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The 21 Best Events in Denver, March 21-27

Anime comes alive at the Colorado Anime Fest.
Anime comes alive at the Colorado Anime Fest.
Danielle Lirette
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Cat lovers, anime enthusiasts and beer connoisseurs have one thing in common: passion. Celebrate whatever you're into or find a new passion this week, because from a celebration of Japanese cartoons to a beer-collaboration festival made in heaven to a fundraiser for our feline friends, Denver's got it all.

Tuesday, March 21

Celebrate the spring solstice with some wily felines at the Chateau Purrlesque Spring Soiree at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. The all-new program of alluring and acrobatic performances from Cat Girl Manor Purrlesque begins with evening tea at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, and wraps with a Garden Gala and dance-happy after-party that goes until closing. For details, visit facebook.com/events/386500285055942/?active_tab=about.

Wednesday, March 22

If you’re a true morning person, full of vim and vigor at the crack of dawn, then Daybreaker — an early-morning dance party with free coffee and breakfast noshes — is for you. The national phenomenon takes over Denver bright and early on Wednesday, March 22, for an Intergalactic Planetary ’90s Dimension party that warms up with a stretch and a yoga session before turning into a dance and space-themed costume ball with help from DJ J’Adore and upbeat emcee Brandi Shigley. Welcome the day from 6 to 8:45 a.m. at Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive. Get tickets, which range from $20 for the dance portion to $35 for an all-inclusive package, at eventbrite.com.

Wednesday, March 22, is Colorado Agriculture Day, a perfect time to partake in homegrown products from around the state. The Colorado Ag Council, made up of 48 agricultural organizations, is hosting its annual cook-off at the Capitol, 200 East Colfax Avenue, with thirteen local chefs teamed with lawmakers and agricultural representatives cooking up Colorado-raised proteins and produce. The event begins at 10:45 a.m., and lunch will be served at approximately 11:30. Sightings could include Governor John Hickenlooper and other politicos and culinary celebs, so bring your camera as well as your appetite. For more information, visit coloradoagcouncil.net or e-mail david@5280culinary.com.

Help Infinite Monkey Theorem celebrate its new taproom, inside the Stanley Marketplace.
Help Infinite Monkey Theorem celebrate its new taproom, inside the Stanley Marketplace.
Mark Antonation

Thursday, March 23

There’s a little monkey business happening on Thursday, March 23, at the new Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street. Denver’s own urban winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem, will officially launch its new taproom inside the boutique marketplace built from a repurposed airplane-parts factory. From 5 to 8 p.m., IMT will pour $5 canned wines — don’t be afraid; these are award-winning beverages — with one dollar from every glass or can of wine donated to the University of Colorado Cancer Research Center. Comida Cantina, a neighbor in the marketplace, will serve Mexican bites to accompany the wine. The 2,000-square-foot taproom, located in Stanley Aviation’s original employee break room, will then be open from 2 to 10 p.m. daily (and at noon on the weekends), with wines on tap and by the glass, bottle or can. The winery’s creations will also be available to take home in bottles, cans and growlers. Find out more at stanleymarketplace.com.

While Sean Patton is a mainstay of the High Plains Comedy Festival and thus a semi-regular visitor to the Mile High City, it’s always worthwhile to check out one of his headlining showcases at the Denver Improv, 8246 East 49th Avenue in Stapleton. Patton proved his mettle as a standup making appearances on talk shows like Conan and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, as well as on his Comedy Central Half Hour special. He’s also revealed his gifts as a raconteur on storytelling shows like This Is Not Happening and Party Legends. Patton kicks off his Denver visit on Thursday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., followed by five more shows throughout the weekend. For information and tickets, $17, go to denver.improv.com or call 303-307-1777.

After a two-month hiatus, Cartoons & Comedy returns to the Deer Pile for another giggle-filled walk down memory lane. For the uninitiated, Cartoons & Comedy is the brainchild of host/producer/adult cherub Chris Baker, who scours the Internet for footage from fondly remembered ’toons like The Tick and justly forgotten dreck like Street Sharks, and edits it all together into a briskly moving clip show, complete with vintage toy commercials. He’s joined by three standups, who perform a traditional set and then riff jokes, Mystery Science Theater style, for an audience of cereal-munching nostalgists. Join Baker along with standups Miriam Moreno, Adrian Mesa and a special surprise guest at 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at the Deer Pile, 206 East 13th Avenue, for Cartoon & Comedy Spring Break!. Admission is free; visit sexpotcomedy.com to learn more.

Along with employment and housing problems, refugees coming to the U.S. often battle language barriers. Fortunately, Alliance Française de Denver, 571 Galapago Street, is here to help. Throughout the month of March, the metro area’s oldest nonprofit, which celebrates all things French, is hosting the Voices of Refugees series, giving those who have come to our country often under the worst of circumstances a platform to speak their truths, and those who are interested in learning from them several educational opportunities. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, the series continues with a lecture by Pascal Nzitonda about how the French language came to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The lecture is free for Alliance members and $5 for the general public. For more information, visit afdenver.org.

