• Q&A with 'The Book of Mormon' creators

    by John Moore | Jul 15, 2015

    'The Book of Mormon' Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.
    'The Book of Mormon' Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.


    The Book of Mormon
    returns to Denver Aug. 11 through Sept. 13. Here is a Q&A with creators Trey Parker, Bobby Lopez and Matt Stone answering frequently asked questions: 

    Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Book of Mormon?

    Trey Parker: Matt and I went to see Avenue Q when it opened in 2003, and we were like, "Wow, this is actually really good." When it was over I was thinking, "This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve always dreamed about doing."

    Matt Stone: During intermission, we saw that we were thanked in the Playbill. "Well," we thought, "that's weird."

    Bobby Lopez: That's because I saw the South Park movie when it open in 1999, and I just thought, "Oh my God, this is exactly what I want to be doing." A week after that, the idea came to me for Avenue Q.

    Trey Parker: It happened purely by coincidence that Bobby showed up that night. He introduced himself and we went across the street for a drink.

    Matt Stone: Bobby is younger than Trey and me, so he looked at us like elder statesman and asked what he should do next. We asked, “What did he want to do?” And he said, "I want to write something about Joseph Smith and the Mormons."

    Bobby Lopez: When I said Joseph Smith, they were like, "We’ve wanted to do that, too!" They had it in their heads to do some kind of Joseph Smith musical, but never did. I said, "If you guys want to do that, that’s fine, because I’d really love to see what you do, more than what I would do."

    Trey Parker: It just became ridiculously obvious that we should team up and do something about Mormons. So we said, "No, let’s do it together."

    Q: What came first, the story or the score? Can you tell us about some of the songs?

    Trey Parker: "Hello" was literally the first thing we wrote. As soon as we figured out the show was going to be about missionaries, we realized that it would be a great introduction to just ring a massive amount of doorbells and somehow work them into a musical number. This symphony of doorbells and white boys with good haircuts and white shirts and black ties ‐ saying "hello" and offering you a free book ‐‐ seemed very much an opening number to us. It is totally Disney in sensibility, and totally Mormon in attack.

    Bobby Lopez: There’s this idea that Mormons are these very naïve, hopeful, smiling, trusting people from the Midwest. In "Hello" and "Two by Two," we used the energy and optimism, and the relentlessly hopeful and sunny feeling. It’s a great way to start because we go to the opposite in a few scenes.

    Q: Did you have any musical theater influences in writing the show?

    Trey Parker: There’s a lot of Rodgers and Hammerstein references in the show, because that’s what it feels like to me. When you’re doing this sort of happy‐go‐lucky, optimistic Mormon, it just plays right into it. For the second act pageant, "Joseph Smith American Moses," we always thought it would be so awesome to do our own version of "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" from The King and I. We did this improv where we put on African drum loops and started singing African melodies. We had such a great time doing it, it was ridiculous. But then we realized we should make it a bigger number. We went back and actually watched the "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" sequence. It was really long but it told such a huge story, and our number didn't. So we were like, "Let's follow The King and I, and really make it clear that the story has a much deeper and profound meaning to the Africans."

    Bobby Lopez: When we were writing "Making Things Up Again," the first number in the second act, we had just seen Sunday in the Park with George. I think Trey was sort of influenced by it, which is weird because I consider myself the Sondheim freak out of everyone. Trey just sat down and started plunking out this Georges Seurat‐like rhythm, which became the whole motif for "You’re making things up again, Arnold."

    Trey Parker: There’s just nothing more perfect in the universe to me than a good musical. And a bad musical makes you want to kill yourself. A good musical is to me so much more moving and powerful than a great movie or a great book, or anything.

    Q: The Book of Mormon is provocative, in the same way that South Park is provocative. Are there boundaries?

    Matt Stone: There's a catharsis in being able to really laugh at some of the goofier ideas of religion without necessarily laughing at the people practicing them. We never like to make a "point," per se. We want to give you room to feel what the show is saying to you. We don’t want to tell anybody what the point is, or what the politics are. It’s up to you to figure out what it meant.

    Q: Are there boundaries in what you can do or say on stage?

    Trey Parker: There is a line that you can cross all you want as long as you have a reason for doing it. If it has a point and it has a story and it has genuine, real character and emotion, then you can pretty much do whatever you want as long as you’re being truthful.

    Q: How would you describe the show to someone who is a traditional musical theater fan?

