The 21 Best Events in Denver, March 12 Through 18

The Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival is the town's nod to experimental music in the Boulder County region and beyond.
The Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival is the town's nod to experimental music in the Boulder County region and beyond.
Courtesy of Derek Holzer
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Su Teatro is rarely satisfied with simply honoring history. The storied theater company brings it alive, which it will do this week when it celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Kitayama Carnation Farm strike and the West High School Blowouts, two protests that shaped history forever, with Chicano Power 1969! The Birth of a Movement. Also on the schedule this week: Meow Wolf brings its first touring musical act, Carlos Medina, to the hi-dive; Buntport premieres Everything Was Stolen; and the Coffee Joint celebrates St. Patrick's Day.

All that and more in this week's 21 best events calendar!

Tuesday, March 12

Anyone in the food-service industry looking to beef up the presence of local products on their menu — or anyone who's passionate about buying local, period — will want to visit the Eat Colorado Food Show on Tuesday, March 12, where a hundred Colorado farmers, ranchers and food and beverage producers will be setting up shop in the National Western Complex at 4655 Humboldt Street. Corner Post Meats, Highland Bees, Cultura Chocolate and Deerhammer Distillery are just a handful of folks who will be talking about their products and handing out samples from noon to 4 p.m.; there will also be a pair of panel discussions on sustainability standards and community open to the public. With free entry (and parking!), there's no reason to miss out; RSVP on the food show's website.

The Santa Fe immersive-arts giant Meow Wolf has gone national, involving itself in everything from amusement park rides to hotels and, now, musicians. The group will launch its first musical tour with Carlos Medina, billed as a "psychedelic mariachi" (and a favorite of Meow Wolf funder and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin). The singer stops at the hi-dive, 7 South Broadway, to perform his debut album, El Cantador, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 12; joining him will be local favorites Pink Hawks and Savage Blush. Find tickets, $10, and more information at hi-dive.com.

Wednesday, March 13

Get inspired by the stately artifacts of Victoriana at March's edition of Writing the West, a monthly gathering for scribes of all experience levels at the American Museum of Western Art, 1727 Tremont Place. Sponsored by the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the history-steeped brainstorming session will offer writing prompts inspired by Victorian art starting at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13. Your very own historical-fiction muse could be waiting among the quietude of the museum's galleries, so head over to anschutzcollection.org for tickets, $5.

Before he leaves, MCA Denver leader Adam Lerner will impart his wisdom at a talk at the museum.
Before he leaves, MCA Denver leader Adam Lerner will impart his wisdom at a talk at the museum.
MCA Denver

Adam Lerner is so much more than the face of MCA Denver, the trendy museum he’s overseen for ten years: He’s an intellectual repository of what’s new when it comes to art and curation, as well as a visionary in the art museum business at large. As Lerner prepares to leave the MCA this summer, he’s sharing some of his art-world knowledge and philosophies in a pair of talks called "Adam Lerner, How I Art and Why," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, and Wednesday, April 10, at the Holiday Event Center, 2644 West 32nd Avenue. Individual tickets are $10 to $15, and two-night packages are $18 to $23 at eventbrite.com; learn more at mcadenver.org.

Swoon along to an evening of soul standards, capably crooned by the "Velvet Teddy Bear" himself, at Ruben Sings Luther, a tribute concert that breathes new life into R&B. After claiming victory in the second season of American Idol, Ruben Studdard has immortalized his buttery voice on seven solo albums, branched out into pop and gospel music, and emerged as the toast of Broadway (largely thanks to his role as Fats Waller in Ain't Misbehavin'). It's hard to imagine a more fitting interpreter of Luther Vandross's legendary songbook than Studdard, who earned a seal of approval from the man himself when Vandross showered Studdard with glowing reviews during his stint as an American Idol guest judge. Treat yourself to a century-spanning serenade from a Grammy Award-winning performer when Studdard takes to the Lone Tree Arts Center stage, 10075 Commons Street in Lone Tree, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13; visit lonetreeartscenter.org for tickets and more information.

Thursday, March 14

For drama that reaches past the proscenium arch and takes root in your imagination, look no further than Denver Immersive Opera's presentation of Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. A collaboration of the forward-thinking opera company, local artist and videographer Chris Bagley and the Whitney Waugh Dance troupe, the production introduces modern audiences to the Hungarian composer's expressionist masterpiece with an English adaptation of a libretto originally written by Balázs. See the centuries-old tale of a wife-murdering nobleman brought to new life starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Understudy, 890 C 14th Street. Performances continue through Sunday, March 17, then resume March 21 to 24; buy tickets, $20, and find out more at denverimmersive.simpletix.com.

