Though the weekend is rearing its head yet again, entertainment is an afterthought for many tax-burdened Denverites. However, working proles needn't despair during the weed-addled days ahead. Westword has compiled a helpful list of events suitable for even the emptiest pocketbook. Music lovers, comedy nerds, activists and newshounds, take note: Readers can attend any of the following ten events for ten American dollars or less — and this week, there's one bonus item that costs a few bucks more. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend.
Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom
James Draper's Story Time has a somewhat misleading name. It has nothing to do with telling stories. If that's what you're looking for, check out We Still Like You or The Narrators. In Draper's show, comics are asked to either share their best one-liners or fill five minutes with new ones. Join Draper, along with this month's lineup, comprising Chicago's Sarah Albritton, Los Angeles's Catherine Povinelli, local favorites Geoff Tice and Cody Spyker, and headliner Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald for another evening filled with short jokes and long laughs. Visit the Comedy RoomRoom's Facebook events page for more details.
The Denver Art Song Project: April Fools Songs
Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parish
While a name like "The Denver Art Song Project" might suggest a sort of high-minded humorlessness, the group's members are presenting an entire concert dedicated to exploring a more lighthearted side of the genre. Join soprano Sarah Stone, baritone Tom Sitzler, tenor Eapen Leubner and pianist Mallory Bernstein for a fun and frivolous evening of songs and snacks. Admission is $10 via the Denver Art Song Project's Brown Paper Tickets page.
Kenneth Broberg in Concert
Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.
Saint John's Cathedral
An accomplished American prodigy who's amassed an impressive array of prizes during his career (including the 2017 Silver Medal at the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition), Kenneth Broberg is appearing at Denver's own Saint John's Cathedral for an ivory-tickling display of musicianship at its very finest. In addition to performing numerous solo concerts, Broberg has collaborated with many titans of the classical-music field, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic. Visit the Saint John's Cathedral events calendar to buy tickets, $10, and learn more.
4/20 Comedy Show
Friday, April 20, 10 p.m.
Vine Street Pub & Brewery
While there are plenty of ways for readers to ring in the 4/20 holiday, anyone who can't afford to party with tourists at one of the evening's many concerts — where even price-inflated tickets have mostly sold out — may feel left out. Luckily for local comedy nerds, Vine Street Pub & Brewery is welcoming local comics back to its stage for a special 4/20 comedy show. Accordingly, the show includes four comics doing twenty-minute sets. Join Nathan Lund, Christie Buchele, Aaron Urist and Janae Burris for an only tangentially weed-related evening of laughs and draughts. Admission is free.
Midnight Madness: The Maltese Falcon
April 21 to 22, midnight
A seductive mystery that cast its trench-coated, fedora'd shadow over the entire film-noir genre, 1941's The Maltese Falcon is the latest cinematic masterpiece to get the Landmark Esquire Theatre's Midnight Madness treatment — thankfully bucking the trend of just screening The Room and Rocky Horror Picture Show every other weekend. Adapted from Dashiell Hammett's imprimatur of detective fiction, the movie boasts iconic performances from Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and, especially, Humphrey Bogart, whose Sam Spade tops the pantheon of film history's greatest gumshoes. Visit the Landmark Esquire box-office page for tickets, $9.50, and details.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Anniversary Celebration & Kite Festival
Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m.
Barr Lake State Park
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has been championing our feathered friends and their habitats for thirty years. To celebrate, the group is hosting guided bird walks, bird lectures, educational activities for people of all ages, birthday cake and a kite festival at Barr Lake State Park, which was recognized in 2014 by Westword as the Best Place to See a Bald Eagle. Admission is $5 per vehicle, so pack up your car like a clown. That price includes a park entrance fee, lunch and the kite festival.
Newsroom Transparency Panel Discussion
Saturday, April 21, 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Denver Open Media
In today's post-factual media landscape, transparency among newsmakers is more important than ever. The Colorado Media Alliance, Denver Open Media, PEN America, the Open Media Foundation and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop have joined forces to assemble the city's newsiest minds for an open discussion about achieving newsroom transparency in a metropolitan area whose only daily newspaper is owned by a hedge fund. Panelists include Denver 7 News Digital Director Deblina Chakraborty, author Bruce Ducker, Colorado Public Radio's Nathaniel Minor and Westword's own Patricia Calhoun. Admission is free; visit the Colorado Media Alliance Facebook events page to register and find more information.
Record Store Day Celebration
Saturday, April 21, 2 p.m.
Record Store Day is upon us. Dogfish Head will be celebrating the virtues of vinyl at its Flaming Lips-themed Record Store Day Celebration at Avanti. Enjoy tunes from DJ Mystery Sisters and sip on some brews. Keep an eye out for giveaways, including a Crosley record player and a beer-inspired limited-edition Flaming Lips album, The Story of Yum Yum and Dragon, oddly enough filled with Yum Yums and beer. Bring in a receipt from Twist & Shout Records and receive $3 off your tab.
Kristian Williams: The History of Police in America
Saturday, April 21, 5:30 p.m.
Washington Park United Church of Christ
The history of law enforcement in the United States is inextricable from violence, subjugation and abuses of power, and a cursory glance through the newspaper reveals that the situation hasn't improved in any meaningful way. Kristian Williams, author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, examines the history of police brutality, concluding that news-making incidents of misconduct are an intrinsic part of the blue wall of silence that permeates police culture. Co-sponsored by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ Denver), Denver Socialists and the Denver Justice Project, the presentation combines Williams's extensive research and a panel discussion including local activists. Admission is free, but registration on SURJ's Eventbrite page is required.
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Deca Featuring Special Guests FelixFast4ward and DeeJay Tense
Sunday, April 22, 7 p.m.
Mile High hip-hop heads, rejoice, for a trio of local favorites are taking the stage at Leon Gallery for a weekend-closing paean to verses and beats. Originally from Colorado but currently based in New York City, headliner Deca is a multi-talented MC, visual artist and producer who's performed all over the world. Supporting acts FelixFast4ward and Deca's European tour-mate DeeJay Tense round out the bill. Admission is $10 at the door; visit Leon's Facebook events page for more details.
Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
April 19 to 22, 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Gates Concert Hall
The University of Denver's Lamont School of music presents one of the finest works of the operatic canon all weekend long: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's enduring comedy The Marriage of Figaro. While the amorous tale of scheming suitors and deceptions gone awry still charms all these centuries later, it's the composer's soaring melodies that make The Marriage of Figaro a masterpiece among masterpieces. Visit the Newman Center box-office page to buy tickets, $11 to $30, and learn more.