Arts and Culture

Free For All: The Five Best Free Events in Denver

Sotomayor headlines Levitt Pavilion's Summer Concert Series on Friday, July 20.
Sotomayor headlines Levitt Pavilion's Summer Concert Series on Friday, July 20. Pablo Cruz Irastorza

click to enlarge Sotomayor headlines Levitt Pavilion's Summer Concert Series on Friday, July 20. - PABLO CRUZ IRASTORZA
Sotomayor headlines Levitt Pavilion's Summer Concert Series on Friday, July 20.
Pablo Cruz Irastorza
Weekdays may seem an existentially boring gauntlet of toils, but that's only because they are. Still, you can make the most of your off-duty hours by exploring Denver's cultural scene, where a variety of entertainments await. See a movie or live concert under a canopy of stars or get involved with vital social causes; the city is bustling with activity of all kinds this week. Don't be dissuaded by empty pockets, either: Each of the five events listed below is free!

Monday Movie Night: The Last Starfighter
Monday, July 16, 8 p.m.
Declaration Brewing Company

It's space opera under the stars at Declaration Brewing Company's Monday Movie Night presentation of The Last Starfighter, a cherished relic of ’80s sci-fi escapism. The tale of an underachieving teen who parlays his arcade skills into spaceship pilot heroics in an intergalactic war, the 1984 film pioneered the use of computer- generated imagery and shaped the look of blockbusters for generations to come. So grab a brew — Declaration has 23 different varieties on draught — and a seat on the patio for an evening of old-school wonderment, co-sponsored by the friendly cinephiles at Alamo Drafthouse. Visit Declaration Brewing Company's Facebook events page for more details, including the rest of the films in the screening series.

click to enlarge KAYVAN KHALATBARI
Kayvan Khalatbari
Enlightened Denver Book Club
Tuesday, July 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe

Mayoral candidate, pot pioneer and pizza baron Kayvan Khalatbari has some reading suggestions for his potential constituents, and he'll be sharing one of them at the Enlightened Denver Book Club at Mutiny Information Cafe. An informal discussion of non-fiction books that examine how cities contend with issues like segregation, income inequality and a stagnant middle class, the club represents an opportunity for readers to educate themselves and share their ideas with someone who's running for office. July's book, The New Urban Crisis, by Richard Florida, should be a provocative launching pad for serious questions about Denver's struggles. Visit Action Network to RSVP and learn more.

Women in Film and Media Colorado?
Tools to Empower Panel
Wednesday, July 18, 6 to 9 p.m.
Bug Theatre
While Hollywood finds itself in the midst of an overdue reckoning about sexual misconduct and the powerful men who perpetrate abuses with impunity, Women in Film and Media Colorado are bringing the conversation to local creatives with the Tools to Empower discussion series. The panel for the third event focuses on how to be a good advocate and how victims of harassment or assault can empower themselves. A therapist and representative for the Blue Bench assistance program will be on hand to guide participants and offer coping strategies. Educate yourself and get personally involved in making a more inclusive arts community. Visit the Bug Theatre's Facebook events page to learn more.

click to enlarge NOAH VAN SCIVER
Noah Van Sciver
The Narrators: The Perfect Plan
Wednesday, July 18, 8 to 10 p.m.
Buntport Theater

As the hoary yet profound cliché goes: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." The same principle applies to mere mortals, which is why the Narrators' July show is devoted to "The Perfect Plan," stories of well-meaning machinations gone tragically and hilariously awry. Join host Ron Doyle along with storytellers Harris Alterman, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, Mary Shirley, Stewart Tucker Lundy, Tc Clemons McCracken and Narrators co-creator Andrew Orvedahl for an evening of thematically linked yet tonally variable tales. Admission is free, and beer and wine are available with donations. Visit Bunport Theater's Facebook events page for more details.

click to enlarge DANIEL PATLAN
Daniel Patlan
Sotomayor and Don Chicharrón
Friday, July 20, 6 to 10 p.m.
Levitt Pavilion

Prepárate a bailar at the Levitt Pavilion Summer Concert Series, where global bass, Peruvian cumbia and psychedelia unite as Sotomayor and Don Chicharrón take the stage. Denver-based but Lima-born opening act Don Chicharrón, self-described "jungle music warlords," are an ideal sonic appetizer for Mexico's Sotomayor siblings — no relation to the Supreme Court justice currently helping to keep our democracy afloat — whose unique fusion of sounds should prove irresistibly danceable. The show, presented in coordination with Telemundo Denver, will go on rain or shine. Admission is free; $30 VIP passes are also available from Levitt Pavilion's Eventbrite page.
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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham