The 21 Best Things to Do in Denver This Week

Dazzle is moving into the Baur's building downtown.
Dazzle is moving into the Baur's building downtown.
Brandon Marshall

Denver, good news: We can finally cheer for the Rockies and actually mean it! The winning team squares up against the Seattle Mariners on Monday. If baseball isn't your thing, Ballet5280 is performing its inaugural piece on Friday, and goth kids can bust out the black for Goth Prom. Keep reading for more of the best events in Denver this week.

Tuesday, May 23

Chef Leah Eveleigh has been touting the virtues of Filipino cuisine in Denver for years, and she’s proven her cooking chops as a contestant on the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. From 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, and Wednesday, May 24, she’s teaming up with chef Chris Jakubiec to unveil the specialties of her home country at two pop-up dinners dubbed It’s Lechon Time! at Carbon Cafe, 1553 Platte Street. Eveleigh and Jakubiec will combine traditional Filipino cooking with modern culinary style, so this multi-course meal — which culminates with lechon (a whole roasted suckling pig) served with adobo fried rice — goes way beyond street food. Tickets are $85 for each night (alcoholic beverages are extra) and can be purchased at hutch-supper-club.ticketleap.com/its-lechon-time. As they say in the Philippines, mabuhay!

After more than a decade in the Golden Triangle, Dazzle is moving downtown, where it will host several opening events and fundraisers this week at its new digs at 1512 Curtis Street, in the historic Baur’s building. The lineup kicks off with a Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts Benefit Jazz Jam at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 23 (tickets are $30); that will be followed at 9 p.m. by a Jazz Jam With Todd Reid that benefits the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts and Media (tickets are $20). Reserve your seat and see the rest of the lineup at dazzlejazz.com.

Wednesday, May 24

If walking through a well-planned garden can clear your mind, walking through a well-planned garden filled with well-chosen art can clear your mind and fill it with amazing images. Credit Denver Botanic Gardens curator Lisa Eldred with recognizing that Teresa Booth Brown’s orderly mixed-media paintings are an ideal fit for the DBG’s Gates Garden Court Gallery; they’re layered with paint and collaged materials on mix-and-match wood panels that echo the way that the adjacent garden beds connect in neat diptychs and triptychs. Color: Works by Teresa Booth Brown opens with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24 (there’s an artist talk at 6:30 p.m.), and runs through August 6 at the Gardens, 1007 York Street. The show is included with the regular DBG admission of $9 to $12.50; go to botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3500 for more information.

Thursday, May 25

The old saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is fine advice when you’re in Denver, too. Join conductor Lawrence Golan, pianist Wei Luo and the Denver Philharmonic on Thursday, May 25, for When in Rome, a jaunty evening of classics inspired by the Eternal City. The performance, which will include Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Capriccio Italien,” Felix Mendelssohn’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor” and Ottorino Respighi’s “Fountains of Rome” and “Pines of Rome,” marks the conclusion of the Denver Philharmonic’s 69th season. Doors open at 5:30 for the 7:30 p.m. concert on the Antonia Brico Stage at Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman Street; tickets are $20 at eventbrite.com.

There’s a chicken fight happening in Denver, but it’s completely legal. This fight is between Colorado chefs to see who can come up with the best fried chicken, chicken wings, chicken sandwiches and other fowl dishes — all to be judged by ticket holders and a panel of poultry experts. Chicken Fight! gets down and dirty on Thursday, May 25, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the River North Festival Grounds, 3715 Chestnut Place, with unlimited food tastings and equally unlimited samples of craft cocktails. General admission is $65, or pay an extra $14 to storm the doors at 6:30 p.m. and score extra fried chicken and wing samples. Or for a full VIP experience, lay down $125 for additional beverages, private bars and exclusive chicken-based cuisine from eight of Denver’s best chefs. Tickets are available at ticketfly.com. It’s the most cluck for your buck anywhere in town.

Ethelyn Freind's "____________", An Opera.EXPAND
Ethelyn Freind's "____________", An Opera.
Courtesy of

Audience immersion is the going thing in theater these days, but Ethelyn Friend’s “____________,” An Opera goes even further, by stepping inside a fictional librettist’s brain while telling the outward story of a writer who aims to hide her terrible past, with the performers sticking to a script while pianist Gary Grundei makes up the music as they go. “The opera is about the opera she’s trying to write and all the subconscious forces that are working on her to bring something else out,” says director Erica Terpening-Romeo. “And that’s why the opera is improvised — which means that we, the audience, as well as the performers, get to witness an act of creation that’s happening in real time.” Throw the cast, including Friend herself, into a Victorian home in Old Town Lafayette, where they and their audience wander, and you’ve got a different kind of evening out, to say the least. “____________,” An Opera premieres at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25, and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June 10 at the Singing House, 507 West Baseline Road in Lafayette. Tickets are $15 to $25, and seating is extremely limited; reservations are required in advance at brownpapertickets.com.

Upcoming Events

Silent horror movies tend to fall flat with today’s audiences. That’s because the only soundtracks provided are whatever overwrought classical scores the distributors slap onto the films. The Invincible Czars, an Austin-based music ensemble, is out to change that. The group resurrects silent relics from the dustbin of history and performs live alongside them, mixing it up with electric and acoustic instruments, sound effects and vocals that make old horror movies actually horrifying. The act will perform alongside Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one of the oldest full-length horror films, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. Tickets are $15 at denverfilm.org.

The aftermath of the Great Depression wasn’t all bad: In Colorado, for example, the dismal economy reinvigorated gold panning. V. Larry Frank Jr.’s new book, Colorado’s Great Depression Gold Rush: The Oliver Twist Tunnel, tells the story of the Elders, a prominent family in Colorado who invested their savings into reopening the Oliver Twist Tunnel, atop Mosquito Pass. The book follows the aftermath of the investment and the challenges the family faced during President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum will host a presentation on the book and the Elder family at 2 and again at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the museum, 120 West Ninth Street in Leadville. Admission is free, but reservations are required; make yours and get more information at 719-486-1229.

Derrick Velasquez's Obstructed View.
Derrick Velasquez's Obstructed View.
Courtesy of Derrick Velasquez

Though MCA Denver’s witty, people-friendly programming is often delivered with a sprinkle of silliness, its ten-year-old Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics series takes itself seriously, but in uncompromisingly insightful, straightforward and sometimes playful ways — no apologies needed. Co-directors Elissa Auther and Gillian Silverman will reflect on the changing face of feminism over the past decade at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 25, to kick off MCA’s tenth-anniversary Feminism & Co. Weekend and a couple of summer shows. The discussion will conclude with a dance performance titled XX: Where’s the Power? An opening reception for new exhibits by Jenny Morgan and Derrick Velasquez follows on Friday (see May 26) before everything wraps up and parties down with a two-part Fem & Co. Festival on Saturday, May 27. All events are at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street; visit mcadenver.org for information, admission prices and tickets.

Keep reading for the best events in Denver this week.



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