A good mystery is a-brewin' at the Arvada Center Black Box, which will open a production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express on January 31. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, fly high at a production of Peter Pan or the Bald Eagle Fest. All that and more on this week's list of the best things to do in Denver!
Monday, January 27
Opening day might be a few months away, but that isn't stopping Drew Goodman, co-host of The Drew Goodman Podcast With Julie Browman, from speaking his mind about the Rockies. That won't surprise anyone who's familiar with Goodman, a longtime local sports announcer who has been the play-by-play voice of your Colorado Rockies since 2002. Goodman and Browman will head to the Maven Hotel, 1850 Wazee Street, on Monday, January 27, for a live taping of their show; Goodman will also read excerpts from his new book, If These Walls Could Talk: Colorado Rockies. Even better? The taping, which runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m., is free to attend. Find more info at thedrewgoodmanpodcast.com.
Tuesday, January 28
Jacob Severn's resolution for 2020: "to both expose and connect the poetry communities out there." A Denver-based writer who began writing poems nine years ago, Severn is influenced by his experience moving around the country while serving in the military; many of his poems focus on heavy topics like war and lost love, while others are lighter and more hopeful. The first event in his campaign to promote local poetry is a reading of his own work (he just self-published the book Poemas) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 28, at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue in Boulder. Admission is free; find out more at Innisfree's Facebook page.
Wednesday, January 29
The new Lowry Foundation Film Series will host regular screenings of discussion-provoking works, launching with the award-winning The Reluctant Radical at 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 29, at the historic Eisenhower Chapel, 293 Roslyn Street in Lowry. The documentary tells the story of Oregon activist Ken Ward and his direct-action campaign to take on climate change, focusing on the moral and personal struggles he faced while deciding whether to engage in civil disobedience. Following the screening, filmmaker Lindsey Grayzel will discuss the issues and the making of the doc. Tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for children under twelve, are available at lowryfoundation.org.
Thursday, January 30
Once upon a time, two best friends made a pact to showcase Denver's writers, artists, comics and musicians in a local-centric magazine that they would build from scratch. Drop by Mutiny Information Cafe on Thursday, January 30, at 7 p.m. and you’ll learn all about their endeavor, when Talking Palette host Daniel Crosier sits down to talk shop with Jonny DeStefano and Krysti Joméi, founders of monthly indie arts magazine Birdy, which has been going strong since 2014. Hear it live over a cuppa joe in the podcast studio at Mutiny, 2 South Broadway, or tune in to the podcast at mutinyinfocafe.com. Learn more about Birdy at birdymagazine.com.
There's no business like snow business, and you'll remember why after the third annual Backcountry Film Festival Night of Stoke, an evening of social innovation that celebrates the outdoor community. The festivities start with a VIP pre-party at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 30, at the Bellco Theatre in the Colorado Convention Center; doors open at 8:30 for a program of short films that include "Sisters of Skimo," by Ben Gadberry, and "Soundscapes,” by Steve Bumgardner, as well as a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are free for those with Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show badges and $20 for all others; proceeds benefit the Winter Wilderness Alliance. For more information, go to winterwildlands.org/event/2020-night-of-stoke-at-outdoor-retailer.
Whether they've made scientific discoveries that forever altered our understanding of the world, or composed music beautiful enough to endure for centuries, humankind is immeasurably enriched by the contributions of history's greatest thinkers. The Boulder Symphony pays tribute to the preternatural gifts and unrivaled intellect of people like Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Galileo Galilei and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with GENIUS, a program dedicated to honoring the achievements of bright minds. Led by conductor Devin Patrick Hughes, the evening begins with Mozart's Symphony No. 4 in G Minor and continues with Cindy McTee's "Einstein's Dream," the Colorado premiere of Austin Wintory's "The Fermi Paradox" and the world premiere of Clay Allen's "And Yet It Moves." Get smart on Thursday, January 30, at the Boulder Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Avenue in Boulder; a pre-concert talk starts at 6:45 p.m., followed by the concert at 7:30. Find tickets, $5 to $35, and more information at bouldersymphony.org.
