The 21 Best Events in Denver, October 23 Through October 29

Ken Hamblin
Get in the Halloween spirit, old sport, at the Great Gatsby Zombie Ball.
If you're thinking about skipping out on Halloween this year, you should seriously reconsider. From a zombie ball that celebrates the Great Gatsby to a Halloween parade that encourages you to fly that freak flag high, this season is too fun to spend on your couch. Even if Halloween isn't your thing, there's still plenty to do in Denver this week, as you'll see in this week's events calendar!

Tuesday, October 23

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts’s Off-Center heads off campus this fall for Bite-Size, an intimate immersive sweep of five micro-plays designed for small audiences. The plays, all written and directed by teams of local theater pros with literary themes, will send groups of ten to spots in and around BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street, to view each playlet. Bite-Size’s run opens on Tuesday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m. and continues at the same time daily except Mondays through November 18; free post-show readings of additional micro-plays will follow performances on select weekend evenings. Get details and tickets, starting at $20, at

Wednesday, October 24

Japanese artist Shimabuku’s video Do snow monkeys remember snow mountains? answers that question by observing how a clan of snow monkeys resettled in the desert at a Texas sanctuary adapted to new surroundings. It’s now on view in the Denver Art Museum's fourth-floor exhibit Eyes On: Shimabuku through February, and Shimabuku will be in town to add insight at the latest DAM Logan Lecture, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 24, in the Hamilton Building’s lower-level Sharp Auditorium, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. A reception will follow, and the Shimabuku exhibit will be open for viewing until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for members and $20 for non-members; reserve your spot at

More than any other night of the year, on Halloween the geeks come out to play. Get a head start on the holiday, and maybe learn a thing or two, when Nerd Nite returns to the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 24, with Escape Rooms, Political Science, and Bacteria, the final show of the 2018 season. Host and curator Hanna Aucoin will welcome lecturers Arianna Guzman, Patricia Zornio and Francis Santoriello, who'll hold court and drop some science on an appreciative, boozed-up audience; the evening includes a costume contest in which competitors are eligible to win free tickets to every Nerd Nite in 2019. Tickets are $10 at the door and $6 online at

Thursday, October 25

That’s What She Said presents women’s stories with a surprising gender twist: The anonymous tales are read to an audience by men who are, like everyone else in the room, learning something new. Based on the idea that men inherently don’t believe what women say, the program is an experiment in trust. Will it break through the gender gap, and suddenly everything between men and women will be a fair and clean slate? Maybe a little — and it never hurts to try. See That’s What She Said, a project of the University of Colorado Denver Center for Identity & Inclusion, at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 25, at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-show happy hour; admission is a suggested donation, and free for all Auraria campus students with a valid ID. Learn more and register in advance at

An unlikely cinematic bridge between die-hard Halloweeners and folks who keep Christmas in their hearts year ’round, The Nightmare Before Christmas has remained a holiday-straddling classic for 25 years. Goth auteur Tim Burton conceived of Pumpkin King Jack Skellington's tuneful conquest of Christmas Town in a 1982 poem and spent nearly a decade shepherding Henry Selick's stop-motion adaptation onto the big screen. Originally deemed too scary for children by Disney Studios, The Nightmare Before Christmas ultimately became a family-favorite blockbuster, with an infectious Danny Elfman score that kept audiences' toes tapping throughout the film's spooky imagery. Enjoy tricks, treats and hummable beats when conductor Christopher Dragon leads the Colorado Symphony through a live performance of Elfman's music while the movie plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 25, at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Find tickets, which are going fast, and more information at

Kurt Braunohler is comedy-nerd royalty. Though not necessarily a household name, Braunohler has been a guiding influence in some of the best televised and big-screen comedies of the past few years, including his first one-hour special, Trust Me, for Comedy Central. In addition to performances on The Tonight Show, Conan and John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show and roles in Bob's Burgers and Deadbeat, Braunohler has a penchant for outlandish stunts — like paying a pilot to sky-write "How Do I Land?" and traveling the entire length of the Mississippi River on a jet-ski for the sake of charity. He's also a prolific podcaster at the helm of no fewer than three popular shows: Emotional Hangs, Wedlock and The K Ohle With Kurt Braunohler. Catch Braunohler's jaunt through the Mile High City at the downtown Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street, starting Thursday, October 25, and concluding Sunday, October 28. Showtimes vary; visit for tickets, $16 to $24, and details.

click to enlarge The Denver Museum of Nature & Science brings ¡CUBA! stateside. - COURTESY OF THE DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science brings ¡CUBA! stateside.
Courtesy of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Friday, October 26

To many Americans, Cuba represents modern thinking trapped in an anachronistic environment, brought on by cut diplomatic ties with the United States (reinstated only in 2015, after more than fifty years) and a strict trade embargo still in place. But beyond the antiquated streets and lively culture of Havana, there’s a lot more to Cuba than meets our limited eye, including its flourishing, biodiverse wild places, thriving above and beneath the sea. ¡CUBA!, a new exhibit exploring everything from city life to coral reefs, opens on Friday, October 26, and runs through January 20 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, giving museum-goers a full view of the island's charms. ¡CUBA! is included with regular museum admission, starting at $11.95 (members free). Learn more and see for add-ons and combined-attraction tickets (including the IMAX film Cuba 2D).

As RedLine Contemporary Art Center enters its eleventh year, there’s a lot about the world-class artist-residency program, gallery and community-building project to savor and appreciate. Considering that, it’s a good time to give back to an organization that gives so much on a regular basis, at RedLine’s annual One Square Foot fundraiser, a crackerjack event with an instant payoff for anyone who buys a ticket. In addition to a costume contest, artist-studio trick-or-treating and the usual party music and bites, every guest has a chance to purchase a foot-square work of art by one of a hundred artists for $100. Shop and bop on Friday, October 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street. Find more information and tickets, $40 to $50, at

click to enlarge Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities bridges Nancy Stohlman’s multi-sided oeuvre by fleshing out her new book of the same name. - COURTESY OF NANCY STOHLMAN
Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities bridges Nancy Stohlman’s multi-sided oeuvre by fleshing out her new book of the same name.
Courtesy of Nancy Stohlman
Denver flash-fiction genius Nancy Stohlman is more than a writer. She’s also a singer, performer and collaborator with piano man and composer Nick Busheff, and together, they bring stories alive on stage with a vaudevillian, carnival-esque flair. Their latest project, Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities, bridges Stohlman’s multi-sided oeuvre by fleshing out her new book of the same name, released this month by Big Table Publishing ($15 in paperback). The stage version will double up with a book release on Friday, October 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, where you can see the zany show and buy the book (at a discount) at the same time. Such a deal! Get more info and tickets, $10 in advance, at; admission goes up to $12 at the door.

Tee up for tickled ribs on Friday, October 26, when Noonan's Nice & Naughty Comedy Show returns to Noonan's Event Center, 13521 East Iliff Avenue, for a 95th-birthday celebration for Jack Barton, father of host and fellow comedian Terri Barton Gregg. Filling Aurora's most inviting golf-course-adjacent reception room with good cheer month after month, Barton Gregg's showcase reliably presents Colorado's finest and funniest to an appreciative audience. Give yourself the gift of giggles with local favorites James Gold, Leif Cedar, Meghan DePonceau, Geoff Tice and headliner A.J. Finney, and make the evening extra-naughty by indulging in Noonan's diabolically delectable deep-fried Oreos. Admission is $10 at (VIP is sold out) or $15 at the door.