It's time to get hyped for the upcoming Hallo-weekend. While there are plenty of spooky spectacles and ghoulish gatherings awaiting Denverites, many venues are dispiritingly aware that they can price-gouge partiers all they like. Luckily, others are offering tricks, treats, frights and delights that anyone can attend for less than ten American dollars. Here are ten of our favorites.
Hitchcock Film Festival: Psycho
Friday, October 27, 6 p.m.
The Cube Stapleton MCA
The Hitchcock Film Festival continues at the Cube event space at Stapleton with a free screening of the auteur's game-changing thriller, Psycho. Though its iconic shower-stabbing sequence is so thoroughly ingrained in pop culture that even people who've never seen the film would recognize it, today's audiences forget both how revolutionary Psycho was at the time of its release, and how the film's first half hour unfolds like an especially taut noir potboiler before Janet Leigh makes her fatal check-in to the Bates Motel. Boasting one of the greatest scores of all time from composer Bernard Herrmann, this screening is a fitting way to close the series. Join Dr. Vincent "Indie Prof" Piturro and kick off the film with an educational and entertaining presentation that places Psycho within the context of Hitchcock's celebrated oeuvre. And since no movie is truly complete without popcorn, the Cube offers a full concession stand with beer and wine. Visit the Stapleton MCA events calendar to learn more.
tHUNder Duo Drum and Percussion Masterclass
Friday, October 27, 6 to 8 p.m.
DIME Denver (Tivoli Student Union)
Calling all drummers, percussionists, and beat nuts of all stripes: The world renowned tHUNder Duo is hosting a free drum and percussion masterclass tomorrow at DIME Denver, located in the Tivoli student union on the Auraria campus. Comprising Hungarian artist Kornel Horvath and British drummer Gabor Dornyei, tHUNder Duo incorporates traditional styles and fascinating experiments into thrilling performances that have wowed concertgoers all over the world. In addition to being masterful performers, Horvath and Dornyei are also dedicated to passing their knowledge along to the next generation of percussionists in their highly popular masterclasses. Visit their Eventbrite page to register and learn more.
Sexpot Comedy Presents the Nerd Roast: Slashers
Friday, October 27, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Since debuting two years ago, Sexpot Comedy's Nerd Roast quickly grew into a final Friday tradition for the entire Denver comedy community. Though the pay is scant and booking is a logistical nightmare, the show is a true labor of love for co-hosts/producers Preston Tompkins and Zach Reinert. In celebration of the upcoming Halloween holiday, they're stocking the dais exclusively with characters from the slasher subgenre. The literal murderer's row of performers includes John Davis as Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th), Elena Ingraham as Samara (The Ring), Steve Vanderploeg as Ghostface (Scream), Katie Bowman as Aileen Wuornos, Cory Helie as Pennywise (It), Meghan DePonceau as Chucky, Caitie Hannan as Jigsaw (Saw), John Papaioannou as Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street), and Josh Skillman as Michael Meyers (Halloween). Admission is free, but the comics always appreciate donations. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.
Monsters, Creatures and Legends
Friday, October 27, 7 p.m.
St. Francis Cabrini Parish
$5 to $10
The Denver Art Song project is resurrecting its popular Monsters, Creatures, and Legends concert just in time for Halloween. A tuneful and terrifying journey through the spookier sides of classical music singing, the show features macabre songs performed by new monsters as well as returning favorites from last year. Join Sarah Stone, Eapen Leubner, John Seesholtz and Mallory Bernstein for an enchanting evening that's perfect for getting into the spooky spirit of the season. Visit Brown Paper Tickets to buy tickets ($5 for children and $10 for adults) and to find out more.
Adam Cayton-Holland Comedy Central Special Watch Party
Friday, October 27, 10:30 p.m.
Illegal Pete's Colfax
Adam Cayton-Holland has come a long way since his Westword-scribing and Squire-mic'ing days. The co-creator of Those Who Can't (about to enter its third season on TruTV), Cayton-Holland is celebrating another milestone in his career as his Stand-Up Presents special premieres on Comedy Central. Though Cayton-Holland has performed brief sets on The Pete Holmes Show, The Meltdown, and appeared twice on Conan, there's never been an opportunity to see the loquacious comic stretch his wings on television until now. Denver loves nothing more than reveling in the success of her native sons, so join a throng of well-wishers at Illegal Pete's Colfax for a burrito-powered watch party as the special premieres. Get more details on the Facebook events page.
