Whet your appetite at A Taste of Curiosity, a dinner hosted by Infinite Monkey Theorem that will introduce you to some new flavors and the people who created them. Big Freedia's bringing New Orleans bounce to the Gothic Theatre, and Wonderbound is opening its doors for its in-house incubator, Wonderlab.
All that and more is in this week's 21 best events calendar!
Monday, November 11
Food is universal — but tastes aren't. Sometimes preferences are simply that, but just as often, food reveals prejudices. As much as our culinary preferences can reveal our biases, though, they can also serve as a bridge between cultures. If we're curious about trying new flavors, perhaps we can be as interested in the people who create them and the cultures they come from. On Monday, November 11, put this theory to the test at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, 3200 Larimer Street, when it hosts A Taste of Curiosity dinner, a conversation facilitated by food and drink. Chef Jesusio Silva (Misaki) will provide the Japanese food, and folks from Breaking the Bias will be on hand to keep dinner from devolving into a food fight (perhaps literally). Tickets, $65, are available at theinfinitemonkeytheorem.com; get yours and feed your brain as well as your body.
Few bands are as committed to their respective gimmicks as the Aquabats. Superheroes of ska who maintain a rabid fan base well over two decades after the genre's heyday, these be-masked musicians have survived a constantly shifting membership, thanks to the stewardship of lead singer and founding member MC Bat Commander, who's been leading the skank-happy squad since 1994. Following a Kickstarter-funded effort to revive their delightfully wacky television show — The Aquabats! Super Show! —and its accompanying soundtrack album, the ’Bats are back on the road with a reinvigorated fury. The Aquabats land at the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway in Englewood, at 7p.m. Monday, November 11, for an all-ages show; get tickets, $25 to $28, at axs.com, and visit theaquabats.com to learn more.
Tuesday, November 12
All hail Big Freedia, the reigning Queen Diva of New Orleans bounce. After pioneering the Big Easy's signature hip-hop sound in the ’90s, Freedia has finally broken through to a mainstream international audience, thanks to high-profile collaborations with Drake and Lizzo and a banger-packed EP, Third Ward Bounce. An accomplished drag queen and former backup dancer for bounce music foremother Katey Red, Freedia fell in love with the thumping bass lines and hypnotic hooks of the subgenre, perfecting her sui generis flow just in time for radio rap to tune into Crescent City sounds. Almost single-handedly responsible for making the hip-hop world more inclusive for gender non-conforming performers, Big Freedia will appear at the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway in Englewood, on Tuesday, November 12, along with opening act Low Cut Connie. Doors open at 7 for the 8 p.m. concert; visit axs.com to find tickets, $25.75 to $30, and bigfreedia.com to find out more.
Wednesday, November 13
Colorado, the first album from Neil Young and Crazy Horse in seven years, is a polemical defense of the Earth, a rallying cry against climate change that is at once personal, angry and utterly compelling — especially the nearly fourteen-minute “She Showed Me Love." That song is about how white men like Young have ravaged Mother Earth, but she's showed them love nonetheless...and he repeats the message again and again and again. The documentary Mountaintop, which chronicles the making of the album and shows Young in all his pissy creative glory, will screen at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 13, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder. Tickets, $8, are available at bouldertheater.com.
Actor James O’Hagan Murphy is returning from New York for a brief visit — and to reprise his role in Jack Holmes’s one-man play, RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy. Mounted by Vintage Theatre in 2013 and directed by the much-missed Terry Dodd, the play was a smash hit, winning a Best of Denver award for Dodd and universal praise for O’Hagan, who conveyed a perfect mixture of anger, self-interest, gallant idealism and piercing grief over the loss of an adored and admired older brother. The new run of RFK starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 13, at Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora, where it continues through November 21. Tickets, $16 to $32, benefit the Terry Dodd scholarship fund; purchase yours at 303-856-7830 or vintagetheatre.com.
Thursday, November 14
Horse lovers, head to the Sterling Event Space, 1261 Delaware Street, at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 14, for the Art to the Rescue 2019 Art Auction. The auction supports the mission of Drifter's Hearts of Hope, a Franktown-based nonprofit that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes at-risk horses, and will feature nationally and internationally acclaimed artists known for landscape and equine-themed work. While you peruse and bid, dig into heavy appetizers, an open bar, and the good feeling of knowing that all proceeds go directly to the organization. Find tickets, $50, and more information at driftersheartsofhope.org.
