Your fall 2018 guide to getting cultured in Denver

All the art, music, theater and dining you can handle and more.
18 min. read
A couple on their first date at the Bluebird Theater. (Courtesy: Kevin J. Beaty)

Fall is officially here, and you know what that means.

It means it's time for us to round up a selection of cultural happenings that for the most part have nothing to do with fall but will be grouped together because they happen to be scheduled in the fall. We do this because we crave order and because we're slaves to time, and we call it a fall entertainment guide. It's fun!

Here you'll find some of your best options in art, music, theater, dining and more between now and Thanksgiving weekend. They're lowbrow and highbrow, cheap and fancy, loud and peaceful -- and they're all happening in Denver. And in case you want to get extra local, we've marked which events feature Denver talent.

Enjoy! And wear layers.


"Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads"

Now through January
Sea Lions Fountain at Civic Center Park
Hours: Anytime, it's in a park
Cost: Free, it's in a park!

The Ai Weiwei installation had its stay extended a few months, so if you still haven't made it over to Civic Center Park to see the large animal heads on posts, now's the time. There's also a companion exhibit, "Ai Weiwei: Art & Social Change," on the first floor of McNichols Civic Center Building.

Ai Weiwei's "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" at Civic Center Park, March 16, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

"Rembrandt: Painter as a Printmaker"

Now through Jan. 6
Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Free with museum admission, which is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, military and college students; free for members and youth 18 and younger

This one is a pretty big get for the Denver Art Museum. The exclusive exhibit features about 100 prints, 17 drawings and four paintings  made by Rembrandt van Rijn from 1625 to 1665. It's cool enough to earn a mention in The New York Times' Art Fall Preview.

"Imagination, foresight and experience contributed toward Rembrandt's creation of almost limitless techniques that led to his lasting mark on the history of art," Gates Family Foundation curator Timothy J. Standring said in a press release. "The exhibition narrative intends to show that he explored the boundaries of printmaking far beyond his contemporaries, yet absorbed much from them in order to address historical, philosophical, aesthetic and theological issues -- all reflected dramatically in his prints as well as in kindred drawings and paintings."

Tara Donovan: "Fieldwork"

Now through Jan. 27
Museum of Contemporary Art, 1485 Delgany St.
Hours: Noon-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: $8 for adults (or $5 after 5 p.m. Thursday through Friday); $5 for seniors, military and college students; free for members and youth 18 and younger

Tara Donovan's work re-imagines everyday materials like plastic straws, index cards, rubber bands, Slinkys, and Mylar -- and it's taking over the entire museum. This is the first time they're being displayed together, creating an exhibition that, according to museum materials, "is about how, through labor (especially repetitive action), order and structure can give way to the unpredictable, where reason yields to faith, and the mundane cedes to the marvelous -- truly employing the creative act to seduce visually and, in doing so, override what we know to be factual."

Bonus: Take an art fitness class to step up your art-talk game.

"Dior: From Paris to the World"

Nov. 19 through March 3
Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: $24-28 for non-members, $12-14 for members, $5 for youth ages 6-18, free for children 5 and younger

"Artistic interpretation has always been a key factor to the House of Dior's success in creating a global legacy for the French haute couture house," curator Florence Müller said in a press release. "Each one of the artistic directors has accomplished this during their tenure and through their visions. Visitors will witness this through thematic exhibition sections, and will also begin to understand how the Americas contributed to the success of the house over a seven decade period."

This is the first major exhibition of the House of Dior, and the selection of more than 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos and other archival material spans more than 70 years.


The Velveteers

Saturday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St.
Cost: $10-13

Local (Boulder), brother-sister duo of Demi and John Demitro have been kicking around for a few years now, and things are really starting to pick up. If you feel like you're seeing the name The Velveteers more and more, you're not wrong -- and neither are the talent buyers booking them up. I could tell you about Demi's powerful vocals or the fact that they use two drummers playing in sync, or you could just listen for yourself.

