This weekend, the city will be overflowing with green beer and folks decked out in green from head-to-toe. But if the Irish holiday isn't your cup of tea, er, beer, we've rounded up some equally exciting alternatives. From a dark side of Mardi Gras celebration to a comedic argument that pits chip lovers against dip fanatics, there is plenty to do, see and dance along to in Denver -- and you won't have to set foot in a pub or worse, worry about getting pinched because you forgot to wear green. Know about a great get-together in the Mile High that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Hit And Run: Musical Improv at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse (Friday, $8-$10) Improv gets an unexpected twist with the Hit And Run troupe, which produces hour-long, script-less shows based on suggestions from the audience. It has all the drama and singing of a Broadway show, but with the unparalleled humor only an impulse production can bring.
Cafe Cultura Presents: Rise Up! at Denver Indian Center (Friday, $3) As always with Cafe Cultura events, tonight's gathering is a mix of education, awareness and community connection. This all-ages open mic night invites anyone interested in performing to share the stage with internationally renowned poet Jessica Helen Lopez and Grammy-nominated musician Radmilla Cody. Free HIV testing is available in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (which both occur in March). There will be free food and the door price is a suggested donation; no one will be turned away.
Dark Mardi Gras at at Tracks (Friday, free to $10) The devious side of Mardi Gras comes out tonight at this wild party. Break out your masquerade mask and bejeweled club attire for a late-night carnival of dance as DJs Ritual 13, Slave1 and GSTV man the ones and twos all night on Tracks's bumping soundsystem.
Athena Project Arts Festival gallery show opening at Kim Robards Dance (Friday, free) As just one facet of the Athena Project Arts Festival -- which opens tonight and runs through March 30 -- Kim Robards Dance opens its doors to showcase the work of emerging female artists like Taylor Boylston, Jazzmyn Barbosa, Dawn Witter and more. As the fest continues, it will celebrate theater, fashion, music and visual art in a community-oriented setting, taking over the Aurora Cultural Arts District for a second year.
Meditation and Sound: The Wild Within at Karma Yoga Center, 290 South Franklin Street (Saturday, free for first-time visitors to Karma) A wonderful way to recharge and get grounded after a hectic week, this class walks beginners and advanced meditators through different ways to calm the mind and body. Wear comfortable clothes and bring whatever you need to get cozy on the yoga floor as you learn methods of meditation and relaxation that utilize sound and creative visualization. This class fills up fast, so be sure to reserve a spot online in advance; additional pricing for returning members applies.
Soundpainting at Denver Art Society (Saturday, free) BYO Instrument to tonight's soundpainting and join in the fun with this experiment in improvisation and jamming that is open to all levels of musicianship. All genres and styles of music are welcome additions, too, as Denver's Playground Ensemble helps guide you through a night of on-the-spot music-making.
Muscles Wanted at the Denver Zine Library (Sunday, free) Lend the Denver Zine Library and Sent(a)Mental Studios a hand as both creative endeavors pack up and prepare to move into a new space. In exchange for free lunch, you can help Denver's extensive collection of radical underground publications ensure safe travels to its new home in the Five Points area.
Jerusalem 3D at IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Daily, $6-$10) National Geographic takes you on a trip to one of the most beautiful, spiritual and controversial locations on the planet, as the story of Jerusalem 3D unfolds through the eyes of girls from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim quarters of the city. The history and cultural significance of this landmark place is explored through dynamic, crystal-clear footage of the surroundings and the many people who make up the city that sits between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.
Powers of Persuasion: Advertising in America at the Aurora History Museum (Daily, free) Vintage advertisements are the focus of this exhibit, which runs through April 27 at the Aurora History Museum. Sneak a peek at the strange world of retro commercial imagery and the odd claims that companies made not so long ago about the healing properties of Coca-Cola and the magic in over-the-counter beauty creams.
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Arguments and Grievances: Comedy Debates at Vine Street Pub (Sunday, free) Hosted by local funny guy Kevin O'Brien, Arguments and Grievances brings other comedians together to argue topics that are often totally unrelated -- which makes the discussion all the more hilarious. Tonight's jam-packed lineup includes headliners Bobby Crane and Greg Baumhauer taking on beer vs. whiskey, James Draper and Nate Balding discussing chips vs. dip, Jordan Doll and Chris Charpentier arguing magicians vs. ventriloquists, Sam Tallent and Christie Buchele talking gambling vs. playing it safe and Mara Wiles and Nathan Lund duking it out over postcards vs. e-mail.