From the highbrow to very down-to-earth events, we've got everything you're looking for this week. Get down to Pusha T on Tuesday, dive elbow-deep into grilled cheese sandwiches on Wednesday or walk the runway with Christian Dior when the much-anticipated exhibit of his work opens at the Denver Art Museum. All that and more is on this week's list of the 21 best things to do in Denver!
Tuesday, November 13
Lost among his series of ill-informed political bromides was the fact that MAGA-hatted Kanye West produced one of the year's leanest and meanest hip-hop albums, the earth-scorching and Drake-ethering Daytona. The diabolical manifesto came from Pusha T, a veteran of the rap game with zero fucks to give. Following a palate-pleasing warm-up from Brooklyn-based ensemble Phony Ppl, the MC previously known as Terrence Thornton will lay lyrical waste to the stage at Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street, starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 13; for tickets, $35, and more information, visit ticketfly.com.
Wednesday, November 14
Get an early start on your holiday eating at the Denver Grilled Cheese Fest, a celebration of everyone's favorite cold-day comfort food. More than twenty restaurants and beverage companies will come armed with their best grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soups, beer and wine, and the big cheese will receive the Meltdown Award and bragging rights for at least another year. Tickets for the 21-and-over event are $55 for general admission and $125 for VIP, which includes early entrance; get yours at twoparts.com. Ooze away from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, at Mile High Station, 2027 West Lower Colfax Avenue.
Thursday, November 15
Election Day is over, for better or worse, and it's time to decide what we want in the future and where to focus our political energy. Get a jump-start thinking about the issues when Warm Cookies of the Revolution hosts its Bring Your Government: F*ck, Chuck or Marry Edition!, with community speakers Kalyn Heffernan (of Wheelchair Sports Camp fame), James Roy II of Park Hill Collective Impact and RTD board candidate Jamie Perkins voicing their pet issues and peeves moving on. Andrew Orvedahl and Janae Burris will provide comedic relief, and everyone is invited to join in some cooperative LEGO-building. Keep your issues on the burner at least from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, at the McNichols Building; admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested at the door to help with program costs. Learn more at warmcookiesoftherevolution.org.
All the Central City Opera wants for Christmas is a bang-up program schedule and activities for next summer’s opera season high in the hills. Get some ideas for your holiday season decor while raising bucks for the CCO's goals at the annual L’Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour of decorated homes in the Belcaro and Bonnie Brae neighborhoods. It all starts with a kick-off party and floral workshop on Thursday, November 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Shaver-Ramsey Fine & Custom Rugs, 589 Fillmore Street; regular tours commence on November 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, beginning at 740 South Jackson Street. Party tickets are $80 and include the tour, and regular tickets range from $28 to $50; get more information and the best ticket-price option at lesprithometour.com.
Climbing aficionados, make sure you’re off the rocks and at the Oriental Theater on Thursday, November 15, or Friday, November 16, for Reel Rock 13, a film festival dedicated to climbing and mountaineering. This year, Reel Rock’s four entries offer audiences the chance to scale the tallest rocks in the Jordanian desert, summit towers in Antarctica and follow the feats of Adam Ondra, one of the best climbers in the world. The program also includes a film about speed climbing, a controversial sport in the climbing world that will debut at the 2020 Olympic Games. Tickets for the screenings, which are at 6 and 9 p.m. each night, are $20 at theorientaltheater.com. The Oriental is at 4335 West 44th Avenue.
The National Western Stock Show seems like a million years away — we've still got Thanksgiving, Christmas, interminable family visits and New Year's Eve to muscle through — but it's really only two short months from now. And while we humans have definite opinions about the next eight weeks (it could be dread or delight), the animals headed to the Stock Show are blissfully unaware of what their future holds. You can meet those critters at Meat and Greet on Thursday, November 15, where guests will be introduced to Stock Show-bound livestock as well as the young people who have raised them. Tickets, $75, also include bites of locally raised protein (beef, pork, lamb and goat — though not the ones you'll be greeting earlier in the evening) and a bar serving local beer and spirits. The agricultural amusement runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street; get your tickets at the Colorado FFA Foundation's website.
Terrified of an asteroid plummeting from the heavens and ending Earth as we know it? That fear is entirely reasonable...as is your desire to pour a stiff one when you contemplate such cataclysmic possibilities. At this month's edition of the Science Lounge — a monthly event that mixes geeking out with cocktails at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science — you can do just that. Relax and learn all about asteroids and the impact they've had on Earth, including the possibility that the oceans and life itself are direct results of them. Asteroids! rolls out from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. Admission to the 21+ program is $13 to $15; find tickets and more information at dmns.org.
