The 21 Best Events in Denver, September 5-11

CRUSH returns in RiNo! Anna Charney

Take one part Arthurian legend, two parts Star Wars, a whole lot of Lord of the Rings and a smidge of Liam Neeson, mash ’em all together and you’ve got 1983’s delightfully cheese-tastic sci-fi fantasy film Krull. “It’s an homage to Star Wars — that’s putting it generously — which of course features a princess in need of rescuing and a motley crew of adventurers who save her from alien invaders,” says Bridget Kiley, Young Services librarian from the Koelbel Library in Centennial. The library, at 5955 South Holly Street, will screen the film at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5, as a part of its Bad Movie Night series. Best of all, the screening is free (which is just slightly less than what the production company spent on sets and special effects). Fun snacks will be provided along with a special pre-show beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening is recommended for those 18+, and seating is limited. Make your reservations at arapahoelibraries.org/location/koelbel-events.

The Denver Food + Wine Festival kicks off on Tuesday, September 5, and runs through Sunday, September 10, so if you’re considering hitting any of the events this year, it’s time to get moving. Tickets are on sale now, and depending on what whets your appetite, they’ll set you back a very reasonable $40 to a steep $195 — and there’s even a VIP Grand Tasting ticket available for $250 if you want to go all in. Kick off the festival week with the Culinary Cinema Series, which will screen the documentary Barbecue on Tuesday, September 5, at 7 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. The movie is sure to make your mouth water, which won’t be a problem, as the $40 ticket includes bites from Hearth & Dram, Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que and the Nickel; drinks will be available for purchase at the theater’s bar. Snag tickets and find the rest of the festival’s schedule at denverfoodandwine.com.

Wednesday, September 6

Short on cash and looking for something laid-back to do on a Wednesday night? Punch Drunk Press’s new Punch Drunk Showcase is a variety show blending poetry readings, comedy routines, music and magic in a single evening, all for a $5 donation at the door, at Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway. Drop in on Wednesday, September 6, from 7 to 10 p.m.; Colorado Springs playwright and poet Idris Goodwin and standups Timmi Lasley and Steve Vanderploeg are just a few of the acts you’ll hear from. Plus, you’ll have all of Mutiny at your disposal for book- and record-browsing, coffee-drinking and general hanging out. Get more info on the Facebook event page.

There’s magic in the air at Union Station, but you’ll have to go underground to find it: Canadian magician Tyler Wilson will be bringing his show Lies Wide Open to the venue’s lower-level gallery for an intimate, up-close evening of modern prestidigitation, comedy and grown-up entertainment that’s a far cry from pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Wilson performs Wednesday, September 6, at 8 p.m. at Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street; tickets, of which there will be precious few, are $50 and $75 at tylerwilson.wellattended.com.

Death goes on strike at Syntax Physic Opera. Courtesy People’s Theatre of Denver

Thursday, September 7

West Highland is one of Denver’s top neighborhoods for dining out, with restaurants lining West 32nd Avenue offering a broad variety of taquerias, noodle bars, small-plates kitchens, pizza parlors and more. With so much to choose from, trying everything can be a daunting proposition — unless you can cover them all in one night. That’s what you’ll be able to accomplish at the fifth annual Taste of Highlands on Thursday, September 7. From 6 to 9 p.m., stroll the streets at West 32nd and Lowell Boulevard (don’t worry, cars will be off-limits for the evening) and taste samples from more than twenty food vendors representing the surrounding neighborhood. While you’re there, enjoy live music and drinks from the beverage garden (like a beer garden, only with more variety). Get all the details and purchase tickets, $40 to $60, at tasteofhighlands.com.

If your ears perk up at the mention of a puppet opera performed in a bar, director Aaron Vega and his newly formed People’s Theatre of Denver have you covered. The troupe lifts off this week at Syntax Physic Opera with two performances of Death Goes on Strike, a dark, allegorical one-act opera inspired by composer and Holocaust victim Victor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis — a work not heard by an audience until more than thirty years after Ullmann’s death in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Vega teamed up with the Zoot Theatre Company, a sophisticated puppet theater out of Dayton, Ohio, to reimagine the story, in which the Grim Reaper, overworked by war and mounting deaths, goes on strike. They’ll bring it to Syntax, 554 South Broadway, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, and Friday, September 8. Admission is $10 in advance at dgos.brownpapertickets.com or $15 at the door; learn more at peoplestheatredenver.org.

Get to know self-taught architect Charles Deaton at the MOA. Courtesy of Nicholas Antonopoulos

Self-taught architect Charles Deaton is best known in these parts for the space-age landmark “Sculptured House” (aka the Sleeper house, in reference to its appearance in the 1973 Woody Allen comedy of the same name), which sits high on a hillside above I-70 in Genesee. But even earlier, in 1967, the designer thought outside the box to create the iconic flying-saucer-shaped bank building at 3501 South Broadway in Englewood. To celebrate that mid-mod structure’s fiftieth anniversary, the Museum of Outdoor Arts, 1000 Englewood Parkway in Englewood, will open its doors for an open-house viewing of the current exhibition, The Sculptured Buildings of Charles Deaton. The public is also invited to walk, drive or hop on Englewood’s RTD circulator shuttle to go tour the bank; both locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, September 7. Close the day at the MOA with ongoing Deaton architecture talks from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free; visit moaonline.org for information.

