Veda Salon and Spa Introduces the Mandala Club, an Urban Oasis

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All photos by Mauricio O. Rocha
CEO of Veda Spa and Salon Carrie Perkins outside 1717 Champa Street.
Veda Salon and Spa, a small, Colorado-based chain, has had a location in the Hotel Monaco for almost two decades -- but the downtown Denver spa just launched a new VIP program, The Mandala Club, which offers amenities that are guaranteed to calm your chaotic urban life. We recently visited Veda and chatted with CEO Carrie Perkins about the spa's services and the new club.

See also: Pura Vida's Sunday Afternoon Meltdown Invites Yogis to Decompress and Meditate in style

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Photos: Behind the scenes and on the runway of American Crew's All-Star Challenge

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All photos by Mauricio O. Rocha
It was a battle of the bold in Denver on Sunday, November 3, when American Crew 2013's opening night featured the announcement of the U.S and Canadian All-Star Challenge winners, narrowed down to six hairstylists from hundreds of competitors. The hairstylists displayed their talents at a men's-only show that highlighted the worldwide debut of "The Independent," the company's 2014 collection. Forty models saluting men from all walks of life strutted the runway during the year's biggest celebration of men's hair styling before an audience of almost 500. Keep reading to see candid backstage moments and view the talent on the runway.

See also: Photos: On the men's fashion runway of the 2012 American Crew Face Off

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Now Showing: Tony Garcia and Tria Xiong

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Tony Garcia, with rifle, in Su Teatro's "Chicano History 101," 1986.
For this year's Now Showing, Westword's fall arts guide, we asked artistic movers and shakers to answer a few questions about the state of the arts, both locally and around the world. We'll be rolling out their answers over the next few weeks in pairs that combine both veterans and newcomers in similar disciplines. Today, we hear from independent theater directors Tony Garcia and Tria Xiong.

See also: Now Showing: Chip Walton and Brian Freeland.


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100 Colorado Creatives: Burlesque and cabaret queen Cora Vette

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TL Gallegos Photography.
Cora Vette and the Hot Rods.
#42: Cora Vette

Cora Vette, aka Reyna Von Vette, is larger than life, with a big sassy voice, a ribald sense of humor and a sparkly way with a needle and thread, which all come in handy when she tackles her many roles as a burlesque-show hostess-with-the-mostest, costume-maker and show-tune belter. She's the complete package, and when you see her in action onstage, you have no doubt about who's running the show...which she does, regularly, here in town with her own burlesque troupes and on the road at burlesque fests across the country.

Her newest local weekly show, the retro-inspired RestoMod, opens tonight at the VooDoo Comedy Playhouse (see below for more details from the horse's mouth); to note the occasion, we asked Vette to tackle our 100CC questionnaire. Read on -- the lady has a lot to say.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Michelle Baldwin


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Now Showing: Kent Thompson and Emily Tarquin

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Denver Center Theatre Company
Kent Thompson greets participants at the 2012 Colorado New Play Summit.
For this year's Now Showing, Westword's fall arts guide (you'll find it tucked into our September 26 issue), we asked artistic movers and shakers to answer a few questions about the state of the arts, both locally and around the world. We'll be rolling out their answers over the next few weeks in pairs that combine both veterans and newcomers in similar disciplines. Today, we hear from two movers at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Kent Thompson and Emily Tarquin.

See also: Now Showing: Nancy Smith and Patrick Mueller

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100 Colorado Creatives: Michelle Baldwin

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#52: Michelle Baldwin

Seems like burlesque shows are a dime a dance these days in Denver. But back in the twentieth century, real vintage burlesque had pretty much died out here, along with the Curtis Street girly shows of a bygone era, after changing times and urban renewal wiped away downtown's tawdry marquees and neon lights. That all changed again in the late '90s, when Denverite and burlesque scholar Michelle Baldwin, aka Vivienne VaVoom, sparked a local neo-burlesque revival.

See also:
- Naked Launch: Burlesque...As It Was
- Burlesquer Bares Brains: Michelle Baldwin and her troupe have peel appeal.
- Michelle Baldwin: I want people to feel like they're part of my party


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The Book of Mormon is coming back to Denver!

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Denver Center Attractions.

Remember The Book of Mormon? The musical from Coloradans and Broadway darlings Matt Stone and Trey Parker flew through here just last summer, electrifying Denver audiences, or at least the folks who were lucky to snag its fast-disappearing tickets. But if you missed it the first time around, here's your chance to try, try again: Denver Center Attractions announced this morning that Mormon will return to Denver this fall for a run from October 22 through November 24 at the Buell Theatre. Tickets go on sale to subscription holders first, on April 8; public ticket sales will follow at a later date, to be determined.

See also:
- The Book of Mormon really is that good
- In honor of Book of Mormon, here's a pop history of religious satire
- The Book of Mormon opening night: What the ticket holders had to say


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Curious Theatre Company announces its 2013-2014 season lineup, and it's a stunner

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Reading theater reviews in the New York Times, you often find yourself suffering intense pangs of envy for those friends living there. You'll never see this fiercely confrontational drama or that hilarious but profound comedy, you think wistfully. Everything exciting is going on miles and miles away.

But year after year, Curious Theatre Company soothes those pangs by bringing in some of the most intriguing contemporary playwrights around -- including those you've seen so lavishly lauded in the Times. The 2013-2014 season is no exception.

See also:
- Best Theater Season - 2012: Curious Theatre Company
- Curious Theatre Company starts its new season with a new look
- Curious Theatre brings painter Mark Rothko to life in Red


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Meet Joey, the star of War Horse

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All photos by Mauricio Rocha
It's not often that a performer lands a star role, yet no one recognizes that performer's face -- or, more accurately, three faces. But that's the case with Joey, the title character of War Horse, now playing at the Buell. Joey is a life-sized puppet created by the Handspring Puppet Company, which brings a breathing, galloping, charging horse to life on the stage for this production. Continue reading to learn about the three puppeteers in charge of Joey the War Horse, how they handle their unusual role, and why they find it so rewarding.

See also:
-The bombastic War Horse is classic Spielberg
-War Horse @ Temple Buell Theatre
-Germinal Stage is leaving its theater building, but the memories play on

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Control Group Productions views dance globally this weekend at work | space

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It's no easy task to open a planetary cultural dialogue in landlocked Denver, a place where members of an already strong arts community are fiercely, and perhaps rightly, protective of their own. But Patrick Mueller of the dance and movement ensemble Control Group Productions thinks a more continental mindset might infuse the scene with fresh perspectives, without ignoring what's already here.

Beginning tonight, he'll be participating with Canadian dancers Eve Garnier and Martin Bélanger in Direct from Montreal: International Dance at work | space Denver, a cultural exchange he says has been a long time coming. Funded by a Western States Arts Federation grant, the program, which continues at work | space through Saturday, features three well-developed solo performances by Mueller and the other dancers, and a looser collaborative work-in-progress.

See also:
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Patrick Mueller, Control Group Productions
- Romance in the Air
- BINDERY's Last Dance: Patrick Mueller on the future of Control Group


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