Aaron Burris-Deboskey, Makayla Dooley and April Maple are Nothing Is Everything, a meditational-music combo versed in the ways of using ambient sound to set minds free. That’s their goal, and you’ll be the guinea pig for Nothing Is Everything: Sensory Download, a sonic evening enhanced by several sensory side trips, from live painting and mindful movement to cuddle puddles and infinitely reflected mirrors. Enjoy the shared experience on Thursday, November 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Spectra Art Space, 1836 South Broadway; admission is $10 in advance at eventbrite.com and $15 at the door.
Pirouette through the closing weekend of the Neustadt JAAMM Festival with Wonderbound's Wonderlab, a dance performance that casts a hopeful spotlight on the future of Colorado's artistic community. Presenting boldly experimental choreography set to original compositions arranged by local musicians, the show finds fresh terrain in the realms of sound and motion without missing a single graceful step. Enjoy the sensory dividends of collaborations between Wonderbound-affiliated choreographers Morgan Sicklick, Sarah Tallman and Ben Youngstone and local musicians Jesse Manley, Annie Aqua, Emily Rose Lewis, Jen-Luc Davis, David Short and Dean Hirschfield. Wonderlab opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, at the Elaine Wolf Theatre in the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street, with reprise performances at 7:30 p.m. on November 17 and 2 p.m. on November 18. Visit jccdenver.org/wonderlab to buy tickets, $30 to $36, and find out more.
Friday, November 16
For one weekend only, Rockmount Ranch Wear has lassoed three of Denver’s top galleries — K Contemporary, Abend Gallery and Gallery 1261 — for a Cowboy Christmas at Rockmount’s retail store at 1626 Wazee Street. “We’re creative people, they’re creative people,” explains third-generation Rockmount owner Steve Weil. “We design everything we carry, and we’ve always had a natural rapport with Denver’s art community. Art is part of our daily lifestyle.” Works by artists ranging from Duke Beardsley to Quang Ho, Michael Dowling, Lorenzo Chavez, Karen Roehl, Jill Soukup and more will be shown alongside Western fashions by Rockmount at a pop-up that previews from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, November 16, and continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 17, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 18. “Outside venue engagements are a new model that benefits everyone involved,” says Doug Kacena, director of K Contemporary, located with the other galleries just down the street at 1412 Wazee. “They promote the venue, promote the artists and promote the arts.” Find out more about the store at rockmount.com, and saddle up!
When you think “big band,” you usually visualize ensembles put together by the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. But the Flux Crew, a fifteen-piece chamber ensemble of regional musicians from varying backgrounds and disciplines, turns tradition on its side, sans static charts and in-unison changes, for Sonic Shape Shifting, an experimental evening of real-time collaborative composition. See music coalesce in the moment when Creative Music Works hosts the experimental ensemble at 8 p.m. Friday, November 16, at Pine Street Church,1237 Pine Street in Boulder; search the event name at eventbrite.com to get tickets, $15, and more information.
Denver pop singer Kayla Rae is on the brink of something big. She was on the Summer Jam bill with Wiz Khalifa at Fiddler’s Green this summer, her online following is skyrocketing, and her moody R&B-infused pop is radio-friendly — in the best way. Time may be running out to catch Rae perform on a small stage before her tickets prices soar and the intimate performances she’s known for become a distant memory, which makes her upcoming free concert (first come, first served) at BarFly, the bite-sized music venue at Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, such a treat. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday, November 16, at 4255 West Colfax Avenue; for more information, go to drafthouse.com.
Saturday, November 17
Already panicked about holiday shopping? Here’s a gem of an idea: Head to the Vintage Jewelry Sale, an annual event hosted by the Denver Women’s Press Club, where you can pick up estate pieces, costume jewelry, ethnic items and even stuffy old stuff made new again. The sale runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 17, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 18, at the club, 1325 Logan Street; admission is free and the proceeds underwrite scholarships for women studying journalism. That’s reason enough to remember to pick up at least a few things for yourself. For more information, go to dwpconline.org.
