An age-old question has plagued casual dwellers for over a century?why is the 13th floor absent in so many buildings? 13th Floor Haunted House in Denver aims to explain this question by staging a horrifying haunted experience. Designed by world-renowned haunted house designers and featuring makeup and effects from Hollywood special effects artists, the graphic theatrical show takes brave souls on a ride through two new gut-wrenching attractions in 2014?Undead: the Possession and Dwellings of the Dead. The bone-chilling adventure has been met with several accolades, including six consecutive Hauntworld.com honors as one of the best haunts in the U.S.
Just over three decades ago, it seemed that New York, LA, and Chicago had a stranglehold on the standup circuit. For those with guts in need of busting and knees in need of slapping, the only alternatives were treks to the Catskills or nights spent snuggling with a Bob Newhart doll. Lucky for the Denver community, Doug Olson, Edd Nichols, and George McKelvey opened Comedy Works in 1981, the city's first club to specialize only in full-time standup. Unsurprisingly, it transformed the Southwest into a prime destination for the nation's top touring comedians, even landing a spot on USA Today's list of the Top 5 Comedy Clubs in the US.
The downtown location, which still resides in the basement of the Granite Building, has played host to a who's-who of comedy throughout the decades. Roseanne Barr got her start doing open mics there, while Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, and George Lopez have all milked the mile-high elevation for maximum laughs. Now under the ace management of Wende Curtis (one of the country's few female comedy-club owners), Comedy Works has expanded to The Landmark at a second location known as Comedy Works South. The environs are decidedly posher than its predecessor's, with a 380-seat showroom, and accompanying restaurant, lounge, and ballroom. Despite the differences in atmosphere, both locations maintain the club's comedic pedigree and passion for nurturing the next generation of standups.
Every performer has a different goal. Recognizing this, the teaching staff at Academy of the Arts-Denver (each a professional in his or her respective field) designs all of their lesson plans around their students' individual goals. These highly personalized plans shape the approach to the school's age-specific, professional and recreational group acting and vocal classes. The teaching staff also uses their 75 years of accumulated experience to focus on talent development, whether students want to break into the business, or perform for the joy of it. Private lessons help build proficiency in guitar, bass, drums, and music production. Though lessons focus on specific technical training, the teachers encourage creative experimentation no matter the genre. Former students have established careers in TV, Broadway, Film, and Music. As they learn, Academy of the Arts-Denver's students are also encouraged to take part in rehearsals and performances.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in social dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with certified instructors. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
For 25 years, World of Dance has taught ballroom dances including the cha-cha, waltz, salsa, and foxtrot to students whose skill levels range from recreational to competitive. The studio’s approach is simple yet effective. Students typically start with one-on-one or group lessons so they can learn techniques and basic body positions. They then apply what they’ve practiced during the studio’s regular dance parties, performing the waltz to demonstrate their graceful new moves or the tango to fulfill their latent desires to chew on roses.
In February, you can keep up with a trio of slippery-tongued soccer moms as a random Sunday day at the field evolves into an unexpectedly animated adventure. Laugh-inducing ladies Gina Wencel, Megan Van De Hey, and Emily Paton Davies thrill audiences with their suburban housewife hijinks, including gym-teacher seduction, impromptu goal kicking, and nonstop gossiping. Catch the show Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through the month of February. In March, welcome Denver native Nick Ross back to the stage with his nationally acclaimed show Highly Evolved Human. Attempting to resolve the mental fallout of his diagnosis and experience with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Ross's performance is an inspiring and acclaimed comedic romp through the human spirit.