AIDS Walk Colorado
It's easy to imagine that a fund-raiser in support of AIDS sufferers would be necessarily somber. But that's not the case at the 22nd annual Colorado AIDS walk/run. When a crowd of more than 8,000 descends on Cheesman Park and winds through the streets of Capitol Hill, it brings a punch of energy, giving hope for the cure of the disease. Both the 5K walk and run begin around 9 a.m. so racers are back at Cheesman by midmorning to enjoy the finish-line festival. For the first time, the walk is hosting a post-race beer garden and food market, along with live music and a volleyball tournament. August 15, Cheesman Park.
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
In the past two years, as it's pushed its theatrical boundaries, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has redefined the term "Shakespeare." The niche theater company still showcases highly accomplished, period-driven theater, but not necessarily Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. So while the organization expertly produces a handful of Shakespeare's plays each summer (this month Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona hit the stage), it also brings to life a non-Elizabethan classic. This year's pick is To Kill a Mockingbird, and the company's adaptation is especially focused on the coming-of-age stories of its young protagonists. Through August 15, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Just before the May release of Green Day's eighth album, punk fans buzzed with apprehension. Five years had passed since the trio released its last album, the Grammy Award-winning American Idiot. Could the new disc live up to the last? When it finally hit shelves, critics said yes. 21st Century Breakdown, which balances punk angst with classic rock balladry, is an ambitious album threaded with epic storytelling. And it's these musical elements that will amp up the crowd when the band jams in Denver this month. August 15, Pepsi Center.
Cirque du Soleil Kooza
Although Cirque du Soleil has a reputation for over-the-top grandeur across multiple dazzling sets, its newest show, Kooza, gets back to the basics with a whimsical take on the classic circus. Returning to the roots of the Montreal company, this performance highlights the two most important elements in an old-fashioned spectacular—clowns and acrobats—in one simple ring. With little to divert your attention, you won't miss the hilarity or full daredevilry of clowns flipping through the air, unicycles whirling precariously, and one man contorting his body to stack eight chairs into a 23-foot tower. August 20—Sept. 20, Pepsi Center.