Soccer Mommy

Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m.
Globe Hall, 4833 Logan St.
Cost: $13-15.

2018 is sort of the Year of Women in Rock, though it's hard to acknowledge that without doing some othering of the artists involved. But really. We've had great albums from Mitski, Snail Mail, Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, Camp Cope and Soccer Mommy. Pitchfork named Sophie Allison's latest record as Soccer Mommy Best New Music, and in her review Jenn Pelly wrote, "Allison can be blunt like Liz Phair, or perceptive like early Taylor Swift, but she tells her stories of love and betrayal with a welcomed pop-punk brevity and kick."

Read this piece from The Ringer's Lindsey Zoladz, "Not Another Women in Rock Article," about the moment Soccer Mommy is a part of and how to talk about it but not talk about it. Then have a listen.

Beethoven & Brews

Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.
Blue Moon Brewing Co., 3750 Chestnut Place
Cost: $50 GA, $80 VIP

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Beethoven's music (and also Elgar and De Falla and Kodaly). Blue Moon's beer. It's going to be very nice.

An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr.

Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.
Cost: $29-99

You probably know him as Aaron Burr, or maybe as the guy from the State Farm commercial. Either way, you know has an extremely lovely voice, and he's sharing it with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Schubert's Unfinished Symphony

Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.
Cost: $15-89

It's a symphony you know and love, whether or not you know you know and love it. Plus, you'll get spirituals, a horn concerto and Wagner's prelude to "Die Meistersinger." Just good old fashioned symphonic fun.

Troye Sivan

Monday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 N. Clarkson St.
Cost: $42.50-162.50

A Live Nation pop-up informs me that this show is in high demand, so jump on it now if you're in. You'll be catching a pop star (and Ariana Grande pal) on the rise.

Joan Baez

Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place
Cost: $54.45-149.50

This is Joan Baez's farewell tour, probably. (You know how it goes, and she's already been quoted saying she's ambivalent about it.) There's a lot to say about Baez, but I'd prefer to leave you with her own pitch, via the New York Times: "When I go onstage, I don't make history, I am history."

Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" at the Symphony

Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.
Cost: $25-99

Pretty simple: It's a "Nightmare Before Christmas" screening, but with the soundtrack played by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Kamasi Washington

Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.
Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
Cost: $36.50-40

Kamasi Washington is one of those artists you hear on other artists albums as much as on his own records, which essentially tells you he's a musician's musician. He also created multimedia installation called "Harmony of Difference" for the 2017 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which tells you what kind of live experience this might be. Enjoy the ride.


Friday, Oct. 26 at 9 p.m.
Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway
Cost: $25-27

To be honest, I'm not sure what FIDLAR has been up to lately. But to be more honest, I don't really care because I still hear the shouts of "I! Drink! Cheap! Beer! So! What! Fuck! You!" every time I have a cheap beer and that's good enough reason for to still like them.

Lily Allen

Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.
Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St.
Cost: $34.50-39.50

Lily Allen is BACK, and you can watch live.

Before you go, take a dive into this interview she did with Vulture's Eve Barlow.

Trev Rich

Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.
Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
Cost: $15-20

Everyone in Denver who knows things about music in Denver has had an eye and an ear on Trev Rich for a while now. He's supposed to be the next Denverite to go big, and he's already signed to Cash Money.

Cloud Nothings

Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.
Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave.
Cost: $18-20

I did damage to my left ear because I stood too close to a speaker at a Cloud Nothings concert and I still had a pretty great time, so...

Pusha T

Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St.
Cost: $35

Pusha T is having a Year. His latest album, "DAYTONA," won rave reviews from critics and fans and produced one of the best songs of the year (and my personal Song of Summer), "If You Know You Know." He also went after Drake with a blackface photo and the diss track heard 'round the world, giving us one of the best days on Twitter in 2018.

"Home Alone" at the Symphony

Friday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.
Cost: $15-89

You guessed it: it's a "Home Alone" screening with the soundtrack played by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.


