• Stomp: As loud as you can, Denver

    by NewsCenter Staff | Feb 17, 2015
    Stomp. Photo by Steve McNicholas.
    The cast of Stomp.  Photo by Steve McNicholas.

    Stomp
    is back in Denver in all its explosive, syncopated glory with those incredible percussionists who treasure the old adage about one man’s trash…

    The troupe still doesn’t look at everyday objects the way the rest of the world does. In their hands, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and the general detritus of the 21st Century takes on a life of its own. Stomp, created and directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, is an exploration of the outer limits of rhythmic invention. It’s a Pipe and Drum Corps for our age.
      
    And speaking of age, it has not withered Stomp. That concatenation of sound and skill, is back with its rhythms and drumbeats intact. The same goes for its nonstop movement of bodies, objects, sound — even abstract ideas. There’s no dialogue, speech or plot. But music? Absolutely. Uncommon music, created in nontraditional ways — with everyday objects ranging from matchbooks to every household item you can imagine. You’re bombarded by a caterwauling noise that under any other circumstances you would choose to shut out.

    But not here.

    Here all is syncopated and choreographed with the precision of an army bugle corps (minus the bugles) and by the fertile imagination of buskers or street performers from the streets of Brighton — the spot where Stomp’s creators hail from and where they dream up versions of this utterly inventive, unexpected, whacked-out show.

    There is no dialogue and there are no political statements to misconstrue, Just surprising sights and sounds of the moment, from the ringing of hollow pipes to clashing metal to  industrial strength dance routines involving a lot of supremely coordinated bodies.


    Stomp: Ticket information
    March 10-15
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or click here to order online
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
  • 'Cinderella': In this telling, girl's got backbone

    by NewsCenter Staff | Feb 02, 2015
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Paige Faure and Andy Jones. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
    Paige Faure and Andy Jones from the Broadway company of 'Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.'  Photo by Carol Rosegg.


    Once upon a time, whether you read it in a book, sang along with the Disney cartoon or sat riveted to the television watching Julie Andrews, Lesley Ann Warren or Brandy, you fell in love with Cinderella. But it wasn’t until 2013 that this classic fairy tale actually graced a Broadway stage.

    Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s Cinderella was the only musical of the legendary duo that was written for television. Largely based on Charles Perrault’s 1697 version of the tale, Cinderella starring Julie Andrews debuted on March 31, 1957, to an audience of 100 million people — nearly 60 percent of the US population at the time.

    It’s no wonder that the show met with instant success. Rodgers and Hammerstein hold one of the most successful legacies in musical theatre history. Their 11 collaborations yielded two Pulitzer Prizes and 35 Tony, 15 Academy, two Grammy and two Emmy awards. Their contributions to what many have called the “golden age” of musical theater include Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music.

    But no amount of public adoration made it an easy transition from a 90-minute television version into a full-length Broadway musical.

    Cinderella

    “I was approached by producer Robyn Goodman to do a Broadway version of Cinderella,” said book writer Douglas Carter Beane, “and the first thing I said was, ‘There’s not enough score to do a full show.’ And then I went home for the holidays, with all my sisters and my nieces and my nephews and my kids. We were looking to do a little project together and I just went online and I typed in “Cinderella.” And from that was the Charles Perrault, the original French version. And I read it and I was knocked out. It’s only, like, a page and a half. But it already had so much stuff in it that Americans and English people had just taken out.

    “First was that the court was overwhelmed with ridicule and sarcasm, yet Cinderella was kind. Second was that she didn’t just see the Prince once; she saw him a number of times and actually saved him from the viciousness of the court. And the third was that one of the evil stepsisters turned out to be OK.

    “So I went back to Robyn and I said, ‘I found it. I found the way in.’ It is a perfect mesh of Rodgers and Hammerstein and their bigger shows, which always had big themes about kindness and responsibility."




    When Director Mark Brokaw read the book, "The first thing I thought was that Doug had done a fantastic job of taking the traditional story of Cinderella that everybody knows, but upending our expectations of who the characters were and how the story unraveled.

    “In this telling, Cinderella’s got backbone. It’s like those clown dummies that go down when they get punched, but come right back up. She’s able to absorb and then come back and keep going forward. And I think that’s at the heart of Doug’s tale — charity, generosity and kindness will triumph, ultimately. Those are the greatest qualities; better than beauty, better than wealth; that if you have those other three things, you have everything.”