It's been over twenty years since Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis co-founded Telefon Tel Aviv, an IDM (intelligent dance music) act that has been fraught with musical triumphs and personal tragedies. After making a splash with debut release Fahrenheit Fair Enough, Eustis and Cooper toured the world, signed with a major label and released acclaimed remix compilations and original albums. Their ascension was cut mournfully short, however, when Cooper died from an unintentional overdose in 2009 and a grieving Eustis put Telefon Tel Aviv on hiatus, collaborating instead with groups like Sons of Magdalene, Second Woman, Puscifer and Nine Inch Nails. Last year, Eustis re-embraced his forsaken project with a new LP, Dreams Are Not Enough. A tour in support of the album hits the stage at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, 1215 20th Street, at 9 p.m. Thursday, January 30; tickets, $18 to $20, are available at eventbrite.com.
Friday, January 31
Already thinking about where you can go to escape winter? First, head to the 2020 Travel Expo by AAA, one of Colorado's largest travel shows, where experts — including Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die — will offer tips and suggestions to help you start planning your next adventure. Agents will be available to give advice and even book a trip; you can also shop in the AAA store and renew your passport. The expo runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 31, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 1, at Empower Field at Mile High. Admission is $8 per day; buy your ticket at eventbrite.com.
Nearly twenty local creatives will assist hosting artists Eileen Roscina Richardson and Joshua Ware in celebrating a new year of the Denver Art Museum’s Untitled: Creative Fusions series, with a January blowout to remember, inspired by current DAM shows Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature and The Light Show. Immersive installations and selfie stations, hands-on wheat-pasting and nest-making opportunities, liquid nitrogen snacks, curated art films and a Digital Dawn Chorus sonic experience are just a few of the artsy pastimes you’ll encounter as you wander the museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, on Friday, January 31, from 6 to 10 p.m. Untitled is included with general admission, $8 to $13 (free for members and children eighteen and under); learn more at denverartmuseum.org.
Who needs to get hot and sweaty on the yoga mat when pot's involved? Cannabis-friendly yoga instructor Samantha Rhoads and Boulder edibles chocolatier 1906 will team up on Friday, January 31, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for 2020 Vision Yoga, a relaxing, edibles-friendly yoga session at Amazing Love Sanctuary & Yoga, 10050 Ralston Road in Arvada. After getting settled in, you can try the 1906 Chill — a chocolate infused with 25 milligrams of CBD, 5 milligrams of THC and magnolia to reduce stress and calm your body — before a slow-flow vinyasa class. Tickets (21+) are $20 at eventbrite.com.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company offers a twist on current events and their possible effects thirty years in the future with Twenty50, a world-premiere play by Mexican playwright and 2019 Denver Center New Play Summit resident Tony Meneses. Meneses posits what might happen when a Latino congressional candidate in a homogenized, assimilated society runs for office in the year 2050 and must come to terms with his childhood past as an undocumented immigrant. How far has white America really progressed in terms of racial acceptance in Meneses’s future world? Find answers when Twenty50 opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 31, at the Space Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; the play's run continues through March 1. Find tickets, starting at $30, and more information at denvercenter.org.
If all you want from the theater is a joy-inducing evening of fun, look no further than the new Arvada Center Black Box production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the classic murder mystery overseen by Christie sleuth Hercule Poirot and a delightful trainload of suspects. The play opens on Friday, January 31, in the center's Black Box Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, and continues through May 17; find details and tickets, starting at $45, at arvadacenter.org.
Dance like you'll never grow up — or marvel at performers nimble enough to pretend — when the Colorado Ballet presents Peter Pan, a high-flying and fleet-footed journey to Neverland. Originally created by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, the fantastical tale of an airborne, eternally youthful scamp who whisks a trio of children away to a mythical island populated by menacing pirates, enchanting faeries and the rambunctious Lost Boys has been adapted for the stage and screen dozens of times, and continues to partially fund London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, to whom Barrie bequeathed the royalties of his most famous creation. The story is particularly well-suited to ballet, and choreographer Michael Pink and composer Philip Feeney bring the same vigor and inventiveness to the tale that powered their hit interpretation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Peter Pan runs from Friday, January 31, through Sunday, February 9, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; get tickets, $30 to $155, and learn more at coloradoballet.org.
Saturday, February 1
While human thoughts turn to love come Valentine’s Day, Barr Lake State Park’s wintering bald eagles are busy courting, building nests and incubating chicks that will hatch around March. The park’s annual Bald Eagle Fest is an amazing opportunity to see our national emblem in the wild, doing what bald eagles do. Participate in eagle-inspired crafts and join Barr Lake naturalists for guided tours, live raptor shows and Eagle Express rides to the lake’s gazebo boardwalk between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, February 1, starting at the Barr Lake Nature Center, 13401 Picadilly Road in Brighton; activities are free with an $8 daily park pass or annual pass. Find details at cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/barrlake and pre-register for special presentations by calling 303-659-6005.
