• Video: Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo on coming home to Denver

    by John Moore | Apr 24, 2015

    Video by John Moore and David Lenk.


    Ace Young and Diana Degarmo, who star in the national touring production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' Photo by John Moore. Married stars Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo talk about ending their 15-month national touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Denver, not far from Young's hometown of Boulder. "This is a dream come true,” Young says. "The first musical I ever saw was here. For me, it feels like I am going into a state championship baseball game. Fortunately, I have done that seven times. I have never done this. So I feel like a kid in the candy store." Joseph plays only through Sunday (April 26). Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org.

    Photo: Ace Young, Diana DeGarmo and their little Denver Broncos fan-dog, Rosie. Photo by John Moore.

    More coverage of Joseph on the DCPA NewsCenter:

    Interview: 'Joseph' brings Boulder native Ace Young home
    Go to the show page


    Video: Ace Young proposes to Diana DeGarmo live on "American Idol'':

    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat:
    Ticket information

    April 22-26
    Buell Theatre
    Call 303-893-4100 or buy online
    Note: ASL interpreted, Audio described and Open Captioned performance: 2 p.m. April 25

    Ace Young as Joseph and his wife, Diana Degarmo, as the narrator in the national touring production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' Photo by Daniel A. Swalec

    Ace Young as Joseph and his wife, Diana Degarmo, as the narrator in the national touring production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' Photo by Daniel A. Swalec

  • Video: Denver First Lady hosts students, 'Motown' cast members

    by John Moore | Apr 24, 2015

    Video by John Moore and David Lenk.




    Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee with 'Motown' actors Reed L. Shannon and Leon Outlaw Jr. at Cableland. Photo by Emily Lozow. Motown at CablelandDenver First Lady Mary Louise Lee hosted students from Denver's Hamilton and Florida Pitt Waller middle schools for an afternoon of pizza, performances and inspiring conversations from Motown the Musical national touring production cast members.  And when the students were asked to return the favor, they sang a few songs for the pros as well.

    The participating Motown cast members included   Clifton Oliver, Leon Outlaw Jr., Reed L. Shannon, Patrice Covington, Ashley Tamar Davis and Martina Sykes.

    "I want everyone to know that this could be you too," said Lee, also the founder of  a nonprofit called the Bringing Back The Arts Foundation. "You can be anything you set your mind to. You can be an astronaut.  You can can be an architect. You an be the mayor of Denver. It doesn't matter what color you are, or where you come from."



    Pictured above: Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee with Motown actors Reed L. Shannon and Leon Outlaw Jr. at Cableland. Photo by Emily Lozow.

    Our photo gallery from the day at Cableland:


    Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • 'Motown' moments: Smooth moves earn retired Colonel trip to Boston

    by John Moore | Apr 13, 2015



    Shel and Karen Oli with 'Motown' star Allison Semmes. Photo by John Moore. Retired Air Force Colonel Shel Omi of Wheat Ridge won CBS-4's Motown superfan contest by submitting video of his father-daughter wedding dance to the Motown "My Girl," with his daughter, Paige.

    Omi won a trip to see 'Motown the Musical' in Boston, where he met cast members and took a private a backstage tour. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore and Video Producer David Lenk talked with Col. Omi at Opening Night of the national touring production's current stop in Denver, which runs through April 19.

    Footage from Boston courtesy CBS-4 Critic-at-Large Greg Moody. Pictured above: Shel and Karen Omi with Motown the Musical star Allison Semmes. Photo by John Moore.

    Watch the video of the full father-daughter dance by clicking here

    Motown the Musical: Ticket information
    Through April 19
    The Buell Theatre
    ASL, Open Caption and Audio Described performance: April 18, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893.4100 | buy online
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
    Click here to go to the show's official web site

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Motown, The Musical:
    9News' TaRhonda Thomas is a Supreme for a Day
    Video: A 'Motown' national anthem at Denver Nuggets game
    Mayor declares 'Motown the Musical Day' in Denver
    Video: Our Little Michael Jacksons in Denver
    Video: Allison Semmes on channeling Diana Ross
    Video: Scott Shiller's first day as DCPA CEO is Motown's opening night
    How Berry Gordy turned a slogan into The Supremes
    Photos: Motown in Denver
    Official show page
    Video: Montage of scenes

    Shel Omi with his family at the opening of 'Motown the Musical' in Denver. Photo by John Moore. Shel Omi with his family at the opening of 'Motown the Musical' in Denver. Photo by John Moore.
  • 'Joseph ... ' brings Boulder native Ace Young home

    by John Moore | Apr 10, 2015
    Ace Young as Joseph and his wife, Diana Degarmo, as the narrator in the national touring production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' Photo by Daniel A. Swalec
    Ace Young as Joseph and his wife, Diana Degarmo, as the narrator in the national touring production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' Photo by Daniel A. Swalec


    Boulder native Ace Young was born to be on “American Idol.” Being the youngest of five boys, he says, “made me very competitive very early in life.”

    That life began in 1980 at Boulder Community Hospital. The Youngs bounced around Boulder from rented house to rented house because, Young says with a laugh, “no one ever wanted us in their house for more than a year.”

