As another balmy weekend approaches, Denverites find themselves particularly spoiled for choice in the days ahead: Pride weekend, Father's Day and Denver Comic Con festivities, and a plethora of lower-profile entertainments that could be friendlier on the pocketbook. From concerts and comedy shows to film screenings and gallery openings, the Mile High City is positively bustling with activity all weekend long. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend.
Local Artisan Pop-Up
Thursday, June 14, 4 to 7 p.m.
Moxy Denver Cherry Creek
Enjoy some brews with your buys during happy hour tonight at Moxy Denver Cherry Creek's Local Artisan Pop-Up. A temporary marketplace selling finely made wares from local makers, the pop-up has a fine array of necklaces, bracelets and more from Lux and Luca Jewelry, toothsome treats from Victoria’s Chocolates, and eye-catching creations from Flux Studio & Gallery. Admission is free; visit Moxy Denver Cherry Creek's events calendar to learn more.
Katherine Arden Reading and Book Signing
Thursday, June 14, 7 to 9 p.m.
A creator of rich fantasies inspired by the folklore of their Russian settings, the novels of Katherine Arden's still-unfolding Winternight Trilogy are snowbound yarns of adventure and intrigue. Driven by Adren's plucky protagonist Vasilisa, The Girl in the Tower (the recently released sequel to Arden's best-selling The Bear and the Nightingale) follows up with a brisk page-turner filled with courtly cross-dressing and demon-aided heroics. In addition to reading a selection from her new book (soon to be followed by the trilogy-capping The Winter of the Witch), Arden will answer questions from her feverish fans. Visit BookBar's events calendar for more information.
Organic Archetypes Opening Reception
Friday, June 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Mai Wyn Fine Art
A mixed-media mind meld, the latest installation at Mai Wyn Fine Art gallery presents distinctive works by ceramist Julie Anderson and painter Tommy White. The fusion of forms unites Anderson's primordial porcelain sculptures and White's Mandala-like compositions in visual conversation, exploring the balance of lines of color. Celebrate the new exhibition at an opening reception that happily coincides with the Art District on Santa Fe's Third Friday Collectors' Preview. Drinks and light hors d'oeuvres provided. Visit Mai Wyn Gallery's Facebook events page to learn more.
Friday, June 15, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom
At Story Time!, nobody's telling stories. Instead, comics share their best one-liners or make up new ones on the spot to fill five minutes. Join James Draper along with local comics Sara Hake, John Davis, Lizzy Wolfson and Ben Duncan, plus Portland's Neeraj Srinivasan and Chicago's Reena Calm for an evening of short jokes and long laughs. Admission is free, but a minimum $3 performer donation is strongly suggested. Visit the Comedy RoomRoom's Facebook events page for more details.
Friday Night Weird: Marie Antoinette
Friday, June 15, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6.50 to $12
The 71st Cannes Film Festival may have bid adieu to the Croisette until next year, but the programmers at Friday Night Weird are dedicating June's film retrospective series to Cannes's influence on world cinema. Rather than screening past Palme d'Or winners, "Panned at Cannes" focuses on classic films that raised hackles, divided the festival's vocal audiences and went home empty-handed. The series continues with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, which drew a chorus of boos for its relatively sympathetic portrayal of the titular monarch, one of the most reviled figures in French history. Politics aside, the film — which was shot on location at Versailles — is rich with visual splendor, extravagant costumes and anachronistic music cues, yet altogether more subversive than its critical reputation and sumptuous aesthetics would suggest. Give it a second viewing. Admission costs $6.50 to $12.50 via the Dairy Center's box-office page.
Spring Ballet Dance Concert: Peter Pan
June 15 to 17, 7 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
A tale as ageless as its spritely protagonist, J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan has been adapted for the page, screen and stage countless times. The Arvada Center Academy Dancers present another whimsical trip through Never Never Land in a new interpretation of the family favorite ballet. With reimagined choreography, the story of the Darling children, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook takes on a thrilling new life. Showtime is at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, June 17. Visit the Arvada Center's box-office page to buy tickets, $10, and learn more.
Incredibles 2 and Black Panther Double Feature
June 15 to 17, 7 p.m.
Denver Mart Drive-In
Get an extra dose of superheroics as Denver Mart’s urban drive-in theater presents an old-school double feature. Kicking off with the comic-inspired antics of Pixar's latest release, Incredibles 2, the evening continues with a second-run screening of Marvel's game-changing big-screen adaptation of Black Panther. In addition to a double bill packed with blockbuster spectacle, the Denver Mart Drive-In offers guests a chance to recapture a tradition steeped in Americana years after being forgotten by most of the movie-going public. Visit the Denver Mart Drive-In's box-office page to buy tickets, $10 to $60, and find out more.
Celebrate African-American Theatre Day
Saturday, June 16, 2 to 5 p.m.
The Source Theatre Company (At Denver Civic Theatre)
Discover the heritage of African-American theater and help pave the way toward its future with the Source Theatre Company's Fifth Annual Celebration. Including music, poetry and dramatic performances from Denver's Source Theatre Company players, the event pays tribute to the black artists who shaped the city's cultural landscape. Admission is free; visit The Source Theatre Company's Well Attended page to RSVP and learn more.
Father's Day Screening: Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
Sunday, June 17, 2 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake
Among cinema history's most endearing father-and-son duos (despite the fact that Sean Connery is a mere twelve years older than Harrison Ford), professors Henry and Indiana Jones are the squabbling emotional core of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. In a savvy bit of Father's Day programming, the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake location is hosting a special mid-day screening of that last worthy entry in the Indiana Jones franchise, uniting fathers, sons and film fans of all ages in their mutual decision to choose and choose wisely. Visit the Alamo Drafthouse box-office page to buy tickets, $8, and learn more.
Consuming Nature, Nature Consuming
Sunday, June 17, 3 p.m.
$5 to $8
Consuming Nature, Nature Consuming, a new performance-art installation by Denver-based photographer Kristen Hatgi Sink, gives museum-goers insight into her creative process while providing spectators with an unforgettably sticky show. A continuation of the themes and imagery captured in Sink's Honey exhibit, Consuming Nature, Nature Consuming dunks a live performer into a clear glass vitrine filled with 115 gallons of honey. The fifteen-minute performance begins promptly at 3 p.m.; organizers recommend arriving early to secure a good vantage point. The event is free with admission to the museum, $5 to $8 (or free for members, children and teens); visit MCA Denver's events calendar for more details.
Looking for more things to do? Visit Westword's event calendar online. And if you have an event you want us to consider for this list, please send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.