October has officially arrived, and while the year's spookiest month tends to function as one long buildup to Halloween, the week's inventory of entertainments is decidedly bereft of heebie-jeebies and creepy crawlies (although many of Colorado's haunted house attractions are already scaring up business). Still, the calendar is so full of free concerts, comedy shows, art walks and games, it's downright frightening. Rent may be due, but anyone can unwind for free this week, including at these five events.
Tuesday, October 2, 7 p.m.
People have been playing Lotería, a game of chance known for its colorful cards, brain-teasing riddles and exuberant cries of victory, since the fifteenth century. Though the game purportedly originated in Italy, its traditions took root in Mexico, where Lotería imagery permeates folkloric art, and even the Catholic Church attempted to cash in on the craze. The rules are similar to those for bingo, if you replaced numbered balls with a 54-card deck steeped in elaborate iconography with a corresponding mythos. Cervecería Colorado, a brewpub dedicated to pouring Mexican craft beers, is hosting weekly Lotería tournaments throughout the next two months, starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, and concluding on December 18. Guests receive a free scorecard with the purchase of a draught, so this is an ideal way for novices to try their hand at the ancient game; winners can snag a prize growler. Head over to Cervecería Colorado's Facebook events page if you're eager to pick a card and party down.
CU Faculty Tuesdays: Poetry and Music
Tuesday, October 2, 7:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall
The University of Colorado Performing Arts Program's weekly gift to classical music aficionados adds verse to virtuosos at "Poetry and Music," an evening that finds harmony between the spoken word and the plucked string — and sprinkles in some dancing for good measure. Adapted from a poem by Alfonsina Storni, Miguel Del Aguila's "Submerged" is the centerpiece of the concert, as well as the official U.S. debut of the three-harp arrangement. The program presents original poems and choreography from Alya Howe, soundtracked by harpist Janet Harriman's masterly renditions of Claude Debussy's "Les Chansons de Bilitis" and Carlos Salzedo's "Bolmimirie." To find out more or watch a live stream of the performance, visit the CU Presents events calendar.
Ratio Comedy: Fresh AF
Wednesday, October 3, 8 p.m.
Standup comedy has been dominated by a straight, white male perspective for most of its history, and the time to have overdue conversations about cultural representation is finally nigh. Ratio Comedy's Andrew Bueno and Ian Douglas Terry offer a local response to these shifting paradigms with Fresh AF, a presentation of underrepresented voices from the Denver comedy scene. Though the full lineup is still in the works, Jo Kimbrell and John Bueno have officially confirmed. Check Ratio Comedy's Facebook events page for updates.
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Oskar Blues Comedy Show
Wednesday, October 3, 9:30 p.m.
The Black Buzzard
Take a short amble down to LoDo to double down on Denver comedy at the Oskar Blues Comedy Show, another weekly Wednesday night staple for local comedy nerds. Host and curator Christie Buchele has found a nurturing home at Denver's best new comedy venue, a place where she can experiment with different formats, spotlight her favorite local and traveling comedians, and lounge in one of the city's most inviting green rooms. Returning this week with a straightforward standup showcase, Buchele welcomes local mirth merchants Timmi Lasley and Derrick Stroup to set the stage for New York City's Luke Touma. Learn more on the Black Buzzard's Ticketfly page.
First Friday Art Walk
Friday, October 5, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Denver's Art District on Santa Fe
Take to the streets at a cherished monthly tradition for artsy Denverites — not to mention a source of consternation for the motorists it takes by gridlocked surprise — and explore one of the city's most vibrant thoroughfares at the Art District on Santa Fe's First Friday Art Walk. Shmooze your way into an opening reception, enjoy the parade of passersby, or surrender to the temptations of the watering holes, food trucks and brick-and-mortar eateries that line the bustling boulevard. This First Friday Art Walk is a Denver tour-guide cliché that definitely lives up to the hype. Visit the Art District on Santa Fe's Facebook events page to learn more.
Know of a free event that you think belongs in this list? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.