The weekend may be close enough to savor the sweet taste of freedom on your wind-chapped lips, but the financial woes and wintry climes of life in the Mile High are enough to turn anyone into a homebound hermit. Fret not, loyal reader: The temperature's warming up, and free and cheap things to do abound. So put on your jacket, leave the house and keep pinching pennies all weekend long. Keep reading for ten great ways to have a blast without breaking the bank — or if you'd rather ignore our advice and hole up at home, at least be sure to tip your pizza delivery driver.
Weirdo: Winner's Circle
Thursday, January 31, 9 p.m.
Gladys: The Nosy Neighbor
Take a walk on the weirder side when five former champions of one of Denver favorite underground drag competitions vie for sovereignty over the scene at Weirdo: Winner's Circle. Battle-proven contestants Pax, Pussidone, Amya Kunt-Douglas, Evelyn Evermore, and Belle Fegore square off for the title of Ms. Weirdo during an unforgettable evening. Hosted by IzzyDead and soundtracked by DJT, the showdown also coincides with publication parties for the most recent issues of Out Front Colorado and Suspect Press. Admission is $3 at the door; head over to Gladys: the Nosy Neighbor's Facebook events page for more details.
Cartoons & Comedy: Six-Year Anniversary
Thursday, January 31, 10 p.m.
The Black Buzzard
Over its six year tenure, Chris Baker's Cartoons & Comedy has cycled through a series of local venues (including Deer Pile, Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, and a one-off at Moe's BBQ), welcomed comedy-nerd heroes like Ron Funches, Hannibal Buress, Rory Scovel and many, many more to the stage, and consistently remained one of Denver's most delightful shows. Celebrate Cartoons & Comedy's candy anniversary with local Kyle Pogue, the Los Angeles-bound Rachel Weeks and headliner Amy Miller. Giggle along with comedians mocking the staples of our televisual childhoods and have a bowl of sugary cereal while taking an irony-fueled trip down memory lane. Admission is free; find more information on Big Top Productions' Facebook events page.
The Quiet Force Film Premiere
Friday, February 1, 7 to 9 p.m.
Latinos form an essential core of the workforce in mountain towns, yet their contributions are too often overlooked by slope-bound tourists who unwittingly rely upon them. Originally inspired by a David Page-penned Powder Magazine profile of the same title, The Quiet Force offers a cinematic tribute to the workers who make up 30 percent of the population in towns such as Vail, Mammoth Mountain and Jackson Hole yet go unnoticed by a majority of skiers. Filmmakers Hilary Byrne and Sophie Danison —who previously collaborated on Pretty Faces, a documentary about female skiers and snowboarders navigating the male-dominated winter sports industry— are experts at puncturing elitism and making persuasive arguments for making winter playground resorts more inclusive. Check out the Denver premiere of the film, followed by a Q&A with co-directors Danison and Byrne in the unlikely yet fitting setting of evo bicycle shop. Visit evo's Facebook events page to RSVP and learn more.
DU Lamont Faculty Recital: Steven Mayer and Matthew Plenk
Friday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.
Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Educate, enlighten, and entertain your ears with a pair of world-class musicians — pianist Steven Mayer and tenor Matthew Plenk — at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music's Faculty Recital. Professors whose respective courses of instruction are impressively buttressed by accomplished performing careers, Plenk is a veteran of the New York Metropolitan Opera, and Mayer claimed the prestigious Opera Grand Prix du Disque Liszt. Join the duo in Hamilton Recital Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts for a wondrous evening awash in the simple splendor of piano keys and an exceptionally sonorous human voice. Find tickets, $10, and more information on the Newman Center Presents box-office page.
Bad Apple Comedy Show
Friday, February 1, 8 p.m.
$5 to $9
The giggle orchard flourishes anew with another round of the Bad Apple Comedy Show at Stem Ciders taphouse. Hosted once more by Carey Lieberman, the show returns with a fresh batch of buffoons, including
Phil Corridor, Roger Stafford, Brandy Bryant, Michael Issacs and headliner Zeke Herrera. Buy tickets, $5 to $9, and find out more on the Goldfish Entertainment Eventbrite page.
Friday Night Weird: Take It Out in Trade and Plan 9 From Outer Space
Friday, February 1, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6.50 to $12
The weekend weirdening continues with a double feature from the charmingly slapdash auteur Ed Wood, whose oeuvre seems tailor-made for Boedecker Theater's weekly screening series dedicated to cinematic oddities. Friday Night Weird rides again with a one-night tribute to the B-movie maestro, erotica novelist and World War II veteran who bravely served our country with ladies' undergarments hidden beneath his military uniform, with a pair of restored prints. Plan 9 From Outer Space is well-known material, but it took nearly fifty years for Take It Out in Trade to emerge from the vault of history. A boldly queer-friendly sendup of film noir sleuthing — wherein the director bravely appeared in glorious drag as the femme fatale Alecia — Wood's rarely seen final film hints at the untapped depth beneath his shlockmeister surface. Visit the Dairy Arts Center box-office page for tickets, $6.50 to $12, and details.
Teen Q&A with Jordan Casteel
Saturday, February 2, 2 p.m.
Denver Art Museum
An interactive cherry on top of Denver Art Museum's free first Saturday hubbub, an adolescent-friendly preview of the upcoming exhibit Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze awaits at a question-and-answer session with the artist led and observed by teenagers. Presented in coordination with Project VOYCE, the speakers' panel supplements Casteel's insight with contributions from the youthful members of PlatteForum, Art Students League of Denver and East High School. The discussion is included with Free First Saturday admission, but pre-registration is required on the Denver Art Museum Eventbrite page. Make haste: Spots are filling quickly.
First Saturday Poetry Series
Saturday, February 2, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Settle into the splendor of a verse dispersed when BookBar's First Saturday Poetry Series continues with recitations from Alicia Mountain and Joy Sawyer. Mountain, who won the Iowa Poetry Prize and penned the collections High Ground Coward and Thin Fire, and Sawyer, Herbert Rubin Award-winning author of Tongues of Men and Angels — are a twofold treat for regular readers. Nosh, sip and listen along with a pair of mid-afternoon readings guaranteed to get your fingers snapping. Learn more about the free readings on BookBar's events calendar.
Best of Denver Fashion Week Exhibit: Opening Night
Saturday, February 2, 6 to 9 p.m.
Flout conventional wisdom with an early arrival to the opening-night festivities for the Best of Denver Fashion Week Exhibit, an artful retrospective of ten years of Queen City runway splendor. Get acquainted with the recent history of local fabulousness while quaffing complimentary brews provided by Ratio Beerworks, and whet your appetite for this year's soirée, which returns from March 23 to 31. Visit Denver Fashion Week's Eventbrite page to RSVP and learn more. The opening is followed by an after-party at Nativ Hotel, which is free but requires pre-registration.
Punx & Pins!
Sunday, February 3, 3 to 6 p.m.
Streets of London Pub
Adorn the bare expanses of your leather and denim lapels with tiny emblems of oi-oi-outrage at Punx & Pins!, a time-honored open market that returns to the newly renovated and proudly Proud Boy-free Streets of London Pub. Peruse a variety of vendors offering convenient ways to express your tastes and beliefs in button form; swap vintage clothing and vinyl for handmade goods. Curious visitors pay no cover charge. Discover more on the Streets of London Pub Facebook events page.
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