Tuesday, August 21
Loss is a heartbreaking but undiscriminating reality for everyone, even people who make strangers laugh for a living. Comedian Adam Cayton-Holland, co-creator and star of TruTV's Those Who Can't, founder of the High Plains Comedy Festival and former Westword scribe, was enjoying the early stages of what would turn out to be game-changing opportunities when tragedy struck. After a lifelong struggle with severe depression, his sister Lydia took her own life. Cayton-Holland explores this traumatic chapter of his own life in Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir, which pays tribute to his unique family and tells their story with fearless candor and plenty of gallows humor. Tragedy Plus Time will be released on Tuesday, August 21, when Cayton-Holland will appear at 7 p.m. at the Tattered Cover at 2526 East Colfax Avenue for a reading, discussion and signing. Admission, $26, guarantees a copy of the book and a spot in the signing line. Learn more at the Tattered Cover's Eventbrite page.
The sun is about to set on Sunset Cinema, the summer film series in the Denver Performing Arts Complex Galleria dedicated to the works of Wes Anderson. Starting at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21, enjoy trivia from Geeks Who Drink, and snack and sip on food and cocktails from the pop-up bar, watch (or join in) an Anderson-inspired contest. And then at 8:15 p.m., settle in for a free screening of The Royal Tenenbaums, presented by the Denver Film Society (remember to bring your own lawn chair or other seating to the space at 14th and Curtis streets). Find out more on the Denver Arts & Venues website, which is hosting the series as part of its Next Stage Now program exploring the future of the complex.
Not far from DPAC, another Wes fest will take place, this one at Avanti Food & Beverage, which boasts a spectacular patio where patrons can chill with eats, a beer and a beautiful view. This summer, Avanti is upping the patio's cool factor by partnering with Alamo Drafthouse Denver and Dogfish Head Brewery to host late-night cult-movie screenings with a Drafthouse spirit — meaning costumes, raffles and other nonsense are de rigueur. Wes Anderson’s Rushmore will be your inspiration on Tuesday, August 21, beginning at 9 p.m. at Avanti, 3200 Pecos Street. Admission is free and seating is first come, first served, so early arrival is suggested. Learn more at drafthouse.com/denver.
Wednesday, August 22
The Boulder Fringe Festival, an annual entertainment extravaganza, will mark reaching the midway point of the 2018 fest on Wednesday, August 22, with MidFringe Night's Dream, a mixer and gala party that starts at 5 p.m. at Fringe Central, in the Lounge at the Pine Street Church, 1237 Pine Street in Boulder. Mingle with Fringe artists while enjoying food and other refreshments (this is sponsored by Hazel’s Beverage World, after all). Admission is $10 at the door; find out more about this event and remaining Fringe performances, which run through Sunday, August 26, at boulderfringe.com.
Denver becomes the country's funniest city per capita during August's final weekend, when the High Plains Comedy Festival floods local stages with more than 100 of the best local and national comedians. Founded by Adam Cayton-Holland, a former Westword scribe and star of the TruTV sitcom Those Who Can't, and coordinated by no-nonsense producer Karen Wachtel, the festival — now in its sixth year — allows Denver standups to share a stage with some of the country's most prominent comedy creators. Heavy on returning favorites like Solomon Georgio, Baron Vaughn and Amy Miller, the 2018 edition will also see debuts from the likes of James Adomian and Jackie Kashian, along with co-headliners David Cross and How Did This Get Made? podcasters June Diane Raphael, Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas. Programming begins on Thursday, August 23; venues include the Paramount Theatre, Mutiny Information Cafe, 3 Kings Tavern and the hi-dive. Visit highplainscomedyfestival.com for tickets for individual shows, $10 to $45 (festival passes have already sold out).
Knitter and artist Sam Barsky, a social-media celebrity in a small corner of the Internet, earned his fame by knitting travel mementos into sweaters — homespun depictions of the Golden Gate Bridge, Stonehenge and Niagara Falls, to name a few landmarks — and posting pictures of himself wearing said sweaters on Facebook and Instagram. Barsky will soon commemorate the sights of Boulder while in town to kick off Wish You Were Here: The Sweaters of Sam Barsky, an exhibit that runs through October 14 in the Canyon Gallery of the Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue. An opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, will include a talk from Barsky at 6:30 p.m. The artist’s Boulder-centric sweaters will also be available to peruse at the library during the show’s run. Admission is free; learn more at boulderlibrary.org.
Boogie down on the disco round on Thursday, August 23, when Food Truck Safari: Caturday Night Fever returns to the Denver Zoo from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for an evening of frivolity and feline fundraising. Support the zoo's lion, tiger and fishing-cat exhibits while quaffing drinks and noshing treats from a squadron of some of the best four-wheeled eateries or marveling at the adorable antics of the "DeCathalon." Festivities also include live-animal demos, field-expert presentations, a silent disco and a headlining performance from old-school funksters Jakarta. Guests can even adopt a furry friend of their own from the MaxFund Animal Adoption Center. Visit denverzoo.org to buy tickets, $25, and learn more about this 21+ event.
Breathing vital new life into classical music, Boulder-based ensemble Green Room Artists explores a more daring side of the genre by commissioning new works or filling its repertoire with hidden gems. Join the ten-piece chamber ensemble for a pair of concerts that evoke the sounds of nightfall at Night Spaces, which premieres at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, at the Boulder Seventh Day Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Avenue in Boulder. The program reflects the musicians' forward-thinking ethos with dynamic works from groundbreaking composers Toru Takemitsu, Chen Yi, Kaija Saariaho and Bohuslav Martin. Tickets are $15 to $18 at greenroomartists.org. Green Room Artists will present an encore performance at 7 p.m. Friday, August 24, at Caffe Sole, 637 South Broadway in Boulder, with a suggested donation of $12 at the door.