    And the show, too, has everything. “The glass slipper is there and he has to find her, and the fairy godmother and the wicked stepmother are there,” said producer Robyn Goodman. “It just has a slight modern spin on it, so that girls feel that princesses can save the world; that they are proactive, they’re compassionate and that the basic theme of the show is kindness.”

    “It’s a wonderful introduction to classic Broadway for kids,” said Doug Beane. “We knew that we had a contract with a lot of audience members that it was their first show and if we didn’t do this right, they would never come back!”

    Lucky for us, the glass slipper — and the modernization of this classic fairy tale — is a perfect fit.

    Article compiled by Suzanne Yoe from Cinderella publicity materials.

    Cinderella

    Feb. 3-15 | Buell Theatre
    ASL, Audio Described and Open Captioning: 2 p.m. Feb 15
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 | denvercenter.org
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829

    'Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.'  Photo by Carol Rosegg.

    'Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.'  Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  • A 'Gentleman's Guide' to the DCPA's 2015-16 Broadway season

    by John Moore | Feb 02, 2015
    The video montage above shows DCPA Broadway's 2015-16 season offerings.


    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' 2015-16 Broadway season will feature the 2014 Tony Award-winning best musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, and the previously announced national tour launch of If/Then, it was announced this morning. The season also will include Matilda The Musical; Disney’s Newsies; Beautiful – The Carole King Musical; Murder For Two; and A Christmas Story, The Musical.


    Added attractions will include the Denver returns of Disney's The Lion King, once, Riverdance, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and the previously announced The Book of Mormon. Also heading to Denver: Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage; The Wizard of Oz; and The Sound of Music. The full lineup:

    Broadway 2015/16 Season at-a-glance (Subscription shows in bold)
    The Book of Mormon,
    Aug. 11-Sept 13, 2015, The Ellie
    Matilda The Musical
    , Sept. 9-20, 2015,  Buell Theatre      
    If/Then,
    Oct. 13-25, 2015, Buell Theatre      
    Murder For Two
    , Oct. 27, 2015-Feb 21, 2016, Garner Galleria Theatre
    Disney's The Lion King
    , Nov. 4-29, 2015, Buell Theatre      
    A Christmas Story,
    The Musical
    , Dec. 16-27, 2015, Buell Theatre      
    Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage
    , Jan. 26-31, 2016, Buell Theatre      
    The Wizard of Oz
    , Feb. 7-13, 2016, Buell Theatre      
    A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder,
    Feb. 16-28, 2016, Buell Theatre      
    Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour,
    March 8-13, 2016, Buell Theatre
    Disney’s Newsies, March 23-April 9, 2016, Buell Theatre      
    ONCE
    , May 24-29, 2016, The Ellie
    NETworks Presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast, June 7-12, 2016, Buell Theatre
    The Sound of Music, June 21-26, 2016, Buell Theatre      
    Beautiful –The Carole King Musical,
    July 19-31, 2016, Buell Theatre   

    Season subscriptions start as low as eight payments of $26.13 and are available starting at 10 a.m. today (Monday, Feb. 2) by calling 303-893-4100, or visiting denvercenter.org.

    Season subscribers also may purchase tickets to the added attractions before they go on sale to the public. A single ticket on-sale for all additional shows in 2015-16 will be announced at a later date.

    The Broadway season at a glance:

    MATILDA THE MUSICAL
    Matilda The Musical: Broadway cast. Photo by Joan Marcus.Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards, Matilda The Musical
    is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda The Musical continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End.

    IF/THEN
    If/Then If/Then
    is a contemporary Broadway musical about living in New York today – and all the possibilities of tomorrow. With unforgettable songs and a deeply moving story by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning creators of Next to Normal, this “fascinating, ambitious, and original new musical (New York Post)” simultaneously follows one woman’s two possible life paths, painting a deeply moving portrait of the lives we lead, as well as the lives we might have led. Read more: Denver Launches National Tour

    MURDER FOR TWO
    Murder For Two: Jeff Blumenkrantz and Brett Ryback. Photo by Joan MarcusMurder For Two, direct from its smash Off-Broadway run in New York, is a hilarious, 90-minute murder mystery musical comedy with a twist: one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects and they both play the piano! The New York Times calls it “ingenious. A snazzy double-act!” and Entertainment Weekly describes it as “a charmingly frenetic, all-stops out musical comedy!” Murder For Two is the winner of the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical and a Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominee.

    A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL
    A Christmas Story, The Musical: Christian Dell'Edera as Flick. Direct from Broadway: A Christmas Story, The Musical, nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical, comes to hilarious life onstage. Based on the classic 1983 movie, the story takes place in 1940s Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa and a triple dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream.

