Arts and Culture

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Six Free!)

A free bash like the one on March 31 comes once in a blue moon.
A free bash like the one on March 31 comes once in a blue moon. Blue Moon Brewery
Don't put all your eggs in one basket this Easter weekend: There are so many great events in town, you should hunt down all the entertainment excitement you can handle. While our list of the ten best bargains over the next three days does contain an obligatory nod to pastel-colored family fun, it also includes enough counter-programming to keep even the most bunny-shunning heathens entertained. Readers can guffaw the evening away at comedy shows, get weird at a beloved DJ night, and enjoy a big free music bash under the blue moon. Keep reading for our lineup of recommended events, none of which cost more than ten American dollars for admission (fine print notwithstanding) ...
click to enlarge CHRISTOPHE GSTADLER
Christophe Gstadler
The Nerd Roast: Spice Girls Vs. NSYNC
Friday, March 30, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom

The '90s live at this week's Nerd Roast as two titans of teenage nostalgia, Spice Girls and NSYNC, step up to the stage to deliver all the pithy burns that you want, really, really want. Join co-hosts and curators Preston Tompkins and Zach Reinert for a mockery-filled trip through the detritus of millennial pop music at Sexpot Comedy's acid-tongued tribute to the Total Request Live era. The dais includes Katie Bowman as Ginger Spice, Nic Dean as Lance Bass, Elena Ingraham as Justin Timberlake, Christie Buchele as Sporty Spice and more. Visit the Comedy RoomRoom's Facebook events page to get all the details.

click to enlarge "Water Bearer," by Jen Herling. - JEN HERLING
"Water Bearer," by Jen Herling.
Jen Herling
Savage Calm
Friday, March 30, 6 to 9 p.m.
CORE New Art Space

The doll-like characters haunting Jen Herling's lovely but unsettling paintings have made her one of the city's most distinctive artists. In her new show Savage Calm, Herling returns to the doe-eyed muses and colorful dreamscapes that characterize her pieces, but her painting style has drifted somewhere closer to realism and the work itself is linked by themes of surrender, perseverance and spirituality. Savage Calm will be on display from March 29 to April 15, but you can party hearty at the opening reception on Friday, March 30. Visit CORE New Art Space's events calendar to learn more.

click to enlarge Headliner Giulia Rozzi will rise at The Bakery. - MINDY TUCKER
Headliner Giulia Rozzi will rise at The Bakery.
Mindy Tucker
Guest List
Friday, March 30, 8 p.m.
The Bakery Arts Warehouse

Tucked away in a central but overlooked corner of the Ballpark neighborhood, a well-appointed venue with the search engine-confounding name of The Bakery has been hosting some of the city's most daring performances, including music, theater and comedy events. It's an ideal home for Ben Bryant's freewheeling and format-shifting comedy show Guest List, an unholy hybrid of sketch, standup, video and various humorous hijinks. Guest List's list of guest comics is truly formidable this round; the lineup includes another one of Harris Alterman's deeply unnerving Character Corner sketches, plus local standups John Davis, Cody Spyker and Nancy Norton, along with Chicago's Kristen Lundberg and headliner Giulia Rozzi (Chelsea Lately). Admission is $5 at the door; visit Sexpot Comedy's Facebook events page for more details.

click to enlarge Hop aboard the Easter train at the Colorado Railroad Museum's Bunny Express Train Ride on Saturday, March 31. - COLORADO RAILROAD MUSEUM
Hop aboard the Easter train at the Colorado Railroad Museum's Bunny Express Train Ride on Saturday, March 31.
Colorado Railroad Museum
Bunny Express Train
Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Colorado Railroad Museum
 $5 to $15
All aboard the Colorado Rail Museum's Bunny Express Train for a family-friendly way to get into the spirit of spring. See what travel was like over a century ago in a historical passenger coach from the 1880s; play holiday-themed games like the Egg Carry, the Bunny Hop Sack Race or the Egg Roll; marvel at the balloon-twisting, face-painting and stilt-walking entertainers populating the museum grounds. And since no Easter celebration would be complete without costumed characters, kids can also pose for photos with the Easter Bunny and Spike the Railroad Dog. Also watch for DJs, food trucks and generously stuffed gift bags. Visit the Colorado Railroad Museum's box-office page to buy tickets and learn more.

click to enlarge BALANCED BREAKFAST
Balanced Breakfast
Balanced Breakfast: Public Media
Saturday, March 31, 11 a.m.
Mercury Cafe

A monthly salon for the Denver music scene, Balanced Breakfast Industry Meetups invite passionate musicians and fans to weigh in on the issues they're facing. A local franchise of an institution started in San Francisco, these sessions have become an integral gathering place for Denver creatives. Join guests Bree Davies (a longtime Westword scribe who hosts the Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? podcast), Sounds on 29th Executive Producer Heather Dalton and Colorado Public Radio OpenAir Music Director Jessi Whitten for a discussion of public media's relationship with the music scene. Visit Balanced Breakfast's Facebook events page for more details.

click to enlarge DANCE SPIRIT
Dance Spirit
Dancing for Jamie
Saturday, March 31, 1 to 5 p.m.
Collaboratory Denver

Americans are still reeling from the harrowing shooting in Parkland, Florida, and many have turned their grief toward achieving political action on gun control. In addition to protesting, mourners have organized a variety of moving tributes to the slain students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, underscoring the devastating loss that motivates their activism. Jamie Guttenberg was a talented dancer looking forward to a bright future before her life was tragically cut short; Orange Ribbons for Jamie — named in honor of her favorite color— is a 501(C)(3) foundation founded by her parents to raise money for causes that she found important, including dance education, anti-bullying initiatives, special-needs programs and organizations dedicated to making American schools less violent. Co-organized by local teenager Miguel Crandell and Denver dance studio owner Jasmine Lairsmith, Dancing for Jamie will celebrate dance education while advocating for ways to avoid tragedies like the one that claimed Jamie's life. Find more information on Collaboratory's events calendar.

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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham