The 21 Best Events in Denver, May 9-15

Listen to tunes while you shop at Spring Horseshoe Market.EXPAND
Listen to tunes while you shop at Spring Horseshoe Market.
Courtesy of Horseshoe Market

What a glorious week it will prove to be, Denver. From Val Kilmer to Boston terriers, fancy flea markets and loads of beer events, there's enough variety in this week's 21 best events list to satisfy even the most discerning social butterfly. Keep reading for more of the best events in town this week.

Tuesday, May 9

Movie-goers still recognize Val Kilmer from his late-’80s to mid-’90s heyday, when a series of high-profile roles in films ranging from Real Genius and Tombstone to Batman Forever made him into a household name. Over the past few years, an increasingly corpulent Kilmer has reinvented himself as a scenery-chomping character actor and great American weirdo. This reinvention includes Citizen Twain, a one-man show starring Kilmer as author, humorist and raconteur Mark Twain. Cinema Twain, a filmed version of Kilmer’s play, will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, at Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, followed by a Q&A session with Kilmer himself. General admission is $32, with VIP tickets available for $70. Visit to learn more and buy tickets.

The History Colorado Center in all its glory.
The History Colorado Center in all its glory.
David Tryba

For a totally different museum experience, check out History Colorado Center's Ignite!Nite. The wonky punctuation belies what's sure to be a unique evening for local history buffs: From 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, you'll have access to History Colorado, 1200 Broadway, where live music, art and cooking demos and DIY craft activities will be taking place — all based on the bison. A cash bar and bites will also be available, so you'll be well provisioned as you learn about buffalo drives, buffalo soldiers, buffalo gals and the buffalo nickel. Tickets are just $12 (free if you're a member) and can be purchased at History Colorado's website.

What goes together better than burgers and beer? Literally nothing; a frosty beer paired with a hot ground-beef patty have been naturals ever since the first caveman busted out his Big Green Egg and cooler, way back in the Stone Age. So it was historically inevitable that 5280 Burger Bar and Resolute Brewing Company would team up to brew the 5280 Lager, a pilsner that's now on tap exclusively at the burger joint. But the Resolute Taproom at 7286 South Yosemite Street in Centennial is also getting in on the action: It's launching the beer there from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, and Burger Bar apps will be served to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 10

A painting by Kim Douglas Wiggins is immediately recognizable and utterly distinctive. Though inspired by the Impressionist, Modernist, Expressionist and folk-art movements, Wiggins has fused his influences into unique canvases bursting with vivid colors, organic shapes and an innate sense of motion. Though the American Regionalist painter specializes in Southwestern landscapes, Wiggins also excels at lively cityscapes, hallucinatory portraits and harrowing battle scenes. Learn more about what drives Wiggins’s brush at an artist talk on Wednesday, May 10, at the American Museum of Western Art, 1727 Tremont Place. Admission to the talk, which begins at 3 p.m., is $10. Visit to learn more and buy tickets.

Free beer alert: If you haven't had a chance to try any bees from Telluride Brewing, Wednesday, May 10, is you chance. From 5 to 7 p.m., the Pizzeria Locale location in Highland Square will host a Telluride Brewing happy hour. "Each guest can snag one free flight of food purchase necessary," the restaurant says.

W. Kamau Bell, the most fearless man in America.
W. Kamau Bell, the most fearless man in America.
John Nowak, CNN

Thursday, May 11

W. Kamau Bell might just be the most fearless man on earth — the laid-back black comedian and star of CNN’s The United Shades of America has handled on-air interviews with Ku Klux Klan members and smug white supremacist Richard Spencer for the show with an even temper and, somehow, a sense of humor. And it’s that very brand of humor — sharp-witted and satirical with a relaxed delivery — that makes audiences fall in love with him wherever he goes. Even Spencer shook his hand. Bell brings his wise point of view to the stage of the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder, on Thursday, May 11, just days after the release of his new book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’ 4”, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian, which might provide some of the punchlines. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show; for information and tickets, $25 to $53, visit

Upcoming Events

Westword was just a few months old when we learned that some intrepid movie buffs were about to do something almost as crazy as starting a free newspaper: They were going to found a Denver-based film festival. The result was a reel success story. On Thursday, May 11, the Denver Film Society 40th Birthday Gala will celebrate this remarkable achievement, as well as independent cinema in general. The festivities start at 6 p.m. at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum and include cocktails, dinner, a live auction, a tribute to DFS co-founder Ron Henderson (one of those original movie buffs), the induction of High Noon Entertainment into the Colorado Office of Film & Television Media Hall of Fame, and a Thursday Night Fever dessert disco. Tickets range from $175 for an individual to $4,000 for a table; for more information on the event and updates on the fortieth Denver Film Festival, coming in November, go to The museum is at 7711 East Academy Boulevard.

On Thursday, May 11, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Good River Beer Company, which is opening a taproom and brewery on South Broadway later this year, will host a party at the Patagonia store downtown at 1431 15th Street, to launch the brewery's 2 Percent for Rivers program. Good River is donating 2 percent of its gross revenue to river conservation by establishing its own nonprofit organization. There will be live music, gear giveaways, short presentations by Colorado Water Trust and American Whitewater, and lots of beer to share (Good River is already making its own beer). For more information, visit

Barbara Lynch, the Boston chef/restaurateur and author of Out of Line: A Life of Playing With Fire, was recently named one of the 100 most influential people in the world — and not just the food world — by Time magazine. Lynch is coming to Denver on Thursday, May 11, and will be the special guest at a five-course dinner at Coohills, 1400 Wewatta Street, beginning at 7 p.m. Chef-owner Tom Coohill will serve a menu inspired by dishes from Lynch’s restaurants and from her cookbook Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition. Tickets for the dinner are $165 per person and include a wine pairing with each course and a signed copy of Out of Line. Check out the full menu at, then call the restaurant at 303-623-5700 or e-mail for reservations.

Keep reading for more of the 21 best events in Denver.

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