What are you doing after work this week? There are events around town that will both inspire and entertain, and feed the body as well as the soul. Here are the 21 best things to do over the next seven days. (And fair warning: before going, call to make sure the event is still on!)
Monday, March 9
The Athena Project, known for its Plays in Progress series that shines a light on new works by women playwrights and Girls Create summer camps, expands its territory with the Read & Rant Club, a play-reading book-club collaboration with the Tattered Cover. The first session, on Monday, March 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Tattered Cover at 2526 East Colfax Avenue, looks at Athena Project 2020 PiP series play The Snake God of Fiji (A Hedda Gabler Prequel), by Katherine Vondy, as well as its inspiration, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Future sessions will meet every third Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Attendance is free, but an advance RSVP is recommended; learn more at athenaprojectarts.org or tatteredcover.com.
Get a sneak-peek preview of Denver Film’s premier festival devoted to women in cinema when Women + Film offers a screening at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Programmers will roll out Romantic Comedy, a look at how rom-coms shape our views on love and relationships from British writer, musician and actor Elizabeth Sankey. While you're there, pick up a schedule and buy an all-access pass to the fest itself, which runs from April 14 to 19, and enjoy a post-film reception in the Henderson-Withey Lounge. Tickets, $20 for Denver Film members and $25 for non-members, are available at denverfilm.org.
The rich have been coming to the Rocky Mountains to play cowboy since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, but in an era of skyrocketing inequality, the stakes for the economic and environmental well-being of the West have never been higher. In Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West, Denver author and Yale University sociologist Justin Farrell paints a maddening portrait of life in and around Teton County, Wyoming, where hedge-funders and oil executives have built sprawling ranches and private ski resorts while working folks sleep ten to a mobile home. Farrell will discuss and sign the book at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Admission is free; find out more at tatteredcover.com.
Tuesday, March 10
Local disabilities activist Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins was eight years old when she helped pass the Americans With Disabilities Act thirty years ago, when she left her wheelchair and joined in the infamous, Denver-led Capitol Crawl protest. To honor her and mark the ADA's upcoming thirtieth anniversary on July 26, artist Gina Klawitter has created a sculpture titled "All the Way to Freedom," which will be exhibited in Washington, D.C., and locally, as well. But first, a new illustrated children's book by Annette Bay Pimentel, All the Way to the Top, celebrating Keelan-Chaffins's contributions, will be released at a launch party at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at the Tattered Cover Aspen Grove, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. Pimentel, Klawitter and Keelan-Chaffins herself will all be on hand at this free event; learn more about the Capitol Crawl story at sourcebooks.com/all-the-way-to-the-top.
Wednesday, March 11
If you’re a clumsy drinker, the Colorado Restaurant Association has the perfect event for you: Drink Red, Wear Red. The ninth annual version of the posh party comes to the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11. This year’s to-do, which includes Colorado wine and spirits as well as beers from Odell Brewing Company, will focus on mental health and wellness in the restaurant industry; proceeds will benefit the CRA Angel Relief Fund and the CRA Mile High Chapter Hardship Fund. For $45, you’ll get food from a dozen Denver restaurants, drinks, and entertainment by Hazel Miller & the Collective; VIP tickets, $75, include 6 p.m. entry plus additional food and exclusive wines. Get your tickets at corestaurant.org/event/drink-red-wear-redODg4, then start planning your crimson couture.
Thursday, March 12
A wealth of Denver's A-list restaurants are uniting under one roof on Thursday, March 12, to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation at its annual Great Chefs of the West feast. Starting at 6 p.m., Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, will play host to talent from Death & Co., Mercantile Dining and Provision, the Bindery, Dos Santos, American Elm, El Five, Woodie Fisher and over fifteen other restaurants and bars serving their most extravagant bites and beverages. And while tickets aren't cheap at $200, you'd spend that much on Lyft rides alone trying to go from one end of town to another to hit up each and every participating eatery. Find out more at kidney.org.
Some music is inspired by nature, but at River Voices: The Confluence of Art & Science, you can hear music actually made by nature. This multimedia celebration explores the dynamic, rhythmic force of water, highlighting the importance and fragility of rivers with music created using hydrographs of the Green, North Fork, Poudre, Platte and Yampa rivers. At 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, at the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road in Longmont, join KUNC Colorado River Basin reporter Luke Runyon and U. S. Forest Service ecologist Dave Merritt for a presentation of the songs, followed by a panel discussion with local water leaders and scientists. Tickets, $8 to $12, are available at rec.ci.longmont.co.us.
