If you don't regularly visit Denver's eight art districts and hundreds of museums and galleries, now is your chance. Celebrate the city's vibrant and growing arts scene with events, art shows, performances, and special deals all week long. Don't miss: Saturday Night at the Museums, when more than 20 spaces in the metro area will be open late with free entry. Daily, times vary.
Clear your holiday shopping list at one stop. Find anything and everything, from abstract paintings to ceramic dishware to bronze jewelry, at this festive exhibit where everything is for sale. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Judging by early reviews, 12 Years a Slave is one of 2013's must-sees. The historical saga, based on a true story, addresses a dark time in American history. Instead of gliding over the difficult topic, the film follows the saga of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, as he is abducted and sold into slavery with a deliberate and brash honesty. Brad Pitt plays the Canadian abolitionist Northup meets in the 12th year of his journey. Days, times vary.
It's safe to assume that painter Tracy Stuckey isn't rushing out to buy Ralph Lauren's latest collection. In an interpretation of what historian Michael Johnson calls the “Ralphlaurenization” of the American West, Stuckey satirically examines how outsiders perceive the West: a world of cowboys, guns, and livestock. Juxtaposed against sculptor Bale Creek Allen's bronze replicas of Western symbols (tumbleweeds, tire tracks)
There are a few things you can count on as the holidays draw near—comfort food cravings, limited mall parking, and at least one TV channel playing It’s a Wonderful Life at any given hour. This year, use your ears, not your eyes to enjoy the Christmas classic with this 1940s live radio broadcast version played in front of a live studio audience. Fri 7:30 p.m.
A dark day in America's past comes back to life in the award-winning directorial debut by Jason Osder. Haunting found footage of the clash between Philadelphia authorities and MOVE, a radical black liberation group, captures the carnage and aftermath of the tragedy. Mon-Thu 2:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.; Fri-Sun noon, 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Take a trip behind the scenes of Denver's Wonderbound dance company through Eric Dallimore's intense, silver gelatin photographs. After spending a year documenting the dancers and directors in the studio and at every performance, Dallimore pared down his collection to 24 striking images. Tue-Sun noon-5 p.m.
Tag a long with your kids, while educators at the Children's Museum lead you through fun, interactive, art-focused classes during Denver Arts Week. Each weekday offeres a different daily program, like crafting critter collages, making mask masterpieces, and rock and roll painting. Daily, times vary.
Keep the Halloween spirit alive by taking part in this Mexican celebration to honor all those who have departed. Learn traditional Aztec dancing, make masks, judge a costume contest, and most importantly, savor the fleeting days of fall! Fri 3-8 p.m.
The genesis of artistic genius rarely sees the light of day, but Origins takes the audience inside the minds—and sketchbooks—of more than 20 artists. The doodles, drawings, lists, and other everyday inspirations that lead to more refined work will be on display, some alongside the finished products. Opening reception Fri 5-9 p.m.; Thu-Fri noon-8 p.m.
The next Spielberg just might reside in Denver. The next generation of local filmmakers will showcase their short films at Arts Street, a nonprofit that uses art to help youth develop the creativity they need to thrive in the 21st century workforce. Fri 6-8 p.m.
Kick off Denver Arts Week with the Dikeou Collection, where you can check out the work of Dutch photographer Sebastiaan Bremer. Beginning with family snapshots, he straddles the line between media, painting on the photos, enlarging them, and rephotographing them for the final creation. Bonus: Attendees can also enjoy music from Dikeou's vinyl collection and light refreshments. Fri 6-8 p.m.
North America's longest-running women's film fest returns for its 26th year. The three day-festival is packed with more than 30 documentaries, shorts, feature-length and animated films, all by and about women and the world as they experience it. Can't make it? Check out their film library, which features the best of the previous 25 years. Fri 7:45 p.m.; Sat 8:45 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-5:20 p.m.
It’s the end of the world as we know it…but at least we can laugh about it. Radiolab, the nationally syndicated radio program and podcast "about curiosity," takes its quirky scientific subject matter to a live audience where storytelling, scientific theories, and music come together. It's certain to make for some interesting post-event chitchat. Fri-Sat 8 p.m.
—Image courtesy of marcoantonio.com
The Buntport Theater Company kicks off its production season with a comedic twist on a classic Greek tragedy. Based off Sophocles’ Electra, the witty play tells the story of a vengeful family with a quirky daughter who spends her time watching soap operas and making onion pies. Thu-Sat 8 p.m.
Editor's Note: The festival was rescheduled due to flooding in Evergreen.
Learn how to balance your energies, find vitality through veganism, and explore the nature of reality during yoga sessions and yoga-inspired discussions. If the philosophy and food doesn’t do it for you, this event also offers stand-up paddleboarding and hoop dancing. Sat 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
This multimedia dance party combines music and animated videos to help introduce your kids to animals and enviornmental awareness in a wacky, fun, and age-appropriate way. Sat 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m.
Gather around and travel over the river and through the woods as you listen to Lydia Marie Child's famous poem presented by a Four Mile Historic Park pioneer. Then delve further into the West's trailblazing past with a follow-up butter making activity. Sat noon-1 p.m.
The University of Colorado Singers and Choir, the Boulder Ballet, and the Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance collaborate in the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra’s musical showcase celebrating the roots of American culture. Enjoy a jam-packed night of musical entertainment featuring three instrumental works— orchestra and electronics in “Rusty Air in Carolina,” the suite from the opera “The Tender Land,” and concert music combined with modern dance in “Appalachian Spring.” Sat 7:30 p.m.
In this dark, comedic drama, a night of poker and too much liquor causes two brothers and a devilish guest to recall the depths of an ominous past. Book your babysitter now—this gritty, suspenseful, and somewhat supernatural story set in Dublin is intended for mature audiences. Fri-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Nora Jane Struthers first made waves in Colorado when she won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition in 2010. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter returns with a new band, the Party Line, but retains the same storytelling style that earned the honor. The acoustic quintet's album, Carnival, follows a female narrative, from childhood to death. Sat 8 p.m.
It's the last supper for six old friends who gather for a dinner party. The world isn't ending in this comedy, but instead buried secrets bring forth their personal apocalypse. The night is full of surprises as the lies that bound them together are exposed. Thu-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Take a trip to the romantic city of Paris—but skip the 12-hour flight and bad airline food. Starring Lannie Garrett and the Gypsy Swing Revue, the show features 1930s-era acoustic swing music with a striking gypsy jazz influence. Sat 8 p.m.