The Memphis-based comedy collective Comma Comedians and Denver comic Sammy Anzer will bring their cameras to the Bug Theatre for It Might Be a Netflix Special, an opportunity for ten top-notch local comics who want to break into the cable comedy-special scene to audition their best stuff on film. Along with Anzer himself, Anthony Armstrong, Nancy Norton and Derrick Stroup will be among the contenders at the Bug, 3654 Navajo Street, starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14. Tickets are only $6, in advance at eventbrite.com or at the door; visit bugtheatre.info for more details.

If you read last week's cover story, you’ll know that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of both the Kitayama Carnation Farm strike and the West High School Blowouts, two events that galvanized the Chicano Movement and forever changed Colorado. Beginning on Thursday, March 14, Su Teatro will re-create those demonstrations on stage with Chicano Power 1969! The Birth of a Movement. Created by Tony Garcia and Daniel Valdez, the production comprises eighteen actors, a four-piece band playing original music, and a pair of 45-minute one-acts: “The War of the Flowers” and “Fire in the Streets.” Chicano Power 1969! begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through March 30, with a final performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 31. Find tickets, starting at $17, and more information at suteatro.org.

Nerds are often portrayed as the butt of jokes in pop culture, wheezing wedgie magnets who take themselves and their scientific obsessions too seriously. But nerds have feelings — and jokes! — too, as Science Riot at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, will attempt to illustrate. From 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 14, the museum will host local scientists turned comedians as they attempt standup for the first time "and wax hilarious about the unique nuances of their work," according to the program's organizers. The eighteen-and-up evening, cash bar included, could be funny — or painfully awkward. Find tickets, $12 to $15, and more information at dmns.org.

Find Everything Was Stolen at Buntport Theater.EXPAND
Find Everything Was Stolen at Buntport Theater.
Courtesy of Square Product Theatre

American composer John Cage once said: "And so it is out of this chaos, this accumulation of history and novelty, that we begin building.” That quote sums up what Everything Was Stolen is all about under the surface, says Square Product Theatre founder and director Emily K. Harrison, who began raising a tower of borrowed babble into a cohesive work while teaching abroad at Brunel University London for a year. The piece — partially inspired by Charles Mee’s (re)making project, which advocates for borrowing generously from past sources to remake a story — is a Frankenstein tale that deciphers the American ethos. Everything Was Stolen opens with a preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, and runs through April 6 at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street. Find more information and tickets, $15 to $24 (and two-for-one on Thursdays), at squareproducttheatre.org.

If it feels like everyone in your Facebook feed is visiting Iceland, it's probably because they are. Thanks to cheap flights, Americans are just starting to discover the quirky northern European country and all its natural splendor. If a visit isn't in your near future, consider attending a screening of Shared Territory at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. The documentary dives into Sprengisandur, a pre-Medieval trans-Icelandic route whose name roughly translates to "sandy trail of exploded horses"; it's now used by cyclists to see the country. A Q&A with the filmmaker and entry in a raffle for a Moots Baxter bike are included in the $15 admission; find tickets and more information at theorientaltheater.com.

Friday, March 15

One man's trash is another man's treasure, and never has that been truer than at the annual Beautiful Junk Sale. Held this year on Friday, March 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the "bargain shopping extravaganza" will offer 10,500 square feet of jewelry, collectibles, vintage items, sporting goods, holiday decor, kitchen gadgets and more at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 West Sixth Avenue in Golden. General admission is $5 and includes a friend — because shopping is always better with a friend — and early-bird admission (at 7 a.m.) is $30; find more information on the Action Center Facebook page.

In her final exhibit at Next Gallery, A Warning to Lovers, artist Jordan Lyn reflects on romance: What do relationships feel like, and how do we experience them after they end? Through a series of embroidered and painted portraits, Lyn explores emotions associated with stages of adult relationships, from pain to pleasure. In addition to her 2-D works, she's created an interactive piece that gives visitors a chance to draw and document their take on the theme. A free opening reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Next Gallery, 6851-B West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood; find more information at the Next Gallery Lakewood Facebook page.

The folly of a narcissistic young dandy leads to thwarted romance and a duel in Eugene Onegin, a three-act opera composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and first performed in 1879. Adapted from the verse novel by Alexander Pushkin — itself considered a crowning achievement of the Russian canon — the libretto hews closely to the plot while underscoring the story with swells of emotive music. Join the University of Colorado's Eklund Opera Program for some of the season's most dramatic performances, sung in the original Russian with the aid of English subtitles. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at Macky Auditorium on the CU Boulder campus; find tickets, starting at $15, and more information at cupresents.org.

