Catch big names like Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper, as well as the work of big names like Jean-Michael Basquiat, at events in Denver this week, the 21 best of which we've highlighted below.
Tuesday, February 7
In December, the last time the Colorado Avalanche met the Montreal Canadiens on the ice, things didn’t turn out so great for our hometown boys. The team scored one point, while the Montreal Canadiens — the number-one team in the Atlantic division — scored ten. The Avs have an opportunity for redemption starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7, when the team squares off against the Canadiens at the Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle. For information and tickets, visit altitudetickets.com.
Wednesday, February 8
An associate professor in emergent digital practices at the University of Denver, Laleh Mehran is also an accomplished multimedia artist whose interactive work blends video, performance and geometry into exciting new forms. Mehran’s grand, participatory installations explore her personal history as the daughter of Iranian scientists who fled the revolution in their homeland in the 1970s as well as broader themes of alienation and resistance. Mehran will speak about her life and work from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8, as part of the Presence: Reflections on the Middle East exhibit at Metropolitan State University’s Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive. Register for the free event at msudenver.edu/cva/events.
Since the ’70s, the punk scene has been fraught with tensions between bro bands with a boys’-club mentality and women-led and queer-identifying acts that have raged against the patriarchy in the counterculture scene. DIY venue Seventh Circle Music Collective will host a celebration of
the latter during Girls Just Wanna Play Punk!, a concert showcasing women-fronted punk bands, including Some Kind of Nightmare, In Loo, Princess Dewclaw, Theft Under a Thousand and Corner Girls. The show takes place at the collective, 2935 West Seventh Avenue, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8. For more information, go to 7thcirclemusiccollective.org.
Thursday, February 9
The Museo de las Americas is taking a break from indigenous folk art and current events and trends for a visual side trip through Mexican history and the effect of world trade on design in the Americas. A new exhibit, Tornaviaje/The Return Route, comprises a series of bilingual panels tracing the influence and footprint of Asian culture in Mexico, brought to American shores on Spanish galleons from Manila beginning in the sixteenth century. Examples include oddities (coins of Mexican silver marked by Asian chop marks used by merchants to test their weight), fashion (rebozos and the traditional China Poblana dress of Mexico, said to have been inspired by a Hindu woman sold into slavery by pirates) and Talavera pottery. Tornaviaje opens Thursday, February 9, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m., and runs through May 27 at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive. Find details and information about related events in the ¿Qué Pasa? section at museo.org.
Do you ever wonder what’s going on in your head when you man the joystick and give yourself over to an alternative world? Next up for the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design’s Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer 2016-2017 program, which is focused on the senses, is game designer Naomi Clark, whose lecture, “Apprehending Play: Systems That Shape Leisure,” will trace the psychology and neuroscience of gaming. Clark will bring her extensive experience in the field and, as an assistant professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Game Center, a scholarly point of view to the lectern at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 9, in RMCAD’s Mary Harris Auditorium, 1600 Pierce Street in Lakewood. RMCAD students, faculty, staff and alumni will be admitted free; general admission tickets for all others are $10, or $5 for students with ID and 40 West Arts District members. Learn more and register in advance at vasd.rmcad.edu.
With political debates heating up, we need Warm Cookies of the Revolution now more than ever. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, the civic health club founded by Evan Weissman will focus on The Reconstructionists: Celebrating Badass Women and Scrapbooking. While you help make a group scrapbook (bring memorabilia), you’ll listen as three definite badasses — Rosa Guzman-Snyder, Sarah Jackson and Nita Mosby-Tyler — share stories of working for justice in their communities. The club meets at the McNichols Building, and admission is free — as are the warm cookies. Find out more at warmcookiesoftherevolution.org.
Happy anniversary to the Dairy Arts Center, which turns 25 this year. In its quarter-century of existence, the Dairy has become a major force in progressive visual arts and film programming in the region. Come celebrate the milestone at the Silver Soirée, where you can dance to tunes of the Denver Motown Revue, nosh on hors d’oeuvres, sip on drinks and help fund another 25 years of showcasing great art. The gala stars at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 9, at the Dairy, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Purchase tickets, $75, at tickets.thedairy.org.
Keep reading for the best events in Denver this week.