    Bobby Lopez: The musical is a machine that's designed to bring you down and raise you up, and to give you a positive, uplifting experience. I want the musical to show people the nadir of human experience. For this musical, it's about faith. It's about religious feeling. And I think we show a character that loses his faith, and we give his faith back to him in a better way at the end. And I hope that the experience of the audience mirrors that, whether it's a religious experience or just feeling entertained.

    The Book of Mormon: Ticket information in Denver:
    Performing Aug. 11 through Sept. 13
    At The Ellie
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., Aug. 30

  • Caveman Cody on speedskating, smelting and a baby named Chewbaca

    by John Moore | Jul 13, 2015
    Cody Lyman in 'Defending the Caveman.' Photo by Michael Brosilow
    Cody Lyman in 'Defending the Caveman.' Photo by Michael Brosilow


    Durango native Cody Lyman is happy to be back in his native state performing Defending the Caveman, which will soon enter its fourth month at the Garner-Galleria Theatre. It's writer/comedian Rob Becker's theatrical conversation between a modern-day Caveman (read: your average husband) and his audience about the ways men and women relate.

    The show dates back to prehistoric times - 1991, to be exact. It first opened in San Francisco and went on to become the longest continuously running one-man show in Broadway history, and the longest-running one-man show in Las Vegas. It has been performed in 45 countries and translated into 19 different languages. (Bet you’d never guess the first one after English was Icelandic. Really.)

    Cody Lyman quote"I jumped on board in 2004," said Lyman, a graduate of Colorado State University and the child of two Olympic speedskaters. (He's not even making that up. More on that below.)

    "I’m closing in on 12 years of performing this show all across the country. I’d be hard-pressed to count the number of performances I’ve done. But I’m guessing it would have a few zeros in it. I can say that I’ve filed taxes in 36 different states." 

    It's still lots of fun for Lyman, even though he says it shouldn’t be. "That’s a long time to be doing the same show," he said. But audiences love it wherever it goes.

    "I was drawn to theatre because I think it’s important," he said. I truly believe that art can have an vital impact on humanity. This show does that. It’s simple and funny and profound. It's a show about how we love each other. And that message, of course, is delivered in a hilarious way. It’s a privilege to be a part of that."

    Defending the Caveman tickets are currently on-sale through Aug. 23. Here are more excerpts from Caveman Cody's conversation with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore:


    John Moore: Let's start with a current events news-and-views quiz.

    News: A 22-year-old man celebrating the Fourth of July was killed instantly when he tried to launch fireworks from atop his head.

    Views: _______________
     
    The Caveman: I was a knucklehead when I was 22. That could have been me. That could have been a lot of the knuckleheads I ran around with. Although it happened in Maine. I’ve never performed in Maine ... so there’s that.



    John Moore: Is it true that Cavemen enjoy Twizzlers, discount furniture and most things Dutch? And if so ... so, please elaborate.

    The Caveman: Man, I put that in my bio a hundred years ago for some reason, and I really should get around to editing it! I do like Twizzlers, IKEA and the Dutch. I was raised by speedskaters. My dad (Greg Lyman) was in the Sapporo Olympics in 1972, and my mom (Pat Sheehan) held a world-record in short-track. The Dutch always produce amazing speedskaters. I fell in love with Amsterdam on a visit abroad with my brother and sister. When we were living in Chicago, I would often accompany my (now) wife on trips to IKEA. It was a day-long event with multiple trains. She would go to shop and get ideas. I’d go for the meatballs and to spend time with her.



    John Moore: And how is married life?

    Cody Lyman and his now wife photographed on opening night of the 2013 'Defending the Caveman' run in Denver. Photo by John Moore.The Caveman: I like being married. My wife and I have been together for 18 years, although we have only been married for almost two. Things changed when we tied the knot. Not good or bad just ... different. There are some things in the show that jump out at me more now. Like listening. I’m not that great at listening. I have to stop what I’m doing, re-focus my energy, and plug in. My wife will usually give me the time I need to do that before doling out the important information. We’re expecting our first child in November, which is consuming all of our attention right now. No, we don’t know if will be a boy or a girl. No, we’re not going to find out in advance. Either way, I’m lobbying for the name “Chewbaca."

    (Photo: Cody Lyman and his now wife photographed on opening night of the 2013 'Defending the Caveman' run in Denver. Photo by John Moore.)
     

