The fireworks may be over, but Denver's creative community has plenty of delights in store for adventurous and thrifty locals that will light up their days and nights. Craft markets, literary bloodsport, cultural festivals and croquet represent just a few of the appealing entertainment options in store for the week ahead. Cash-strapped Coloradans needn't fret about money either; each of the events listed below can be enjoyed for $10 an under.
Thursday, July 6, 8 p.m.
Among the city's most unconventional comedy venues, shows at Image Brew studios thrive because of a collaborative spirit of goodwill. That tradition, first started by Denver expat Mara Wiles' Funnyside Sessions showcase, continues at Power Move. Co-created by local mirth merchants Nathan Lund and Aaron Urist, Power Move is a monthly showcase that combines standup with sketch comedy and puts the "fun" into fundraiser. Each month, Lund and Urist solicit a suggested $5 donation to benefit different worthy cause. All proceeds from July's show will be donated to Harm Reduction Action Center. Philanthropists and comedy nerds alike have plenty to celebrate with July's lineup, which includes recent Detroit transplant Mike Stanley, Atlanta's Olivia Cathcart, locals Katie Bowman and James Draper, and the return of prodigal Denverites Chris Charpentier and Troy Walker. Visit Image Brew's Facebook page to learn more.
Write Club Denver: It Begins
Thursday, July 6, 8 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Though writers typically seem like a harmlessly bookish bunch, a fierce sense of competition lurks beneath our tweedy and bespectacled facades. Write Club Denver, a self-described "literary thunderdome," puts that subtext into the spotlight with a series of head-to-head competitive readings from Denver-based authors, comedians and creatives. Inspired by the recent patriotic holiday, each round hinges upon an evocative theme that serves as a prompt for each writer. The dais includes Andrew Curtis Forlines and Colin McCarthy in "Freedom vs. Tyranny," Kat Atwell and Sean Michael Cummings in "Stars vs. Stripes" and Ron Doyle and Laura Condi in "Sparkle vs. Fade." Proceeds from each $10 suggested donation will benefit a yet-to-be-determined charity. Visit Write Club Denver's Facebook page to learn more.
Friday, July 7, 7 p.m.
The Pussy Bros. is a Denver-based stand-up-comedy super group comprising Christie Buchele, Janae Burris and Rachel Weeks, who've united to forge their own path through a historically male-dominated industry. Among the funniest comics in town, the Bros. have toured the country together, co-headlined a comedy festival and produce a pair of monthly stand-up showcases. One of the Comedy RoomRoom at El Charrito's earliest successes, the first Friday Pussy Bros. show remains a highlight of the five-star dive bar's increasingly busy entertainment calendar. The group's July lineup is packed with out-of-towner comics like Oliva Cathcart (Atlanta), Nicole Conlan (New York City) and Judge Drizz (Los Angeles), along with Lila Bear (a recent transplant from Memphis) and the triumphant return of Brad Galli and headliner David Rodriguez. Admission is free. Visit the Pussy Bros. Facebook page to learn more.
Guest List Comedy Album Recording
Friday, July 7, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Bakery Arts Warehouse
Last July, local comedian Ben Bryant took a big gamble on a new venture, a monthly standup and sketch comedy showcase called Guest List at the Bakery Arts Warehouse, a DIY-friendly venue that had never hosted comedy before. Investing large sums of time and money (scarce resources for comedians) into renting the space, curating the lineups and attracting a crowd, Bryant weathered the dizzying highs and dispiriting lows of producing a comedy show, persisting until he reached the milestone of a one-year anniversary. To celebrate, he's inviting forty different local comics (including Westword's own Byron Graham) to perform streamlined three-minute sets and compiling the results into an album. Essentially a mixtape of some of Denver's best comedians circa 2017, the recording is divided into two different shows, with one beginning at 8 p.m., followed by another at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Visit Guest List's Facebook events page to learn more and follow the Eventbrite link to buy tickets, which cost $10.
Read on for more free and cheap things to do in Denver.