"La Traviata"

Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St.
Cost: $25-225

Verdi's "La Traviata" has some peak romantic opera things going on, mainly a heroine willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of true love. It's a classic, and sung in Italian (with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat).

"Dear Evan Hansen"

Now through Oct. 13
Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St.
Cost: $40-145

Ben Levi Ross and the company of the first North American tour of "Dear Evan Hansen." (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

As an AP story on the "Dear Evan Hansen" tour launch in Denver succinctly put it, this musical is about "an awkward teenager raised by a single mom who inadvertently becomes a social media sensation, with disastrous consequences."

I've been hearing very good things about it from adult friends and the teen daughter of a coworker, so you know it's good. Also, it won six Tony Awards.

Tickets are running low, so if you're interested, get them now.

"The Cake"

Now through Oct. 13
Curious Theatre Co., 1080 Acoma St.
Cost: $36-44

You've still got time to see a local theater company tackle a semi-local issue in a play that's got people talking. In "The Cake," a baker in a small town in North Carolina re-examines her beliefs when her best friend's daughter, who is gay, asks her to bake a cake for her wedding. It sounds a little like Colorado's own wedding cake saga, but maybe with a happier ending? (I haven't seen it, sorry!)


Now through Oct. 14

The company of "Oklahoma!" (Photo by AdamsVisCom)

This production takes a fresh look at Rogers and Hammerstein's beloved musical, setting it in one of the 50 all-black towns in Oklahoma in 1906.

"Cannibal" the Musical

Now through Oct. 27
Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St.
Cost: $20-25

If you're looking for a musical that tells the true story of the sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory and the only person convicted of cannibalism in America, written by Trey Parker, then look no further. Also, you're kinda weird!

"The Humans"

Nov. 3 through Dec. 22
Curious Theatre Co., 1080 Acoma St.
Cost: $36-46

Up next at our local Curious Theatre Co., "an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving."

Breakin' Convention

Saturday Nov. 3
Sunday, Nov. 4
Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St.
Cost: $25-45

This two-day celebration of hip-hop arts is curated and hosted by UK hip-hop pioneer Jonzi D, and will feature world champion B-boy crew The Ruggeds, hip-hop dance from BirdGang Dance Company, a solo celebrating black beauty with music by Nina Simone from French popper Antoinette Gomis, a comedic duet from Sample Culture and the renowned popping and waacking trio Femme Fatal.

"Come from Away"

Nov. 13-25
Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St.
Cost: $35-125

This New York Times Critics' Pick tells the true story of 7,000 travelers stranded in a small town in Newfoundland on 9/11, and the way the town took them in. Honestly, I'm kinda tearing up just thinking about it so let's move along.


There's been no word yet on what's moving into four (or two, depending on how you want to count) pieces of prime Denver restaurant real estate. We'll have an eye on the former homes of Lala's Wine Bar, Govnr's Park Tavern, the Paramount Café and Marlowes, which will all be closed by the end of the year. The Paramount is already closed, but you have until Nov. 11 to spend some time at Govnr's Park and until Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 to get to Marlowe's and Lala's, respectively.

But enough about goodbyes. They're hard. It's time to say hello to some new spots.


2845 Larimer St.

Sister restaurant to Call, which made the No. 10 spot Bon Appetit magazine's list of top 10 new restaurants in America this year, this little bungalow spot will provide nighttime vibes to complement its twin's daytime vibes.

Broadway Market

950 Broadway

RIP Tony's Market. Welcome to the world, Broadway Market.

The new food hall project is headed up by Mark Shaker, the man behind Stanley Marketplace, with help from Brad Arguello, who co-founded (but has since left) Avanti F&B, and Tim White and Chris Haugen of White Construction Group, who helped build The Source, Zeppelin Station and Stanley Marketplace. It'll include a pizza place, a coffee shop, a bar, one or two retail-focused businesses and up to seven other food concepts.

