Arts and Culture

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Three Free)

Join the Esquire's Midnight Madness crowd for screenings of the cult classic creature feature Rawhead Rex on October 20 and 21.
Join the Esquire's Midnight Madness crowd for screenings of the cult classic creature feature Rawhead Rex on October 20 and 21. Empire Pictures
Whether you're eager to fully embrace the scare season or simply escape into laughter and song, Denver's creative community is there to meet your entertainment needs. This week, locals can check out horror cinema classics, enjoy world-class concerts or skate down memory lane at a Stranger Things-themed roller disco, all without spending more than ten American dollars. That's right, all ten of the events listed below charge $10 or less for admission, and three of them have no cover fees at all.

Violinist Miriam Fried
Thursday, October 19, 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton Recital Hall

Miriam Fried, among the world's most accomplished violinists, will perform on Thursday, October 19, at Hamilton Recital Hall in the University of Denver's Newman Performing Arts Center, as part of the Lamont School of Music's concert series. Equally adept in orchestral and chamber-music settings, Fried's skill shines brightest during solo recitals. Although masterfully precise, Fried stands out from her contemporaries for the degree of commitment and emotional intensity she pours into each note of music. Adult tickets cost only $10 via the Newman Center's box-office page, so don't miss this opportunity to enjoy a world-class concert on a pauper's budget.

Ben Kronberg & Friends at the Highlands Comedy Show
Thursday, October 19, 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 their attention, the room is usually full and festive. There's a crackerjack lineup scheduled for Thursday night's showcase, including local favorites Jake Hamel, Caitie Hannan and Anthony Armstrong opening for prodigal hometown hero Ben Kronberg. Find out more and buy tickets, $10, on the Highlands Comedy Show Eventbrite page.

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Bug Theatre
Emerging Filmmakers Project: Halloween Madness
Thursday, October 19, 8 p.m.
The Bug Theatre

A local arts scene institution that dates back to 2002, the Emerging Filmmakers Project has had untold influence on Denver's film scene. An essential networking and collaborative hub for every stripe of cinephile, the EFP celebrates community-building as much as it does films. Join host and local filmmaker Patrick Sheridan for a lineup of shorts including such intriguing titles as "Mr. Fuffles," "Haint County," "The Dragon's Quest" and more. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. (we recommend arriving early to mingle), and the screenings begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Learn more on EFP's Facebook events page.

Hitchcock Film Festival: The Birds
Friday, October 20, 6 p.m.
The Cube Stapleton

The Hitchcock Film Festival continues at the Cube event space at Stapleton with a free screening of the auteur's 1963 thriller, The Birds. Notorious tales of Hitchcock terrorizing actress Tippi Hedren on the set have soured some of the film's escapist pleasures; nonetheless, The Birds continues to represent filmmaking of the highest order. Indeed, the master of suspense manages to elevate a profoundly silly premise into a nerve-racking gauntlet of frights. Join Dr. Vincent "Indie Prof" Piturro and kick off the film with an educational and entertaining presentation that places The Birds within the context of Hitchcock's celebrated oeuvre. And since no movie is truly complete without popcorn, the Cube offers a full concession stand complete with beer and wine. Visit the Stapleton MCA events calendar to learn more.

Story Time!
Friday, October 20, 7:15 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Suggested $3 donation

One of the first theme shows to take up residence in El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom, James Draper's Story Time has a somewhat misleading name. Rather than telling stories (check out We Still Like You or The Narrators for that), Draper's show calls upon every comic on the lineup to either share his or her best one-liners or generate enough new ones to fill five minutes. Like building a ship in a bottle or composing a haiku, telling a great one-liner joke requires focus, determination and maybe even a little mental illness. Shakespeare may have popularized the axiom "Brevity is the soul of wit," but Story Time! pares it down to its very essence. Join Draper along with local comics Georgia Rae, C.J. Willard, Miriam Moreno and Derrick Stroup opening for Los Angeles-bound headliner Brent Gill. Admission is free, but donations for the comics are always appreciated. Visit Story Time'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