In many cases, listening to a podcast is a passive activity – something people listen to while exercising, sitting in the car, or doing chores. But The Bright Lights of Denver, a new podcast sponsored by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Program “Powered By Off-Center,” is a show that engages the listener.

“The Bright Lights of Denver” tells the fictional story of the aspiring writer and journalist Ryan Streeter, who first studies the history of the Mile-High City and suddenly investigates the sudden disappearance of a friend.

The four-episode series, designed by Kenny Moten and Jessica Hindsley, will have its fully produced world premiere in June. The project is one of two selected out of 39 entries in the Powered By Off-Center program. Charlie Miller, off-center curator, stated that the residency program for local artists launched in 2018 culminated in two fully supported workshops at the DCPA. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was adjusted to suggest safe theater experiences that could be fully produced at the DCPA in June.

“The aim was to inspire new ideas, forge new creative partnerships and contribute to Colorado’s local artistic ecology,” he added.

The prerequisites for this year’s program entries included being at the center of the theater, putting the audience at the center of the story, being able to run for at least a month and accepting at least 1,000 spectators during the run.

“Of all of the proposed projects, The Bright Lights of Denver met all of our selection criteria best,” said Miller. “It tells a compelling story and explores topics that are very relevant to Denver today. And it gives the audience exciting opportunities to go out into the world and engage with the characters and the story. “

Not only do the audience listen, they can interact with the characters through their Instagram accounts and connect with other fans of the show on the Bright Lights Facebook group. There will also be two Zoom question and answer sessions with the main characters, and QR codes will be placed in town on the floor outside of any major location the characters on the podcast visit. Scanning these QR codes with your phone will unlock additional parts of the story that will help solve the puzzle, according to Miller.

“’The Bright Lights of Denver’ is a great story and a fascinating puzzle. But it’s also a lot more than that, ”said Miller. “Real interviews with city officials and local experts are woven through the episodes as the main character examines serious issues Denver faces: city growth, the lack of affordable housing, and gentrification.”

For more information on the podcast, visit www.denvercenter.org.

Grocery shopping takes place outdoors in City Park

The relaunched City Park Farmers Market opened on May 15th and is held every Saturday through October 30th from 8am to 1pm at 2551 E. Colfax Ave in Denver. The market will feature more than 60 Colorado-based food startups, established brands, and artisans. All participating companies are part of the agricultural industry, in the form of the food they produce or through products such as botanical soaps, flowers or zero waste supplies.

In addition to the traditional market, there will be a variety of entertainment experiences including a donation-based yoga class with Big Power Yoga and a schedule of regular live performances by local musicians.

All details can be found at www.CityParkFarmersMarket.com.

Clarke’s Concert of the Week – Young Thug from the Wiltern

To simply refer to Young Thug as a rapper is a disservice to the Atlanta born musician for taking hip hop into any form, and if that means including elements like pop or even country then so be it. He proved to be one of the most influential musicians of the 2010s and I hope that he will continue to push himself and his colleagues forward in the years to come.

That year he released his second album “Slime Language” and celebrated the list of artists he has on his YSL Records label. And on Friday, May 21st, at 7 p.m., Thugger will broadcast a live concert from the famous Wiltern Theater in LA.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his famous friends showed up for a song or two. So get your seat for what is sure to be a great show at https://youngthug.veeps.com/.

Streaming style – Film on the Rocks

Things are getting familiar again at Red Rocks as concerts return in a slightly different form, and Film on the Rocks is back, although it will (mostly) stick to last year’s drive-in approach. The new summer mainstay season kicks off on Wednesday May 26th with a slew of bulletproof classics like Jaws, The Sandlot, Aliens and many more.

Entrance is at the Amphitheater at 18300 W. Alameda Parkway in Morrison, Lower South Lot 2 Parking Lot, with audio transmission over a specific VHF radio frequency. There will be three performances in the amphitheater – “Casino Royale” on July 12th, “Jurassic Park” on July 19th and “The Princess Bride” on August 2nd.

Tickets and information can be found at www.redrocksonline.com/film/.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture is weekly. He can be reached at [email protected]