The 21 Best Events in Denver, March 20-26

Anime comes alive at the Colorado Anime Festival!
Anime comes alive at the Colorado Anime Festival! Danielle Lirette

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Friday, March 23

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The Colorado Anime Festival returns for a third year.
Danielle Lirette
Back in 2016, a group of friends and con colleagues saw potential in a spring convention that served cosplaying constituents; now the Colorado Anime Festival is back for a third round. Along with the usual video screenings, anime music videos, cosplay competitions, panel discussions, photo shoots and Artist Alley and Vendors' Hall, this year’s con is bringing in well-known voice actors. Also new in 2018 is a series of all-ages sessions with the Albuquerque-based Kirei Cosplay Cafe, a Japanese “maid cafe” with changing themes. COAF starts at 2 p.m. Friday, March 23, and runs through 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Denver Renaissance Stapleton Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Ticket options include daily, full-weekend and VIP passes; for more information and to order online, go to

Colorado loves watching homegrown talents succeed in the wider world, particularly when they're as vociferously pro-Denver as comedian, Mile High ambassador and former Westword scribe Adam Cayton-Holland. While Those Who Can't fans eagerly await the show's third season on TruTV, Cayton-Holland is on the road to preview his material on the Comedy Central Records release Adam Cayton-Holland Performs His Signature Bits, which hits the proverbial shelves on Friday, March 23. Celebrate this career milestone on the same day in the most characteristically Denver way possible: at an album-release party at Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street, with a standup show highlighting such local luminaries as Ian Douglas Terry, Kyle Pogue, Caitie Hannan, Christie Buchele, Greg Baumhauer and, of course, ACH in the headlining spot. The free festivities begin at 8 p.m.; find more information on Ratio Comedy's Facebook events page.

Cosi Fan Tutte, which roughly translates from Italian to "Women Are Like That," remains one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most fondly remembered and frequently performed comedies. The romantic farce is full of stirring songs and dramatic switcheroos, adeptly satirizing how love makes fools of us all. Under the guidance of stage director Ron Ben-Joseph and musical director Sara Parkinson, the Boulder Opera Company's talented cast is breathing new life into a work that first premiered in 1790. Catch the show at Stewart Auditorium, 400 Quail Road in Longmont, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, or at a 3 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, March 25, at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. For more information or to buy tickets, $25 to $35, go to

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Hug it out with fellow artists at Boulder Arts Week.
Boulder Arts Week
Boulder Arts Week showcases local arts organizations and artists doing what they do all year long, much as Denver’s version does every November — but Boulder is small enough to be able to host a free preview of the rush of art shows, performances and cultural events that will start officially on March 30. Have a brew and get a clue to what's ahead at the Boulder Arts Week Warm-Up: Party With a Purpose on Friday, March 23, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Twisted Pine Brewing Company, 3201 Walnut Street in Boulder. The preview includes performances by Orbiting Olympia, Betsy Tobin’s Now or Never Theatre and the Blue Moon Dance Company, as well as a hand-printed card demo by Black Dog Press. A portion of all drink proceeds will benefit Boulder Arts Week; learn more at

Saturday, March 24

Give winter a proper sendoff when the Left Hand Brewing Foundation brings Hops + Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam back to Longmont's Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue, for a sixth round. The fun begins at noon Saturday, March 24, with a forty-foot-high snowboard ramp and rail-jam competition; watch the action while sipping unlimited samples from more than 55 breweries, then rock out to a concert by Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. On Sunday, March 25, the focus will be on family activities — and beer, of course — from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $125 for the complete experience; get them at

Master storyteller Luis Alberto Urrea often writes about life in the borderlands in books ranging from The Devil’s Highway, his fact-based story about a border crossing by 26 desperate men in the desert between Mexico and Arizona, to The Hummingbird’s Daughter and its sequel Queen of America, a two-part fictionalization of his own great-aunt Teresa’s journey from a dirt-packed village in Mexico to New York City. His latest novel, The House of Broken Angels, travels along the border, too, homing in on a Mexican-American family gathering at a dying patriarch's home in San Diego to explore the clan’s cultural transition from life in Mexico to American ways. Urrea will discuss and sign The House of Broken Angels at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 East Colfax Avenue. Admission is free, and copies of the book will be available for $27; get more info at