    Why not? Five boys, he said.

    “It was like a tornado.”

    Young Ace was a bit of a rough-houser, he claims, but he also was an Eagle Scout who sang choir, played sports and took International Baccalaureate classes at Fairview High School. To pretty much anyone but Ace…he was a good kid.

    “To my parents’ knowledge, I was a good kid,” he says with another chuckle. “But that didn’t mean everything I did was always parentally approved. Let’s just say my brothers got me out of a lot of trouble.”

    Ace YoungYoung started (parentally approved) voice lessons at age 9. His first paid performance was singing in front of the food court at Boulder’s Crossroads Mall when he was just 11. It was a family affair: His brothers carried speakers and his dad ran lights for a 30-minute show that included original songs and covers by the likes of Michael Jackson. There was even some 11-year old rapping in his set because, Young said, “Hey, Kris Kross was huge back then."

    Young has been huge ever since appearing on “American Idol” back in 2006. He is now starring in the title role of the national touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and he is fulfilling a lifelong dream by closing that 15-month tour at his hometown Buell Theatre.

    “You have to understand: The first theatre show I ever saw was Phantom of the Opera at The Buell Theatre in 1992,” he said. Family outings meant a day at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre. “That was like going to church,” he added. “We got dressed up, we got a meal, and we watched an amazing show. I loved it.”

    Young is starring in Joseph... with his wife, Diana DeGarmo, playing the Narrator. She was the runnerup on Season 3 of “American Idol,” but Young is happy that’s not where they met. “That’s because she was only 16 when she was on ‘Idol,’” he said, “and that would have been weird.”

    No, Young met DeGarmo as a 22-year-old woman when they both were featured in the Broadway revival of Hair (he as Berger and she as Sheila). “That was a very challenging show, and we both jumped fully into it,” he said. “Not only did we become best friends, but we fell in love.”

    They are now performing together in a Joseph... that Young guarantees is different from any you have seen before.

    “We like to say this is not your mamma’s Joseph... ,” he said. “Andy Blankenbuehler, our director, is a Tony Award winner for a reason. We call him our modern-day Joseph. He has really pushed this production to a brand new level.”

    In this staging, every brother has a unique personality. There are no throwaway songs. Every moment matters. And that titular technicolor dreamcoat?

    “It has its own dressing room,” said Young – and he’s not kidding. “It is worth more than all of us.”

    The coat was hand-sewn and hand-dyed with all 29 of its lyrical colors. It was designed after Marc Chagall’s famous stained-glass windows. “It literally jumps off the stage,” said Young.

    Recent technological advances have allowed the creative team to push the visual limits of the show in other ways. Instead of just hearing about the troubling dreams Joseph interprets, for example, “You actually see the dreams happening onstage,” Young said.

    Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber approved a change to the ending of the show that allows Young and DeGarmo to sing a wholly reimagined reprise of the opening song as a duet played to an acoustic guitar. “We sing it with a Simon and Garfunkel harmony vibe,” said Young, “and it tears the roof off every night.”

    The couple is grateful for the growing trend of casting popular singers from competitive TV shows such as ‘'American Idol’' and “The Voice” into Broadway and touring productions. And Young’s wife started it all.

    “Diana was the first-ever 'American Idol' finalist to do a Broadway show,” he said of DeGarmo’s year with Hairspray in 2006. “If it weren’t for her paving the way, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make my Broadway debut in Grease in 2008.”

    He has advised anyone who follows in his TV footsteps to never take work that follows in TV, film or theatre for granted. “I let them know that the next thing you do after this has to matter, because so many of them don’t take it seriously and they think it is going to last forever,” he said. “But if you don’t do a good job, you are never going to be asked back.”

    Young can’t imagine a better place to close this chapter of his professional career than Denver. “To be able to finish in my hometown where I grew up for the first 20 years of my life is just going to be amazing,” he said. But he’s even happier for his parents.

    “My mom has about 170 friends coming to one performance — and I have known every single one of those 170 people my entire life,” he said. “I bet half of them changed my diapers.”

    Those diaper-changers will see a show, Young promises, “that shoots you out of a cannon from the very beginning.”

    And yet, what he loves most is the very end.

    “Every night, I see kids in the crowd that have the bug,” Young said. “They are feeling what I felt when I saw Phantom at The Buell Theatre as a kid. They are being inspired to be part of the arts. And when you are the one onstage giving that out, it feels like you are passing it forward.”

    Video: Ace Young proposes to Diana DeGarmo live on "American Idol'':

    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat:
    Ticket information

    April 22-26
    Buell Theatre
    Call 303-893-4100 or buy online
    Groups (10+): 303.446.4829
    Note: ASL interpreted, Audio described and Open Captioned performance: 2 p.m. April 25
  • 9News' TaRhonda Thomas is a Supreme for a Day

    by John Moore | Apr 10, 2015


    TaRhonda Thomas of 9News got to be a Supreme for a Day. She got to wear the hot pink, she got dance and vocal lessons, and yes, she got to stop in the name of love during the Friday morning newscast, with some help from the national touring production of "Motown the Musical" cast and crew. We followed the making of the fun 9News segment. Helping out were Musical Director/Conductor Darryl Archibald, Dance Captain Rod Harrelson,  Wardrobe Supervisor Heather Yerrick and, as The Supremes, Jennie Harney and Krisha Marcano.

