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Ten Things to Do In and Around Denver (and Online) This Weekend

Ryan Conarro in Saints of Failure.EXPAND
Ryan Conarro in Saints of Failure.
Carolyn Brown
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Cold weather has returned, which makes this an ideal weekend to catch up on some of the amazing online programming that local theaters are offering. But the cold also makes it a perfect time to join the Aurora Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Colorado.

Keep reading for information on ten ticketed things to do in and around Denver (and online) this weekend (and don't miss our list of free events):

Bobby LeFebre was one of the fifty people interviewed for CO2020.
Bobby LeFebre was one of the fifty people interviewed for CO2020.
Ray Bailey

CO2020
Now through Sunday, April 18, online

Theater and documentary collide in CO2020, the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's latest production, which zeroes in on how Coloradans responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Movement for Black Lives in 2020. It's the first time BETC has created a virtual documentary theater effort; the project, which runs online through April 18, has been almost a year in the making. More than fifty people were interviewed for the 75 hours of video that were condensed into this amazing piece. “These stories subvert our assumptions about people, and about what a narrative of 2020 looks like,” says John Moore, one of six co-creators. Read our story about the production here; get tickets, $10, here.

Women + Film Fest

Now through Sunday, April 18, online

Women + Film, the annual celebration of movies by and about women, has returned for its twelfth year with a lineup of biopics, documentaries and fiction films. Dig into the story of an 85-year-old woman who is still swimming with sharks in Playing With Sharks, enjoy the rom-com Kiss Me Kosher, and learn more about the lives of luminaries like Representative Barbara Lee and author Amy Tan. The fest takes place on Denver Film’s Virtual Cinema platform, and many of the screenings are accompanied by pre-recorded conversations with the directors, stars and subjects of the films. Find the full schedule and get tickets here.

The Great Gatsby: A Radio Play

Now through May 15, online

The Arvada Center’s Virtual Theatre series turns the online page, perhaps for the last time, since live theater is finally returning to the center’s Main Stage at the end of the month. But this last page, The Great Gatsby: A Radio Play, is a classically literary one that borrows from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age novel, turning it into an aural experience. Buy a ticket (they start at $15) and gather ’round the radio console (a laptop or tablet would suffice, however) to listen to the pre-recorded play any time between April 15 and May 15. Find info and instructions on how to buy your ticket here.

Queens Girl in the World
Now through May 9
Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora

Friday, April 16, through May 9; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays
The Aurora Fox’s doors are open to theater-goers for a ’60s-era coming-of-age story by Caleen Sinnette Jennings about a middle-class Black teenager who leaves her school in Queens to attend a progressive private school in Greenwich Village with a predominantly Jewish student body. In the backdrop? The burgeoning civil rights movement and a lot of sweet Motown tunes. Actress and comedian Janae Burris stars and April Axé Charmaine directs; find details and tickets, $15 to $40 here.

Saints of Failure
Saturday, April 17 (and again April 23 and 24), 7:30 p.m.
Grant Avenue Church & Sacred Space, 216 South Grant Street

Ryan Conarro (ALAXSXA | ALASKA, this hour forward, The Blue Bear) will perform the interdisciplinary Saints of Failure as a site-specific production inside the sanctuary of a historic church, weaving storytelling and live makeup transformations to series of stories and memories that explore questions about LGBTQ identity and the American Christian experience, and the frictions and absurdities that ensue when these identities collide. The piece is underscored with a soundscape of live organ accompaniment curated, composed and played by Martha Yordy, and vocal performance by Mark Middlebrooks. The images and materials were created by makeup designer and performance coach Risha Rox; the piece was developed and directed by Ellie Heyman, the director in residence at New York’s Joe’s Pub. This Generator Theater production is presented in partnership with PFLAG Denver and the Center on Colfax; the organizations will facilitate post-show community conversations both Saturdays. Tickets are $12 to $16; get them here.

Special Olympics Colorado Aurora Polar Plunge & 5K
Saturday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Aurora Reservoir, 5800 South Powhaton Road, Aurora

Saturday will be appropriately chilly, when Special Olympics supporters take the plunge at the Aurora Reservoir. No spectators are allowed this year, but there's plenty of room for participants to jump in, join the run...or both. Minimum fundraising requirements start at $45; register here.

Art From Ashes Poetry Prowl
Saturday, April 17, through April 25
Zoom Party: Sunday, April 25, 3 p.m.

Art From Ashes, an organization that’s been providing empowerment for at-risk youth through poetry and performance for nearly twenty years, is hosting a spring Poetry Prowl. AFA is inviting people of all ages to join in through a goal-driven scavenger hunt with a list of prompts; resulting stories can be posted on social media and shared at a project-ending Zoom party on April 25. Buy tickets for $35 to $75 or pay what you can; it’s free for those ages 12 to 24, and no solo player will be turned away for lack of dollars. Find all the information and register online here.

Rocky Mountain Ghosts: Virtual Haunted Campfire
Saturday, April 17, 6 p.m., online

Jill Collins, founder of Denver Walking Tours, will be at the virtual campfire with Haunted Walk to share the most spine-tingling tales from around the Mile High City, including how Hollywood has taken a particular interest in many of these local tales, making the unexplainable into horror classics. If you can't make the Saturday evening show, your $13 ticket gets you access to the recorded scary stories to listen to whenever you need a good chill; proceeds help support ghost hunters around the world. Get tickets and find out more here.

Living Room Local: Sheila Callaghan, Inside the Writers’ Room
Sunday, April 18, 6 p.m., online

Local Theater dishes up another Living Room Local virtual chat, this one with playwright/screenwriter Sheila Callaghan, a co-founder of the feminist theater collective The Kilroy. Callaghan will take you inside a writer's room where a television-bound script is being created through stories from her personal experience — though it’s difficult to imagine anyone squishing all that insight into one hour. Register online in advance for $20 at Eventbrite.

Sue Eisenfeld, Wandering Dixie: Dispatches From the Lost Jewish South
Sunday, April 18, 7 p.m., online

Although writer, essayist and journalist Sue Eisenfeld was born in Yankee Philadelphia, she’s a Jewish Civil War enthusiast mesmerized by the South and the stories of devout Jewish communities once entrenched in the eastern sunbelt, from Selma to Charlottesville. Eisenfeld traveled to nine Southern states to research her book Wandering Dixie, digging up tales of Jewish Confederates, abandoned synagogues and a culture lost as families moved north. Learn more when the Jewish Community Center’s Neustadt JAAMM Festival presents a virtual book talk with Eisenfeld for a $12-per-household fee; get details and sign up here.

Know of a great show or activity in Denver? Send information to editorial at westword.com; we'll be updating this list through the weekend. And don't miss our list of free events.

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