• 5 'Kinky' Qs: What is your character's Campaign Platform?

    by John Moore | Nov 07, 2014


    We visited with the cast of the national touring production of Kinky Boots and posed five questions to them. No. 4: In this heated election week, we wonder: What would be your character's Campaign Platform if running for office? And just wait till you see wait Lola wants for one and all.

    Our guests are Kyle Taylor Parker, Steven Booth, Lindsay Nicole Chambers and Joe Coots. Video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    Coming next, Question 5: What is your advice to high-school theatre students?  

    The 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical written by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper is now playing in Denver through Nov. 9. Call 303-894-4100 or go to www.DenverCenter.Org.

    Our complete '5 Kinky Questions' series to date:
    No. 1: What is the message of Kinky Boots?
    No. 2: What do pop stars like Cyndi Lauper bring to Broadway?
    No. 3: Were you ever bullied growing up?
    Today: What would be your character's Campaign Platform?

    Kinky Boots: Ticket information
    Oct 29-Nov 9
    Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performance: Nov 9, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 | www.denvercenter.org
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829

    Kinky_Boots_Campiagn_800

    Now here's something we can all agree on: That's a fabulous pair of boots. Photo by Matthew Murphy.


    Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:



    Listen to our podcast interview with Cyndi Lauper by pushing play.


  • Video: Andy Kelso's National Anthem Day in Denver
  • Opening Night photo gallery
  • Podcast: Listen to our interview with Cyndi Lauper
  • Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
  • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”
  • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
  • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
  • Kinky Boots Study Guide

  • And hey, check out our media outlet covering Colorado theatre at www.MyDenverCenter.Org.

  • Video: 5 'Kinky' Qs: Have you ever been bullied?

    by John Moore | Nov 05, 2014



    We visited with the cast of the national touring production of Kinky Boots and posed five questions to them. No. 3: "Kinky Boots takes a strong stand against bullying. Were you ever bullied growing up?"

    Our guests are Kyle Taylor Parker, Steven Booth, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Joe Coots, Grace Stockdale and David McDonald. Video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    Coming next, Question 4: What would your character's top campaign issue be? 

    The 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical written by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper is now playing in Denver through Nov. 9. Call 303-894-4100 or go to www.DenverCenter.Org.

    Our complete '5 Kinky Questions' series to date:
    No. 1: What is the message of Kinky Boots?
    No. 2: What do pop stars like Cyndi Lauper bring to Broadway?
    Today: Were you ever bullied growing up?
    Next: What would your character's top campaign issue be? 

    Kinky Boots: Ticket information
    Oct 29-Nov 9
    Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performance: Nov 9, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 | www.denvercenter.org
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829


    Kinky_Boots_Five_Questions_3_800
    Joe Coots, right, plays a bully who eventually gets in the ring with a performance artist (and co-worker) named Lola, played by Kyle Taylor Parker. Photo by Matthew Murphy.




    Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:


    Listen to our podcast interview with Cyndi Lauper by pushing play.


  • Five Questions with the cast, No. 2: What do pop stars like Cyndi Lauper bring to Broadway?
  • 5 Questions with the cast, No. 1: What is the message of Kinky Boots?
  • Video: Andy Kelso's National Anthem Day in Denver
  • Opening Night photo gallery
  • Podcast: Listen to our interview with Cyndi Lauper
  • Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
  • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”
  • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
  • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
  • Kinky Boots Study Guide

  • And hey, check out our media outlet covering Colorado theatre at www.MyDenverCenter.Org.

  • Video: 5 'Kinky' Qs: What does Cyndi Lauper bring to Broadway?

    by John Moore | Nov 02, 2014


    We visited with the cast of the national touring production of Kinky Boots and posed five questions to them. No. 2:  What do you think Cyndi Lauper and other stars from pop music like David Byrne and Duncan Sheik are bringing to the Broadway musical that might encourage new theatre audiences?

    Lauper won the Tony Award for writing the music and lyrics to Kinky Boots. Our guests are Kyle Taylor Parker, Steven Booth, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Joe Coots, Grace Stockdale and David McDonald. Video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    Coming next, Question 3: "Bullying is a major throughline of Kinky Boots. Were you ever bullied growing up?" 

    The 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical written by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper is now playing in Denver through Nov. 9. Call 303-894-4100 or go to www.DenverCenter.Org.

    Our complete '5 Kinky Questions' series to date:
    No. 1: What is the message of Kinky Boots?
    No. 2: What do pop stars like Cyndi Lauper bring to Broadway?
    Today: Were you ever bullied growing up?
    Next: What would your character's top campaign issue be? 


    Kinky_Boots_Video_Cyndi_Lauper_800
    Cyndi Lauper is shown in this file photo from the opening-night afterparty of "Kinky Boots" on Broadway in 2013. Photo by John Lamparski of WireImage.


    Kinky Boots: Ticket information
    Oct 29-Nov 9
    Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances: Nov 9, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 | www.denvercenter.org
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829

    Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:



    Listen to our podcast interview with Cyndi Lauper by pushing play.


  • 5 Questions with the cast, No. 1: What is the message of Kinky Boots?
  • Video: Andy Kelso's National Anthem Day in Denver
  • Opening Night photo gallery
  • Podcast: Listen to our interview with Cyndi Lauper
  • Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
  • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”
  • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
  • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
  • Kinky Boots Study Guide

  • And hey, check out our media outlet covering Colorado theatre at www.MyDenverCenter.Org.

  • Video: 5 'Kinky' Qs: What's the message of the musical?

    by John Moore | Oct 30, 2014


    We visited with the cast of the national touring production of Kinky Boots and posed five questions to them. No. 1: What is the ultimate message of Kinky Boots? Our guests are Kyle Taylor Parker, Steven Booth, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Joe Coots, Grace Stockdale and David McDonald. Video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    Coming next, Question 2: "What do you think Cyndi Lauper and other stars from pop music like David Byrne and Duncan Sheik are bringing to the Broadway musical that might encourage new theatre audiences?" 

    The 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical written by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper is now playing in Denver through Nov. 9. Call 303-894-4100 or go to www.DenverCenter.Org.

    Kinky_Boots_Q1_800
    Kyle Taylor Parker as Lola with the cast of the national touring production of "Kinky Boots." Photo by Matthew Murphy.


    Kinky Boots: Ticket information
    Oct 29-Nov 9
    Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances: Nov 9, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 | www.denvercenter.org
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829

    Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:

  • Video: Andy Kelso's National Anthem Day in Denver
  • Opening Night photo gallery
  • Podcast: Listen to our interview with Cyndi Lauper
  • Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
  • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”
  • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
  • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
  • Kinky Boots Study Guide

  • And hey, check out our media outlet covering Colorado theatre at www.MyDenverCenter.Org.

  • Video: Andy Kelso's National Anthem Day in Denver

    by John Moore | Oct 28, 2014


    Aurora native Andy Kelso, a graduate of Eaglecrest High School and the University of Northern Colorado, hit it big on Broadway in "Mamma Mia," and is now starring as Charlie in the 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical, "Kinky Boots." That feel-good musical written by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper is now a national touring production that will play in Denver from Oct. 29-Nov. 9.

    To celebrate its upcoming Denver opening, "Kinky Boots" sent Kelso home to sing the national anthem before the Denver Broncos' nationally televised victory over the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 24.

    We followed Kelso on his whirlwind day in Denver and talked with him and his family about growing up as a Broncos fan, what it meant to him to sing in front of 80,000 fans (including sports idols John Elway and Joe Sakic) and he offers a disarmingly accurate prediction on the outcome of the game.

    The video culminates with Kelso's stellar rendition of the anthem, after which he is congratulated by none other than Broncos coach John Fox. See it all on this fun video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    Check this out: Here is a link to our full gallery of downloadable photos from Andy Kelso's visit to Denver.

    For information on "Kinky Boots," call 303-894-4100 or go to www.DenverCenter.Org. And hey, check out our new media outlet covering Colorado theatre at www.MyDenverCenter.Org.


    Kinky Boots: Ticket information
    Oct 29-Nov 9
    Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances: Nov 9, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 | www.denvercenter.org
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829

    Kinky_Boots_Andy_Kelso_800_Anthem_Broncos
    Andy Kelso. Photo by John Moore. Here is a link to our full gallery of downloadable photos from Kelso's visit to Denver.


    Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:

  • Podcast: Listen to our interview with Cyndi Lauper
  • Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
  • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”
  • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
  • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
  • Kinky Boots Study Guide
  • John Ekeberg named Executive Director of DCPA's Broadway Division

    by John Moore | Oct 23, 2014

    John_Ekeberg_DCPA_800
    John Ekeberg has been with the DCPA family since 1992.


    John Ekeberg has been named Executive Director of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Broadway Division, where he will oversee programming for all Broadway and Cabaret productions, Chairman and CEO Daniel Ritchie announced today.

    Ekeberg began his career at the DCPA in the box office in 1992. Five years later, he became the Business Manager for the Broadway division. From there, he became General Manager and then Director of Programming when the late Randy Weeks became DCPA President.

    Weeks was Ekeberg's mentor for 17 years, preparing Ekeberg to one day succeed him. Ekeberg previously served as the Board Chair of Paragon Theatre Company in Denver and currently serves as a Governor for The Broadway League, is a Tony Award voter and will represent the DCPA with the Independent Presenters Network. 

    “As the DCPA moves forward, John brings a wealth of knowledge as Executive Director," said Ritchie. "We are fortunate to have such a strong and prepared leader.”

    Ekeberg will partner with Broadway division veteran Jeff Hovorka, the DCPA's Director of Marketing and Sales. With a combined 50 years in the industry, the two will continue to bring top-tier programming to Denver, Ritchie said. 

    The Broadway division team also includes Senior Public Relations and Promotions Manager Heidi Bosk; Business Manager Alicia Giersch; Marketing Coordinator Emily Lozow, and Administrative Assistant Claudia Carson.

    Our coverage of the death of Randy Weeks:
    DCPA president Randy Weeks dies at London conference
    Video: Randy Weeks honored with dimmed lights, moments of silence
    'Pippin' dedicates entire national tour to Randy Weeks
    Video project: Share your unforgettable Randy Weeks stories with us
    Randy Weeks photo gallery
    DCPA to celebrate Randy Weeks' life on Nov. 3
    A look back at Randy Weeks' 'It Gets Better' video

     

  • 'Pippin' dedicates entire national touring production to Randy Weeks

    by John Moore | Oct 21, 2014
    Pippin_Randy_Weeks_800_2 Randy Weeks, center, with "Pippin" cast members Kristine Reese, John Rubinstein, Matthew James Thomas and Lucie Arnaz on the Opning Night of the new touring production Sept. 12 in Denver. Photo by Emily Lozow.


    Pippin_Randy_Weeks_300The entire national touring production of Pippin The Musical, which launched here in Denver last month, has been dedicated to Denver Center for the Performing Arts President Randy Weeks, who died suddenly on Oct. 9 in London.

    Tribute messages began coming in from the Pippin team almost as soon as word of Weeks' death became known.

    "I was devastated to hear the tragic news," said Pippin general manager Alecia Parker. "Having just spent time with you all it truly breaks my heart. I'm sure it will take a lot of healing and time. He was a true gentleman and will be missed."
     
    Added Anita Dloniak, Pippin's national press rep: "There are no words to even describe my feelings. I am stunned, shocked and every adjective in-between.  I am literally shaking. I am sending big hugs to the entire Denver team."

    Here's the message as it will appear in all Pippin programs as the tour moves from city to city:

    THE PIPPIN TOUR IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF RANDY WEEKS (1955–2014).

    This touring production of Pippin began its magical journey at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado under the guidance of Randy Weeks. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He was such a fan of our show and part of it belongs to him. Sadly on Thursday, October 9, the theatre lost one of its fiercest advocates, one of our finest colleagues, and a dear friend. We are honored to be a part of his extraordinary legacy!

    The DCPA will celebrate Randy Weeks' life at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3 in the Buell Theatre.  Pippin_Randy_Weeks_800

    Our coverage of the death of Randy Weeks:
    DCPA president Randy Weeks dies at London conference
    Video: Randy Weeks honored with dimmed lights, moments of silence
    Video project: Share your unforgettable Randy Weeks stories with us
    Randy Weeks photo gallery
    DCPA to celebrate Randy Weeks' life on Nov. 3
    A look back at Randy Weeks' 'It Gets Better' video


    Our Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Photos, video: Opening-night festivities in Denver
    Video: 5 questions for Composer Stephen Schwartz

    9News anchor Cheryl Preheim has a walk-on cameo on Sept. 16
    Video: Audience testimonials reacting to seeing the show
    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos
    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:  

    Pippin_Randy_Weeks_800_ActionPhoto by Terry Shapiro.
  • Aurora's 'Blue Man' grad: This show is 'exuberance incarnate'

    by John Moore | Sep 27, 2014

    Blue_Man_Group_Jack_800"Blue Man Group" Company Manager Jack Stephens, above, credits his professional career to what he learned at Eaglecrest High School. Photo by Andrea Kehler.


    Blue Man Group
    has been described as indescribable since people began trying to ... describe it in 1987. So naturally, with the show returning to Denver for the third time in four years, we asked Company Manager Jack Stephens to, of course … describe it.

    “It is difficult to describe what the show is all about,” said Stephens, not surprisingly. "You really have to experience it.

    "But I can say the people who attend will have an experience unlike any they have ever had in the theatre. They will laugh a lot. They will return to their childhood. They will experience joy and exuberance incarnate. And they will examine a few little quirky things about people and society society along the way, because the show likes to point out some of the absurdities of day-to-day living in cities.”

    Hey, that's a pretty good description. 

    Blue_Man_Group_Quote

    Stephens grew up in Aurora. He was a member of Eaglecrest High School’s first graduating class in 1995, alongside big-shot Broadway actor Andy Kelso, currently starring in the Tony-winning Kinky Boots.

    Stephens is beginning his second year as Company Manager for Blue Man Group, a high-octane theatrical experience that immerses audiences in the worlds of comedy, percussion and technology -- without ever saying a single word.

    “A lot of people look at the Blue Men and say, 'So ... are they aliens? Are they performance artists? What's their deal?' " Stephens said. "But really they are not any of those things. They are meant to represent these three beings who are curious about life.”

    There is a story being told -- albeit nonverbally. It is a multimedia presentation. It has the atmosphere of a loud, live rock concert. There are no vocals. “It's just a percussive, awesome sound,” Stephens said. “They are going to see all sorts of funny things like people catching marshmallows in their mouths, and toilet paper flying out into the audience in huge volumes. But mostly it’s about those three curious creatures who take the audience on a journey exploring life.”

    As Company Manager, it is Stephens’ job to make sure Blue Man Group's national touring production runs efficiently. “Essentially the job involves dealing with everybody's life on the road,” he said. “I make sure everyone gets paid. It also involves travel, transportation and housing."


    If that sounds a lot like herding cats – lovable blue cats in blue, bald caps – Stephens says his present assignment is actually pretty easy. “The people on this tour are really cool,” he said. “There is no drama. Everybody is really about making sure the show is good, and that’s all they ever really think about. They just don't really have time to destroy hotel rooms. So they make my life really easy.”

    Stephens' family moved to Colorado from Cleveland when he was 10.  He stayed through college at CU-Denver and then moved to Las Vegas. He has since worked regularly on touring theatrical productions such as Rent and Beauty and the Beast. But he attributes his entire professional career to what he learned at Eaglecrest High School.

    "They had a triad of really good theatre teachers, and I am sure they still do,” said Stephens, citing Jennifer Condreay (a member of the Colorado Thespians Hall of Fame), Kerry Ross and Brianna Lindahl (now of Grandview High School.)

    “I learned lighting, sound and video," he said. "They were very good teachers of technical teacher, and you don't find that very often. They pretty much let the kids have the run of the place, and we were able to make the shows our own.”

    Stephens also remembers his classmate Kelso as “a really cool guy who stuck with it and made it big. I don't think he ever let it go to his head.” Kelso will be returning to Denver to sing the national anthem at the Denver Broncos' Thursday night football game on Oct. 23.

    Blue Man Group is already Stephens’ 12th national tour.

    “And when I went to college, I didn’t even study theatre, so I would say everything comes from what I learned in high school.”

    Stephens grew up watching professional theatre at the Buell Theatre. He was there when it opened in 1991 with The Phantom of The Opera tour. To be returning there with a show he’s working on for only the second time, he said, should be awesome.

    “It's a very tangible way to say that I have achieved what I set out to achieve,” he said.

    Blue_Man_Group_800

    Blue Man Group
    Oct 10-12
    7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
    Buell Theatre
    Age recommendation: 4 and up
    303-893-4100
    www.DenverCenter.Org

  • The 'Pippin' Profiles: Matthew James Thomas on being shot out of a cannon

    by John Moore | Sep 20, 2014
    Pippin_Profiles_Matthew_James_Thomas_CirclePlaying prince Pippin for a year on Broadway in the contorting, spinning, death-defying world of the circus took its toll on young Matthew James Thomas. When it was over, he needed time to regain his physical and mental strength.

    Four months later, Thomas arrived on the Island of Malta 50 miles south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. His parents have a modest farmhouse there. Thomas, 26, was poised for a few days of relaxation, jet-skiing and writing music.

    Then, his phone rang. It was Barry Weissler, who had hired Thomas to star in what turned out to be the 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical Revival: Pippin The Musical. It was eight days before the national touring production was to launch in Denver, and Kyle Selig, the actor hired to play Pippin, had just been put on vocal rest.

    Thomas hails from Buckinghamshire in the southeast of England, so he’s not familiar with the American cartoon character Mighty Mouse. But like that iconic animated rodent whose theme song was, “Here he comes to save the day!" ... here came Thomas to save the day. All the way from Malta - 6,000 miles from the Mile High City.

    “That is very kind of you, but I don't see it that way at all,” Thomas said last week, after joining – and opening – the first national tour of Pippin to enthusiastic standing ovations in Denver.  “I think it's more that I probably relieved some stress for the production in some way. All I could think about was how lucky I was to play the show in a new environment.”

    Thomas moved to the United States four years ago to split the role of Peter Parker in one of the most infamous productions in Broadway history: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which was cursed by multiple accidents and scathing reviews but was hugely popular with audiences, running for more than three years in the largest theatre in Broadway history.

    He’s now developing a concept for a British TV series while working on his first CD of original music. He spent Tuesday at a Denver studio laying down piano and vocal tracks for a song he’s since shipped off to an engineer in New York.

    “I have gone through some tough moments in my personal life in the last couple of months, and I have been very inspired to write some new music,” said Thomas, who begins work on his next musical theatre project in November.

    We got a chance to sit down for an extended conversation with Thomas, who was starring in a West End production of Oliver by age 8, appeared in the hit film Billy Elliot at 11, and has been so much on the move throughout his life, he feels like he’s run off with the circus. Kind of like Pippin.

    “Somebody recently asked me, ‘Where do you live?’ and I said, ‘Hah, I have no idea. I am a gypsy,' " Thomas said.

    Here are excerpts from our illuminating, in-depth conversation:

    Pippin_Profiles_Matthew_James_Thomas_Quote_1


    John Moore: So, hey: You were in Billy Elliot.

    Matthew James Thomas: The movie? Yes, I was.

    John Moore: You've probably grown an inch or two since that movie came out in 2000 … but what did I miss?

    Matthew James Thomas: You missed me get punched in the face!

    John Moore: That was you?

    Matthew James Thomas: Yes, but I was quite smaller then. I was 11.

    John Moore: Well, it’ll be worth re-Netflixing just to see that again.

    Matthew James Thomas: I think you should. If you want to giggle at me, I mean.

    John Moore: How would you describe the last two weeks of your life?

    Matthew James Thomas: Well, being shot out of a cannon is one way to describe it. It really does kind of feel like that. It just feels nuts. But it's great. It's wonderful.

    John Moore: The differences between your Broadway opening and your tour opening could not be starker. You were with the Broadway production from the beginning. You were called in to join the national touring production just eight days before you opened. What’s that like?

    Matthew James Thomas: It was such a whirlwind for me mentally because when I set foot on the soil here, I wasn’t prepared for it. I had been in a completely different mindset. I had been working on other projects, and I had been really detached from Pippin for such a long time. And so it was really confusing. I am being completely honest here. I have lived in America for four years now, but it's still a new surrounding. And on top of that, I knew I'd be stepping into a company for somebody else they have been rehearsing with for a very long period of time. That was daunting because I have to walk into this family, and I'm the new guy who nobody knows really. I did know a couple of the cast members from Broadway company, which was … softening. But still, I knew I had a lot to live up to with the Broadway production being such a huge success, and me being the lead. So yes, it was quite daunting.

    Pippin_Profiles_Matthew_James_Thomas_800_1
    Matthew James Thomas in the national touring production of 'Pippin' that launched in Denver. Photo by Terry Shapiro.


    John Moore: It just seems strange to think of you as ‘the new kid’ when you’re the guy who originated the role.

    Matthew James Thomas: And yet, that's very much what it is. I do know the show back to front, upside down. We've done it every single way we possibly could. And yet here I am actually going into a new show with new people and new scenery and a whole new environment. There are a couple of moments on stage where I just feel my feet go a little wonky and I am like, 'Where am I? Oh, wow. OK, great. OK, no, yes. Now … Go!’ It’s scary … but that's also lovely for the character of Pippin.

    John Moore: No one expected to see you – or need you – on this tour. So do you feel a bit like the knight in shining armor?

    Matthew James Thomas: You know, I am very thankful for you to say that, but I think it's more that my being here probably relieved some stress for the production team in some way.

    John Moore: Take me through getting the call.

    Matthew James Thomas: I was in New York about two weeks before I left for Malta. My parents got a modest farmhouse out there a couple of years ago. It's a very old house that dates back to the 1400s, and I have since wanted to go but I've always been preoccupied with work. So I found a little window in my schedule and thought, 'Well, I'm starting work on another show in November, so why not take this opportunity to get away?' So I jump on a plane. I get with my parents. We do a bit of jet-skiing and a bit of pasta-eating. We do some catching up and some discussing of the future and the past  … and my phone rings. And it's (Pippin producer) Barry Weissler, whom I have not spoken to since I left the production in March. I thought, 'Why is Barry phoning me?' But in this industry, you get used to being surprised every single day by quite bizarre, profound things. So he says, 'What are you up to?' and I say, 'I'm in Malta.' And it was quiet. I guess he was hoping I was in New York.

    John Moore: Your plane ticket to Denver just got a lot more expensive.

    Matthew James Thomas: Right? He was probably like, ('Bleep!'). (Laughing.) And so he went on to say he was wondering if I would be available to come to Denver and step into the role of Pippin for a while. And I said, ‘Sure, I'll come.’ I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to give Pippin one last go, because the role is so great.

    Pippin_Profiles_Matthew_James_Thomas_Quote_2

    John Moore: After your final preview performance in Denver, I saw you come out for the talkback wearing shorts, and you had a few fresh, gnarly scabs on your legs. It made me wonder about the physical toll this show has taken on your body.

    Matthew James Thomas: It's hard to explain, really ... but I actually like it. Back when I was taking my stage-fighting exam in the U.K., my friend Rob and I were so passionate about getting it right and getting it real that we ended up just beating the crap out of each other. I came away from that with a bloody nose. But I'm all for realism and authenticity. This might sound crazy or stupid but after doing Pippin again and again and again, the proof is in the pudding. And the proof is the audience. If you do something properly, then the audience responds properly. I always want to pull off the fall or the trip or whatever as realistically as possible, without hurting myself too much. The fact is, I really enjoy it if John (Rubinstein, who plays Pippin’s father Charlemagne) trips me and I really fall. I think it’s just funnier. So I end up getting cuts and bruises and snags and whatever else. Thank God I have those breaks in between shows to recover. So that’s the way I see it. If I'm here, I might as well give it everything I've got.

    John Moore: When the time came for you to leave the Broadway production in March, did your body need some recovery time?

    Matthew James Thomas: Oh my goodness, yes. And my mind, too. You know, eight shows a week for any show is an impossible task. It really is something that shouldn't be humanly achievable. It's hard vocally, physically, mentally. But on a show like this, you're working out more than a pro athlete. Take soccer, for example. They train every day for a good two hours, and then they have one big match a week. It’s very physical, but … I wake up. I go to the gym for an hour and a half. I go for a run for 20 minutes. I warm my vocals up for one hour. And then we do the show eight times a week. You know, it’s almost more work … and you only get one day off a week.