Friday, February 10
When painter Katie Hoffman’s turn came around for a show at the Zip 37 co-op, she decided to tap an adventure in self-therapy for a theme. “The spark for this show came one year ago, when I was doing thirty paintings in thirty days to try to get out of a deep funk,” Hoffman explains. “At that same time, Ken Smith, an English prof at the University of Indiana South Bend, was writing a poem every day and posting them on Facebook. He wrote a couple of poems inspired by my thirty-in-thirty paintings, and I started a large-ish painting inspired by his poem ‘An Old Man’s Story.’” Noting that her show date fell around Valentine’s Day, she invited a small group of artists and Smith and two other Indiana poets to team up for Joyful Circumstance — An Ekphrastic Show About Love, which blends the disciplines in different ways, as some works were painted in response to poems and some poems were written in response to paintings. Joyful Circumstance opens with a reception from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, February 10, at Zip 37, 3644 Navajo Street, and runs through February 26. Learn more at zip37.com or visit the Facebook event page.
As Standing Rock resisters continue to hold the line against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Arvada Center will turn a lens on another Native American uprising with the screening of 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice, a documentary that follows Blackfeet warrior Elouise Cobell through her thirty-year battle against the federal government over mismanaged tribal lands and funds. Filmmaker Melinda Janko chronicles the story of how Cobell, a tribal treasurer, ended up filing the largest class action lawsuit ever against the federal government in 1996. Janko and John Echohawk of the Native American Rights Fund will oversee a panel discussion after the screening, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday, February 10, in the Main Stage Theatre at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada. Admission is $10 to $20; purchase tickets in advance at arvadacenter.org or call 720-898-7200. Learn more about the film at 100yearsthemovie.com.
Dance company Wonderbound gets provocative this month in A Dangerous Liaison, which features two contemporary-dance ballets set to the music of the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Says Wonderbound: “Sensuality mingles with decadent humor” in Sarah Tallman’s In Between Seams, which plays off a casual romp on a green couch, and Garrett Ammon’s For Pity’s Sake My Love, which leaves male dancers gasping for air. A Dangerous Liaison premieres at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10, at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School, 1001 West 84th Avenue, and runs through February 19. For tickets, $22 to $50, and more information, visit wonderbound.com.
The Upstart Crow Theatre Company will bring Shakespeare’s King Lear to life this month. The play tells the story of a father who loses his mind after divvying up his kingdom between two of his three daughters after they won his generosity through flattery. As it normally goes in a Shakespearean tragedy, doom prevails by the end of the play. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10, at the Longmont Theatre Company, 513 Main Street in Longmont, and runs through February 19. For information and tickets, $21 to $25, go to longmonttheatre.org or call 303-772-5200.
Celebrate one of this city’s most famous (and infamous) sons at 8 p.m. Friday, February 10, at the eighth annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Cassady, the inspiration for the character of Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, would have been 91 on February 8. Instead, he died just shy of 42 — but he packed plenty into that short life. Hear all about it when daughter Jami Cassady and son Robert Hyatt — the focus of this week’s cover story — join writer Manuel Ramos, poets Ed Ward and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, Zack Kopp and singer-songwriter Marty Jones in celebrating Cassady. Admission is free; find out more at nealcassadybirthdaybash.com.
Swallow Hill has long focused on training metro-area musicians, instructing them in guitar, banjo and voice, and spotlighting troubadours and local musicians alike. The folk-music institution will soon add songwriting to its music-education programming with a new series, Muse: Songwriters in the Round, in which two local songsmiths are matched up with a national act in a round-robin concert. “It is our desire to help grow the large Swallow Hill community of writers, performers, musicians and music lovers by celebrating the songwriter’s process with stories of discovery, challenge, memories, dreams and aspirations,” says the organization’s website. The first show will present folksinger David Roth, who will be joined on stage by Boulder’s Rebecca Folsom and Denver folk-rocker Steve Law, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10, in the Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale Avenue. For tickets, $15, and information, go to swallowhillmusic.org.
The Lumber Baron Inn, 2555 West 37th Avenue, is one of West Highland’s longest-standing landmarks and event venues. If you haven’t been to a wedding in the historic mansion and bed-and-breakfast, you probably haven’t lived in Denver very long. But starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 10, you’ll have a chance to feel like the guest of honor, at the Lumber Baron’s Pinot Dinner. Select pinot noirs from around the world will be paired with five separate courses, from Alsatian-style lamb choucroute to ribeye with kohlrabi rosti to a sweet dessert of mixed bonbons. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. Vegetarian options are also available; contact email@example.com with special dietary requests.
