Eugene Cordero on Drunk History, Andy Juett and the High Plains Comedy Festival

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Eugene Cordero is an improviser, actor and comedian who developed his skills in the comedy laboratory of the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. He's appeared in films like Kings of Summer and Furry Vengeance, had a recurring role on the Showtime series House of Lies, and also done bits on Comedy Central's Kroll Show and Key & Peele. Westword caught up with Cordero for a phone interview before he joins the 65 other comics descending on Denver for this weekend's High Plains Comedy Festival to discuss following the cues of soused storytellers on Drunk History and going to high school with HPCF co-owner Andy Juett.

See also: Kate Berlant on Returning to the High Plains Comedy Festival and Enjoying Confusion

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Kate Berlant on Returning to the High Plains Comedy Festival and Enjoying Confusion

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Kate Berlant's performances defy easy categorization, full of verbal non sequiturs and tonally absurd. She's crafted a truly sui generis comedic persona untethered to the traditions of the surprisingly hidebound medium of standup. An NYU alumnus, Berlant gained renown in the New York comedy scene, earning glowing (if befuddled) profiles in Playboy and the New York Times. A highlight of last year's High Plains Comedy Festival, Berlant has a groundswell of fans in Denver's comedy community who turned out to see her at one of the first Sexpot Comedy showcases. Westword caught up with Berlant before she returns to Denver for this weekend's High Plains Festival to discuss touring with musicians, finding her unique style, and her contingent of bro fans.

See also: Pete Holmes on the High Plains Comedy Festival and Silver Linings

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Pete Holmes on the High Plains Comedy Festival and Silver Linings

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Pete Holmes is a comedian whose irrepressible spirit has endeared him to audiences nationwide. His last special, Nice Try, the Devil, aired last year on Comedy Central to widespread acclaim; we named it one of the best comedy specials of 2013. Until a couple of months ago, Holmes also hosted the Conan O'Brien-produced talk show The Pete Holmes Show on TBS; his podcast, You Made It Weird, continues to feature in-depth interviews. Holmes is In town this week to co-headline the locally produced High Plains Comedy Festival with his friends and early colleagues Kumail Nanjiani and T.J. Miller. Westword caught up with Holmes to discuss doing festivals with his friends, the silver linings in the aftermath of his show's cancellation, and Adam Cayton-Holland's ridiculous name.

See also: The ten best comedy events in Denver this August

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Five People to Watch at the International Aerial Dance Festival 2014

Categories: Dance, Festivals

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Photo Courtesy of Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance Festival
Cyr wheel master Sam Tribble, running circles around the stage.
You see aerial dance in circuses and burlesque shows, at gymnastics meets and even on the formal dance stage -- but it wasn't always so. And as Nancy Smith of Boulder's Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance will attest, aerial dance has not only grown in stature in this country, but it's part of an international community that could become the next big thing in performance.

Each year, Smith invites the best of the best in the field to Colorado for the Aerial Dance Festival, two weeks of instruction, networking and public shows. "You won't be able to see these performances anywhere else," she says. "This group of artists might be blocked together in performances only one time."

We asked Smith for her list of the fest's heaviest hitters; following is a rundown of the top five.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance


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Five Things You Didn't Know About the Sculptures in Denver's Burns Park

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Denver Arts & Venues
Roger Kotoske's piece in 1968.
Burns Park fills the triangle of hillside defined by Colorado Boulevard to the west, Alameda Avenue to the south and Leetsdale Drive, which runs diagonally from northwest to southeast. The park is notable for being home to a suite of mostly minimalist sculptures, some of which have been on the site since 1968. This Saturday, August 9, there will be a festival at Burns Park called Experience 1968, which is free and open to the public. In addition to celebrating the existing pieces, the event features six artists --Trine Bumiller, Claudia Mastrobuono, Nicole Banowetz, Matt Scobey, Nikki Pike and Tara Rynders - -who will be creating temporary works, performances and music in honor of Burns Park and what's happened there in the intervening years. The event, sponsored by Denver Arts & Venues, runs in the park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tickets are free and may be ordered online, but I've got a feeling you could just show up.