The Museum of Boulder is ready to unveil its centerpiece, the Boulder Experience Gallery, which gets to the nitty-gritty of Boulder’s history using contemporary media to immerse viewers in the past, present and future of the college town. It starts at the very beginning with surround-sound voices of Arapaho elders and meanders right up to modern times, using multimedia, digital 3-D games and quality time for cyber-savvy patrons in the hands-on Google Garage to stir up a different picture of the city. The exhibit opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 17, at the museum, 2205 Broadway, and is included in the regular museum admission of $8 to $10 (or free for members and children ages five and under). Get all the info at museumofboulder.org/exhibits/#gal.
Stories on Stage has been delighting Denver audiences for seventeen years with dramatic readings that pair great actors with literary standouts. Its latest program, Magic for Beginners, will do so with a twist: The stories, read by Greg Ungar, Kate Gleason and Gareth Saxe, will take a magical turn in subject matter, with the verbal prestidigitation enhanced by a performance from local illusionist Erica Sodos, whose giddy, theatrical show will surely enchant the audience. Catch Stories on Stage at the Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, on Saturday, November 17, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; admission ranges from $15 to $28 in advance at storiesonstage.org.
No Christmas is complete without the wailing guitars and symphonic grandeur of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which alights upon the Pepsi Center to raise a jolly bit of jingle hell at 3 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 17. Rock-opera innovators with a constantly shifting membership and highly demanding touring schedule (particularly during the holiday season), the collective was founded by the late American composer and producer Paul O'Neill, whose shred-heavy interpretations of timeless carols propelled the TSO to international acclaim and blockbuster album sales. Don't miss this transformative live concert experience; find tickets, $49.50 to $79.50, and more details at trans-siberian.com/tour.
Amaro is having a moment, with restaurants around town embracing the bitter Italian liqueur and even making house versions. On Saturday, November 17, Coperta, 400 East 20th Avenue, is bringing amaro to the masses with its Amaro: The Bitter Truth cocktail class. From 3:30 to 5 p.m., nosh on bites from chef Paul C. Reilly while tasting a selection of amari and finding out how to use it to enhance the flavor of mixed drinks. The holidays are inexorably advancing, so learn how to turn your bitterness on your cocktails instead of your kin for $45; call the restaurant at 720-749-4666 to reserve your spot.
Rescued Friends Animal Sanctuary in Fort Collins routinely gives safe homes and a better life to abused and neglected farm animals. But winter is coming, bringing with it a whole new set of challenges, not the least of which is keeping the nonprofit farm’s critters warm and well fed. Join founders Von Bortz and Amy Smith, who are bringing their fundraising efforts to Denver for a silent auction and trivia-night benefit on Saturday, November 17, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Alternation Brewing Company, 1539 South Broadway. Admission is $25; register in advance at eventbrite.com or pay cash at the door.
Sunday, November 18
This one's really for the birds. The Gabriel Foundation is a nonprofit shelter for parrots and other fine-feathered friends, and on Sunday, November 18, it will host a Painting and Socializing Fundraiser from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Sipping N' Painting Hampden, 6300 East Hampden Avenue. Come at 1 p.m. to get your seat, paints, apron, drinks and snacks; BYO inspiration. Tickets are $40, half of which goes directly to the Gabriel Foundation; buy yours on the organization's Facebook page, and learn more at thegabrielfoundation.org.
The Red Ball debuted in 2009 as a nod of awareness to World AIDS Day, with a mission of raising money for HIV/AIDS research. That motivation continues as the event celebrates a decade of growth with red-themed fashions, creative hair designs and makeup to swoon over on the runway. Red Ball: A Decade in the Making will wow you and carry on its annual good deeds on Sunday, November 18, at the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street; VIPs get in the door at 6 p.m. and the general public joins in at 7. Pricing ranges from $40 for standing room only to $600 for a VIP table for four; reserve a spot and learn more at redballdenver.org.
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Monday, November 19
Christian Dior opened his first fashion house in 1946, setting a trend with his trademark “New Look,” with full mid-calf skirts and fitted waists. More than seventy years later, the house continues to sit at the top of the fashion heap, now carrying on under creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Learn the whole story from start to finish at the Denver Art Museum’s new exhibit Dior: From Paris to the World. Created in-house by textile and fashion curator Florence Müller, the exhibit follows the House of Dior’s storied history through every decade and direction, with displays designed by architect Shohei Shigematsu of OMA New York. Dior opens Monday, November 19, and runs through March 3; timed tickets, which include museum admission, are $12 (members) to $28 ($5 for youth ages six to eighteen and free for children under six) at denverartmuseum.org.
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