Best Cabaret Shows 2023 | Clocktower Cabaret | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Selene Arca

After a fabulous renovation by Lonnie Hanzon, the intimate cabaret venue beneath the Daniels & Fisher clocktower on the 16th Street Mall celebrated its sweet sixteen last year with a bang. The space is perfect for a date night or a hang-out with friends, with lush velvet curtains in reds, purples, blues and gold covering the walls and minimalist dainty wooden tables. An escapist retreat, Clocktower Cabaret hosts music, burlesque, comedy, drag and dance shows, plus much more. Consider it Denver's very own Moulin Rouge.

Without Felony Misdemeanor, we would not have the Denver drag scene we know and love today. Not only has she been setting the standard for Colorado drag for decades, but she's birthed a whole new generation of drag performers as the mother of the House of Misdemeanor. Every fourth Saturday of the month at 10:30 p.m. at X Bar, Felony hosts Cellblock M, where you're likely to find your favorite Misdemeanors kicking and bucking alongside some of Colorado's best up-and-coming talent (after all, Felony did give RuPaul's Drag Race superstar Yvie Oddly her first-ever booking). DJ Blaque Gurl, who was recently named Best DJ at the 2023 DIVAs, keeps the party going between performances with hip-hop and R&B hits. Bring extra dollars for tipping, because the cast brings it every time.

For more than thirty years, Comedy Works has been highlighting local and national comedians. Every Tuesday at its New Talent Night, the original downtown club gives nascent local comedians the opportunity to showcase their work; the evenings have included guest drop-ins from the likes of Josh Blue, Ron White and even Dave Chappelle, who has done several spur-of-the-moment secret acts at the spot, as have comedians Wanda Sykes and Dave Attell. And throughout March, Comedy Works hosts a March Madness-style tournament with newer comedians in Denver. Join the club for free through its website to receive texts and emails with the most up-to-date info about special events and secret shows.

Best Instagram Account for Denver Street Art


Affiliated with the nonprofit Colorado Street Art, which works to support Colorado muralists, the account @coloradostart began posting photos of art and graffiti around the state back in 2011. See works from Denver graffiti greats such as Tuke and Emit, as well as murals by the likes of Gamma Gallery, Sepia and Jeremy Burns. Get acquainted with some of the Mile High City's longstanding artists who were painting the town before this account was even created. And if you see street art that moves you, be sure to post it with the hashtag #coloradostreetart so that @coloradostart can highlight it, too.

One look at Aaron Tuleja's account and you'll be training to hike one of Colorado's fourteeners. Tuleja takes stunning photos as well as drone footage from around the Rocky Mountains, giving us looks at the sun rising over the peaks of the San Juans, a luminescent blue Lake Haiyaha in Rocky Mountain National Park, and sweeping panoramas of the Continental Divide. In every post, Tuleja shows the natural wonders of the state, inspiring his followers to get outside and experience the beauty around them. Follow him when you're ready to start planning your next adventure in the Rockies.

Best Instagram Account for Denver Nostalgia


One thing we hear constantly is that people miss "Old Denver" — whether before the swath of transplants or when the Denver skyline consisted of only a smattering of skyscrapers. The account @olddenver shares vintage photos of now-closed Denver spots, such as the Breakfast King or the 20th Street Cafe, as well as ones that have stood the test of time, like Lucero's or Dandy Dan's. Perhaps our favorite post is a carousel of images of Dandy Dan's revolving signage with sage sentiments such as "Your wife calls it a problem. We call it a solution!"

The Mile High City stars in too few major works of literary merit, which is why it feels so good when a book comes along that really gets Denver, right down to its roots. Local author Erika T. Wurth's novel White Horse has been getting lots of positive national attention since its debut last fall, and that's definitely one reason to check it out if you haven't. But just for good measure, here are a few more: Do you recognize the titular White Horse bar — recently shuttered on West Alameda after years of beer-slinging? Do you have fond memories of bygone times at Lakeside Amusement Park and Casa Bonita? Have you ever wondered if that chill in the air is just the mountain air...or the ghosts you share it with? If you answered yes to any of these, this book is for you.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine became a household name in local literary circles and book clubs after her acclaimed short-story collection Sabrina & Corina arrived in bookstores in 2019. But its followup might fly even farther. Fajardo-Anstine leapt from that collection's slices of Latina life to Woman of Light, a fully realized, five-generation Chicano family saga released last summer. Beautifully written, with an inborn knowledge of her subject, Woman of Light celebrates strong women in a culture built over centuries. Good news if you're on a budget: The paperback edition is due April 18.

A rollicking rampage of rebellion ensues in Glory Guitars, a memoir written by Meow Wolf public relations manager Erin Barnes under her punk-rock moniker, Gogo Germaine, and published by University of Hell press. In the book, which was released in October to rave reviews, Barnes confronts the good, the bad and the ugly while recounting her teenage years growing up in Fort Collins, where she and her girl gang snuck into clubs and hung out with punk bands, skipped class to drink out in open fields, partied hard and loved even harder. One read may inspire you to unleash your own inner Gogo Germaine, and maybe even get into a drunken Jell-O wrestling match with your best friend.

Best Place to Find Reviews of Books About the Centennial State

Colorado Book Review

Since 2009, local historian Tom "Dr. Colorado" Noel has edited the Colorado Book Review, which is located in the Western History & Genealogy section of the Denver Public Library's web page. Whether you're a native or are new to Colorado, this is the place to find critical reviews of titles ranging from The Denver Dry Goods: Where Colorado Shopped With Confidence, by Mark A. Barnhouse, to Colorado UFOs, by Richard Estep. Watch for an upcoming review of Alan Prendergast's GANGBUSTER: One Man's Battle Against Crime, Corruption, and the Klan, his story of battling Denver District Attorney Philip Van Cise, which was excerpted in the March 30 issue of Westword.

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