A major moment in Chicano history will come back to life when Su Teatro remounts War of the Flowers, an original recounting of events that came to a head during the harrowing Kitayama Carnation Strike in Weld County more than fifty years ago. In his play, which premiered two years ago, Su Teatro director and playwright Tony Garcia tells the story of five women who chained themselves to the Kitayama plant gates after ten months of gridlock, enduring a tear gas attack by county sheriffs; the result was a cultural revolution in metro Denver. War of the Flowers returns at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, where it runs through March 29; find showtimes and tickets, $17 to $20, at suteatro.org.
Tilt West, a Denver nonprofit promoting critical discourse among Colorado creatives, will take the discussion to a new level with the debut of the Tilt West Journal, a publication that continues the conversation in print. Be among the first to open this new chapter at a launch party that also serves as the opening reception for Art & Language — an exhibition curated by Derrick Velasquez that shares its theme with the first issue of Tilt West. Gather for art, live poetry and performances from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, at Middle State Coffee, 212 Santa Fe Drive; admission is free. There will be a ticketed panel discussion with journal contributors at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street; learn more and get tickets, free to $10, at eventbrite.com.
At a time when Americans are at odds over race relations and affirmative action is on the line, Curious Theatre Company’s production of Joshua Harmon’s Admissions should be required viewing for well-meaning PC white parents who back off when their kids are outperformed by black students. It's the story of a white couple heading a private boarding school, carefully curating a diverse student body, who must suddenly confront their feelings when their son isn’t accepted into the Ivy League while his black friend is. While the play is amusing, it's also thought-provoking, and it will stay with you after you leave the theater. Admissions opens for previews on Thursday, March 12, and runs through April 19 at Curious, 1080 Acoma Street; buy tickets, ranging from $20 to $50, at curioustheatre.org.
Friday, March 13
Since 2004, St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving events in Denver have raised over $9.3 million for childhood cancer research. More than 35 local fundraisers honoring children with cancer, survivors and those who have passed away were held in metro Denver last March, and 2020 is shaping up to be another big year. Blake Street Tavern, 2301 Blake Street, will be the site of the first hair-razing event, set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13; Darcy’s Bistro & Pub, at 4955 South Ulster Street, will host one on Sunday, March 15, and the Fire on the Mountain at 300 South Logan Street will get the clippers out on Tuesday, March 17. Remember, you can only donate once (until your hair grows back next year, that is), so choose carefully. For the complete lineup and more information, go to stbaldricks.org/denver.
Boulder’s Local Theater Company makes a major contribution to new-play development — in Colorado and around the world — with its annual Local Lab New Play Festival. This year, new works by playwrights Sandra Delgado (Hundreds and Hundreds of Stars), Jessica Huang (Mother of Exiles) and Josh Koenigsberg (Vroom Vroom) will be feted with concert-style staged readings from Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Over those three days, you can see the plays, converse at talkbacks, meet the artists at parties and have a theatrically good time. Admission is $20 for single-reading tickets, or buy an all-access pass for $125 at localtheaterco.org. Don’t dally, as tickets are going fast.
Morrison may be best known as the home of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but it's haunted by more than memories of concerts past: Legend has it that a menagerie of ghosts lurks there. At 7 p.m. on Friday the 13th, meet at the Red Rocks Beer Garden, 116 Stone Street in Morrison, for the Ghosts and Legends Tour, a walk through the town’s haunted history. You'll learn about the spirits haunting historic buildings, the spook-filled Cliff House, the Hatchet Lady of Red Rocks (no, we’re not talking about that juggalette still lurking after a TechN9ne concert) and more. Tickets are $15 for children under thirteen and $20 for adults; make your reservations at coloradohauntedhistory.com.
ETHEL is a string quartet and a whole lot more: Musicians Ralph Farris, Kip Jones, Dorothy Lawson and Corin Lee refuse to be locked into the classics, though they certainly have the expertise for those. See and hear the electric, eclectic ensemble in action when the foursome drops by the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway in Lakewood, for a performance of Documerica, a multimedia presentation blending original music by ETHEL members and other commissioned composers with imagery from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Project Documerica national photographic archive. Experience Documerica on Friday, March 13, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; learn more and buy tickets, $22 to $37, at lakewood.showare.com.
