Summer is in full swing, and in Denver that means there will be tons of opportunities to be outside. From a zombie beer crawl to an ’80s-themed beer festival and a celebration of all things Puerto Rican, you have no excuse to skip the sunshine this week. Keep reading for our 21 best events in Denver June 6 to June 12.
Tuesday, June 6
Denver’s newest publisher, Punch Drunk Press, wants to help writers, poets and artists share their work with the broader world, both at in-person readings and online. To help spread the word, it’s hosting Punketry, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, at Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway. Poets Andre Carbonell, aka Hakeem Furious, Cat Frances and Kenny White will be reading to the tunes of punk outfit Black Market Translation. Punch Drunk Press is asking for a $5 donation at the door; a comedy open mic follows the reading. For more information, go to facebook.com/events/108639519720249.
Wednesday, June 7
In the age of Trump, everyone’s talking about pussies. But it’s activism, not sexism, making headlines about everything from women wearing pussy hats to increased feminist railings against the misogynistic pigs and trolling mansplainers of the world. The Pussy Talks, a controversial documentary by sex therapist Mukee Okan, takes all that pussy envy to new heights by inviting women to get in touch with the inner workings of their private — and totally independent — shame-free parts. Yes, there will be graphic footage. No, you should not be embarrassed. See The Pussy Talks, followed by a talk by Okan herself, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, 2027 13th Street in Boulder. (The program repeats June 8.) Tickets, $20, are available in advance at theptalksboulder.eventbrite.com or at the door for $25; learn more about Okan and The Pussy Talks at mukeeokan.com.
Top Chef is filming in Denver right now, but if you can't get an invite to the show's Restaurant Wars, check out Cook Street's Restaurant Week instead. From Wednesday, June 7, through Friday, June, 9, students at the culinary school will be preparing three-course lunches, with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The menu changes daily, but you can expect dishes like wood-fired shrimp with coconut spoonbread, grilled lamb with Asiago polenta and onion preserves, and white-chocolate bread pudding. Just $25 gets you a civilized lunch — no scarfing down a giant burrito while hurrying back to your cubicle — in the form of the prix fixe menu served at the school, 1937 Market Street. As a bonus, no one will go home in tears at the end of the meal. Check out the full menus and reserve your spot at Cook Street's website.
Thursday, June 8
Back in February, two burlesque dancers joined forces to put on a show to raise money for a City, O’ City employee who had fallen ill and didn’t have health insurance. The event was a triumph. Five months later, the same dancers have formed Rebel Girl Productions, a burlesque company that will hold its first show, Cruel Summer, at Rackhouse Pub, 2875 Blake Street, on Thursday, June 8, at 8:30 p.m. The for-profit production will showcase a motley crew of dancers from across the state who are “sure to make you sweat,” according to organizers. Better yet, tickets are just $5. For more information, visit facebook.com/events/724620131051491.
Gloria, Beatriz and Meche, a mismatched trio of imperfect women who manage to be friends despite quirks, different religions, personality disorders and sexism, are the central characters of Divorcées, Evangelists & Vegetarians, a comedy by Venezuelan playwright Gustavo Ott making its regional premiere on Thursday, June 8, at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Abel Lopez of the GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C., guest-directs the celebration of sisterhood enduring against all odds, which will run at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and ends with a closing-day Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. June 25 at Su Teatro. Get information and tickets, $17 to $20, at suteatro.org or call 303-296-0219.
Friday, June 9
Dave Attell is the shlubby embodiment of standup comedy’s id, perhaps more so than any comedian working today. Star of Comedy Central’s cult classic travelogue Insomniac, Attell has appeared throughout his career in films like Trainwreck and Pootie Tang, as well as shows such as Ed and Arrested Development, but he’s always been at his best on stage. A maestro of filth whose proclivities were thoroughly documented in the Showtime series Dave’s Old Porn, Attell’s quick-witted raunch and fondness for the American road are on fine display in his recent special Road Work. Returning to Comedy Works, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, for the first time in years (he recorded the classic standup album Skanks for the Memories one rowdy night at the downtown location), Attell is a can’t-miss for true comedy fans. Learn more and buy tickets, $32, at comedyworks.com. Showtimes are 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. on Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10.
In 1965, four young visionaries bought a six-acre goat pasture in southern Colorado and named it Drop City. What began as an experimental art colony soon evolved into America’s boldest, most far-out rural hippie commune. Although its heyday was brief, Drop City’s impact on pop culture has been far-reaching — and its legacy an emerging point of pride for nearby Trinidad. A new initiative, the Drop! Counterculture Catalyst, kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9, at the Carnegie Library, 202 North Animas Street in Trinidad, with a range of exhibits and pop-up art activities, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the commune’s Joy Festival. Visitors can check out a scale model of a proposed art installation based on Drop City’s signature car-top geodesic domes, inspect photos, books, videos and other archival materials (including a home movie by original Dropper Richard Kallweit), or simply drop art and spread joy. For more information, contact DropCatalyst@gmail.com.
