Sure, downtown Denver is a quick ride from the nearby Lincoln light rail stop, but if you live in Stepping Stone™ you have outstanding theater, dance, music, and other cultural events right outside your door. And good news—you’ll find plenty on the calendar to choose from these days at both nearby venues, the PACE Center and Lone Tree Arts Center.
An acronym for “Parker Arts, Culture, and Events,” PACE offers the best of touring acts as well as local performances, exhibits, and educational programs. The PACE Center is home to the 536-seat Mainstage Theater, an art gallery, dance studio, and other event spaces. It’s located on Parker’s historic Mainstreet, known for its unique shops and restaurants, which translates into the perfect night out: dinner and a show.
At PACE, a new Uncharted Music Series features emerging, off-the-beaten-path talent. On September 17, the four Colorado sisters of SHEL will offer up their infectious indie-folk rhythms and vocals, which meld together classical training and diverse influences. (SHEL stands for Sarah on violin, Hannah on keyboard, Eva on mandolin, and Liza on drums, djembe, and beatboxing.)
The latest free PACE Patio Party is planned for September 28, with live music by Dearling, characterized by powerful vocal dynamics, orchestral guitar arrangements, and lyrical detail. Guests can bring a picnic dinner or purchase snacks and drinks while enjoying the sunset in a laid-back atmosphere.
And now for something completely different. Running from Sept. 30-Oct. 16, the smash musical Spamalot treats lovers of the absurd to a riff on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In it, King Arthur and his loyal servant Patsy try to recruit Knights of the Round Table to join them in Camelot and their quest for the Holy Grail.
Even more choices are available at the Lone Tree Arts Center, near I-25 and Lincoln Avenue. With every seat within 60 feet from the stage, LTAC is the home of intimate concerts with headline performers as well as international and national touring artists.
On September 14, A Taste of Argentine Tango, performed by Parasol Arts, presents different dances and forms of tango, including folk dance, improvised tango, tango vals, milonga with guitarist, tango parody, and group choreography. Enjoy refreshments and chatting with performers afterward.
More dance is afoot, so to speak, with Fiesta Colorado Dance Company’s presentation of Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi on September 18. Joined by the live band Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra, this performance – full of energy and vibrant choreography – is a demonstration of how Mexican folkloric dance embodies the richest artistic manifestations of culture and tradition.
On September 24, pianist and composer Stacey Rose offers a free concert of traditional/contemporary solo works that honor the 85th birthdays of her parents. And on September 27, award-winning National Geographic photographer Steve Winter takes audiences On the Trail of Big Cats. From trekking high in India’s Himalayas in search of rare snow leopards to stalking the elusive jaguar through Latin American jungles, this intrepid explorer ventures far and wide to come face to face with his subjects.
With two renowned event centers practically in the neighborhood, Stepping Stone is quite nicely located for culture and fun. And, of course, the Denver Performing Arts Center, with its offerings of everything from opera to symphony to Broadway musicals, is one carefree light rail ride away too.