    Video by David Lenk. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Click here to watch TaRhonda Thomas' report for 9News

    And here are our photos from TaRhonda's Day as a Supreme:




    Motown the Musical: Ticket information
    Through April 19
    The Buell Theatre
    ASL, Open Caption and Audio Described performance: April 18, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893.4100 | buy online
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
    Click here to go to the show's official web site

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Motown, The Musical:
    Video: A 'Motown' national anthem at Denver Nuggets game
    Mayor declares 'Motown the Musical Day' in Denver
    Video: Our Little Michael Jacksons in Denver
    Video: Allison Semmes on channeling Diana Ross
    Video: Scott Shiller's first day as DCPA CEO is Motown's opening night
    How Berry Gordy turned a slogan into The Supremes
    Photos: Motown in Denver
    Official show page
    Video: Montage of scenes




    TaRhonda Thomas of 9News plays Diana Ross with Jennie Harney and Krisha Marcano of 'Motown the Musical' as her Supremes. Photo by John Moore.
    TaRhonda Thomas of 9News plays Diana Ross with Jennie Harney and Krisha Marcano of 'Motown the Musical' as her Supremes. Photo by John Moore.
  • Video: A 'Motown' national anthem at Denver Nuggets game

    by John Moore | Apr 09, 2015

    Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., who plays Jermaine Jackson and a Temptation in the national touring production of Motown the Musical that plays in Denver through April 19, sings the national anthem before the Denver Nuggets' impressive victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on April 8, 2015.

    Video by Emily Lozow, Alicia Giersch, Heidi Bosk and John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

    Rodney Earl Jackson Jr. Photo by Heidi Bosk.
    Rodney Earl Jackson Jr. at the Pepsi Center before singing the national anthem at the Denver Nuggets' game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Photo by Heidi Bosk.


    Motown the Musical: Ticket information
    Through April 19
    The Buell Theatre
    ASL, Open Caption and Audio Described performance: April 18, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893.4100 | buy online
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
    Click here to go to the show's official web site

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Motown, The Musical:
    Mayor declares 'Motown the Musical Day' in Denver
    Video: Our Little Michael Jacksons in Denver
    Video: Allison Semmes on channeling Diana Ross
    Video: Scott Shiller's first day as DCPA CEO is Motown's opening night
    How Berry Gordy turned a slogan into The Supremes
    Photos: Motown in Denver
    Official show page
    Video: Montage of scenes

    Photos of Motown the Musical's stay in Denver:


    Here are  photos from the national touring production of 'Motown The Musical' in Denver. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow.



  • Video: Mayor declares 'Motown the Musical' Day in Denver

    by John Moore | Apr 06, 2015


    Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and his wife, Mary Louise Lee. Photo by John Moore. On Friday, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock declared April 3 to be Motown The Musical Day in Denver. He was accompanied by his wife, performer Mary Louise Lee.

    Hancock and Lee celebrated their 20th anniversary by flying to New York and seeing Motown The Musical on Broadway. The Hancocks already have attended the show three times in Denver. Hear what they have to say about the importance of Motown music not only for them, but for all music lovers.

    Lee made her professional debut at age 18 performing in the Motown inspired musical Beehive at what is now the Garner Galleria Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

    The national touring production of Motown The Musical will be visiting Denver through April 19.

    Read the entire proclamation at the bottom of this page.

    Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Mayor Michael B. Hancock and wife Mary Louise Lee declare April 3 to be 'Motown the Musical' Day in Denver. Phot by John Moore.
    Mayor Michael B. Hancock and wife Mary Louise Lee declare April 3 to be 'Motown the Musical' Day in Denver. Photo by John Moore.



    Motown the Musical: Ticket information
    Through April 19
    The Buell Theatre
    ASL, Open Caption and Audio Described performance: April 18, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893.4100 | buy online
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
    Click here to go to the show's official web site

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Motown, The Musical:
    Video: Our Little Michael Jacksons in Denver
    Video: Allison Semmes on channeling Diana Ross
    Video: Scott Shiller's first day as DCPA CEO is Motown's opening night
    How Berry Gordy turned a slogan into The Supremes
    Photos: Motown in Denver
    Official show page
    Video: Montage of scenes

    Photos of Motown the Musical's stay in Denver:


    Here are  photos from the national touring production of 'Motown The Musical' in Denver. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow.



    The proclamation:
    April 3 is 'Motown the Musical' Day in Denver.
  • Video: 'Motown' moments: Allison Semmes on Opening Night in Denver

    by John Moore | Apr 02, 2015


    Allison Semmes in Denver. Photo by John Moore. Allison Semmes, who is playing Diana Ross in the national touring production of Motown the Musical that just opened in Denver, talks with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore just after the opening performance at the Buell Theatre. Motown the Musical plays through April 19.

