Every artist, comedian or musician learns to fly in their respective careers on the wings of humble beginnings. Amateur nights and open mic nights offer up-and-coming talent the opportunity to step into the spotlight and put their skills to the test. Denver boasts a wide range of options for those eager to take the stage to showcase their talent. The compiled list below presents just a few of the local hotspots that open their doors and lend their mics in hopes of discovering fresh new talent.
1226 15th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Comedy Works has been making the Mile High City laugh for years with the help of nationally renowned comedians as well as some locally famous talent. Every Tuesday night, the Larimer Square location proudly offers its stage up for “New Talent Night.” The show features a well-balanced mix of the best up-and-coming local talent as well as first-time rookies brave enough to test their laugh-ability aptitude live. Occasionally, a nationally touring headliner will also make an appearance to warm up before their own set. It’s a sink or swim opportunity where only the best survive to navigate the rapid waters of comedy. To participate, call the Comedy Works New Talent Line at (303) 477-7844 and visit the website for more information.
3131 Walnut St.
Denver, CO 80205
The Walnut Room provides Denver with some of the best pizza, craft beer and eclectic talent from the national to the local level. With a diverse range of entertainment coming through, its calendar is always as packed as the venue is full. However, it reserves the last Wednesday of every month exclusively to give fresh new bands and artists a chance to take the stage and steal the spotlight. To participate, it is recommended you arrive early for sign up. Performance spots are limited each month and coveted.
Summit Music Hall
1902 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202
One of Denver’s edgiest music venues is planted squarely on the edge of Lodo. Summit Music Hall’s stage plays host to some of music’s fiercest talent nationally as well as supporting top local talent. With a steely reputation for quality entertainment, it is an honor for local musicians to have an opportunity to take the stage at this magnetizing venue for its regular open mic night. For more details on participating in the amateur night, call (303) 487-0111 or visit the website listed above.
8246 E. 49th Ave. #1400
Denver, CO 80238
Among the many and diverse highlights of Denver nightlife stands The Denver Improv. With a defining motto like, “Where comedy begins,” its setting and mission is idyllic for amateurs and industry elite alike. Every second and fourth Thursday, it offers its mic and spotlight to any aspiring comedian brave enough to venture into it. Novice comedians as well as established local comics are allowed the the freedom to hone in or refine their jokes in front of a live audience. Hosted by Matt Monroe, you must call him in advance at (215) 767-9021 to participate. The lineup is determined on availability and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
2022 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
The cozy and intimate vibe of Denver’s Lion’s Lair springboards the dreams of many hopeful artists and musicians. It embraces local talent and even boasts some national-scale headliners from time to time. Its lineup is as diverse as it is eclectic and ranges from punk to alternative country and everything in between. Whether it is comedy or music you are trying to get a foothold in, the Lion’s Lair’s open mic has you covered. Every Monday plays host to comedy during its open mic session and every Wednesday it indiscriminately opens its stage. For specifics on participation, contact the venue directly by calling (303) 320-9200 or by visiting the website listed above.
Marian is a freelance writer with a passion for music, entertainment and nightlife. She writes regularly on assignment for Examiner.com as their Pop Music Journalist. You can view her page here.