    John Moore: That's nice of you to call it "soccer" for my benefit.

    Matthew James Thomas: Yeah, of course. I'm getting more used to it now.

    John Moore: And now, a very hard-hitting question:

    Matthew James Thomas: Mmmm … OK.  

    John Moore: I saw you play Pippin on Broadway, and I would swear that you had black hair.

    Matthew James Thomas: Oh yes, "The Hair Question." At first I mentioned it to my press team and they were like, 'Well, people aren't going to recognize you.' And I was like, 'Well, I think that's kind of a great thing.' Actually, when I changed my hair color, I was still in the Broadway production of Pippin, and I didn't tell the cast. So when I jumped through the hoop, everybody looked at me like, 'Who the (bleep) is that?'

    John Moore: I have a feeling that if anyone other than the star of the show had changed his hair color without telling anyone, there might have been a problem.

    Matthew James Thomas: Well, I ran it by the director and the producers. But I asked them not to tell anyone in the cast, because I thought it would be interesting for that one night just to have a very different Pippin show up on the stage. I'm actually just starting to get my real hair color back, which is an ashen blond. But it's hard to get that color back when I've had so much black and blue put through it. I went black for Spider-Man previous to Pippin, and I just didn't have time between the two shows to change it back. But eventually I had to, because my hair started to fall out.

    John Moore: So you’re saying the reason Pippin had black hair on Broadway is because Peter Parker had black hair in Spider-Man?

    Matthew James Thomas: Yeah.

    John Moore: OK, so I had no intention of talking about your hair this much, but now I am remembering your entrance in the first scene in Pippin. You're saying no one in the cast found out you changed your hair color until you jumped through the hoop in the opening song?

    Matthew James Thomas: It's how all of them found out, yes. Specifically, Patina Miller (The Leading Player) looked at me with very wide eyes because she was in the middle of her line, and she was like,  ‘... Who are you?’ It was great. But I'm a little bit of a trickster. I take any opportunity I get to play a prank on the cast.

    John Moore: So when you left the show, you said your body and your mind needed to recover. But did you also then go through any withdrawal? When the show goes on but without you … that had to be a little weird.

    Matthew James Thomas: Yeah, for sure. You always do. Leaving a company is like leaving a long-term relationship. It’s something maybe you need to do for yourself, but you probably could stay there and be very happy and content for the rest of your life. But you have to keep moving. I left some great friends behind, but in the same sentence, you never really leave them. It is hard to say goodbye to all of that hard work. You leave it for somebody else to take over, and they will take over your track, but the core of your work is being left behind. It is very traumatic. But as actors, we live within a business within a business within a business. Change is continuing, and it is very important for us to grow.

    John Moore: So all you have to do is look at John Rubinstein to see that the original actor who played Pippin is now white-haired and playing your father. I mean, the show is old. Even with the new circus aspect, why should a 40-year-old show like Pippin matter to your friends in 2014?

    Matthew James Thomas: That's an interesting way to put it, actually. What people have to understand is the original Pippin is incredibly different from this version of the show. Of course the people who saw the original version of the show will deeply appreciate this version of the show as well because the fundamental structure that was so impressive and daring and innovative and sharp is still intact. (Director Diane Paulus) has done nothing but clarify everything that needed clarifying with the old production. That said, a lot of my friends aren't involved in musical theatre at all. A lot of my friends will never see me in shows because they are being a ferrier in Buckinghamshire or working as a DJ in London. But when a friend of mine has come and seen they show, they really are entering into it with a fresh mind. I, in my own life, have desperately tried to get rid of my opinion about things – and my generation of friends have become less and less opinionated with me as we have grown up. I spoke to a lovely young chap the other day who had seen the show in Denver. He described himself as a young American who generally thinks of things in terms of, 'I know this,’ or, ‘I like that,’ or, ‘My favorite color is blue.' But he came and saw the show and was like, 'Oh my God, my whole opinion of everything has just shifted because of the profundity of what I just saw. I was wrong. Now I have to re-think everything.’ That’s why I think this show is so clever, because he came out knowing something greater about his deeper self.

    Pippin_Profiles_Matthew_James_Thomas_John_Rubinstein_800-
    John Rubinstein, left, played the first Pippin on Broadway in 1972. He now plays father to Matthew James Thomas' Pippin. Photo by Terry Shapiro.



    John Moore: So what was it like when you first had that moment on stage with John Rubinstein, when Pippin says, 'Time has passed you by, father,' and Charlemagne's line back is, 'And YOUR time has come, my son?' 

    Matthew James Thomas: There’s a very real thing happening on the stage between us that goes beyond the acting and the music and the dancing. That is two actors on stage who have probably experienced a very similar transformative and probably very painful journey with the same production. Because I know any show of this depth and greatness is painful to create. My journey with it from Boston, as fantastic and as brilliant and as wonderful as it ended up being for everybody, was incredibly painful and hard. And I know from all of the wonderful stories John has that it was hard for him, too. There is an unspoken bond there between John and me because we are the only two people who really have created the role from a fresh palate.


    Pippin_Profiles_Matthew_James_Thomas_Quote_3


    John Moore: Can I ask you about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?

    Matthew James Thomas: Yeah, sure.

    John Moore: I was writing for The Denver Post at the time, and I got to see it when it was in previews for its re-opening. Meaning after it had been ostensibly fixed. My take was that this was a musical that was like its anti-hero: Caught between two worlds. But it had an energy that was unmatched by any other show on Broadway. The crowd ate it up. The crowd's response was more genuine than anything else I’ve ever seen on Broadway. And if the idea of live theatre is to make a connection with an audience, well, this show did that.

    Matthew James Thomas: I don't know how to say how lucky I feel I am that I got to work with that creative team on Spider-Man. Oftentimes, in interviews, people just want the dirt, and yeah, there's plenty of it. However, Spider-Man was actually tragic. The show itself -- even the original show -- I thought was just so special, because you didn't just have a bunch of brilliant creatives waltzing around pretending they knew everything. Everybody on that creative team wanted to do something impossible. I alternated in the lead role, which meant that I did the show four days a week, and I would watch the rest of the time. So I used to go up to the fly booth and watch down and see the show from there. I would watch how all of these things had to happen for that little 5-year-old's excitement, or that 80-year-old's bewilderment. All those things were invented by a crew of people ... It was God's work, really. I was thinking, 'How the hell did somebody make all of these things work together? Things happen on shows that are trying to test extraordinary boundaries. Spider-Man was certainly trying to do that. That was very, very, hard for all of us. People got injured. But let me tell you: People get injured on every show. And Pippin is far more dangerous than Spider-Man will have ever been.

    John Moore: Pippin does seem far more dangerous. I mean, in Spider-Man, you were tied to cables. There are no cables, no nets, no safety hooks in Pippin.

    Matthew James Thomas: Yeah, and you know what? I like wire. I like an 8,000-pound tension wire between me and the 30 feet to the floor. As much as I would happily jump out of a plane -- and intend to, at some point in my life -- I like having a parachute. I trusted those people on that team more than I have ever trusted anyone, and boy, did they care about our safety. The more people who are involved, the more the politics just go askew and everybody scrambles like a dog to try and fix it, and they are never going to, and it’s just a tragic situation when it starts to happen that way because once the ball goes in that direction, you know it’s lost. People said things they shouldn't have said. So the show fell apart.

    John Moore: So can you see yourself playing Charlemagne in 40 years?

    Matthew James Thomas: Oh, sure. Of course. I hope so, anyway. I always, always want to be that guy with the white beard and the wisdom behind his eyes.

    John Moore: Well, you’re 26. You've got a ways to go there.

    Matthew James Thomas: That's true. I can't even really grow a beard yet. So we'll see.

    John Moore: Do we know how long you will be with this national touring production?

    Matthew James Thomas: It's been confirmed that I will be going through to San Francisco next. Then it’s on to Los Angeles, but that hasn’t been decided.
     

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:  


    Pippin
    : Ticket information

    Sep 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Photos, video: Opening-night festivities in Denver
    Video: 5 questions for Composer Stephen Schwartz

    9News anchor Cheryl Preheim has a walk-on cameo on Sept. 16
    Video: Audience testimonials reacting to seeing the show
    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos
    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • The 'Pippin' Profiles: Callan Bergmann on juggling knives ... and driving a stick

    by John Moore | Sep 18, 2014
    “I dance, I sing, I tumble, and I smile a lot. Currently touring the country with 'Pippin the Musical.' Living the dream!”

