Whether they're unwinding from shopping in the Highlands art district, grabbing a bite before seeing a show, or just enjoying a night out with friends, groups flock to Sushi Hai for its fresh sushi and funky atmosphere. Local art flows through this popular Highlands stop, which has been a neighborhood staple for more than a decade. Along with nigiri and sashimi, menu features a vast array of rolls, including a veggie option filled with cucumber, pickled gourd, and sprouts. But chefs also splice together meaty entrees, such as the Hai pork chop served with smoked applewood bacon and savory bread pudding. For a more authentic experience, guests can visit one of the restaurant's three private Tatami rooms, where they abide by the traditional Japanese custom of sitting on the floor and resisting the urge to play Duck, Duck, Goose as full-grown adults.
Two private Tatami rooms are also located downstairs at the Hai Bar, a 3,000-square-foot martini lounge where patrons can either order standalone drinks or pair them with plates of sushi amid music, flat-screen TVs, and lounge seating.
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.
The first Improv comedy club had virtually nothing to do with comedy. Broadway producer Budd Friedman founded the now legendary franchise in 1963 as an intimate spot for performers to eat, drink coffee, and sing along to piano ditties after their shows. Soon after, the club’s first comedian, Dave Astor, performed on a whim to try out new material. The stand-up set was a hit and led to the venue’s eventual transformation into a full-blown comedy club. New York’s hottest comedians would do nearly anything to be featured on the Improv stage; for instance, it's rumored that Lily Tomlin hijacked a parked limousine in order to make a stunning entrance when first meeting Budd.
A recent addition to the respected chain of Improv comedy clubs—where comedic heavyweights such as Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld first started working the stand-up circuit—Denver Improv lives up to the reputation set by its preceding locations by hosting a full calendar of well-known comics and promising up-and-comers. Audience members can fuel laughter with pub grub such as potato skins and pulled pork sandwiches, all while sipping a cocktail to avoid eye contact with the giant rubber chicken sitting at the next table.
Comedians vie for the title of Most "Uncalled Four" in this R-rated comedy game show, but that doesn't mean the audience is there to judge. In fact, audience members are just as guilty as the comics, since they're the ones who come up with the show's questions—questions that voyage into the embarrassing, the obscene, and the just-plain-wrong. The comedians then draw on their own self-made card decks to answer these questions in the worst, and funniest, way possible. Audience members whose questions are selected for the show approach the stage to claim similarly adult-themed prizes.
In reference to the show, Westword says "The jokes tend to be dark, twisted and decidedly uncivil." while other reviewers state "Not your standard stand-up showcase, Uncalled Four is a highly entertaining and dynamic mix of game show, audience participation and stand up. Also, Prizes! "
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Grafenberg teachers have a minimum of five years experience guaranteeing top level instruction, making every level an experience.
Every session ends with a performance so you can test out your new improv chops!
Do you provide any materials? What should your students expect to bring?
Maybe a notebook if you want to take notes.
You'll probably need a pencil or pen too.
If you take notes differently, I would just bring that.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
We want to set a standard in Sketch Comedy and Improv education. We also needed friends and thought this would be a cool way to meet some new people
What do you love most about your job?
All we do is laugh.
That's not a bad job in my book.
The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery eschews campy costumes and plots for an exciting evening of food-accompanied mystery and paranoia, where actors hide among the diners, playing innocent and making everyone a potential suspect. To solve the crime, guests freely interrogate one another, chivvying out clues about the murderer and determining who has a bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Between dramatic deaths and simulated police involvement, guests dig into three-course meals, washed down with bottomless iced tea, coffee, and drinks from the cash bar. The diner who comes closest to solving the mystery through their snooping goes home with a prize basket to show off to their friends or split with the murderer as per their shadowy conspiracy. Prop guns and gunshot sound effects may be used during the performance.