The witching hour is upon us! Just ask organizers of one of the dozens of Halloween-related events going on around Denver this week, including a witches' ball, an oddities expo, and a Gatsby-inspired zombie ball. All that and more is in this week's 21 best events in Denver list.
Tuesday, October 23
A crew of local comedy spooks is set to float out of the woodwork for the Roast of Halloween, a ghost story with big laughs that will haunt the Comedy Works during the last two weeks of October. Join Roast creators Dracula (Deacon Gray) and Brent Gill (Evil Clown), host Byron Graham (our man on the Westword comedy beat) and a clown car full of comics disguised as creepy characters as they go head to head in a verbal battle of wicked wits (headless horsemen, we suppose, will have to battle hand to hand...). Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, or Tuesday, October 31, at Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, or at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 25, or Monday, October 30, at Comedy Works Downtown, 1226 15th Street. Admission is $14 for any show; reserve a seat in advance at comedyworks.com.
Blend a little high culture into your beer-hall ritual with Beethoven and Brews, a roving concert series from the Colorado Symphony. While guests can always expect fine performances at these events, the show that starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, at Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street, is particularly in tune with the season, as a costume contest will award the winner — determined by an audience-wide vote — with two tickets to the upcoming Disney in Concert: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tickets to the 21+ event are $40 and include light hors d’oeuvres and beer samples; VIP passes ($65) include early entry, an extra pour, a brewery tour and a souvenir glass. Learn more at coloradosymphony.org.
Wednesday, October 25
If you can’t make it a full week between episodes of Dancing With the Stars, don’t miss Dancing With Boulder Stars, a benefit for the YWCA of Boulder County. While you won’t get insider access to Boulder celebrities’ training snafus and stumbles at the event, you’ll get to watch them perform tango, hip-hop and salsa routines in front of judges and a live audience. Choose which couple has the correct number of left feet (that would be two) and vote for your favorite by making a donation to the YWCA. The two-stepping starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 25, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street. Tickets to the all-ages program are $15 to $40 for general admission and $55 for VIP, which includes a reception with snacks at 5:30 p.m. and two drink tickets; get yours at bouldertheater.com.
This year marks a decade of the Neustadt JAAMM Festival, and the celebration of Jewish arts, authors, movies and music has only gotten better with age. From Thursday, October 26, through Sunday, November 12, the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street, will host a wealth of events spanning dance, theater and literature. There’s the Stomp-style percussive movement of Israeli troupe Tararam; Klezmer music of all flavors, traditional and modern; a screening of the film Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, which documents the life of the groundbreaking comic; lectures by figures as diverse as activist Morris Dees (co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center), film critic Leonard Maltin and genealogist Lisa Louise Cooke; and more. Tickets to individual events start at just $10; see jccdenver.org for a complete schedule of events.
Hakeem Furious is Denver slam poet Andre Carbonell’s fitting stage handle, an apt description of the word-attack style he adopts at the mic as he mines the here and now of social justice. As a resident artist at PlatteForum, Furious expanded those themes as he took a group of ArtLab high school interns under his wing for a series of poetry workshops on the existential problems of modern life, from systemic racism to the crushing weight of capitalism on at-risk communities. To cap off his work there, and fresh off representing Denver’s Slam Nuba at the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam competition in Spokane, Furious will deliver Dinner With the Ego and I, an immersive spoken-word performance inspired by the search for identity in a world gone awry. Furious will unload at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street in the Temple complex; admission is free, but seating is limited. Copies of Furious’s poetry book will be available for purchase at the event. Learn more at platteforum.org.
What happened in the past often fires inspiration for things to come, and that’s what Archives as Muse, a one-night presentation hosted by the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, in partnership with Arthyve and Denver Arts & Venues, is all about. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, a panel of eight local artists will engage in the conversation, punctuating how they’ve used archival material in new work, with physical examples at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. Later, participants can adjourn to an after-party at Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue, where an exhibit of related works is currently on view through October 29. The general public can also join in at a formal reception for the show at Leon from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 27, which will include free live performances at 7 and 8 p.m. by artists Esther Hernandez and Elyssa Lewis. For more information and tickets to Archives as Muse, $15, visit arthyve.org.