Join dozens of teams walking around this West Denver lake for the Lustgarten Foundation, which raises money for pancreatic cancer research. The more times you walk the three-mile loop, the more money you goes to the foundation. Sun 9 a.m.
One of the most controversial people in music today, Kanye West has earned that reputation for a reason. No matter his off-stage antics, he continuously pushes hip-hop’s boundaries with enigmatic beats and pompous, yet inventive lyrics. Sun 7 p.m.
Relax to the soothing voice and heart-stirring melodies of this Seattle-based singer-songwriter. Raised locally in Littleton, Sera Cahoone started playing drums for bands at age 12, eventually touring with groups like Band of Horses and Fruit Bats. In 2006, she made her solo debut and has been singing, songwriting, and playing guitar ever since. Sun 8:30 p.m.
After more than a decade of music-making, this Boulder-based group founded by drummer Dave Watts continues to evolve its unique, hybrid sound. Incorporating jazz, funk, salsa, and Afrobeat, The Motet's eight members evoke nonstop movement and energy from the crowd with spontaneous rythyms and melodies. Sun 9 p.m.
Austin Cueto may be the Michelin-trained chef of Hotel Teatro's Restaurant Kevin Taylor, but he's also a personable mentor—eager to help you boost your kitchen know-how. Let Cueto walk you through his "Four-Star basics" of cooking, to prepare dishes like potato crusted halibut with chanterelles and vintage port reduction. Mon 6-9:30 p.m.
Scott Hansen (aka Tycho) is bringing his downtempo beats, warm tones, and pulsing percussion to Boulder. Tycho, who will be performing along with Beacon, will be airing out fresh material from his upcoming album. Mon 9 p.m.
Project Angel Heart strives to deliver free, nutritious meals to men, women, and children living with life-threatening illnesses. Support its efforts by attending this gigantic celebration. Hundreds of community leaders and philanthropic "foodies" will join Denver's culinary talents to indulge in food and libations prepared poplular local restaurants like Twelve and Linger. Tue 6 p.m.
Are you looking for a taste of vino in this beer-drenched state? Twenty-seven wineries and importers—including Cupcake Vineyards and Petroni Vineyards—makeup the bill for this five-day ode to wine. Clear a spot in your schedule for Julia Child Champagne Tribute and the Tour of Front Range Wineries and Distillery with the Editor-in-Chief of Wine Country International Magazine, Christopher Davies. Wed-Sun, times vary.
Quick, fun, and smart—Ignite Boulder gives speakers exactly five minutes and 20 slides to teach, enlighten, or simply inspire an audience. Subject matter and expertise can range from "the birds and the bees" to "how to write a kick-ass haiku." Wed 6-9 p.m.
Join Water for People for a celebration of girls around the world with a cocktail hour and screening of the highly praised documentary, Girl Rising. This film follows the stories of nine remarkable young women who are battling the odds to gain education and empowerment. Wed 6-9 p.m.
It's ladies' night at the theater. Gather your gals pals for a reception; the chance to win prizes from the mystery box sale, raffle, or giveaway; and a performance of Curious Theatre Company's latest, Rancho Mirage. The event (celebrating its 10th year) benefits the troupe, and guests will leave with two tickets to any Curious show as thank you for their donation. Wed 6 p.m.
Hit the red carpet and embrace your inner film buff. But fear not film novices. This festival has something for almost everyone: documentaries, student films, shorts, and even educational panels. Jason Reitman's Labor Day (starring Kate Winslet) and Alexander Payne's Nebraska (starring Will Forte) are slated for two of the big night, red carpet presentations. Wed-Sun, times vary.
Toro y Moi, translated to the bull and me, has perfected his brand of electronic funk through creating three albums in three straight years. Beneath his stagename, Chaz Bundwick meshes together glassy synth, matched with horns and a high-pitched voice. Wed 8 p.m.
More than 20 artists from Herencia Milenaria, a cooperative in Jalisco, Mexico, will sell their colorful ceramic pieces, featuring everything from small clay animals to vases and plates. The sale includes works suited for amateur and seasoned collectors alike. Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Watch as 10 top Colorado chefs compete—MasterChef-style—to develop the best culinary and craft brew pairings. 5280 food editor Amanda Faison sits on this year's judges panel, which will grant winners' titles for the "best" and "most creative" dishes. Competitors range from former White House chef John Moeller to Denver's executive chef Joe Troupe of Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse.
From the makers of the Luna bar, this traveling film festival showcases the work of female filmmakers with smart, funny and thought-provoking themes. Catch Granny's Got Game—a film that follows a group of women in their seventies who don't let age and ailments stop them from doing what they love: playing basketball. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits as well as the Breast Cancer Fund. Thu 6 p.m.
Famed abstract artist Clyfford Still spent the summer of 1960 on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. But he didn't get there by chance. Valerie Albicker, director of CU's Visiting Artist Program, will discuss the program and its history. Lynne Wolfe, the professor who invited Still, will attend the event as a special guest. Thu 6:30 p.m.
These artists don't use paintbrushes; their tools are digital—a combination of sights, sounds, and human interaction. Learn how individuals are pushing the boundaries of the art of live audiovisual performance during four days of lectures, workshops, and performances. Thu-Sun, times vary.
Many of the psychedelic bands popular during the late '60s and early '70s were quick to fade from glory. But Pink Floyd found a way to renew and sustain its legacy with a now-famous laser light show (currently in its 25th year). Get lost in the music of a different time with trippy imagery and a mind-blowing laser production. Thu 7 p.m.
Ponder the act of creation and our ability to change the world around us through live performance combined with visual installation, sound effects, and interactive video. Local dance companies Control Group Productions and Sweet Edge dance collaborate with New York-based sound and video team Jason Akira Somma and Adriano Clemente to create the multifaceted experience. Thu-Sat 7-10 p.m.
A somewhat cynical look at what could happen to our country if we lose sight of the past, this drama tells the story of three men living at an internment camp for American intellectuals and political nonconformists and their hopes for escape. Wed-Sat 7:30 p.m.
There are no crazy acoustic additions or busy eclecticism with this aptly named Voice. They keep it all real, a cappella style. The harmonious trio from the Oxford Girls Choir gets medieval with the music of Hildegard of Bingen while also staying current with folk songs from around the world. Thu 7:30 p.m.
