The holiday season doesn't diminish the variety of entertainments Denver offers. As always, readers have plenty of concerts and comedy shows to choose from during the days ahead, but there's no shortage of wintertime cheer, either. And because we know you still have presents left to buy, each of the events listed below costs $10 or less — fine print notwithstanding — and four of them are free. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend.
Ars Nova Singers: "In the Moon of Wintertime"
December 13 and 15, 7:30 p.m.
St. John’s Episcopal Church
United Church of Christ of Longmont
$5 to $25
Lift your ears toward the heavens with the Ars Nova Singers, whose "In the Moon of Wintertime" concert series harks back to the glory days of the space race. In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of NASA's first manned journey into lunar orbit, composer Kile Smith turned to a Christmas Eve broadcast from the Apollo 8 astronauts for inspiration in his endeavor to create a piece of music that could approximate the wonder of seeing the planet Earth from the isolation of space. The result is The Consolation of Apollo, an emotionally stirring and formally inventive work that intersperses transcripts of William Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell's message to their terrestrial home with snippets from the great Roman thinker Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy. Don't miss the Colorado premiere of this otherworldly composition; visit arsnovasingers.org for tickets, $5 to $25, and more information.
Get Thee to a Nunnery
Friday, December 14, 8 and 10 p.m.
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox
Elise Kerns and Jodee Champion get back in the habit in a big way this weekend with two servings of the Get Thee to a Nunnery comedy show. Though the title was inspired by a famous line in Hamlet — befitting a venue called Ophelia's — nothing could be further from the austerity of a convent than Kerns and Champion's cavalcade of chuckles. Get boisterously uncloistered at a pair of shows boasting entirely different lineups. Arrive at 8 p.m. for an early performance with Anthony Armstrong, Troy Walker and Mitch Fatel, followed by a 10 p.m. late show with Matt Cobos, Rachel Weeks and Brandt Tobler. Buy tickets, $10 each, and learn more at opheliasdenver.com.
Too Many Humans (Not Enough Coats)
Friday, December 14, 9 p.m.
$10 to $15
As winter sets in, life becomes exponentially harder for people experiencing homelessness, and a shortage of proper coats only makes the situation worse. Throughout the giving season, Mile High creatives have endeavored to benefit the community's surplus of worthy causes with philanthropically minded events, and Too Many Humans (Not Enough Coats) — a hybrid of concert, barbecue and collection drive — is no exception. Rock out for a good cause with a lineup full of the Denver music-scene's luminaries, including HR People, the Trujillo Company, and, of course, Too Many Humans. Admission is free with a donated jacket, which will be sent along to the Denver Rescue Mission. Tickets are $10 in advance at Ticketfly and $15 at the door; proceeds from sales go toward the benefit of Youth on Record. Visit globehall.com for more information.
Christmas Festival Choir Concert: “Breath of Heaven”
December 14 to 15, 7:30 and 2 p.m.
Saint Andrew United Methodist Church
Get swept away in the sounds of the season at Breath of Heaven, a Christmas festival dedicated to carols and cookie-eating. A gospel-filled gathering of the Saint Andrew Festival Choir, the Saint Andrew Orchestra and the Alleluia Handbell Choir, the performance follows a special introduction from Reverend Mark Feldmeir, who will also be reading poems and narrating throughout the evening. Admission is free and open to the public; find out more on the Saint Andrew United Methodist Church events calendar.
