Another week, another opportunity to pack your schedule with fun things to do in and around Denver. If hip-hop's your thing, don't miss Mary J. Blige and Nas double-headlining Fiddler's Green. Looking for something different? Try on the Mile in My Shoes exhibit, which gives you a visceral opportunity to learn about someone new. Keep reading for more events this week, including a Frida Kahlo celebration, plenty of dogs and even some doughnuts.
Monday, August 5
Who doesn’t love rooting for underdogs — or should we say underducks? When The Mighty Ducks — the ’90s coming-of-age comedy about misfit kids on a struggling hockey team — comes to the Denver Film Society’s Film on the Rocks, you’ll have a chance to cheer on more than just the Ducks with pucks: Youth bands from School of Rock will be slaying before the screening. Festivities start at 7 p.m. Monday, August 5, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18000 West Alameda Parkway in Morrison. Find tickets, $16 to $32, at denverfilm.org.
Tuesday, August 6
As a participant in both the National New Play Network professional alliance and its own New Voices National Collective for youth playwrights, Curious Theatre Company has its finger on the future of professional theater as well as the future of playwriting itself. In Transit, young playwright Holden Thomas’s story of a transgender teen caught between two worlds while finding a sense of identity, is the product of a national 2018 New Voices intensive at Curious; the play will now hit the stage for a one-night test run (and post-performance conversation) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 6, at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue in Golden. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended; visit curioustheatre.org to RSVP and learn more.
Wednesday, August 7
Mary J. Blige and Nas are proof that it's possible for esteemed veterans of the hip-hop game to remain vital well into the third decade of their careers. A soulful chanteuse who penned and crooned hit albums and singles, including the karaoke staple "No More Drama," Blige has flourished in recent years, earning Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song for her contributions to Mudbound. Nas, meanwhile, burst onto the scene with the instant classic Illmatic, establishing a legacy of deft lyricism he's maintained through his latest release, 2018's Nasir. Although the co-headliners first collaborated back in 1997, Blige and Nas have never hit the road together before now. They'll be at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, 6450 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 7; visit fiddlersgreenamp.com for tickets, $36.50 to $251, and more information.
Thursday, August 8
Boulder’s Catamounts teamed up with the City of Westminster to turn a slice of local lore into an immersive experience at Semper Farm, a preserved homestead at West 92nd Avenue and Pierce Street that was built in 1881 by Rocky Mountain News typesetter Charles Semper and his wife, Julia. The Last Apple Tree, a site-specific musical in motion, will lead an audience in small groups through stories from the farm’s history, told through theatrical vignettes and music by Bonnie Elizabeth Sims and Taylor Sims of Bonnie and the Clydes; everything wraps up with a hoedown accompanied by the whole band. The Last Apple Tree runs from Thursday, August 8, through Sunday, August 11; tickets are a sweet grab for only $10 at cityofwestminster.us.
No water. No Beer. That is the main message behind the Save the Ales Festival, which returns to Mile High Station Thursday, August 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. with its message of water conservation. Organized by the Conservation Colorado nonprofit, the fest will feature a beer made by Joyride Brewing especially for the event. A 4.2 percent ABV session-style pale ale, the beer is made with 95 percent Colorado ingredients. Tickets to the festival are $35 (or $80 for VIP) and available at nightout.com.
After a journey from India to Sweden and Montreal, Deepali Lindblom landed in Colorado, where she found her place in the Rocky Mountain West by putting down roots among Aurora’s diverse immigrant and refugee populations. Once settled, she formed Roshni, an outreach program bringing people of different ages and cultures together through dance — specifically, Bollywood dance. Lindblom and her ensemble will now tackle full-blown theater with Mountains Made for Us: From the Himalayas to the Rockies, a scripted Bollywood-style romantic comedy that runs Thursdays through Sundays from August 8 to 18 at Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora. Catch Lindblom’s infectious dance fever while you can; find showtimes and tickets, $10 to $40, at roshniislight.org.
Friday, August 9
Fort Collins continues to seal its reputation as a music hub with the return of the Bohemian Foundation's Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. This year’s edition will be headlined by Bonnie Raitt, Tank and the Bangas and Andrew Bird, who will be joined by more than eighty Colorado artists, including the Reminders, Xiuhtezcatl, Lettuce, Flaural, Pink Hawks, Hazel Miller, Porlolo and more. The free — yes, you read that right — festival goes from Friday, August 9, through Sunday, August 11, at various venues in downtown Fort Collins. In addition to the bands, more than 200 booths will offer crafts, art and food, and there will also be a family-friendly Kids’ Music Adventure and Kids’ World entertainment area. For locations and a full schedule, go to bohemiannights.org.
