A performance at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Getting the Jump on 2023: Great lineup of local culture

New year’s resolutions are no good unless you follow through, so if “adding more culture” was part of your list, we can help you stay committed. Get out your calendar and get ready to invite your friends:

Promotional poster for Alma

Photo courtesy of Curious Theatre

Curious Theatre: Alma

For those fortunate theatre aficionados who attended the DCPA Theatre Company’s 2020 Colorado New Play Summit, you have already heard of Alma by Benjamin Benne. This heart-warming play focuses on a first-generation American whose hopes for her future differ from those of her mother…the very person who wanted to give her the American Dream. Directed by Denise Yvette Serna, Alma is a regional premiere presented by Curious Theatre, January 14-February 18.

Promotional poster for Our Town

Photo courtesy of Arvada Center

Arvada Center: Our Town

For those who want to see theatre at its best, the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities presents Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Called “the greatest American play ever written,” this classic encapsulates one couple through adolescence, marriage and great loss. The circle of life depicted in the three-act play holds a universal, timeless appeal that makes audiences more fully appreciate what they have. Our Town plays the Black Box Theatre February 24-May 21.

Promotional image for Cinderella at the Colorado Ballet

Photo courtesy of Colorado Ballet

Colorado Ballet: Cinderella

The beloved story of Cinderella — orphaned by her father, scorned by her stepmother, and guided by a fairy godmother — comes to life on stage in the Colorado Ballet’s production of Cinderella. Featuring choreography by Ben Stevenson set to Prokofiev’s score, Cinderella loses a slipper and catches a prince in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House from March 10-19.

Promotional poster for Disney PRIDE in Concert

Photo courtesy of Denver Gay Men’s Chorus

Denver Gay Men’s Chorus: Disney PRIDE in Concert

In a Colorado premiere, the 140-member Denver Gay Men’s Chorus takes to the stage in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to present Disney PRIDE in Concert. Presented March 31-April 1, the concert will feature a 25-piece orchestra, choreography, a multi-media presentation from the Disney archives, and music from favorite films including The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Coco, and Wreck-It Ralph.

Promotional image for Turnadot, Opera Colorado

Photo courtesy of Opera Colorado

Opera Colorado: Turandot

Opera Colorado’s 40th anniversary season concludes with Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot. Third time’s the charm in this opera when Prince Calàf correctly answers three riddles posed by Princess Turandot to discourage eligible suitors. But once successful, Calàf poses his own riddle to his would-be bride — to discover his name. Performed in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat, audiences will enjoy a breathtaking production all in the name of love. Turandot plays May 6-14 in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

A performance at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival

CU Presents: Colorado Shakespeare Festival

This summer’s Colorado Shakespeare Festival has more than enough options to fill your calendar — four times more! Choose from one of three Shakespearean classics and another inspired by the Bard: Much Ado About Nothing (June 11-August 13), The Winter’s Tale (June 24-August 12), King Lear (July 8-August 12) and One Man, Two Guvnors (July 22-August 13).

Promotional poster for Romeo & Juliet at the Central City Opera

Romeo and Juliet. Photo courtesy of Central City Opera

Central City Opera: Summer Festival

In case you don’t get your fill of Shakespeare at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, save space on your dance card for Central City Opera’s Summer Festival. This three-show series features two Shakespearean tragedies, Romeo and Juliet (June 24-August 5) and Othello (July 15-August 6), an uplifting version of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate (July 1-August 5). All performances take place in the company’s historic 1878 opera house.

Promotional poster for A Midsummer Night's Dream at Phamaly

Photo courtesy of Phamaly

Phamaly: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Phamaly Theatre Company returns to the DCPA with its summer production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If you’ve heard the phrase, “The course of true love never did run smooth,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream is where it all started. Two men, two women, two lover’s triangles, and one mischievous fairy. See how the romantic chaos is untangled with A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays the Kilstrom Theatre August 17-September 2.

Beetlejuice stands in front of a cloudy background in the Broadway National Tour

Alex Brightman in Beetlejuice. Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2019

Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Beetlejuice

Based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film, this hilarious musical tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes. With an irreverent book, an astonishing set, and a score that’s out of this Netherworld, Beetlejuice plays the Buell Theatre September 5-17. 

Promotional image for Sondheim on Sondheim

Photo courtesy of Cherry Creek Theatre

Cherry Creek Theatre: Sondheim on Sondheim

Presented in partnership with the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center, Sondheim on Sondheim is the story of the famed songwriter in his own words. The late Broadway composer penned the music for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods among others. Celebrate his legacy with the story of his life as only he could write it. Sondheim on Sondheim plays the Pluss Theatre weekends running October 27-November 19.

Exterior of Sie FilmCenter

Sie FilmCenter

Denver Film Festival

While dates have not been announced, it’s a safe bet that the 46th annual Denver Film Festival will return in November for 12 days featuring more than 250 films! Held in venues across the city including the Sie FilmCenter and Ellie Caulkins Opera House, this highly acclaimed festival is the largest of its kind in the region.

Colorful lights cover the flowers and trees at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens

Holiday Favorites

While it’s a bit premature to guarantee the selection for Denver’s 2023 holiday section, we’re hedging our bets that some of these favorites will return to warm our hearts:

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance: Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum

Colorado Ballet: The Nutcracker

DCPA Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol

Denver Botanic Gardens: Blossoms of Light

Denver Zoo: Zoo Lights

For a current event calendar in the metro Denver area, go to Visit Denver. To explore the 300+ cultural organizations in the seven-county region — many of which offer free or reduced-price admission, go to SCFD.