So far, we only know about one tenant: Pizzeria Coperta.

Campus Lounge

701 S. University Blvd.

Campus Lounge on South University. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

It's back, again.

The Bonnie Brae staple closed after 40 years in September 2016, when owner Jim Wiste (who died earlier this year) decided it was time to retire. City O' City owner Dan Landes bought it very soon after, then admitted failure six months after that. Now it's under the ownership of the father-and-son team of Dan and Jeff Nickless, who just want the old dive back.

Chook Chicken

1300 S. Pearl St.

Denver's getting another fast-casual chicken restaurant, this one from Alex Seidel of Mercantile Dining & Provision, Fruition Restaurant, and Fruition Farms Creamery. It's "Australian-inspired" and you're just going to have to find out what that means for yourself.

Chook is pronounced "look," by the way.


1600 15th St.

The Wazee Supper Club, LoDo. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

As you may remember, we lost Wazee Supper Club this year, and in its place, we're getting a French spot called Morin.

Laura Shunk attended a pop-up for Westword and learned from co-owner Max MacKissock that we can expect "dope French food."

"We're not tied to any regional cuisines, and we're not trying to be authentic in any way. It'll definitely be inspired by French flavors and dishes, but it's not going to be onion soup and steak frites," he told Shunk. "This is not bistro food. It's a much more contemporary take on the vision. We'll have a pretty strong oyster program -- that's about as classic as it will get."

Spruce & Lark

4404 Yates St.

Pastry chef Alicia Clardie and chef-restauranteur Jeff Osaka are teaming up for this one -- a breakfast and lunch spot connected to the second location of Amethyst Coffee.


2500 Lawrence St.

This Austin-based Japanese fine dining restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole is making its first move outside Texas and into Denver. You can go try this one right now, maybe. Uchi opens today.

Or you can take a look at 303 Magazine's preview.


Indigenous Film & Arts Festival

Thursday, Oct. 4 through Monday, Oct. 8
Various locations
Cost: Free

This is the 15th year of the Indigenous Film & Arts Festival, and it's totally free and open to the public. The events are happening in venues all around Denver, including the History Colorado Center, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the University of Denver, among others. Events include film screenings, artist talks, rountables and more.

You can find more information, including a schedule, at

The Truth Is Out There

Every Friday in October at 9:30 p.m.
Sie Film Center, 2510 E. Colfax Ave.
Cost: $11.50 for non-members, $7 for members

Scream Screen presents "some of the most bizarre out of this world extraterrestrial films," accompanied by local bands and other performers who fit each movie's theme. They'll be showing, in order: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The Faculty," "Xtro" and "Killer Clowns From Outer Space."

"Napolean Dynomite: A Conversation with Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries"

Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place
Cost: $39.75-49.75

A screening of your favorite comedy if and when you were a teen in the early 2000s, followed by a conversation with actors Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries. (Gries, in case you're unfamiliar, played Uncle Rico.)

Denver Film Festival

Oct. 31 through Nov. 11
Sie Film Center2510 E. Colfax Ave.
McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave.

Red carpet shenanigans at the opening night of the Denver Film Festival at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Nov. 1, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Do any other Denver events have a red carpet? I'm not sure they do. But this one does.

The program won't be released until Oct. 10, and tickets don't go on sale until Oct. 12, but stay tuned to

Warren Miller's "Face of Winter"

Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 16 at 6 and 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3, 6 and 9 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place
Cost: $26.50

You live in Colorado, so even if you don't ski, you probably know what this is about. Warren Miller's ski flicks are always the ski flick of the season. This time, the film is bringing together "new and veteran athletes alike together to pay tribute to the man who started it all."

All the fall things

Here's the Denverite guide to corn mazes, pumpkin patches, haunted houses and more -- including something called Goat City, which we will never stop promoting.

Correction: An earlier version of this guide had the wrong end date for Ai Weiwei's "Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads."

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