It's Christmas in August! Celebrate with ten items from Walmart's closed convention

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Colorado Convention Center, where Walmart is holding a closed-door Holiday Fair to prepare its employees for the big, big season ahead. The event has drawn close to 5,000 people to town to preview new merchandise in time (read: months early) for Christmas, and one of them supplied Westword with a sneak preview of what Santa might be delivering this year...if he shops at Walmart. Continue reading for photos of some of the fair's most notable goods.

See also:
- Coming to a convention center near you: five thousand Walmart employees


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What's in your bag? Local artist ASiEL and visitor Brooke Dawson look out of this world!

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The summer continues to be a scorcher, and while many of us are too hot to do anything useful, cooler heads are using this time to plan ahead for the future. Take a look at this week's street-style subjects, who prove that you can be productive and look good at the same time.

See also:
- Denver musicians weigh in on Pride, being openly gay artists in 2012 and Freddie Mercury
- Street Style: Crystals, positive energy and a less-is-more mentality
- What's in your bag? Spirituality, Chipotle and more!


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It's sink or swim for the twelve designers in Frock Out 2012: Come Undone

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Are we there yet? Frock Out organizers Chris Loffelmacher and Brandi Shigley strike a Titanic pose.
Half the fun of Frock Out is just getting there: The occasional fashion extravaganza hosted by the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation and Fresh City Life will return on April 19 with a romantic Titanic theme. But before that ship sets sail, you can get onboard.

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Photos: Steampunks take over the Tivoli Student Union

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AnomalyCon 2012, Denver's "first and only steampunk convention," came down March 23 through March 25 at the Tivoli Student Union. The highlight of the weekend-long string of conferences, celebrity appearances and networking was Saturday night's Grand Ball; Emily Driskill brings these photos back from the party.

See the full slide show: A steampunk grand ball at AnomalyCon.

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Colorado's small theaters have a meeting of the minds

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A group of local theater owners, actors and the newly-minted president of the Colorado Theatre Guild met at Denver's Dangerous Theatre Sunday night to share ideas on how to work together to share resources and information. This wasn't an official Colorado Theatre Guild meeting, but rather a gathering inspired by several recent depressing developments in the theater community, including the closing of Paragon and the loss of John Moore as a full-time theater writer at the Denver Post.

And, of course, there was plenty of talking about how to how to get more butts-in-seats at performances.

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Photos: Paper Fashion Show at the Denver Center

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The Art Directors Club of Denver presented the eighth annual Paper Fashion Show Thursday, March 15, 2012 at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Guests were treated to 50 original fashion designs created (almost) entirely of paper. Flowers, wings, lace and all assortments of gowns, dresses, corsets and accessories found their way on the runway in every color of the rainbow. Jim Wills brings back these photos for Westword: Slide show: 2012 Paper Fashion Show.

Below are a few highlights.

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LIDA and Control Group, together again

Categories: Backstage

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It was always kinda, sorta meant to be, but late last week, the official announcement was made: The LIDA Project theater troupe led by Brian Freeland (a member of Westword's Mastermind class of 2009) and the Control Group Productions avant-garde dance ensemble led by Patrick Mueller are forming a partnership at LIDA's new space in the Laundry on Lawrence. Both spent some time in the last year hunting for new spaces (Control Group helped LIDA bid its old BINDERY | space location farewell with a wild finale); it took both organizations a while to find exactly what worked. To explain, Mueller offers this self-conducted interview:

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Journalist Sonia Nazario and Su Teatro shed light on the horrors and the uplifting moments of migrant life

Categories: Backstage, Theater

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James Denton

The play Enrique's Journey, adapted by Su Teatro artistic director Anthony Garcia from the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nazario, debuted last weekend in Denver, bringing to light the harrowing story of Central American immigrants who risk life and limb riding the tops of freight trains north, in search of a better life in the United States. As reported by Nazario, who joined those migrants on their journey, the dangerous trip, riddled with gun-toting gangsters who control the train tops, offers an incredible look at just how far people will go to escape the poverty they left behind. Using her sharp reporting, the play morphed into something dramatically palpable in Garcia's hands.


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Paragon Theatre closes its season with a sure thing, then heads to RiNo for another

Categories: Backstage, Theater

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Beginning Saturday, Paragon member and executive director Michael Stricker joins co-founder Warren Sherrill and Emily Paton-Davies in the troupe's production of Jez Butterworth's Parlour Song, the last show of its present season, as well as the last to be performed in a sublet venue (in this case, the Kim Robards dance space). That's right: After ten years of roaming Denver theater and dance spaces, Paragon will be settling into its own home, sweet home in the RiNo District when it debuts its next season in early 2012. But more on that later.



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Annette Roman on dysfunctional families, swastikas and being Hitler's Li'l Abomination

Categories: Backstage, Theater

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No joke, Annette Roman's father was a Holocaust survivor and her mother once belonged to the Hitler Youth. It's a tricky tightwire to balance, but Roman puts it all into perspective in her solo performance, Hitler's Li'l Abomination, currently showing at the Boulder Fringe Festival. And though she worries that you almost have to have a German-Jewish background to truly get the comic undertone of the piece without being offended, she also hopes audiences will embrace the way she's chosen to deal with a complex and difficult story.

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