They’re young, they’re fresh, they’re brash. Denver’s youngest breweries come together for the fifth annual New Kids on the Block Beer Festival on Friday, June 9, at the Lobby American Grill, 2191 Arapahoe Street. Dance the night away — or at least from 7 to 10 p.m. — with beers from twenty Denver breweries that are less than two years old, ’80s hits, and brewery prizes for the best retro costumes. The festival itself is older than any of the breweries slated to attend, so innovation and experimentation are part of the package. Tickets are $35 online at nightout.com/events/new-kids-on-the-block-2017/tickets or $40 at the door.
Duck into a cool auditorium and find quality theater in the heat of summer in Lakewood, where Edge Theater’s three-show summer series fires up beginning Friday, June 9, and running through July 2 with a production of Marisa Wegrzyn’s Mud Blue Sky, the story of three weary flight attendants commiserating over the travails of living life up in the sky. Then comes Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews, July 14 through August 6, and the closer, Dinner, by Moira Buffini, from August 25 to September 17. All three plays boast the quality direction and casts that have made Edge, 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood, famous in the metro area. Stay connected to culture this summer: Purchase individual tickets for $28 (or opt for a discounted $65 summer series pass) at theedgetheater.com or call 303-232-0363.
Director Trey Edward Shults’s 2015 film Krisha was a tense family drama exploring the time-bomb arrival of a troubled family member to a Thanksgiving celebration. The dark film left many chilled and wondering if Shults would lend his talents to an actual horror film. In his new movie, It Comes at Night, fans are rewarded. The film follows a family living alone in a cabin deep in the woods, protected from an end-of-days scenario that has played out all over the world. When a new family arrives, begging to be taken in, things get tense. The two groups struggle to trust each other as they take a stand against whatever lurks outside. To celebrate the opening, the Sie FilmCenter is transforming its lobby into a cabin in the woods for a premiere party on June 8, starting at 6 p.m. Get tickets at denverfilm.org and drafthouse.com.
Keep reading for more of the best events in Denver this week.
Saturday, June 10
Twirling into its 2017 season with classically trained panache, the Zikr Dance Ensemble is celebrating its new program with the Denver premiere of Ancient Shadows. Taking inspiration from the rhythms, mythology and spiritual traditions of Central and South American indigenous peoples, Ancient Shadows pulses with an original score from Boulder-based composer Jesse Manno. After debuting in Lakewood last week, the show continues at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at Colorado Ballet Black Box Theatre, 1075 Santa Fe Drive. To buy tickets, $25, and learn about the rest of the Zikr season, visit zikrdance.com.
If you’re headed to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre for a show this summer, be prepared to encounter a freaky menagerie of giant inflatable bugs posted up for the season in Marjorie Park, on the north side of the concert venue. Hatched from the imagination of San Francisco installationist Bill Kennedy, aka “Inflatabill,” the monumental insects, which are illuminated at night, make up Creatura Psychedelica, a color-splashed summer-long pop-up garden display mounted by the Museum of Outdoor Arts. In between Fiddler’s Green appearances, the portable installation will also travel to other events and places around the state, but not before its Marjorie Park unveiling from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at 6331 South Fiddler’s Green Circle in Greenwood Village. The colors of Creatura Psychedelica will be enhanced by a mini-fest of fire spinners, live music by the Ned Garthe Explosion, the ArtsMyths Mask Shoppe and food-truck fare; admission is free. Keep abreast of the migrating insects and their summer travels at moaonline.org.
The Art Students League of Denver is an art school without airs; anyone can take a class there to pick up new art skills and techniques from a faculty of working artists. It’s family-friendly and non-judgmental, and the ASLD’s cherished annual Summer Art Market is in the same vein: down-to-earth and full of deals on original artworks by locals. Nearly 270 artists will line the grounds of the egalitarian organization ready to chat you up and sell you art without being pushy or elitist about it. Check out the vendors, listen to live music and watch artist demos from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, and from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at the ASLD, 200 Grant Street. Admission is free, kids are invited, and food and drink will be available. Learn more at asld.org.
Croquet much? With a history that goes back centuries, the anachronistic sport of genteel backyard gardens doesn’t seem relevant in the 21st century, but consider this: Anyone who can stick a wicket in the ground and knock a ball around can play, making croquet the grand old aunt of such family pastimes as miniature golf — and it’s pretty hard to injure yourself doing it. With that in mind, Denver Botanic Gardens is cueing up a summer of sport with a Croquet in Bloom series, pitting adult teams of two against one another in monthly summer tournaments for a chance at grabbing the first annual Denver Botanic Cup in September. It all starts Saturday, June 10, at 4 p.m. at the DBG, 1007 York Street, and continues at the same time on July 8, August 12 and September 23. Tickets are $15 for participants and $5 for spectators; buy them and sign up at botanicgardens.org.