    A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER
    Winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best
    A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: Lisa O'Hare, Bryce Pinkham and Catherine Walker. Photo by Joan Marcus.  Musical
    Coming direct from New York,  A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession, by any means necessary. All the while, he’s got to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance…and be done in time for tea. Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-’em-dead hit show.

    DISNEY’S NEWSIES
    North American Tour of Newsies. ©Disney. Photo by Deen van Meer. They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines… Direct from Broadway comes Newsies, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, Newsies has audiences and critics alike calling it “a musical worth singing about” (The New York Times). Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance you just don’t want to miss. Based on true events, Newsies tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right…and staying true to who you are. Newsies was brought to the stage by an award-winning creative team. It features a score by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Jack Feldman (The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride) and a book by Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), with choreography by Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific) and direction by Jeff Calhoun (Big River).

    BEAUTIFUL — THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL 
    Broadway cast of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical: Jeb Brown, Jake Epstein, Jessie Mueller, Jarrod Spector and Anika Larsen. Photo by Joan Marcus.Beautiful – The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, Beautiful has a book by Tony Award-nominee and Academy Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, choreography by Josh Prince and took home two 2014 Tony Awards.

    Page to Stage


    Broadway 2015/16 season subscribers may also purchase these added attractions before they go on sale to the public:

    DISNEY’S THE LION KING
    Disney's The Lion King': Jelani Remy as Simba. Photo by Joan Marcus.More than 70 million people around the world have experienced the phenomenon of Disney's The Lion King, and now you can too, when Denver’s best-loved musical returns to the Buell Theatre.  Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this landmark musical event brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.  Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals. The Lion King also features some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.  There is simply nothing else like The Lion King.

    DIRTY DANCING: THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE
    Dirty DancingDirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage is a record-breaking live theatre sensation, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!” Featuring the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do you Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

    THE WIZARD OF OZ
    The Wizard of Oz: Original London cast. Photo by Keith PattisonThis new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage. Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this production contains the beloved songs from the Oscar - winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

    RIVERDANCE: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR
    Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour. Photo by Clark James Mishler.The international Irish dance phenomenon is back by popular demand in Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures in an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song.  Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland - in rock, music, theatre and film - nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour is composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, and comes directly to North America from a sold out run across Europe and Asia.

    ONCE
    Once: Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal. Photo by Joan Marcus. Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, once is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights... but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, once draws you in from the very first note and never lets go. It's an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

    NETworks Presents DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
    Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Photo by Matthew Murphy.Disney's Beauty and the Beast,
     the smash hit Broadway musical, returns to Denver.  Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of more than 35 million worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.  

    THE SOUND OF MUSIC
    The Sound of MusicThe hills are alive! A brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award winning Director Jack O’Brien, is coming to the Buell Theatre. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony, Grammy and Academy Award winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. The Sound of Music enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in more than 50 years when The Sound of Music Live! aired on NBC in December, 2013 (seen by more than 44 million people); 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.

    Already currently on sale to the general public:

    THE BOOK OF MORMON
    The Book of MormonThe Book of Mormon is back by popular demand for a limited engagement Aug. 11-Sept. 13 at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Book of Mormon broke house records during its last engagement in 2013 and currently holds the all-time record at The Buell Theatre for the highest weekly gross (for an eight-show performance week) at $1,993,690. The Book of Mormon also broke house records during the three-week national tour launch engagement in fall 2012, and currently holds the all-time record at The Ellie for the highest weekly gross at $1,443,977. In addition, The Book of Mormon currently holds the all-time single ticket on-sale record for the DCPA with more than 38,000 tickets sold on June 10, 2013. Tickets are now on sale to the general public.

    To purchase a subscription:
    Call 303-893-4100 or 800-641-1222
    Visit the ticket office located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at Speer Boulevad and Arapahoe streets. 
    Subscription packages also may be purchased online at denvercenter.org/bwaysubs.  Groups of 10 or more: Please call 303.446.4829
    Please be advised that the DCPA – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for these productions in Denver.

    Prices
  • DCPA to launch national tour of 'If/Then' in October

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jan 29, 2015
    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts announced today that the national tour of If/Then, which was named best musical of 2014 by New York Magazine, will launch in Denver in October 2015.

    Performances begin Oct. 13 at the Buell Theatre and run through Oct. 25. If/Then will be part of the 2015-16 Broadway season. The remaining shows on the upcoming season will be announced at a later date.

    'If/Then'If/Then is a contemporary new Broadway musical written by Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), and directed by Michael Greif, the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal. 

