Things to do in Denver: Spring 2019 guide to art, music theater and more

Yaxin Luo (right) and her mom, Liyan, inspect art by Andrew Jensfotter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Yaxin Luo (right) and her mom, Liyan, inspect art by Andrew Jensfotter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver, spring is just around the corner (probably).

It’s time for us all to shuffle out of hibernation like so many bald bears. It’s time to consume culture with abandon and without our large coats. It’s time for season openings and world tours and outdoor art.

It’s time for a spring culture guide.


Art

Jordan Casteel: “Returning the Gaze”

Now through Aug. 18
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: $10-13 for non-members, $8-10 for college students and military, free for members and kids 18 and younger

An exhibit of Jordan Casteel's paintings at the Denver Art Museum, Feb. 14, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

An exhibit of Jordan Casteel's paintings at the Denver Art Museum, Feb. 14, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

There probably isn’t a more appropriate title for this homecoming show from Jordan Casteel. The Denver-born-and-raised artist, now living and working in Harlem, has a talent for capturing expressions in oils, and she used it along with her personal relationship with each of her subjects to paint portraits that both invite and challenge your gaze.

“Returning the Gaze” features 30 paintings Casteel made from 2014 to 2018 — two of which were purchased by the Denver Art Museum for its permanent collection.

Amanda Wachob: “Tattoo This” 

Now through May 26
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

Amanda Wachob tattoos Laura Reiter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Amanda Wachob tattoos Laura Reiter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

You know those tattoos that look like watercolor brush strokes? Amanda Wachob pioneered that style. She’s made such a strong career of it that her wait list for a consultation is several months long.

A few of those on the list to get inked got to be part of the exhibit at MCA and, depending on when you’re reading this, you can watch her in action. She’s tattooing at the museum through Feb. 21.

And in addition tattooing human bodies, Wachob works on canvas, leather, silk, paper and fruit.

Yes, fruit. This exhibit features a room full of tattooed lemons. Tattooed lemons!

Lemons tattooed by Amanda Wachob in her exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Lemons tattooed by Amanda Wachob in her exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

“Aftereffect: Georgia O’Keefe and Contemporary Painting”

Now through May 26
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

“Aftereffect” doesn’t pay homage to O’Keefe’s style. You’ll find a variety of work by a dozen artists throughout the exhibit that, according to museum materials, “explore a set of formal qualities pioneered by O’Keeffe and modernists of her circle.” And, yes, you’ll find a few O’Keefe pieces in there as well.

Andrew Jensdotter: “Flak”

Now through May 26
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

Yaxin Luo and her mom, Liyan, inspect art by Andrew Jensdotter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Yaxin Luo and her mom, Liyan, inspect art by Andrew Jensdotter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Andrew Jensdotter creates the kind of art that — more than the usual — makes you wonder about the process. You can see it the way you see geological history in the rock walls of Red Rocks.

The basic description is this: he builds up layers, then carves into them.

The Utah-born CU Boulder MFA graduate, now living and working in Denver and Edwards, is getting his first solo museum exhibition with “Flak.”

“Side Stories”

March 1 to 8
RiNo Art District
Hours: After dark
Cost: Free

Two projections in the 2018 Side Stories exhibition. (Ashley Dean)

Two projections in the 2018 Side Stories exhibition. (Ashley Dean)

For the second year running, some exterior walls of the RiNo Art District will light up with cinematic art every night for a week. “Side Stories” this year will feature the work of eight artists, projected on and around Brighton Boulevard.

The event website did not provide details at the time of publishing, but we’ve got a map and a little about the installations in our preview.

Month of Photography

March and April
Multiple locations

The Month of Photography Denver — which is more than one month long, but whatever — is a biennial celebration of fine art photography. There are too many exhibits, events and collaborations to list here. The good news is you can find them listed here.

My 2 cents: the Juan Flores show at ReCreative and the “Public Domain” show at Dateline both look great, and complementary.

“Nest”

March 9 to 31
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe St.
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Cost: Free

Featuring work by two dozen artists, “Nest” will celebrate “the beautiful, creative chaos” of Denver DIY mainstay Rhinoceropolis and of artist Colin Ward, who died in February of last year.

There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. March 9 and a music event from 7 to 9 p.m. March 19.


Music

Cherry Glazerr

Friday, March 1 at 9 p.m.
Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway
$15-20

Hot off the heels of “Stuffed & Ready,” the Los Angeles trio’s third full-length, Cherry Glazerr hasn’t lost energy. If you’re feeling angry at the world lately, frontwoman Clementine Creevy is your girl and this is your show.

