Best Bets

Best Bets

February 2009

Colorado New Play Summit
Unless you're headed to New York or London, you'll be hard-pressed to find more theater buzz this month than at the Denver Center Theatre Company's American play festival. Since its inception four years ago, the three-day event has showcased works like Lydia, a potential candidate for this year's Pulitzer Prize for drama, and 1001, an audacious retelling of Arabian Nights. This year, playwright Eric Schmiedl presents Eventide, his adaptation of Kent Haruf's novel and sequel to the beloved drama Plainsong, and Tony Award-winning director Kathleen Marshall, from Broadway's The Pajama Game, leads a reading of the newly readapted The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Through new songs and lyrics, this version of the classic musical tells a more historically accurate tale of our hometown Titanic hero. Special performances of the DCTC's 2009 world premieres, Inana and Dusty and the Big Bad World, will show in the evenings. Feb. 12-14, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Colorado Ukulele Festival
Yes, the ukulele has gone mainstream. Big shots like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, and Elvis Costello now strum its short strings, and to celebrate the uke's newfound fame, Swallow Hill Music Association hosts a full day of all things ukulele, including workshops, industry panels, and lots of live music. Japan's funky, 1920s-inspired group the Sweet Hollywaiians and top-ranked uke virtuoso James Hill will be among those to take the stage.

And you don't have to be a die-hard fan to enjoy the festivities. Beer and barbecue from the Breckenridge Brewery and Pub and a screening of the documentary Rock That Uke make this day a delightful one for any music lover. Feb. 7, Swallow Hill Music Association.

Bob Woodward
Exactly 21 days after President Obama takes office, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward stops in Denver to talk politics and leadership. Drawing on his own experiences, which include researching his recent book State of Denial—a critical look at former President Bush's work with the Iraq war—Woodward will evaluate the new president's first days in office and discuss the challenges that face him. A Q&A follows the lecture. Feb. 10, Wells Fargo Theatre.

Women Artists of the West
Spend an evening in the galleries of Aspen, Taos, or Santa Fe, and you're likely to come across works of the Women Artists of the West, a group of working artists whose Western ties influence their art. Each year, the group hosts a collective show. Last winter Chicago's prestigious Hilligoss Galleries had the honor of hanging hundreds of WAOW pieces. This year the privilege belongs to Cherry Creek North's Saks Galleries. Don't miss Denver native Kim Shaklee's bronze frog sculpture, "Your Pad or Mine?," and WAOW award-winner Karen Vance's subtle landscape paintings. Feb. 6-28, Saks Galleries.