game of the same name, pits two comics against each other in a series of comedic challenges, including performing their opponent's material, interspersed with shots of beer before switching to liquor for the final rounds. Power Hour is always full of surprises and drunken tomfoolery, but Hiker has put together one of his best lineups yet: the contestants for this debauch-a-thon are two of Denver's funniest comics, Christie Buchele (Flophouse) and Josh Blue (Last Comic Standing). Seating begins at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. Admission is $7 via Nightout or $10 at the door. Die-hards can also stick around after the show for the 10 p.m. open mic hosted by Preston Tompkins.
EcoCreations 8: Opening Reception
Friday, July 14, 6-9 p.m.
WESTend arts space
Most people tread over pine cones and milkweek pods without a second glance and see only garbage when looking at discarded bicycle chains and plastic bags. At EcoCreations 8 however, more than 22 different artists from around the world saw these disparate materials as the tools they needed to create gardens, sculptures and even fashion. The current exhibition at Arts Longmont Gallery's WESTend art space, EcoCreations invites viewers to marvel at beautiful works of art while pondering their own wastefulness. Catch the first glimpse of the finished exhibit and mingle with the artists at EcoCreations 8's opening reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 14, or visit at your own leisure before it closes on August 26. Admission is free.
Outdoor Summer Film Series: The Princess Bride
Friday, July 14, 6 p.m.
Historic Elitch Theatre
The Princess Bride was only a modest box-office success upon its release in 1987, but the movie's singular blend of high fantasy and romantic comedy have endured over the past thirty years like few other films of any era. There's never a bad time to watch this rousing swashbuckler with the rhythms of a vaudeville comedy and the swoons of a great love story — but few viewings offer an experience as enchanting as the Outdoor Film Series at the Historic Elitch Theatre. Tickets are available for the inconceivably low price of $5 from EZRegister.
Colorado Music Festival's Fresh Fridays: Beethoven's Ninth
Friday, July 14, 6:30 p.m.
Beethoven-loving Boulderites, rejoice! The 40th Annual Colorado Music Festival continues with a lively performance of the German composer's iconic Symphony No. 9, Op.125 in D Minor, which famously culminates with the epiphanous "Ode to Joy" finale. Conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni leads the CMF Orchestra along with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung (a Grammy Award winner), soprano Mary Wilson, tenor Jason Baldwin and bass-baritone (and former CU football player) Keith Miller. The performance is part of CMF's ongoing "Fresh Friday" series. With early showtimes and a focused concert program, consider "Fresh Fridays" a musical aperitif for your weekend — in this case, a bracing shot of the ol' Ludwig Van. Tickets are $9-$32 for members and $12-$54 for non-members.
Keep reading for more cheap, free and fun things to do this weekend.
Comedy Night at Chain Reaction
Friday, July 14, 8 p.m.
Chain Reaction Brewing Company
After being named the Best New Comedy Show of 2015 by Westword, Comedy Night at Chain Reaction has maintained its distinction for two years, despite dozens of comics and brewers appropriating its basic formula. The show is a collaboration between local comic Steve Vanderploeg and co-owner Chad Christofferson, once childhood hockey teammates who now have a shared love of craft beer. Beyond drawing national headliners and throngs of beery regulars to an unassuming corner of Athmar Park, this event has even yielded its own signature beverage, the Denver Comedy Pale Ale. This month, Vanderploeg welcomes Chris Damen, Kristin Lytie and David Zoe Leon – a trio of Chicago comics – along with locals Daniel Reskin and Brad Galli to open for America's favorite standup veterinarian, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.
Friday Night Weird: Moonrise Kingdom
Friday, July 14, 8:45 p.m.
The folks at Friday Night Weird may have concluded their Tarantino screening series last month, but that doesn't mean the weirdness has to stop. A weekly institution for Boulder-based cinephiles, Friday Night Weird continues this month with a cinematic celebration of summer camp. This week, the group is screening Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, a retro-tinged tale of young love thwarted by meddlesome adults and nor'easter storms. Visit the Dairy Arts Center's ticketing page to learn more and buy tickets, $6-$11.
Sexpot Comedy Presents Sara Schaefer
Saturday, July 15, 7 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Sexpot Comedy's headliner showcases have moved through many different venues over the years, but the group's commitment to producing great shows has never wavered. It's found a fitting home at Syntax Physic Opera, where its earlyevening showcases offer audiences a boutique-style comedy experience while still attracting top-notch headliners like Sara Schaefer. Schaefer, who's appeared on @Midnight, John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Inside Amy Schumer, is currently starring in the new digital series Woman Online for Seriously.tv. An accomplished writer who's worked everywhere from Not Safe With Nikki Glaser to Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?, Schaefer is a quick-witted and fearless standup, and you'd be a fool to miss out on her Denver debut. In case that's not enough, headliner Stephen Agyei and emcee Jacob Rupp will be there to sweeten the deal. Visit Sexpot's Nightout events page to learn more and buy tickets, $7.
Pearl Street Arts Fest
Pearl Street Mall
Ambling down Boulder's traffic-free Pearl Street Mall is one of the town's great pastimes any time of the year, but the thoroughfare truly comes alive during the Pearl Street Arts Fest. The jury-curated selection of fine visual art offers expected mediums like sculpture, photography, jewelry and ceramics, but also highlights less traditional forms like upcycled art created from discarded materials. The free, family-friendly event also includes artsy activities and instruction for children at Open Studios Mobile Art Lab as well as aerial performances from the Frequent Flyers troupe. The fest runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 16. Visit Boulder Downtown online to learn more.
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Sunday, July 16, 3:30 p.m.
Saint John's Cathedral
The beauty of choral liturgies transcends cultural roots, stirring the souls of worshipers and non-believers alike. A monthly tradition, the 3 p.m. Evensong at Saint John's Cathedral is an essential part of Denver's musical landscape that too often goes overlooked. Part of the cathedral's surprisingly robust performance calendar, the Saint John's Choral Evensong features some of the city's most beautiful harmonies. Admission is free, but goodwill donations are always appreciated.
Looking for more to do? Go to the Westword calendar.