    John Moore: Say, you went to the same high school as our new Bobby G Awards winners honoring the best in Colorado high-school theatre. So what is up with Durango High School?
     
    The Caveman: It’s simple, really. Durango exists, largely, because it was a hub for smelting (the process of extracting metals from rock using heat and various chemicals) in the 1880s. The early smelters eventually fell into dis-use, but smelting was revitalized by the federal government during World War II to process vanadium to make steel. The other product that was being dug from our hills and processed was uranium. Smelter Mountain (where most of this occurred) sits on the south side of downtown, and while the smelters had used up their usefulness by the 1950s, the project wasn’t properly cleaned and capped until the 1990s. So, in short: We’ve been drinking radioactive water and producing SUPERACTORS.
     

    What relationship advice do you have for troubled celebrity couple Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick?
     
    The Caveman: I’m rather proud that I had to Google this. However, after Googling this ... I have a headache. I don’t think I’d offer any relationship advice to these two. Who am I to blow against the wind?  I’ll let Kanye handle this one.
     


    John Moore: So wait a minute: Why does The Caveman even need defending? After all … he’s a Caveman!

    The Caveman: It’s his image that needs defending. In “everyday” context, The Caveman is depicted as a gut-driven, forehead-enhanced lunk: “Me want, me take.” There’s the popular image of The Caveman clunking the woman of his choice over the head with his club and dragging her back to his cave. While it’s true that our ancient ancestors were (by necessity) more instinctual than we are today, archaeologists' findings over the past few decades seem to point to a primitive man who was able to look beyond his next meal and contemplate the universe. What prompted this creature to record his culture’s myths and stories onto cave walls?  

    The Caveman recorded the things that he did not understand, but was in awe of: The Hunt. Sacred animals. The passage of time. And, perhaps most important: The goddess. The Caveman, simply put, was not master of The Cavewoman, but rather, The Caveman worshipped women.

    “Well!" you might say!, all that’s well and good. But what of it?”

    Generally speaking, if a woman does something that a man doesn’t understand ... men are OK with that. We tend to think that women are mysterious. On the other hand, when a man does something that a woman doesn’t understand, they tend to just think that we’re wrong.  We’re not wrong (necessarily) - we’re just different. And, we’ve evolved with these differences since prehistoric times!



    John Moore: Clearly this is still fun for you.

    The Caveman: I’ve had plenty of opportunity through the years to work on other projects, so I rarely feel creatively stifled. But whenever I return to The Cave, it’s like putting on a favorite sweatshirt. It’s comfy - and smelly - in all the right places.



    John Moore: And why Defending the Caveman still fun for the audience?

    Things change and we evolve, but men and women are still fundamentally different.  Couples come to this show seeking laughs at one another’s expense, and end up leaving arm-in-arm. It’s fun for the audience because it’s so relatable. I’ve been all around the nation with this show for more than a decade, and everyone relates. It’s not my story up there on stage. It’s our story. 



    Defending the Caveman
    When: Tickets currently on-sale through Aug. 23
    Where: At the Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets,
    Written by: Rob Becker
    Performed by: Cody Lyman
    Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    To learn more, go to the show's official web page

    More, more Lyman: Here's our 2013 interview with Cody Lyman
  • Video, photos: Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament raises $45,000

    by John Moore | Jul 02, 2015


    The DCPA's 12th annual fundraising golf tournament, held June 29 at the Lakewood Country Club, was renamed this year in honor of the late DCPA President Randy Weeks.

    The 2015 Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament raised $45,000 for the Bobby G Awards, an annual celebration of achievement in Colorado high-school theatre founded by Weeks in 2013.

    Over 12 years, the annual tournament, previously called the Swing Time Tournament, has raised $1 million for DCPA programming.

    Students from Westminster High School sing from 'Rent' before the Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. Photo by John Moore. The year-long Bobby G Awards program includes personal workshops at all 30 participating schools hosted by DCPA Education Teaching Artists. A field of several dozen professional adjudicators then fan out across the state and attend those schools'  musicals, then provide constructive feedback.

    Their scores serve as the basis for a Tony Awards-style celebration at the end of each schoolyear held at the Buell Theatre. The two students named Outstanding Actor and Actress advance to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.

    In the video above, DCPA Broadway executive Director John Ekeberg welcomes the field of 68 participating golfers and explains the value of the Bobby G Awards.

