Spring snow showers aren't going to dampen our enthusiasm for all the great events around Denver this week, from a performance honoring the Meowing Nuns to the debut of Molina Speaks's new movie to Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks, a Mile High tradition for more than seven decades. Keep reading for the 21 best events in Denver over the next seven days.
Tuesday, March 27
Sometimes just seeing the art isn’t enough; hearing the story of an artwork (or in this case, a performance) from the creator’s point of view often helps to bring a piece alive. PlatteForum’s Temple Tattle provides just that kind of platform. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, artist Theresa Anderson will resurrect her “When I Was a Kitten” performance, from its roots as part of Black Cube’s Drive-In series, with help from Professor Miguel De La Torre of the Iliff School of Theology, who will dig into the underlying inspiration for the performance: the Meowing Nuns of seventeenth-century France. We won’t spoil that revelation for you, but it all goes down where Anderson keeps her studio, at the Temple, 2400 Curtis Street. As with all Temple Tattle events, admission is free; learn more at platteforum.org.
Wednesday, March 28
Rise and shine in A Galaxy Far Far Away. Daybreaker is on a mission to get you moving, with more love, more belonging and more dance. At 6 a.m. (yes, you read that right) on Wednesday, March 28, it will take over the dance floor at Temple, 1136 Broadway, where it will offer your option of yoga with Yoga Pod Cherry Creek or fitness with The WillPower Method, followed by an early morning dance party that promises to move your day light years away from it started. Tickets are $20 to $35 at daybreaker.com/event/galaxy-far-far-away/.
The gang's all beer at Left Hand Brewing on Wednesday, March 28, when the brewery at 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont will host Colorado Brewing History Night. The event, which starts at 6:30 p.m., includes a Colorado-inspired dinner, a flight of Left Hand beer, and "Brewed at Altitude: The History of Colorado Brewing," a lecture by Left Hand brewer Carl Rose, who'll pour out beery knowledge that starts with the pioneer brewers of the 1860s and concludes with the rise of the craft-brewing movement. Tickets are $25, with a portion of proceeds going to an upcoming beer exhibit at History Colorado; get them at lefthandbrewing.com.
A verified road dog with decades of touring experience, Billy Wayne Davis is a charming and quick-witted performer capable of winning over a wide array of crowds with minimal effort. He's appeared on Conan and Last Comic Standing, and lent his Tennessee twang to several voices on Squidbillies. Beloved by the Denver comedy community, Davis is a fitting headliner for the first comedy showcase at Mile High Spirits, 2201 Lawrence Street. Produced and curated by Cartoons & Comedy's Chris Baker, the inaugural comedy night at this downtown drinkery will start at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door; visit Mile High Spirits' Facebook events page for details.
Thursday, March 29
Among humankind's closest evolutionary ancestors, chimpanzees are fiercely intelligent creatures, capable of protecting their resources, enforcing political hierarchies and passing traditions from one generation to the next. Craig Stanford, a professor and researcher at the University of Southern California's Jane Goodall Research Center, has spent years closely observing the behavior of the manimals for his latest book, The New Chimpanzee: A Twenty-First-Century Portrait of Our Closest Kin. At 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, he'll be at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, discussing the surprisingly complex political intrigue of chimp society, and what their actions say about humans. To buy tickets, $15, and learn more, visit the museum's website.
A couple of rising stars on the Denver literary scene — Steven Dunn and Kali Fajardo-Anstine — will read alongside two fellow Denver wordsmiths, poet Blake Guffey and prose writer Kelly Krumrie, in the latest installment of the ongoing Dikeou Literary Series on Thursday, March 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Dikeou Pop-Up: Colfax, 312 East Colfax Avenue. Dunn has already garnered acclaim for his indie novel Potted Meat (Tarpaulin Sky, 2016) and has a second Tarpaulin imprint, water & power, set for release this fall, while Fajardo-Anstine has a debut novel and short-story collection coming soon from Chris Jackson’s One World/Random House. Admission is free; learn more at dikeoucollection.org.
Friday, March 30
The story behind Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, has a spellbinding power that's outshone only by the beauty of the music itself. Funded by an anonymous benefactor, the requiem was famously unfinished at the time of Mozart's death in 1791, leading many historians to speculate that the ailing and delirious composer had become convinced he was composing music for his own funeral. Centuries later, it's still soul-stirring, and luckily for Colorado music lovers, the Boulder Chamber Orchestra is performing Mozart's Requiem — with a vocal assist from the Boulder Chorale — at a pair of concerts Easter weekend: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, at the Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road in Broomfield, and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at Boulder Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Avenue in Boulder. To buy tickets, $15 to $25, go to the Boulder Chamber Orchestra's box-office page.