    Motown the Musical: Ticket information
    Through April 19
    The Buell Theatre
    ASL, Open Caption and Audio Described performance: April 18, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893.4100 | buy online
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
    Click here to go to the show's official web site


    Previous coverage of Motown, The Musical:
    Video: Scott Shiller's first day as DCPA CEO is Motown's opening night
    How Berry Gordy turned a slogan into The Supremes
    Photos: Motown in Denver
    Official show page
    Video: Montage of scenes


    Here are  photos from the national touring production of Motown The Musical's opening night in Denver on Tuesday, March 31. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow.

  • New DCPA CEO's first day is opening night of 'Motown'

    by John Moore | Apr 01, 2015



    Scott Shiller, newly appointed as just the second CEO in Denver Center for the Performing Arts history, had his first day on the job March 31. After a whirlwind day of greetings and meetings, he attended the opening performance  of the national touring production of Motown, the Musical, playing at the Buell Theatre through April 19.

    Shiller talks about his whirlwind day, which included meeting Denver First Lady and accomplished performer Mary Louise Lee, who made her professional stage debut at the Garner Galleria Theatre (then called StageWest) at the DCPA when she was just 18, and Motown star Allison Semmes (Diana Ross). Shiller also will attend the DCPA Theatre Company's One Night in Miami as well as Friday's world premiere of the new rock musical The 12, which imagines what happened to the disciples during the three days following their leader's death. Shiller begins his full-time duties as CEO on May 1.

    For information on any DCPA show, call 303-893-4100.


    Motown the Musical: Ticket information
    Through April 19
    The Buell Theatre
    ASL, Open Caption and Audio Described performance: April 18, 2 p.m.
    Tickets: 303-893.4100 | Click here to order tickets in Denver online
    800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups (10+): 303-446-4829
    Click here to go to the show's official web site

    Previous coverage of the Scott Shiller hiring:
    Scott Shiller has theatre in his bones

    Previous coverage of Motown, The Musical:
    How Berry Gordy turned a slogan into The Supremes
    Official show page
    Video: Montage of scenes


    DCPA CEO Scott Shiller with 'Motown' star Allison Semmes and Denver First Lady (and performer) Mary Louise Lee. Photo by Emily Lozow.
    DCPA CEO Scott Shiller with 'Motown' star Allison Semmes and Denver First Lady (and performer) Mary Louise Lee. Photo by Emily Lozow.
  • Photos: Best of 2015 'Saturday Night Alive'

    by John Moore | Mar 23, 2015

    Saturday Night Alive. Photo by Emily Lozow. The 2015 "Saturday Night Alive" gala raised a record $914,000 for the DCPA's Education programs on March 7. Last year, the Education Division engaged more than 68,000 students of all ages. The gallery above includes some of the best photos taken during the night, including the benefit concert headlined by Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector at The Stage Theatre. Photos by Steve Peterson, John Moore and Emily Lozow. (Photo above by Emily Lozow.)

    To see EVEN MORE photos we took at the gala, click here. (Seriously: There are, like,  four times more photos at this link here.)  All photos are downloadable for free in a variety of file sizes.

    Our previous coverage of the 2015 Saturday Night Alive:


    Watch our video podcast with Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector (push play)
    Broadway stars to headline 2015 Saturday Night Alive

    The complete 'Saturday Night Stars' video series:
    Meet Roger Hutson
    Meet Susan Stiff
    Meet Claudia Miller
    Meet Fred Churbuck
    Meet Hassan Salem

    Denver Post Editor Greg Moore and wife Nina Henderson Moore at Saturday Night Alive. Photo by Steve Peterson
    Denver Post Editor Greg Moore and wife Nina Henderson Moore at Saturday Night Alive. Photo by Steve Peterson

  • America: Hal Holbrook would like to have a little talk

    by John Moore | Mar 15, 2015
    Photos of Hal Holbrook's appearance at the Sie Film Center in Denver on March 20. Photos by John Moore.


    Hal Holbrook Quote


    Hal HolbrookWhat we have here in America, the enduring actor Hal Holbrook believes, is a failure to communicate.

    It’s not that we’re not talking. It’s that we’re not talking to each other. Unless it’s to our own kind.

    “People are afraid to talk openly about politics today,” Holbrook said last week. “We have become so nervous about offending anyone’s opinion. Plus, we have so many ridiculous opinions circulating on the cyber-circuits that to deal with political opinion today is not only chancy; you are just going to turn people off and scare them.” 

    But Holbrook, as the world has well-known these past 90 years, is not afraid to talk. Either as himself, or as the alter ego he has lived with for seven decades now. Holbrook returns to Denver on March 21 to perform for the 11th time Mark Twain Tonight, the second-most presented show in DCPA history (Sorry, Hal: You can’t touch A Christmas Carol. Yet.)

    Holbrook is talking, all right. Just as Twain might if he had not had the bad form to die as a whippersnapper of just 75. He’s talking about the gun culture. About religious hypocrisy. About racism. About abuse of power by police. (He’s experienced it, too, he says.) He’s even talking about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.

