Denver's fall arts season is in full swing, bringing ballet and fresh theater to Denver stages, along with a touch of the spooky. Take your pick from these three seasonally friendly diversions. Colorado Ballet, Swan Lake Ellie Caulkins Opera House
7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 20, through Saturday, October 22
2 p.m. Sunday, October 23
Tickets: $30 to $155
303-837-8888, ext. 2
The Colorado Ballet leapt into its 56th season earlier this month with the ultimate classic: Swan Lake, with a live performance of the Tchaikovsky score by the company’s in-house orchestra. Traditionally staged yet tweaked for a modern edge, the run pirouettes into its final performances this weekend, so catch it while you can. “In addition to the stunning choreography, Colorado Ballet’s Swan Lake is huge in size and scope,” says artistic director Gil Boggs. “At one point during the ballet, we will have 27 swans on stage at the same time. The grandeur of this ballet will leave you speechless, and it cannot be missed.” Balletophiles won’t be disappointed. Ignite Theatre, Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe Crossroads Theater
October 21 through November 13
7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
2:30 p.m. Sundays
7:30 p.m. Monday, October 31
No show Friday, October 28 Tickets: $19 to $24
Ignite Theatre sticks to its mission of producing high-energy musicals but throws in a large helping of spooky seasonal spirit with the regional premiere of Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, which mixes up biography, literary references, sound effects and an eclectic set of tortured tunes and rock ballads. Looking for an alternative Halloween, away from drunken costume parties or parental duty on the trick-or-treating line? Ignite will also take the stage for Nevermore on Monday, October 31. Allied Witches' Presidential Election Convention 2016 Mercury Cafe
7:30 p.m. Friday, October 21, and Friday, October 28
7:30 p.m. Monday, October 31 Tickets: $10 303-294-9258
Halloween is a tradition at the wandering Mercury Cafe, which finally settled at its current location on Halloween night in 1990. The Merc’s annual Allied Witches performance has become central to the venue’s in-house programming every October, especially during major election years, when the all-woman cast, led by Merc maven Marilyn Megenity, turns to ripe political satire. It’s a perennial element of the Merc’s Halloween festivities, along with dinner specials and a costume ball with live music. Before the big night, you can catch one of the Witches’ performances on a more sedate Friday.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.