Issues are bubbling up in the new political climate of 2017 faster than we can beat them down — so how do people get together and deal with the barrage of questions about social justice and move forward in unity? Finding common ground is the purpose of the Resist Forward Summit, a daylong collaboration of Indivisible Denver, Dr. Timothy Tyler of Shorter AME Community Church and more than 25 progressive groups in Denver. The day includes keynote speakers like immigrant/activist Jeanette Vizguerra, roundtable discussions, and tools and training tips for nonviolent activism, along with some rousing entertainment by the Shorter choir. Get together and talk it through from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at Shorter AME, 3100 Richard Allen Court. Admission is a minimum donation of $5 at the door, and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, and an advance RSVP is required. For details, visit facebook.com/events/291994721244999.
The End of the World Pub Crawl is more than just a bunch of people pub-hopping in the Ballpark neighborhood. It’s an interactive event where you can dodge zombies while trying to make it to bars on Larimer Street. From 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, the block of Larimer between 20th and 21st streets will become a zombie zone — and you’re the next bite on the menu. A ticket gets you two free drinks, a koozie and a flag-football-style belt that the shambling undead will attempt to snatch. Make it to all five bars — the Ginn Mill, the Retro Room, Herb’s, Larimer Beer Hall and Sidecar — with your flag intact and you’ll be registered to win a prize. Come in costume for a chance to win something for your effort. Tickets are available eventbrite.com; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Volunteer opportunities are also available at endoftheworldpubcrawl.com/volunteer, if you’d prefer to be turned into a zombie by a professional makeup artist.
For decades, Colorado was a hotbed for Deadheads, in part because Red Rocks was the perfect venue for the trippy jams of the Grateful Dead. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame will honor the iconic band at a VIP reception on Saturday, June 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the South Stadium Club at Folsom Field in Boulder. Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country includes a panel with original Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, and will precede a performance by Dead & Company at Folsom Field at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, $210, include the reception and general admission to the show; get yours and details at cmhof.org.
Sunday, June 11
The entertainment world would be a far duller place without the valued contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and non-conforming creatives. Bursting with both creativity and goodwill, LGBTQ + You is a fabulous variety show combining elements of theater, poetry, dance, comedy, music and even gymnastics into a lovely and lively benefit showcase at the Clocktower, 1601 Arapahoe Street, on Sunday, June 11, at 7 p.m. Broaden your horizons and support a worthwhile cause while enjoying an evening of razzmatazz unavailable anywhere else in the city. Tickets are $20 in advance at hktheaterproject.com/on-stage or $25 at the door; all proceeds benefit Trans Lifeline, a nonprofit that provides hotline support for trans people facing adversity.
Amid the bleakness of the current political landscape, a longing to return to an era when attaining our national ideals at least seemed like a common goal is all too understandable. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is not only a standout classic of Frank Capra’s all-American oeuvre, but it’s also an interrogation of the Democratic process and a paean to the noble goals it can achieve. Jimmy Stewart stars as a moral yet naive freshman senator whose dreams of reform are scuttled by the endemic corruption of Washington, D.C.’s, corridors of power. While the film’s idea of a scandal seems quaint in comparison to the news these days, its tale of stubborn resistance resonates just as much today as it did when it was released. Whether revisiting the story or seeing it for the first time, don’t miss the free daytime screening of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, on Sunday, June 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway.
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A mixture of indigenous, Spanish, Caribbean, African and American flavors, Puerto Rico’s aptly named “cocina criolla” (Creole cuisine) starts with beans, rice, corn and roots and takes off from there with the addition of seafood, meats and spices. Yes, it’s delicious — and don’t forget to top it off with sticky-sweet flan and rum-soaked arroz con dulce. That’s a good enough reason to drop by the Taste of Puerto Rico Festival, but the annual party in the park also includes live music and cultural entertainment, vendors, family fun and a joyful sense of community. Find your inner islander from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11, in Civic Center Park at Colfax Avenue and Broadway; admission is free. Learn more at atopr.com.
Monday, June 12
Wedding season is fully under way, and Film on the Rocks is celebrating with a laugh at a special screening of Bridesmaids on Monday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway in Morrison. FOTR fans were given the chance to vote on their favorite wedding-themed movies, and the bawdy 2011 ensemble comedy was the clear winner, making Bridesmaids the very first fan-selected movie in the series. Prior to the screening, guests can enjoy music from Edison and standup performances from Comedy Works Entertainment. Visit denverfilm.org/fotr for information and tickets, $15.