    “What is going on in the world today is dangerous,” he says. And not just in Syria and France and Africa. Right here at home. But what’s most dangerous, says America’s modern-day Will Rogers, is what will surely come to pass if we don’t start talking about it openly. Forget congress. (They’re beyond hope, he says.) Forget the “yacky, yacky yack” televangical opinion-makers on Fox or MSNBC. (They are all talking so fast, you can’t follow them anyway,” he says.)

    No, the onus is on the real and regular people of America to start talking to one another again, Holbrook says. At the dinner table, in churches and at taverns. More important, we have to learn all over again how to listen. 

    “We are living in a world where there is a terrible religious war underway, and it has been brewing for a long time,” Holbrook said. “And if we aren't able to talk about it without taking partisan sides, we're in deep trouble. Because we have something really golden in this country, which is the tradition of being able to have your own idea about something. And being able to express it. And if we go hiding that in the closet, and suppress it, you can just imagine what kind of world we are heading into.” 

    Hal Holbrook QuoteBut into this culture of animosity and hostility and division, we still have, through Holbrook, an immortalized Mark Twain going out into every corner of America talking about who we were and what we were thinking 100 years ago. And in doing so, he is in some strange way touching on who we are and what we are thinking now.

    When Holbrook walks out on stage sporting Twain’s trademark white suit, wild white hair and indelible witticisms, it’s like being sat down by your grandfather’s grandfather for a good talking to. 

    “I am so grateful that I still have this Mark Twain show; that I never gave it up; that I never got tired of it,” said Holbrook, who has performed Mark Twain Tonight nearly 2,500 times in all 50 states, 20 countries and behind the Iron Curtain. “It gives me a tremendous feeling of moving forward. It gives me energy. I love doing the show, and I love the challenge of trying to talk to people today about what is going on in our world.”

    Although the show is always 100 percent Twain, it is always changing. Holbrook promises Denver audiences will see at least an hour of new material since his last visit here in 2013. He has a new number from Huckleberry Finn that recounts the comic family feud between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons, who have been fighting for so long, no one can remember why it began in the first place. “Strangely enough,” Holbrook says,” it has something powerful to say about the gun culture today and our love affair with guns.

    “I have another new piece that I think was pretty chancy to add in, and that has to do with Mark Twain's thoughts on the Christian Bible. It’s about how people use the Bible without even understanding what Jesus is saying in it. And I am telling you, it is right on the nose. As a religious nation, we have a tremendous lack of understanding of what Jesus Christ is telling us. We turn it into something else and make a mess of it. That's what happens when you marry politics to religion. That’s what we’ve done, and it is creating a big problem in this country. Politics and religion do not go well together.”

    These are dicey, controversial topics of conversation. But no matter your politics, the dialogue somehow flows more easily when America’s most beloved, cigar-chomping humorist is leading it. Holbrook has voted for both Democrat and Republican presidents – and he’s been alive for every one of them since Calvin Coolidge. Growing up, his family was conservative. “But I was born with a question mark on my head, so I can't be a Republican,” he says. Like Twain, he hails from the party of common sense.

    And right now, his common sense is telling him that America will live in shame for decades for the way it has treated President Barack Obama. And he doesn’t exonerate the left in that assessment.

    “My thoughts begin with this powerful realization that Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with the largest number of popular votes ever given to any U.S. president (69.5 million). It was as close to a landslide as you can get,” he said. “The very next day, the opposing party announced very clearly and very prominently that their one goal in the next four years would be to get rid of the man we had just elected by the largest number of votes ever given to any president in U.S. history. That, to me, was unforgivable. Obama has been under a bombardment like no president I have ever seen. No one has ever been shot at and attacked the way he has.”

    What’s more important than Obama being picked on is the underlying reason Holbrook believes he is being picked on -- and how that unmasks the greatest problem facing America today.

    Hal Holbrook Quote“Obama has accomplished an amazing amount in the past six years – and nobody is talking about it. Not even the Democrats are standing up for him. And why is that? If this guy is achieving all this good stuff against such tremendous odds, why aren't the people in his own party standing up for him? There is one element that comes into this whole picture, which all of us try to put out of our minds, and that is racism. And the fact that President Obama is black.

    “There is such a powerful tide of racism in this country today, and I don't think we can blind ourselves to that fact.”

    It’s that kind of blood-pumping talk that keeps Holbrook getting up in the morning. That keeps him thinking about how to change and improve Mark Twain Tonight when he lies in bed at night. When he swims in the pool. 

    “I'm working hard, but when you are 90 years old, there all kinds of thoughts in your head that you'd really like to chase away,” he said. “You can’t sit there and linger on how old you are and worry about dying. You just have to pick up and go.”

    In the meantime, he is keeping the conversation going. He and Mark Twain.

    “I was writing my son the other day, who is very intelligent and very hard to argue with. He has very strong opinions. I was trying to tell him, 'David, I think what I have been trying to do with Mark Twain all my life is to make people say to themselves, 'Wait a minute. Let's not be too sure about that …’ " 

    The night before Holbrook’s March 21 performance at the Buell Theatre, he will be presenting a documentary titled Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey at the Sie Film Center (7 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2510 E. Colfax Ave.) It shows performance excerpts from Mark Twain Live and includes interviews with Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Emile Hirsch, Cherry Jones and others.

    “It's really good, I have to say,” he said.



