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

Join the Sphere Ensemble at a pair of season-opening concerts September 15 and 16.
Join the Sphere Ensemble at a pair of season-opening concerts September 15 and 16.
Danielle Lirette Photography
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The weekend is nigh and expectations are high, but Denver's creative community is more than prepared to exceed them. While working folk may despair at being left out of some of the more cost-prohibitive events during the days ahead, there are still plenty of ways to have a blast without breaking the bank. As always, Denver's comedy scene is the gift that keeps on giving to open-minded penny-pinchers, but the list below also contains plenty of magic, music, movies and punkish ethos. Keep reading for the ten best events in Denver this weekend for $10 and under.

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Four Free!)
Melville House Books

Author Appearance: Jason Heller
Thursday, September 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
Denver Press Club

Still broken by the loss of Bowie? Hugo Award-winning author and erstwhile Westword scribe Jason Heller's worshipful chronicle of David Bowie's cultural and personal influence, Strange Stars, is here to fill the absence of Ziggy Stardust — or the Thin White Duke, depending on your preferred Bowie era — in an entertaining and thoughtful examination of how the late icon's legacy shaped Heller's distinctive prose and musical sensibilities. Heller has deep roots in Denver's music scene and moonlights as the DJ of Mile High Soul Club. Join the author for a discussion of Strange Stars at the Denver Press Club; find out more on the club's Facebook events page.

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Four Free!)
Anthem and Aria: The Empowertainers

Anthem and Aria Magic Show
Thursday, September 13, 7 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
$9 to $10

Revel in the reality-bending delights of the dark arts when Anthem and Aria (aka the Empowertainers) return to the red velvet-adorned stage of Syntax Physic Opera for another evening of interactive magic and vaudevillian showmanship. A relentlessly entertaining gauntlet of goofy jokes, mesmerizing illusions and endearingly corny sincerity, Anthem and Aria provide a one-of-a-kind evening of magic in every sense of the word. Admission is $10 at the door and $9 at Anthem and Aria's Well Attended page.

Noonan's Nice & Naughty Comedy Night
Friday, September 14, 8 to 10 p.m.
Noonan's Sports Bar & Grill

Golfers and comedians co-exist peaceably at Noonan's Nice & Naughty Comedy Night, a monthly showcase of Denver's most reserved and ribald standups. Hosted and curated by the "Hebrew Hairdresser," Terri Barton Gregg, September's outing welcomes openers Ralph Achilles, Elyse Gordon-Holtz, Jack Barton and
D. Kelley to Noonan's wedding-ready reception room before headliner Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald (Animal Planet) lays affable waste to the stage. Get tickets, $10, and information on the Hold Please Productions Eventbrite page.

Shenanigans Comedy Show
Friday, September 14, 8 to 10 p.m.
Bear Creek Distillery

Purveyors of the local comedy scene's finest hooliganism, young scoundrels Grayson Nite and Roger Stafford's Shenanigans Comedy Show couldn't have a more fitting title. The jokey hijinks return to the south Denver hooch-mongers with a cavalcade of chuckle champions, including locals standups Brad Galli, Piper Shepard, Elliot Broder and Pittsburgh-based crusher John Dick Winters. Luckily for DUI-avoidant readers, Bear Creek Distillery is a mere drunken stumble from the Evans Street RTD Station, so guests needn't worry about getting home safely. Admission is free; find out more from Shenanigans Comedy's Facebook events page.

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Four Free!)
Courtesy of The Oriental Theater

Dirty Laundry Dating Show
Friday September 14, 8 p.m.
The Oriental Theater

When you play the Dirty Laundry Dating Game, you either win or you die of laughter. Co-hosted by Nick Gossert and Ian Douglas Terry (of Lucha Libre & Laughs and Ratio Comedy, respectively), the show is essentially an irony-warped reboot of The Dating Game, wherein lucky — or unlucky, depending on one's perspective — contestants compete for the hearts of special guest dreamboats. Courting romance and finding only ridicule  —much to the schadenfreude-filled delight of the audience — even the most roundly humiliated Dirty Laundry bachelor or bachelorette would have to concede that an embarrassing public spectacle is still preferable to the drudgery of Tinder and its ilk. Swipe right on this bawdy giggle gauntlet; find tickets, $10, and more information on the Oriental Theater box-office page.