Shop, improve your yoga and sip on beer at Bend Beer Boutique & Beats.
Shop, improve your yoga and sip on beer at Bend Beer Boutique & Beats.
Courtesy Behind the Scenes Denver

Friday, March 24

Denver is the first city in the country to legalize the social use of marijuana, and you’re welcome to come see how the city, industry leaders and business representatives are making it happen. The second-to-last Social Consumption Advisory Committee meeting is Friday, March 24, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in room 4.G.2 of the Webb Building, 201 West Colfax Avenue. At past meetings, the committee has discussed issues around location restrictions, restrictions for medical patients, and how to confront liability issues. Once the meetings are over, the committee will give its recommendations to the city’s Excise and Licenses department, but you can make yourself heard during the public-comment section at the end of Friday’s meeting. Find out more at denvergov.org.

We like yoga. We like beer. We even like the ’80s, and we like shopping, too. You’ll get a piece of all of it when Behind the Scene Denver and the Hangar at Stanley throw Bend Beer Boutique & Beats. The combination of yoga and fitness classes, DJ beats, fitness-centric vendors and the aforementioned ’80s vibe will rock the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 24, and 10 a.m. Saturday, March 25. An admission price of $15 gets you free craft beer and participation in any and all classes you want to attend; special VIP packages with extra perks are sold out. Or just come in and hang out in your spandex, leg warmers and big hair for free — that’s an option, too. Visit stanleymarketplace.com for more information.

Inspired by nostalgic memories of Show and Tell from grade school, Steve Vanderploeg (full disclosure: he’s our listing editor's roommate) has been trying to get Joke and Tell off the ground for years. After taking a couple months off and tinkering with the format, the core idea of comics riffing about their prized possessions remains intact, only now there’s a much bigger lineup, three drop-in spots, and a Denver Comedy party atmosphere. Embark on a treasure hunt through the past at El Charrito, 2100 Larimer Street, on Friday, March 24; the bill of twenty local comics includes Gabby Gutierrez-Reed, James Xiong, Jason Keyes and Adrian Mesa, for starters. Then stick around after the show to watch drunken comics warble their way through karaoke songs. The fun starts at 7 p.m., and admission is free. Visit sexpotcomedy.com to learn more.

Flea marketers, bargain hunters and junk spelunkers, rejoice! The Action Center’s Beautiful Junk Sale returns to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 West Sixth Avenue in Golden, on Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25. Laden with tchotchkes, knickknacks and curios galore, the Beautiful Junk Sale offers treasures for the adventurous shopper. Proceeds from the event (admission is $4 for adults and $30 for early-bird shoppers) will benefit the Action Center, which provides vital assistance to Jefferson County’s struggling and homeless citizens. Guests can also bring two non-perishable food items to donate for a $1 discount on tickets. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. (or 7 for early-bird ticket holders) on Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday. Visit theactioncenterco.org to learn more.

Emma Messenger and Chris Kendall star in Stella and Lou.
Emma Messenger and Chris Kendall star in Stella and Lou.
Christine Fisk

Bruce Graham’s play Stella and Lou takes place in a South Philadelphia dive called Lou’s, where regulars whittle away their lives on bar stools. Lou, who has just returned from a funeral of one of the patrons and who lost his wife to cancer two years earlier, finds a bit of hope when his longtime friend Stella arrives. She ultimately wants more from Lou than he’s prepared to give. Westword theater critic Juliet Wittman praised performers Emma Messenger (Stella) and Chris Kendall (Lou) in November for their ability to be very much “in the moment” in this story about friendship. Both reprise the roles in a weeklong run starting on Friday, March 24, at the Dairy Center for the Performing Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Tickets are $20 at thedairy.org; learn more at 303-444-7328.

The Colorado Anime Fest might be considered an upstart in only its second year, but there’s a lot of experience behind the fan con for Japanophiles, beginning with its well-versed executive staff, which shares forty combined years in the field. They know what makes a great anime fest spin: lots of cosplay, industry celebrities and panels, music videos, parties and vendors of all things kawaii- and otaku-friendly. Mingle with monsters, warriors, Lolita girls and princesses, here beginning at noon on Friday, March 24, and continuing until 6 p.m. Sunday, March 26, at the Renaissance Stapleton Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Admission is $50 for a full fest pass and $25 to $40 for daily passes, all at the door (and bring the kids: only $15 for ages seven to fourteen and free for ages six and under). Learn more at coanimefest.com.

Keep reading for more things to do this week.