    Here are a few excerpts of Holbrook talking about other important subjects:

    ON RACE IN AMERICA
    “We are watching the whole racial thing happen again, over and over. We have done a great deal to try to solve it since the beginning 300 years ago ... but it ain't solved yet.

    ON HIS RECENT RUN-IN WITH POLICE
    I think there is as much racism in Missouri as in any state in the union. I know what it's like when you give some guy a uniform and a gun. I was totally humiliated by a young police officer in Springfield, Mo., just so he can be big stud making an old man go though a whole routine. He followed me because I took a wrong turn on a totally dark road around 11 at night. There was nobody on the road. No traffic. Nothing. He was accusing me of DUI. I hadn't been drinking for 20 years, and he made me do all kinds of stuff. It was really insulting. Now, if you happen to live in a state where there is a lot of racism when you were growing up, I think it would be childish to dream that a fellow who’s got a uniform on has not carried some of that racism into his adulthood.  We know that now from the actual facts that have come out of the city government in Ferguson. It's all proved now.

    Hal Holbrook QuoteON OBAMACARE
    He introduced a health-insurance program that was long overdue. Every civilized country in the world has had one for their people except the wealthiest country in the world. And then congress got a hold of this bill - and the lobbyists - and I  won't say they mutilated it, but they certainly made it a lot more complex than it originally was going to be. All that being said, yes, it's been a terrible mess. I have friends who hate it. But the upside of it is this: Eleven million people now have health insurance because of it. So you cannot dismiss the accomplishment. I think it’s quite extraordinary.

    ON CONGRESS
    These are basically very dumb people. They would sell their mother for a dollar, and they do it every day down there.

    ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
    I have voted Republican several times in my life. But they have taken this party and they have twisted it in ways that do not help us at all. Did you see the picture of the guy from Arkansas (Tom Cotton) who wrote the letter to the Ayatollah in Iran? Have you seen his picture? He looks like a 28-year-old kid. This guy is a thinker? This is somebody we are supposed to admire?

    ON THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN COLORADO
    People are not going to like hearing me say this, but it doesn't make sense to me to think that somebody who is smoking marijuana is not going to have his judgment affected somewhat - maybe a lot - while driving. I don't want to be killed, and I don't want my grandson who is just turning 18 in April and is going to be driving all the way across this country to live in California - to be killed. I want to tell you, the people in California are driving more and more crazy every day. They are doing things I have never seen done before. I'm not kidding. Now I don't know whether they are on some drugs or what, but they have no respect for the rules of the road anymore. I smoked pot a couple of times in my life, OK? I didn't like it. I was doing a show once when my second marriage was breaking up, and I was having an affair with this sexy girl who was on the show. She was much younger and she was into all kinds of things like EST. So another friend wanted us to come over and smoke marijuana, and I said, "I don't want to smoke marijuana.” They said, “Oh, Hal, you've gotta loosen up. We want you to take a few puffs of marijuana.” So I said, ‘Oh hell, all right, all right, all right, c'mon...” And I smoked a couple puffs. Now (my girlfriend) says to me, "I want us to tell the truth about what we feel about each other. Tell the truth about what you think of me, Hal!" And I said, "OK: I think you're a nut!" And she got mad and left the room.  So, that's what I think about marijuana: It'll free you up, all right. But it's not safe!”

    ON 102-YEAR-OLD DCPA FOUNDER DONALD R. SEAWELL
    He's my inspiration. I'm 12 years behind him. He’s such a remarkable gentleman in the true sense of the word. He is powerful in his positive feeling about his ability to keep going. That is the best medicine you possibly can have when you start to get into your 90s. I keep trying to catch up to him … but he makes it very hard.

    ON THE 2010 DEATH OF HIS WIFE, DIXIE CARTER
    I think of her every minute of the day. I can constantly hear her talking to me. And it's rearranging my idea of where heaven is. I think it's right around here. Her presence is constantly here in this house. And so, it’s very, very hard for me to make peace. Not only with losing someone you love. But it's very hard for me to make peace with how you justify taking someone away who was not only so full of life, but also all that talent and kindness and good feeling for people. But at the same time, I have to remember that Dixie was a very sincere Christian. She did not preach it. She just lived it. She respected everybody. That, to me, is the kind of Christian I like.     

    HAL HOLBROOK IN MARK TWAIN TONIGHT
    Saturday, March 21
    7 p.m.
    Buell Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    303-893-4100
    Click here for tickets

    DOCUMENTARY FILM: HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY
    Friday, March 20
    7 p.m.
    Sie Film Center
    2510 E. Colfax Ave.
    Click here for tickets

     

  • Video Podcast: Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector at Saturday Night Alive

    by John Moore | Mar 12, 2015

    In this video podcast, headliners Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector talk with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore just before their benefit concert netted more than $910,000 for DCPA Education programs on March 7, 2015, at The Stage Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The video includes performance excerpts from a set list that included "Since I Don't Have You," "Natural Woman," "You Can Go Your Own Way" and even Aerosmith's "Dream On."

