Best Bets

Best Bets March 2011

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March 2011

Culture: BaoBao Festival

For generations, the people of Ghana have gathered around the baobab tree to sing, dance, and swap stories—and those traditions have made their way to Colorado for this annual celebration. Boulderite Adjei Abankwah, a lead dancer and choreographer with the Ghana National Dance Ensemble (make sure to catch the group’s live performance), brought the festival to Colorado in 2004 to entertain, educate, and build community. You’ll be treated to energetic West African dances, drumming routines, musical performances, and storytelling, all related to this year’s theme: the measuring stick. Boulder’s Streetside Studios dance troupe and local breakdancers BreakEFX Crew will also take the stage during the traveling three-day extravaganza that hits both Denver and Boulder. March 4–6, Various locations

Theater: K2

Fewer than 300 people have climbed K2, the world’s second-highest peak; thankfully, you can journey there from the safety of a theater. On a stage covered in rocks and faux snow, drama unfolds as two friends find themselves stranded on a 27,000-foot ledge, grappling with one man’s broken leg and the loss of crucial climbing equipment. Woven around real-life climbing action, the plot delves deeper than just portraying the technical aspects of mountain adventure. Coloradans, climbers or not, will appreciate the moral dilemmas that arise as the men face their own mortality. Dr. Eric Meyer, a Steamboat resident and climber who summited Mt. Everest in 2004, consulted on the show to infuse it with credibility. March 11–April 3, the Aurora Fox Arts Center

Sports: NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Denver has cemented itself as a sports town—even if we haven’t won a major championship in awhile. After all, we do lay claim to hometown heroes John Elway, Chauncey Billups, and Roy Halladay, to name a few. This month, sports fans have another reason to cheer: The NCAA tourney is coming back to Denver, with a handful of first- and second-round games for your viewing (and drinking…and wagering) pleasure. Sure, it’s not the Sweet Sixteen or the Final Four, but we’ll take it. Tickets are hard to come by, so if you don’t already have them in your pocket, saddle up at a bar down the street and toast to the major energy the tourney brings to the city. Don’t forget to fill out a bracket—even non-basketball fans can get behind a little friendly competition. March 17 and 19, Pepsi Center

Outdoors: Helly Hansen Battle in the Bowls

In one epic competition, pairs of skiers and snowboarders (or a combo) will hit the bowls of Aspen Highlands in a nonstop spray of powder to eke each other out as the speediest duo in the high country. Each team will be equipped with a GPS device to track its time and log every run. The winning pair will amass the lowest collective average time. Last year’s champs schussed more than 60,000 vertical feet in just three hours and four minutes. The course map won’t be released until the morning of the race, and you can be sure that course designer and big-mountain skier Chris Davenport—the first person to climb and ski all of the state’s fourteeners in less than a year—won’t make it easy. Sound intimidating? No sweat—we wouldn’t try to out-shred the likes of skiers Kevin Frazier and Nate Rowland either. Simply join the noncompetitive division and swoosh through the powder at your leisure. March 27, Aspen Highlands