The Denver Food & Wine Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits, and no festival event will be more spirited than the Shakedown on Thursday, September 7, at the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. Starting at 6:30 p.m., celebrity bartenders from the Colorado Bartenders Guild will compete to create the best cocktail while attendees listen to a special acoustic Dragondeer set, snack on appetizers, mingle with the mixologists, test the cocktails and vote for their favorites. Tickets to the event are $55, but don’t forget to save room, and cash, for the F&W Grand Tasting from 1 (noon for VIPs) to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 9, on the Pepsi Center grounds. Tickets to that eating orgy are $125 general admission, $250 VIP…or just go for a Connoisseur VIP Experience Festival Pass, which gets you into all festival events. See the full schedule and buy tickets at denverfoodandwine.com.

Experience a new wave of feminism at

Friday, September 8

Boulder’s Catamounts theater troupe unfolds a new season on a wave of feminism with Jaclyn Backhaus’s You on the Moors Now, which rounds up the literary heroines of Jane Eyre, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights and lands them on the mythological Moors. There they refuse the men who seek to wed them, setting off an epic war between genders and a sendoff of outdated social mores. As always, Catamounts offers different levels of participation at selected shows, some of which come with a pre-show nip and a post-show dinner. The run begins with a preview, followed by a panel discussion, at 8 p.m. Friday, September 8, at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder, and goes through September 22; tickets range from $18 to $40, depending on which option you choose. Purchase tickets online at ticket.thedairy.org; for more information, go to thecatamounts.org.

Anime fans are among the most loyal and rabid in all of fandom. As a result, the Alamo Drafthouse has stepped up its anime game, opening Your Name (the biggest film of all time in Japan), screening a Studio Ghibli retrospective in February, and now playing host to the second annual Colorado Anime Film Festival, held in conjunction with the Colorado Anime Fest. “Colorado’s love and loyalty for Japanese animation grows every day, and we know these titles will appeal to fans of all ages. It’s a great way to introduce anime to new fans as we get ready for our third annual convention next March,” says COAF’s A. Jinnie McManus. Highlights include the classic anime Akira, which screens Friday, September 8, the recent hit Wolf Children, and season one of My Hero Academia. Individual tickets are $9, and most screenings will be subtitled. Find tickets and more information at drafthouse.com.

Time to get in gear: The Goodguys 20th Colorado Nationals rolls into the Ranch Events Complex, 5280 Arena Circle in Loveland, on Friday, September 8, bringing with it 2,000 hot rods, as well as custom and classic cars, street rods and trick trucks. In addition to a car show, the three-day event includes exhibits, a swap meet, musical entertainment and a model car show. But you’re in the driver’s seat at K&N Filters All American Sunday, on September 10, when all years of American-made and -powered vehicles are eligible to run the Goodguys AutoCross and be a part of the Show & Shine. Is this your ticket to ride? Daily adult admission is $20 or $17 online until midnight on September 7; admission to a classic car auction at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, is free. Find out more at good-guys.com/cn-2017 or call 925-838-9876.

Get your freak on at Eleganza FREAK-stravaganza. Courtesy Scissor Sweethearts

Saturday, September 9

Lakewood’s Belmar development will become Little Italy for two days during Festival Italiano, the western suburb’s annual celebration of pasta, pizza, vino and Italian culture. On Saturday, September 9, and Sunday, September 10, food, drinks, a marketplace and live music will all be part of the fun — and don’t miss the bocce tournament or the demonstration by an Italian flag-throwing troupe (think Renaissance Fair meets rhythmic gymnastics). The festival is free, but there’s a wine-tasting event both days for $50; details and tickets can be found at belmarcolorado.com. Day one of the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., while day two ends at 5 p.m. Buon appetito!

Enjoy intimate and infused company, drinks, dinner and cannabis in a spacious yet private back yard in Lakewood’s Belmar neighborhood with Interpretive Dining on Saturday, September 9, from 6 to 10 p.m. The up-and-coming cannabis-pairing host has been coordinating regular dinners throughout the summer, even branching off into brunches and ethnically inspired dinners. Saturday’s edition will include four courses of Asian-inspired dishes for $180 apiece (21+), as well as an open bar, a four-course meal, a goodie bag, and transportation to and from the venue. A cannabis sommelier will be on hand for expertise and recommendations. Find out more and buy tickets at eventbrite.com.

