As the brief month of February enters its final weekend, vivacious locals refuse to be stymied by the season's tardy but hearty snowfall. Winter warriors have plenty of delights awaiting them in the month's waning days, including but not limited to the requisite concerts, comedy shows and film screenings that typically populate these lists. The week ahead also holds unique cultural opportunities, vintage retail therapy, and even booze-soaked feats of strength. And don't despair, destitute Denverites: Each of the events listed below charges only $10 or less for admission — and three are free.
Diego Rodriguez-Warner Artist Talk
Thursday, February 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
$5 to $10
Nicaraguan-born artist Diego Rodriguez-Warner's new exhibition, Honestly Lying, recently opened at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, spellbinding audiences from every corner of the local arts world. Nothing enriches the gallery-going experience more than an insightful discussion with the artist in residence — and just such an event awaits artsy readers Thursday night at the MCA. Join Warner, along with assistant curator Zoe Larkins for an in-depth conversation about Warner's works. The gallery closes before the talk begins, so don't miss the opportunity to contextualize Warner's lecture with a meander through the exhibit beforehand. Get tickets, $5 to $10, and more information at eventbrite.com.
Hollywood Favorite: Dunkirk
Thursday, February 22, 7:30 p.m.
IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
$7.95 to $9.95
Few films of recent memory call for the IMAX treatment more than Christopher Nolan's melancholy war epic, Dunkirk. Shot on 70mm film, the heart-wrenching tale of British evacuation is both an Academy Awards contender and a harrowing entry into the crowded canon of films about the devastating conflict. The rare WWII film that doesn't tacitly glorify warfare in the slightest, Dunkirk is a cinematic testament to the stiff-lipped warriors who sacrificed everything to protect their home shores. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science box-office page to buy tickets, $7.95 to $9.95, and learn more.
Thursday, February 22, 8 p.m.
Fort Comedy extends its ticklish tendrils even farther down the Front Range with Kaos Comedy, a brand-newish standup showcase co-hosted by Kyle Pogue and John Papaioannou. The Kaos eatery-branded showcase returns to its South Pearl Street location with a hum-dang-dinger of a lineup featuring local comedians Piper Shepard, Miles Harmony, Cory Helie and James Draper opening for visiting Los Angeles headliner Jules Posner. Admission is free. Find more information on Kaos Comedy's Facebook events page.
The Nerd Roast: Bob's Burgers Vs. Rick and Morty
Friday, February 23, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Since debuting in the early days of El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom, Sexpot Comedy's Nerd Roast quickly grew into a Final Friday fiesta for the entire Denver comedy community. Though the pay is scant and booking is a logistical nightmare, the show is a true labor of love for co-hosts/producers Preston Tompkins and Zach Reinert. The geek-friendly showcase returns to El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom with a fandom-dividing dais spotlighting local comics performing as characters from the equally beloved animated sitcoms Bob's Burgers and Rick and Morty. With Ben Bryant, Caitie Hannan, Priscilla Spangler, Zeke Herrera, Cory Helie, Katie Bowman, Allison Rose, Joe Gray, Elena Ingraham and John "Hippieman" Novosad on the lineup, the show is catnip for comedy nerds and cartoon nerds alike. The jokes start flying shortly after 7 p.m., but guests should plan on sticking around for El Charrito's perennially popular karaoke night immediately following the roast. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated. Find more information on Sexpot Comedy's Facebook events page.
Inclusion: A Weekend of Hip-Hop
Friday, February 23, 8:45 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center
$6.50 to $12
Though it may come as a surprise to transplants (and even natives), Colorado's hip-hop history extends all the way back to the genre's 1980s halcyon days. The Dairy Arts Center is celebrating the Front Range's unsung hip-hop history with Inclusion: A Weekend of Hip-Hop. Start the weekend off with the context-setting documentary Soulz of the Rockies, followed by a bumpin' free Block Party at 10 p.m. Diehard hip-hop heads can also check out a B-boy-inspired dance performance at the Dairy on Saturday, February 24; however, the $15 admission fee makes it ineligible for this list. Find more information about the entire Inclusion weekend at the Dairy Arts Center's box-office page.
Old School Cool: Vintage Fashion & Goods Market
Sunday, February 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rejoice, analogue loyalists, for a truly wonderful shop-ortunity awaits at Old School Cool, a Vintage Fashion & Goods Market held at the hip Five Points salon Village Solo. Find perennially stylish retro gear, kitschy accessories and other unique goods at an event that combines the shelf-scouring efforts of Lexi Goes Thrifting and the Denver Vintage Collective for a one-of-a-kind pop-up shop. Guests can also dine on food-truck cuisine or get their hair braided by Village Solo stylists. Visit Village Solo's Facebook events page for more information.
Monday, February 26, 7 p.m.
A monthly appointment for local creatives, the Bug Theatre's Freak Train is every bit as delightful as its whimsical moniker suggests. Indeed, each show promises a batty boxcar's worth of performers from every discipline putting their freakiest foot forward in an open-stage extravaganza. Whether you're an aspiring performer or an open-minded patron of the arts, checking out Freak Train is an ideal way to experience the Denver arts community's traditions and its future all in one glorious evening. Performer sign-up begins at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8. Admission is $5 at the door. Find out more on the Bug Theatre Facebook events page.
Black Music Matters
Wednesday, February 28, 6:30 p.m.
History Colorado Center
Enjoy a musical account of Black History Month at the History Colorado Center's Black Music Matters, presented in partnership with the Spirit of Grace gospel group, local musicians Theo Wilson and Kid Astronaut, the Vocal COalition, and students from the Noel Community Arts School Choir, Slavens Middle School and North High School. Visit the Vocal COalition's box-office page to buy tickets, $10, and learn more.
Peter Sommer Septet
Wednesday, February 28, 7 to 10:30 p.m.
Bop away from the mid-week doldrums at Nocturne — one of Denver's swankiest jazz joints — as the Peter Sommer Septet takes to the stage. A celebrated musician and pedagogue, Sommer has collaborated with everyone from the Colorado Jazz Orchestra to the Russian Dragon Band. The septet is rounded out by saxophonist Wil Swindler, trumpeter Al Hood, drummer Paul Romaine, pianist Ben Markley and bassist Seth Lewis. Visit Nocturne's events calendar to reserve a table; guests pay a $9 artist's fee at the door.
Over the Top Arm Wrestling Competition
Wednesday, February 28, 8 p.m.
The Squire Lounge
A battle of the biceps awaits bar-goers at the Squire Lounge, where the Over the Top Arm Wrestling Competition muscles into a monthly residence at the classed-up dive bar. Inspired by the Sylvester Stallone-starring disaster-piece of the same name, the event, hosted by "beastly" Alex Pace, invites strongmen and women to compete for glory and a sweet, sweet cash prize. Each contestant pays a $5 buy-in and the pot goes to the burliest competitor, along with additional prizes for the runners-up. Find more details on the Squire's Facebook events page.
Looking for more to do? Visit the Westword calendar online.