    “The Denver Center is proud to bring this hugely entertaining and deeply moving new American musical to Denver," said John Ekeberg, Executive Director for DCPA Broadway. "If/Then caught the attention of (late predecessor) Randy Weeks and me very early on, given the stellar producing and creative team behind it.

    "The producer, David Stone, is committed to bringing new musicals to theatre audiences around the world, including such titles as Wicked, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Next to Normal and now, If/Then. The DCPA continues to be committed to supporting new work. So to be able to launch the tour of this thrilling musical here in Denver is a privilege for all of us here.  I’m so excited that our audiences will be the first to experience this show straight from Broadway.”

    If/Then follows two distinct storylines in the life of Elizabeth, a city planner who moves back to New York to re-start her life in that city of infinite possibilities. When her carefully designed plans collide with the whims of fate, Elizabeth’s life splits into two parallel paths. If/Then follows both stories simultaneously as this modern woman faces the intersection of choice and chance.

    The Washington Post called If/Then “a smart, deeply touching and big-hearted new musical. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s score is invested with melodic urgency, bringing you to tears or breathlessness.”

    If/Then
    features choreography by Larry Keigwin, set design by Tony Award nominee Mark Wendland, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Tony Award winner Brian Ronan.

    Casting for the national tour of If/Then will be announced at a later date. The original Broadway Cast recording is available on iTunes. For more information about If/Then, please visit IfThenTheMusical.com.

    Ticketing information:

    If/Then will be a featured production on the 2015-16 DCPA Broadway season, which is not yet announced or available at this time. Subscriptions for the 2014-15 Broadway season are currently on sale and start as low as four payments of $26.81. Restrictions apply. To purchase a subscription, please call Denver Center Ticket Services at 303-893-4100 or 800-641-1222, or visit the ticket office located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at Speer Boulevard and Arapahoe Steets. Purchase online at denvercenter.org/bwaysubs.

    Follow theDenver Center for the Performing Arts on Twitter @DenverCenter, or on Facebook.  

  • Meet the cast video series: Leslie Alexander

    by John Moore | Dec 19, 2014


    Meet_The_Cast_Leslie_Alexander_800In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 75: Meet Leslie Alexander, who is back to play Mrs. Cratchit in the DCPA Theatre Company's holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Alexander, who most recently appeared in last year's Carol and, before that, Taming of the Shrew in 2012, talks about, among other things, snow-tubing with her family on Copper Mountain, and her second career as a professional organizer. A Christmas Carol plays through Dec. 28  in the Stage Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 2 minutes, 40 seconds.


    A Christmas Carol
    : Ticket information
    Performances run through Dec. 28
    Stage Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous coverage of this year's A Christmas Carol:
    Actor Scott McLean is now also a published children's author
    Video: The Christmas Carol Coast to Coast Challenge. No. 1: Denver
    By the numbers: A Christmas Carol over 22 years at the DCPA
    First day of 2014 rehearsal: Interviews, cast list and photos
    Meet the cast video: James Michael Reilly
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas O'Carroll ... in 5 minutes

    A Christmas Carol: Montage of scenes:



    Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

    Charlie Franklin, Lord of the Flies
    Patty Goble,The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Sam Gregory, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Matthew Gumley, Lord of the Flies
    Paolo Montalban, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Linda Mugleston, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Donna English, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Eddie Lopez, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Burke Moses, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Ben and Noah Radcliffe, Lord of the Flies
    James Michael Reilly, A Christmas Carol
    Socorro Santiago, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Lesley Shires, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Gregory Isaac Stone, Lord of the Flies

    Click here for meet the cast episodes from the 2013-14 A Christmas Carol
    • Denver's Beth Malone returning to Broadway in 'Fun Home'

      by John Moore | Dec 08, 2014

      Beth_Malone_Fun_Home_1Beth Malone’s dream year may turn out to have been just been a quick nap leading up to an even dreamier one. 

      It was announced today that the Castle Rock native, who just starred in the DCPA Theatre Company’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown, will reprise her widely acclaimed role in Fun Home when the groundbreaking new musical moves to Broadway in March.

      Malone got the official word this morning while she was sitting in the Grand Junction airport waiting to board a plane to New York. Fun Home will open for previews at the Circle in the Square  on March 27, with opening night set for April 19. This will be Malone's second Broadway appearance, after having appeared in Ring of Fire in 2006.

      Fun Home is as opposite from Molly as I could imagine,” Malone said of the DCPA’s launch of the newly reimagined The Unsinkable Molly Brown that closed on Oct. 26. “First, I don't change clothes. Not once!”

