Comedians, actors, filmmakers and artists of all stripes have ensured that the next five days are riddled with entertainment opportunities. From gallery openings to game conventions and museum soirees, the weekend holds enough wonder to tickle every sort of fancy. Even better, thrifty readers can attend any of the following ten events for less than ten American dollars. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend.
Civic Center Art in the Park: Tree of Transformation
Thursday, January 18, 5 to 6 p.m.
Civic Center Park
In a welcome shift from the "giant blue animal" paradigm of public art in Denver, a new interactive installation called the "Tree of Transformation" is being unveiled today in Civic Center Park. Created by Denver-based artists Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf of Yetiweurks, the Tree of Transformation combines light, sound, and touch for a multi-sensory experience sure to delight adults and children alike. Watch local musicians demonstrate the sonic potential of the Tree as the lovely yet ephemeral work of art makes its debut. Food trucks will be on hand to fortify visitors; "Tree of Transformation" will be on display in the park until April 15. Visit the Civic Center Conservatory's events page for more information.
Thursday, January 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
If you prefer your dystopian-themed performance art with a dash of sex positivity, ConSensual Circus has the show for you. Set in the year 3000, where a cyborg-driven hierarchy has imposed Orwellian strictures upon their enslaved human populace in a quest for genetic perfection, the Taboo Revue: Circus 3000 celebrates the sensory wonder of art in open defiance of our future robot overlords. Enjoy a one-of-kind performance from a roving band of circus performers tonight at Syntax Physic Opera, a venue that thrives on this sort of inspired weirdness. Admission is $10 at the door; visit the ConSensual Circus Facebook events page to find out more.
Thursday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.
Since 2002, the Emerging Filmmakers Project has culled the city for the best independently produced movies. A third-Thursday tradition at the Bug Theatre, EFP invites audience members to commune with filmmakers as they screen a selection of short films followed by an amusingly frank discussion. With eight films on the docket in January, including "Ducks 'a Million!," by Al Vigil, "Edibles and Uniballs," by Nancy Fingerhood, "Cardigan Sorrow," by Bradley Haag, it's an ideal way to get acquainted with the local film scene. Join host and local filmmaker Patrick Sheridan along with a gaggle of cinephiles and aspiring directors to celebrate a true crown jewel of Denver's DIY scene. Admission is $5 at the door; find out more on the EFP Facebook events page.
Thursday, January 18, 9 p.m.
The Deer Pile
Comedy shows are ephemeral beasts by nature, but Nighttime Tonight requires more sustained effort than nearly any local comedy endeavor. In addition to booking the show, writing a fresh topical monologue and sketch every month, host and producer Brian Flynn donates the entirety of the proceeds to a different worthy cause for each show. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and Nighttime Tonight will take its final bow tonight. Join Flynn along with guests Olivia Schyling, Greg Hutt, Timmi Lasley, JD Lopez, Minori Hinds, Brett Hiker and a special surprise guest to have a giggle and raise funds for Trans Lifeline. Visit the Nighttime Tonight Facebook events page for more details.
Friday, January 19, 6 to 8 p.m.
David B. Smith Gallery
A trio of fine artists boldly experiments with form and space at a new exhibition debuting Friday, January 19, at David B. Smith Gallery. The main exhibit showcases the work of Chicago-based sculptor Robert Burnier, whose twisty aluminum creations contain linguistic dimensions (each piece is titled in Esperanto, a language created by nineteenth-century utopian idealists in an attempt to bridge cultural divides), and the off-kilter canvases of Justine Hill. In the gallery's project room, local artist Tobias Fike presents Stages, an installation that blends collage, shadows and sound in an experience that fully immerses guests in Fike's creative vision. Catch the first glimpse of the exhibits and mingle with the artists at an opening reception starting at 6 p.m. Both exhibits will remain on display until Saturday, February 24. Head over to the David B. Smith Gallery home page for more details.