    Pippin_Callan_Bergmann_400
    That’s how Callan Bergmann describes himself on his Instagram profile ... and truer words were never spoken. 

    Bergmann is playing Lewis, the boy who would be king -- if only his nasty mother, Fastrada, had her way. But half-brother prince Pippin stands in both their ways, so the dim-witted soldier is pretty much relegated to daddy’s battles and mama’s knee.

    And Bergmann couldn’t be having more fun. When Director Diane Paulus and Circus Creator Gypsy Snider decided to tell the story of Pippin in the context of a traveling circus, they pretty much turned Lewis into a part that Bergmann was born to play.

    “I was in a gymnastics class when I was 4 years old, and my teacher told me then, 'You should be stretching every day; every chance that you get,’ ” Bergmann said from Denver, where the new revival of the 2013 Tony-winning best musical launched its national tour last week. 

    “She told me to stretch whenever I was watching TV at night. Instead of sitting on the couch, she told me to sit on the floor and stretch and do my straddles and my splits. So that's what I did.”

    Bergmann, whose credits include Cinderella on Broadway and Smash on TV, grew up in the Buffalo (N.Y.) area and attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He spoke with Denver CenterStage two days after Pippin had its opening night in Denver.

    Pippin_Callan_Bergmann_Quote_1


    John Moore: So I imagine you must be pretty beat right now.

    Callan Bergmann: Yes. It was a long tech process, as they always are. But now that that’s all over, it's nice to be able to breathe a little bit. But what am I saying? We start understudy rehearsals today. So no rest ... yet.

    John Moore: When you get through that - then what are you going to do with all of your free time?

    Callan Bergmann: I have toured before, and what I like to do in each city is get out and do something that’s related to the city I'm in. On our last day off, I went out to Red Rocks Amphitheatre and went hiking. That was awesome. I am hoping to make it to a few of the museums here in Denver. I like to take tours of state capitols.

    John Moore: What did you think of Red Rocks?

    Callan Bergmann: Oh, it was breathtaking. Beautiful. It was fun to get out there and just take in all that fresh air.

    John Moore: So you came to Pippin directly from performing on Broadway in Cinderella. But many of your Pippin castmates had direct experience with the Broadway production. So what was it like for you to step into this incredible new world completely fresh?

    Callan Bergmann: All the Broadway people really helped us jump into that world faster. We only had four or five weeks to learn the show, and so having those people there, like John Rubinstein and Sabrina Harper, was great. They just took everyone under their wings and helped us to really dive into the material faster.

    John Moore: What appealed to you most about going after this opportunity in Pippin?

    Callan Bergmann: I saw Pippin on Broadway when it was in previews, and I loved it. I thought it was so amazing. What really appealed to me was the circus aspect of the show. I grew up as a gymnast, so I like to flip around and do all that fun stuff. I have always had this dream of running away and joining the circus. So when I was cast in Pippin, I was so excited. I said, 'I want to learn every circus skill in the show.’ That’s my goal. The creative team has been so wonderful because they have kind of catered the part around me, and have even changed it a little bit so that I get to show off some of what I do. I get to dance. I get to tumble. I get to sing. I get to act. It’s the best of every world.

    John Moore: So what all have you learned so far? Are you juggling knives?

    Callan Bergmann: No, but I do tumble through knives being juggled.

    John Moore: I think that is even more impressive.

    Callan Bergmann: One day in rehearsal, Gypsy (Snider) grabbed me and said, 'We are going to add you into this part. You are going to be tumbling through the knives that are being juggled.' I just stopped and was like, 'Um, Gypsy? I know I said that I wanted to tumble in the show … but I didn't say I want to tumble through knives!'

    John Moore: And what was her response?

    Callan Bergmann: She said, 'Oh, it will be fine, it will be fine. We're going to practice.'

    John Moore: Well, I should hope so.

    Callan Bergmann: She's so great, and she is so safe. You go step by step. You start by running through the knives, and you learn what to look for. And then you start doing a cartwheel through the knives. And then you start doing your whole tumble pass-through. So that was fun. I also play on the Chinese poles a little bit. I jump onto one from what we call ‘the chute.’ Honestly, from the audience, it doesn't look very scary. But when you're up there, and there is a gap between you and this pole? It’s a little bit scary.

    John Moore: That gap is real.

    Callan Bergmann: That gap is real.

    Pippin_Callan_Bergmann_800
    That's Callan Bergmann as Lewis, far right. Photo by Terry Shapiro.


    John Moore: That must be fun just messing around backstage with all those circus professionals.

    Callan Bergmann: Oh, yeah. I've already started working with some of the acrobats on hand-balancing. Nothing major. It really just starts with practicing handstands. You have to start by getting so good at doing handstands on the hard ground. But they can literally hold a handstand for 10 minutes. There is a technique to it, and they have been helping me out with that. They are so nice.

    John Moore: I noticed that on your resume, you list your special skills as 'basic contortion, stunt doubling ... and driving a stick shift.' I wonder: Which of those three should we be most impressed with?

    Callan Bergmann: That's funny. Driving a stick shift is definitely a dying skill.

    John Moore: I'm surprised Gypsy didn't work that into the show.

    Callan Bergmann: Me, too.

    John Moore: So let's talk about contortion.

    Callan Bergmann: I think I'm just more flexible than the average person. But I'm not as crazy as some of the people in our show, though.

    John Moore: Before you saw the Broadway performance of Pippin, had you ever been involved with a previous production of Pippin?


    Callan Bergmann: No, I had not. But I saw Pippin at a local school when I was in high school.

    John Moore: What did you think of it then?

    Callan Bergmann: It was actually a very good production, and I loved the show. The part of Pippin has been on my radar ever since. Just getting the chance to play Lewis and understudy Pippin now is so exciting for me.  

    John Moore: But Pippin is now a 42-year-old musical. Why you think it feels  contemporary for your generation of friends who might be seeing it for the first time in 2014?

    Callan Bergmann: What I like about this show is that it's really simple when you think about it. Yes, there is all this stuff going on, like all those great acrobatics. But really this show follows Pippin on his journey to find himself. It comes down this: All of our lives are extraordinary, even doing everyday, normal things like falling in love and choosing to lead a small-town life. I think that's good for people to know. Be content with the life you choose. The journey that you are on is where you are meant to be.

    John Moore: So do you find that the show resonates with your friends who are seeing it for the first time?

    Callan Bergmann: It does, and I think that shows how timeless the piece is. Life now is really just the same as it was back in 1972, and just as it was hundreds of years ago. We’ve just added some modern technology.

    John Moore: That modern technology here is really just human skill and physical prowess.

    Callan Bergmann: But what I love is that the acrobats are not just up there doing circus acts. They are acting and performing just like the rest of us.

    Pippin_Callan_Bergmann_Quote_2


    John Moore: So after all this time learning the show; building trust with your castmates; refining your timing and precision, what was it like for you to be up on that Buell Theatre stage for your opening-night curtain call knowing that that you all had just pretty much nailed it?

    Callan Bergmann: Oh it was thrilling. The energy was so exciting. We have spent the past six weeks finessing things and getting it ready -- but it‘s not over. This really is a never-ending process, because we have to keep up with safety and with all of these skills. This show is not something that you can just settle into, ever.

    John Moore: So you are going to have audiences come who have a deep and abiding affection for Pippin going back to the beginning. But I suspect most people who come -- especially young people -- will be seeing it for the first time. How do describe to them what kind of theatre experience they are in for?

    Callan Bergmann: It’s a theatre experience like they have never had before. Maybe they have seen a Cirque du Soleil show, or maybe they have seen a Broadway show.  But this combines everything. And that's why I think it’s so memorable.

    John Moore: Well, you said you wanted to run off with the circus, and you pretty much have. Because you are going to blink and you will be folding up the tent in Denver and you will be off to another city.

    Callan Bergmann: It's true. I am living my dream.