    Just before the shotgun start, students from Westminster High School's Rent (pictured above) serenaded the golfers with that show's signature song, "Seasons of Love." Rent was one of five nominated outstanding musicals at the most recent Bobby G Awards ceremony held May 28 at the Buell Theatre. They are introduced by Andre' Rodriguez, who won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Direction.

    "Regardless of whether or not they pursue theatre as a career," Rodriguez said, "they are getting skills that are truly preparing them for the 21st century."

    Finally, new DCPA President and CEO Scott Shiller thanked the golfers for supporting both Weeks' dream, and the DCPA's mission.

    "Randy really wanted to celebrate the craft of theatre for high-school students, and to celebrate the arts and culture in schools in the same way that sports are celebrated," Shiller said.

    Weeks was a lifelong fan of golf and theatre. Twelve years ago, he and former Development Director Dorothy Denny started the DCA's annual golf tournament at Lakewood Country Club, where Weeks was a member.

    The golfers were afforded several fun opportunities to win show-related prizes. One hole dedicated to the Theatre Company's upcoming production of As You Like It had golfers aim their tee shots at a life-sized fairway cutout of William Shakespeare. A closest-to-the-pin par-3 hole was designated the Sweeney Todd "Closest Shave" hole.

    At another tee stop, golfers posed for photographs as their favorite Wizard of Oz characters. And in honor of DCPA Broadway's upcoming launch of the If/Then national tour, golfers on one hole had to designate one player to pull a random fortune card from a dealer. It either contained good news (such as, "Subtract one shot from your score") or bad news (such as, "Proceed to the nearest bunker.")

    Most golfers played in a best-ball team competition, while the elite players in the field played a straight, stroke-play format.
     
    Photos and video by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

    For more information on the Bobby G Awards, click here.

    A panorama showing golfers participating in the pre-golf putting contest.  Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. Photo by John Moore.
    A panorama showing golfers participating in the pre-golf putting contest at the Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. Photo by John Moore.

    Our photo gallery from the 2015 Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament:


    All photos by John Moore. Click on "Go to original image" and download any image for free.

    2015 Tournament Sponsors:
    Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management
    Comcast Spotlight
    Fineline Graphics
    Sprint Press
    CBS4
    Wilks Broadcasting
    MKK Consulting Engineers, Inc.
    Centerre Construction
    Shawn and Elisa Fowler
    Max and Kea Bull

    Golfers pose as their favorite 'Wizard of Oz' characters. The beloved musical returns to Denver next year. Photo by Chelley Canales.
    Golfers pose as their favorite "Wizard of Oz" characters. The beloved musical returns to Denver next year. Photo by Chelley Canales.

    Our 2014-15 Bobby G Awards coverage to date:
    Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School
    Break a Leg video: Cheering on Bobby G Awards winners in New York
    Bobby G Awards winners' daily video blogs
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominees perform
    Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances
    Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: The 2015 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
    2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
    Denver Center establishes Randy Weeks Memorial Fund for The Bobby G Awards