Midnight Madness: 2001: A Space Odyssey
September 14 to 15, midnight
Landmark Esquire

A sci-fi masterpiece that retains every bit of its capacity to bend minds and inspire wonder fifty years after its initial release, 2001: A Space Odyssey melds space-age anxieties with psychedelic visuals and cryptic philosophizing. An enduring legacy of a watershed moment in cinema history, Stanley Kubrick's 1968 epic ponders mankind's place in a baffling universe, finding no comforting answers but offering a bounty of thrilling and iconic sequences. In other words, it's perfect fodder for the altered consciousnesses of a midnight-movie crowd. Revisit the classic (or witness it for the first time) on the big screen at Landmark Esquire's Midnight Madness screening series. Tickets are $9.50 on Landmark Esquire's box-office page.

Kn*w Your Sh*t host Brian Flynn.
Kn*w Your Sh*t host Brian Flynn.
Haley Loria Carnefix

Kn*w Your Sh*t
Saturday, September 15, 8 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom

A TED Talk for people who don't want to learn anything useful, Kn*w Your Sh*t welcomes a rogue's gallery of Denver comedians to show off their nonexistent expertise in a series of deliberately absurd slideshow presentations. Hosted and curated by The Revisionists and Queen City Companion's Brian Flynn, the debut of Kn*w Your Sh*t is unified by the protean theme of destruction. Join Flynn, along with September guests Caitie Hannan, Jose Macall, Michael Seyedian and Zach Welch as they find laughter and insight among chaos. Visit Kn*w Your Sh*t's Nightout page to buy tickets, $5, and learn more.

One Liner Madness host Emily Winter.
One Liner Madness host Emily Winter.
Steve Shohl

One Liner Madness
Saturday, September 15, 8 p.m.
The Black Buzzard

Not unlike origami or impossible bottle ships, perfecting the art of the one-liner requires a maniacal precision and fiendish persistence. One Liner Madness, a testament to the potency of concise joke-writing and a feverish comedy competition all at once, is a roving paean to finding the shortest path to funny, and it's rolling through Denver's best new comedy venue for an evening of short jokes and long laughs this weekend. Created and hosted by New York-based comedian Emily Winter, One Liner Madness is a comedy festival favorite that's here to test the mettle of 64 of Denver's best standups. Brevity may be widely acknowledged as the soul of wit, but it will also inspire plenty of fierce competition and audience delight at this one-time-only event. Admission is free; visit Black Buzzard's Ticketfly page for details. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I'll be competing in — and in all likelihood, quickly eliminated from — One Liner Madness.

Cometbus magazine's Aaron Cometbus.
Cometbus magazine's Aaron Cometbus.
Chrissy Piper

Live Reading and Q&A with Aaron Cometbus
Saturday, September 15, 8 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe

Hardened even further by nearly four decades in print, Cometbus magazine is a vital independent publication with deep roots in the Bay Area punk scene. Publisher Aaron Cometbus is a fierce advocate of street-level journalism expressed with a defiant point of view, and he'll be making a rare public appearance at Mutiny Information Cafe, a venue that dovetails perfectly with his staunchly DIY ethos. Cometbus alights upon Denver's most anarchy-friendly bookstore for an evening of stories, letter readings and prize giveaways in a Ratio Beerworks-sponsored meeting of the minds. This event is free and open to the public, so don't miss out; find out more on Mutiny Information Cafe's Facebook events page.

Season Opening Concert With Sphere Ensemble
September 15, 7:30 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Boulder
September 16, 4 p.m.
The Studios at Overland Crossing
$10 to $20

Herald the arrival of the Sphere Ensemble's latest season with a pair of performances that cater to classical music lovers all along the Front Range. Kicking off at Boulder's First Congregational Church before heading down to Denver's altogether less holy Studios at Overland Crossing, the Sphere Ensemble is making a bold debut in 2018. The concerts' centerpiece is Antonín Dvorák's "Serenade for Strings in E Major," and the program is rounded out by classical touchstones from Maurice Revel and Claude Debussy as well as more modern songs from the likes of Paul McCartney and Phish, allowing eras and genres to collide and delight a hopefully open-minded crowd. Tickets to both Saturday and Sunday's recitals are $10 to $20; visit the Sphere Ensemble's events calendar to learn more.

Do you have an event you want to see included in one of Westword's event lists? Send the details to editorial@westword.com.

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