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The 21 Best Events in Denver, March 7-13

May you always carry the luck of the Irish.
May you always carry the luck of the Irish.
Ken Hamblin
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Time to ditch the red hearts and Cupid arrows: We are officially into St. Patrick's Day territory. Celebrate the annual drunkfest — er, we mean, religious holiday? — at the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 11. It's just one of the many offerings we have in this week's 21 best events.

Tuesday, March 7

Are you experienced? So asked the guitar god Jimi Hendrix in his 1967 debut album that changed rock and roll forever. Though Hendrix lived a short life, dying just three years later, his legacy lives on in the Experience Hendrix tour, which celebrates him through the eyes of performers including Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Ana Popovic. The tour stops at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. Find tickets, which start at $53, at altitudetickets.com.

Wednesday, March 8

We can't change the past, but we sure can make fun of it. Join the Alternate History improv group and go on a journey of what-ifs, at Deer Pile, 206 East 13th Avenue. Performers will act out important moments from the past, slightly changed, to see how it might alter our journey through space and time. There's no end to the possibilities. The free show starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8. For more information, visit Deer Pile's Facebook page.

Palenque Mezcaleria, the little Oaxacan-style bar behind Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, 1294 South Broadway, is the perfect location for a deep dive into the flavors of Mexico’s most mysterious spirit. Join mezcal and tequila expert Steve Olson for an Agave Master Class at Palenque on Thursday, March 9, from 3 to 6 p.m. The class will present the complexities of Del Maguey, the forerunner of America’s current obsession with agave spirits. Taste the company’s finest expressions from several Oaxacan distilleries and then stick around for a cocktail reception. The class is free (though cocktails afterward aren’t), but seating is limited; register in advance at eventbrite.com.

The 21 Best Events in Denver, March 7-13
Courtesy Palenque Mezclaria

Thursday, March 9

A founding member of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, Jay Chandrasekhar co-wrote, directed and starred in Super Troopers, Club Dread and Beerfest. He’s proved himself equally skilled as a director-for-hire on shows like Arrested Development and Community, as well as in the big-screen adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard. A true polymath, Chandrasekhar has a book called Mustache Shenanigans coming out on March 28, and he performs in comedy clubs all over the country when his film-shooting schedule permits. With Super Troopers 2 currently in post-production, there’s no better time for fans to learn for themselves that Chandrasekhar is every bit as talented in front of a microphone as he is behind a camera. Chandrasekhar will headline Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, for three days starting Thursday, March 9, but we recommend taking advantage of the discounted $16 tickets for Thursday’s show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Call 720-274-6800 or visit comedyworks.com for tickets and information.

The Denver boutique Goldyn will collaborate with DAM Contemporaries, a support organization for the Denver Art Museum’s modern and contemporary galleries, to produce the Aftershock Fashion Show, a visual tribute to the museum’s current exhibit, Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s-90s. Inspired by Shock Wave’s focus on the minimal and avant-garde style of late-twentieth-century Japanese couture, Goldyn will bring new takes on pioneering looks by Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Kansai Yamamoto, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe to the runway, with audio and visual accompaniment from the Avatar Movement Dance Company, Matthew Morris Salon & Skincare, the florist Sacred Thistle and multimedia installationist Justin Gitlin, aka Cacheflowe. The fun begins with eats and drinks at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in the Denver Art Museum’s North Building, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. For tickets, $35 to $45 for general admission or $150 for VIP (which includes early admission, a private tour of Shock Wave with DAM fashion curator Florence Muller and other perks), go to denverartmuseum.org.

Quantum physics meets high theater in Nick Payne’s two-character play Constellations, in which a scientist and a beekeeper meet, only to move together through numerous possible romantic outcomes determined by the universe. A trick of time, space and science that’s a game for an engaged audience to dissect, Constellations will now settle on Curious Theatre Company’s always-adventurous stage for a run opening with a preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at 1080 Acoma Street. Regular shows continue at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through April 15 and 2 p.m. Sundays from March 19 through April 9. Tickets range from $18 to $44; learn more and make reservations online at curioustheatre.org.

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design concludes its 2016-2017 Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer program with “Hearing Is Listening,” a lecture by podcaster Starlee Kine (Mystery Show) on the narrative experience of radio, which carries on without the benefit of visuals so rampant in today’s wired-in world. This year’s VASD series focused on the senses; Kine wraps it up with advice on how to tap the auditory power of storytelling to bring people together, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in the Mary Harris Auditorium on the RMCAD campus, 1600 Pierce Street in Lakewood. Doors open at 6, and admission is free for RMCAD students, faculty, staff and alumni (but save your spot online), $5 for other students, and $10 for the general public at vasd.rmcad.edu. Kine, who’s been heard on This American Life, interviewed by Vice and Vanity Fair and published in the New York Times, will also offer a writing workshop at Lighthouse Writers Workshop on March 10. Visit lighthousewriters.org/workshop/detail/id/1634 for more information.