    2015 Tournament field:

    John

    Reid

    Zach

    Wolfel

    Nick

    Gardner

    Michael

    Hupf

    Wanda

    Colburn

    Dick

    Havey

    Bob

    Loeb

    Kent

    Nossaman

    Paul

    Stastny

    Kyle

    Quincey

    Drew

    Shore

    Andrew

    Caldwell

    Aaron

    Inman

    Debbee

    CdeBaca

    Brad

    Axberg


    Terry

    Koch

    Dave

    Hirtz

    Steve

    Hirtz

    Art

    Cudworth

    Mark

    Etchason

    Kurt

    Kennedy

    Katie

    Monahan

    Carolyn

    Petersen

    Jon

    Bitrolff

    Murphy

    Huston

    Rob

    Mengelson

    Matthew

    Walton

    Calrissa

    Gliksman

    Stevie

    Johnson

    Scott

    Shreeve

    Ken

    Von Wold

    Kevin

    Baldwin

    Betty

    Lewis

    John

    Roble

    Eric

    Rosales

    John

    Ekeberg

    Mike

    Mills

    Julie

    Mills

    Brian

    Sells

    Sean

    Sjodin

    John

    St. Martin

    Craig

    Watts

    Matthew

    Campbell

    Shawn

    Fowler

    Gus

    Gardner

    Travis

    Mulvihill

    Margo

    Black

    Rich

    Ehrman

    Tamera

    Ehrman

    Craig

    Reinwald

    Kent

    Zwingelberg

    Andrew

    Brodie

    Bruce

    Montgomery

    Bryan

    Smith

    Carlos

    Vannoni

    Brook

    Nichols

    Joe

    Ghiglia

    John

    Marshall

    Jim

    Steinberg

    Andrew

    Bell

    Rich

    Kline

    Josh

    Lembrich

    Mary Ann

    Neidert

    Ken

    Blasi

    Brenda

    Egger

    Cindi

    Routh

    Nicole

    Williams

  • Video: Bobby G Awards' best-musical nominees perform

    by John Moore | Jul 01, 2015


    Here is the last of our five videos from this year's recent Bobby G Awards​ honoring achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. This one shows excerpts from all five best-musical nominees performing at the Buell Theatre on May 28:

    • Rent, Westminster High School
    • The Addams Family, Cherokee Trail High School
    • Aida, Mountain View High School
    • Les Misérables, Durango High School
    • Anything Goes, Fairview High School
    Video by David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Fiarview High School performs from 'Anything Goes' at the Bobby G Awards on Mya 28. Photo by John Moore.
    Fairview High School performs from "Anything Goes" at the Bobby G Awards on May 28. Photo by John Moore.


    Our 2014-15 Bobby G Awards coverage to date:

    Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School
    Break a Leg video: Cheering on Bobby G Awards winners in New York
    Bobby G Awards winners' daily video blogs
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominees perform
    Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances
    Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: The 2015 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
    2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
    Denver Center establishes Randy Weeks Memorial Fund for The Bobby G Awards


    For more information on the Bobby G Awards, which honor excellence in Colorado high-school theatre, click here.
  • Bobby G Award winners' daily video blog

    by John Moore | Jun 24, 2015
    The latest from Evatt Salinger:




    The latest from Emma Buchanan:



    Evatt Salinger and Emma Buchanan of Durango High School, who last month were named Outstanding Actor and Actress at the 2015 Bobby G Awards at the Denver Center,  will represent Colorado next week at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, which culminate June 29 with a performance on a Broadway stage in New York City.

    Salinger and Buchanan (we call them E&E for short) are video-blogging their road to the national awards for BroadwayWorld.Com, and we are compiling their v-journals for you to enjoy here.

    You'll always find their most recent videos embedded at the top of this page. Here are links to their complete video journals:

    Emma Buchanan:
    June 12
    June 22
    June 23
    June 24
    June 26
    June 27
    June 29
    June 30

    Evatt Salinger:
    June 12
    June 22
    June 23
    June 24
    June 26
    June 27
    June 29
    June 30

    For more information on the Bobby G Awards, which honor excellence in Colorado high-school theatre, click here.

    Emma Buchanan and Evatt Salinger at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by John Moore.

    Emma Buchanan and Evatt Salinger at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by John Moore.



    Our 2014-15 Bobby G Awards coverage to date:
    Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School
    Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances
    Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: The 2015 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
    2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
    Denver Center establishes Randy Weeks Memorial Fund for The Bobby G Awards

    About Emma Buchanan
    Durango High School
    Senior
    Eponine in Les Miserables
    ​Teacher: Kristin Winchester
    College plans: Pursuing a BFA in Musical Theater at Wright State University

    Favorite Les Miserables memory:
    Our opening night. There was such an exciting buzz from the audience, and the cast was honestly living in every moment. Simply put: It was magical.

    How has musical theatre helped prepare you for other aspects of your life?
    It has taught me to collaborate with a variety of people to be able to bring everyone/everything together. 

    What do you say to anyone who says theatre isn’t cool?
    I have never met people more passionate about expressing, creating and learning about humanity, and what it's like to work as a team. People who work in the theater work 24/7 to give other people an escape for a few hours. But what I would probably end up saying is: Your face isn't cool!