Iron and Wine, the one-man folk act of Samuel Bean, dazzles audiences with multi-instrumental talent and an angelic falsetto voice. Bean has been compared to the likes of folk icons Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young. Thu 8 p.m.
Don't fret about getting creative for Christmas gift giving. Peruse crafts from Colorado artisans, indulge in culinary delights, and learn how to create your own savory holiday fare at this Christmas gift show. Check out special demonstrations from the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and the Colorado Beef Council. Fri 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
With 20,000 square feet full of gear and discounts up to 75 percent off last season's equipment, this motherload of ski expos is a can't miss. On top of lodging deals and ski packages, the Rocky Mountain Brew Fest will be serving up samples of local craft beer at the expo this year. Fri noon-10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
There are plenty of big-screen stories in which AIDS is integral to the plotline (Philadelphia, Rent), but Dallas Buyers Club takes an original approach by exploring the pharmaceutical side of things. DBC tells the true story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof (played by a skeleton-thin Matthew McConaughey) who, after being diagnosed with HIV and finding treatment options poor and ineffective, searches for other (possibly) illegal alternatives.
A retrospective journey in paint, Ron Hicks' new solo exhibition delves into the experiences, ideas, and inspiration derived from his entire life's travels. Meet Hicks at Gallery 1216 for the opening reception Fri 5-8 p.m. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Using their art to break down communication barriers, five graduate students will showcase their work at this diverse exhibit. Displays will include a contemporary "transmedia" opera—comprised of video, musical, and sculptural elements—to explore personal relationships, and reconstructed artifacts that help piece together individual memories. Opening reception Fri 5-7 p.m. Mon 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wed-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
Mingle with one of the world's most respected artists, who won the title "Petite Picasso" at the age of eight for her unbelievable mastery of cubism. Now in her 20s, Alexandra Nechita will be spending the weekend in Denver, chatting with collectors and signing pieces of her work at the Fascination St. gallery. Fri 6-9 p.m.; Sat 1-5 p.m.
Experience the museum in a whole new light—after dark. Spend the evening drinking, dancing, dining, and bidding on incredible experiences—like a night at the 2014 Grammy's—at this exclusive event. All proceeds will benefit the Museum of Nature and Science's educational programs. Fri 6:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Like people, Denver-based artist Sabin Aell’s work has many layers. In an effort to symbolically portray what we choose to expose or hide, each piece is crafted with a minimum of 10 layers of resin and interwoven with Alva-Flex (drafting film) over a matte paint base, creating translucent and glossy shapes.
This South African-born folk singer credits the everyday miracles of meteorologists as his most recent inspiration. His music reflects an appreciation for the subtlety that makes every day special. Like an accurate forecast, Isakov accomplishes a rare feat, standing out as a singular talent amid a torrent of acoustic folk. Fri 7:30 p.m.
This humorous drama follows the plotlines of six women who regularly gather in Truvy's beauty parlor in Chinquapin, Louisiana. Beginning on the morning of Shelby's wedding and spanning the next three years, the story follows their hurdles and decisions related to health, family, religion, and friendship. Through the ups and downs, these Southern women prove their strength and grace. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2:30 p.m.
In a musical adaptation of the supernatural horror classic, misfit Carrie White unleashes her newfound telekinetic powers on her classmates after her high school prom night ends in a humiliating bloodbath. Fri 7:30 p.m.
We’ve all heard the various talking-head debates surrounding immigration reform, but have we taken time to listen to the voices of those most affected by our decisions? Through autobiographical monologues written by local undocumented workers, this spoken-word performance aims to create a more empathetic response to this complicated issue. A talkback with an immigration attorney and the performers follows the show. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.
See what happens when the Betsy Stage takes King Lear, a classic Shakespearian tale of love, loyalty, and greed and drops it in the Old West. In a quest to divide his kingdom, Lear—now the owner of The Scarlett Slipper Saloon—puts his three favorite ladies of the night to the test. Sat 8 p.m.
Five decades of consistent recording and performing have made Judy Collins a folk favorite for generations. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter's sound has evolved with the years, but she still has the heart of a '60s Yippie. This show commemorates her induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Other inductees the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lin, and Chris Daniels will also perform. Fri 8 p.m.
Inspired by the story of two lovelorn elephants who met a tragic end, this Nederland-based acoustic indie quintet doesn't just make music, they make a difference. Through their music, they support a host of humanitarian causes and promote responsible stewardship of the planet. Aoife O'Donovan and Taarka will also perform. Fri 9 p.m.
If riding a bike wasn't tough enough, let's throw an obstacle course into the mix. Watch or compete in this spectator-friendly cyclocross race. Competitors will ride and run on everything from grass to concrete to sand as they navigate the course. Sun 8 a.m.
Join our hometown culinary heros for a festive day of food education. Try samples from local cookbooks, like the margarita from author Amy Stewart's The Drunken Botanist. Lone Tree Brewing Company, among other microbreweries, will be there to ensure your palate is cleansed between tastings. Hunt down some nibbles of the Real Dill's artisan pickles. Sat 4-9 p.m.
Dance between local artist Patricia Aaron's caustic paintings and Denver sculptor Chandler Romeo's ceramic pieces, as you attempt to navigate this exploration of the intersection of people and landscape. Tue-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Eclecticly-fashioned farmer's produce and chef Rachel Kelsey's hand-picked selection of wines from the Pacific Northwest make this fall feast a true urbanite's delight. For the main course, of this five-dish meal, choose between squash risotto with pecorino, shaved truffle, trumpet mushrooms, and roasted tomato jus versus roasted fall vegetables with a celeriac and cauliflower mash with seared apple walnut "roast" with puff pastry. Fri 5-10 p.m.
Four artists—with polar opposite techniques—come together in this progressive exhibit that demonstrates the power of street art in the 21st century. For the opening reception, G Cody Day, the Signtologist, Raiko Ivanisevic, and Alex Kady will bring their artwork inside and on canvas, while DJ Phil Tha Bass mixes soul and funk for patrons' pleasure. Sat 7:30-11 p.m.
People love bacon and beer so much that Sunday's festival is already sold out (though you can still add your name to waiting list). But that doesn't mean you can't get your fill of this culinary mash-up: Wynkoop Brewing Company is hosting a five-course dinner—paired with local brews—prepared by prominent chefs, including James Beard Award winner and Top Chef-testant Jennifer Jasinski.
