Arts and Culture

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under

Start off 2018 with a literal bang at a pair of New Year's Eve fireworks displays on the 16th Street Mall.
Start off 2018 with a literal bang at a pair of New Year's Eve fireworks displays on the 16th Street Mall.
It's nearly time to bid adieu to 2017 and to gather with loved ones in celebration and hope for a better 2018. Whether readers are looking to giggle their way through the next few days or party hard into the new year, Westword has assembled a handy guide to the best free and cheap entertainment in Denver this week. Luckily, penny-pinching partiers can attend any of the following for less than $10, which means anyone can break up the monotony without breaking the bank.

click to enlarge EMILY COATES
Emily Coates
Hippieman and Friends
Thursday, December 28, 7:30 p.m.
Sushi Hai

Jon Wilkins may be Denver comedy's favorite doofy uncle, but don't let his avuncular bafflement give you the wrong idea: The man runs one hell of a great comedy show. For years, the local scene tended to overlook Denver's northern neighborhoods, and Wilkins has stepped in to fill that void. Booking only the greatest local and traveling standups, the Highlands Comedy Room boasts some of the city's best weekly lineups. Though the upscale Sushi Hai diners often require a bit of comedic wrangling to command the crowd's attention, the room is usually full and festive. There's a crackerjack lineup scheduled for Thursday night, showcasing Chicago's Chris Higgins and local favorites Jodee Champion and John "Hippieman" Novosad. To find tickets, $10, and more information, visit the Highlands Comedy Show Eventbrite page.

click to enlarge CARTOONS & COMEDY
Cartoons & Comedy
Cartoons & Comedy Christmas Wonderland
Thursday, December 28, 10 p.m.
Deer Pile

Cartoons & Comedy returns to the Deer Pile tonight for a flurry of funny and a festive theme. Spotlighting comics Nicole Conlan, John Tole and Jordan Doll goofing on classic animated Christmas specials, vintage commercials and half-forgotten oddities, it's worth extending the Yuletide season a few extra days to join the pajama-clad crowd. Cartoons & Comedy boasts all the laughs of a traditional standup showcase plus a carefully edited selection of animated favorites punctuated by a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style gauntlet of riffs. Hosted and produced by Chris Baker, Cartoons & Comedy has previously included surprise guests like Ron Funches, Eddie Pepitone, Hannibal Buress and Rory Scovel. In case all of that isn't enticement enough, the event will also have a buffet of sugary cereals available. Visit Bakerface Productions' Facebook events page to learn more.

Guest List: Album Release Show
Friday, December 29, 8 p.m.
Bakery Arts Warehouse

Guest List, a standup-and-sketch hybrid run by the insanely prolific local comic Ben Bryant, is emblematic of Denver comedy's self-starting character. In only a few short months, Guest List has made a home for itself in the Bakery Arts Warehouse by consistently programming lineups showcasing the best local and traveling standups and playing around with the format to keep things fresh and funny. Bryant's efforts culminated in a live-album taping last July, wherein a cavalcade of Denver's funniest people all recorded three-minute sets for a massive Denver mixtape, now available on Bandcamp as well as on a snazzy pink cassette. After spending months putting the album together, Bryant has invited some of the scene's heaviest hitters for an album release with Steve Vanderploeg, David Rogriguez, Anthony Armstrong, Jordan Doll, Janae Burris, Sam Tallent and Adam Cayton-Holland. Learn more and buy tickets, $5, via Guest List's Eventbrite page.

click to enlarge RACHEL WEEKS
Rachel Weeks
Birthday Party: Rest in Power 2017
Saturday, December 30, 10 p.m.
Rackhouse Pub

For a lot of readers, even 2017's best moments were still tainted by the general malaise of life in scarcely recognizable America. What better way to say good riddance to another rough year than in the company of some of Denver's funniest people. Join local standup supergroup the Pussy Bros. (Rachel Weeks, Janae Burris, and Christie Buchele) along with a lineup featuring Georgia Rae, Jordan Doll, Troy Walker, and DJ Erin Stereo on the ones and twos. Admission is $10 via GiveBackTickets and includes a free beer or cider for the ticket holder. Visit Pussy Bros' Facebook events page to learn more.

click to enlarge BLACK SKY BREWERY
Black Sky Brewery
New Year's at Black Sky
Sunday, December 31, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Black Sky Brewery

While most New Year's celebrations are all about thumping beats, trendy evening wear and champagne toasts, Black Sky Brewery is staying true to its spirit. Bury 2017 under an avalanche of dark beer, New Haven-style pizza, and heavy metal while enjoying drink specials all night long at Black Sky's New Year's Eve Party. Shots of Jägermeister and Fireball are only $3. Visit Black Sky Brewery's Facebook events page for more details.
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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.
Contact: Byron Graham