Another weekend nears in Denver, and the city's citizens are eager to make the most of the warming climes by getting out to explore the Mile High. While many of the weekend's entertainments are prohibitively expensive for workaday people, Westword has assembled a list of affordable events awaiting readers in the days ahead. Lifelong learners, music lovers, comedy nerds and bookworms in particular have plenty of reasons to celebrate this week; keep reading for the ten best events in Denver this week for ten dollars or less.
Lichens for Everyone
Thursday, April 26, 5:30 p.m.
CU Museum of Natural History
Turn an early evening stroll into a learning opportunity at "Lichens for Everyone," a nature walk and lecture sponsored by the University of Colorado's Museum of Natural History. Join CU Curator of Botany and Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Dr. Erin Tripp for a meandering tour of lichen growth forms that pop up near the Boulder campus, followed by an informative discussion — also led by Tripp — back at the museum. Admission is free; visit CU's events calendar to learn more.
Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? with Kalyn Heffernan
Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
Occasional Westword scribe Bree Davis has been hosting the Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? podcast, a look at the pressing cultural and social issues defining the Mile High City. On Thursday night, she'll be joined by her friend and Wheelchair Sports Camp MC Kalyn Heffernan, who has spent the better part of this year championing disability rights and combating gentrification. She recently announced her candidacy for mayor of Denver, making her the first queer disabled woman to roll for the position.
Ars Nova Singers: The New Art — Music Beyond Words
April 27 to 28, 7:30 p.m.
Bethany Lutheran Church
St. John's Episcopal Church
$10 to $20
As the Ars Nova Singers' season draws to a close, its talented members cast their eyes toward the future at their next concert, The New Art — Music Without Words. Exploring the expressive range of the human voice, the program will showcase bold vocal compositions from modern masters such as Scott Perkins, Anders Hillborg, Edwin Fissinger and Jonathan Dove, as well as music from the winners of Ars Nova's seventh Colorado Composers Competition, Selena Wellington and Bryan Grosbach. Denver music lovers shouldn't miss the performance at Bethany Lutheran on Friday, April 27, nor should Boulder-based fans sleep on the following evening's concert at St. John's Episcopal Church. Admission is $10 to $20 via the Ars Nova Singers' box-office page, and showtime is at 7:30 p.m. each night.
Stratus Chamber Orchestra: Awakenings
April 27 to 28, 7:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church
$10 to $25
Though the two Stratus Chamber Orchestra performances this week will present the same stirring program —including Johann Sebastian Bach's "Sleepers, Wake!," Ludwig Van Beethoven's Eroica Symphony No. 3, Jean Sibelius's "Spring Song" and the world premiere of Australian composer Jessamie Kaitler's "Awakenings" — they offer completely different viewing experiences. Friday's concert will be performed in Stratus's signature immersive style, wherein audience members sit among the musicians; Saturday's concert will take place in a more traditional setup. Visit Augustana Arts' box-office page for details and links to buy tickets, $10 to $25.
Pussy Bros. Presents: Emma Arnold
Friday, April 27, 10 p.m.
Oskar Blues' Black Buzzard
Denver standup supergroup the Pussy Bros. (Janae Burris, Rachel Weeks and Christie Buchele) may have relocated their show — to the increasingly bustling Oskar Blues Black Buzzard — but their tradition of producing tightly programmed comedy showcases spotlighting the funniest local and traveling comedians available has continued apace in the new venue. This week, the Bros. once again honor their initial mission statement of welcoming top-notch female headliners to their stage as Emma Arnold (who's self-releasing her first special, Yes, Please, in May) brings the house down after openers Katie Bowman and Zach Reinert set the table. Admission is $5 at the Pussy Bros. Ticketfly page.
Independent Bookstore Day
Saturday, April 28, all day
An economically endangered species that has managed to survive by evolving from mere retailers into community hubs, independent bookstores are vital resources for Denver readers. Celebrate the role local bookstores play in our lives at Independent Bookstore Day, a national holiday being observed at booksellers all across the Front Range — including the Boulder Book Store and all Tattered Cover locations. Visit Independent Bookstore Day's home page to learn more.
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot
Saturday, April 28, 1 p.m.
Among the many reasons the plays of William Shakespeare have endured for centuries are the endless variations and interpretations adapting his work inspires in the performers who bring it to life. Stripping the Bard's words down to their very essence, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Shakespeare in the Parking Lot series confines its stage to a single pickup truck. Join DCPA's enthusiastic players for abridged performances of two of Shakespeare's swooniest works: the star-crossed tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and the playful paganism of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Admission is free; find out more on DCPA's Facebook events page.
WestFax Comedy Night
Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m.
WestFax Brewing Company
Brewery-based comedy shows come and go faster than the seasons, so it's easy for a good one to fly under the radar until it's managed to build a consistent following. The cheery and beery crew at WestFax Brewing has been producing barn-burning comedy showcases long enough to become an institution by presenting Denver comedy's best and brightest to a loyal crowd for the unbeatable admission price of free. The venue, which shares a massive parking lot with Lakewood landmark Casa Bonita, has a particularly open and inviting taproom, complete with a stylized woodcut mountainscape behind the stage. Hosted by John Davis and Nolawee Mengist of the As the Rhyme Goes On podcast, the next WestFax lineup is a buffoon buffet featuring Miriam Moreno, De Kelly, Andres Becerril, Brad Galli, Janae Burris and Sam Tallent. Visit the WestFax Facebook events page for more information.
Extra Terrestrial: Alien Places Here on Earth
Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m.
The Deer Pile
Stoners and science-fiction authors alike enjoy speculating about life on other planets, but how would humanity go about preparing to adapt to such an unfamiliar landscape? Astrobiologists Dr. Graham Lau and Julia DeMarines study otherworldly landscapes right here on Earth in an attempt to discover how humans may one day inhabit other worlds, and they're presenting their research at the Deer Pile's Space in Your Face series. Far from a dry lecture, the event includes a "space swag" raffle and "space rapz" courtesy of Jamie Diaz. here's a suggested $5 donation at the door; find more information on the Space in Your Face Facebook events page.
Mutiny Book Club
Sunday, April 29, 4 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
In today's perpetually connected culture, many readers have forgotten the simple joys of a good book. As most members would agree, rediscovering one's love of fiction is much easier among the fellowship and accountability of a book club, a gathering that transforms the solitary act of reading into a small community of letters. Started mostly as an endeavor to tackle a pile of unread novels collecting dust on his shelves, Westword's own Byron Graham is teaming up with Cory Helie and Jim Norris of the Mutiny Transmissions podcast networks for Mutiny Book Club, a monthly discussion of literature with a decidedly comedic bent. For the inaugural episode, Graham welcomes Park Hill Branch librarian Tara Bannon Williamson and Denver Comedy Champion Nathan Lund to discuss Mohsin Hamid's Exit West. Admission is free; visit Mutiny Book Club's Facebook events page for more details.
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