Arts and Culture

Free for All: The Five Best Free Events in Denver This Week

Veronica Lee
The six days between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve tend to be a bit of a lull, typically occupied by sluggish post-holiday travel, a grudging return to work or, for some lucky Denver residents, a few extra idle days to spend with family...or attending a great free event around town. History buffs, comedy nerds and Denver diehards all have plenty to celebrate this week; here are our five favorite options, in chronological order.

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5280 Lens Mafia
The History of Tea
Tuesday, December 26, 5 p.m.
Tattered Cover Colfax
While people have been drinking the beverage since at least the fifth century BCE, most don't find knowing the origins of tea necessary for enjoying it. The humble leaves have a fascinating history, however. Establishing trade routes, forming the basis for colonial empires and delighting drinkers all over the world, tea is a precious commodity, and serving it can be an exalted ritual. Join Active Minds for "The History of Tea," and learn all about the cultivation and culture of the ancient drink, perhaps while sipping on a cuppa from the Tattered Cover's Cafe. Visit Active Minds' events page to learn more.

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Lindsey Bartlett
Big Gay Jeopardy
Wednesday, December 27, 8 p.m.
Denver Wrangler

A televisual titan that's run in syndication for 34 seasons, Jeopardy has done more to foster public interest in knowledge games than any other program of recent vintage. If the proliferation of trivia nights at local bars is any indication, plenty of quizmasters in Denver are eager to get their Alex Trebek on. Enjoy a trivia night like no other at Denver Wrangler's Big Gay Jeopardy, a fun-filled, brain-to-brain matchup wherein contestants compete for free bar tabs and the sweet taste of victory. Guests can also enjoy drink specials and half-price chicken wings. Visit the Denver Wrangler's Facebook events page for more information.

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Ratio Comedy
Ratio Comedy Night
Wednesday, December 27, 8 p.m.
Ratio Beerworks

Ratio Beerworks' comedy nights have become staples for those who enjoy mid-week entertainment, because the offerings are consistently good...and free! The showcase on Wednesday, December 27, is no exception: Featuring emcee Andrew Bueno, Ian Douglas Terry, Dick Black and prodigal Denverites Kevin O'Brien and Jordan Doll, the lineup harks back to Denver comedy's days of yore. Check Ratio Comedy's Facebook events page for more details.

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Kelley Kavanaugh
Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Episode Two
Thursday, December 28, 8 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe

Bree Davies, a local activist, DIY booster, music-scene queen and Westword scribe, has a new podcast dedicated to preserving the character of her native city called Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? As readers might've ascertained from the title, Davies and her esteemed guests turn a critical eye on the Mile High, examining the forces reshaping the city in ways its residents don't appreciate. The podcast's second episode —recorded for a live audience at Denver's most bustling book store, Mutiny Information Cafe — is the first in a two-part series covering one of the city's most pernicious threats: gentrification. Join Davies along with guests Tony Pigford and Dr. Gregory Diggs for an in-depth discussion about such thorny issues as Ink! Coffee's woefully misguided attempt at satire (punch up, you cowards) and the troubling legacy of Klansman mayor Benjamin F. Stapleton, as well as the district named in his dubious honor. Find out more on Mutiny's Facebook events page.

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Left Hand Right Brain
Sexpot Comedy Presents Nerd Roast in Memoriam
Friday, December 29, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom

Since debuting in the early days of El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom, Sexpot Comedy's Nerd Roast quickly grew into a Final Friday fiesta 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. An annual tradition befitting the irreverent nature of the show, the Nerd Roast's In Memoriam features local comics donning shambolic costumes to portray the entertainers and public figures we lost in 2017. This year's dais of death includes Allison Rose as Hugh Hefner, Cory Helie as Don Rickles, Timmi Lasley as Tom Petty and Cody Spyker as Mary Tyler Moore, to name but a few. The jokes start flying shortly after 7 p.m. on Friday, December 29, but guests should plan on sticking around for El Charrito's perennially popular karaoke night immediately following the roast. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated. Find more information on Sexpot Comedy's Facebook events page.

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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