While gallery exhibits abound during Denver Month of Printmaking 2018, the Mo’Print Studio Tour on Saturday, March 24, is a chance to meet, watch and buy from artists at work in their own studios and spaces. A complete listing of participating locations with an interactive map on the Mo’Print home page lets you plan your itinerary from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. After that, head to Ink Lounge, a one-stop working screen-printing center at 29 South Fox Street, where from 5 to 8 p.m. the Ink Mixer will allow printmakers from all over the area to kick back with the public over adult beverages and snacks. Ink Lounge will unveil its own Mo’Print show, Embrace the Charm, a celebration of screen-printing, during the mixer. It’s all free; learn more at

Artists, friends, family and neighbors will come together on Saturday, March 24, for the Gathering for the Greater Good hosted by the All Sacred Foundation at Cluster Event Studios, 3881 Steele Street. From noon until 6 or 7 p.m., there will be tattooing along with live painting, photography, tarot-card readings, vendors (including a Ritualcravt pop-up shop) and a raffle spotlighting those vendors. Then the party gets really arty with live music by GriZ at 8 p.m.; get tickets for the show at Admission to the daytime event is free; proceeds from activities and services benefit a variety of worthy organizations, including Art From Ashes and Rainbow Bridge. Find out more about the Gathering at

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Jim Howard in 1965.
Image courtesy and © Jim Howard
Sunday, March 25

It's fitting that the day after the March for Our Lives, one of the leading activists of the ’60s will call a new generation to action. Rennie Davis, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, co-organizer of the 1968 demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention and a member of the legendary Chicago Seven, today runs the Foundation for a New Humanity from his home in Longmont. He also has a new memoir, The New Humanity: A Movement to Change the World, which he'll talk about at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, at Shining Lotus Metaphysical Bookstore, 2553 South Colorado Boulevard. Admission is free; find out more at

Fashion illustrator Jim Howard made his name rendering sleek advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the ’50s, then continued to follow changing styles and high couture with pen and ink through the ’80s as a freelancer. The Denver Art Museum will celebrate Howard’s trendy legacy with a new exhibit, Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard, which captures his career with more than 100 works on paper. To tie its own collection into the show, the museum will bring out a selection of illustrated treasures from the archives. Drawn to Glamour opens on Sunday, March 25, and runs through July 22 on the second level of the DAM’s Hamilton Building, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. The exhibit is included in the museum admission price of $8 to $13 (those eighteen and under get in free); visit for details.

The Wit theater troupe returns with another round of Shakesbeer, presenting a play absolutely, 100 percent written by Shakespeare (maybe) in a bar, with a cast of actors who drink both on and off stage. This time, the show is the oft-disregarded tale of Arden of Faversham and, as the producer notes, "It takes a village to kill a husband." The Wit's Shakesbeer & Woods Boss Brewing will present this frothy comedy in a free performance at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at Grandma's House, 1710 South Broadway; it repeats there at 7 p.m. March 29, then moves on to Woods Boss Brewing for free shows in April. Find out more at

Fia NyXX brings soul, emotional depth and a sense of history to dance-pop music with her Motown-inspired yet utterly unique sound. After touring internationally with girl group SHE, NyXX is branching out on her own with her debut full-length, Everything Girl, which was recorded at the storied FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Celebrate the album's arrival when NyXX comes to Denver for the Everything Girl Launch Party, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street. Tickets are $20 to $30 at

Monday, March 26

If civic leaders haven’t spoiled human contact for you with all their headline-making unwanted advances and you still want a hug, British artist Stuart Semple and the Denver Theatre District are collaborating on a bi-national Hug Huddle, which will give people in Denver and London the opportunity to hug a stranger — consensually. "I'm really excited for the Hug Huddle, and can't wait for friends in London and Denver to come together and share what I hope will be a happy and uplifting moment,” says Semple. The Mile High portion of this free event will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 26, in the Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. For more information, visit

In order for an event to be considered for the 21 Best Events This Week, we need information at least three weeks in advance of the vent. Send it to [email protected]
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