It’s difficult to believe the COVID-19 pandemic has been the dominant feature of our lives for right around a full year. Few industries were stopped dead in their tracks the way the performing arts industry was halted, but at a time when these arts were needed most, artists and entertainers found all kinds of ways to perform and stay connected with audiences.
In recognition of a year of innovation (and with an eye to a brighter future on the horizon), this week’s column is a collection of activities from all over the metro area (and beyond), which spotlight the way performing has changed.
DMNS celebrate Girls & Science with annual event
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is partnering with CBS4 to host the seventh annual Girls & Science Event, held through March 20. This year’s event will be entirely virtual and will feature Virtual Clubhouses, Clubhouse Chats, Stories with Scientists and more.
The event is open to all ages, but activities are oriented to children ages 8 to 18, according to provided information. A particular highlight is the Stories with Scientists events, which are TED-talk style presentations from mentors followed by live chat via IGTV. There will also be more hands-on events including specimen sorting that can be done with goods at home.
For more information, visit dmns.org/girlsandscience.
A new take on classic folktales
Folktales have been around for nearly as long as society itself, and they’re always going through new forms and iterations. Anythink Brighton, 327 E. Bridge St., is tapping into a new storytelling method at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 with its event called Anythink Drive-In: A Wildly Wonderful, Curiously Celestial Adventure in Storytelling.
Created in partnership with Alt Ethos, a Denver-based experiential design studio, the event will feature a variety of folktales - from Rumpelstiltskin to Anansi the Spider - told using light and sound, according to provided information. Attendees can use their car radios to hear a broadcast of the stories, which will be augmented by the visual elements. At the events, attendees will receive special materials and instructions to participate from their vehicles, and costumes are encouraged.
Both events are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required at www.anythinklibraries.org/events. Participants should register once per vehicle.
A revolutionary tea party at the Molly Brown House
Few things are quite as enjoyable as a discussion with close friends about things that you all believe passionately about. The latest exhibit at the Molly Brown House Museum, 1340 Pennsylvania St. in Denver, taps into that same energy with Enter the Conversation: Art of Women’s Rights by Melody Epperson.
The exhibit — which runs through March 14 — celebrates the history of women gathering in clubs and tea parties to strategize in their fight to win the right to vote. Epperson has brought to life an imaginary tea party that features 16 suffragists like Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and features appearances from modern leaders like Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
The exhibit is available to all guests as part of their entry ticket to the museum. Advance ticket purchase is required, as are masks. Call 303-832-4092 ext. 16 or visit www.mollybrown.org for information.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin from New York City
Rap is too sprawling and regionally diverse a genre to have a particular sub-genre encapsulated by a single album. But “FlySiifu’s,” the late-2020 album from Alabama’s Pink Siifu and Virginia’s Fly Anakin, does provide a window into a thriving underground scene that builds audiences slowly on services like Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Those who do sample it will find one of the year’s best rap releases — at times playful and searching. Music that sounds great outdoors but lyrics that can live in your head.
The pair are releasing a new EP of material on Friday, March 19, and at 7 p.m. that same day they’ll host a livestream performance from Corpus Studios in New York City. The duo will be joined by other underground favorites like Mavi, Anklejohn and Remy Banks.
For some fantastic music and a look at great up-and-coming talent, head to https://ronee.bandcamp.com/community.
Streaming style - ‘It’s A Sin’
Most Americans will most likely be familiar with Russel T Davies because of his leadership in bringing Doctor Who back to television screens in 2005. But he’s responsible for some of the best British television of this young century and “It’s A Sin,” his most recent effort, might be his best work to date.
The five-episode show is set in the Britain of the 1980s and follows a group of gay friends who all move to London and face the loss and fear of the AIDS pandemic. Based on Davies’ own memories, it’s an emotional whopper of a show without hitting audiences over the head with the losses the community experienced. Davies and his top-shelf cast (including Olly Alexander and Lydia West) make sure to capture the fun and freedom that so many finally achieved, and then had taken from them.
We’re only a few months into 2021, but this is one of the best things you’ll see all year. Watch it on HBO Max.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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