The 21 Best Events in Denver, April 17-April 23

Jane Butler, "Natural Artifice," at Understudy.
Jane Butler, "Natural Artifice," at Understudy. Jane Butler
After a taxing weekend, you deserve some fun...and there's plenty on the calendar this week in Colorado. A few areas are still making a splash up in the mountains, while in Denver organizers are getting ready not just for Earth Day, but for what's become an unofficial state holiday: 4/20. Keep reading for the 21 best events in and around town this week.

Tuesday, April 17

Wu-Tang Clan founder and producer RZA remembers watching Lau Kar-Leung’s 1978 martial-arts movie The 36th Chamber of Shaolin for the first time with his cousin, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The film, which chronicles a group of Chinese villagers warring against a repressive governmental regime, struck a chord. “Growing up as a black kid in America, I didn’t know that that kind of story existed anywhere else,” RZA says. So he created a live score to accompany the film, and he'll perform it in person at a screening at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, on Tuesday, April 17, at 8 p.m. Get more information and tickets, $36 to $49, at

The Arvada Center’s Main Stage Theatre ends this season on a poignant note with the Stephen Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park With George, a lush reflection on life and art that focuses on the musings of master pointillist Georges Seurat and his grandson. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, and runs through May 6 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada. For tickets, which start at $53, and a sneak peek at the just-announced 2018-’19 season, visit

Wednesday, April 18

Mid-century modern architecture might be one of the finest contributions ever to the design world, with its space-age industrial lines and new ideas in sculpting spaces. Swiss architect Albert Frey, mentored by Le Corbusier himself, was a modernist pioneer and a major player in the development of the desert mecca of Palm Springs. A free screening of the new documentary Albert Frey: The Architectural Envoy (Part I), which follows Frey’s career from its European beginnings to his early inroads in America, will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway; the evening will be hosted by the DAM’s Design Council. Space is limited, so RSVP at or call 720-913-0130. And be on the lookout for Part II, now in production and set for release in 2019.
click to enlarge
Pachucos y Sirenas will be the stage for a fashion show.
Museo de las Americas
Thursday, April 19

From the zoot suits of the ’40s to the tough and sexy modern cholo/chola looks, Latino-American fashion styles have long expressed cultural pride, resilience and personality. They're also an important aspect of Pachucos y Sirenas, an artistic bow to the Pachuco/a era now on display through May 26 at the Museo de las Americas. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Museo is hosting the Viva la Sirena Fashion Show from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 19, showcasing original retro designs by local designer Alejandra Peralta and jewelry artist Xencs L. Wing, with makeup by Cha Cha Romero. With the show as backdrop, models will hit the runway at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive; purchase tickets, $20, at Learn more about the event and Pachucos y Sirenas at

Libraries are temples of knowledge that practically demand hushed whispers — a quality that makes Denver's Park Hill Branch, at 4705 Montview Boulevard, an ideal venue for solitary reading but an unlikely venue for standup. Every once in a while, though, comedy-loving librarian Tara Bannon Williamson refashions this branch's basement into the Park Hill Underground Comedy Club and invites a well-curated selection of Denver's best comics to entertain her bookish crowd. The performance series continues on Thursday, April 19, with Comedy Works regular Nancy Norton. Formerly a registered nurse, Norton is a fearlessly funny comedian whose scatterbrained style has won her hordes of local fans. Showtime is 7 p.m. and admission is free; visit the Park Hill Branch Library Facebook events page to learn more.

Start your weekend early and right at Rock the Night. This benefit concert for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society features Commerce City Rollers, a crowd favorite whose members have been musicians in the Denver punk/rock community for over two decades, as well as special guest the Jeffrey Allen Speral Project. Doors open at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, and the music runs until 10 p.m. at Globe Hall, 4483 Logan Street. Admission is a $10 minimum donation; get tickets at
click to enlarge
Word without end at Su Teatro
Carpetbag Theater, CARPA San Diego

Su Teatro’s WordFest launched in 2015, bringing Latino-inflected staged readings and performances by local and national artists to its stages for the first time. The following year, the premier local Latino theater group diversified by teaming up with the Source Theatre Company, and the partnership stuck: The 4th Ever WordFest, which runs through April 28, is anchored this year by a joint Performing & Creative Artists of Color Summit, featuring Carpetbag Theatre from Knoxville, Tennessee, in Linda Parris-Bailey’s Speed Killed My Cousin on Thursday, April 19, through Saturday, April 21, and C.A.R.P.A. San Diego’s And He Became Man running April 26 through April 28. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. at the Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive; see the complete WordFest schedule and purchase tickets, $17 to $20, at

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.

Latest Stories