Since the Denver Art Museum put its Untitled Final Fridays in the hands of artists, they've become a little more unexpected...and fun. The conductor for this month’s event is Steven Frost, the Boulder contemporary fiber artist, who’s basing his big opportunity on these words by Bauhaus textile designer Anni Albers: “Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of the materials.” Along with the centerpiece — a large-scale backstrap loom workshop — he’s curated a collaborative avant-garde evening of live performances and a mini experimental-film screening. Get in line at 6 p.m. Friday, March 30, at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, for a wondrous night; admission is $8 to $13 at the door. Learn more at denverartmuseum.org.
Denver historian Phil Goodstein knows Colfax Avenue like the back of his hand, since he grew up along the wicked way, and he's spent a lifetime acquiring more historic lore, including details about the Denver Jewish community’s rise along the thoroughfare. Goodstein will drop by the Colfax Museum, 6109 East Colfax Avenue, inside the Ed Moore Florist shop, for a Goodstein Passover Friday retelling of Denver’s own mini-diaspora of Jews from the town of “Brooklyn,” under the Colfax viaduct, to the west side. While there, he’ll also touch on the history of nearby Montclair, the subject of his most recent book — and who knows what other tales he’ll tell? Goodstein will speak from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 30; admission is free, but he’s likely to have books for sale. Find details at the Goodstein Friday Facebook page.
Saturday, March 31
There’s nothing more Victorian than a corset, except maybe high tea, and you can have both at Tea & Corsets, an unusual afternoon repast with a lecture by the corset makers of Redthreaded, a Louisville-based specialty costumer. Learn the history of the boned, waist-shrinking foundation and see samples of Redthreaded’s handsome reproductions while dining on select teas, scones, crumpets, finger sandwiches and cookies from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Lumber Baron Inn, 2555 West 37th Avenue. Admission is $30, and reservations are required; call 303-477-8205 or visit the Facebook event page for details.
Imagine that old stalwart The Dating Game was still on the air. Imagine you went on it and didn't end up on a date with a serial killer; instead, you went out with a nice boy or girl and had to brew a beer together the first time you met. In a nutshell, that's the premise of the fifth annual Collaboration Fest, the kickoff event for Colorado Craft Beer Week. This year, the fun is moving to bigger digs at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, where on Saturday, March 31, you'll be able to imbibe creations from nearly 100 teams of brewers. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m., though VIP ticket holders get in at 3 p.m. Grab your ticket before the fest sells out at the Collaboration Fest website.
All good things must come to an end, and in the case of the Art Chair Auction, that "end" might refer to the part of you that claims the chair when you sit on it. In conjunction with the Arvada Center's winter gallery show devoted to chairs, fifty IKEA Ivar chairs were handed to local artists to reimagine as they pleased, and now it’s time to see the chairs off as they go out into the world, with help from the highest bidders. The Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, will host a final bidding reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, to auction off the snazzy seats, but you can also ogle the chairs and bid in advance online at galabid.com/arvadacenter. Learn more at arvadacenter.org.
Poet Sheree “lovemestiza” Brown and her partner, Denver rapper and artist Molina Speaks, have been making waves at the intersection of race, culture and politics with the podcast Brown Genius. At Invitation to Ritual on Saturday, March 31, Brown will read from her new book, lovemestiza, and Speaks will show his debut feature film, ROOT, a surrealist experimental documentary — one part music video, one part silent film. The dynamic duo will be at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, starting at 7 p.m.; for more information and tickets, $5 to $25, go to rootthefilm.com.
Violinist, accordionist and composer Tom Hagerman, best known for his work with DeVotchKa, has a few projects of his own, as well as a soft spot for silent film. Now he’s bringing back one of those projects — Seven Deadly Sins, which he wrote, arranged for an ensemble and performed in collaboration with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the dance company Wonderbound — to benefit the Denver Silent Film Festival, which is ramping up for its 2018 run in April. Hagerman is bringing in a few of the original musicians for a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue. And it’s a deal: You can see the multi-talented musicians for just $12, and all ticket sales directly benefit the DSFF. Reserve a seat and learn more at drafthouse.com.