Wonderbound is more than a dance company; it’s a greenhouse for expression through movement, where creative individualism is encouraged and celebrated. To truly appreciate what that means, the troupe will showcase its in-house incubator, Wonderlab, through a series of performances in the intimate, limited-seating surroundings of its home base. Four choreographers, including ballet master Sarah Tallman, and dancers Henry Maximillian McCall, Deanna Lefton and Morgan Sicklick will share the limelight at 7: 30 p.m. Thursday, November 14, through Saturday, November 16, at Wonderbound Studios, 2535 East 40th Avenue. Tickets, $27 to $35, will go quickly, so get yours now at wonderbound.com.
Warren Miller started his career making ski films back in 1949, and although he passed away in 2018, his company continues his work. Warren Miller Entertainment looks back at seven decades of winter sports documentaries with its seventieth production, Timeless, a blend of old and new ski footage. Screenings, which will include conversations with some of the pro athletes in the doc, take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 14, 6 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, November 15, and 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place. Find tickets, $21.50 to $26.50, at altitudetickets.com.
Friday, November 15
Denver’s Counterpath and the University of Colorado Boulder team up again for CrossBorder: Migration, Detention, Sanctuary, a symposium bringing together artists, scholars and writers to share work and commune over migration issues. The two-day convo starts with panel discussions and a performance of Motus Theater's UndocuMonologues on Friday, November 15, in CU's Norlin Library, Room M549, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. It continues on Saturday, November 16, with performances, artist presentations, a catered dinner and a roundtable discussion from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Counterpath, 7935 East 14th Avenue. All events are free and subject to space; find details at counterpathpress.org/crossborder-2019.
When the days are short and the holidays draw near, you know it's time for Black Sheep Friday, the hands-on adult pastime dreamt up by the visionaries at MCA Denver. To celebrate the program's tenth season, the MCA is bringing back eight favorite editions, beginning on Friday, November 15, with “Extreme Glamour Shots,” where you’ll get ready for your close-up, helped by stylists from the StoryBrick salon; mystery shots (alcoholic and non-) will also be on the docket. Future Black Sheep Fridays revisit such crafty oldies but goodies as the Stitch and Switch mutant stuffed animal workshop, the beloved XXX-Mas Craft Fair make-and-take, the ever-inspiring Sock Puppet Karaoke and more. The series runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on select Fridays through February 21 at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, and is free to $5 with museum admission; learn more at mcadenver.org.
Have you ever walked into the Mercury Cafe and looked around at the staff, wondering who in the world those interesting people are? Find out when talented Merc employees Kai Owens, Kali Krysta Love, Bodhi Rader and Riley Anne Martin unravel The Ballet of Masculine & Feminine Divinities, a dance-theater presentation written and directed by Martin and featuring music composed by Gabriel Gravagno. Doors open upstairs in the Mercury ballroom, 2199 California Street, at 8 p.m. Friday, November 15, for the 8:30 show, which will be documented for the film project The Construct of Color; tickets are $20 at eventbrite.com or at the door.
You've been meaning to delve into those Colorado wines everyone's been buzzing about, but where to start? How about with the best, as selected by a panel of sommeliers, chefs and other industry experts? That's what you'll find on Friday, November 15, at Colorado Uncorked, a celebration of the fourteen wines representing the 2019 Colorado Governor's Cup Wine Collection. Judges narrowed down more than 251 samples to the final fourteen that will be available beginning at 7 p.m. (6 if you go VIP) at History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, alongside food from Julep, Bin 707, Logan Street, Woodie Fisher and other great Colorado restaurants. Find tickets, $45 to $85, at eventbrite.com. Stay for the whole event to see which wine wins the Best of Show award — it just might be the one in your hand!
Let it all hang out at Unwind+Grind: The Official Divine Booty Shaking Experience, a chance to shake your ass without having to wait in line at a club or risking a pass by a bro. The high-energy dance class and "moving meditation" is a seasonal pop-up for people who identify as women, promoters say. The dance party starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 15, at the Savoy at Curtis Park, 2700 Arapahoe Street, and wraps up at 9. But stick around and channel all that positive energy during "Sistarhood Social Time," a chance to further bond with your dance partners over wine and sweet treats. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable; find more info and tickets, $22 to $45, at eventbrite.com.
