My first concert was Tom Petty at Fiddler’s Green in 1990 when I was 5 years old. At that age I don’t remember much, except how I felt when he played “Free Fallin’.” Hearing everyone singing along in unison showed me how music could bring people together.
That was 27 years ago.
His death last week was another tough loss in a string of monumental musicians we’ve lost, but there was a silver lining: Just like when I was 5, his music brought thousands of people together to find some happiness.
Music was always a gateway for me — it led me to meeting new people, going to concerts and clubs, and any other place I could hear my favorite bands and spend a few moments escaping the world. It also opened the door to musicals, which then pointed me to theater. Some of my favorite musicians are also painters and photographers, so that guided me to art galleries and exhibits.
Fortunately, as a Denver area native, there were plenty of choices and experiences, which have only grown exponentially over the past decade throughout the city and suburbs. Finding the hidden local gems that help build our communities and cultures has become a passion. Art and culture in all its forms binds us in ways that nothing else can.
Through this column — and with your help — I hope to discover those surprises and experiences close to home: the favorite bar or coffee shop, the open mic nights where local talent gets to shine, the music and art in clubs and little theaters, the brew or eats that fit your mood just right.
Let me know what you know. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m excited to explore with all of you.
Cabaret, Sinatra and a Halloween circus
To get things started, here are several local happenings with a twist:
Benchmark Theatre Company is looking to shake things up in the local theater world. It is preparing to take over for Lakewood’s Edge Theater in February with a goal of producing regional premieres and supporting women creatives in theater.
On Oct. 12, the company, started by Haley Johnson and Rachel Bouchard is hosting The Forty West Infusion Fest, which includes vodka tastings of infusions based on Benchmark’s upcoming shows and an evening of food, a chance to win prizes, and a cabaret (www.benchmarktheatre.com for tickets and information).
“We both wanted to do more interesting work and unique scripts,” Johnson explained. “We’re really thrilled about the company of artists we have gathered together and what we can create.”
At Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center on Oct. 13 through 15, Colorado Hall of Fame member and singer extraordinaire Lannie Garrett is performing a Frank Sinatra revue, which will take audiences on a musical story of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ life. For tickets and information, visit www.townhallartscenter.org/tickets/concertsevents/lannie-garrett.
And, finally, during this time of year haunted houses and horror movies abound. But if you visit Broomfield on Oct. 13 and 14, you’ll get scary stories told a new way — at the circus. Imagine that. Iluminar Aerial will tell ancient ghost stories through dance. Go to www.iluminaraerial.com/shows for tickets and information.
Again, help me tell the stories of happenings, trends and people that make up our local cultural communities. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached email@example.com.