It may be cold outside, but entertainment action is heating up this first weekend of February, with new shows opening around town, as well as a special concert to benefit victims of the Marshall fire.
See our list of free things to do here, and keep reading for events worth the price of admission, including many theatrical productions:
Wheat Ridge Theatre Company: Sordid Lives
Thursday, February 3, 7:30 p.m. Industry Night
John Hand Theatre, 7653 East First Place, Lowry
It’s been a movie and then a television series, but Sordid Lives, by Del Shores, first carved out its campy, cultish LGBTQ fan base on the stage. The Wheat Ridge Theatre Company has mounted a live revival of the play — which is peopled with a whole small town’s worth of trailer trash, drunks, drag queens and other unforgettable Texas characters — for a three-week run that continues through February 13. It’s just the thing to raise you out of those winter doldrums; admission is $28 online at TicketSpice.
John Darnielle, Devil House
Friday, February 4, 7 p.m.
Tattered Cover Colfax, 2526 East Colfax Avenue
John Darnielle, already known as the engine driving the band Mountain Goats, has also become a bestselling novelist and National Book Award nominee over the years. His third novel, Devil House, is a crime novel about a crime writer, possibly one much like himself, with a plot binding murder and repressed memories. Join Darnielle at the Tattered Cover for a live chat about Devil House with film critic Walter Chaw; a $33 ticket includes a copy of the book and a seat. Register in advance here.
Backcountry Film Festival
Friday, February 4, 7 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, February 5, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Foss Auditorium, American Mountaineering Center. 710 10th Street, Golden
The 17th annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is traveling the state, and it lands in Golden this weekend, with a lineup of adventure films and environmental documentaries that benefit Colorado Mountain Club Conservation Program.Tickets are $15 to $18; get them here.
Colorado Ballet, Romeo and Juliet
Opening Friday, February 4, 7:30 p.m.; performances continue through February 13 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was made for classic ballet, with all the feuds, masquerades and a poignant love story, but the three-act Derek Deane version that Colorado Ballet artistic director Gil Boggs is bringing to the stage with Prokofiev’s score will take things over the top. It’s among the largest productions the ensemble has ever staged with nearly every dancer on deck at times and memorable choreography to match. Prices range from $40 to $160, reserve yours here.
Same Time Next Year
Opening Friday, February 4, 7:30 p.m.; performances continue through February 27 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Pluss Theatre, Mizel Art & Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street
Looking for something light? How about a one-night stand turns into a quarter-century affair in one of the most popular rom-coms of all time. Theatre legend Billie McBride directs Lauren Bahlman and Eric Mather in the nostalgic romantic comedy by Bernard Slade, which follows two lovers who meet for a weekend once a year for more than two decades. Tickets to this Cherry Creek Theatre production are $42 (discounts for students and seniors); get them here.
Opening in previews Friday, February 4; performances through March 13
Wolf Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Cellist Neyla Pekarek was studying at the University of Northern Colorado in 2008 when she came across the story of Rattlesnake Kate, a farmer who killed over 100 rattlesnakes one day in 1925. She became determined to tell Kate Slaughterback’s story — first in song, and now in a new musical that chronicles sixty years in the life of this Colorado legend. Read more about the show here; tickets are $30 to $74 at denvercenter.org.
Music for Marshall: A Boulder County Fire Benefit
Friday, February 4, 8 p.m.
Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street, Boulder
Artists are banding together in this benefit for victims of the Marshall fire. Presented by 105.5 The Colorado Sound, Avery Brewing and Jack Daniel’s, it’s hosted by Drunken Hearts with special guests Bill and Jilian Nershi (The String Cheese Incident), Dave Watts (The Motet), Andy Thorn (Leftover Salmon), Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident), Charlie Rose (Elephant Revival), Silas Herman, Michael Kirkpatrick, Andy Manz and many more, plus Buffalo Commons and Pick & Howl. In addition to the multiple sets of music, there will be a Conscious Alliance Poster drive as well as a Silent Auction with donated items from The String Cheese Incident, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon and Elephant Revival. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door; get yours here.
Power Playback Theater with Dominique Christina
Saturday, February 5, 7 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Join Motus Theater for the start of an improvisational theater adventure, which will bring together a diverse group of actors to share stories through a form of improvisational theater called Playback that brings the audience into this show. The theme of this inaugural event is “Valentines, Arrows and Heart,” and a group of musicians and poets — including international slam poet Dominique Christina — will be on hand to share their own responses to the theme. Tickets are $15-$20; get them here.
How Magicians Think: A Lecture, Magic Show and Book Signing With Joshua Jay
Sunday, February 6, 7 p.m.
Enigma Bazaar, 4923 West 38th Avenue
Think magic is just entertainment? Think again: It’s an immersive art, and Denver Immersive will prove it when it brings magician Joshua Jay to town to talk about a new book and pull a few rabbits out of his hat.
Tickets are $29.84 and include a copy of How Magicians Think and Why Magic Matters; get yours here.
Warm Cookies of the Revolution, Vote Every Day board book
Available now for a pay-what-you-can donation here
Denver’s favorite civic health club, Warm Cookies of the Revolution, has been rather quiet over these COVID-conscious months, which haven’t been conducive to the organization’s usual face-to-face roundtable conversations and hands-on LEGO parties. But behind the scenes, the organizers have been busy creating proactive online video content and community-minded, child-sized board books. The second primer, Vote Every Day, will be hot off the press this month in eight languages. Choose your own price and order a copy here, knowing all writing, illustrating, editing, designing, translating, printing and shipping is volunteer-powered — and that hundreds of copies will be donated to Denver Public Schools.
Moon Over Buffalo
Through March 20, Thursdays through Sundays
MIners Alley, 1224 Washington Street, Golden
The show must go on! The action follows Charlotte and George Hay — an acting couple not exactly at the level of the Lunts — on tour in Buffalo in 1953. Tickets range from $17 to $45; get them here.
The Sound Inside
Through February 12, Thursdays through Sundays
Curious Theatre Company, 1080 Acoma Street
Curious Theatre Company forges ahead with Adam Rapp’s drama The Sound Inside, which received six Tony Award nominations in 2020, including Best Play. The story is about creative-writing professor Bella and the brilliant but unhinged student Christopher whom she mentors; the members of this academic odd couple grow close while struggling with their own demons, and that tale is as much about writing as it is about life. Learn more and get tickets, ranging from $20 to $50, here.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Through March 6, daily (except Monday)
Singleton Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
The Denver Center production of the Edward Albee masterwork clocks in at about three hours, which is a long time to be subjected to the rising dialectic of alcohol-fueled marital warfare that develops between longtime couple George and Martha, but it’s also an education, brilliantly written and cutting to the bone. What will young guests Honey and Nick take away from the experience? What will you take away? Find details and buy tickets, $30 to $50, here.
Through February 12, Fridays through Sundays
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street, Aurora
In the romantic comedy Fireflies, a regional premiere written by Matthew Barber and starring legendary Denver actor Deborah Persoff, a retired schoolteacher meets a drifter who fixes a hole in her roof and encourages her to break out of her respectable shell. Will she or won’t she? See the show and find out. Admission ranges from $20 to $34; get tickets here.
Spookadelia: The Curse of Novo Ita
Through February, Thursdays through Sundays
Spectra Art Space, 1836 South Broadway
Spookadelia, now in its fourth iteration, has been extended through February! Immerse yourself in cool at this awesome, arty experience. Timed-entry tickets are $20 adult, $12 children (and it’s not too spooky for them); find out more here.
Know of a great event in Denver? We’ll be updating this through the weekend; send information to [email protected]