If you think the criminal justice system is a circus — a failing one — Fractal Tribe’s multimedia circus-theater performance INaniMATE: Stories of the Justice System Through Circus Arts will make perfect sense. Even the title, "a composite of 'inmate' and 'animate,'" is self-explanatory. Armed with a cast of twenty, the collaboration between Fractal and Boulder’s Focus Reentry program for former inmates draws from true stories from prisoners, victims and justice workers, using spoken word, music, dance and acrobatics to share real experiences from inside and outside the system. INaniMATE plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 15, and 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street; find showtimes and tickets, $25 to $35, at fractaltribe.com/inanimate.
Saturday, November 16
It can be overwhelming to walk through the Denver Botanic Gardens in any season, surrounded by the changing montage of flora. Since the weather is getting cooler, now’s a good time to step inside that strange pyramid poking up in the south central region of the York Street gardens for the debut of Welcome Home: Meet Your Habitat. The exhibit will handle the science-y side of the DBG’s educational wing by exploring how humans interweave with nature in Colorado. Welcome Home opens on Saturday, November 16, at 1007 York Street for an indefinite run; the show is included in the gate admission of $9 to $12.50. Learn more at botanicgardens.org.
Ramen is so big in Denver right now that you can’t turn a corner without running into another Japanese noodle joint — and that can make it hard to figure out where to get the tastiest, most original bowl. Ramen-O-Rama! Denver's Ramen Festival aims to help by inviting a collection of the town’s best noodle-slingers for a major slurp-out at the RiNo Fairgrounds, 3715 Chestnut Place, on Saturday, November 16. Sign up to attend one of two three-hour sessions, starting at 12:30 or 4:30 p.m., or opt for the VIP upgrade and get a half-hour head start on tasting your way from one version to the next. Get tickets, $55 to $85, and the whole scoop at ramen-o-rama.com.
Stories on Stage continues its season with something different: Instead of the usual dramatic reading of literary selections, Feeding the Dragon is the regional premiere of an autobiographical play by Sharon Washington, who miraculously grew up in a branch of the New York Public Library. Relive what sounds like a fantasy when Betty Hart performs the one-woman work at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive; tickets range from $15 to $28 at storiesonstage.org.
Bennie L. Williams, a nationally recognized director and music teacher, founded Bennie L. Williams Spiritual Voices to celebrate five centuries of spirituals. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 16, the 45-member Bennie L. Williams Spiritual Voices will present Oh, Freedom 1619-2019, a tribute concert commemorating African-Americans' commitment to freedom. The concert coincides with the release of Harriet, which profiles Harriet Tubman, and there will be drawings during intermission for ticket packages to the film. One of the pieces in the concert is The Journey of Harriet Tubman, a choral tribute in five movements arranged by Ron Kean. The concert is at Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Court; find tickets, $15 to $20, at blwspiritualvoices.org.
Want to hear a story? Or two? Or ten? A new theater company, Red Thread Playback Theatre, invites audience members to tell true stories about their lives, which members of the company then play back, turning them into instant theater. But you don't need to spill all of your secrets to enjoy the evening; you can just sit back and watch the stories of your friends and neighbors come to life. The next playback installment is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at Theater O, 5311 Western Avenue, Suite 120, in Boulder; tickets are $15 at the door or at redthreadplayback.com.
A gala for a charitable cause usually offers a healthy spread of food, drinks, well-dressed people and live entertainment. So what does the Night of Awareness have that other soirées don't? A pot-smoking lounge and cannabis sponsors. Hosted by Cannabis Doing Good and PufCreativ from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, November 16, the night's pot-friendly proceeds will benefit the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The 21+ gala will take place at Cultivated Synergy, 2901 Walnut Street; find tickets, $30, at eventbrite.com.
Sunday, November 17
Allen True, who was born in Colorado Springs, was an illustrator and painter who created many stunning murals around Denver in the first half of the twentieth century. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, Denver Architecture Foundation guides James Barrett and Maggie Gourd-Barrett will lead a two-hour, two-mile Allen True Murals Walking Tour that will stop by many of his best pieces that embellish structures downtown, including Denver's Civic Center, the Brown Palace, the Renaissance Hotel and the Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph building. The trek starts at the Greek Amphitheater at Civic Center Park, and tickets are $25 to $30 at eventbrite.com; find out more at denverarchitecture.org.
Know of an event that belongs on this list? We need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.