      Malone is a graduate of Douglas County High School and the University of Northern Colorado.

      Beth_Malone_Fun_Home_2The Public Theater's acclaimed 2013 production of Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, is a refreshingly honest coming-of-age story about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. It was adapted for the stage by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, and is directed by Sam Gold.

      Malone will again be one of three actors to play Allison at various stages of her life, along with Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs.

      Even as an off-Broadway production, the New York Drama Critics Circle and New York Times named Fun Home “Best Musical of the Year.” The Times review called it "a beautiful, heartbreaker of a musical." It was extended four times at The Public by popular demand.

      Rummaging through a box of her father's stuff, the memories of Alison's uniquely dysfunctional family - her mother, brothers, and her volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father - connect with her in surprising, powerful and revealing new ways.

       “The Fun Home journey I take is not in regular time and exists in memories, while Molly Brown is very linear and extroverted,” Malone said. The two projects are amazing and I'm so grateful to get to do both back-to-back. They use completely different acting muscles.”

      Malone’s castmates will include Michael Cerveris as Bruce Bechdel, Judy Kuhn as Helen Bechdel. The ensemble includes Joel Perez, Roberta Colindrez and newcomers Zell Morrow and Oscar Williams as Alison's brothers John and Christian respectively.

      Tickets went on-sale to the general public today. Click here to buy tickets, or call 212-239-6200.

       Fun Home: Video montage of scenes:

       

      Selected previous Beth Malone coverage:

      Beth_Malone_Fun_Home_3

      Beth Malone in the DCPA Theatre Company's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.

      Other photos:
      Beth Malone in Leadville (top;). Photo by John Moore.
      Beth Malone in Fun Home. Photo by Joan Marcus.
    • Photos: Denver opening of 'Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking'

      by John Moore | Nov 23, 2014
      Forbidden_Broadway_Alive_Kicking_Opening_800_1
      The cast and crew of the DCPA's world premiere of 'Forever Broadway" Alive and Kicking' gathered at LImelight for a post-show celebration. Photo by John Moore.


      Here are photos from Friday's opening performance of the brand new Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!, which plays at the Garner Galleria Theatre through March 1. To see our complete gallery of downloadable Opening Night photos, click here

      Forbidden Broadway is a comic roast of Broadway that has picked up nine Drama Desk Awards, a special Tony Award, an Obie, a Lucille Lortel and Drama League Award. This New York sensation returns to Denver with an all-new, fresh view of the highs and lows of recent Broadway shows. It pays special attention to shows that Denver audiences have recently seen: Pippin, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon.

      The show features outrageous costumes, rewrites of popular showtunes  and celebrity impressions by an all-Denver cast of Lauren Shealy, Sarah Rex, Jordan Leigh and Chad T. Reagan. The director is Bill Selby, who also celebrated his birthday on Opening Night. The musical director is Martha Yordy. 

      Photos by John Moore. To see our complete gallery of downloadable Opening Night photos, click here


      Forbidden_Broadway_Alive_Kicking_Opening_800_2
      Opening night was also Director Bill Selby's birthday. Photo by John Moore.



      Forbidden_Broadway_Alive_Kicking_Opening_800_3
      A scene from the show: Here are Jordan Leigh and Chad T. Reagan sending up 'The Book of Mormon.' Photo by Terry Shapiro.


      More photos:
      To see our complete gallery of downloadable Opening Night photos, click here

      Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!: Ticket information
      Created by Gerard Alessandrini
      November 15 through March 1
      Garner Galleria Theatre
      Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission
      Tickets: Start at $25
      Age recommendation: Appropriate for children 8+
      303-893-4100
      DenverCenter.Org


      Our previous coverage of Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!
      Meet the homegrown cast of Forbidden Broadway


      Scenes from 'Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking.' Video by David Lenk.
    • 5 'Kinky' Qs: What is your message to high-school theatre students?

      by John Moore | Nov 10, 2014
      We visited with the cast of the national touring production of Kinky Boots and posed five questions to them. No. 5: What is your message to high school students when people try to tell them that theatre isn't cool? The DCPA administers the annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrates achievement in Colorado high-school theatre.

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

      The 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical written by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper just finished its Denver run on Nov. 9.

      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?
      No. 4: What would be your character's Campaign Platform?
      No. 5: What is your message to high-school theatre students?

      Kinky_Boots_Questions_5_800
      Try telling Steven Booth, right, that theatre isn't cool. 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.

  • 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!

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    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.