Proving that lighthearted situational hijinx will always be there for you — even after more than a decade off the air — Friends! The Musical Parody descends on Denver with a song in its heart. Nostalgia hounds won't want to miss the song-filled sendup of the ’90s network classic, which also lovingly re-creates the vibe of Central Perk — primary gathering place of the titular friends — on the stage at Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village. The show's three-night stand runs from Friday, January 18, through Sunday, January 20; find tickets, $35 to $40, and showtimes at comedyworks.com.
Though it seems at the outset like a story about an unpleasant visit from relations, the dynamics in the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit hit Last Night and the Night Before, by Donnetta Lavinia Grays, dig deeper as the drama progresses, telling the story of what happens when one family’s Southern roots and New York City lifestyle, represented by two sisters living divergent lives, collide with grace, humor and insights. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company premieres Last Night at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18, at the Ricketson Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, for a run through February 24; for tickets, starting at $30, and showtimes, visit denvercenter.org.
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies references the killing of Trayvon Martin — a turning point in American race relations — as a backdrop for lessons in what it means to grow up black in the U.S., told in broad satirical slashes. Two black teens — Marquis, a prep-schooler with a white adoptive mother, and the street-smart Tru, who aims to educate his friend in the rules of black culture — meet by coincidence in jail to drive the plot forward in this fast-moving and uncomfortable comedy. Directed by Betty Hart, Hooded makes its regional premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18, at the Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, and continues through February 10. Learn more and buy tickets, $18 to $37, at aurorafoxartscenter.org.
Recounting the 1899 newsboy strike against the predatory business practices of bulletin barons Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, Newsies went from the big screen to the stage with the 2012 Broadway adaptation of the 1992 movie musical. Brimming with grand song-and-dance numbers like "Santa Fe," "Carrying the Banner" and "The Bottom Line" — not to mention a cornucopia of timelessly stylish flat caps — the revival of the muckraking musical by Parker Arts and Inspire Theater Company is a headline-worthy affair. The production debuts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18, at the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue in Parker, and continues every Friday through Sunday through February 10. Find tickets, $29 to $34, and more information at parkerarts.org.
Antonín Dvorák's storied sojourn to North America culminated in one of the Czech composer's most recognizable works, Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178, commonly known as "From the New World." Dvorák's masterpiece takes musical and poetic stock of the cultural upheaval that followed the Civil War. Conductor Brett Mitchell leads a Colorado Symphony program that also includes Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," Joseph Schwantner's "New Morning for the World (Daybreak of Freedom)," and spoken-word interludes from actor Damon Gupton. The orchestra strikes up at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18, and Saturday, January 19, with a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday, January 20, at Boettcher Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Visit coloradosymphony.org for tickets, $20 to $94, and to learn about the Bringing Music to Life program, for which symphony guests are encouraged to donate lightly used instruments.
Leading the vanguard of Bay Area raptivism since 1996, Zion I has always aspired to supply more than catchy beats and clever rhymes. The group is currently kept afloat by founding member and perennially underrated MC Baba Zumbi, who proves on his latest collaboration with DJ Fresh, The Tonite Show With Zion I, that longevity doesn't diminish vitality. Zumbi rolls through Colorado with his reinvigorated rhymes for a pair of concerts guaranteed to rock the Front Range along with opening acts Illuminati Congo, Thin Air Crew, Luke Hightree and Babah Fly. Head north to the Aggie Theatre, 204 South College Avenue in Fort Collins, on Friday, January 18, or to Cervantes' Other Side, 2637 Welton Street, on Saturday, January 19, for a hip-hop-head-approved blend of old favorites and fresh fire. Showtime is 8:15 p.m. each night; visit aggietheatre.com or cervantesmasterpiece.com for tickets and more information.
Back in 2017, the Women’s March attracted tens of thousands of people to downtown Denver for one of the biggest events in the country. On Saturday, January 19, the mission continues under a new name, Womxn’s March Denver, but convenes in the same place, Civic Center Park, at 9 a.m. for a pre-rally with speakers and artists. The actual march begins at 10:30 a.m. and will wind its way through downtown before returning to Civic Center at 11:45 for a post-rally with more speakers and artists. After that, various venues around town will continue to push the cause. For details, go to womensmarchdenver.org.
Pump your fists at Punk Against Trump, a release valve for your oi-oi-outrage returning just in time for the third year of America's ongoing political nightmare. Mosh away the indignity of life under the presidential administration with other local music lovers and an unimpeachable lineup made up of No Takers, Sorry Sweetheart, Over Time, Cheap Perfume and headliners Allout Helter. The third edition of the festivities may have relocated to the Moon Room, 1902 Blake Street, but the onslaught of hedonism-fueling outrage has increased tenfold, so punks and partiers should take note. The Doc Marten-stomping fury gets started at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, and tickets are $12 at ticketfly.com, where you'll also find more details.
Known for its off-the-wall programming, the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake has tapped none other than Jello Biafra to host Incredibly Strange Theater, a new film series in which the Boulder-born former lead singer of the legendary punk band Dead Kennedys gets to screen and discuss films of his choosing. First up are his two favorite films ever: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T and Two Thousand Maniacs!, the former about a kid who rises up against his piano teacher (written by Dr. Seuss!) and the latter a 1964 horror film by Herschell Gordon Lewis about ghosts of Civil War soldiers who haunt a Southern hamlet. Get your weird on starting at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, January 19, at the Drafthouse, 4255 West Colfax Avenue; find tickets, $15, at drafthouse.com.
If you haven't supported the Nuggets this season, shame on you. Denver's professional basketball team sits atop the Western Conference, and power forward Nikola Jokic was recently named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week (with more accolades sure to follow). Watch the Nugs in action as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who've fallen to the end of the Eastern Conference rankings after losing star LeBron James to Los Angeles last year. The game starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, at the Pepsi Center; find tickets at altitudetickets.com.
Sunday, January 20
A lot has changed in the United States since The Blot came out in 1921, but one thing remains the same: Educators aren't paid enough. That’s the subject of director Lois Weber’s silent melodrama about the struggling family of a professor, an over-the-top depiction of the ills that can fall upon the learned class. The Denver Silent Film Festival will screen the movie, accompanied by a live score from Niki Tredinnick of the Dollhouse Thieves, at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue, at 6 p.m. Sunday, January 20; find tickets, $12, at drafthouse.com.
In 1985, Governor Dick Lamm signed legislation that made Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a state holiday. Shortly thereafter, Denver hosted its first Marade, now a longtime tradition honoring the civil-rights leader's life and legacy. The 2019 holiday falls on Monday, January 21, six days after King's birthday; the Marade will kick off at 10:45 a.m. at King's "I Have a Dream" memorial in City Park, then head down Colfax Avenue to the State Capitol before ending at Civic Center Park, for a total distance equaling a 5K. A program on King's life will follow the Marade in Civic Center Park's Greek Amphitheater; for more information about the parade, visit drmartinlkingjrchc.org.
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