Denver, it's time to batter up! Opening day is nearly here, meaning warmer weather is also just around the corner. Celebrate at a free "purple party" at Union Station. Other fun events on the calendar this week include the High West Oyster Fest, a retelling of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and a Denver Fashion Week pop-up.
Keep reading for all that and more!
Tuesday, April 2
Classical music’s survival depends on companies like the Central City Opera reaching younger generations. That’s why the group is launching Mozart & Co., an opera series based on stories from Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm and more. While traditional operas can drag on all night, these comedy-focused shows take place at the kid-friendly hours of 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. and last thirty minutes before the audience can enjoy fifteen minutes of play. The inaugural productions take place Tuesday, April 2, at Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape Street. Tickets, which can be purchased at centralcityopera.org, are $8 for those thirteen and older, $5 for children two to twelve, and nothing for audience members under two; find more info at the Mozart & Co. Family Series Facebook page.
Wednesday, April 3
The arts may have been cut from the curricula of many local schools, but while they’re gone, they haven’t been forgotten. From 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, the Imagine 2020 speaker series will host the Arts Education for All Forum at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. Rick Griffith, partner and design director at MATTER, will moderate the program, co-presented by A+Colorado, Denver Arts & Venues and the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, which will include a live student performance, discussions and analysis with national speakers, and a reception where participants can continue to brainstorm over cocktails. Admission is free; register at imaginedenver2020.org.
Seafood feasts might seem strange in our landlocked state, but the organizers of the seventh annual High West Oyster Fest happily beg to differ. If you've got an empty belly and plenty of shucks to give, dive into the toothsome array of Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar's finest catches, along with selections from some of the city's finest restaurants, when the fest returns to Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. In addition to oyster shucking and eating competitions, the affair will be soundtracked by New Orleans funksters Guerrilla Fanfare Brass Band. And lest you feel "shellfish" at the prospect of all this oceanic indulgence, fret not: The entirety of the evening's proceeds will be donated to First Descents, a charity that provides unforgettable outdoor experiences for young adults afflicted with cancer. Get tickets, $5 to $65, and more information at eventbrite.com.
The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is currently hosting Don Coen’s humanizing portrayal of migrant culture, Don Coen: The Migrant Series. With the exhibit in mind, BMoCA will get into the nitty gritty of America’s unsolved migrant question and the backstories of border issues with "The Politics of Immigrant Inclusion," a conversation led by CU Boulder immigrant-rights scholar Dr. Celeste Montoya. Arrive early to browse the show so you'll be primed for Montoya’s hour-long talk, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at BMoCA, 1750 13th Street in Boulder. Admission is $8 to $12, or free for CU students with ID; register in advance at bmoca.org.
Thursday, April 4
When Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment in Denver, the show will have some familiar faces — and not just Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars; Ariel from The Little Mermaid; Buzz and Woody from Toy Story; and Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff from Frozen. Principal Lea Nightwalker grew up in Fort Collins and started skating there at the age of seven, and she’ll be back performing for her home audience in sketches that bring favorite Disney moments to life. Worlds of Enchantment opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, and runs through Sunday, April 7, at the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt Street. Tickets start at $20; get yours, along with more information, at disneyonice.com.
An Elizabethan theatrical hit spurned by the Victorian era, William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus is particularly resonant in the Trump era. Widely considered the bloodiest play of the Bard's oeuvre, the tale of imperial intrigue, brutal vengeance and accidental cannibalism seems more believable in light of the grotesqueness of modern politics. Fearless Theatre will present a modernized take on the (fictional) Roman revenge saga in a production that contrasts the original story's racial animus and violence against women with today's fractious political climate. Directed by Alexander Evert and starring Terry Burnsed, Tresha Farris, Jillian Price and Sarah Harmon, Fearless's revamped Titus Andronicus debuts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, and continues through April 20 at the Bakery Arts Warehouse, 2132 Market Street; for tickets, $18, and showtimes, go the Fearless Theatre Facebook page.
It's hard to imagine more powerful instruments than the singing voices of Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton or Adele. But the Colorado Symphony will try to match their might at Women of Rock, a performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Symphony musicians will be joined by local rock/funk group Tracksuit Wedding, guest vocalist Eric Brown and guest bass guitarist Kenny Passarelli. For more information, including all of the evening's songs, and tickets, $15 to $89, visit coloradosympony.org.
