With so many shows coming to Denver this week, theater and music lovers have their work cut out for them. Go red for a Denver Center for the Performing Arts rendition of Anna Karenina
, or visit the coal mines of Pennsylvania for Davey, Do You See the Light
? If live shows aren't your thing, head to the hills for the Winter X Games, or learn how rival gang members came together over food at Trap Kitchen. All that and more is on this week's 21 Best list!
Tuesday, January 22
The National Western Stock Show, which opened January 12 and runs through January 27, is full of down-and-dirty events, with plenty of cowfolk carousing. But there are truly moooving activities, too, including the Exceptional Rodeo
presented by GE Johnson at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 22, at the Denver Coliseum in the National Western Complex. Designed for kids with special needs, this interactive rodeo comprises events like steer roping, bull riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing, all done with props rather than animals; any interested young cowpokes will be put through their paces by rodeo queens and cowboys. The rodeo is included with the grounds admission ticket, which that day runs $14 for adults and $3 for children over two. Find out more at nationalwestern.com
Wednesday, January 23
Virtual-reality wizard Ethan Bach
and his Creative Collab Effect crew continue to cross disciplines by reaching out to all of the region’s creative communities with Empowering Artists to Galvanize the Creative Economy
, an evening presentation to engage artists and makers in a sharing of ideas on changes they expect to see in the wake of Meow Wolf’s upcoming Denver expansion. Attend the event — which begins with a networking reception and keynote by Bach and culminates with a panel made up of Diane Martonis of the Firehouse Art Center, Heather Fortin Rubald of HFR Designs, Meow Wolf’s Jenny Weinbloom and Salt Magazine
publisher Anthony Cross, followed by a town hall-style discussion — on Wednesday, January 23, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road in Longmont; admission is free, but a $5 donation in advance is suggested with registration at eventbrite.com
Thursday, January 24
Revel in all sorts of extreme sports when the Winter X Games
return to Aspen's Buttermilk Mountain for another round of slope-side music and mayhem. In addition to thrilling displays of snow-sport skills from competing athletes, 2019's festivities include a top-notch lineup of entertainers, such as Lil Wayne, the Chainsmokers, Kygo, Louis the Child and more. Kicking off at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 24, and wrapping up Sunday, January 27, the Winter X Games continue a proud sporting tradition that goes international this year with an expansion into China. All competitions are free and open to the public (though concert tickets have sold out); learn more at xgames.com/aspen/
Denver's modern-day cityscape would be unimaginable without Daniel Libeskind, the visionary designer of the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building. But that Golden Triangle icon merely scratches the surface of the world-renowned starchitect's influential body of work. Esteemed creator of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Building and Berlin's Jewish Museum, Libeskind espouses a cross-disciplinary approach to his medium and endeavors to design structures that even laypeople can appreciate. Follow Libeskind's improbable journey from a homeless child of Polish Holocaust survivors to the toast of the design world at a signing and discussion of his new book, Edge of Order
, at 6 p.m. Thursday, January 24, at the DAM. Visit denverartmuseum.org
or dial 720-913-0130 to join the lengthy waiting list for this sold-out event.
The Cold War is over, but some world leaders still seem to be on the verge of pushing the Red Button. To draw awareness to the nuclear industry, as well as issues faced by communities near the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s Nuclear Nexus collective hosts a monthly Atomic Film Series at Naropa University. In January, you can watch what might be the scariest horror flick you’ve ever seen when the series presents The Day After
, a 1983 ABC made-for-television flick that chronicles — in Technicolor detail — a fictional nuclear apocalypse in the American heartland. Attend the free screening at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 24, in Sycamore Hall, Room 8130, at Naropa, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder; learn more on the Atomic Film Series page on Facebook
Celebration, Florida utilizes two new unrehearsed actors for every performance.
After a hiatus, Boulder’s quirky Square Product Theatre is up and running again, with a couple of inventive shows lined up for winter and spring. First up is innovative London-based playwright Greg Wohead’s Celebration, Florida
, an engaging work in which Wohead wraps his magic around the idea of reclaiming loved ones and moments from the past through a surrogate. With a cast of two unrehearsed actors that changes daily, Wohead forces spontaneous performances, with a pre-recorded narrative delivered to the rotating players through headphones. Celebration, Florida
opens with Hattie Hodes and Emma Simoneau at 7:30 p.m.Thursday, January 24, at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street, and runs through February 2 before moving to the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder for five performances beginning February 6. Find more information and tickets, $15 to $24, at squareproducttheatre.org/upcoming
Two Los Angeles-area gang members from opposing factions found common ground over cooking, and the result was peace — and Trap Kitchen
. Malachi "Chef Spank" Jenkins and Roberto "Sous Chef News" Smith are bringing their Compton brand of culinary magic to Rock Steady, 2100 Curtis Street, from 8 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, January 24. Two options are available: a buffet dinner for $30, or the Trap Kitchen Full Meal Deal Bundle, which includes dinner, the Trap Kitchen
cookbook and a T-shirt for $75. Get your tickets at eventbrite.com
under "Trap Kitchen Cookout Tour." Menu details are limited, but expect a combination of soul food and L.A. street eats.
Dazzling light shows have been a mainstay of the concert circuit for decades, but they’ve mostly been used by huge acts that can pack an arena or amphitheater. Now, visual artists Andrew Innis, CODO Productions, Andy Ai, Jurassic Netz, Mothpowder Light Show and Strange Oscar are bringing their light art to the small stage at Syntax Physic Opera, 554 South Broadway, for Endless Feedback Volume 1
. Starting at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, January 24, the light shows will play alongside live scores from local bands including Eldren, King Eddie, American Grandma and Ramakhandra. Tickets are $7; for more information, go to the Syntax Physic Opera Facebook page