The 21 Best Things to Do in Denver This Week

Dazzle is moving into the Baur's building downtown.
Dazzle is moving into the Baur's building downtown. Brandon Marshall

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click to enlarge Ballet5280 aims to be an inclusive school that encourages its dancers instead of putting them down. - ROBIN CAIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Ballet5280 aims to be an inclusive school that encourages its dancers instead of putting them down.
Robin Cain Photography
Friday, May 26

Ballet dancers are too often treated like dirt, says dancer Briana Selstad Bosch. Artistic directors chide them for being fat (sometimes when they’re already struggling with eating disorders), call them lousy dancers, and squelch their individuality and creativity in myriad ways. In response to such conditions in the conventional ballet world, Bosch launched a new company, Ballet5280. As the troupe’s artistic director, she has one goal: “to shatter the usual demoralizing company experience for dancers.” The group’s inaugural performance will be an interpretation of Vivaldi’s iconic Four Seasons and will take place over two nights starting Friday, May 26, at Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road in Broomfield. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. each night, and tickets are $15. For more information, go to

Get ready for a wild ride, Denver. Untitled: True Grit, the Denver Art Museum’s next First Friday bash, marks the start of The Western: An Epic in Art & Film, an exhibit that promises to be this summer’s blockbuster. Or is that bronc-buster? Although you’ll need an extra ticket to get into The Western itself, yeehaw activities will be spilling out all over the place, with Steve Weil of Rockmount Ranch Wear talking about Western clothes and culture, Central City Opera offering excerpts from Carmen, DAM Native American artist-in-residence alums talking about their work, and champion roper Craig Ingram sharing his tricks. See how the West was fun from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 26, at 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway; a general-admission ticket is $10 for Colorado residents, $13 for non-residents, and free for members. Find out more at

This summer, MCA Denver opens its galleries to solo shows from a couple of familiar artists with Denver ties, both of whom have a global presence. The first, painter Jenny Morgan, who’s gone on to find success in New York City since her Denver days as a Plus Gallery artist, gets a first-floor retrospective, SKINDEEP, which shows the evolution of her startling portraiture, including a room of color-washed, full-frontal self-portraits. Denver-based Derrick Velasquez will present Obstructed View, an exhibit that’s part gilded architectural installation and part photography, all with intermingling themes about boundaries both physical and existential, and the push-pull of history and new development. The shows open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 26, and run through August 27 at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street. Admission is free for members (RSVP required) and $5 for all others; all proceeds benefit the Women’s Bean Project and the Center. Learn more at
Courtesy Lucha Libre & Laughs
We’re running out of accolades to shower upon Lucha Libre & Laughs, and frankly, we’re beginning to resent its unrelenting delightfulness. However, it’s still worth noting that the Westword-lauded showcase is celebrating its fourth anniversary on Friday, May 26, with a lineup that will make you tap out for mercy. In the ring, fans can expect to see bouts with such favorites as Martin Casaus, Lonnie Valdez and Mike Sydal, as well as a special return appearance by Japanese wrestling legend Kikutaro and “enough flown-in wrestling stars to ruin my life if everything goes wrong,” producer/ bumbling referee Nick Gossert assures us. There’ll be brawn aplenty on the mic, as well, with emcee Bobby Valentino crooning and mooning between performances by heavy hitters Christie Buchele and Aaron Urist, who’ll whet the crowd’s appetite for headliner John “Hippieman” Novosad. Doors open at 7 p.m., showtime is at 8 p.m. at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. Tickets are $10 at

Saturday, May 27

Celebrate the mannerisms, idiosyncrasies and obsessions of Denver’s funniest standup comedians at Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game. Inspired by Wait, What?, a boozy brouhaha created by New Orleans comics Geoffrey Gauchet and Isaac Kozell, Designated Drunkard prompts the audience and hosts alike to take a drink each time a comic returns to a familiar tic or premise. The second edition opens with a vengeance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, with a rogue’s gallery of Denver comedy favorites, including Mina Thorkel, Nolawee Mengist, Cody Spyker, Steve Vanderploeg and Zach Reinert. Co-hosted by Caitie Hannan and Westword’s own Byron Graham, Designated Drunkard is a fine addition to the roster of locally produced standup shows at El Charrito’s Comedy RoomRoom, 2100 Larimer Street; find out more on