Friday, April 5
Even if you haven’t snagged tickets to the home opener of the Colorado Rockies, you can score some fun at the Denver Union Station Opening Day Celebration. The Terminal Bar patio will open at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 5, for pre-game partying, and Paizley Park, a Prince Tribute band, will be there to entertain fans from noon to 3 p.m. (The game starts at 2:10 p.m. at Coors Field.) This bash is free, and there will be specials on food and drink, including a new signature beer, the Union Station Helles Lager by Longmont’s Wibby Brewing; learn more at unionstationindenver.com.
Baseball is open for business, and the Rockies will be back at Coors Field, battling the Dodgers on April 5 in their first home game of 2019. If you don't make it to the game, the next best thing might be Batter Up!, an art exhibit opening amid First Friday celebrations in the Art District on Santa Fe with a collection of bats that have been painted, carved or otherwise decorated by local artists. Marvel at the ingenuity on display at the opening reception, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Abstract, 742 Santa Fe Drive. Batter Up! runs through April 30; learn more at www.abstractdenver.com.
Colorado Ballet dancers will spring into form at a season-opening edition of the Ballet MasterWorks series that's brimming with the chivalric bombast of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The company is reviving Orff's medieval-inspired modernist masterpiece for the first time in nearly twenty years, and this time, it's taking choreographic cues from late legend Fernand Nault. The program opens with the deceptively soothing swells of George Balanchine’s Serenade before a performance of the castle-storming anthem "O Fortuna" inspires audiences to take up their swords. The MasterWorks series commences at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and continues through April 14. Visit coloradoballet.org to buy tickets, $30 to $155, and learn more.
Classical music and contemporary dance unite in harmony when the Boulder Bach Festival continues with Venice on Fire: Obstinate Pearl, a creative collaboration with 3rd Law Dance/Theater. A trio of electrified baroque instruments will lead the 3rd Law dancers through a program that bridges the seventeenth and 21st centuries with original choreography set to compositions from Barbara Strozzi, Robert de Visée, Heinrich Biber and, of course, Johann Sebastian Bach. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6; and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Visit thedairy.org for tickets, $18 to $25, and more information.
When one of underground hip-hop's richest baritones pairs up with one of the swiftest beatsmiths of all time, old-school heads ought to turn. Jurassic 5 alumni Chali 2na and Cut Chemist have collaborated frequently throughout their post-collective careers, including a lengthy stint as members of Grammy-winning Latin funk ensemble Ozomatli. The two will serve up their unparalleled blend of verse and breaks on Friday, April 5, at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street, starting at 9 p.m. With a lineup rounded out by Jordan Polovina, Thin Air Crew, OTIS and J.O.B., this show is well worth your backpack-rap nostalgia dollars. Tickets are $22 in advance at cervantesmasterpiece.com and $27 at the door.
Saturday, April 6
Spring is here, bringing another round of April shopping fever as green leaves and Mother’s Day approach. Rocky Mountain Punk and friends have heard the call and will set up shop for the Art & Gift Pop-Up Sale, an afternoon of brews and barter at Factotum Brewhouse, 3845 Lipan Street. In addition to RMP’s macabre adornments and bone art, you’ll find everything from original art and traditional jewelry to artful goodies by Cake Geek from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. Admission is free, but our guess is that you’ll want to wet your whistle while you shop. Find more info at rockymountainpunk.com.
The Counterpath event space in east Denver continues its precedent of hosting experimental interdisciplinary work with LAMENT; Or, The Mine Has Been Opened Up Well, a virtual-reality installation, performance and discussion by Judd Morrissey and Jennifer Scappettone (in collaboration with Abraham Avnisan and Mark Booth), who blend words, video and an aural libretto to document the process and history of copper mining. Driven by a metaphor for the conductive properties of copper, the audio-visual feast begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Counterpath, 7935 East 14th Avenue; find more details at counterpathpress.org.