Comely — and freaky — sideshow performers Serana Rose and Siara Gray, aka the Scissor Sweethearts, are pulling together their underground circus community for the Eleganza FREAK-stravaganza, an evening of bizarre fashion shows and freak-show performances, along with an art market and even something called drag queen pinball. Peep inside the darkest reaches of the bigtop from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, September 9, at Vision Comics & Oddities, 3958 South Federal Boulevard in Englewood; admission is $6 in advance at scissorsweethearts.weebly.com or $10 at the door.

Stay thirsty at the launch of Avalanche. Courtesy of Black Cube

“What if water could be enhanced (physically, nutritiously, energetically) by human usage rather than simply contaminated by it?” That’s the question asked by the Institute for New Feeling, whose aim is to explore “new ways of feeling, and ways of feeling new” through the invention of life-enhancing products. The Institute will join forces with the Denver-based Black Cube nomadic art museum and the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery for Avalanche, a bottled-water product launch, concert and Rube Goldberg-esque site-specific performance that pokes fun at the bottled-water industry in the most ironic setting possible: the Denver Wastewater Management building. Join IFNF and Black Cube from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, September 9, at 2000 West Third Avenue; yes, there will be bottled Avalanche water available at the event. The Avalanche performance will be documented on video that will replay later at the Myhren Gallery during a formal product launch and exhibit opening on September 14, and online. For more information, visit blackcubeart.org and vicki-myhren-gallery.du.edu.

The Denver Film Society is teaming up with experimental film collective Process Reversal on Saturday, September 9, to present a Pinhole Photography Workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. According to Curt Heiner of Process Reversal, the workshop will “add an extra layer to the classic shoebox or oatmeal-can pinhole cameras that people are familiar with.” Attendees will make their own cameras and then use them to shoot strips of 16mm film. The films will be processed on site, made into loops, and projected at the end of the workshop, which will be led by Robert Schaller of Handmade Films in Boulder. “Robert has a strong background in chemistry,” says Heiner, “and he’s been creating 16mm films [using] a handmade film emulsion that he makes in his own darkroom at home, then shooting that emulsion in a homemade pinhole camera of his own design.” Tickets are $25 and include all necessary materials; learn more at processreversal.org.

Boulder County is big on celebrating diversity, as proven by La Fiesta: World Party, a celebration of many cultures put on as a fundraiser for Intercambio, an organization dedicated to building community and teaching English to recent immigrants. On Saturday, September 9, food trucks, bands and a world market with vendors selling art and artisan products will immerse guests in an international experience from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road in Longmont. Eat, dance and shop while embracing the “Think globally, act locally” concept. Tickets are $25 for adults and just $5 for kiddos twelve and under; purchase yours and get details at intercambio.org.

Sunday, September 10

Militarization of the police. The decaying city of Detroit. Streets overrun with violence. Headlines ripped from today? No, it’s the dystopian future depicted in the 1987 action sci-fi flick RoboCop, a vision that sadly has become truer than anyone could have imagined. Originally seen as a critique of Reagan-era policies and a parody of over-the-top violent buddy-cop films by being an over-the-top violent buddy-cop film itself, RoboCop has much to say to contemporary audiences. It will show at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 10, at the Alamo Drafthouse at 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, and plenty will no doubt be discussed in a post-screening live-streamed Q&A with star Peter Weller, broadcast from the “real” OCP Headquarters (in reality, Dallas City Hall). Tickets are $12.30 and will include a bag of props; find out more at drafthouse.com/littleton.

Boulder live storytelling series Truth Be Told will hold its last slam at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 10. Now in its fifth season, Truth Be Told is still going strong — many shows are sellouts — but Shine is moving, and its home at 2027 13th Street is being taken over by the Post Brewing Company. The theme of this last Shine show is “Fall,” and once again it will have two storytellers on stage, as well as audience members whose names are chosen from a hat; their stories will be interspersed with musical cabaret numbers from an ad hoc house band created by co-producer/co-host Nina Rolle. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and general admission tickets are $15; VIP seating is $25. For tickets and more information, go to storyslamboulder.com.

The 2017 CRUSH Festival will be bigger than ever.

Monday, September 11

If you haven’t been to a Film on the Rocks screening this summer, Monday, September 11, is your last chance. And fortunately for us, the series is going out with a bang (lots of them, actually). Released in 1996, Twister tells the story of two storm-chasers (Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, may he rest in peace) who find each other after years apart in one of the most blood-pumping action movies of the decade — and for the ’90s, that’s saying something. Seen best on the big screen and perhaps even better in a dramatic setting like Red Rocks, Twister has stood the test of time. Find tickets, $15, at film.redrocksonline.com/fotr.

The RiNo neighborhood will be awash with even more art than usual for seven days during the 2017 CRUSH Festival. The annual street-art celebration includes 100 muralists and graffiti artists — the most CRUSH has hosted since its inception in 2010 — and will welcome 23 newcomers. Ring in one of Denver’s coolest arts festivals at a kick-off party that runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, September 11, at 28th and Blake streets. Festivities will include live music, food and a cash bar; RSVP (required) at eventbrite.com.

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