And it’s not just the headliner that makes this one worth your money. Openers Palehound and The Corner Girls are worth the ticket price alone.

Colorado Symphony: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7

Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.
$15-89

If you don’t know you’re Beethoven that well: this is the one featured in the Disney movie “Fantasia” while centaurs and pegasuses and frolicking around. It’s his pastoral symphony. It’s great!

Boettcher Concert Hall. (Courtesy of the CSO)

Boettcher Concert Hall. (Courtesy of the CSO)

Action Bronson

Saturday, March 2 at 8:15 p.m.
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton St.
$39.95-75

It’s wild that Action Bronson has made a pretty long career of sounding like Ghostface Killah while rapping about sex and food — sometimes, uncomfortably, at the same time. But no complaints.

Meek Mill

Tuesday, March 5 at 8 p.m.
Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 N. Clarkson St.

$49.50-229

Meek’s out. Go see Meek.

Noname

Wednesday, March 6 at 8 p.m.
Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
$25-28

Noname jumped from Lost Lake to the Ogden, which should tell you something about how fast her star has risen.

Otherwise, this says it all:

Graves

Saturday, March 9 at 9:30 p.m.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St.
$15-18

For when you just need to dance. Like, really, dance.

Vince Staples

Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m.
Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
$30-35

If you haven’t seen him for yourself yet, maybe you’ve heard the live reviews of Vince Staples. It’s been a mixed bag. But the strength of his catalog and his personality make him always worth the shot.

Slow Caves

Saturday, March 23 at 9 p.m.
Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St.
$15

You can doubly support local music at this album release show (by showing up, then by getting your hands on the album). The Fort Collins-based band is always a rowdy time live.

Ric Wilson

Monday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St.
$10-14

If you haven’t heard of him yet, now’s a good time to check out Chicago rapper Ric Wilson. And if the description “nouveau disco rap superstar, Geneva-visiting activist and community goofball” doesn’t sell you (it really should though), try this:

Colorado Symphony: Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”

Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 31 at 1 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.
$15-89

OK, this one is a tougher sell if you’re not a Symphony Person. (If you are, you don’t need my help anyway.) But trust me that it’s a very lovely suite of pieces composed to capture a tour of an exhibition by artist, architect, and designer Viktor Hartmann.

Hop Along

Tuesday, April 2 at at 8 p.m.
Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave.

$20.75-23

An old-ish but still compelling argument in favor of Hop Along:

Eric B. & Rakim

Tuesday, April 9 at 9 p.m.
Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway
$43.50-79.50

You already know.

Earl Sweatshirt & Friends

Thursday, April 11
Resale only

This one is already sold out, but if you’re willing to brave the resale market, tickets can still be yours. It’s probably worth it if you’re invested in how much Earl has grown as an artist since we were demanding his freedom.

Ex Hex

Monday, April 15 at 8 pm.
Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave.
$18-20

It’s somehow been more than four years since Ex Hex released the excellent “Rips,” but they’ve got a new release in the holster (“It’s Real,” out March 22) and are probably just as powerful a force on stage now as they were then.

Buke & Gase

Tuesday, April 16 at 8 p.m.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St.

$18-20

Want a weird and lovely night in a rock club? This is how you have a weird and lovely night in a rock club.

Sasami

Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m.
Lost Lake, 3602 E. Colfax Ave.
$12-16

Sasami is everywhere, probably without you realizing it — playing keys, bass, and guitar in Dirt Dress and Cherry Glazerr, contributing vocals/string/horn arrangements to studio albums of Vagabon, Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing and Habits Hands. She’s also played French horn in orchestras.

Here, it’s just Sasami, doing Sasami.

The 1975

Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway.
Resale only

This one is also already sold out, but I don’t doubt some of you will splurge for what’s sure to be a dreamy night.

Lizzo

Wednesday, May 1 at 8 p.m.
Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
$27.95-35

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know this is Lizzo’s moment.

She’s Lizzo of “Have you ever seen a bitch play the flute then hit the shoot?!” fame.

She’s Lizzo of New York Magazine cover story fame.

She’s Lizzo of “Juice” fame.

She’s sold out but you can probably still get tickets.

Cinco de Mayo with Los Mocochetes

Sunday, May 5 at 8 p.m.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St.

$10-15

Support local music. Have a good time.