    Evatt Salinger
    Durango High School
    Senior
    Jean Valjean in Les Miserables
    Teachers: Kristin Winchester and Walker White
    College plans: Pepperdine University to pursue a BFA in Theatre and Music with a minor in Applied Mathematics

    Favorite
    Les Miserables memory:
    When we brought Les Miserables to perform at the Bellco for the Colorado State Thespian Conference, the sound guy carrying our equipment rolled his car during the seven-hour drive from Durango to Denver, rendering many of our mics useless. The few mics that still worked didn’t arrive until late that day, less than an hour before curtain. So we rented hanging and hand mics to supplement our short supply. Many of the actors spent much of the show slyly passing of hand mics to each other while blowing the roof of the Bellco. At the very end of the show, I was put onto my third mic pack and sent onstage with a hand mic hidden in my pocket. As I began the epilogue version of “Bring Him Home”, the orchestra quieted. “God on high …” Nothing. My mic wasn’t working. I felt the audience momentarily panic. Without skipping a beat, I pulled out the hand mic from my pocket. There was a sudden laughter of relief from the audience. I sang the rest of the epilogue with the hand mic, trying to keep a straight face, while feeling the corners of my mouth tug upward in response to the laughter. Performing Les Miserables at the Bellco was incredible for many reasons, but all the extraordinary experiences are overshadowed by one thing: Les Miserables was the last opportunity I would have to share the stage with my brother. As a freshman, Curtis stunned us all with his rich voice and impassioned acting, and standing off stage listening sing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” is something I’ll never forget. I am so proud of him.

    How has musical theatre helped prepare you for other aspects of your life?
    Oddly enough, musical theatre has inspired me to forgot about thinking about myself and be more mindful of others. It’s impossible to act honestly onstage while caught up in yourself - that’s not how we go about communicating in the real world.  Each moment should be abandonment, uncertain of what or how you partner onstage will say next. It’s always a new adventure, and parallels the way I choose to live my life.

    What do you say to anyone who says theatre isn’t cool?
    You know, more than 10 percent of the students who attend my school were involved in Les Mis. The strength and passion in our productions have attracted many kids to try theatre, and now we’re very respected in the school. People get very psyched about our shows. I’m thankful for the support from our school, and the fact that I’ve almost never been ridiculed for the art I love to create. I hope that for all theatre kids.

  • 'The Kilroys' and gender disparity: Righting a wrong ... right now

    by John Moore | Jun 23, 2015
    Tanya Saracho. Tanya Saracho.


    They call it a movement. And they call that movement "a parity raid."

    "The Kilroys" is a new annual survey that identifies new plays by women writers deemed most worthy of full production. The goal is to get more women's voices represented in the American Theatre. That's an issue close to the heart of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, where the Women's Voices Fund has raised more than $1 million to commission and produce new plays by women, as well as to employ female directors, here in Denver.

    How real is the problem? There have only been two Broadway plays written by women in the past two seasons combined. Only about 24 percent of all plays produced across the country this past season were written by a woman, living or dead.

    Nationally, producers have responded to the complaint by saying they do not get enough submissions from female writers.

    Enter "The List," which began as a conversation among 13 female playwrights over cocktails. The impact was immediate. According to The New York Times, of the 46 plays on the inaugural list, 28 have since been produced. The selected plays seemingly were read more frequently by theatre producers, and the playwrights were more sought after, as a result of The List.

    Now, the second annual list has just been released, and it includes Tanya Saracho's FADE, a DCPA Theatre Company commission that will have its world premiere in the Ricketson Theatre next Feb. 5. It will be one centerpiece of the DCPA's 2016 Colorado New Play Summit.

    Alejandra Escalante and Eddie Martinez in 'Fade.' Photo by John Moore. Gender disparity was a hot topic at the 2015 Summit in February, when Theresa Rebeck told the DCPA NewsCenter: "Women have been shut out of the storytelling of the American culture on such a profound level for so long – in theatre, in film, and in TV – why wouldn’t we be angry?"

    Rebeck's The Nest will have its world premiere next year in Denver alongside Saracho's FADE, the story of a one-time Mexican-American novelist who is hired to write for a popular weekly TV serial and finds herself out of her depth. It's based on Saracho's own experiences writing for TV.

    "Listen: I got into television because I was a diversity hire,' Saracho said bluntly. "I don't care why I got in there. I just needed an in, because we need to be in there."


    This interview with Tanya Saracho was filmed at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit. Saracho's "FADE" was a featured reading, and later was chosen for full production on the DCPA Theatre Company's 2015-16 season. Video by John Moore.


    Saracho is one of The Kilroys' 13 founders. She says "The List" happened pretty organically.

    "A few of us gathered socially, and the conversation turned to gender disparity in the theatre," Saracho told the DCPA NewsCenter. "Someone said, 'We should do something,' but no one knew what 'something' was at first. Then, 13 of us started meeting regularly. Plans and sub-plans were formed. Before we knew what we really were, we were in action."

