While the rodent-divined forecasts of Groundhog Day are essentially irrelevant during this year's exceedingly mild winter, one prediction Westword can guarantee with absolute veracity is that Denver's creative community will keep its city's citizens thoroughly entertained for the next six weeks, starting with this weekend. Whether readers fancy grand concerts, goofy comedy shows, film screenings, or ice skating in Victorian finery, the days ahead are ripe with possibility. Furthermore, the following list is decidedly budget-friendly; readers can attend any of the ten events listed below for ten American dollars or less.
Views and Brews Winter Olympics Film Series: Miracle
Thursday, February 1, 6 p.m.
Longmont Museum and Cultural Center
$5 to $8
The Winter Olympics are approaching at a luge-like velocity, but fans can still get a head start on the sporting spirit at the Longmont Museum's Views and Brews Winter Olympics Film Series. Relive the glory of Olympians past in the days leading up to the games in Pyeongchang at a screening series dedicated to films that celebrate athleticism and team work, with a signature cocktail pairing for each film. The series kicks off with the unexpectedly great adaptation of one of sports history's most inspirational underdog stories, 2004's Miracle. Starring American treasure Kurt Russell, the movie tells the patriotic tale of the college-aged USA Hockey team's hard-won victory over the formidable Soviet skate squad. Visit the Longmont Museum events calendar to buy tickets, $5 to $8, and learn more.
WRITE CLUB Denver: To the Teeth
Thursday, February 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Write Club Denver, a self-described "literary thunderdome," pits writer against writer in a series of head-to-head competitive readings from Denver-based authors, comedians, performers and creatives of every stripe. The combatants for February's Groundhog Day Eve diction duels include Cory Byrom vs. Chad McNaughton, Emily Voorhees vs. Johanna Walker, and Laura Deal vs. Jared Ewy. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the door, though no one will be turned away. Visit Write Club Denver's Facebook events page for more details.
Comedians' Power Hour
Thursday, February 1, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Since its humble beginnings in Albuquerque, where it was co-hosted by Sarah Kennedy and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller, Comedians' Power Hour has evolved into a regular showcase in New York City as well as an adaptable format for festivals and traveling road shows. Prodigal Denverite Brett Hiker, who's stepped in for Mueller on the New York shows, is bringing the whole drunken spectacle to El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom, a fitting venue for boozy standup showcases. Power Hour, not unlike the college drinking game of the same name, pits two comics against each other in a series of comedic challenges, including performing their opponent's material, interspersed with shots of beer before switching to liquor for the final rounds. Power Hour is always full of surprises and drunken tomfoolery, but fans can expect extra debauchery as Matt Cobos squares off against Greg Baumhauer. Admission is $8 via Nightout. Diehards can also stick around after the show for the 10 p.m. open mic hosted by Allison Rose.
Friday Night Weird: Attack the Block
Friday, February 2, 8:45 p.m.
$6.50 to $12
A new month has arrived, and with it a new theme for Boedecker Theater's Friday Night Weird film series.
For more details and links to buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, visit the Dairy Center's box office page. In honor of Black History Month, the programmers at Friday Night Weird have joined forces with the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture for Space Is the Place, a three-week exploration of science fiction inspired by the African-American experience. Named for the the delightfully freaky Sun Ra movie (which caps off the series on Friday, February 16), Space Is the Place kicks off with a showing of Joe Cornish's underrated sci-fi comedy Attack the Block. Mainly remembered as the big-screen debut of Star Wars' John Boyega, the projects-tenants-versus-aliens cult classic is worth a second look for its abundance of cheeky wit, sly satire, and show-stopping action sequences. For more details and links to buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, visit the Dairy Center's box-office page.
Stratus Chamber Orchestra: Dreams and Aspirations
February 2 to 3, 7:30 p.m.
First Plymouth Congregational Church
Augustana Lutheran Church
$10 to $25
In partnership with Picture Me Here and the Lighthouse Writer's Workshop, the Stratus Chamber Orchestra presents "Dreams and Aspirations," a fellowship for newly arrived immigrants and refugees coming together for an evening of storytelling, music and imagery. The first concert, held on Friday, February 2, at First Plymouth Congregational Church, offers guests the chance to enjoy an immersive seating experience, with a more traditional arrangement the following evening at Augustana Lutheran Church. Showtimes for both performances are at 7:30 p.m. Visit the Augustana Arts box-office page to buy tickets, $10 to $25, and learn more.
Penny Admission for Colorado Residents
Saturday, February 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While pennies are an essentially worthless and outmoded currency, it turns out locals can still use them to buy something worthwhile: admission to Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art. With three new exhibitions premiering this week, it's an ideal way to keep abreast of the goings-on at MCA Denver whie enjoying an unbeatable discount. With new works from Cleon Peterson, Arthur Jafa and Diego Rodriguez on display, it's honestly well worth paying MCA's modest admission fees any day of the week. But if you're extra thrifty and don't mind a crowd, a copper Lincoln is all you need to get in. This deal is only available to Colorado residents, so pay up, tourists. Visit MCA Denver's home page for more information.
Victorian Steampunk Ice Skating
Saturday, February 3, 6 to 9 p.m.
Southwest Ice Rink
Though ice skates had existed for practical purposes for centuries, recreational skating blossomed into a fashionable leisure activity during the Victorian era. Denverites can relive the glamour of the pastime's salad days at Southwest Ice Rink on Saturday, February 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. Don your best Victorian or steampunk costume and take to the ice with the grace of proper lords and ladies. Admission is $8; visit the Southwest Ice Rink Facebook events page for more details.
Saturday, Febraury 3, 7 to 10 p.m.
Breaking Barriers is a unique project that unites performers from various backgrounds in a creative challenge. With a soundtrack provided by producer Suren Seneviratne, eight dancers from different disciplines, genders and ethnicities have a week to create an original work that explores the theme of overcoming such differences. The performances will also be followed by a Q&A for audience members who are curious about the creative process. Learn more and buy tickets, $10, from Breaking Barriers' Eventbrite page.
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Super Bowl Party
Sunday, February 4, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Oriental Theater
Most readers are well aware that Super Bowl LII happens on Sunday. Cord-cutting individuals without a place to watch the Philadelphia Eagles go up against the New England Patriots have plenty of watch-party options, but few of them are as grand as the one hosted every year at the Oriental Theater. Join throngs of fans to watch the big game for free. Visit the Oriental's events calendar for more information. Football.
Friends of Chamber Music: Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet
Tuesday, February 6, 7:30 p.m
Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts
$10 to $40
Celebrated all over the world, the Berlin Woodwind Quintet returns to Colorado for the first time since 2011 for a joint concert with British pianist and composer Stephen Hough. The program comprises four comparatively rarely performed works, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Quintet in E-flat major for Winds and Piano, K. 452," Francis Poulenc's "Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano in C Major, FP 100," Paul Hindemith's "Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2," and Hough's own trio for piccolo, contrabassoon and piano, aka "Was Mit den Tränen Geschieht." Tickets are dramatically discounted for guests under thirty years of age, so the concert is an ideal way for millennials to get acquainted with the finer things. Visit the Newman Center's box office page to buy tickets, $10 to $40, and the Friends of Chamber Music events calendar to learn more.
Looking for more to do? Visit Westword's calendar online.