Leave your preconceived notions behind, and see all that’s earned Cameron Carpenter criticism—or is it praise?—as the world’s most controversial organist. The former dancer brings a physical, theatrical presence to the stage, destructing all you thought you knew about organ music. Sat 7:30 p.m.
Escape a stressful work week or the looming chaos of the upcoming holiday season in Zen fashion. Known for their innovative dance styles, the Liat Dror Nir Ben Gal and Wonderbound dance companies collaborate for an evening of movement based on the soothing teachings of Zen. Sat 8 p.m.
Here's your chance to experience a grand piece of community artwork. The current exhibit incorporates aspects from the 2009 and 2011 installations, and with each iteration, the project grows; it currently features 13 languages and countless interpretations of what it means to feel at home. The evolving work reflects both the individuality of its creators and the bonds that make humanity one. Tue-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Teach your children the value of perseverance with this musical adaptation of the classic children’s book. Chug along on Little Blue Engine’s journey to become a main line engine in this kid-friendly production about hard work, friendship, and determination. Sun 2 p.m.
If salt and pepper are the only spices your little ones can name, then let them unearth the tasty world of herbs and spices at this savory seasonings workshop. They'll even get a chance to delve into the culinary arts as they concoct their own herb dip recipe. Mon 9 a.m.
In this 1974 action flick, Pam Grier plays the strong and sexy lead seeking revenge on the mobsters who murdered her man. Once called the first female action hero by Quentin Tarantino, Pam Grier will be at the screening to tell stories and spill secrets during the film. Stay late for a Q&A after the credits roll. Mon 7 p.m.
Whenever you see Denver Beer Co. on the event calendar, follow the hype to its final destination. At Jax Fish House, this downtown-brewed craft beer will be paired with five courses of coastal fare. Chef Eric Lee devised an appetizing menu, and our eyes are set on round four: grilled Arctic char with brussels sprouts, hatch chile bacon, caramelized onion, hazelnut, gremolata accompanied by a hatch chile brew. Tue 7 p.m.
The rural town of Medora has fallen on hard times. Its factories have shut down, the population has dwindled, and the high school varsity basketball team—a beloved part of midwestern communities—cannot win a single game. This personal and inspiring documentary follows the 2011 season of the Medora Hornets, as their struggle to win a game mirrors the struggle facing small towns across America. Tue 7 p.m.
Carol Burnett stars in this compilation of award-winning lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim's most famous material. Premiering in England in 1992, and reaching Broadway in 1999, this musical revue now exists in film form, captured in high definition. Tue 7 p.m.
With only one album, Jessie Ware has already been heralded as one of the top R&B acts in the world. Her powerful voice and simple yet immersive music brings comparisons of Adele and Sade. Tue 7 p.m.
DJ and producer Steve Aoki has worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop—Kid Cudi, Will.i.am, and others—and he's remixed the work of many more. In addition to spinning records, Aoki also dabbles in crowd surfing, raft riding, and cake throwing during shows.Waka Flocka Flame and Borgore join him on tour in his attempt to "Aokify America." Tue 7:30 p.m.
The Emmy-winning dance competition jumps from the small screen to the big stage. Amy, Fik-Shun, and the rest of the top 10 dancers from the 2013 season come together again in a fusion of contemporary, ballroom, tap, hip-hop, and jazz numbers in choreography from the show and original routines. Tue 8 p.m.
Tune in to a distinct blend of R&B, funk, blues, and rock with Southern soul roots as Louisiana singer-songwriter Marc Broussard visits the Mile High City. Opening acoustic act Benyaro will pay tribute to music legends such as Sam Cooke, Etta James and Moby with pieces from his 2012 release The Cover EP. Wed 7 p.m.
Hip-hop hasn't caught on in mainstream literature appreciation, but one University of Colorado English professor seeks to change that. This presentation will offer an insider's look at an art form often misunderstood and help the uninitiated finally tell the difference between Yeezy and Weezy. Wed 7 p.m.
Trent Reznor is somewhat of a musical mastermind. He’s he's been the mastermind behind Nine Inch Nail's albums since 1988, on which he plays all of the instruments and provides vocals. Be on-time for the opening act, Explosions in the Sky. Wed 7:30 p.m.
After a two-year hiatus, one of America's greatest live rock bands has released a new album—featuring 26 songs from their 2010 sold-out performances—and is back on the road. With legendary singer-songwriter Jackie Green joining the crew this year, the band is reaching deep into its songbook to make sure every city gets a different set-list. Wed 9 p.m.; Fri 9 p.m.; Sat 9 p.m.
Two Colorado artists explore the nature of creation in "Collapse" and "Practice." Jane McMahan examines the cycle of destruction and rebirth through video, drawings, and sculptures. Sherry Wiggins' works reflect on the self-referential aspects of artistic production through recreated stills from 1940s surrealist films. Meet the artists at the opening reception Friday evening. Thu noon-5 p.m.; Fri noon-9 p.m.; Sat noon-5 p.m.
A great way to put a face to a name, this is an evening meant for mingling with local Arvada restaurant owners and retailers. Grab nibbles from more than 30 restaurants like Yak and Yeti, Beau Jo's, and Global Foods and Coffee as you peruse 27 vendor booths. Thu 6-8 p.m.
Sometimes foodies get agressive. Watch 15 top chefs and 15 local brewers of Colorado's Front Range compete to create the ultimate food and beer pairing. Attendees will sample authentic creations from town fixtures like Jensen Cummings of Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery (former chef of Row 14) and Elise Wiggins of Panzano. It's gastronomy game-time, people. Fri 7-10 p.m.
"It’s like listening to Shakespeare do hip-hop for a Las Vegas nightclub TED talk.” Yeah, that about sums it up. Or not. But that's the point of this performance—to force the listener to question everything, including what's being recited on stage. Spoken word artist Phievalon (pictured) and National Poetry Slam Champion Ayinde Russell blend elements of philosophy and poetry for an evening of thought-provoking performance art. Thu 7:30 p.m.
This biographical play celebrates the life of Molly Ivins, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with a sharp tongue, a quick wit, and a couldn’t-care-less-what-the-establishment-thinks-of-me attitude. Rhonda Brown, a local Denver comedic actress, stars as Ivins. Thu-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
If you’re the kind of shopper who tends to procrastinate until Christmas Eve, this holiday sale makes it easy to break the habit. Get a head start on gift-buying by browsing a selection of hand crafted items, clothing, food, and decorations from local vendors. Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more than two decades, New Yorker Holt Quentel has lingered in self-imposed artistic exile. Her work—social commentaries on a modernist aesthetic—once commanded the attention of the art world but has fallen into near-obscurity in her public absence. Her decades-old paintings and sculptures reemerge in Aspen in the artist's first-ever solo museum show. Tue-Wed 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun noon-6 p.m.
