The 21 Best Events in Denver, March 13-19

Kenneth Hamblin III
Let the luck of the Irish rub off on you this week at the St. Patrick's Day parade, which takes over downtown on Saturday. If your luck is already in good standing, visit MCA Denver's launch party for Octopus Initiative, a program that allows residents to essentially rent art; the kick-off party will include a lottery to become one of the first renters. Rummage through treasure at the Beautiful Junk Sale, or tell your story at Gay Church. All this and more are included in our 21 best events in Denver this week!

Tuesday, March 13

The Denver Architecture Foundation is building for the future with a new, yearlong lecture series, Catalytic Denver, which will kick off at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, in Sharp Auditorium at the Denver Art Museum, with a discussion of the Denver Civic Center as a panel of experts addresses how new development should contribute to the civic architecture of the city. The series is designed to further DAF's mission "to inspire people to explore our dynamic city, experience the importance of design to our quality of life, and envision an exceptional future for Denver," says Pauline Herrera Serianni, DAF executive director. Admission is free; learn more at

Wednesday, March 14

World War I ended a century ago, but it lives on in War of Words. At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, the Arvada Center for the Arts, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, will host a special evening in the Black Box Theatre, where members of the company will share the voices of poets who wrote during and about the Great War. Colorado Poet Laureate Joe Hutchison composed War of Words from works by a dozen North American poets; he'll lead a discussion about the production and the role of poets and poetry in dealing with historic events after the show. The evening is part of "Where Do We Go From Here?," a series of events produced by the Arvada Center to commemorate the war. For more information on the series or for tickets to War of Words, $15, call 720-898-7200, or go to

With one of the busiest concert schedules in Denver, it's easy to see (and hear) why Annie Booth is in such high demand on local stages. In addition to fronting the ever-popular Annie Booth Trio, she's also an award-winning pianist and composer; her original compositions are as notable for their eclectic influences as they are for their sonic beauty. Booth's latest composition, Flowers of Evil, is her most ambitious project yet; inspired by the works of nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire, it was written as a background for the verse, to be performed by a ten-piece ensemble of classical and jazz musicians. Join Booth for the world premiere of Flowers of Evil at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the Gordon Gamm Theater in the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Tickets are $10 to $24; get them and find out more at

Some of Denver's best restaurants will raise money for the National Kidney Foundation. - NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION
Some of Denver's best restaurants will raise money for the National Kidney Foundation.
National Kidney Foundation
Thursday, March 15

Great Chefs of the West will be back at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, for another year of dazzling your tastebuds and raising money for the National Kidney Foundation. This is the 35th year of the event, and the roster of participating restaurants is perhaps the best yet: The Populist, Ototo, Sushi Den, Rioja, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Izakaya Den, Hop Alley, Fish N Beer, Beast + Bottle and Hop Alley, among others, will compete at the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, to see who can create the best dish. Add to that an open bar with signature cocktails and a live auction, and the night can't get any more fab. Get your ticket for the fest, $200, at the National Kidney Foundation website.

Midway through its epic twentieth season, Curious Theatre Company tackles Tony Kushner with a rare staging of The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, his latest. It's a family drama with a dying patriarch at its center, confronting his disappearing past in politically and socially reconfigured times. Curious brings the central character, Gus, once a longshoreman and union activist, into an imperfect world where his personal past has no bearing on the future, as his grown progeny, their families and their secrets crowd into his house. The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide opens for previews on Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16, at Curious, 1080 Acoma Street, and runs through April 15; for information and tickets, $18 to $50, visit

Mortified is a storytelling night that asks audiences to embrace the horror of shame through hilarious, painful and often poignant personal tales. The project started in San Francisco and has since come to Denver; this month’s edition will showcase an all-mom lineup and attempt to raise thousands of dollars to support the local chapter of Moms Demand Action, which pushes for “common-sense gun legislation.” The benefit takes place at 8 p.m., Thursday, March 15, at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. For tickets, $16 to $25, and more information, go to

Music therapist and visual artist Sarah Fulton led PlatteForum’s first artist-mentor residency, which culminated with a youth junk jam at Riverfront Plaza at Confluence Park way back in 2003. After fifteen years of subsequent residents working on creative projects with youth interns, PlatteForum is still at the top of its game — a good reason to celebrate with an invitational exhibition bringing back mentors from over the years. The resulting show, UnRuly, an Exhibition Celebrating 15 Years at PlatteForum, gathers a who’s-who from Denver’s artist community, selected by PlatteForum founder Judy Anderson and current artistic director Rebecca Vaughan, into one gallery for some golden memories and a fresh outlook on the future. Meet the artists at the reception on Thursday, March 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street at the Temple; UnRuly runs through April 7. Learn more at

click to enlarge MCA Denver gets into the (art) library business with Octopus Initiative. - COURTESY OF MCA DENVER
MCA Denver gets into the (art) library business with Octopus Initiative.
Courtesy of MCA Denver
MCA Denver is upping the ante in its quest to bring art to new audiences and support local artists by launching the Octopus Initiative, an art-lending library that’s also an experiment in mutual trust. The octopus reference translates into MCA’s goal to “put art in the hands of many” — specifically, art commissioned from six notable local artists: Sierra Montoya Barela, Molly Bounds, Suchitra Mattai, Chris Oatey, Laura Shill and Derrick Velasquez, who will create 25 works each to kick off the library concept. Acquaint yourself with the project at the Octopus Initiative Launch Party on Thursday, March 15, from 4 to 9 p.m., with penny admission, an artist meet-and-greet and a chance to sign up for and win a lottery to be among the first to take home a work of art for a ten-month hang. Oh, and the first 100 people (21+) through the door get a free beer from Ratio. MCA Denver is at 1485 Delgany Street; find more information on the Octopus Initiative at

A sonic bridge between the Baroque and classical eras, Johann Sebastian Bach had an impact on his followers that's impossible to overstate. The Boulder Bach Festival — a months-long tribute to the Old Wig — continues on Thursday, March 15, at Boulder Adventist Church, 934 Mapleton Avenue in Boulder, with Eternal Spirit, a one-night-only concert highlighting some of Bach's loveliest sacred compositions. The Boulder Bach Festival Orchestra, chorus and esteemed soloists will perform highlights from the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis under the steady guidance of conductor Zachary Carrettin. The program will include four of the great composer's liturgical cantatas, including "Christ lag in Todes Banden," "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" and "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft." The performance begins at 7:30; a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m. will help contextualize the music. Visit the Boulder Bach Festival's box-office page or call 720-507-5052 to buy tickets, $10 to $40, and learn more. Guests can also buy passes to the entire festival (which concludes on Thursday, May 24) for $20 to $75 at the same website.