Buntport Theater’s Hannah Duggan and Denver composer/musician Nathan Hall bring something completely different (if that's even possible) to the stage for the wildly creative company’s 49th original production. The crazily collaborative, talented two-person Cabaret De Profundis or How to Sing While Ugly Crying focuses on the odd couple channeling ancient Greece’s badass woman leader Artemisia II of Caria, with live — and unusual — musical accompaniment, including a purported song about dirty woodcuts. The show premieres at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Buntport, 717 Lipan Street, where it runs through April 4; find showtimes and tickets, $15 to $25 (pay-what-you-can on March 19 and 30), at buntport.com.
If you select a seat in the front rows of Lucha Libre & Laughs: You Can't Sit With Us, be prepared: While you'll enjoy an up-close perspective of the fancy fisticuffs, you may need to dodge the ringside chaos as it spills into the crowd. Rope-jumping bad boy Anaya will square off against limber "Yoga Monster" Mike Sydal in the title bout on Friday, March 13, but you can also enjoy tag-team matches with Allie Gato and Lonnie Valdez versus Heidi Howitzer and Caleb Crush, or the Minnesota Wrecking Zoo versus the Ragnarockers, while guffawing through color commentary provided by Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund. The evening's entertainment roster also includes the comedic stylings of host Kyle Pogue as well as performers Caitie Hannan and Jozalyn Sharp. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue; tickets are $16 at theorientaltheater.com, $19 at the door.
Saturday, March 14
It will be easy going green on Saturday, March 14, when the 58th annual Denver St. Patrick's Day Parade winds its way through downtown Denver, starting at 9:30 a.m. at 19th and Wynkoop Streets, then finishing at 28th and Blake streets. Along the way, the parade, one of the country's largest, will transport you to the Emerald Isle with floats, music and Irish good cheer led by Aristea Brady, Fox31 anchor and 2020 grand marshal. Find out more at denverstpatricksday.com. Update: the St. Patrick's Day Parade has been canceled.
Align the whole gang's chakras during free, family-friendly sessions of BEYOND, a meditative laser light experience for Colorado residents on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, at the International Church of Cannabis, 400 South Logan Street. During BEYOND, artist Okuda San Miguel's work on the walls of the church will be enhanced by laser shows, HD projections and sounds as you participate in guided meditation. The church will be open from noon to 6 p.m. both days, with free sessions (with Colorado ID) at 12:20, 1:20, 2:20, 3:20, 4:20 and 5:20 p.m. In between, hang out in the lounge and play arcade games or check out the church's pop art collection. No cannabis use will be allowed on site. BEYOND is open to all ages; find out more by calling the church at 303-630-9500.
Pink Progression, a Denver initiative that celebrates women’s rights and solidarity among artists, is having a busy year in 2020, beginning with an exhibition-in-progress through April 14 at the McNichols Building, with another big show of artist collaborations coming up at the Arvada Center in June. In between, Pink Progression will take a moment to proudly launch Refuse to Be Silent, a new book promoting poems and artwork by Colorado women, with a poetry reading from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at McNichols, 144 West Colfax Avenue. That will be followed by a participatory “Letter to My Mother” writing workshop with artist Eriko Tsogo from 3 to 5 p.m. Admission to both is free; learn more at pinkprogression.wordpress.com.
Sunday, March 15
The subject matter of great American artists Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington, born a generation apart, veered from Homer’s Eastern Seaboard to Remington’s wild West, but — as the new exhibition Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington, opening this weekend at the Denver Art Museum, shows — the two self-taught artists shared some distinctly American themes. The show examines their observations on war, connections to the Adirondacks and interest in man’s constant battle with nature; a collaboration of the DAM, the Petrie Institute of Western American Art, the Portland Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Natural Forces begins its tour in Denver. The show opens on Sunday, March 15, and runs through June 7 at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway; admission is included in the general museum fee of $8 to $13 (free for members and youth ages eighteen and under) at denverartmuseum.org.
If you long for the days of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Motion City Soundtrack — and you prefer tributes that involve gender-bending and stripping — head to the Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, for Denver drag performer Brody Danger’s Sugar, We’re Going Down Stripping: A Burlesque and Drag Tribute to Pop-Punk. Evelyn Evermoore will host, and stars ranging from Staza Stone to Bettie Belladonna and Penny Spectacular will perform everything from dance to aerial acrobatics — all with a pop-punk theme. The show repeats on March 22 and March 27; tickets for each performance, $30 to $40, are on sale at clocktowercabaret.com.
In order for an event to be considered for our 21 Best list, we need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to email@example.com.
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.