    One of the first big initiatives was the creation of The List. Organizers surveyed 321 influential new-play leaders — including artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors and dramaturgs — who had read or seen at least 40 new plays in the past year. The team of 321 nominators identified more than 750 plays by more than 200 female or trans-gendered playwrights written in the past year. From those nominees, the official list of 53 was chosen.

    "It was simple but monumental, and I think it's made the right kinds of waves in the field," Saracho said. "It's affecting change that is tangible in many ways. It's serving to hang a lantern in a new kind of way to this ages-old problem of inequality on the American stage."

    Asked about the nominating team's decision to include her own play on The List, Saracho said: "This is such a tough industry, that gives you comfort to know you have advocates championing your work behind the curtain, you know?"

    For more about the selection process, click here.

    Anyone interested in nominating a new play for consideration on next year's list is encouraged to email thekilroys13@gmail.com.

    To read The List, click here.

    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, where he is the editor of a new media outlet that covers the Colorado theatre community.

    More about Tanya Saracho
    Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México and is a playwright who writes for television. Currently she writes for HBO's  "Looking." Other shows have included Girls and Devious Maids. Plays produced at: 2nd Stage, Steppenwolf Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater,  Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Plays include: Hushabye; The Tenth Muse; Song for the Disappeared; EnfrascadaEl Nogalar (inspired by The Cherry Orchard); an musical adaptation of The House on Mango StreetOur Lady of the Underpass ; Kita y Fernanda, and Quita Mitos. Currently in development with/commissioned by:  HBO, Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Two Rivers Theatre, DCPA Theatre Company, and South Coast Rep.

    About Denver's And Toto Too Theatre Company
    Guest columnist Susan Lyles on Denver's only theatre company dedicated to telling women's stories.


  • Video: Exclusive interview with 'Wicked' composer Stephen Schwartz

    by John Moore | Jun 11, 2015


    In this exclusive interview with Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz for the DCPA's NewsCenter, the theatre legend talks with Senior Arts Journalist John Moore about the ongoing need to empower girls and women.

    Stephen Schwartz"Turn on the TV or go online, and there is story after story of the difficulties women and girls face just trying to be on an equal level in our world," says Schwartz. "Worldwide, this is a major issue." 

    Schwartz says he relates most to the character of Elphaba in Wicked, and embraces the idea that we all have the green girl inside of us. He also tells how Wicked never happens - or at least not Schwartz's involvement in it - without a nudge from the folk singer Holly Near.

    Schwartz also addresses Denver's place in Wicked lore as the production's most visited city in the world. 

    Video by David Lenk and John Moore. 

    Wicked: Show information
    June 3-July 5
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., June 27

    Our recent NewsCenter coverage of Wicked:
    Wicked witches stirring up an evening of cabaret on June 15
    Daily Wicked lottery makes $25 tickets available to lucky winners
    Video, photos: Wicked arrives in Denver: Load-In Day
    Interview with the two stars on the show's 'Popular' appeal
    Wicked a show for the green girl in all of us
    Wicked has bonded mothers and daughters for a decade in Denver
       
    Stephen Schwartz
  • 'Wicked' witches stirring up an evening of cabaret on June 15

    by John Moore | Jun 10, 2015

    Many members of the national touring production of 'Wicked' will be performing in a fundraiser concert in Denver on Monday, June 15. Photo by Joan Marcus.

    Many members of the national touring production of 'Wicked' will be performing in a fundraiser concert in Denver on Monday, June 15. Photo by Joan Marcus. 


    Lauren HaughtonIn the hard-working world of Wicked, next Monday has been officially declared “Witches' Night Off.” But it’s really not a night off at all. Because many in the the cast of the popular national touring production visiting Denver this month will be working that night – for a cause.

    Witches Night Off is the name of the one-night-only cabaret show that cast members will be performing at the downtown Hard Rock Café Denver to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Doctors Without Borders and, locally, Project Angel Heart and Rainbow Alley.

    This is a special treat for Wicked fans, not only because they get to see cast members step out of their roles and perform some of their favorite non-Ozian material, but they will be auctioning off what actor Lauren Haughton calls “once in a lifetime” items.

    (Pictured at right: Lauren Haughton.)

    “The first one is a ‘Greenifying,’ which includes a backstage tour of Wicked and ends watching Elphaba transform into the green makeup in her private dressing room,” said Haughton, one of a large group of self-starting Wicked cast members who have taken it upon themselves to plan and produce Monday’s benefit.

