1. Compliments to the Chefs
Flavors of Denver is the signature fund-raiser for the American Liver Foundation—a gala that delivers each guest a five-course gourmet meal personally prepared by one of 20 top Denver chefs. But the night has a twist: Each table of 10 guests is randomly paired in a drawing with a chef for the evening (look for Panzano’s Elise Wiggins, Vesta Dipping Grill’s Matt Selby, and Il Posto’s Andrea Frizzi, to name a few) who creates a unique menu and dining atmosphere just for that table (don’t be afraid to chat up your chef). For a touch of ambience and culinary flair, the chefs also design their own tables, right down to the china, crystal, and centerpieces, to reflect their chosen cuisine.
Flavors of Denver: May 2, Belmar Center, Lakewood
2. Mystery Man
Singer Leon Redbone brings his signature mix of jazz, blues, and ragtime vocals to Denver for one night only. The pop-culture icon hit the club and festival scenes in the ’70s, wowing audiences with folk tunes and vaudeville-esque comedy routines so quirky they landed him a recurring gig on Saturday Night Live (“Walkin’ Stick,” anyone?). Though he’s got nearly a dozen albums under his belt, you might not recognize his baritone in the classic “If We Never Meet Again” as much as in everyone’s favorite jingle, “This Bud’s For You.” The fedora-clad crowd pleaser promises a show reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Jelly Roll Morton this month.
Leon Redbone & His Trio: May 9, Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret
3. Appeal to the Senses
Two new exhibitions at multimedia art studio Ironton in the River North Arts District probe the intellect as much as the visual senses. Mike Mancarella’s freestanding sculptures (below) emphasize personal, political, and social themes by exploring the relationship between self-interest, a collectivist perspective, and the individual’s role in society—all through a fusion of metal, glass, and wood. Sharon Feder’s oil paintings of trees, forests, and water—inspired by the photography of her eight-year-old son—create tension between material and spiritual realms, tinged with abstraction rather than the sentimental undertones found in many nature paintings.
Mike Mancarella and Sharon Feder: Through May 26, Ironton Studios & Gallery
4. Same Horizon, Different View
In a celebration that speaks to our collective love of the landscape, the Colorado Council on the Arts recognizes its 40th anniversary with a traveling exhibit of then-and-now Colorado landscape paintings. With works from more than 40 artists, the show spans romanticized 19th century pieces such as Thomas Moran’s “Mountain of the Holy Cross” to more contemporary styles like Charles Forsman’s “American Fable.” Many of the earliest landscapes, on loan from private collections, are traveling the state in the public eye for the first—and maybe only—time.
Masterpieces of Colorado Landscapes: May 12–July 8, Foothills Art Center, Golden