    Mueller, who won the 2014 Tony Award for Outstanding Actress, and the Tony-nominated Spector were co-stars in the hit Broadway musical Beautiful, the Carole King Story all the way up until 24 hours before this concert, when Mueller played her final performance on Broadway.

    In this fun interview, the pair talk about Beautiful, the importance of arts education, and there's a fun reference to Spector's own start in show business - he appeared on Star Search at age 6 and made his Broadway debut at age 9 in Les Misérables.

    Last year, the DCPA's Education Division engaged more than 68,000 students of all ages. For more information, click here.

    The not-yet-cast national touring production of Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, will visit Denver from July 19-31, 2016 in the Buell Theatre. To read more about DCPA's 2015-16 Broadway season, click here.


    Jarrod Spector and Jessie Mueller. Photo by John Moore.

    Jarrod Spector and Jessie Mueller at Saturday Night Alive in Denver. Photo by John Moore.


    Check out our 'Saturday Night Stars' video series:
    Meet Roger Hutson
    Meet Susan Stiff
    Meet Claudia Miller
    Meet Fred Churbuck
    Meet Hassan Salem
  • Bee Gees tribute concert honors 'The Kennedys of the music business'

    by John Moore | Mar 02, 2015



    If Matt Baldoni ever gets to meet Barry Gibb, he says, “I do have a pretty long list of questions for the man.”

    At the top: 'How am I doing?”

    Why? “Because quite frankly,” Baldoni said, “If Barry didn't like what I was doing, I couldn't do this.”

    Matt Baldoni. Australian Bee Gees ShowBaldoni is playing Gibb in The Australian Bee Gees Show, a multimedia concert tribute to the band that sold more than 220 million records, first as a rock act and then as perhaps the most identifiable band of the disco era. A family member who charts such things says other artists have professionally covered Bee Gees songs 535 times. 

    On Thursday night (March 5), the company that first brought Denver RAIN – A Tribute to The Beatles, will give the Bee Gees the tribute treatment at the Buell Theatre.

    No. 2 on Baldoni’s list of questions for Barry Gibb probably wouldn't be a question at all.

    I guess what I would like to say to Barry Gibb is, 'Man, I am really sorry that your family ended up being the Kennedys of the music business, and that you have had to suffer this many innumerable tragedies,’ ” said Baldoni. 

    “Think about it: All three of his brothers are gone. But believe it or not, their mom is still alive. She's 94, I believe, and she has lost three sons, man. So I figure I better be on top of my game, because we are representing a family here.”

    Baldoni, originally from Grass Valley, Calif., is a classically trained guitarist and tenor singer who has both portrayed Frankie Valli on stage and sung backup for him. He His Broadway and touring credits include Mamma Mia, Monty Python's Spamalot and The Who's TOMMY, and he has performed in an ongoing production of The Australian Bee Gees Show, housed at the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas. We got a chance to speak to him as he prepared for a performance in Fayetteville, Ark.

    Australian Bee Gees Show

    John Moore: Let's start with the show. Would you say this evening is more of a rock concert or a theatrical musical, or a little of both?

    Matt Baldoni: A little bit of both. The songs are really the star of the show. Everybody knows them. It's our responsibility to reproduce them with the most accuracy and authenticity as we can. But there is also a huge theatrical element. We carry an insane lighting rig, and there are video walls behind the performers. We have costume changes to reflect different Bee Gees periods. It's theatrical in that it's a two-act show and there are some story and video segments included. And of course, we are portraying characters.

    John Moore: But it’s less like Mamma Mai and more like, Rain, right?

    Matt Baldoni: Yeah. It's not simply a cover band. This is an entire production at Rain level.

    John Moore: Do you get any feedback from the Gibb family?

    Matt Baldoni QuoteMatt Baldoni: There is one older sister whose daughter organizes all of the different Bee Gees fan clubs all over the world. We speak to her regularly, and she monitors both our resident show in Las Vegas and our tour. We work with her to make sure that we are always respectful and authentic about what we are doing.

    John Moore: So would you say the key to making the show work is authenticity, then?

    Matt Baldoni: Yes, but I do think there is a point where attention to detail can become a little bit obsessive. Las Vegas has more of tribute acts than any other city in the world – and I have seen way more bad ones than good ones. I have seen some of the other guys, no matter who they are paying tribute to, get a little bit obsessive about their characters. But in all reality, this has to be fun. I am drawing from five decades of Barry Gibb - but there is a little bit of me in there, too.

    John Moore: How long has this show been going now?


    Matt Baldoni: It was started 18 years ago by a group of Australians. I am the only American in the front line of Bee Gees.

    John Moore: So what is it like being the only American?

    Matt Baldoni: I have had great training. All the guys I am singing with are Australian, and I have toured Australia a number of times. I would say I have seen a thousand times more of Australia than most Americans ever see. I have gotten to see all kinds of crazy things like Aboriginal people and backcountry farms all the things that really make Australia Australia. We've also visited the Gibb’s hometown in Redcliffe, Queensland, where there is a Bee Gees monument. We have seen their childhood home and we've sung in the hotel where they sang their first gig as children. That really helped me get a better understanding of the significance of these guys.

