Devil's Night is upon us, soon to be followed by All Hallow's Eve. While the majority of locals got their holiday celebrating out of the way over the weekend, the stout of heart can't resist another opportunity to don their costumes for one more night of merry mischief before November begins. The fun doesn't end once Halloween is over, either; Denver's creative community has planned enough events to keep readers entertained until the weekend starts, with First Friday filling local galleries around town. Keep reading for the five best free activities in town this week, in chronological order.
Tim Burton Double Feature
Tuesday, October 31, 5 to 9:45 p.m. The Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Easily the Halloween-iest director alive, Tim Burton has seen his films in heavy rotation throughout October. With his German Expressionist-inspired sets and costume design, fondness for Gothic tropes and foundational sympathy for the various monsters and misfits that populate his oeuvre, Burton's best films evoke the spirit of the holiday as few other movies have done since the heydays of Tod Browning and F.W. Murnau. Whether you're looking to get hyped up for another evening of Halloween hell-raising or simply want to see some good movies, don't miss the Burton double feature at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House's Studio Loft. With free screenings of BeetleJuice and Sleepy Hollow — that's right: two movies for the price of none — this is an ideal way for cinephiles and goth teens alike to ease into All Hallow's Eve. Visit the Eventbrite page to learn more and register for free.
Second Annual Trick or Trick Street on River Drive
Tuesday, October 31, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Briar Common Brewery + Eatery
Though trick-or-treating has become an increasingly regimented and supervised activity thanks to the rise of helicopter parenting, it's still a vital rite of passage for many American kids...even if it's no longer as simple as walking down the street and knocking on the doors of any decorated home. Unless you're in Jefferson Park, that is. During the second annual Trick or Treat Street on River Drive, participating houses will be helpfully marked with balloons, so kids won't have to worry about coming home with empty goodie bags. The costumed procession begins at 6 p.m. at Briar Common Brewery + Eatery before winding through the neighborhood and wrapping up at 7:30 p.m. — because after all, it's still a school night. Interested families can find out more on the Facebook event page.
Tuesday, October 31, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. La Rumba While trick-or-treating is obligatory for youngsters on Halloween, adults get into the Samhain spirit by boogieing down. Since 2001, the tuneful trio behind Lipgloss has been responsible for some of the city's most delightful dance parties, and the monster of a mash they have planned for Halloween at La Rumba is no exception. Costumed revelers can dance their way into November to a playlist featuring the best of Brit pop and soul, along with heaping helpings of guilty pleasures from DJs Michael Trundle (boyhollow), Tim Cook, Tyler Jacobson and Tim Alexander. There's no cover charge before 10 p.m., and admission is only $5 thereafter. Visit the Facebook event page to learn more.
Ratio Comedy: Battle Royale
Wednesday, November 1, 8 p.m. Ratio Beerworks Westword honored Ratio Beerworks with a Best of Denver Award in a notably specific category earlier this year, and the brewery continues to emphasize great entertainment. Every Wednesday, comedians and crowds fill Ratio's showroom, a venue that's equally adept at hosting concerts, trivia nights and weekly comedy shows of every variety. One of Ratio Comedy's monthly staples, the Battle Royale, pits comic against comic in a bracket-style joke joust hosted by Andrew Bueno and Ian Douglas Terry. The rules dictate that each performer must generate three minutes of extemporaneous riffs based on a topic assigned mere days before the show. With a lineup featuring local smash-smiths Timmi Lasley, Tim Coleman, Allison Rose, Anthony Siraguse, Aaron Maslow and Rebecca Robinson as well as Ratio's own Mike O'Connor and Indiana's Benjamin Duncan, the evening promises to be a veritable giggle gauntlet. Visit the Facebook events page for more details.
Queen City Companion 2
Thursday, November 2, 8 p.m. Mutiny Information Cafe
Inspired both in name and spirit by Garrison Keillor's national treasure of public radio, Queen City Companion is a new podcast and live storytelling show joining Mutiny Information Cafe's increasingly bustling monthly events calendar. Spearheaded by Christie Buchele of the Empty Girlfriend podcast and the Pussy Bros. standup supergroup, Queen City Companion invites a rogues' gallery of local comics, writers, musicians and other creatives to share their entirely fabricated tales through whatever medium suits them best. United by a common theme, the storytellers can let their imaginations run free, with everything recorded for posterity thanks to resident Mutiny lackey and beloved Denver comic Cory Helie. November's lineup includes standups Harris Alterman, Nora Lynch, Zac Maas, Piper Shepherd and Allison Rose, along with Indie City Writers' KB Jensen and local creative J Layne Ryan. Inquiring minds will find more details on the Facebook event 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.