Just when you thought the holidays were done, Valentine’s Day is looming, along with the dilemma of hand-picking the perfect gift for your sweetheart. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, look no further than Crafted Art Emporium’s series of pop-up maker markets, scheduled in taprooms all around town over the next couple of weeks. No two events are alike, starting with the Valentine’s Craft Market on Saturday, February 1, at Baere Brewing Company, 320 Broadway, where from noon to 4 p.m. you can buy trinkets from ten cool vendors for your best girl or to-go brews from Baere for your boy toy. Multiple markets follow on February 7, 8, 9 and 10 at seven-plus drinkeries; learn more and find links for each event on the Crafted Art Emporium Facebook page.
Black History Month gets off to a strong start on Saturday, February 1, when the Denver Public Library will host its annual Juanita Gray Community Service Awards (named after the longtime DPL staffer and community advocate) and the biennial Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame induction ceremony (which Gray helped start in 1973). Retired Denver fire chief Roderick Juniel will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the event, where the Juanita Gray honorees will be announced. It starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Blair-Caldwell Research Library, 2401 Welton Street, and admission is free. Find out more at denverlibrary.org.
Get a jump on letting the bons temps roll at the annual Mardi Gras Bash, a traditional carnival hoedown from KGNU Independent Community Radio and Colorado Friends of Cajun-Zydeco Music and Dance. This time-honored event has all the right stuff, from zydeco dance lessons and a costume contest to eats for purchase by Oskar Blues and free king cake for all, topped off by live music from Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble. Lace up your dancing shoes, throw on some beads, and head to the party on Saturday, February 1, from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Road in Boulder; buy $30 tickets through midnight January 31 at cfcz.org, or pay $35 at the door ($15 with valid student ID).
Tune in to some of the best sounds the local music scene has to offer at OUTloud: A Queer Music Showcase. Sponsored by Out Front Colorado, the evening comprises a roster of talented performers embracing their truth. Punk, South American folk and Mexican pop rock collide on a triple bill that includes TúLips, Lady Gang and Savage Resistance. Gather before the intimate stage at Blush & Blu, 1526 East Colfax Avenue, for a concert sure to delight queer Coloradans and allies alike. The 21+ party gets started at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, and admission is $5 at the door; visit Blush & Blu's Facebook page to learn more.
As if it weren’t already enough for the way-out thriftier Heady Bauer to infiltrate the Storeroom storefront gallery with a temporary shop until the end of February, the emporium will host a live Freaky Flurry Fashion Show just in time to help the neighboring Vine Street Pub & Brewery ring in its annual Stout Month. Get jammy with Heady Bauer and drink up with Vine Street, 1700 Vine Street, on Saturday, February 1, from 9 p.m. to midnight; admission is free, but you’ll want to shop the pop-up. Find details on the event's Facebook page and learn more about Heady Bauer at facebook.com/headybauer.
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Sunday, February 2
R. Alan Brooks, podcast host of Mother F**cker in a Cape, is working on his second graphic novel, Anguish Garden, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, February 2, the entire creative team will be at Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway, for a Kickstarter launch party to raise funds for the project. Admission is free; for more information, go to the Kickstarter page or read our January 16 cover story.
Sunday night's all right for fighting, especially when you're fighting for equality in the ring. Empowerment is all part of the kayfabe at RESPECT Women's Wrestling, which returns for its eleventh edition on Sunday, February 2. This evening of thrillingly choreographed bloodsport boasts a title card full of local titans vying for victory, with bouts pitting Allie Gato against Thunder Rosa, Ruby Raze against Jordynne Grace and Heidi Howitzer vs. Priscilla Kelly, among others. Hosted by Denver comic Meghan DePonceau and topped off by a live musical performance from Secret Dog, RESPECT Women's Wrestling is a suplex to the patriarchy and a damn good time. The action starts at 8 p.m. at Herman's Hideaway, 1578 South Broadway; get tickets, $18 to $70, and learn more at eventbrite.com.
The deadline to be considered for 21 Best is three weeks before the event. Send information to email@example.com.
Correction, January 29, 2020: An earlier version of this story described Untitled as a First Friday event. It has been in the past, but now the event will be quarterly.