Jenny Lewis

Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m.
Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.
$28.75-30

By now you know whether or not you want to see Jenny Lewis live, but if you don’t, I think you should see Jenny Lewis live.

Denver Philharmonic: Victory

Friday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St.
Free-$25

Just some super galvanizing symphonic music, for cheap. The program includes: Camille Saint-Saëns, “Marche héroïque;” Zoltán Kodály “Háry János” Suite; Ludwig van Beethoven, “Wellington’s Victory;” and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “1812 Overture.”


Stage

“Tour de Force”

Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 9 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St.

$30-120

This tag-team effort from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, the Colorado Ballet and Wonderbound sounds like it’s going to live up to its title.

Per the Colorado Ballet: “The program opens with a new work ‘The MOVE/ment’ choreographed by Cleo Parker Robinson to jazz and soul music, followed by Colorado Ballet performing Amy Seiwert’s ‘Traveling Alone,’ and close with a new work choreographed by Wonderbound Artistic Director Garrett Ammon to Beethoven’s ‘Creatures of Prometheus.'”

“Skeleton Crew”

March 9 to April 14
Curious Theatre Co., 1080 Acoma St.

$20-44

Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau (“Detroit ’64”) will have another play staged at Curious Theatre. “Skeleton Crew” tells the story of Faye, Dez, and Shanita, “a make-shift family of auto workers” in Detroit trying to make it through the Great Recession.

The Curious Theatre Company on Acoma Street near 11th Avenue, Feb. 2, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Curious Theatre Company on Acoma Street near 11th Avenue, Feb. 2, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

“Bluebird’s Castle”

March 14 to 17
Understudy, 890 C 14th St.
$20

A collaboration between Denver Immersive Opera, Whitney Waugh Dance, Chris Bagley and Understudy — this production of the Bartók opera puts the audience in the middle of everything as a man’s new wife discovers his dark secrets.

“Everything Was Stolen”

March 14 to April 6
Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St.
$10-20

Well, this sounds bonkers: “‘Everything was Stolen’ is a piece created from a variety of stolen and original (but mostly stolen) texts, songs, videos, images and ephemera in an evocation of America (which was also stolen – hey!), inspired in part by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, and in part by something American composer John Cage once said: ‘And so it is out of this chaos, this accumulation of history and novelty, that we begin building.'”

“Happy Place”

Wednesday, March 27 at 9 p.m.
Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St.
$12

For one night only, you can see this one-man show by Denver comedian Adam Cayton-Holland, loosely based off his memoir, “Tragedy Plus Time.”

“Hello, Dolly!”

March 27 to April 7
Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St.
$45-155

A classic!

Betty Buckley in Hello, Dolly - National Tour. (Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

Betty Buckley in Hello, Dolly - National Tour. (Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

“The Marriage of Figaro”

Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St.
$25-210

Also a classic. This is something of a rom-com of operas, except instead of a couple meeting-cute and falling in love despite all obstacles, they’re already betrothed and under siege from a man trying to seduce the women.

(Performed in Italian, with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat.)

“Sweat”

April 26 to May 26
Space Theatre, Speer Blvd. and Arapahoe St.
$30-65

This one’s a Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama, so you know it’s good.

In what the New York Times called an “extraordinarily moving drama,” Lynn Nottage explores what happens when a working-class town goes into decline.


Other

Banff Mountain Film Festival

March 1-3
Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place.
$22.50

Back for its 1 billionth year, this international film competition once again presents short films and documentaries about mountain culture, sports and the environment.

Lil Rel

March 7 to 10
Comedy Works, 1226 15th St.
$25-30

You’re most likely to know him as TSA agent Rod Williams in “Get Out,” but Lil Rel has been around longer than that. You don’t get to be the comedic relief in a Jordan Peele horror film without being very good at what you do.

Judah Friedlander

Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave.
Cost: $25

You know the guy. Beard. Hair. Hats. Jokes.

David Sedaris

Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place.
$42-66

If you like his writing, chances are you’re going to like this speaking.

Ron Funches

March 21-23
Comedy Works, 1226 15th St.
$22-28

Funches has been on “Drunk History” and “Blackish” and done voice work for “Bojack Horseman” and “Bob’s Burgers.” I those things are your speed, this show is your speed.

Women + Film

April 9 to 14
Sie Film Center, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. 

Women + Film, a year-round program, presents this six-day festival highlighting documentaries, narratives and short films by and about women.

Details for 2019 are not yet available, but stay tuned.

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