Denver is a 2013 world championship host, and it's on—on like Donkey Kong. Twenty-two of the best Kong players from across the globe will square off below Blake Street in a three-day duel for a $4,500 purse. Spectators can watch the Kong Off along with a 24-hour marathon game of Tron and attempted to complete a flawless Pacman game. Fri-Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Take a stand against the number one cause of death for women—heart disease. Both men and women are invited to enjoy a heart-healthy lunch, listen to the stories of female survivors, and learn what to do to help stop heart disease. Fri noon.
Maria Lowenstein created art for most of her life—while studying in St. Petersburg, living in Berlin during the war, and after immigrating to the United States. This exhibition celebrates her life and her artwork—which includes illustration and acrylic and oil paintings. Bonus: Also on display will be an assortment of set designs by Lowenstein’s son, Henry, a pillar of Denver’s theater scene for more than 50 years. Wed-Fri 1-5 p.m.; Sat 1-4 p.m.
Bright. Abstract. Playful. Denver textile artist Gay E. Lasher's description of her Transformations exhibit is on the money. By digitally alterating to the shapes, colors, and lines in small sections of her photographs, Lasher turns mundane scenes (everything from construction sites to farm equipment) into vibrant compositions.
For one full week, more than 40 of Boulder's finest restaurants—like Brasserie Ten Ten and Radda Trattoria—will offer an exculsive three course dinner menu for the fixed price of $26 per person. In light of this year's devastating floods, there's never been a better time to support our neighboring food-focused community. Fri-Sat 5 p.m.
Who is India’s prime minister? Damascus is the capital city of what country? Watch as Denver businesses, universities, and community members put their global knowledge to the test in this pub trivia-style fund-raiser competition benefitting Denver’s global affairs nonprofit, WorldDenver. Fri 6 p.m.
Embrace your philantrhopic side this month with Easter Seals. The giving-gala includes a silent and live auction featuring trips across the country and wine tours in Napa Valley, dinner, drinks and entertainment. All proceeds will help support Coloradans with severe and complex disabilities. Fri 6 p.m.-midnight.
Have fun wearing both hats—as chef and dinner guest—during this fine dining event. Under the supervision of professional staff, you'll assist in the preparation of one out of six courses on the menu as a "Secret Chef".
This dance performance incorporates theater and live music to tell a collection of intertwined stories about the human experience. Kate Speer and Maren Waldman's work deals with issues such as humankind's connection with nature, the reality of war, and universal emotions. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Keeping their self-proclaimed season of "new beginnings" alive, the Denver Philharmonic's latest show features pieces that were once nightmareish for their composers—such as Beethoven's Fidelio Overture and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5—but went on to become some of the most iconic compositions in classical music. Fri 7:30 p.m.
Peruse the creations of more than 100 Colorado artists in your search for the perfect gift. Sprinkled throughout the month-long market are a host of special events: an opening-night artists reception, photos with Santa, and a gingerbread house construction zone. Bonus: You can also decorate your own iconic Christmas sweater. Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun noon-5 p.m.
Just as people close their eyes for a night's sleep, an entirely other world is just waking up. Explore the world of nocturnal wildlife like raccoons, bats, owls, and more. You’ll also take a look up at the stars to discuss constellations and all other things in the night sky. Fri 7-9 p.m.
Break out your favorite neon '80s snowsuit for a night of unlimited beer, pizza, and dancing. This annual party celebrating the upcoming ski season benefits First Descents, a nonprofit that provides free outdoor adventures for young adults with cancer. Fri 8 p.m.
Regarded for their intimate performances and high caliber talent from 14 musicians, the Denver Brass will perform works by Tchaikovsky and other romantic composers. Be one of the nearly 65,000 people who hear the grouping brass instruments along with bagpipes, steel drums, hand-bells, fiddlers, and voices each year. Fri 7:30 p.m.
In this play about transformation—social progress, physical change, and alterations to the space-time continuum—Little Leaguer Joey Stoshack goes back in time to witness Jackie Robinson break MLB’s color barrier. In the process, Joey absorbs valuable lessons about empathy and equality. Days, times vary.
Bouncing from indie-folk to experimental to art-rock, this Oregon-based band has finally landed on a label for its sounds: "Rocky Mountain Whoop-ass." Amusing at the very least, it's a handle that Blitzen Trapper attributes to their mountain folk fans. Wherever they play, you can rest assured there will be a whole lot of struttin', twistin', and hillbilly tappin'. Fri 9 p.m.
Past winners at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Greensky Bluegrass returns to Colorado bringing their fast-paced, banjo and mandolin-driven folk from the heart of Michigan. This quintet mixes traditional bluegrass with rock, ballads, and a pinch of grit. Fri 9 p.m.
For those of us who don't think crossing a finishline is reward enough, this run takes the pie. The flat, family-friendly 5K or 10K course snakes through City Park as a live DJ will be plays music. Best part, every finisher gets a slice of sweet, sweet pumpkin pie. Sat 9 a.m.
Learn how to handle a rolling pin like the pros. You'll try your hand at recipes like coconut cream pie and chocolate bourbon pie, among others. These sweet soul foods aren't just reserved for the pastry chef's kitchen. Sat 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Show your love for Colorado's beloved backcountry by livin' it up at the Colorado Mountain Club's backcountry bash. Pro backcountry skier Danny Roth will host the event, while food, drinks by Avery Brewing Company, an auction for hut stays, and a special screening of Sweetgrass Productions' Valhalla round out the festivities. Sat 5:30 p.m.
Prepare for blast-off. In a Q&A session with aerospace icon Buzz Aldrin and world-renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, explore the past, present, and future of space accompanied by an evening of cocktails, dinner, an awards program, and a live auction. Sat 6 p.m.
Comic Con-goers aren’t shy about dressing up in homage to their favorite characters. But each year something is missing from the festivities: an ode to the scores from those iconic shows/movies/video games. In this unique event, the Colorado Symphony will perform more than 20 tunes from classic productions such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Batman, and Nintendo.
