Mile High comedians, artists, storytellers and musicians hustle week in and week out to provide the best free and cheap entertainment in the Centennial State, and all our readers need is a crisp Hamilton and an open mind to take advantage of everything this city's creative community has to offer. Even the brokest local can attend any of the following ten events for ten dollars or less; four cost nothing.
Concert at the Cube: Hazel Miller
Thursday, November 2, 6:30 p.m.
The Cube Stapleton MCA
Music lovers rejoice, for the Master Community Association of Stapleton is hosting a series of free concerts throughout the fall at the Community Cultural Center, affectionately known as the Cube. The Stapleton MCA concert series continues this week with a performance from one of the area's most treasured singers: Hazel Miller. A celebrated actress, songwriter and chanteuse, Miller, one of the Mile High's most powerful songstresses live in concert, is always worth seeing. The chance to do so for free is irresistible. Visit Stapleton MCA's Concerts at the Cube events page for more details.
WRITE CLUB Denver: Turn and Face the Strange
Thursday, November 2, 6 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
$10 suggested donation
Although writers appear to be a harmlessly bookish bunch, a fierce sense of competition lurks beneath our tweedy and bespectacled facades. Write Club Denver, a self-described "literary thunderdome," puts that subtext into the spotlight with a series of head-to-head competitive readings from Denver-based authors, comedians, performers and creatives. With an earlier start time befitting the season's ever-shortening days, November's bout pits Brice Maiurro against Rachel Trignano in a narrative debate between "Routine" and "Break," followed by Laura Condi representing "Dawn" against GerRee Hinshaw's "Dusk," before Josh Hartwell and Colin Iago McCarthy settle the age-old question of "Long" or "Short." Doors open at 6 for the 7 p.m. showtime. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the door, though no one will be turned away. Visit WRITE CLUB Denver's Facebook events page to learn more.
Friday Night Weird: The Royal Tenenbaums
Friday, November 3, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6.50 to $12
A staple of the Dairy Arts Center's programming calendar, the Friday Night Weird screening series is a monthlong film festival inspired by a different theme each month. As the Thanksgiving holiday pulls readers back into the orbit of their families, there's no greater counter-programming than three films inspired by every stripe of familial dysfunction. The series gets off to an appealingly twee start with Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. Among the meticulous auteur's best films, the bittersweet tale of talented siblings gone awry somehow captured the cultural zeitgeist while occupying a tweedy cinematic universe that doesn't resemble reality in the slightest.
Penny Admission for Colorado Residents
Saturday, November 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For Coloradans who love art but balk at admission fees, First Saturdays are a godsend. If your tastes skew modern, check out the Museum of Contemporary Art any time from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and see the entire collection all for one red American cent. With the Saber Acomodar exhibition, which highlights 25 different artists, currently on display, it's well worth paying MCA's modest admission fees. But if you're extra-thrifty and don't mind a crowd, a copper Lincoln is all you'll need to get in on Saturday. This deal is only available to Colorado residents, so pay up, tourists. Visit MCA Denver online to learn more.
Hollywood Weapons Panel
Saturday, November 4, 4:45 p.m.
For cinephiles curious about the origins, veracity and ferocity of their favorite on-screen weapons, the Outdoor Channel has a whole new show devoted to satisfying those highly specific interests. Hollywood Weapons, a new original series hosted by U.S. Special Forces veteran Terry Schappert and expert armorer Larry Zanoff, consults craftspeople, military strategists and weapons masters to explore the history behind filmdom's deadliest props. Schappert and Zanoff are rolling through Denver for a discussion and demonstration of the upcoming series; admission is just five dollars. Visit the Denver FilmCenter box office to find out more.
Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game
Saturday, November 4, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Comedy and alcohol have always shared an enduring but volatile symbiosis, but few shows court boozy overindulgence like Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game. A local franchise of a showcase that originated in New Orleans — where dignified day drinking is a resident's birthright — Designated Drunkard turns the foibles, obsessions and tics of local and traveling standups into prompts for the audience to take a drink. Cohosts Caitie Hannan and Westword's own Byron Graham not only produce and emcee the show, but one of them will be sitting on stage in the titular role, leading the audience in shot challenges; they rotate roles each month for the sake of their livers. Presented in partnership with Sexpot Comedy, November's show features local comics Harry Baber, Allison Rose, Geoff Tice, Timmi Lasley and Anthony Armstrong. Buy tickets, $5, and learn more at Designated Drunkard's Nightout page.
The Narrators at Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Saturday, November 4, 7 to 9 p.m.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Westword MasterMind Andrew Orvedahl first conceived of The Narrators as a live show at the dearly departed Paris on the Platte back in 2010. Since its debut, the show has expanded to include an audio podcast and a sister show in San Diego hosted by Mary Robertson and Robert Rutherford. In Denver, the enduringly popular show carries on at Buntport Theater, with Ron S. Doyle and Erin Rollman hosting, but the format has remained roughly the same since the outset. A well-curated roster of Denver creatives take to the stage to relate tales from the deepest recesses of their personal histories, loosely based around a theme. This week's show is special, however, as a cadre of podcast favorites including Ellen K. Graham, Kelly Shortandqueer, Mitch Slevc, Mathiba Kgopa and Sydney Crain post up in the Botswana Diorama Hall for a storytelling accompaniment to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Free Night at the Museum event. Visit the DMNS events calendar for more details.
A Conversation With Jason Segel
Saturday, November 4, 7 to 8 p.m.
Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows
$10 to $23
While the vast majority of Americans probably recognize Jason Segel from the ubiquitous CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, his is a widely varied career showcasing myriad talents. As an actor, he's capable of being hilarious (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), heartbreaking (The End of the Tour) and kid-friendly (The Muppets), but Segel's writing skills have been less high-profile, though no less worthy. Along with Nightmares!, a scary story series for children, Segel is about to publish a new young-adult novel, Otherworld, intended to be the first in a series aimed at the burgeoning literary market. Join Segel and the Tattered Cover's Len Vlahos for a discussion of Otherworld, followed by a signing event co-sponsored by Douglas County Libraries. Interested readers can find more details on the Eventbrite page.
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Mutiny Youth Pinball
Sunday, November 5, 2 to 5 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
Evolving from bagatelle, Japanese billiards and pachinko, pinball machines were among the world's earliest arcade games. Although their relatively simple design has been updated with various bells, whistles and narrative objectives, pinball machines still offer the same whiz-bang thrill that they did in their heyday. Rediscover the joy of the game while introducing it to a new generation at Mutiny Youth Pinball, starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 1. Engage in friendly competition as you and your loved ones try to rack up high scores on Mutiny's selection of pinball machines. The player with the highest total at the end of the day wins a special secret prize. In addition to the gaming gauntlet, Mutiny will also host a simultaneously stoner- and family-friendly screening/listening party with Wizard of Oz synched to Pick Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Admission is free; find out more on the Facebook events page.
CU Japanese Ensemble
Sunday, November 5, 2 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall, University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder's tradition of magnificent free concerts continues on Sunday, November 15, with a midday program of traditional music and dance from the University's Japanese Ensemble. Join Mami Itasaka-Keister (who performs under the name Ms. Miko Bando), a musician, CU instructor and licensed member of the Bando school of Japanese classical dance, who's assembled a delightful array of anime-inspired drum performances and folk dances, as well as a rendition of Musume Dojoji, a kabuki dance drama. The music continues all day long with performances from the Gamelan Ensemble and the CU Choirs. Visit the CU Presents events calendar to learn more.
Looking for more to do? Visit the Westword calendar.