Más follows the story of a school district in Arizona banning its Mexican American studies program.
Más follows the story of a school district in Arizona banning its Mexican American studies program.

For its next production, Su Teatro will present a topical show for topical times: Más, written by Salvadoran playwright Milta Ortiz (who grew up in the States and now works with the Borderlands Theatre Company in Tucson), brings to life the community backlash after the Tucson Unified School District banned its Mexican-American Studies program in 2012. Ortiz’s docudrama builds on the details of the true story with a taste of Mayan ritual, emphasizing how the MAS program instilled a sense of heritage and history in uprooted communities and the children of immigrants carrying on in the face of American inequality. See Más at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, or on subsequent Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through March 25 at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive. There will be one Sunday matinee during the run, at 2 p.m. on March 26. For information and tickets, $12 to $20, visit suteatro.org/mas or call 303-296-0219.

Friday, March 10

Roots musician Otis Taylor’s newest album, Fantasizing About Being Black, looks at the slave experience, from coming to the U.S. on slave ships to migrating to the Mississippi Delta. “I experimented with banjo and fiddle because slaves on the Southern plantations played those instruments, and I wanted to include the richness of the early African slave instrument sounds throughout the record,” Taylor says. “If you close your eyes, you can imagine the past yet see the connections and relevance to what’s happening now.” The Otis Taylor Band will celebrate the album’s release at Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale Avenue, at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 10. Tickets, $23, can be purchased at swallowhillmusic.org.

Journey back to the times when Vikings ruled the North Atlantic and sailed the seas in centuries past at Vikings: Beyond the Legend, a globe-trotting exhibit mounted by the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm that will storm the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, beginning Friday, March 10, for a run through August 13. But don’t expect to confront the usual stereotypes of plundering, bearded savages in animal skins, hand-hewn armor and horned helmets. Vikings instead pays homage to ancient Norse craftsmanship, culture and mythology, with help from the largest traveling collection of Viking artifacts in the world, 500 objects strong. And it goes big, with full-scale model ships, including the virtual excavation of a longboat that uncovers tools and weapons, examples of traditional clothing and crafts, and an intro to the myths of Odin, Thor and Freyja. Exhibit tickets for non-members are $17.95 to $25.95 during daytime hours (optional audio tours can be added for $5), or $6 to $9 for abbreviated evening hours. Prices are discounted for members. Learn more or purchase tickets in advance at dmns.org.

Keep reading for more of the best events in Denver this week.

Jean Albus's Broken Beauty comes together at Walker Fine Art.
Jean Albus's Broken Beauty comes together at Walker Fine Art.
Jean Albus

The Denver Collage Club is back for another Month of Photography exhibition, enlightening photography lovers to the Modernist simplicity of cut-and-pasted found imagery and Dada picture politics, with entries from Denver, across the nation and around the world. On the local front, says participating artist and curator Mario Zoots, “we have Adam Milner’s belly-button lint drawings returning, Theresa Anderson’s appropriations, and guest appearances by Bruce Price, Jaime Carrejo and Amber Cobb.” Zoots also praises the show’s up-and-coming venue, Alto Gallery: “They are one of the newest and most exciting spaces opening up at a time in Denver when retail rent has skyrocketed, galleries are closing, and space is hard to get.” Check out work from the Denver Collage Club at a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 10, at Alto, 4345 West 41st Avenue; the show runs through April 24. Learn more at facebook.com/events/1327027787364757.

Walker Fine Art covers Unexplored Terrain for its 2017 Month of Photography contribution, a big group show curated by gallerist Bobbi Walker and photographer Patti Hallock that opens Friday, March 10, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. As the title suggests, the ten artists represented will display boundary-pushing work using experimental techniques and visual tweaks to create everything from otherworldly landscapes and nature shots to camera-less and painted-over imagery. Unexplored Terrain runs through April 22 at Walker, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A. Get more information at walkerfineart.com or call 303-355-8955.

The 2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The 2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Ken Hamblin

Saturday, March 11

Saint Patrick was a Christian bishop from Ireland in the fifth century who for some reason the world now honors by slamming too much Guinness and Jameson. Don’t miss Denver’s ode to the green one at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 11. Starting at 9:30 a.m., bagpipe players, traditional Irish dancers and even the honorary Consul for Ireland in Denver (who knew?) will lead the way for the 55-year-old parade, starting at the Coors Field parking lot and winding down Wynkoop, 17th and Blake streets before heading back to the ballfield. For more information, visit denverstpatricksdayparade.com.

So you’ve sown your seed, but you have plenty left over to share with other budding backyard gardeners. The GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, has just the event for you. On Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the neighborhood greenhouse and market dedicated to improving the food landscape in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea is hosting its Annual Seed Swap, complete with live music, food vendors, gardening and beekeeping workshops, tours of the space, and face painting (we call dibs on the Jolly Green Giant). Tickets are $12 in advance at nightout.com, or $15 at the door. For more information, visit thegrowhaus.org. And if you bring seeds to swap, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a GrowHaus prize. It’s the seediest event all weekend!