Hip-hop mastermind NAS will be taking Mos Def's place at this fall's Shredded Beats—the quarterly concert and event series held at Cervantes. With 20 years in the industry, NAS has never been one to play it safe. From politics to religion and race, it's his brutal, yet insightful honesty that makes NAS a lyrical legend. Fri 9 p.m.
Using a blend of careful scientific observation and aesthetic skill, members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators portray an often unobserved part of our natural world. Their drawings depict everything from molecules to extinct species. Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Chuck Forsman sees the countryside like most of us do: through windshields and while walking his dog. But for more than 40 years, he's been using those views to break new ground in the art world, linking landscapes with environmental issues. This exhibit includes more than 50 photographs and paintings from two collections, "Western Rider" and "Walking Magpie." Tue-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Give thanks for living in the state of craft beer. For a non-hokey holiday event (really, we promise), join the Colorado Brewers Guild for a day of specialty brews from the local greats. Participants include Renegade Brewing Co., River North, and Left Hand Brewing, among others. Sun 1-5 p.m.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra needs no introduction. In the last seasonal performance of "the Lost Christmas Eve," the holidays get plugged in with an electrifying lightshow to accompany a night of yuletide jams. Sun 7:30 p.m.
Whether you’re an avid skier or have yet to hike your first fourteener, the mountains are a playground of challenge and awe to Coloradans. Presented by the North Face, this dramatic film seeks to answer a series of questions pertaining to the mind’s role in various genres of mountain sports. Mon-Tue 7 p.m.
This intense drama revolves around the year that literary genius Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) met William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) at Columbia University in 1944, where the Beat Revolution was conceived. The film embodies the spirit of this bygone generation with smoky jazz clubs, marijuana, and romance. Bonus: See Harry Potter's Radcliffe take on a totally different role—American accent and all. Daily 4:30 p.m.; 7 p.m.; 9:50 p.m.
A family-run winery in Napa Valley, Honig Vineyard focuses production solely on sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Whether you're partial to white or red, executive chef Bill Crow has got you covered with dishes that compliment the unique flavor and style of both wines. We're going the lighter route: seared yellowfin tuna with marble potatoes, fava beans, and truffle jus pair well with the Honig sauvignon blanc. Tue 5:30-10 p.m.
Editor's note: This event has been cancelled.
The Canadian crooner is mixing things up a bit this tour. In addition to his sultry classics, Michael Bublé will be belting out tunes from his latest album, To Be Loved, which features four songs written by the swanky star. Wed 8 p.m.
Experience the marriage of French and Rocky Mountain cuisines at this annual festival celebrating the arrival of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau. Chefs from more than 20 local restaurants will compete to whip up a French-inspired dish that pairs best with the red wine. Bonus: Not just the professionals get to judge the food and wine pairing; taste the combos for yourself to decide the People's Choice Award. Thu 5:30-9:30 p.m.
A Colorado Thanksgiving spread would be incomplete without pies and microbrews. Denver Beer Co. is helping hosts check both off their grocery lists with a tasting of three desserts from Maple Street Pie Co. and a trio of DBC's own seasonal brews. Choose the pair you like best, place your pre-order ($34), and pick it up on November 27.
This Oscar-nominated animated film tells the story of a young girl growing up amidst the Islamic Revolution in Iran. In conjunction with the Clyfford Still Museum's current Drawing/Painting/Process exhibit, the Denver Film Society presents Persepolis as an example of how sketches can transform into a graphic novel and, ultimately, an animated film. Thu 7 p.m.
Experience the energy of big mountain riding at this epic pre-season party. Set for an action-packed journey with world-class riders, Warren Miller takes screeners to extreme and exotic locations, inclusing Kazakhstan, Iceland and Greenland in the franchise's 64th film. In addition to the three-night run in Denver, the film tour will make stops in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Beaver Creek, and Aspen. Thu 8 p.m.; Sat 6 p.m., 9:30 p.m.; Sun 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m.
A lot can change in a decade. For Vanessa Carlton that’s meant transforming from a bubbly pop princess into a soulful songstress. Although Carlton's newest album doesn't come out until early 2014, her latest single, "I'll Wait For You," gives listeners a taste of what's to come. Carlton’s voice is ethereal, yet haunting—a welcome departure from the singer’s pop roots. Thu 8 p.m.
The contemporary master of soul, John Legend has been topping charts for years with his passionate voice and lyrics that explore love, despair, and hope. His newest album "Love in the Future" will likely drive the lionshare of his performance. Thu 8 p.m.
Find holiday decorating inspiration from the L'Esprit de Noel Holiday Home Tour. Six homes decked out in Christmas splendor highlight the walking tour, which benefits the Central City Opera. The boutique features Colorado vendors offering dozens of holiday gift ideas. Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Some view Native American culture and art as part of our past, but this exhibit shows that it most certainly remains part of our present. Blending elements of traditional Native American art with a wide spectrum of contemporary techniques, nine artists explore the complexities of cultural identity and prompt discussions about how we treat traditional symbols and rituals. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat noon-5 p.m.
Help support literacy in Denver while getting some holiday shopping out of the way. The Junior League of Denver's annual event brings together more than 100 local and national merchants selling unique jewelry, holiday and home decor, children's clothing, and more. Early risers can opt for the Shopping Champage Breakfast, complete with cocktails and gift bags. Proceeds from the event help support JLD's ongoing educational efforts in the metro area. Fri 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Old World vendors are setting up at Skyline Park this season. Shop streudel,beer steins, hand-carved wooden toys and witness years of German tradition at the annual rebirth of the European Christmas market in downtown Denver. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Drink in a different kind of German tradition this holiday season. Hot mulled wine fills in for beer at the annual European-themed Christmas market that transforms 16th Street into the 14th century. But don't have too much fun. Belsnickel is watching. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Humorous and heartbreaking, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska is the story of an aging, alcoholic, curmudgeon who sets out on a misguided quest to claim a million-dollar marketing prize. Joined by his estranged son (played by Will Forte), the subsequent road trip, shot in black-and-white, turns into a character study about a stubborn, unglamorous pair struggling to find comfort in one another.
Dine, dance, and sing the night away with Hazel Miller and her band, while you let your wallet lend a hand to the kids at Mount Saint Vincent. Place your bids on a one-week stay at an Italian villa, a suite at the Pepsi Center, or a weekend ski trip. Fri 5:30 p.m.-midnight.