    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:  


    Pippin
    : Ticket information

    Sep 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Photos, video: Opening-night festivities in Denver
    Video: 5 questions for Composer Stephen Schwartz

    9News anchor Cheryl Preheim has a walk-on cameo on Sept. 16
    Video: Audience testimonials reacting to seeing the show
    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos
    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • Video and photos: Opening Night 'Pippin' festivities in Denver

    by John Moore | Sep 13, 2014


    Denver hosted the launch of the national touring production of Pippin the Musical on Sept. 10, 2014, at the Buell Theatre. It marked the 11th national tour launch by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Broadway division.

    The video above includes video and photo highlights from the celebration that followed the opening performance in the Seawell Grand Ballroom.

    Pippin, which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, features choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics. The "Pippin" tour runs in Denver through Sept. 20. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore, David Lenk and Emily Lozow.

    To go to our full gallery of free, downloadable photos from the evening, click here.

    This video features a montage of scenes from the national touring production that just launched in Denver.


    Pippin
    : Ticket information

    Sep 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org


    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:
     


    Our previous Pippin coverage on Denver CenterStage:

    Video: 5 questions for Composer Stephen Schwartz

    9News anchor Cheryl Preheim has a walk-on cameo on Sept. 16
    Video: Audience testimonials reacting to seeing the show
    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos
    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

    Pippin_Opening_Night_800

    Photo by John Moore. To go to our full gallery of free, downloadable photos from the evening, click here.
  • Video: The 'Pippin' Personalities: 5 Questions with Stephen Schwartz

    by John Moore | Sep 12, 2014


    Last week, we launched "The Pippin Personalities," a fun video series where we posed several personality questions to the cast and creative team behind the national touring production of Pippin The Musical, which launched in Denver on Sept. 6, 2014.

    But then on Sunday, composer Stephen Schwartz flew to Denver for one day to check in and work with the cast in advance of the official opening tomorrow night (Sept. 10). We had to take the opportunity to pose the same questions to him.

    Our favorite piece of advice from the composer of Pippin, Wicked, Godspell and more: "Follow you bliss ... but not to the point where it kills you." 

    Here is a link to our in-depth, written interview with Stephen Schwartz

     
    The ‘Pippin’ Personalities video series:
    Video 1: What makes YOU extraordinary?
    Video 2: If you could run off with the circus …
    Video 3: What was the first big show you saw?
    Video 4: What has ‘Pippin’ taught you about yourself?
    Video 5: First impressions of Denver
    Video 6: Stephen Schwartz takes the quiz

    Our guests include Director Diane Paulus, Sasha Allen (Leading Player), Matthew James Thomas (Pippin), John Rubinstein (Charles), Lucie Arnaz (Berthe), Circus Creator Gypsy Snider and Choreographer Chet Walker. 

    Videos by John Moore and David Lenk for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

    Pippin
    : Ticket information
    Sept 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:
     


    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos

    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • Testimonials: Audiences react to 'Pippin' launch in Denver

    by John Moore | Sep 11, 2014


    The national touring production of 'Pippin' launched in Denver this week. Here is a video roundup of what some of the opening-night audiences thought of the first performance of the Stephen Schwartz-Bob Fosse classic outside of New York since Director Diane Paulus, Choreographer Chet Walker and Circus Creator Gypsy Snider re-imagined the story of the Prince's search for meaning as taking place under the Big Top. Some of the adjectives invoked: Breathtaking, phenomenal, colorful, spectacular and fantastical. Video by David Lenk for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.


    Pippin: Ticket information

    Sep 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    Pippin_Testimonials_800


    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:
     


    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos

    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • The 'Pippin' Profiles: Kristine Reese on keeping up with the Jones

    by John Moore | Sep 10, 2014

    Pippin_Kristine_Reese_5

    For many audience members, Catherine (played by Kristine Reese), walks away with the show, even though she doesn’t even show up in the story until the second act. Photo by Terry Shapiro. Photo below by Peter Hurley Photography.



    Pippin_Kristine_Reese_4Kristine Reese went to see the Broadway revival of Pippin and, like pretty much everyone else in the audience …  she fell in love with Rachel Bay Jones.

    Jones was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Catherine, the quirky widowed mother   who awaits young prince Pippin at the end of his quest to find meaning in his life like a curvaceous, open-armed human grail. 

    She was, by composer Stephen Schwartz’s assessment, nothing short of “amazing,” “heartbreaking” and “transformative.”

    Boy. And you thought Sasha Allen had a tough task trying to follow in the magic footsteps of Ben Vereen in the role of the Leading Player.

    Reese has been cast to play Catherine in the national touring production of Pippin now launching in Denver. She is doing her best to keep up with the Jones … by not trying to keep up with the Jones.

    “Obviously, what Rachel has done with the role is really amazing, and I think she has made it really special,” said Reese. “But whenever you take on a role (that you didn’t originate), you have to be true to who you are. I want to honor what Rachel did, but I also want to be me.”

    Reese must be doing something right. Schwartz’s first impression of Reese: “I have to tell you that we have found a really wonderful young woman to play Catherine on the tour who brings a lot of the same qualities that Rachel brought to the role," Schwartz  said. "I am really enthusiastic about our new Catherine.”

    How great is it to hear that?

    “That makes me want to actually cry with happiness,” Reese said. “That means so much to me. All I've ever wanted is for Stephen and (Director) Diane Paulus and everyone involved with the show to be enthusiastic about what I bring to the role. To have him say that is really amazing, so, thank you. You made my day.”

    Reese hails from the Midwest and graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She’s played Nessarose on the national touring production of Wicked and Sophie in Mamma Mia.

    Pippin_Kristine_Reese_1


    Here are excerpts from our conversation with Reese, who plays a character many audiences think walks away with the show, even though she doesn’t even show up in the story until the second act:

    John Moore: So I have seen Pippin many times and in many shapes and sizes …  and I have to say, I think Catherine is almost always my favorite character.

    Kristine Reese: Yeah, a lot of people say that, actually. A lot of people.

    John Moore: How do you see this woman’s place in the story?

    Kristine Reese: She is genuine and she is pure and she is natural. And yes, she’s got a quirk to her -- especially in this production -- and I think I do as a person, too. When you play Catherine, I think you have to find that quirk inside you, because that's part of why Pippin falls in love with her. And I think that is actually the essence of who Catherine is. Even though she says in her song, ‘I'm just a plain, ordinary girl …’ she’s actually not. I think that's the point of all that silliness for the actor (who gets to plays her). She’s so special and so different, and she's not coloring in the lines like almost every other character in the play.

    John Moore: I know we can't tell people specifically about the new ending in this version of Pippin, but your character is certainly a key part in it. I think if you’ve ever seen the original Pippin, it's possible to misconstrue what the writers are actually trying to say about Pippin's ultimate choice -- in my opinion. I talked to Diane and (Circus Creator) Gypsy Snider about this, and part of their point, as mothers themselves, is to say that society needs to look again at how we perceive a young man who, after a life of pure adventure, sees marriage and fatherhood as an extraordinary life choice. … Which actually doesn't even give anything away about the new ending, I am happy to say! What's your take?

    Kristine Reese: I think that's a great way of saying it. I got married a couple of years ago, and I wasn't all that young when I did. But people would say to me, 'Why are you settling down?' No. I don't see it that way. When you live in New York and you work as a performer, some people see marriage as being tied down or restricting you -- and I  think it's the opposite. When I saw Pippin the first time, I think that's why the Catherine character resonated with me. It’s because of the connection she has with Pippin, and because of the choice he makes. I can relate so much of that to my real life, and how much my relationship means to me. I don't have children yet, but when I do, I would imagine the same thing for myself. That's the life I want.

    John Moore: What I like about the new ending is that it really takes the focus off of our looking at Pippin's choice as the ultimate point of the show and shifts it ... shall we say ... onto something different for us to chew on.

    Kristine Reese: Absolutely.

    John Moore: But I think it makes sense to acknowledge how family has changed as in institution in this country over past 40 years. When you look at all of our social problems, there is something kind of odd about a man who chooses family being seen as a bold choice.

    Kristine Reese: It is very interesting. You wouldn't think that would be a controversial thing still. But it is.


    kristineQ2Pippin_Kristine_Reese_2


    John Moore: OK, so here is your really hard-hitting, important question: What do you do for the whole first act while waiting for Catherine to enter the story?