Breckenridge comes alive in unexpected ways during the annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, a nine-day cultural spectacle starting Friday, August 9, that uses the landscape as a backdrop while musicians play in trees and dancers rappel down mountainsides. This year, an environmental theme will be showcased in installations by eco-artists Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien; on the musical front, DeVotchKa and DJ Spooky will perform. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about BIFA is that almost everything is free (DeVotchKa is a ticketed event, with admission price of $30 to $35); visit breckcreate.org for a complete schedule.
The 2019 Biennial of the Americas is still weeks away, but you can get a taste of what’s to come when the nomadic Empathy Museum brings its interactive A Mile in My Shoes exhibit (designed to resemble a giant shoebox) to Denver's streets for a stay from Friday, August 9, through September 27, in keeping with this year's BotA theme of “Empathy in Action.” You can literally walk in the shoes of anyone from a dairy farmer in Worcestershire to a sexual healer in Melbourne, all while listening to a recording of the shoe owner’s story. A Mile in My Shoes will be accessible daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Tail Tracks Plaza, on 16th Street between Wewatta and Wynkoop streets near Union Station. Admission is free; find details at biennialoftheamericas.org, and learn more about the exhibit and the A Mile in My Shoes podcast at empathymuseum.com.
It’s a guaranteed hot time when the Colorado Firefighter Calendar hosts its annual release party, and the Smoke & Fire bash to introduce the firefighters in the 2020 edition already looks like a scorcher. Kathie J, co-host of Jammin' 101.5, will emcee the bash on Friday, August 9, starting at 6 p.m. in the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where the featured firefighters will strut their stuff down the runway. VIP tickets are $75 (which get you in the door early at 6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with the firefighters and also guarantee a seat); general admission tickets (standing room only for the show, which starts at 8 p.m.) are $35. Buy them in advance at cofirefightercalendar.org, or pay $10 more at the door; either way, it’s all for a good cause: the Burn Center and Burn Camps program at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Sway to the sounds of samba, bossa nova and choro when the Colorado Brazil Fest returns for its tenth annual tribute to the dance, music and cuisine of South America's largest country. The concerts, workshops and al fresco feasts begin Friday, August 9, with free festivities scattered along Boulder's Pearl Street Mall, including thrilling martial arts performances from Bateria Alegria and Capoeira Canavial. The party continues at venues along the Front Range, starting with Brazilian jazz from Sonya Vallet, Los Profugos Galacticos and the Dexter Payne Quintet at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 10, at Dazzle, 1512 Curtis Street in Denver, and an outdoor barbecue and Samba Jam at 1 p.m. Sunday, August 11, at Boulder Beer Company, 2880 Wilderness Place in Boulder. Mônica Salmaso and Guinga co-headline the festival's biggest concert, at 8 p.m. August 16 at Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road, and the month-long party winds down with Danilo Brito and an evening of traditional choro back at Dazzle on September 12. Visit coloradobrazilfest.org for tickets and more information.
Saturday, August 10
Attention, LEGO maniacs! Brick Fest Live's national tour is coming to Denver, bringing with it a plastic wonderland for tinkerers of all ages. Families can race self-assembled derby cars on a 35-foot-long speedway track, contribute to the Guinness World Record-setting "Mystery Mosaic," test their mettle on the mini golf course and in the LEGO video-game arena, or peruse new, vintage and rare LEGO sets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, August 10, and Sunday, August 11, at the Denver Mart, 451 East 58th Avenue. Prepare to stock up on gifts and memories at "the #1 LEGO event in the U.S.A." Find tickets, $17.50 to $39.99, and more information at brickfestlive.com.
Dig through treasure troves at the tenth annual Antique Row Block Party, a celebration of shopping, dining and discovery between the 1300 and 1800 blocks of South Broadway. Die-hard antiquers and casual dabblers alike are sure to find one-of-a-kind goods, and vendors will be sharing free food, drinks and special sales between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 10. Find more information and RSVP at the Antique Row Summer Block Party Facebook page.
Oenophiles, follow your palates to scenic Rocky Mountain National Park for the Estes Park Wine Festival, a weekend-long toast to Colorado vintners. Boasting more than 25 vendors pouring glasses of the Centennial State's finest, the festival returns for its fifth year with a selection sure to satisfy even the snootiest sommelier. There will also be plenty of mead and cider on tap, plus live music and food vendors. Celebrate the grape from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, August 10, and Sunday, August 11, at Bond Park, 170 MacGregor Avenue in Estes Park. Find tickets, $25 to $75, and more information at eventbrite.com.
