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

DJ Erin Stereo hosts Vinyl Jeopardy this Thursday at Syntax Physic Opera.
DJ Erin Stereo hosts Vinyl Jeopardy this Thursday at Syntax Physic Opera. J. Karl Brewick
The official end of summer may have finally arrived, but Denver's creative community shows no signs of cooling down along with the changing seasons. The Mile High City is ripe with affordable entertainments this weekend. Each of the events listed below — be they movie screenings, comedy shows, or concerts — charge less than $10 for admission (fine print notwithstanding). Keep reading for the ten best events in Denver for $10 and under this weekend, and take heart that half of them are free.

Vinyl Jeopardy
Thursday, September 20, 7 p.m.-1 a.m.
Syntax Physic Opera

A tuneful challenge for sharp ears and sharper minds, Vinyl Jeopardy is a mashup of trivia games and dance parties hosted by Best of Denver award-winning DJ Erin Stereo. Test your musical knowledge in segments like "Name That Tune" or "Who's Sampled?" in a fun-filled evening that more than earns the moniker "smart-pants dance party." This month, Erin Stereo is joined by guest DJ Sara Splatter, along with her crates of ’80s favorites. September's celebration also includes a pop-up record store offering unbeatable deals (four albums for $10) and a chance to support KGNU Community Radio, which will receive all the proceeds from sales. The party starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $5 at the door. Find out more on Syntax Physic Opera's Facebook events page.

CU Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band: Bernstein at 100
Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.
Macky Auditorium

Colorado's classical-music community has been honoring the centenary of the legendary Leonard Bernstein all summer long, and the celebrations aren't stopping now that school's back in session. The University of Colorado's Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band are certainly still feeling the Bernstein, and its members will pay tribute to the late American composer with a concert full of songs from some of his grandest theatrical works. Beginning with "Slava!" and continuing with "The Suite From Candide" before concluding with "Three Dance Episodes" from On the Town, the program will highlight both Bernstein's versatility as a composer and the fine musicianship of the student ensembles. Like many CU Presents classical concerts, admission to Bernstein at 100 is free; visit the CU Presents events calendar for more details or a link to watch a live stream of the show.

Story Time!
Friday, September 21, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom

A veritable giggle gauntlet for Denver's wordier comedians, James Draper's Story Time! is dedicated to finding the shortest path to laughter. Despite its deliberately misleading name, the Comedy RoomRoom's longest-running showcase challenges comics to perfect the painstaking art of the one-liner. September's lineup includes local charmers Andrew Bueno, Nicholai Roscoe, Lila Bear, C.J.Willard and headliner Andrew Orvedahl. Admission is free, though a minimum $3 donation is richly appreciated. Learn more on the Comedy RoomRoom's Facebook events page.

Friday Night Weird: Perfect Blue
Friday, September 21, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater
$6.50 to $12

Friday Night Weird, the Boedecker Theater's weekly screening series dedicated to cinematic oddities, lives up to its auspicious name with a presentation of the rarely seen Perfect Blue. The disturbing yet captivating debut of Satoshi Kon (arguably the David Lynch of anime), Perfect Blue is a truly mind-bending psychological thriller about a pop star caught up in a murder mystery that grows more fantastically abstract as the suspense ratchets up. A perfect chance for otaku completists to catch up with the now twenty-year-old classic, Friday Night Weird offers the first of the weekend's two retrospectives of the finest films in the Japanese animation canon. Buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, and find more information on the Dairy Arts Center's box-office page.

Midnight Madness: Akira
September 21 to 22, Midnight
Landmark Esquire

Double up on anime masterpieces with a Midnight Madness screening of the less obscure but nearly-every-bit-as-bonkers Akira. Set in a dystopian neo-Tokyo beset by roving biker gangs, the movie is rich with cyber-punk imagery that still feels groundbreaking even thirty years after its initial release in 1988. Despite requiring a team of animators to produce, Akira is a true auteur effort from director Katsuhiro Otomo, who adapted the genre and medium-defining film from his manga series of the same name. Revisit the classic, or see it for the first time at a pair of midnight screenings. Either way, we guarantee you'll never look at a teddy bear the same way again. Visit the Landmark Esquire's box-office page to buy tickets, $49.50, and learn more.
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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