Cactus Jack's Saloon

In 1938, Frank Sinatra was 23 years old — and much better-looking than you might imagine, judging from the mug shot snapped in Bergen County, New Jersey, where he'd seduced "a single woman of good repute...under the promise of marriage," according to the arrest report. Back then, that kind of hanky-panky could get you thrown in jail — but Sinatra was quickly released when it was determined that the woman in question was already married, and not to him. But first the cops captured this photo, in which Sinatra is staring intently — but also a tad insouciantly — into the camera, a lock of black hair falling over his left eye. He looks good enough to eat. Particularly in the huge blow-up hanging outside the ladies' room of Cactus Jack's, which has only one toilet. It's nice to have something pretty to look at while you wait...and wonder exactly what doing it his way entails.

DanzArtz Studios

Zombies are not only dancing in the streets, but they're doing it like pros, thanks to DanzArtz' series of Thriller-specific Guerilla Thrilla classes that teach Michael Jackson's classic video dance sequence step by step to anyone willing to offer up their time and the class fee. On Halloween night, close to 250 students donned zombie togs and makeup and danced the routine in Skyline Park; later, some of them repeated the feat in the Congress Park neighborhood. Fields and crew say they're on board for the event again this year, but it'll go down with a twist: an Addams Family theme. Get ready for a Fester occasion.

Clark Griswold, eat your heart out. If it's Halloween or Christmas, you can be sure that Alek Komarnitsky has bedecked his Lafayette home with the most incredible light display around. After he caught flak in 2004 for tricking visitors to www.komar.org into thinking they could control his Christmas light show (it was an elaborate online hoax), Komarnitsky figured out a way to actually do it. Now folks can log on to his overly stimulating website during the holidays and turn his thousands of lights on and off. It may not make the neighbors happy, but since Komarnitsky uses 100 percent wind energy, makes carbon-offset contributions for the electricity his display consumes and allows online visitors to donate money to celiac disease research, this is insanity for a cause.

Sie FilmCenter

If your interest in film extends at all past Hollywood's latest remakes, explosion showcases and toy commercials, you're probably already a regular of Starz FilmCenter. The menu runs the gamut from foreign gems to the best of local indie cinema, with stops at all points in between. It also offers great regular programs, including the GLBT-focused Cinema Q and Doc Night, which brings documentary filmmakers in to show their films and talk about them. Whatever your taste in cinema, chances are good that Starz has something to offer that you simply won't find anywhere else.

Carlos Frésquez was part of this city's burgeoning Chicano artists' movement of the '70s and '80s, creating works that specifically referred to the Mexican-American experience. In the '90s, he started to conflate the dreams of Aztlán with postmodernism, and his paintings grew into installations, setting the stage for his latest triumph, "Un Corrido Para la Gente." This funky piece, the title of which means "A Ballad for the People," consists of a giant guitar, a huge bicycle wheel topped by a crown, and a string of papel picado banners running between the guitar and a monumental shovel handle. Installed this past year at the intersection of Morrison Road and Sheridan Boulevard, it serves as an entry marker to the Westwood neighborhood, and its imagery fits the surrounding Mercado district like a glove.

Though they are neighbors, the Denver Public Library, the Denver Art Museum and the Colorado History Museum rarely cooperate on programs — but Allen True's West, highlighting the career of one of Denver's most important artists, was one of those rare win-win-win collaborations. True's chosen subject was the way the American West was rapidly changing before his eyes, and the trajectory of his career led him from charming book illustrations (shown at the DPL) to powerful easel paintings (at the DAM) to the most significant work of his lifetime, his stunning murals (at the CHM). It took a lot of walking to see it all, but given the high quality of True's work on display, the extra effort was definitely worth it.

Plus Gallery

One of the area's most clever young artists, Colin Livingston has been pondering art as commodity. In pursuing this, he's done all kinds of conceptual works — including having clients pick from sets of palettes, patterns, logos and slogans, becoming full partners in his paintings. With this show, he pushed the idea even further by creating an installation that aped a retail store, with his paintings the merchandise in custom-made display cartons, some with tabs so that they could be hung from open-front cabinets, à la Home Depot. The exhibit was incredible, worthy of display in a museum before its parts are sold off piecemeal.

Curious Theatre Company

Dorian is a brilliant but unstable musician, the most troublesome member of the musical quartet featured in Opus, a man who seems to channel Mozart when he plays. In the Curious Theatre Company production of this play, Hahn brought his usual intensity to the role, but he also gave the character an out-of-world quality, the dreaminess of a man lost not only in music, but in the dissonance of a sometimes unhinged brain — until, that is, the final scene brought an unexpected transformation.

Among all the characters in Eccentricities of a Nightingale, a passionate, sometimes overwrought play, the protagonist's insane mother comes closest to old-style Southern Gothic, and Erica Sarzin-Borillo played her large and theatrical in this Germinal Stage Denver production. But she also acted with such precision and emotional richness that her very staginess hinted at inarticulable and otherwise unreachable truths.

BINDERY Space

After rehearsing for eleven months, Aluminous Collective — a company formed by director Colleen Mylott and a group of onetime Naropa students — brought Charles Mee's Big Love to Denver. It's a fascinating play: The plot, liberally based on Aeschylus, concerns fifty sisters who have been promised by their fathers to fifty grooms and have fled from Greece to Italy to escape these marriages. The company's approach to this script was imaginative and full of resonant images: a four-man band; women in wedding dresses walking slowly, one by one, toward center stage, each carrying a sieve full of water; a couple expressing their love in a gliding, swooping dance on roller skates. Here's hoping we'll see more of Aluminous soon.

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