Although RedLine has scaled its annual 48 Hours of Socially Engaged Art & Conversation Summit back to a one-day event this summer in anticipation of a powerhouse two-day summit in 2020, there will still be plenty to do and celebrate at the thriving art center. The 24 Hours Block Party mashes up roundtables, workshops, performances and hands-on, socially engaged artist-run activities, all free or pay-what-you-can, at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, on Saturday, August 10, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Okay, that’s ten hours, but who’s going to quibble when the nonstop lineup includes an opening reception for the new juried art exhibition Was It Worth It and a concert by Los Mocochetes?) Get the day's full schedule at redlineart.org.
The Westwood Creative District is just mad about Frida Kahlo, sharing its enthusiasm with the public in a big way on her birthday. Yes, Fridaholics, the seventh annual Frida Kahlo: A Celebration of Life Art Show is here, replete with everything Frida, including an open-entry local art exhibition; a Frida look-alike model search with cash prizes, judged by Denver hair guru Jozéf Martinë; and a wonderful curated marketplace with jewelry, craft and folk art vendors. Celebrate Frida’s 112th with art, live music and eats on Saturday, August 10, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Re:Vision Mercadito, 3738 Morrison Road; admission is free. The art show runs through September 7; find more information at facebook.com/District3Arts.
You know you've reached maturity when you can appreciate jazz, sip wine that doesn't come in a pouch, and save a little spare cash to donate to your favorite cause. On Saturday, August 10, you can do all three at Live at the Vineyards, KUVO's annual fundraiser at Balistreri Vineyards, 1946 East 66th Avenue. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 for VIP ticket holders), enjoy great food from more than twenty Denver restaurants, samples of Balistreri's wines, and music from Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers. There will also be a silent auction to benefit the radio station, and an "Everybody Wins" raffle for $20 per entry. Visit kuvo.org for more details and to purchase tickets, which run $100 for general admission or $125 for VIP. Adulting doesn't have to be hard.
Where’s the fire? August just keeps getting hotter with the debut of the 2020 Fire Rescue Dogs Calendar. Local firefighters and rescue puppies featured in the calendar will take the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 10, then join the crowd for autographs (firefighters), cuddling (puppies) and photos (both). Lifeline Puppy Rescue, a no-kill, non-profit shelter that helps both pregnant female dogs and their pups, is throwing the party at the Armory, 300 Strong Street in Brighton. Tickets are $10 (18+); get them in advance at lifelinepuppy.org/events. You’ll be able to buy calendars at the event, or order them online at firerescuedogs.com.
Named for the seminal jazz cornetist Buddy Bolden, who spent half his life in an asylum, poet David Welper’s Buddy Lit Zine is open to all styles of writing, but with a focus on mental health. In that spirit, Buddy Lit will host a Reading and Book Drive on Saturday, August 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway, blending a high-quality live sampler of Denver writers Steven Dunn, William Seward Bonnie, Mairead Case, Tameca Coleman and Sarah Rodriguez and a book drive for mental health patients. Bring your books and a $3 donation to benefit the evening’s readers; learn more at facebook.com/BuddyLitZine.
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Sunday, August 11
Health, shmealth. When you run a race, you want a more satisfying reward than just feeling the burn, don’t you? If so, the Donut Dash 5K/10K might be more than a joke — and, in fact, your kind of run, simply because it ends with doughnuts. The dash takes place on Sunday, August 11, and begins and ends at the pavilion in City Park; start times are 8:45 a.m. for 5K contestants and 9:30 a.m. for 10K runners, and along with your doughnuts, you’ll be treated to a finish-line expo. Registration runs from $30 to $40 (or $50 for both courses) in advance at coloradorunnerevents.com/donut and goes up $5 on race day.
Thriftmaniacs, rejoice! ThriftCon, which bills itself as the “premier vintage clothing and collectible convention,” has enough secondhand stuff to completely revamp your wardrobe and tchotchke collection in a single day. More than fifty vendors, both local and national, will be hawking recycled treasures from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 11, at the National Western Complex. There's also an opportunity to unload some of your own stuff for a good cause: Donate five articles of clothing at the door and receive a free ThriftCon tee (while supplies last). Tickets are $5 ($12 for early-bird admission at 9 a.m.) at eventbrite.com.
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