Discover gems at Collaboration Fest.EXPAND
Discover gems at Collaboration Fest.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, March 25

Sandra Bernhard is helping Breckenridge celebrate its pride week (March 22-26) with Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast, a performance by the actress and comedian that’s part standup, part pop culture and political satire commentary and part cabaret. Known for her stints on Ally McBeal, Roseanne and, more recently, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bernhard will bring her show to the Riverwalk Center, 150 West Adams Avenue in Breckenridge, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. For tickets, $35 to $55, call 970-547-3100 or visit breckcreate.org.

Comedy trio the Agency — aka Robert Abbot, Walter Booth and Corey Rhoads — is back with an exciting monthly showcase at Crossroads Theater. The inaugural NICE! drew a large and appreciative crowd to the Five Points venue in February, and the Agency crew hopes to continue apace this month with a crackerjack showcase of local comics Jason Keyes, Miriam Moreno and headliner Bob Meddles on Saturday, March 25. Not unlike the Agents themselves, the Crossroads Theater is a scrappy underdog that needs the community’s support to survive, so come on down. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8:15 show; tickets start at $5 at the door. For more information, visit facebook.com/xroadscreates.

From 1989 to 2011, Denver audiences were wowed by the funny and politically cutting performances of Vox Feminista, a theater collective that wrote and produced regular shows that included everything from theater and poetry to music and video art. Though the group disbanded in 2011, President Donald Trump has had a way of resurrecting art-activist projects that died during the Obama years, and Vox Feminista is no exception. The group is performing King Con: Strike and Resist!, what is sure to be a joyful attack on the current Republican administration — otherwise known as the “Trumpocalypse” by Vox performers — at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Tickets run from $10 to $30 at the door. For more information, including additional performance dates, go to facebook.com/voxfeminista.

One of the key elements that makes Colorado’s craft-beer industry among the finest in the entire world lies in the free exchange of ideas and techniques between brewers. United by a spirit of inventiveness and love of their craft, these brewers’ efforts are celebrated at the fittingly named Collaboration Fest, now entering its fourth year. From 4 to 7 p.m. (3 p.m. VIP) on Saturday, March 25, at the National Western Complex, beery throngs can taste the results of hoppy unions such as Boulder Beer Co./New Holland Brewing’s Ladyfingers tiramisu brown ale or Cannonball Creek/Left Hand Brewing’s Pompette fruity French saison and many more. Visit collaborationfest.com to browse the massive pour list and buy tickets, $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP. And check out our recommendation for fifteen beers to seek out at Collaboration!

Since 1982, Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue has welcomed a limited number of abandoned cats into its cage-free shelter, feeding, treating and caring for homeless cats and kittens. On Saturday, March 25, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., cat lovers and altruists alike can gather at Strange Craft Beer Company, 1330 Zuni Street, for Empty Bowls, a benefit for the RMFR. With a silent auction, chili sampler and free-flowing craft beer, guests at Empty Bowls can have a grand time while supporting our struggling feline friends. Tickets are $25 via squareup.com/store/rmfr or $35 at the door. Learn more at facebook.com/events/426059791058574.

Watch Kubrick's classic Barry Lyndon on the big screen.EXPAND
Watch Kubrick's classic Barry Lyndon on the big screen.
Warner Brothers

Sunday, March 26

Audiences might not have been quite ready for Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon after the innovative and breathtaking barrage of Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange that preceded it. Lyndon didn’t clobber you the way the others did in their individually satirical, futuristic and violent ways, and it was three slow, unemotional hours long, though beautifully filmed, bleeding from one magnificent tableau to another over the plot. The eighteenth-century drama, based on William Thackeray’s characters but reworked in Kubrick’s imagination, is both picturesque and picaresque, and worth revisiting. Form your own critical opinion at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 26, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Admission is $7 to $11; get more info at denverfilm.org.

Butcher’s Bistro is a carnivore’s carnival of all things meaty, with a menu that reads as a paean to pork, a ballad of beef. On Sunday, March 26, the Ballpark neighborhood eatery, 2233 Larimer Street, invites Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project into the house for Sours & Swines, a three-course pig and sour-beer dinner. The evening begins with a butchering demonstration and a quick class on making homemade sausage. Then dinner commences with delicious dishes from chef Tyson Holzheimer and bracing beers from one of Denver’s most creative breweries. Tickets are $100 each at eventbrite.com. The hog breakdown and sausage-making begins at 3 p.m. and dinner runs through 7 p.m.

Monday, March 27

For the fourth year running, the Golden Chamber of Commerce has united the hamlet’s finest breweries, restaurants and distilleries for the Taste of Golden, a culinary extravaganza featuring over 25 different food and drink vendors from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27, at the American Mountaineering Center, 710 Tenth Street in Golden. Whether quaffing Colorado Native or noshing on samples from the Buffalo Rose, Taste of Golden has something to suit every palette. Visit goldenchamber.org to learn more and buy tickets, $25.

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