Elmo is bringing dance classics to the stage. Let your little ones boogie at this live musical performance with tunes such as "The Hustle," "You Should Be Dancing," and "Rockin' Robin"—in an incredibly entertaining and family-friendly way. Fri 6:30 p.m.; Sat 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
This three-day summit brings Denver's budding musicians, local fans, and industry professionals together to share ideas and inspire ingenuity about making the business sustainable in a digital era. In addition to panels and workshops, musicians such as Gregory Alan Isokav and Esme Patterson (Paper Bird) will perform. Friday's events will take place at the Mercury Café. Fri 6-11 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-6 p.m.
Scrooge, the archetypical miser, returns to teach us all the true meaning of the season. Award-winning composer Alan Menken's interpretation of the Charles Dickens classic made its Broadway debut almost 20 years ago, and it remains a must see. Days, times vary.
World-renowned dance company MOMIX brings their dazzling interpretation of the evolving imagery of nature and the imagination to the Front Range. With props, puppetry, and music ranging from birdsong to Baroque, “Botanica” will shake up the way you look at nature. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.
Experience the lively, exotic sounds of the Caribbean islands in our landlocked state. Steel pannist Jonathan Scales along with his band Fourchestra—a trio featuring a bright mix of jazz, R&B, and jam band sounds—will perform a selection from their self-titled release out this summer. Fri 7:30 p.m.
A family show just in time for the holidays. Based on the classic children’s novel, the play follows a stuffed rabbit’s quest to become real, and sharing lessons about love, friendship, and acceptance along the way. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 2 p.m.
A Japanese-American man stands accused of murder in the midst of post-WWII anti-Japanese sentiments. Wrapped within the ensuing drama is a love story that complicates everything. This play is based on the award-winning novel of the same name. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2:30 p.m.
Love, Light & Melody's inaugural Day of Light benefit brings together musicians, artists, and storytellers to make a difference. LLM, a nonprofit brainchild of musician Brad Corrigan of Dispatch fame, seeks to use multimedia events to help impoverished communities in Denver and globally. The night features music, a storytelling session, and live mural painting. Corrigan will also debut his first studio album in six years. Fri 8:30 p.m.
Gallop, dart, careen, or, yes, even dash your way through this 5K. One of 10 national races with whiskers, the dache promotes and supports Movember, the international charity battling prostate and testicular cancer by way of facial hair. A post-dache bash features food, refreshments, and a live DJ. Sat 9 a.m.
Since the earliest settlers ventured to the West, Colorado's impressive landscape and environment have impacted people's lifestyles. Through this hands-on exhibit, learn about life in Mesa Verde, experience the 1930s Dust Bowl, and explore the dynamic relationship between Colorado's people and its land throughout history. Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun noon-5 p.m.
Don't think you're much of an artist? In this workshop with local mixed media artist Judith Mamet, learn how to use a "no-fail" mono-printing technique to create a handmade art journal with paint, paper, and fabric. Finally, add text to your finished product with Mamet's approaches that help even non-writers pen something eloquent. Sat noon-4 p.m.; Sun 1-3 p.m.
Celebrate pride in Boulder with a high-energy day of nonstop entertainment. Drag kings and queens, aerial dance, and the all-female rock cover band the Tah Tahs are the highlights. An afterparty transforms Boulder Theater into an 18 and up club to close the night in style. Sat 3 p.m.-midnight.
Think your family's secret latke recipe is the best in town? Let the Temple Micah community be the judge of that at this annual Hanukkah party. Along with the latke tasting, enjoy a light dinner, family activities, and a Hanukkah concert following the taste-off. Sat 5-6:30 p.m.
Ski bum comfort culture, meet black tie couture. Denver socialites, world-class athletes, and snowsport junkies are coming together for this one-of-a-kind gala. It's all in the name of raising money for some of the country's best skiers and snowboarders (more precisely: the U.S. Ski, U.S. Snowboarding, and U.S. Freeskiing teams).
The Boulder-based Schiff Dance Collective will be showcasing some of its best contemporary performances for the community, along with a silent auction to benefit the company. Items up for bid include artwork from local artists and members of the collective. Sat 7:30 p.m.
Meet chef Mark Denittis of Amerigo Delicatus, the shoebox-sized eatery that made our most recent "Best New Restaurants" list, and learn the basics behind one of the most eccentricly festive culinary feats: the turducken. As a professional butcher, Denittis will help you gain some stuffed-turkey savez fair. Skip tradition this holiday season. Sun 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Join Santa as he counts down to the grand illumination of downtown Boulder and the star up on Flagstaff Mountain. Officially mark the start of the holiday season with a special musical performance by the Boulder Chorale. Sun 5 p.m.
Rapper Lupe Fiasco jetted into the mainstream in 2006 with Food & Liquor's politically minded lyrics. Whether you liked the album or were a fan of the beats but found the rhetoric too aggressive, you'll likely enjoy his latest release. On Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (real name) abandons politics for candid and relatable themes of love and struggle.
Small circuses used to traverse the western United States, delighting audiences with cleverly trained dogs and ponies. This exhibit celebrates these two loyal animals, both still beloved parts of our western culture. A variety of works portray the four-legged creatures in forms ranging from paintings to sculpture to mixed media. Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri-Sat 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Set in fictional Neo-Tokyo, Akira tells the story of a biker and his violent motorcycle gang who seek revenge against society. Celebrate this classic's 25th anniversary and discover why film buffs claim that this movie set the stage for a whole new genre of Japanese animation and futuristic sci-fi. Mon 7 p.m.
Tune your ears to the pulsating guitar, complicated bass lines, and the enchanting voices of this American indie pop and alternative rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Combining synthpop and R&B sound, Justine Vernon of Bon Iver calls Polica "the best band he’s ever heard." Tue 8 p.m.
Howl at the Moon is giving back to Denver this season with a pre-Thanksgiving bash featuring bottomless Coors Lights, awesome sauce buckets, and of course, dueling pianos. Wed 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
Before you feast on Thanksgiving Day, join thousands of others in the 40th annual Turkey Trot 4-mile run and help raise money for Mile High United Way. Bring the strollers and the pups if you aren't running the competitive waves. There's even a prize besides your turkey dinner: an always coveted long-sleeve race shirt. Thu 8 a.m.
Kids can kickoff the holiday season by visiting with Santa and enjoying hay and ponyrides, while the whole family gets lost in a whimsical world of winter characters and carolers. Make sure to stick around for the festive finale—a parade that will light up the streets of downtown Estes Park. Sat noon, parade starts at 5:30 p.m.
