The 21 Best Events in Denver, October 23 Through October 29

Get in the Halloween spirit, old sport, at the Great Gatsby Zombie Ball.
Get in the Halloween spirit, old sport, at the Great Gatsby Zombie Ball. Ken Hamblin

Page 2 of 2

Saturday, October 27

Artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes living and working in New Mexico, gets a solo showcase, In the Footsteps of My Ancestors, beginning Saturday, October 27, at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Organized by the Yellowstone Art Museum, the show highlights Smith’s sophisticated investigations into both her Native and female experiences, aimed at righting historical mistakes and finding her place in a modern society. The exhibition runs through February 10 at the CSFAC, 30 West Dale Street in Colorado Springs; museum admission is $5 to $10, or free for students and teachers with ID. Find more details at

click to enlarge The Great Gatsby Zombie Ball returns to haunt Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club. - KEN HAMBLIN
The Great Gatsby Zombie Ball returns to haunt Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club.
Ken Hamblin
Indulge in gore, glamour and vintage jazz at the fourth annual Great Gatsby Zombie Ball, which returns to haunt Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club, 1330 27th Street, on Saturday, October 27. Bloody-up your fop and flapper get-ups, then join the throngs of dandified undead for a West Egg-worthy soirée of cavorting corpses at a pair of seatings, at 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. In lieu of human brains, you'll nosh on a three-course "Voodoo tasting menu" and wash it all down with the evening's special Fernet-Branca-based cocktail, aptly named "Wicked Liquid." Then you and your best ghoul can hit the dance floor when Gabriel Mervine and Tom Amend and Friends take the stage. Find tickets, $19 to $354, and more information at

For the perfect blend of Halloween costume party and an appreciation for the arcane, Denver witches and warlocks need look no further than the Witches Ball 2018, a worthy pagan celebration with a “Witches of Stage and Screen” theme in 2018. Because pagans must dance, there will be plenty of live music and ritual drumming, along with a Flying Monkeys treasure hunt, a trivia quiz, witchy video clips and a costume contest on Saturday, October 27, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Highlands Masonic Temple and Event Center, 3550 Federal Boulevard. Guide your broom accordingly; find advance tickets, $25, at, or cough up $30 at the door.

The meals at MCA Denver's Dinner Society are always impressive and the setting enjoyable. But the next installment in the series, on Saturday, October 27, promises to raise the bar even higher: Ian Kleinman (of the Inventing Room) will be cooking a meal inspired by Tara Donovan's Fieldwork exhibit. The entire museum is currently taken over by Donovan's elaborate and engrossing site-specific sculptures, and there's no one in Denver we'd rather see interpret her vision on a plate than the wildly creative Kleinman. Tickets, $125, include a tour of the exhibit as well as a three-course meal (miso crepe with lemon crab, béchamel, coconut caviar and saltwater bubbles; hoisin and orange sous-vide pork with black-tea jelly and smoked potatoes; and mousse with peanut butter Pop Rocks, nitro puffed rice and a sugar slinky) and drinks from the Family Jones. Reserve your seat at; the MCA is at 1485 Delgany Street.

Denver poet Julie Carr marries creative disciplines in an interesting way in her new book, Real Life: An Installation (Omnidawn Publishing, 2018), which provides instruction for artists, filmmakers and performers to follow through with installations of their own, in the process bringing Carr’s gut-wrenching words to life. Carr has invited forty real-life collaborators to do just that, and while the resulting physical works will live indefinitely online, she'll offer the public a chance to experience them in three dimensions starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27, at Counterpath, 7935 East 14th Avenue. The evening will consist of screenings, in-house art installations and live performance by participating artists, and will double as a book party (signed copies will go for $17.95). Learn more at

click to enlarge Get off your feet for the ladies in Nobuntu. - COURTESY OF THE LAKEWOOD CULTURAL ARTS CENTER
Get off your feet for the ladies in Nobuntu.
Courtesy of the Lakewood Cultural Arts Center
Nothing will get you up out of your seat to dance faster than Nobuntu, a Zimbabwean quintet of women who are talented both as a cappella singers and exuberant Ndebele dancers. The women, who accompany themselves with percussion instruments and bend their traditional lilt to combine a world-music encyclopedia of age-old melodies, jazz rhythms and gospel harmonies, will run through their high-energy show at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway, on Saturday, October 27, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; prep yourself before the performance at an African dance workshop with the group from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Show admission starts at $20 and workshop registration is $30; reserve space for either or both at

No Halloween weekend is truly complete without plenty of costumed revelry, so scare up a good time at the Paranormal Palace, which returns to the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 27. A ghoulish gala that transforms the historic venue into a three-story haunted-house experience, Paranormal Palace is an interactive feast for the senses replete with food-truck cuisine, name-brand hooch and expertly crafted outfits. The fearsome festivities include DJ dance parties and a costume contest with a $5,000 grand prize. A portion of the proceeds from sales goes to Global Orphan Prevention, so guests can can rest assured that they're partying for a worthy cause. Buy tickets, $55 to $129, and learn more at

Sunday, October 28

Even the scariest silent movies can be a snoozefest when scored with second-rate public-domain soundtracks. To get the full experience, movie lovers must see them accompanied by live musical performers.  That's exactly what's going to happen when psychedelic hip-hop duo Hands of Midnight plays a live score to two classic films: the 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera and auteur extraordinaire Carl Theodor Dreyer's horror flick Vampyr, which the Alamo Drafthouse is billing as "one of cinema's great nightmares." The screenings start at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, at the Sloan's Lake Alamo, 4255 West Colfax Avenue. Tickets, $12, are available at

A year ago, Juggalos, the much-besmirched acolytes of the slasher-movie-inspired hip-hop act Insane Clown Posse, marched on Washington, D.C., to protest the FBI's designation of the face-painted fans as a "gang." Decide for yourself if they had a point when ICP, which promises Faygo soda-pop showers, clown-style face paint and guts-and-blood lyrics at its live concerts, returns to the Front Range at 8 p.m. Sunday, October 28, at country bar the Stampede (yes, you read that right), 2430 South Havana in Aurora. The Posse will be joined by Clownvis, Dirty Rotten Rhymers, Swizzy J and Hex Rated. Find tickets, $10 to $175, and more information at

click to enlarge Be loud, be proud, at Secret Love Collective's Halloween Parade. - COURTESY OF THE SECRET LOVE COLLECTIVE
Be loud, be proud, at Secret Love Collective's Halloween Parade.
Courtesy of the Secret Love Collective
Monday, October 29

How do you wrap up an October exhibition and DIY costume-making LBGTQIA lovefest in a hard-to-find downtown Denver artist incubator? You dress up in your wackiest creations and take to the streets. That’s how the Secret Love Collective is topping off its October residency at Understudy, 890 C 14th Street, by hosting a Halloween Parade on Monday, October 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. Think of it as a “free-to-be whoever you are” event for folks of all persuasions, and just let yourself go. Find more information at

The wacky horror rock opera Killer Wigs From Outer Space takes audiences back to 1985, when an unlucky carnival worker named Orville is attacked by an extraterrestrial brain-eating parasite. But instead of killing Orville, the wicked bug turns him into a rock star who battles with a wicked media overlord for world domination. The Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, brings the story to life starting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 29, and will follow the production with a BYOW (Bring Your Own Wig) dance party. The whole shindig is a benefit for the Denver Actors Fund, which aids the overworked and underpaid theater community in times of need. For information and tickets, $25, go to

In order to be considered for the 21 Best Events, we need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to [email protected] or Westword, 969 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.