Spring is almost here, but even before that (theoretically) nicer weather arrives, we're going to see a slew of great geek events. Regardless of whether we get sun, rain or even snow, Denver's geeks will be so busy indoors, the weather won't matter. From three different conventions to a visit from one of the greatest geek bands of all time, here are ten of March's best geek events, presented in chronological order.
10. Nosferatu with Invincible Czars
F. W. Murnau's silent masterpiece Nosferatu is not just one of the first-ever horror movies, it's still possibly the creepiest vampire film ever made. Livening up this almost one-hundred-year-old tale of the undead is a live score from Austin's Invincible Czars, a four-piece band that's earned renown for its new scores to classic silent films. The Nosferatu score incorporates work from Bela Bartok and instruments as diverse as digital loops and glockenspiel. Throw in the most completely restored version of the film available anywhere, and you have a horror movie experience to remember.
9. Return to the Forbidden Planet
You don't often get the opportunity to see science fiction on stage, much less musical sci-fi with a Shakespearean bent, so don't let Return to the Forbidden Planet pass you by. Based loosely on the classic film Forbidden Planet (itself based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest), the show mixes in everything from a jive-dancing robot to a giant octopus and creates a campy throwback to the era of drive-in classics and sock hops that’s not quite like anything you’ve seen on stage before. Cheesy? Almost certainly. Fun? How could it not be?
Return to the Forbidden Planet opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in the University Theatre on the University of Colorado Boulder campus and runs through Sunday, March 13. Tickets are $14, with student, senior and youth discounts available. For tickets and more info, visit the Return to the Forbidden Planet event page.
8. Nerd Prom
After five years, Andy Rok Guerrero's Nerd Prom has cemented its spot in the Denver geekscape. Whether you want to redo your prom (we geeks didn't always have the best prom experiences) or just get your geek on while dancing the night away, it promises to be a fun night of cosplay, music and general nerdery, with additional entertainment ranging from classic video games to a 3D scanner that can turn you into an action figure.
Nerd Prom starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Summit Music Hall. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, and all ages are welcome. For tickets and more information, visit the Denver Nerd Prom website.
One of Denver's oldest and best conventions keeps getting better, year after year. This year's lineup includes guests from shows both new and classic, including Michael Dorn (Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine), Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr on Defiance) and Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on Battlestar Galactica). There's also a celebration of fifty years of Star Trek, the TV version of Batman and more, plus StarFest's usual selection of mini-cons, such as WhoFest (Doctor Who), ComicFest, RoboFest and many more. Throw in the usual selection of con activities — cosplay, a giant dealers' room, panels galore — and you have three days of nerd heaven on tap.
StarFest kicks off at noon Friday, March 11, at the Crowne Plaza Convention Hotel Complex. Weekend passes start at $75 in advance ($80 at the door) for adults and $30 for kids between six and ten ($35 at the door). Single-day passes are also available; for tickets and additional info, visit the StarFest website.
6. Films on Tap: The Goonies
"Hey, you guys!" The Goonies is coming to town, and it's bringing drinks! Specifically, it's coming as part of the Denver Film Society's Films on Tap program that turns beloved films into even more beloved drinking games. Drink when a catchphrase is delivered! Drink when Data deploys a gadget! Screw it, drink whenever you want and let the magic of The Goonies flow over you. No one can judge you for that.
See The Goonies and play the drinking game at 10 p.m. Friday, March 11, at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $11, or $8 for seniors and $7 for Denver Film Society members. First fifty people in the door get a free beer courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery, and drink specials run all night. For tickets and more info, visit the FoT: The Goonies event page.
Keep reading for five more great geek events.
5. Robot Revolution
Robots are taking on an ever greater share of our labor and technical work, and we humans have two choices: go all John Connor on them, or learn all we can about our mechanized friends and find a place in the increasingly automated new world order. Supposing you choose the second option, a trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for Robot Revolution — a new exhibit exploring the cutting edge of robot technology — is in order. Meet and interact with high-end robots, try out a robot surgery simulator and discover how the job you hate today will be done by a robot tomorrow. From drones to exoskeletons, Robot Revolution has it all. (Okay, it doesn't have any Terminators. Yet.)
Robot Revolution opens Friday, March 18 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Tickets are $23.95 for adults, $19.95 seniors and $17.95 for kids three to eighteen, with discounts for DMNS members. For tickets and more info, visit the Robot Revolution event page.
4. Beer Dinner: Beastmaster with Avery Brewing Co.
What's better than a chance to see Beastmaster, the forgotten fantasy epic from the man who brought the world Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep, on the big screen? How about big-screen Beastmaster and a lovely three-course meal paired with some great beers? In Beastmaster, Marc Singer plays a man prophesied to bring down an evil priest with the help of a couple of ferrets and whatever other wildlife he can rally to the cause with his animal-only telepathic abilities. Beers, beasts and great food — you can't go wrong.
3. They Might Be Giants
You don't have to be a geek to love They Might Be Giants, but it sure doesn't hurt. For three decades, the band has delivered smart songs with a dose of wry wit on topics from world history to superheroes, and built a fervent following in the process. There's no topic too smart, nerdy or goofy for this act to turn into a song, and this is your last chance for a while to see They Might Be Giants perform those songs live before the band goes on tour hiatus for "the foreseeable future."
Enjoy an Evening with They Might Be Giants Wednesday, March 23 at the Gothic Theatre. Doors at 7 p.m. and the band starts at 8 p.m. — no opening act, so don't dawdle. Tickets are $26.50 in adnavcme, $30 a the door. For tickets and more info, visit the They Might Be Giants event page.
2. Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo
If your taste in comics runs more to underground comics and less to the all-encompassing madness that is Denver Comic Con, then DINK — the Denver Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo — is the place you'll want to be. Covering tattoo and graffiti art, zines, literature, small press and, of course, underground comics, DINK is focused on the creators and the art, setting aside the hype and one-size-fits-all approach of bigger shows.
DINK happens Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, at the Sherman Street Event Center. Tickets are $20, with day passes, VIP packages and more also available; get all the info on the DINK website.
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Steampunk is more than brass rayguns and fancy topcoats, and AnomalyCon is more than just steampunk — but don't worry, it's still steampunk at the core, and your brass raygun and fancy topcoat will be right at home. You'll also enjoy one of the most diverse lineups of guests at any con in the state, a big-tent approach that welcomes people of all kinds and programming that includes everything from a murder mystery to tea dueling (you know, like regular dueling, but with tea). All that, plus music, a special kids' version of the con and, of course, more alt-history and steampunk greatness than you can shake a parasol at.
The con runs from March 25 through March 27 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. Tickets are $35 if you preregister, but preregistration ends March 4. After that, it's $40, and there are a variety of day and weekend passes available at the door. For more info, visit the AnomalyCon website.