You don’t need to be a Beowulf fan to get swept up by Beowolf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, an extraordinary production by the Catamounts at the Dairy Arts Center. The play begins with a panel of three scholars attempting to dissect the text of the epic poem; pretty soon, one of them transforms into the monster Grendel and begins a killing spree, to the dismay and perplexity of King Hrothgar. All this takes place to throbbing, raucous music, a mix of rock, Brecht-Weill, chant, almost-opera and gypsy jazz that turns the evening into a scintillating concert. But it's better, because it’s also a story. And on Saturday, March 11 (and again on Saturday, March 18), it’s also a meal: There’s a pre-show cocktail and a post-show community dinner, with cornbread, baked beans and huge smoked turkey legs, a menu worthy of the mead-hall setting. The Dairy Arts Center is located at 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; for tickets to any of the productions, call 303-444-7328 or go to thecatamounts.org.

Hailing all the way from the Czech Republic, Cirk La Putyka is a world-renowned company of dancers, actors, acrobats and puppeteers who combine their unique talents for Slapstick Sonata, a decidedly old-world extravaganza. A wordless visual poem, Sonata has moments of staggering beauty and gut-busting physical comedy soundtracked by Shostakovitch, Handel and Mozart. The program transcends language barriers to delight audiences all over the world. Slapstick Sonata comes to the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway in Lakewood, for two nights starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. Find information and tickets, $20 to $35, at 303-987-7845 or lakewood.org/lccpresents.

Tya Alisa Anthony's enhances local models with shimmering makeup.
Tya Alisa Anthony's enhances local models with shimmering makeup.
Tya Alisa Anthony

Denver photographer Tya Alisa Anthony creates stunning portraits in diversity, using local models enhanced by costuming, shimmering makeup and natural hair for studies on the effect of time and the environment in Skins, a Month of Photography offering from Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue. “I have found through experimentation and exploration, the foundation of individuality remains the same,” writes Anthony in a statement. “I further investigate variations and manipulation of Identity by studying belief structures, an individual’s formative years, familial influence and origin.” Meet Anthony and see how her images slow the processes of life in the 21st-century fast lane at the opening reception, 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 11; Skins runs through April 8. Go to leongallery.com for details.

Lakota artist and activist Walt Pourier’s Stronghold Society works to provide safe spaces for Native American youth, from skate parks to gatherings for girls at Pine Ridge. But because the nonprofit’s efforts are costly, Stronghold is teaming up with Mutiny Information Cafe and Groovey.TV for GENeration Frontlines: A Benefit for the Youth of Standing Rock, a new performance series to raise funds for a WK4-Directions Skatepark at Standing Rock. The series gets off to a rousing start from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, at Mutiny, 2 South Broadway, with a ten-band lineup for a mere $5 donation at the door. Get more details at facebook.com/events/1387158247971789.

Sunday, March 12

In celebration of its twentieth anniversary, Denver Children’s Theatre is gearing up for a massive production of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale about a boy named Mowgli (portrayed here by Trevor Fulton) coming of age in the wild, where he must contend with tricky monkeys, sly snakes and his fear of the tiger Shere Khan. With a brisk narrative pace and eye-popping sets and costumes, The Jungle Book promises to delight kids and parents alike starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street. Call 303-316-6360 or visit maccjcc.org to learn more and buy tickets, $9 to $12; the play continues through May 5.

Eating is fun. We all like to do it. And it goes hand in hand with sex, as documented by the foodie-cinema classic Tampopo, Juzo Itami’s wild comedy about a woman obsessed with making the perfect bowl of ramen, whose story is juxtaposed with several hilarious — and disturbing — food-inspired subplots. To celebrate the film’s thirtieth anniversary, the Flatirons Food Film Festival and the University of Colorado Boulder’s International Film Series will team up for Ramen! Ramen! Ramen!, a screening and after-party to satisfy the senses, beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU campus, where ramen-tasting, courtesy of Black Cat Bistro and Rama Ramen, will kick off the show. Admission is $10 at tinyurl.com/FFFFramen or at the door. Afterward, film-goers are invited to meet up at My Ramen & Izakaya, 3280 28th Street in Boulder, for a full ramen dinner, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost of dining at My Ramen is on you, but you can reserve a spot in advance at tinyurl.com/FFFFramenParty.

Monday, March 13

This state has earned its Colorful Colorado nickname; as History Colorado’s “Southwest Denver: Celery to Subdivisions” will prove, even areas that seem tame today have colorful pasts. “For many years, southwest Denver was an almost unbroken series of prairie farms stretching from the Denver city limits to the far distant foothills by Red Rocks,” History Colorado notes. “The tumult of WWII and cheap new automobiles would erase the farms, replacing them with GIs and Baby Boomer families searching for new better-built homes in safe neighborhoods. For a while, this area of Denver was the place to be, shining with promise.” And the History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway will be the place to be at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 13, if you want to catch this lecture. Tickets are $4 members, $5 non-members; call 303-866-2394 or go to historycolorado.org.

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