Counterpath mixes things up this weekend with a couple of readings and an experimental film screening packaged together into one free event, anchored by Canadian avant-garde poet Christian Bök, writer and filmmaker Erin Espelie, and Denver’s Sommer Browning, a poet, comic artist and garage gallerist. Bök is known for his sonic poem performances (he's also an inventor of artificial languages), while polymath Espelie juggles science, environmentalism, and unconventional and nonlinear documentaries in her work. And Browning? She occupies an idiosyncratic space in the local arts community, bringing humor to the table. Hear them all on Saturday, March 31, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Counterpath, 7935 East 14th Avenue; visit counterpathpress.org.
Straight from the slums of Shaolin, Wu-Tang Clan alumni Ghostface Killah and GZA are joining Wu affiliate Killah Priest on Saturday, March 31, for a ruckus-raising concert at the Pop-Up, 1109 Walnut Street in Boulder. Sponsored by Melvin Brewing, the concert unites three of hip-hop's most lyrically gifted MCs, none of whom have ever been content to rest on their considerable laurels. Sample a tap list featuring ten Melvin beers while three living legends take to the stage. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30; get tickets, $33 to $40, on Melvin Brewing's Ticketfly page.
Artist and musician Colin Ward, who died at the age of 27 on February 1, will be remembered at Raptor Jazz: A Ceremony of Life for Colin Ward, at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Black Box, 314 East 13th Avenue. The entertainment lineup includes Acid Rain, Docile Rottweiler, French Kettle Station, Sugarsplat 2.0, Shaman Fight Club, Acidbat, Kid Mask and Toucan; the memorial event benefits the CRFW Fund, which will be used to fight gentrification, prevent the displacement of artists, secure a new artist-run warehouse venue in Denver and pay for political lobbying. For more information and tickets, $20, go to blackboxdenver.co.
Sunday, April 1
Easter coincides with April 1 this year, so don't fool around: Plan on hitting Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the 71st annual free Easter Sunrise Service presented by the Colorado Council of Churches, then reward yourself for getting up so early with brunch at the Ship Rock Grille in the Red Rocks Visitor Center. Reverend Tawana Davis of the African Methodist Episcopal Church will lead the Easter service; the parking lot opens at 4:30 a.m., music starts at 5:30 and the program is at 6. Enjoy the view while you wait for Ship Rock Grille to begin serving at 9:30 a.m.; reservations are required at 303-697-4939, ext. 111, or redrocksonline.com. Here in Denver, Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church, 10150 East Belleview Avenue in Englewood, is also offering an Easter Sunrise Service at 6 a.m., followed by a pancake breakfast at 7; get details at the church website.
Colorado's mountains are unmatched, and you can expect a mountain of fun at the World's Largest Easter Egg Hunt at Copper Mountain on Sunday, April 1. About 65,000 eggs will be hidden over 2,500 acres; events range from a search for a dozen golden eggs at 8:30 a.m. to hunts around the mountain staged by age group, to a final all-ages contest at the top of the American Eagle lift at noon. All events are free, but you can fuel yourself for the action to come at an Easter breakfast at CB Grille starting at 7:30 a.m. ($25 kids, $29 adults). To join the hunt, head to 209 Ten Mile Circle in Copper Mountain; for more information, call 866-841-2481 or go to coppercolorado.com.
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Everything goes at the Eleganza FREAK-stravaganza 2, an out-of-this-universe compendium of all things freaky dreamed up by sideshow habitués the Scissor Sweethearts, circus performers and Barnum hair stylists Serana Rose and Siara Gray. They’ll be reprising last year's mixture of freak and fashion shows that started it all on Sunday, April 1, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Vision Comics & Oddities, 3958 South Federal Boulevard in Sheridan; other attractions include the Drag Queen Pinball Tournament, classic sideshow acts, an art market, and photo ops with Peggy the Seven-Foot Boa and Little Tim, Denver’s Smallest Man. Admission is $6 in advance, with a $45 VIP option, or $10 at the door, and costumes are encouraged; find info at scissorsweethearts.com.
Monday, April 2
Last year the Denver City Council introduced General Public Comment Sessions during the first and third meetings of the month, when residents can talk for three minutes each about topics that aren't scheduled for a public hearing. And there's plenty to talk about these days, ranging from the first potholes of spring to the lack of parking in town to an excess of construction.The comments session will start at 5 p.m. Monday, April 2, and last thirty minutes; you can sign up to speak between noon on March 30 and 4 p.m. on April 2 by emailing Legislative Services at email@example.com, calling 720-337-2000, or stopping by room 451 of the City & County Building, right above where council will convene that evening.
Westword highlights dozens of events around town every week; send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered for 21 Best, we must receive materials three weeks before the event date.