Weird Touch Halloween Party
Saturday, October 28, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Make your Halloween weekend even weirder at Syntax Physic Opera on Saturday, as the freak-friendly festivities at the Weird Touch dance party returns to break beats and melt faces. Join DJs Tyler Snow, Fancy Matthew, and Shannon von Kelly for a costume-clad dark disco where the only weird touches will be the good kind. For more details, look no further than the Facebook events page.
3 MCs Comedy Show Finale
Saturday, October 28, 9 p.m.
Blackbird Public House
Over the past few years, Denver comedians have hustled ceaselessly to create their own opportunities to perform by starting standup showcases in clubs, bars and breweries all over the greater metropolitan area. By cultivating relationships with venues, sponsors and crowds, some of these upstarts eventually blossom into comedy nights that rival professional productions. Sadly, 3 MCs, a weekly showcase from prolific Denver comic Ben Bryant and his co-host, Alan Bromwell, won't get that chance —at least not in their current venue. Alas, the owners of Blackbird Public House have decided to conclude their relationship with the Sexpot sponsored showcase, so the hosts have gathered a giant roster of their favorites from shows past, including William Montgomery, Nancy Norton, Allison Rose, Jay Gillespie and many more for a knee-slapping swansong. Bryant and Bromwell are hoping for a packed house so they can show the venue what it will be missing, so head over to 3MCs' Facebook events page to find out more.
Comedy Saved the Video Star
Saturday, October 28, 9:30 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
While the music video is something of a lost art, relegated into nostalgia objects for millennials, the form is rife for comedic potential. Though the medium's highlights (anything directed by Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry for example) can be considered art of the finest order, the majority of the genre consists of what are essentially commercials for songs starring musicians who lip-synch with unintentionally hilarious self-seriousness. J.D. Lopez, a local comic and host of the Left Hand, Right Brain podcast, is here to celebrate and mock music videos in equal measure with the monthly Comedy Saved the Video Star, an inventive showcase that invites comics to perform a set before riffing on a music video of their choice. Fans who show up early or hang out late can also watch all their old favorites in a low-key Total Request Live-inspired segment. October's lineup includes local mirth merchants Piper Shepherd, Corey Rhoads, Jose Macall, and Anthony Crawford. Visit the Facebook events page for more details.
Dia de los Muertos
Sunday, October 29, noon to 3 p.m.
Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary and Cemetery
Dia de los Muertos is similar to Halloween in that it's a morbidly-tinged holiday that still manages to be one of the most purely fun days of the year, so much so that revelers can't help but stretch the festivities across the calendar. While the official holiday doesn't begin for a couple days, readers can start their celebrations early in the fitting surroundings of Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary and Cemetery. Spotlighting Fiesta Colorado dancers and mariachis, as well as storytellers Cherie Karo Schwartz and Angel Vigil, this event explores how Day of the Dead celebrations bring families closer to their ancestors as well as their communities. There'll also be plenty of fun activities for the younger crowd, including free face paint and a bouncy castle, along with plenty of food truck vendors on hand in case anyone's feeling peckish. Learn more from the Facebook events page.
Making Friends With Death: Reading and Workshop
Sunday, October 29, 5 to 8 p.m.
October is arguably the year's most morbid month, with many of its holidays and traditions devoted to reconciling our collective fear of the great beyond. Local author Laura Pritchett has attempted to tackle this age-old question of the afterlife in her book Making Friends With Death: A Field Guide for Your Impending Last Breath (To Be Read, Ideally, Before It’s Imminent!), a light-hearted yet thoroughly researched examination of what it's like to face the grim reaper. Get more details, and buy the book ($16.95 from Viva Editions) on BookBar's website.
The Reformation and the Problem of Certainty
Monday, October 30, 6:30 p.m.
Reiman Theater, Margery Reed Building
While Halloween gets most of the ink, October of 2017 also marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a religious movement that divided christendom and changed Europe forever thereafter. Join the University of Chicago's Dr. Susan Schreiner for the 2017 James A. Kirk Lecture, "The Reformation and the Problem of Certainty." Explore how Martin Luther and his cohorts' quest for theological certainty led to discord, religious violence, and the rise of skepticism. There's no RSVP required, but inquiring minds can find out more on the Facebook events page.
Looking for more to do? Visit Westword's calendar.
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.