Zodiac Killers: Sagittarius Edition and Kn*w Your Sh*t: December
December 14 to 15, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom
One by one, the multitude of of showcases fostered by the Comedy RoomRoom are taking their final bows as El Charrito's last call looms closer than the community would care to acknowledge. Kn*w Your Sh*t and Zodiac Killers, two of the most recent additions to the RoomRoom roster, may have enjoyed precious few outings before having to say goodbye, yet they embraced the dream-fueled venues' spirit of absurdist adventure all the same. Soak up one of the few remaining weekends of chuckles and chicharrones, starting with Kacy Dahl's all-Sagittarius Zodiac Killers lineup (Nic Dean, Allison Rose, Adrian P. Mesa, Noah Reynolds, Joshua Skillman, Zach Welch and Derrick Stroup) on Friday — tickets are $5 at Eventbrite. Then gear up for another round of margs and merriment on Saturday with Brian Flynn's phony-baloney TED Talk parody with presentations from Nate Earl, Andrew Bueno, Allison Rose, Katie Bowman, Zac Maas and Derrick Stroup again; admission is also $5, but this time it's through Nightout. Learn more on the Comedy RoomRoom Facebook events page.
December 14 to 15, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Chapungu Sculpture Park
Loveland's Chapungu Sculpture Park has undergone a festive makeover for the holiday season with Winter Wonderlights, a romp through grounds all aglow with twinkling string lights, a massive inflatable igloo and an LED-festooned Christmas tree. In addition to wandering the shimmery environs, guests can also enjoy live music, dance and other performances, along with food trucks and other on-site vendors. The lights will be on display through the end of the year, but this weekend is your last chance to catch the special live performances. Admission is free and open to the public, but donations of non-perishable goods to the Larimer County Food Bank or toys for Santa Cops are graciously appreciated. Check out the Visit Loveland events calendar for more details.
HitchCocktails: An Improvised Thriller and Drinking Game
Saturday, December 15, 6 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Master of cinematic suspense Alfred Hitchcock is responsible for some of the most indelible tropes and motifs in the history of motion pictures, which is precisely why his films are so ripe for parody. A series of improvised sketches rooted in the twisty espionage plots of movies like The Man Who Knew Too Much and North by Northwest, HitchCocktails combines goofs and spoofs with drinking-game antics in a live show where performers drink right along with the audience. Every bit as exciting as a classic thriller, only funnier and boozier, no two HitchCocktails performances are ever quite the same. Visit Syntax Physic Opera's Eventbrite page for tickets, $10, and more information.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
December 15 to 16, 3 p.m.
Saint John's Cathedral
Take part in a choral tradition that dates back to 1918 at a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a vocal retelling of the Christmas narrative. Even heathens can't resist the charm of Saint John's Cathedral, particularly with the angelic sounds of congregational carols filling the nave. A nearby nursery is available for children who might be young enough to disrupt the proceedings, and cookies and cider will be served to guests of all ages following the performances. Find out more about the free concerts on the Saint John's Cathedral Facebook events page.
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Run for Trouble Expat Travel Series: Destination Japan
Sunday, December 16, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sip your way through the Land of the Rising Sun with the kindly barkeeps of Big Trouble (with an assist from Run for the Roses at Dairy Block) at the inaugural Run for Trouble Expat Travel Series, an exploration of the drinking culture of Japan. Send your tastebuds on a voyage halfway across the world while your feet never leave Denver, with a cocktail menu full of westernized interpretations of classic Japanese tipples. Be sure to collect the keepsake postcard menus and accrue stamps at future events for a complimentary Zeppelin Station gift card and entry into a prize raffle. Find more details on Big Trouble's Facebook events page.
Boulder Comedy Show: Nick Turner
Sunday, December 16, 7 and 9:15 p.m.
Boulderites' bellies will shake like a bowl full of probiotic yogurt when the best comedy show in the Flatirons-facing college town returns for another round of beer-hall buffoonery. Back from Los Angeles for the holidays, host and producer Brent Gill presides over a pair of crackerjack standup shows for an appreciative crowd that has been building steadily since the series was founded in 2013. Gill's fellow Angeleno, Karl Hess, opens for headliner Nick Turner, who has appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, and Comedy Central's The Half Hour. Showtimes are at 7 and 9:15 p.m.; visit the Bohemian Biergarten's Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $5, and learn more.
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