    John Moore: Help me understand this whole Australian connection. I know the Bee Gees are the pride of Australia, but I always thought they were British, and grew up about an hour from the Beatles.

    Matt Baldoni: They were born on the Isle of Man, off the mainland of England. Their father was a bandleader, and when the children were very young he got a gig in Australia. I guess Andy had just been born. So the entire Gibb family made the big voyage down to Australia. That's where their entire childhood was spent, and that’s where their career started.

    John Moore: I can guess which songs we are surely going to hear during the concert, but can you pick out a lesser-known song or two and tell us why it's in the show?

    Matt Baldoni: The show moves in chronological order. In Act I, we have both the '60s period and the '70s disco period. The '60s really showcased Robin Gibb, as opposed to Barry. Robin sang lead on a lot more of the material. A song a lot of people know would be "I Started a Joke," but we also have a couple others like "Spick and Speck," which was their first No. 1 record. Also a very dark ballad featuring Robin called "I Can't See Nobody."

    John Moore: If people only know the Bee Gees from their Saturday Night Fever disco period, how would you describe them as a band in that '60s period?

    Matt Baldoni: People like to lump them in with the Beatles but, unfortunately, every rock band that showed up after 1962 was lumped in with the Beatles. But in all reality, for us as musicians, the '60s period is the most adventurous material for us to play. It requires more musical skill and a higher sense of awareness. When I get to Saturday Night Fever and all the disco stuff, that is just absolute hell on my voice. I have to sing way, way high falsetto for about eight songs in a row

    John Moore: So what's your favorite song to perform in the show?


    Matt Baldoni: "How Deep Is Your Love?" Probably because I am a guitarist by origin, and I have some training in jazz, I really think the harmony and the chord changes are Beethoven or Gershwin-level brilliant.  I think that melody is going to go down in history. People are going to be singing that son a hundred years from now.

    John Moore: Some people may not know just how many songs the Bee Gees wrote for other artists. What's a title people might he surprised to learn the Bee Gees wrote for someone else?

    Matt Baldoni: We do have a segment in the show where we play some of those, actually. The '80s were a tough period for them, because when disco died, it died a really quick and horrible and painful death. And then they were like, "Oh my God, what the hell are we going to do?" But the guys never stopped working. The immediately went into the studio and started producing and writing for other people. I think one that most people don't know the Bee Gees wrote was "Islands in the Stream" for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Barry wrote songs for Michael Jackson. When I was in Frankie Valli's band, we use to sing "Grease is the Word." Barry wrote that for Frankie. He also wrote "Immortality" for Celine Dion, and "Guilty" for Barbra Streisand. 

    John Moore: The death of disco was remarkably quick.

    Matt Baldoni QuoteMatt Baldoni: Disco was over in about 5 minutes. What Barry says about it is pretty funny. He said, “Disco was great for every band but the band it was created around. He said, "For us, it was really awful. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, we were bigger than the Beatles, but we were a total joke, with the big teeth and the hairy chests and the medallions and the white bell-bottoms. All we did was write songs for a movie soundtrack." It really hit them hard. So it’s nice that it's no longer a joke and that people hold those guys with reverence again.

    John Moore: Tell me about an adorable audience interaction after your shows.

    Matt Baldoni: Man, we get those every night. I think my favorite happened about a year ago in Las Vegas. There was a huge, sellout crowd, and we were talking to fans after the show when I hear this woman with this thick Irish accent behind me asking, "Is he related to Barry? Because he's a dead (bleeping) ringer!" So I turn to her and she in her 60s, and she is just dressed to the nines. She told me she had come all the way to Vegas from Ireland, and that her No. 1 priority was to see this show. She started getting all misty-eyed, and I asked if she was OK. And she tells me, “In the summer of 1966, I was Barry Gibb's girlfriend," and she started crying.

    John Moore: That’s sweet!  


    Matt Baldoni: Look, dude: I don't know if she was telling the truth or not, but I would like to think she was. So I asked her, "What kind of a guy was Barry back then?" And she said, "Oh, he was so sweet. He was so gentle and kind. And he even bought me a ring." And I know from a friend of the family that that's what Barry used to do: He would buy every girl he was attracted to a ring.

    John Moore: See, I am the jerk who would have said to this lady, “You were Barry Gibb's girlfriend? You and 500 others."

    Matt Baldoni: But in all honesty, Barry got married in the early 1970s, and he has been married to the same woman ever since. More than 40 years.

    John Moore: OK, so I am going to ask one last, really hard-hitting question.

    Matt Baldoni: Bring it.

    John Moore: What do you think of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's Bee Gees routine?

    Matt Baldoni: Oh, dude, I think it's hilarious. Both of those guys are insanely talented. I don't take myself too seriously. More important, Barry finds it really funny, and of course he joined them on stage. Look, there is no such thing as bad publicity when entertainers of that level of fame bring more exposure to the Bee Gees' music  - and that all contributes to how good the timing is for The Australian Bee Gees Show. But I would be really curious to hear what both of them think of what we are doing.

    The Australian Bee Gees Show

    Thursday. March 5
    8 p.m.
    Buell Theatre
    Call 303-893-4100 or click here to go to the show page

  • 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.
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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 the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre 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.