Experimental music rules at the Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival.
Experimental music rules at the Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival.
Courtesy of Sean Winters

The “LEAF” in the upcoming LEAF2019 stands for Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival, a nod by the bedroom community of Lafayette to the most up-to-date experimental music as practiced in the Boulder County region and beyond. The free two-evening fest begins on Friday, March 15, with live performances by Helsinki/Berlin-based sound artist Derek Holzer; local prepared-guitar artist Janet Feder, with images from mobile-app developer Joshue Ott; University of Colorado ATLAS Ph.D. candidate Sean Winters; and L'Astra Cosmo, the duo of audiovisual creators Nathan Jantz and Jahnavi Stenflo. Tune in from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Center for Musical Arts, 200 East Baseline Road in Lafayette. On Saturday, March 16, talks and demonstrations will take an in-depth look at new technologies and practices beginning at 7 p.m.; learn more at leafcolorado.org.

The Arvada Center’s Black Box Repertory spring season becomes a trifecta when the last piece of the puzzle, Sin Street Social Club, falls into place, along with concurrent productions of The Diary of Anne Frank and The Moors. Sin Street, a delightful adaptation of Aphra Behn’s The Rover by local playwright Jessica Austgen, tells the story of two sisters in New Orleans — a nun and a nightclub singer — trying to save the family business, a dance club. Evoking NOLA’s Storyville culture, the comedy opens on Friday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. and runs through May 19 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada; find more information and tickets, starting at $45, at arvadacenter.org.

Saturday, March 16

In Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, the word mahal means two things: "love" and "expensive." For Meta Sarmiento, that association speaks volumes. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, the award-winning poet and MC will lead the Mahal Poetry Workshop at the Posner Center for International Development, 1031 33rd Street, where guests are invited to brunch on Filipino food as they explore the role that love plays in their culture. The free event is sponsored by the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission and Global Seed Savers; visit facebook.com/metasarmiento for more info.

Coloradans love books, and the folks at Regis University are taking note. Together with the Arvada Center and the Tattered Cover Book Store, Regis is bringing books to the people via the Colorado Book and Arts Festival, a sweet afternoon of browsing, learning and meeting authors on Saturday, March 16. The pages start turning at noon sharp with a keynote talk by Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M, but you can opt out and roam the floor in the exhibit hall, check out the TC’s pop-up bookstore, enjoy some hands-on activity with the kids, or test your knowledge at a 3 p.m. book-trivia session. The fest takes place at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada; tickets are free to $5 for the festival or $15 with the keynote. Learn more and register in advance at cobookandartsfest.com.

Celebrate green the right way at the Coffee Joint.
Celebrate green the right way at the Coffee Joint.
Jacqueline Collins

Sunday, March 17

Instead of celebrating with the same old boring green beer, pay homage to Saint Patrick and his day with dabs at the Coffee Joint, Denver's only licensed cannabis lounge, located at 1130 Yuma Court. From 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday, March 17, the Coffee Joint will host arts and crafts sessions, scavenger hunts and vendor deals while you vape your own kind of lucky green. Admission (21+) is $5, or free with a purchase at the dispensary next door; learn more at thecoffeejointco.com or at 720-583-4657.

Few actors embody the moony spirit of Gen X angst better than John Cusack, the star of such era-defining films as Say Anything, Better Off Dead and High Fidelity. Cusack will be in Denver to present one of his best-loved projects — the unexpectedly poignant hitman comedy Grosse Pointe Blank — and hold a question-and-answer session replete with unheard anecdotes from his storied career. Escape the onslaught of green beer and programmatic holiday cheer with one of cinema's most heartwarming dark comedies and its inimitable leading man; the film starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place. General admission is $39.95 to $69.95, and VIP passes (which include a post-screening meet-and-greet with photo opportunities) are available for $150; visit altitudetickets.com to buy yours and learn more.

Monday, March 18

When heady rapper Vince Staples headlines the Ogden Theatre on Monday, March 18, he'll be joined by JPEGMAFIA, one of the fiercest voices in hip-hop. Peggy, as he’s called, is a military veteran and a wildly experimental musician, with glitchy production underscoring his ferocious voice. He's turned rap, once a tool for gang warfare, into a grenade to launch at racists — from the elitist, Starbucks-sipping set to MAGA-cap wearing bigots and assimilationist black superstars (he especially loathes Drake). His is the kind of organized crime we need. The slinging starts at 8 p.m. at the Ogden, 935 East Colfax Avenue; get tickets, starting at $30, at axs.com.

Know of an event that belongs on this list? We need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to editorial@westword.com.

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