1. Spanish Nights
Tapas for dinner. Flamenco for dessert. And don't forget the salsa for a little kick. Spanish guitarist and master of romance Roni Benise hits the road with 50 professional dancers and musicians in tow (think "Riverdance"), performing exotic and emotional melodies that not only defy traditional rhythms, but also have earned him slots on ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS, Jazz TV, and Telemundo. Join Benise as he shares his passions for Brazilian samba, Cuban salsa, and the Spanish flamenco.
Benise-Nights of Fire: April 28,
Colorado Convention Center
2. Everyone Loves a Cynic
Catch some "Real Time" in real life when Bill Maher brings his Emmy-worthy wit to Colorado. A hefty dose of politically incorrect hilarity and a little reminder of the "New Rules" will no doubt prep you for some lively dinner party banter.
An Evening with Bill Maher:
April 22 & 23, Paramount Theatre
3. Capturing Culture
Since its debut in 2000, the seven-day Pan African Film Festival has expanded to include panels, workshops, a Black Arts Marketplace, and more as it spotlights black filmmaking in America. In honor of this year's focus on women in film and television, the invitees include women from all spectrums of filmmaking, including actress Ruby Dee and Dr. Maya Angelou. Don't miss Thomas Allen Harris' award-winning documentary Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela for a stirring look at family relationships, displacement, and homeland ties during the South African antiapartheid movement.
Starz Denver Pan African Film Festival:
April 24-30, Starz FilmCenter
4. Face-to-Face Kindness
More than 700 hand-painted clay masks liven up Cherry Creek Shopping Center's decor in support of the patients at Hospice of Metro Denver. The masks were designed, signed, and donated by local, national, and international celebrities, to be auctioned off to raise funds for those living with advanced illnesses. Browse the walls for faces that strike your fancy, such as those by Bill Cosby, Dave Matthews, Sarah Jessica Parker, Donald Trump, and a host of others.
The Mask Project: April 1-30,
Cherry Creek Shopping Center
5. Urban Secrets
Ever wonder about the namesakes of the Helen Bonfils or Buell theaters at the Performing Arts Complex? Or the infamous City Beautiful Era, evidence of which is still alive in Civic Center Park? Hit the streets with an expert-led city tour or self-guided sidewalk adventure that traces the distinct history and design of close to 80 significant venues, landmarks, and parks in the Mile-High Mecca. The Office of Cultural Affairs hosts this two-day celebration free of charge.
Doors Open Denver: April 22-23,
City of Denver