And now, five things you may not know about Burns Park.

See also: A Love Letter to Denver, the City I Used to Know

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Photos: The colors and cultures of Asia at the 2014 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

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Lions and dragons and boats took over Sloan's Lake Park this past weekend as thousands braved the heat to eat, shop and play at the 2014 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. The culture of the Philippines was showcased this year, but entertainment included everything from Japanese taiko drumming and martial arts to a wide, pan-Asian slice of traditional dances -- and, as always, the food courts were a major draw. Photographer Jake Shane caught the sheer variety of the fest in these photos and more.

See also: Top ten reasons a man will appreciate the Renaissance Festival

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Cinema Q will chronicle Boulder's forty-year legacy of same-sex marriage

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Limited Partnership
Despite all the hoopla about Hillary Hall issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Boulder, marriage equality is not a new concept in that town. As Westword has reported, Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Clela Rorex issued the first same-sex marriage licenses in the country in the mid-1970s. Although the effort was short-lived, the results of Rorex's pioneering activism have been chronicled in Limited Partnership, the closing-night documentary at Cinema Q, the SIE FilmCenter's annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival.

See also: Boulder County Clerk isn't horsing around with same-sex license deadline

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Adam Cayton-Holland on doubling down for High Plains Comedy Festival's second year

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Mindy Tucker

Adam Cayton-Holland is a comedian, podcaster and former Westword scribe who forged his craft in ego-battering Colfax open mics before co-founding The Grawlix with Ben Roy and Andrew Orvedahl, a union that has produced a self-titled parodic web series and Denver's best monthly standup showcase -- which just so happens to be tonight at the Bug Theater at 10:30 p.m. Cayton-Holland has amassed an enviable list of TV credits, delivering strong sets on shows Conan and The Pete Holmes Show, while steadfastly residing in his native Denver, where the outspoken baseball fan recently realized his lifelong dream of throwing out the opening pitch at a Rockies game after a long social media campaign. And Cayton-Holland's brainchild, The High Plains Comedy Festival, continues to thrive under his quiet but determined stewardship, with the second edition set for August 22-23. The unbelievably stacked lineup includes returning champions from last year's fest, like Beth Stelling, Sean Patton, Kate Berlant, Ian Douglas Terry and Cameron Esposito, in addition to Silicon Valley's Kumail Nanjiani and T.J. Miller as well as ringers like Chris Fairbanks, Baron Vaughn and the top-billed Pete Holmes.

Westword recently met up with Cayton-Holland at the favored Baker haunt and High Plains venue Mutiny Information Cafe to discuss his post-surgery Frankenfoot and doubling down for the festival's second year.

See also: High Plains Comedy Festival explodes in Denver -- and the jokes still echo

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Longmont's Front Range Film Festival returns for a second run this weekend

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Jessica Kooiman
A still from the film The Forgotten Kingdom, screening on Saturday, June 28 at 7 p.m. at the Central Presbyterian Church in Longmont.
Coloradans like to celebrate their state almost as much as they like to live in it. Longmont's second annual Front Range Film Fest, running Thursday through Saturday, "Connects the Front Range to Film," with three feature-length films and a series of shorts, most of which are by local filmmakers.

"Our main priority as a film festival is showcasing films that have a connection to Colorado," Jessica Kooiman, the festival's organizer, says.

See also: The Colorado Theatre Guild announces this year's Henry Award nominations

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Photos: The rainbow colors of Denver PrideFest

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In 2014, the members of Denver's LGBTQ community have a lot to celebrate. But their political struggles aren't over, either. And that's what Denver PrideFest was all about this past weekend: a blend of celebrating and raising voices toward an improved future. Thousands gathered in Civic Center Park and marched up Colfax Avenue, letting it all hang out as their rainbow flags flew; photographer Ken Hamblin brought back these shots from the festivities.

See also: The people of Westword Music Showcase 2014


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