The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 4 Through December 10

Have a nightcap at the Phantom Circus Witching Hour Cabaret Show.
Scott Bilby
Have a nightcap at the Phantom Circus Witching Hour Cabaret Show.

Tuesday, December 4

The holidays can feel like an endless barrage of gift exchanges and parties, making it easy to forget the reason for the season. But on Tuesday, December 4, the Community First Foundation is reminding folks to step up and dish it out on Colorado Gives Day, which has raised more than $253 million since its inception in 2007. Visit (which is open year-round) and pick nonprofits that you'd like to support financially (with 2,400 to choose from, it shouldn’t be hard), then donate and feel good for the rest of the year. Go on, give a little!

With an eloquent speech last month, Art From Ashes director Catherine O’Neill Thorn accepted the 2018 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture Youth Award for the poetry outreach nonprofit she founded fifteen years ago. Art From Ashes gives high-risk teens the words and podium they need to write themselves out of despair; it’s tough work, with no guarantee of success, but when things go right, the results are heart-wrenchingly beautiful. From 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4, the organization will host the Art From Ashes Celebration of Light Holiday Party, an evening of music, food and poetry performances at the group's home, 1310 West Tenth Avenue. The event coincides with Colorado Gives Day, so drop in and donate to this very worthy cause. Find more information on the Art From Ashes Facebook page.

You’re not a true scholar of film if you don’t know Ingmar Bergman, and the International Film Series at the University of Colorado Boulder has the perfect primer to get you started down Bergman’s darkly psychological path. A four-day quartet of the essentials — The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring and Persona — will screen at 7:30 p.m. on consecutive nights starting Tuesday, December 4, and running through Friday, December 7, at Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU Boulder campus. The Black Plague, an old man’s reminiscences, rape and murder and a barrage of symbolic imagery might seem like heavy things to ponder during the holiday season, but consider this a deeper gift to yourself. Admission is $7 to $8 nightly, or $50 for a ten-film punch card. Learn more at
Sarah Gebre pours Ethiopian coffee at Comal. - MARK ANTONATION
Sarah Gebre pours Ethiopian coffee at Comal.
Mark Antonation
Wednesday, December 5

If you haven't made it to Comal yet — and unless you work near the Taxi Building, at 3455 Ringsby Court, chances are you haven't, since it's only open for weekday lunch — you've got a rare opportunity to grab dinner at the eclectic Mexican/Syrian/Ethiopian joint on Wednesday, December 5. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the restaurant will serve its final Impact Dinner of 2018, with proceeds benefiting nonprofits Focus Point Family Resource Center and the Colorado Village Collaborative. For $75 (tickets are on sale at Eventbrite), diners will get a five-course Mexican feast with wine and cocktail pairings; highlights of the meal promise to be fried chicken in a pepita and tomatillo sauce and consomme de res, braised beef short rib served in a rich bone broth over rice. If you're feeling extra hungry, chef's-counter tickets are available for $125 and include additional courses of king crab, scallops and winter truffles — but hurry, because only four counter tickets are available for this dinner.
click to enlarge GOVERNORSHOME.ORG
Thursday, December 6

Attention, voyeurs and lookie-loos: The Colorado Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion is all decked out for the holidays, and you can poke around the public first floor when free tours return on Thursday, December 6. The American Society of Interior Designers Colorado Chapter decorated the rooms for the season; themes range from 1940s Apres Ski at Aspen’s J-Bar in the Governor’s Room/Bar to a 1920s New Year’s at the Broadmoor in the State Dining Room. Tours run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday this weekend and next; they’re on a first-come, first-served basis for those who show up at the gate at 400 East Eighth Avenue. Once again, a $35 commemorative holiday ornament inspired by an item in the Boettcher Mansion has been created; all sales support the ongoing restoration of the Governor’s Residence. (You can buy the entire set for $350.) To grab an ornament or simply find more information, click on the Holidays and Gift Shop tabs at

At the heart of the Aurora Cultural Arts District is Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, whose heartfelt Wonders, the annual holiday show and sale of artworks by DAVA youth, is truly in the spirit of the season. At Wonders, you can buy one-of-a-kind gifts and art created by teens as well as guest artists Virginia Diaz Saiki, Adrienne DeLoe and Griffin Callahan. The show opens with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, and continues through January 16. DAVA is located at 1405 Florence Street in Aurora; regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To find out more, go to or call 303-367-5886.

It’s not often that you see short plays written by local playwrights of color make it to the stage in this town, which makes 1 Night, 6 Plays: A 5280 Artist Coop Presentation a lucky opportunity — not just to see it happen, but also to see what 5280, home to poetry events, theater productions and concerts showcasing homegrown artists in downtown Aurora, is all about. The evening will highlight the work of five talented writers, headed up by prominent poet/activists and collaborators Bobby LeFebre and Suzi Q. Smith, with Kristen Adele Calhoun, Kenya Fashaw and Gabriela Goldstein rounding out the mix. 1 Night, 6 Plays opens for ten performances with a $15 industry-night presentation on Thursday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m., and runs Fridays through Sundays until December 23 at the 5280 Artist Coop, 1400 Dallas Street in Aurora. Regular tickets are $25 in advance at or $26 at the door (Thursday's tickets are $15).

Join award-winning rock-and-roll photographer Lisa Siciliano at her thirteenth annual Rocking in a Winter Wonderland, a rock-art show and sale that happens to coincide with her fiftieth birthday. The display includes thousands of prints shot by Siciliano, who started taking photos when she was a waitress at the Fox and Boulder theaters and later became the house photographer at various venues (prices range from $10 to $1,000); backing up the art will be music by MasterBlasterG, the Red Tack, the Angle, Isabella’s Random Band, Sun Jr., Far Side of the Mountain and Robert Rowe. The party will rock from 6 p.m. until midnight on Thursday, December 6, at the Riverside, 1724 Broadway in Boulder. Admission is free; preview the work and learn more at and the Dog Daze Photo Facebook page.
click to enlarge LISA SICILIANO
Lisa Siciliano