Colorado Black Arts Festival
The west end of Denver’s City Park will come alive with a pan-African-American spread of food, culture, music and commerce this weekend at the Colorado Black Arts Festival, which will celebrate its 31st year with an “Art in Motion” theme. Highlights include the Watu Sakoni marketplace, a cross-section of live music and performances on the Kuumba Stage, a Saturday-morning Boogaloo Celebration Parade and car show, and a traditional Gospel Sunday wrap-up. Hit the fest from noon to 8 p.m., Friday, July 7, or 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9; admission is free. Find more information online at Colorado Black Arts Festival.
Denver Handmade Homemade Market: The Spindle
Saturday, July 8, 12-5 p.m.
While Denver's Handmade Homemade Market is still in the midst of building an incubator, the group is determined to continue hosting the delightful maker markets artsy locals know and love. This event boasts larders stocked with carefully curated crafts, tasty treats, jewelery and other art treasures all lovingly made by local hands. Put some twee in your shopping spree while perusing the shelves of over two dozen different vendors. Visit Denverhaho.org to learn more.
Croquet in Bloom
Saturday, July 8, 4 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Croquet much? With a history that goes back centuries, the anachronistic sport of genteel backyard gardens doesn’t seem relevant in the 21st century, but consider this: Anyone who can stick a wicket in the ground and knock a ball around can play, making croquet the grand old aunt of such family pastimes as miniature golf, and it’s pretty hard to injure yourself doing it. With that in mind, Denver Botanic Gardens is cueing up a summer of sport with a Croquet in Bloom series, pitting adult teams of two against one another in monthly summer tournaments for a chance at grabbing the first annual Denver Botanic Cup in September. It continues this week on Saturday, July 8, at 4 p.m., as well as on August 12 and September 23. Tickets cost $15 for participants and $5 for spectators; buy them and sign up at botanicgardens.org.
A Movable Feast
Saturday, July 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Halfway through its summerlong second-Saturday A Movable Feast series, RedLine lands at the intersection of 26th Avenue and Washington Street in Five Points for an evening of community-building that blends a site-specific table sculpture, food and face-to-face dialogue with neighborly fun. After a discussion with Tracy Jenkins Winchester of the Five Points Business Improvement District, RedLine resident artist Thomas Evans decided to design his table with a feel for Five Points history and rolling changes in the district; the evening will get started with a procession to the table site from the Gem Food Store, 2958 Downing Street, led by the mighty Montbello Drumline. Party on the street with the people of Five Points, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 8; remaining dates in the series include August 12 and September 9. Learn more at redlineart.org.
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Game of Thrones Pre-Party
Sunday, July 16, 6 p.m.
Stoney's Bar and Grill
Though the weather outside is sweltering, Winter has finally arrived in Westeros. Season seven of HBO's zeitgeist-seizing fantasy series Game of Thrones premieres on Sunday, July 16 after an interminable hiatus, and Stoney's Bar & Grill (1111 Lincoln St.) is celebrating by resurrecting its Sunday-night watch parties, Melisandre-style. Featuring all the jokes, trivia and blood shots regulars have come to expect, the Game of Thrones pre-party also heralds the return of house band Daenerys and the Targaryens. The festivities will continue every Sunday throughout the seventh season. Admission is free, so there's really no excuse not to show up and party like a Wildling. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.
Monday Night Menagerie
Monday, July 10, 8 p.m.
Cervantes' Other Side
$10 in advance
When Doran Joseph founded Menagerie Family, a Denver-based art-and-entertainment company, he was staying on couches and had no cell phone. Still, with help from friends and family members, he began throwing the Monday Night Menagerie at Cervantes’, putting the spotlight on DJs, visual arts, poetry and more, showcasing groups like the Motet, Lettuce and the Phil Lesh Band. For its second-anniversary party, Menagerie will move the fun to Saturday, July 1, with a lineup that starts at 9 p.m. and includes Wabakinoset, Theoretically, Moonlight Bloom, High Voltage Silent Disco and Jew Tang Clan, all at Cervantes’, 2635 Welton Street. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door; for more information, go to cervantesmasterpiece.com.
Looking for more to do? Go to the Westword calendar.