    Kristine Reese: Actually, I am a Player in the circus troupe, and not actually Catherine. So in the first act, I am playing a silent clown. And in the second act, my job is to play Catherine in the story of Pippin that we are putting on for the audience. You may not really notice me in the first act, or know, 'Oh, she’s going to be Catherine' -- but I think that's the point.

    John Moore: We think of Pippin as this quintessential coming-of-age story about a boy becoming a man. But I see so much female empowerment going on with this production. What it's like for you to be in the room with all of these strong women?

    Kristine Reese: I am so glad that you asked me that, because that is really important to me. Like you said, Diane is a mom, and Gypsy is a mom, and Nadia DiGiallonardo, who is our music supervisor, is a mom, as are many others. I am not a mother myself, but I think that is a really special thing to have around you. I remember when Diane won the Tony Award (for best direction), and how much that meant to me as a female watching. Here was this woman up there who has this great career, but she also has children and a family. That means so much to me. And it means so much to her. I have really wanted to work with her. Not to take away from (Choreographer Chet Walker) or anyone else on the team, but I think there is something about being able to speak with a woman director about motherhood and love and family, and what those things mean. Not to say that if I had a male director the show would not be good, but I think the connection that women share is special, and I am so honored to be working with these respectful, strong women who have children and have love in their lives. They understand what my relationship means to me, and how I can use that as an actor.

    Pippin_Kristine_Reese_8


    John Moore: Many who see Pippin in Denver will be seeing it for the first time. And for those who have seen it before, it will in many ways be new for them as well. Help me to articulate what kind of a theatrical experience they are in for.

    Kristine Reese: The story is told through the circus lens, and you haven't really seen a lot of Broadway shows that have that aspect to it. I think what makes it so magical is the excitement that the circus element brings to it, contrasted with these really intimate, grounded, emotional scenes. For all the spectacular, dangerous things these performers do in these beautiful, sparkling costumes, you also have these almost naked acting moments. This show has everything. And that's why I fell in love with it when I first saw it. It was so special when they sang Simple Joys and they started jumping through hoops. But then to see this beautiful connection between these two actors playing Pippin and Catherine, I thought, 'That's really what this play is about.' I think people can take both of those things away from it. 


    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.


    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:
     


    Pippin
    : Ticket information

    Sep 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos

    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • The 'Pippin' Profiles: Sabrina Harper on the joy of being conniving, clever and sexy

    by John Moore | Sep 08, 2014

    Pippin_Sabrina_Harper_1But Sabrina Harper seems like such a nice person.

    Yet there she is playing nasty Fastrada in the national touring production of Pippin the Musical. She’s the Queen, the conniving and manipulative wife to King Charlemagne. In other words: Pretty much the only person under the Big Top who wants to see poor Prince Pippin perish.

    “She is quite the clever one,” Harper says with a laugh. “She is the one where it all begins.” 

    From the musical's opening song, Magic to Do, “Fastrada is catapulting Pippin on his journey,” said Harper. “It’s a wonderful role because I get to be manipulative, conniving clever and sexy. I can’t see her as the evil stepmother. She just has a little bit of a … darker side.

    “But I am a very nice person,” I swear.

    To be fair, Harper doesn’t actually play Fastrada. She plays one member of a troupe of circus performers who tell the audience the story of Pippin -- meaning she's an actor who plays an actor who plays Fastrada. 

    Harper, born in Laguna Beach, Calif., is a triple threat: Classical ballet dancer, soprano and actor. And thanks to Pippin, you can add knife-juggler. “I have enjoyed picking up some new circus skills here and there,” she said. “I'm always looking to fill up my bag of goodies."

    Pippin_Sabrina_Harper_5

    Harper, granddaughter of noted California architect Tom Harper, trained with the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany. She performed with the Vienna Volksoper before being cast as Meg in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the Neue Flora Theater in Hamburg, followed by other musicals in Berlin, Austria and Switzerland. She played Peggy Sawyer in the first German production of the new 42nd Street in Stuttgart, and Ulla in the first German production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers. She also took on foxy Roxie Hart in the Swiss Broadway production of Chicago (like Pippin, originally choreographed by Bob Fosse). And she played Cassie in the Austrian version of A Chorus Line. Harper made her Broadway debut last year covering six roles in the Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin, and was cast as the first Fastrada in the national touring production that launched in Denver on Friday (Sept. 6) and plays through Sept. 20.

    Here are excerpts from our exclusive conversation with Sabrina Harper:
    (Note: Pippin production photos by Terry Shapiro) 

    Pippin_Sabrina_Harper_2John Moore: So where are you at in the process?

    Sabrina Harper: We're on a good track and heading in the right direction. It’s really exciting. We're training daily and I just feel really, fully involved right now. Full speed ahead.

    John Moore: I know you are a professional dancer, but I imagine this show has you in the best shape of your life.

    Sabrina Harper: That is true. It is very physically demanding for the whole team, especially when you consider the dancing and the aerial work and the acrobatics all together. We are all physically fit, but you still have to constantly continue to work. Like with any sport, you have to continue to push yourself to try new things, because when you are just doing the same thing over and over, it becomes a repetition, and your muscles just get used to it. So we continue to try new things and to advance ourselves.

    John Moore: So how do you go from dancing in a musical like A Chorus Line to something like this that's more high-flying? 

    Sabrina Harper: I would compare the role I play in Pippin to the Cassie dance in A Chorus Line. I have my one spectacular dance, and it has some magical illusion tricks to it. That’s full-force, beautiful choreography by Chet Walker in the style of (the late ) Bob Fosse. I also understudy the Leading Player and also the role of Berthe, so I am right there training on the trapeze, either alone or with a partner. It’s really quite exciting. In my spare time, I have taken to learning how to do some aerials, too -- but that's just for my own fancy.

    John Moore: I was talking with Lucie Arnaz (Berthe) about how you are all literally flying without a net. And I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, maybe there’s not a net, but surely something is in place to protect these people from falling. They aren’t really doing death-defying acts on the stage every night.’ But they really are, aren't they?

    Sabrina Harper: They really are performing death-defying acts on that stage every night. Pippin is the extraordinary character who is searching for spectacular moments in his life. And we are a company of extraordinary performers. I can promise you: We do not have a net. We do not have any security hooks on us.

    John Moore: Then how do you keep it safe?

    Sabrina Harper: If you are aware of your surroundings, you will be safe. We have an amazing team working with us, and everyone is trained to just be very, very aware. You can see them all around, especially when Lucie is doing her trapeze act. They all are there, and they are just like cats watching her. If at any moment something were to happen, they are trained to jump up and be there and protect her. These are highly skilled circus performers. Some of them have worked for Cirque du Soleil, and some come fresh out of the circus school in Montreal. When we first started rehearsals, we would do improv exercises designed for us to become aware of one another and our surroundings. We have been growing as a family and becoming a troupe. We've also been taught juggling with knives, and we have fire, and there are a lot of other dangerous elements. So you have to be focused. And if you are, then nothing bad will happen. Knock on wood: Nothing has happened.

    John Moore: Still, I have to wonder: How does the union ever let this happen?

    Sabrina Harper: Oh, I hear you. When I was working in Europe, I did a show where all I had to do was come down on a trapeze from the top of the proscenium. But even just from there, I had to have a harness. They would never believe what we get away with on Pippin. But we are so well-trained. Gypsy Snider, our circus choreographer, has been a wonderful partner on our team. She has been helping to get us ready. If we're ever not ready, then the tricks will not be done. Period.

    Pippin_Sabrina_Harper_3

    John Moore: So you’ve done some hard-core Fosse in your time. What’s the difference between doing actual hard-core Fosse -- and dancing ‘in the style of Fosse’?  


    Sabrina Harper: I have to say Bob Fosse was an amazing dancer. But if the general public knows ‘the Fosse style,’ they think of jazz hands; or the turned-in, pigeon-toed feet; or certain inverted hip movements. But he had so many other movements and choreographic elements. Long lines. Beautiful legs. Just very sexy; very sensual. You can watch YouTube videos of him dancing, and he will just turn and jump, and he just blows you away with his ability as a dancer. Now we have Chet Walker. And because Chet worked with Fosse, I want to say it’s really not that different. I love that there are numbers in the show and we are doing exactly the same choreography Bob Fosse did in the original in 1972. But I also love that Chet was able to incorporate his own choreography and add essential elements, too. He has created beautiful lines and beautiful movements that are fun and enjoyable to execute. The movements tell their own stories. They show strength, or they show passion. It’s storytelling with your body.

