Arts and Culture

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

Grace Clark joins an illustrious lineup at Mercury Cafe's Stories and Songs: A Night of Collaboration on Saturday, January 19.
Grace Clark joins an illustrious lineup at Mercury Cafe's Stories and Songs: A Night of Collaboration on Saturday, January 19. Carly Miller
The city is abuzz with activity. Even the most parsimonious among you should find plenty to do during the days ahead. Whether it's comedy, classical music, plaintive indie rock or women's wrestling that catches your fancy, the following list is rich with entertainment possibilities. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver (plus a couple in Fort Collins and one in Longmont) this weekend.

Courtesy of Syntax Physic Opera
Adult Spelling Bee
Thursday, January 17, 7 to 8 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera

Apart from correcting typos on social-media posts, grown-up wordsmiths have few opportunities to show off their phonetic smarts. Luckily, Syntax Physic Opera is here to reward know-it-alls with the Adult Spelling Bee, a fun-filled, booze-soaked throwback to scholastic competitions. After testing the mettle of your mental dictionary, hang around the bar for a concert with Spirettes, Sydney Clapp, Rowan Kerrick and Lava Lava. On-site registration begins at 6:15 p.m. and space for competitors is limited, so don't hesitate. Find out more on the Denver Public Library events calendar.

Captain Powerful Trailer from Antoine M. DIllard on Vimeo.

Emerging Filmmakers Project
Thursday, January 17, 8 to 11 p.m.
Bug Theatre

Despite Denver's comparatively meagre production industry, the Queen City of the Plains nurtures a robust creative community, and the Emerging Filmmakers Project has served as one of its longest-running gatherings. Established over a decade ago by the late Patrick Sheridan, the show continues with more screenings of locally produced short films followed by lively discussions with the audience. January's roster includes Antoine M. Dillard's "Captain Powerful," Guillermo Roques's "El Javi - Recuerdo a Paco," "Reliquary: A Mugging," by Lindsay Morrison and Michael La Breche, and a trailer for the Bug's upcoming production of I Love, You're Perfect, Now Change. Visit the Emerging Filmmakers Project Facebook events page for more details.

Courtesy of Robert Osborne
Denver Art Song Project: Don Quixote in Music
January 17 to 19, 7 p.m.
Arts at Cabrini
The People’s Building
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
$5 to $10

The Denver Art Song Project waxes quixotic with its first full-fledged theatrical production, Don Quixote in Music, a tuneful interpretation of the Miguel de Cervantes-penned classic of the Spanish Golden Age. The production retells the misadventures of the self-anointed knight, whose repeated chivalric failures are aided by Sancho Panza — arguably the most notable sidekick in the literary canon. With his velvety vocals, bass-baritone Robert Osborne will perform in the titular role. Don Quixote in Music is a testament to the enduring legacy and protean adaptability of the windmill-titling tale. Enjoy a trio of performances at venues across town this weekend; visit the Denver Art Song Project box-office page to buy tickets, $5 to $10, and learn more.

Intricate Form
Friday, January 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort Collins Museum of Art

The Fort Collins Museum of Art's Contemporary Native American Series continues with Intricate Form, a joint exhibition from Brenda Mallory of the Cherokee Nation and Sydney Pursel, who hails from the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. Honorees of the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists, Pursel and Mallory vary in style, yet both offer bold new visions of a future forced to reckon with the past. Pursel herself will be in attendance at the installation's opening reception on Friday, January 18, and the works will remain on display through March 17. Discover more on the Fort Collins Museum of Art events calendar.
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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