In case you haven't noticed, the ’90s are back, and there's no better way to celebrate the flyest decade than at Bash to the Future. Hosted by the Denver Scholarship Foundation's junior board, Bash will raise funds for local students on their way to college with a nostalgic party that will include ’90s pop hits, beatboxing, creative cocktails, wine, appetizers and silent and live auctions; decade-appropriate dress is encouraged. The retro fun starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Studios at Overland Crossing, 2205 South Delaware Street; for more information, including tickets ($50 to $125) and sponsorship opportunities, visit denverscholarship.org.
Longing for an evening reminiscent of CBGB’s heyday? Wax nostalgic for meaner, meatier musical times with punk/glam rockers Röxy Suicide, DJ Sara Splatter and a colorful sideshow of punk-inspired art, T-shirts and posters from Doug Mansfield, Lindsey Kuhn and Terminal Chaos at Pretty Vacant: A Night of Punk, Glam, New Wave Music and Art, going down from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, April 6, at Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway. Visit the event's Facebook page for more information.
Sunday, April 7
As Jewish communities prepare to observe Passover later in April, thoughts turn to the traditions of Jewish foods and, in the case of the Colorado Jewish Food Fest, the way those traditions translate in the 21st century. For one thing, the food presented will be vegetarian and created with a leaning toward sustainable and local ingredients — while adhering to kosher law, which is a trick. Deliciousness is a given, though, as you participate in food tastings, mini-workshops, farm tours, kids' activities and a community Passover dessert contest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at the Boulder Jewish Community Center and adjoining Milk and Honey Farm, 6007 Oreg Avenue in Boulder. Learn more and buy tickets for $5 in advance at coloradojewishfoodfest.com; admission is $10 at the door (children ages two and under admitted free).
The runways will be hopping all weekend during Denver Fashion Week, but the Denver Fashion Week Pop-Up Marketplace is where you’ll really get to know the designers and their apparel. Try on the fashions you’ve admired on DFW’s gorgeous models from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, Sunday, April 7, at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue; participating designer lines include such local stalwarts as Brooks LTD, Rachel Marie Hurst, Mona Lucero and Gino Velardi, and you can catch a last look at the Denver Fashion Week exhibit, on view at McNichols, on its last day. Tickets are a bargain at $10 at eventbrite.com.
Who the heck are all these people running for Denver City Council in 2019? Get to know thirteen of them before the May 7 election at "Badass Humanitarians for Denver City Council," a painless forum hosted at the Mercury Cafe by the activist group Denver Artists for Rent Control. Roseanna Frechette and Ean Tafoya will moderate and ask the questions, talk-show style, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at the Merc, 2199 California Street. Confirmed participants include Debbie Ortega, Jesse Parris and Tony Pigford (At-Large); Victoria Aguilar and Sabrina D'Agosta (District 1); Annie Martinez and Veronica Barela (District 3); Paul Kashmann (District 6); Miguel Ceballos Ruiz and Erik Penn (District 8); Candi CdeBaca (District 9); Chris Hinds (District 10); and Christine Alonzo (District 11). Admission is free; find more details at the Denver Artists for Rent Control Facebook page.
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Nearly every time that Bill Frisell, who lives in Brooklyn these days, has returned to his home town of Denver over the past decade or so to perform, it’s been with a new project. And that’s a good thing, because the guitarist, skilled in jazz, Americana and folk, is something of a shapeshifter when it comes to music. This time around, Frisell is bringing his Harmony group to the Mile High, for a Swallow Hill-produced performance at the First Baptist Church of Denver, 1373 Grant Street, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7. In keeping with the band’s moniker, there’s a focus on harmony, with superb singer Petra Haden accompanied by cellist Hank Roberts and baritone guitarist Luke Bergman, both of whom also sing, and Frisell on guitar. Find tickets, $41 to $43, and more information at swallowhillmusic.org.
Monday, April 8
Emerging from the deserts of Niger onto the international stage, Mdou Moctar has electrified the rich traditions of Tuareg guitar music. Moctar rose to fame via spacey Auto-Tuned renditions of Hausa jams circulated through a shadow cell-phone network and eventually secured a record deal, released four albums and starred in the film I Sing the Desert Electric, among others. Globe Hall, at 4483 Logan Street, will go truly global at 8 p.m. Monday, April 8, with an awe-inspiring benediction from this living guitar god during a must-catch show sponsored by KGNU Community Radio and Twist & Shout. Find tickets, $15 to $19, and more information at globehall.com.
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