All of Denver's southern boys and girls can get a little taste of home this Thanksgiving. The Corner Office will be serving a three-course meal complete with traditional Southern fixin's including roasted turkey, honey-glazed ham, cornbread chorizo stuffing, and collard green beans. Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
If a home-cooked feast just isn't feasible this year, Hotel Boulderado has a worthy backup plan. Enjoy an extensive buffet in the hotel's Victorian-style ballroom with all the Turkey Day classics—and some unique gourmet dishes, too. Thu noon-4:30 p.m.
Not going to make it to Sochi for the Winter Games this February? Find a spot on at these races to see the fastest women in downhill before they head over to Russia. Vail and Beaver Creek make this the only U.S. stop in the world cup series for American favorites like Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa and join Santa for a stroll through this nighttime winter wonderland. From now until the New Year, more than 100,000 lights help transform the gardens into the quintessential holiday experience. Daily 5-8:30 p.m.
Tsogo Mijid channels themes of a nomadic lifestyle in his abstract paintings. Elements of traditional art and culture from Mongolia, Mijid's homeland, can be found in his works. Sylvia Jung's contemporary art is a fusion of painting and collage. Her paper-based collages are made with a variety of materials, including ink, oil paints, and photographs. Fri 6-10 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m.
Brighten up the holidays with downtown Denver's grand illumination. A choir will perform holiday tunes at Union Station and LoDo restaurants will dish out tasty treats, as Larimer Square and the Denver Pavilions come alive with more than 500,000 twinkling lights. Fri 6 p.m.
A Spark Theater production, this comedic variety show comedy leads up to the holidays in hilarious fashion. The adult-themed skits poke fun at the season's most absurd traditions. Thu-Sun 7:30 p.m.
The season of giving is upon us, but that doesn’t mean everyone is in the holiday spirit. Based on an essay by humorist/writer David Sedaris about his stint as an “elf” in Macy’s SantaLand, this one-man play (starring local actor Matt Zambrano) offers hilarious insight into some of the more absurd aspects of this special time of year. Days, times vary.
—Image courtesy of Michael Ensminger
Three Texas ranch hands—Smitty, Bubba, and Eddie—conjure a plan to keep their boss’ ranch from being bought out, in this holiday play. Watch how their Christmas festivities go from decorating a cactus with painted barbed wire to fighting to save their beloved jobs. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m.
These melodic hard rockers with a misleading name bring plenty of emotion to their music. In the decade since their initial Billboard success—their self-titled debut was certified gold in 2003—they've matured as musicians and overcome personal roadblocks to create songs begging for mainstream attention. Fri 7:30 p.m.
Billed as, “The holiday show you shouldn’t take your kids to,” this sketch comedy show takes the charming stories of Santa’s reindeer and the Whos in Whoville and spins them with raunchy, unexpected twists. Daily 7:30 p.m., Christmas Eve 4 p.m.
This is what we call a no-brainer: A musician promoting his new album in the city where his career took off. Smart move, Nathaniel Rateliff. But this show isn't just about getting the word out about Falling Faster Than You Can Run. Rateliff's performance of back-to-basics folk will be followed by a side-by-side crooning after-party with his Denver-based, blues-y posse—a rare sight. Fri 9 p.
—Image courtesy of Glenn Ross
This subversive play about contemporary Christmas traditions depicts David Sedaris’ real-life stint as Crumpet, a disgruntled elf in Macy’s SantaLand with distinctly Grinch-like qualities. But as humiliating as his days were, this tiny little elf eventually comes to appreciate the season. Mon-Tue 7:30 p.m.; Thus-Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Kickoff the holidays and the release of Nathaniel Rateliff's new album, Falling Faster Than You Can Run, at this collaboration show with OpenAir, a fixture on Colorado Public Radio. The show starts out with a solo performance by Rateliff and the Night Sweats before combining his alluring vocals with the Denver-based band, the Land Lines, for an on-site afterparty. A sell-out is predicted, so don't wait on wrangling up some tickets for the day after Thanksgiving show. Fri 9 p.m.
Grow or don your best moustache for this fun run. Sticky moustaches will be provided women and children, so don't fret if you can't even sport stubble for this 5K. Funds raised benefit the Movember Foundation, which helps research testicular and prostate cancer. Sat 7:30 a.m.
Bring the railroad down to pint-size at this two-day toy train spectacular. Be sure to check out all of the action in the kids corner like: train races, a lego play area, a puppet theatre, and and a train that will take your kids for a ride around the show. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Decorating cookies is a beloved holiday tradition. The mess it creates in your kitchen? Not so much. Leave the dishes for someone else during this weekend tea. Enjoy scones, tea sandwiches, and, of course, gingerbread cookies while your pint-size companion—clad in a provided chef’s hat and apron—creates edible artwork. Sat-Sun noon, 2 p.m.
In an epic battle between toy soldiers and an army of mice, it’s a little girl and a thrown slipper that turn the tide. Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet asks us to suspend disbelief and recalls an age when Christmas had a little more magic. Days, times vary.
Watch the playful story of a Christmas toy turned prince unfold during this world-renowned ballet with a score by Tchaikovsky. Get your tickets now—this classic performance is bound to sell fast. Sat 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Grammy award winner Chip Davis brings this holiday classic to the Mile High City for a sparkling celebration. As the biggest selling Christmas music artist of all time, the Mannaheim Steamroller's upbeat instrumental performance combines electric violin and guitar with keyboard and synth drums. Sat 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m., 7 p.m.
Popular Denver gentlemen don their chef hats for the evening, preparing a specialty tasting menu of decadent cuisine. The black-tie gala will feature live entertainment, dancing, and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit three organizations: Jazz C.A.F.E., The Colorado Starlites Drum and Drill Team, and The Struggle of Love Foundation. Sat 6 p.m.-midnight.
Eight Canadian brothers and sisters mine their Celtic roots and Christmas traditions for a holiday concert with a decidedly Irish flair. The group combines fiddles, keyboards, and other instruments in a hectic, energetic, and seamless fashion that could only be borne of the love-hate relationships all siblings share. Sat 7:30 p.m.
Electronic dance music innovators, college campus mainstays, and longtime Internet favorites, this Youtube-taught DJ duo embarks on its IRL tour. Before the "Harlem Shake" brought the Southern hip-hop "trap" style and electronic dance fusion to the music mainstream, Flosstradamus was busy creating the genre. Sat 9 p.m.