Events

The 21 Best Events in Denver, November 30-December 4

Tiny homes get festive at the Colorado Tiny House Festival.
Tiny homes get festive at the Colorado Tiny House Festival. Courtesy of the Colorado Tiny House Festival

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Saturday, December 2

During his tenure as vice president, career Democrat Joe Biden charmed his constituents with his sense of humor and his innate ability to lean into the crowd with compassion and a rare egalitarian sensibility. He’s a nice guy, something suddenly unheard of on the current political stage. If you liked what you saw and want another look, Biden’s bringing his American Promise Tour to Denver, for a conversation that covers political high notes, brushes with adversity, and the painful loss of his son, Beau, to brain cancer. Biden shares his stories at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 2, at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place. Purchase tickets, $89.50 (the price includes a copy of Biden’s new book, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, a $27 value) at altitudetickets.com; learn more at joebidenbook.com.

Composer Phil Kline has been staging his work Unsilent Night in the streets of cities around the world every holiday season for 25 years; at 5 p.m. Saturday, December 2, he'll take it to the streets of Breckenridge, thanks to Rob Woulfe of BreckCreate, who's been bringing lots of community-gathering events to the mountain town. Kline invites you to download one of four musical tracks from the Unsilent Night app to any portable music device, then meet up at Blue River Plaza on South Main Street before the musical stroll starts, creating a singular sound as different tracks line up from various devices. Be a part of the magic; for more information, visit breckcreate.org.

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As Ghost Ship of State: A Modern Opera in One Act proves, art is often born from tragedy.
Natascha Seideneck
Two pivotal events of a year ago — the 2016 election and the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland — inspired Boulder-based poet Joan Harvey and electronic musician Michael Zekonis to collaborate on Ghost Ship of State: A Modern Opera in One Act, a new opera catching the spirit of a broken DIY community and ailing progressive nation. As a way of mourning over the reverberations of both, the duo will bring the untried work to the stage with help from vocalists Adam Ewing, Angie Strange and Suzanne Whitney and poetic narration by Sean Owens; artist Natascha Seideneck contributes otherworldly photo-based imagery for the backdrop. Ghost Ship of State performers will be offered at 7 and 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, and 2 p.m.  Sunday, December 3, at arts-booster Terry Seidel’s Seidel City guerrilla art space, 3205 Longhorn Road in Boulder. Admission is a $10 donation at the door; learn more at the event's Facebook page.

There are few things as satisfying as eating with your hands (just think of the scorn that's heaped on those poor weirdos who eat pizza with a knife and fork). The Tagalog language even has a word for it: kamayan. And on Saturday, December 2, you can eat Filipino-style at the Kamayan Holiday Dinner Feast. Cakeheads, 7530 South University Boulevard, is hosting chef Leah Everleigh for a pop-up dinner at 7:30 p.m.; Filipino dishes (which, sadly, are still hard to find in Denver) will be laid out on banana leaves, and there will be no utensils other than the ones at the end of your arms. Tickets are $75 (excluding beer and wine, which will be available for purchase) at eventbrite.com.

After watching the same comedians perform night after night, local open-mic hosts Caitie Hannan and Westword's own Byron Graham can readily reel off comics' favorite jokes, as well as their unconscious verbal tics and gestures. With their monthly showcase Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, Graham and Hannan mine the obsessions and mannerisms of local standups for a rib-tickling and liver-pickling hybrid of comedy show and drinking game. The format is fairly simple: Hannan and Graham write notes about each comic on a large easel pad and prompt the audience to drink each time the comic on stage says or does something on the list. A First Saturday staple of El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom, the next round of Designated Drunkard welcomes a holly-jolly lineup that includes Geoff Tice, Timmi Lasley, Harry Baber, Allison Rose and David Rodriguez. Seating begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 2, 2104 Larimer Street; visit Designated Drunkard's Nightout page for tickets, $5, and more details.

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Learn how to make a diary with photos at Photographic Memories.
Courtesy of the Diary Library
Photographer Lewis Neeff matches the diary excerpts of local artists with their photographic portraits for the Diary Library, an intimate archive that invites people to tell their own stories while Neef puts their faces on the covers. To give the project a kick-start, the library is hosting Photographic Memories, a free workshop with Mariam Osman on the art of journaling with photos. To participate, bring your own photographs and art materials to the Temple, 2400 Curtis Street, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 2; if you’re not sure what you’ll need, some additional art materials will be available at the workshop. Admission is free; find more information at the Diary Library’s Facebook page.

Sunday, December 3

Celebrate Christmas With Cody at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave on Lookout Mountain on Sunday, December 3; it's the culmination of this year's centennial of the death of William F. Cody. From 9 a.m to 5 p.m., you can see two temporary exhibits: A Better Place Could Hardly Have Been Chosen, which focuses on Cody's burial on Lookout Mountain in 1917, and A Visit to Buffalo Bill's Wild West, which shows what visitors to the West might have experienced a hundred years ago. From noon to 3 p.m., kids can visit Santa Cody, create their own take-home craft and pick up a special holiday gift. Admission is free all day; tor more information, call 303-526-0744 or go to buffalobill.org.

Take a road trip east on I-70 for Christmas on the Plains, hosted by the Hugo Improvement Partnership of Lincoln County, the county that bills itself as "America's Home on the Range." From 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 3, this drive-by tour will take you to nine stops that include a trifecta of historic sites, all dressed up for the holidays: the World's Wonder View Tower in Genoa, the Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park, and the Lincoln County Hedlund House Museum. Tickets are $8 and available at Lincoln County businesses, or go to limonchamber.us.

Thanks to the efforts of Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney, audiences around the world know the ancient yet timeless story of Cendrillon — better known to English-speaking audiences as Cinderella. The fairy tale that has inspired thousands of variants and adaptations also served as the foundation for a lovely yet obscure opera by French Romantic composer Jules Massenet. Join the Boulder Opera Company for a trio of concerts showcasing this nearly forgotten Belle Epoque masterpiece, sung in the original French with English scene descriptors for the non-Francophone crowd. Catch Cinderella/Cendrillon at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 3, at Stewart Auditorium, 400 Quail Road in Longmont; the show repeats on Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9, at Boulder's Nomad Playhouse. Tickets are $18 ($15 for students and seniors); call 303-731-2036 or visit boulderoperacompany.com to buy yours.

Monday, December 4

Looking for a different kind of holiday-lights experience this year? Maybe something contemporary and cool and sustainable? The Shops at Northfield in Stapleton is hosting the Tiny House Holiday Village, a beautifully lit enclave of living quarters in miniature, courtesy of the Colorado Tiny House Festival. The decorated homes, all of them created by Colorado builders and no larger than 400 square feet, will be on view from Monday, December 4, through Sunday, December 10, and open for public tours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 9 and 10; after that, the tiny homes will take off. Until then, you can see the lit-up installation any evening for free at 8340 Northfield Boulevard; the weekend tour costs $5 (free for children). Learn more at the event's Facebook page or visit coloradotinyhousefestival.com for tour tickets in advance.
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