    John Moore: Chances are, most of the people who see Pippin in Denver have not had the opportunity to see this new incarnation in New York. If they have seen it, most likely they will have seen school or community theatre productions. They really have no idea what they are in for, do they?

    Pippin_Sabrina_Harper_4Sabrina Harper: They are in for a whole new theatre experience. This production is really extraordinary in all categories. We are the first to really to morph circus with dance, music and theatre, and pack it all into one amazing story. And it's just so honest and heartwarming. I hope that we will be able to touch all of you in Denver the way we have been able to touch the audiences who have come to see us in New York. It’s a just a wonderful, colorful theatre experience for all ages. I think you are going to enjoy it, and I think you are going to leave the theatre humming a song, and I think you are going to go home and think about your life. Pippin asks you to think about your journey: What is important to you in life? Finding that one moment … or finding true and lasting love? I think we are all faced with finding our own corner of the sky every day that we go through life. And that is what we are going to bring to Denver.

    John Moore: So … this is happening.


    Sabrina Harper: It is, and I am super excited. I have never been to Denver before, and I'm really looking forward to this experience. I have some friends in the Denver community from high school, so I'm looking forward to seeing them all.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:
     


    Pippin
    : Ticket information

    Sep 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    Video series: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with creatives
    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos

    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • Costume Designer Paul Tazewell on Molly Brown's fashion sense

    by John Moore | Sep 08, 2014

    Molly_Brown_Paul Tazewell_800

    Acclaimed Costume Designer Paul Tazewell shows off one of his 14 distinct looks for Molly Brown in the Denver Center's premiere staging of the new The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Photo by John Moore.


    By John Moore

    Award-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell sees a little bit of Molly Brown in Kim Kardashian.

    Wait, what?

    Well, when you think about it  … Brown was a blue-collar Missouri factory worker by age 13 who rose to international celebrity after a sensational ocean disaster. Kardashian achieved notoriety only after a sensational sex tape. Both nouveau personalities then struggled to fit in within the day’s fashion standards.

    But no matter how hard they tried, they never got it quite right.

    “It was lovely what Kim had on at the (2013) Emmys,” Tazewell said. “She was trying, but it was a little too tight and a little bright. She turned up the volume a little bit, and she didn’t get it quite right for what was appropriate for the event.”

    Welcome to Molly Brown’s world.
    Molly_Brown_Paul_Tazewell_Collage2

    At first, Brown made her own dresses, Tazewell said. And some of her choices were questionable at a time when taste left no room for individuality.

    “There were many more rules that were applied within society then,” Tazewell said. "Since Molly Brown’s time, we have become a very casual fashion community. Our modern fashion style has a lot of casual elements, like jeans and sneakers. You would never think of wearing flip-flops to a wedding back then. So I think how we see fashion is much different thing than the rigors of what it took then to put yourself together. That required staff and all kinds of underwear,”

    In designing the Denver Center’s new look at The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the five-time Tony Award-nominee’s goal was to communicate Brown’s relationship to any given community -- from Leadville to Paris -- through her sometimes ostentatious fashion choices.

    “The other women’s clothes will always set the appropriate year and tone,” Tazewell said. “And when Molly comes into it, you’ll be able to see what she didn’t get right. The strength of her color choices will pull her out of the more staid fashion sense of the Denver community. So we are using a lot of strong jewel tones like red and emerald green. We use a coral color and an aqua teal tone for her as well.” 

    The fun will be showing Molly’s evolution through her clothing choices. "Over time, she does need to mature in her fashion sense," Tazewell said. "So within her idea of what tasteful is, she becomes more tasteful.”  

    Tazewell has more than 14 years of experience designing for theatre, dance and opera, both in the United States and internationally. He said his biggest challenge in designing Molly Brown was making the costumes feel accurate to the story, while staying true to the Broadway musical genre.

    “The color and scale is part of it, but it’s also about making choices that feel emotionally true to the characters and the story they are telling," Tazewell said. "That's how I approach all my pieces. As a costume designer, at the end of the day, it needs to be true for the character."

    Unfortunately for some of the women in the Molly Brown cast, the story’s period will require many hourglass corsets, petticoats, layers, boots “and all kinds of underwear,” Tazewell said. “But we are going to use elastic insets in the corset so that the actors don't pass out.”


    Molly_Brown_Paul Tazewell_Collage


    Sidebar: Debbie Reynolds' Molly Brown dress is
    Denver-bound

    Molly_Brown_Debbie_Reynolds_Dress As part of the festivities in Denver, the DCPA has arranged for one of Debbie Reynolds' famous dresses from the 1964 film adaptation of The Unsinkable Molly Brown to be brought to Denver. It will showcased in the lobby of The Stage Theatre throughout the run of the show. The featured dress is shown at right.






    Paul Tazewell/At a glance

    Education:
    Graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts and NYU ‘s Tisch School of the Arts. 

    Selected credits:
    Broadway: Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (Tony Nomination), On the Town, Def Poetry Jam, Elaine Strich at Liberty, Fascinating Rhythm.
    Off-Broadway: Flesh and Blood, Harlem Song, Dina Was, City Center Encores! Li’l Abner, Once Around the City, Before It Hits Home, Playboy of the West Indies (Lincoln Center Theatre). Joseph Papp Public Theatre: Boston Marriage, One Flea Spare, Henry V, Venus, Blade to the Heat.

    Award and honors include:
    Lucille Lortel Award for On the Town, two Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Costume Design (The African Company Presents Richard III and Peer Gynt), a Michael Merritt Award, and the AUDELCO Award for Harlem Song. The TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award and a Princess Grace Fellowship.

    The Unsinkable Molly Brown: Ticket information
    Performances begin Sept. 12
    Stage Theatre
    Runs through Oct. 26.
    303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org


    Previous Molly Brown coverage on  MyDenverCenter.Org

     

  • Video: The 'Pippin' Personalities: Five questions with cast and creatives in Denver

    by John Moore | Sep 06, 2014


    In this fun video series, we will pose several personality questions to the cast and creative team behind the national touring production of Pippin The Musical, launching in Denver this very night: Sept. 6, 2014.

    The ‘Pippin’ Personalities video series:
    Video 1: What makes YOU extraordinary?
    Video 2: If you could run off with the circus …
    Video 3: What was the first big show you saw?
    Video 4: What has ‘Pippin’ taught you about yourself?
    Video 5: First impressions of Denver

    Our guests include Director Diane Paulus, Sasha Allen (Leading Player), Matthew James Thomas (Pippin), John Rubinstein (Charles), Lucie Arnaz (Berthe), Circus Creator Gypsy Snider and Choreographer Chet Walker. 

    Videos by John Moore and David Lenk for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.


    Video 2: If you could run off with the circus …




    Video 3: What was the first big show you ever saw? 




    Video 4: What has ‘Pippin’ taught you about yourself?


    ​ 


    Video 5: The ‘Pippin’ Personalities: First impressions of Denver





    Pippin
    : Ticket information

    Sept 6-20, 2014 • Buell Theatre
    Accessible Performances • Sep 20, 2pm
    Tickets: 303.893.4100 • Toll-free: 800.641.1222 • TTY: 303.893.9582
    Groups (10+) • 303.446.4829
    Online • www.DenverCenter.Org

    'The Pippin Profiles' interview series:
     


    Our previous Pippin coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

    'Pippin' meets Denver: Media Day photos
    Broadway's Matthew James Thomas to play Pippin in Denver
    Hello, Denver! 'Pippin' cast and crew arrive

    Photos: Pippin loading in Denver, rehearsing in New York

    My three Pippins gather at Sardi's to honor John Rubinstein
    Photos: Exclusive look at first 'Pippin' rehearsal
    Lucie Arnaz joins Denver-bound ‘Pippin’ as Berthe

    From Pippin to Pappa: Denver tour launch will feature John Rubinstein
    2014-15 season: ‘Pippin,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ are Denver-bound!

  • POPULAR POSTS
     
    ABOUT THE EDITOR
    John Moore
    John Moore
    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

    DCPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.