Column by Clarke Reader

Meet the real furry Avengers at museum

Recommended activities for the coming week

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The Avengers are all well and good for an escapist superhero story, but audiences in search of the real thing will instead want to head to the Phipps IMAX Theater at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd.

That's where “Superpower Dogs” is showing, and will be through the end of the year.

“This is a real-life action-adventure science comedy about real dogs who fight crimes and save lives,” explained producer, writer and director Daniel Ferguson, who also worked on the recent IMAX film, “Jerusalem.” “The film takes our whole obsession with superheroes and transpose to that to these amazing dogs.”

Narrated by devoted dog guy and everyone's favorite Captain America, Chris Evans, the movie follows Halo, a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America.

As Halo develops his skills, the audience gets to meet dogs who represent the best of these skills (or superpowers) from all over the world. That includes an avalanche rescue dog from British Columbia, bloodhound brothers in Kenya who assist in locating poachers and a therapy dog.

“We did a lot of research, because every documentary lives and dies on research and casting. I wanted a mix of breeds and color palettes, as well as a range of superpowers,” Ferguson said. “This is a great subject because it forms a natural line of inquiry from the audience. They will come up with questions on their own instead of forcing scientific content on the audience.”

Being ever cognizant of the special requirements of telling a story on the larger-than-life IMAX screen, Ferguson said it was important to find the most interesting place to put the camera. A camera rig was also built that sees world in 250 degrees and visual effects were employed to create the world of heightened smell that dogs inhabit. But it is the story of connection that really sets this film apart.

“IMAX movies are often great at spectacle but struggle with intimacy. But this movie focuses on the human-dog bond,” Ferguson said. “We've taken the language of superheroes, graphic novels and comics and used it to tell the story of pets making the world a better place. This film is a dramatic celebration of that.”

For information on tickets and showtimes, call 303-370-6000 or visit dmns.org/imax.

Get out and about to see Denver's public art

We're right on the cusp of summer, which means many of us will be looking for just about any excuse to spend some time outside. If you're also a person who appreciates art, Denver Public Art Summer Tours are back to scratch both itches.

These free events include a 14th Street Tour, Commons Park, Confluence Park Tour, Cherry Creek Trail Urban Arts Fund Mural Bicycle Tour, Golden Triangle Public Art Tour and many more, all with the aim of shining a light on different aspects of the Mile High City.

Tours are led by public art docents and public art administrators and can be traveled on foot or bike. Attendees will learn about how the city commissions new pieces, the history of the program and the stories behind the artworks and more.

For tour information and times, visit www.denverpublicart.org/tours/.

A carnival for the taste buds

The History Colorado Center is getting in on summer beer enjoyment with its new Beer Here! Brewing the New West exhibit, which opens on May 18.

The exhibit is split into five distinct sections, spanning 160 years of Colorado history. The exhibit explores the state's economic, social and environmental history, using beer and breweries as the connecting thread. Section examples include Beer on the Mining Frontier, Prohibition and The Rise of Craft. All facets of the drink and its history in Colorado are explored, including the importance of saloons in the West, how technology changed the beer industry and how Coors became the huge company it is today.

The exhibit will remain open at History Colorado Center, 1200 N. Broadway in Denver, through August 2020. Visit HistoryColorado.org or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.

Clarke's Concert of the Week — Kevin Morby at the Bluebird Theater

A wise man once said, “there are three things I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” Indie rock musician Kevin Morby obviously didn't get the memo when it came to religion, but that's what makes his newly released fifth album, “Oh My God” so compelling.

Morby has always made music that is extremely intelligent and writerly, but on “Oh My God” he channels some of the classic alt-rock vibes that musicians like Lou Reed specialized in. He's leveled up on every album, and this might be his strongest release yet.

In support of the album Morby will be performing at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Score your tickets www.bluebirdtheater.net.

Clarke Reader's column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.

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