Playbill: This week's Denver-area dance and drama picks

James O'Hagan-Murphy and Len Matheo are Felix and Oscar in Miners Alley's The Odd Couple.
From a special storytelling spectacular with The Narrators at Buntport to a summer new-play festival at Edge Theatre, this week's performing arts calendar has the proverbial something for everyone. Here are three more ways to stay busy with hot-weather diversions.

See also: On the Hot Seat: Who Will Sing For Lena?

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Playbill: This week's performing arts picks
Gruesome Playground Injuries, Dairy Center for the Arts.
From participatory performance art on a stage in a picture window to an improvised gag-fest about the pitfalls of speed dating, there are many ways to find relief from the summer heat, whether it's in a gallery environment or a dark theater. Here are a few of the coolest performing-arts options this week.

See also: The Right Note: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Playbill: Three ways to enjoy the performing arts in Denver this week

Photo by Lauren Harper
Daughter Cells Dance and artist Sabin Aell, Ubuntu, BMoCA.
Perhaps it's the pull of longer days and glorious nights that shuts down local stages in the summertime. But there are still places where you can catch a great musical or a dance performance when the heat of the day begins to subside. Here are our picks for this week.

See also: Artistes Nouveaux at the Aurora Fox

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Playbill: This week's dance and drama picks

Categories: Dance, Theater

I Hate Hamlet, Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
The curtains never really go down on Denver's stages, even in the summer, when some companies take a break -- but others launch special festivals. Here are a few ways to be transported by music, dance, comedy and drama this week.

See also: Ch-Ch-Changes: (the world we've created) at the Studio Loft

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Julia Kay on dance, pointing your toes and "Welcome to the Madhouse"

Categories: Dance

Julia Kay of Point Your Damn Toes.
Why is the dance company whose "Welcome to the Madhouse" plays in Longmont this weekend called Point Your Damn Toes? Founder-director Julia Kay laughs. "We first started dancing together two or three years ago, and when we decided to become a company, I was bouncing back and forth among names," she explains. "Some of our dancers aren't technically trained, and there was a lot I'd remind them to do. I'd keep yelling, 'Point your damn toes,' and that became a joke, and kind of stuck."

See also:
Another 100 Colorado Creatives -- Kim Olson

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Kim Olson

Photo by Frank Sygusch.
#77: Kim Olson

Dancer/choreographer Kim Olson founded SWEET EDGE ten years ago in Boulder as an interdisciplinary vision built on a foundation of collaboration and trust. "The name derives from a state of being -- where change is constant and movement fundamental. We shift, merge, adapt, step out of the known, take risks and ask why -- this is the Dance. For me, the  SWEET EDGE happens in the space between what is and what can be." That's how she describes the tight-knit ensemble's mission in her written statement, and it's a credo that's taken SWEET EDGE, now based in Denver, beyond all limits.

How does Olson keep the ideas flowing through that unknown space? Learn more by reading her 100CC questionnaire.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Patrick Mueller, Control Group Productions

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Laura Ann Samuelson
Photo by A. Prairie
Joanna Rotkin, Laura Ann Samuelson, Johannah Franke and Margaret Harris in Let Them Eat Cake.
#86: Laura Ann Samuelson

Laura Ann Samuelson is much more than a dancer and choreographer: She's an interdisciplinary collaborator in performance who also directs her own company, Hoarded Stuff, when she isn't working with others. On her horizon? As she discusses below as part of her 100CC questionnaire, Samuelson will curate the Failure Festival in November, a series of performances designed to show how failure isn't necessarily a bad thing in the arts.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Tara Rynders

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Tara Rynders
Photo by Claire Roeth
#88: Tara Rynders

Dancer Tara Rynders is on a global mission to bring her moves right out into the streets, and she's been doing it, country by country, since 2011, when she launched You & Me, an ongoing series of site-specific interactive performances that's been on the road ever since. Now she's back in Denver, preparing to travel abroad -- but not before hosting a round of intimate You & Me performances and dining this weekend and next, featuring a multidisciplinary pool of regional artists in a relaxed setting. Visit You & Me online for more information and tickets; for more about the artist, here's her 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Jean Smith

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MCA Denver selects finalists for Twelve & a Half Days of Xmas LIVE!

Atomic Gracie
The results are in, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver's Twelve and a Half Days of Xmas LIVE! has selected the dozen performers who will rock the museum's modernist atrium throughout the holiday season. The performers each earn a $50 honorarium as they compete for the winning prize of $500, and with acts ranging from the holiday-inspired burlesque of Gigi D'Lovely to the self-explanatory Crazy Gorilla Drummer, the dozen days of Christmas should be filled with all sorts of appealing weirdness. We spoke with MCA director of programming Sarah Kate Baie to hear about how the museum found the acts in Denver's very diverse arts scene.

See also: MCA Denver seeking entries for holiday performance contest (no explosives, please)

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The Artsmyths costume shop is puttin' on the ritz at the Mercury Cafe

Valerie Photogoddess
Some of last year's costumes.

Halloween is long gone, but costume fiends don't care: they're always on the hunt for the next party. Which is why the Denver mask shop ArtSmyths is presenting Puttin' On The Ritz at the Mercury Café this Saturday, November 30.

ArtSmyth's owner, Tiffany Smyth, is throwing Jazz-era dead-celebrities funeral party, to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the shop. It's the third time that the store has celebrated its birthday in this way.

See also: The Ten best stores on Broadway

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