Tuesday, August 7
Start building your appetite for the Flatirons Food Film Festival this October at Shake It Up: Cocktails and Cuisine, a fundraiser on Tuesday, August 7, at the Boulder Brands office, 1600 Pearl Street in Boulder. The event includes small bites and custom cocktails from Blackbelly, Bramble and Hare, Emmerson and Pastificio Boulder; Fortuna Chocolate will end the evening with a dessert cocktail. But first, Bryan Dayton, award-winning mixologist and co-owner of Corrida and Oak at Fourteenth, will offer up a cocktail presentation complete with two more cocktails. There will also be a screening of short cocktail films, live music from Harmony Music House, and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $75 in advance at eventbrite.com or $85 at the door; learn more at flatironsfoodfilmfest.org.
As Central City Opera wraps up its 2018 season, the high-drama operas that dominate the stage will give way to a showcase of some of the best songs from musical-theater history at Encore: A Musical Revue. Expect Broadway and off-Broadway hits from newer musicals as well as classics like West Side Story, Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music, sung by Central City favorites Curt Olds, Will Liverman and Jennifer DeDominici and talent from the 2018 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. Hear all your favorite show tunes starting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 8; additional performances take place on August 9 and 11 at the Central City Opera House, 124 Eureka Street in Central City. For more information, go to centralcityopera.org.
Make movie night just a little bit brainier by hitting the Denver Museum of Nature & Science sci-fi film series, which pairs fan-favorite blockbusters with an analytical lecture from a relevant scientific expert, who often ends up debunking the central premise of the film. Hosted and curated by Metropolitan State University at Denver associate professor Vincent Piturro in the museum's Phipps Theater, the Wednesday, August 8, edition starts at 7 p.m. with a showing of Guillermo del Toro's fishy fantasia, The Shape of Water. Winner of last year's Best Picture Oscar, the story of a mute woman's love affair with a lanky fish-man hybrid who's quarantined in a top-secret government facility should offer plenty of points for discussion. Stick around after the screening for Piturro's lighthearted yet informative talk with zoologist Jeff Stephenson, who'll examine the scientific accuracy of this interspecies romance. Admission is $12 to $15 on the museum's box-office page.
These days, buying a home is beyond the reach of many metro Denver residents. But you can dream, can't you? And there's no better place to explore your fantasies than at the Denver Parade of Homes, a summer tradition hosted by the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver. To mark the HBA's 75th anniversary, this year's edition includes 75 newly designed model and custom homes by 23 area residential builders, five luxury "Dream Homes" among them. The houses stretch from Windsor to Castle Rock, Arvada to Aurora; starting Thursday, August 9, you can take a self-guided tour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 26. And it's free to look! Find out more at paradeofhomesdenver.com.
The Museum of Boulder, which focuses on telling the town's ongoing story, is getting off to an exemplary start in its new digs. The latest exhibit, Listening Together: An Exploration of 40 Years Making Community-Powered Radio, looks back on KGNU’s origins in countercultural Boulder while also looking at the future of the successful station. To emphasize that future, the show is filled with interactive sensory displays and listening kiosks, as well as KGNU artifacts. Listening Together opens Thursday, August 9, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. (and tunes by the station's DJ Segue), and runs through September 17 at the Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway in Boulder. The exhibit is included with museum admission of $8 to $10; learn more at museumofboulder.org.
The documentary Boys With Bigger Hearts tells the story of Trey Purcell and Jack Fowler, two boys diagnosed with the genetic disorder MPS II, also known as Hunter syndrome. The film follows Purcell as he undergoes a successful experimental treatment, and Fowler as his body and mind fall apart when his parents are unable to get him access to that same treatment mid-trial. The film, directed by Joey Howell, will screen at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 9, at the Landmark Mayan Theatre, 110 Broadway. The suggested donation for admission is $10; for more information, go to boyswithbiggerhearts.org.
young troupe with innovative ideas, spent months brainstorming the interactive #BESTYOU, a game show that’s also a play satirizing the impossibly perfect surface of social media, where everyone puts their best face forward. Three fictitious Internet celebrities pretty up their lives during three challenges to propel the live action, and it’s up to the audience to decide which one does it best, based on such traits as strength, resilience and mental health. Wanna play? #BESTYOU opens on Thursday, August 9, at the JMAC Studios White Box, 1903 East Iliff Avenue on the University of Denver campus, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through September 1. Tickets are $23 in advance and $25 at the door; for reservations and details, visit bestyou.brownpapertickets.com or hashtagbestyou.com.
Friday, August 10
RedLine Denver will be open around the clock — or close enough — during its annual 48 Hours of Socially Engaged Art & Conversation Summit, a two-day meeting of the minds inspired by the City of Denver’s Imagine 2020 Cultural Plan that touches on such topics as social responsibility and giving back to the creative community. Local artists and arts nonprofits have a major presence at the summit, through performances, workshops, ten-minute talks, demonstrations, panels, roundtables and the Socially Engaged Art Projects exhibit. Programming runs from 7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 10, and from 8:15 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street. Admission is free, but donations are welcome; learn more and register in advance at redlineart.org.
The circus is back in town with the return of the Union Station Buskerfest, an annual carnival drawing buskers from around the world to the plaza outside Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, where they entertain people of all ages. Get ready to be amazed by acrobats, hula-hoopers, fire performers, clowns, unicyclists, giant puppets, street dancers and other downright funny folks, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, August 10 (the first fifty people who show up in costume will be invited to a special after-party at 9 p.m.), and again from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, and Sunday, August 12. Plan to make a day of it: Eateries abound in the area, and kids can cool off in the plaza's interactive fountain. Admission is free; visit unionstationbuskerfest.com for the lineup and more information.
How Breckenridge Creative Arts and BreckCreate director Robb Woulfe manages to program and cram so many cultural experiences into ten days in one little mountain town, we’ll never know, but the annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts just gets bigger and better with age. The 2018 edition kicks off Friday, August 10, and is packing the days through August 19 with art installations and exhibits by international artists, workshops, culture hikes, film screenings, concerts, skateboarding action and musicians performing in the treetops (among other things). BIFA events happen at various downtown Breckenridge locations and even on local trails; most are free. Plan your attack at breckcreate.org/bifa.