Saturday, February 11
MCA Denver is refreshing its galleries for spring with a triple threat of fascinating exhibitions that explore the roots of DIY while dovetailing with the Month of Photography: Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright and Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980, both curated by Nora Burnett Abrams; and Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence, curated by cultural polymath and graffiti expert Roger Gastman. The shows open to the public on Saturday, February 11, at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street. Basquiat, which traces artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s life and work in the East Village from 1979 to 1980, and Wall Writers, a history of graffiti and street art, run through May 7, while McGinley’s extensive exhibit, anchored by a wall of more than 1,500 Polaroids depicting life in the ’90s East Village underground, hangs through next August. Museum admission is $5 to $8 for non-members and free for members and youth ages eighteen and under. For more information, visit mcadenver.org.
Run away and join the circus, at least for one night, at L’Electrique Dollhouse Circus, an interactive performance wrapped up in a party and hosted by MOTH Circus and Mahesh Presents. A multi-disciplinary show will surround — and invade — the dance floor from all directions (including up!), allowing guests to bump elbows with circus performers and DJs while having the time of their lives. Go under the big top beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, and dance until the wee hours at the McNichols Building. For tickets, $20 and going fast, go to nightout.com. Get more details at the Facebook event page.
Bravo host Andy Cohen will join white-haired CNN minx Anderson Cooper on stage at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex for an “intimate evening” of discussion on Saturday, February 11, at 8 p.m. Cohen and Cooper are each groundbreaking TV personalities in their own right. Cohen, host of Watch What Happens: Live, is the first openly gay host of an American late-night talk show, and Cooper, who is also openly gay, has earned a reputation as a hard-nosed but charismatic journalist as host of Anderson Cooper 360°. Whatever they say, we want to listen. Find tickets, $75 to $389, at axs.com.
Thousands of people are expected at a rally outside of Senator Cory Gardner's Denver office that aims to support Planned Parenthood and protest Gardner's votes in favor of repealing the ACA and defunding Planned Parenthood. Colorado Stands With Planned Parenthood kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, at Skyline Park, 1125 17th Street. For more information, e-mail COStandsWithPlannedParenthood@gmail. com or go to the Facebook event page.
Sunday, February 12
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery opened at 2298 Clay Street in Jefferson Park last October, brewing up a small but well-crafted list of food-friendly beers. To prove just how food-friendly, the brewhouse and kitchen crews are coming together for Briar Common’s first beer-pairing dinner at 5 p.m on Sunday, February 12. This won’t be a standard brewpub menu filled with hot wings, burgers or bratwurst. Instead, expect bold creations in the glass and on the plate. Start the evening with a single-hop beer fermented with funky Brettanomyces yeast, then sip your way through a Belgian Trappist-style dubbel and a hearty winter warmer. On the food side, there will be lamb sausage with hibiscus-blackberry glaze, pork shank topped with rye-and-thyme meringue, and ravioli stuffed with smoked trout and housemade cheese. Tickets are $55 each and can be purchased at eventbrite.com.
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Monday, February 13
Korean-American author Min Jin Lee, who came to the United States from Seoul when she was seven, often taps history and issues of immigration in her work, imagining the personal side of a Korean diaspora. In her highly readable new novel, Pachinko, she follows the struggles of a Korean family fighting discrimination and hard times in Japan through decades, beginning in the early 1900s. Lee will read from and sign copies of Pachinko — just named one of the Top Ten Books of February 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books — at 7 p.m. Monday, February 13, at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 East Colfax Avenue; she’ll be joined by MCA Denver director Adam Lerner. Admission is free, and the book will be available for $27 a copy; learn more at tatteredcover.com.
Filmmaker David Gatten’s work negates assumptions of what a film is or how it should be processed. The professor of film studies at the University of Colorado Boulder comes out of the avant-garde filmmaking tradition of Boulder’s Stan Brakhage, known for hand-processing and hand-painting celluloid, and the mathematically obsessed filmmaker Hollis Frampton. Unlike the output of many contemporary “experimental makers,” Gatten’s work actually takes risks. His films, almost all short and often silent, are poetic, opaquely autobiographical mysteries to be mined by the most curious and dedicated viewers. He’ll screen some of those works as part of the First Person Cinema program at 7 p.m. Monday, February 13, in CU’s Visual Arts Complex Auditorium, room 1B20. Admission is $5; for more information, call 303-492-7574 or visit internationalfilmseries.com.