Cider rules this week with cider tastings all over town, thanks to the Rocky Mountain Cider Association. But the culmination of Cider Week Colorado is the Pressed Conference, an outdoor craft-cider festival from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Highlands Masonic Center, 3550 Federal Boulevard, on Saturday, May 27. For $45 each, fans of fermented apple juice will get unlimited tastings from at least fifteen cider makers from across the Mountain West, including Denver’s own Colorado Cider Company, Stem Ciders and C Squared Ciders. Get your tickets at, and then check out for other juicy events this week. In only its second year, the Pressed Conference is already one of Denver’s core festivals.

Feral Factory, one of Denver’s newest arts projects, is in the midst of its fourth exhibition, Urban Collage, which is a look at how cities change and function. This month, the group is showcasing the work of Denver artist Stephanie Hartshorn, who looks at the histories of cities, their relationship to rural landscapes around them, and what urban areas may become in the future. The show opens at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, at the Crash, 2555 Walnut Street, and includes a multimedia performance from the Grapefruit Lab. For more information, go to

Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor and celebrate those who gave their lives in the service of their country. Old South Gaylord is doing just that with its three-day Memorial Weekend Festival starting on Saturday, May 27. The block party will take place on the 1000 block of South Gaylord Street (between Tennessee and Mississippi avenues), with family-friendly entertainment, lots of food and drinks, rides and local vendors. The event kicks off on Saturday evening with live music from 4 to 10 p.m. and then continues on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at
click to enlarge My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult will get dark at Goth Prom. - MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT'S FACEBOOK PAGE
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult will get dark at Goth Prom.
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult's Facebook page
Prom season isn’t for everyone, or at least it wasn’t until the Goth Prom debuted last year, with an open invitation to come over to the dark side dressed entirely in black. Black nails? Check. Black lipstick? Check. Industrial beats to dance and crawl to? Double-check: This year’s alternative prom will be headlined by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, along with some of the city’s best goth DJs, fire artists, aerialists and other practitioners of club-worthy dark arts. Drag your chains into the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, May 27, and don’t forget to pony up for the after-party, rocking into the wee hours at Alchemy Arts, 3264 Larimer Street, Suite D. Goth Prom tickets range from $25 to $75, with two VIP levels, and the after-party is an additional $15, available online at

In the buying mood? The Denver Arts Festival will return for two days starting Saturday, May 27, offering attendees the opportunity to buy artwork and listen to live music from Dotsero and Wendy Woo, all while enjoying the (we hope) nice weather. The festival has even added a “make and take” painting station for children, who can paint canvas tiles to take home as souvenirs. The arty party runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Conservatory Green, 8304 East 49th Place in Stapleton. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 28

Revel in the mortal foolishness of the Wit’s Shakesbeer, a beery company of players presenting original adaptations of William Shakespeare’s classic plays. A Midsummer Night’s Dram turns one of the Bard’s goofiest plays into a fleet and funny hour-long show. And in grand Elizabethan fashion, the Shakesbeer players will be quaffing brews right alongside the groundlings in the audience throughout the performance. Premiering at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, and repeating the next two Sundays at Ratio Beerworks (yes, it’s open), 2920 Larimer Street, Shakesbeer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dram will continue to pop up at different venues across town throughout the summer. While “the course of true love may never run smooth,” the same can’t be said of Ratio’s fine craft beers. Admission is free; find out more on the Midsummer Night’s Dram Facebook page or at

Danielle Lirette
Monday, May 29

Although it’s relatively early in the season, the Colorado Rockies have been putting their best feet forward in 2017, leading the National League with 24 wins and 15 losses. They’ll be defending their record against American League rivals the Seattle Mariners at 1:10 p.m. on Monday, May 29. This Memorial Day opener is the first in a series of four games, including an additional match the following day. No matter how the game shakes out, no one will regret a day spent at the ballpark. Both games take place at Coors Field, 2001 Blake Street; tickets range from $9 to $412 at
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