Much beloved Denver festivals and traditions are returning this week, including the Denver Arts Festival and Denver Day of Rock and Elitch Gardens' annual fireworks display to kick off summer. What more does the Mile High City have in store for this week? Keep reading for the best of the best events!
Tuesday, May 22
What if you met up with a group of fifty strangers, and you all went off to discover the secret nooks and crannies of Denver, guided by the computerized voice of an eerily sentient recorded audio tour? Book a ticket from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts for Remote Denver
, a two-hour, 2.5-mile jaunt through hidden urban places, and you’ll find out — but be prepared for a participation-heavy experience that will ask you to be more than a passive member of an audience. Based on the work of the Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll, a radical group creating new-media theater installations carried out on non-traditional stages, the performance/tour begins on Tuesday, May 22, and runs through July 1, with all events starting from Lincoln Park, 13th Avenue and Mariposa Street, and ending near a downtown Denver light-rail stop. Admission to Remote Denver's first event starts at $25; purchase tickets and learn more at denvercenter.org
Wednesday, May 23
would like to have a drink with you, and thanks to the Happy Hour Foundation, you can have a good time and support this good cause from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at Prost Brewing Company, 2540 19th Street. For every beer you buy, Prost will donate a dollar to one of three local nonprofits, including Benchmark, Purple Door Coffee and Central Presbyterian Church. “It takes a lot of guts to start a new theater company in this time of rising rents and diminishing resources,” Westword
critic Juliet Wittman noted in naming Benchmark the “best new company” to emerge in 2017, and Benchmark’s founders have guts to spare. We’ll drink to that! Admission to the happy hour is free; find out more about Benchmark at benchmarktheatre.com
Thursday, May 24
Catamounts gets otherworldly at Rausch.
Courtesy of the Catamounts
The Catamounts' Amanda Berg Wilson and Patrick Mueller of Control Group Productions put their heads together and came up with Rausch
, a performative experience on wheels that follows Persephone out of the underworld and into the woods for some springtime magic that can’t quite be described on this page. Fortunately, you get to come along for the ride, which begins on a bus before spilling out into nature — and because Catamounts is known for throwing food and drink into the mix, you can opt for performances that include different levels of eating and imbibing. Rausch opens on Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. (with private previews on Tuesday, May 22, and Wednesday, May 23), and runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 17, with one industry-night performance on June 11 at 7 p.m. Catch the magic bus in the lot at Wild Woods Brewery, 5460 Conestoga Court in Boulder, and be prepared to walk a mile in the woods for ninety minutes. Tickets range from $30 to $55 at brownpapertickets.com
; learn more at thecatamounts.org
The fight is on! No, it's not a cockfight (though there will certainly be some of that, especially after all the whiskey is consumed), it's Chicken Fight!
, Denver's celebration of fried yardbird. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, the pecking order will be established as Birdcall, Injoi Korean Kitchen, the Post, Au Feu and more go head-to-head. River North Festival Grounds, 3715 Chestnut Place, hosts the unlimited food-and-drink fest (so plan ahead, as the second-most hotly contested death match will be for parking); tickets will run you $69 to $125 at chickenfightfest.com
Fire up your chakras and trip-hop your way through Scarlet Nights
, a mind-expanding evening of art, live painting, yoga, electronic dance music and out-of-this-world immersive media at the McNichols Building. Bouncing off the ongoing exhibit Lumonics Mind Spa
, a spacey collection of light sculptures by Dorothy and the late Mel Tanner (and an integral attraction at Scarlet Nights), the party gets started at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at McNichols, 144 West Colfax Avenue, with music from Desert Dwellers, Random Rab, Templo Music, LowPro and Melody Lines, and special guests Alex Grey, Allyson Grey and Android Jones. Admission is $55 to $60 (with a VIP upgrade option available) at mcnicholsbuilding.com
Reliving puberty doesn't sound like very much fun at all, but color the experience with dance, storytelling, live music, theater, food and drink, and the path from adolescence to adulthood becomes a magical experience — as if someone choreographed your most awkward moments into something beautiful. Nourishment
is a production by Gwendolyn Brooks and her troupe Gwendolyn & Guests, which will present the multimedia experience at a historic Capitol Hill mansion for three nights over Memorial Day weekend starting Thursday, May 24. Tickets, available at brownpapertickets.com
, are $90 each, which includes a six-course menu of small bites paired with alcoholic beverages. The non-linear show begins at 7 p.m. each night; the location will be made available when tickets are purchased. Brooks says Nourishment "is far easier to experience than to describe" — just like growing up.
A still from Kristen Hatgi Sink's “Honey,” 2018.
Courtesy of the Artist and Gildar Gallery, Denver
Get a head start on MCA Denver
’s summer lineup: Three of the museum’s four summer exhibits open two weeks in advance of the official opening party on June 8. Why wait? Get an eyeful of Lisa Oppenheim's Spine
(repurposed photos appropriated from documentary photographer Lewis Hine), Kristen Hatgi Sink's Honey
(a combination of video and live performances revolving around dripping honey over still lifes — and humans) and Patrice Renee Washington's Charts, Parts, and Holders
(a series of ceramic bas-relief slabs with imagery infused by racial symbolism) on Thursday, May 24, at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street, and attend the official opening on June 8, when Derrick Adam's Transmission
completes the mix. All four exhibits run through August 26; museum admission is $5 to $8, and free for members and visitors eighteen and under. Learn more about the shows on mcadenver.org
's exhibitions page and the opening party on the events page