    Another featured auction item is a chance to win a walk-on role in an actual Wicked performance. The winning bidder will receive a rehearsal, a costume fitting and will featured in a few scenes in a Wicked performance sometime before the show closes in Denver on July 5.

    In addition, fans can bid on the chance to sit in the orchestra pit and experience the show from below the stage. This winning bidder will leave with a guitar donated by the Hard Rock Café Denver and signed by the entire cast.

    We asked Haughton, who is a swing in the show and understudies Nessarose, all about Monday’s show, and more about who and how it will help:

    John Moore: What makes Witches' Night Off more fun than your average fundraiser?

    Lauren Haughton: Witches' Night Off is a unique benefit concert because cast members pick material we don't normally get to perform. The actors are no longer the characters they play in Wicked; they are just being themselves and singing songs that speak to them. All types of music will be represented: Jazz, pop, musical theatre … so there's a little something for everyone.

    John Moore: Can you tell us a specific number we will be hearing ... or is the song list a secret?

    Kristine Zbornik as Madame Morrible. Photo by Joan Marcus.Lauren Haughton: One part of the evening I am most excited about is our Madame Morrible, Kristine Zbornik, is doing a set of cabaret songs. Kristine not only has a theatrical resume a mile long, but she is a very accomplished cabaret artist. She's hysterical and genuine and sure to leave the audience wanting more. 

    (Pictured at right: Kristine Zbornik as Madame Morrible. Photo by Joan Marcus.)

    John Moore: Tell us a little about the mission and history of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

    Lauren Haughton: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is an incredible charity helping men, women and children suffering from HIV and AIDS. It helps AIDS organizations across the U.S. including Project Rainbow Heart, which is doing great work right here in Denver. Broadway Cares also helps other causes, including the (New York-based) Actors Fund and the Phyllis Newman Woman's Health Initiative, which helps women suffering from breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. For this particular benefit, a portion of the proceeds will also go to Doctors Without Borders to help with the devastation in Nepal. 

    John Moore: In what tangible ways will an event like Monday’s concert help people in Denver? 

    Lauren Haughton: Money raised will help those who can't afford doctors visits, food, care, prescriptions and more, both locally and nationally. We are also happy to help Doctors Without Borders, because the Nepal earthquakes have really devastated communities overseas. Personally I hope the Denver community comes out to enjoy and support live music. In an age where everything is YouTube and iTunes, sometimes it's nice to go out and enjoy people performing live in front of you. We are so lucky to have three local musicians joining us on this concert: Matt Amundson (drums), Peter Huffaker (bass), and David Lyon (fiddle). To me, if one kid is inspired by live music or theatre, our job is a success!

    John Moore: Why is it important for the theatre community to so steadfastly join in this fight?

    Lauren Haughton: AIDS and HIV affected so many artists in the theatre community when the disease was at its worst in the 1980s. Our cast recently performed with Jennifer Holliday in a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit and she shared her story about being on Broadway in Dreamgirls back then. With tears in her eyes, she told us how nearly every week it seemed someone from the Broadway community lost their life to this terrible epidemic. Even in 2015, I think almost every cast member in Wicked knows of someone suffering. I personally have a friend who has been living with and battling the disease since the ‘80s, and it’s thanks to organizations like Broadway Cares that he has gotten the support he needs to stay alive. 

    John Moore: How has your cast done its part?

    Lauren Haughton: Over the years, Wicked has raised more than any other Broadway show for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Our touring company alone has raised more than $2.8 million. For those of us in the cast, Wicked is a phenomenon, a worldwide sensation - and a dream job. I think all of us feel the need to give back, since we have been given so much.

    Witches' Night Off
    An evening of song at the Hard Rock Cafe Denver
    Monday, June 15
    7:30 p.m.
    16th and Glenarm streets in the Denver Pavilions, (500 16th St.)
    Tickets $20-$40 (tax deductible).
    Click here for more information. www.witchesnightoff.org/

    More about the local charities:
    Project Angel Heart was founded in 1991 to address major challenges facing Coloradans living with a life-threatening illness. It delivers individually modified meals to thousands of Coloradans living with cancer, kidney/heart/lung disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other life-threatening illnesses. The delivery area now includes 640 square miles of metro Denver and 164 square miles in the Colorado Springs area. All meals are delivered free of charge by volunteers.


    Rainbow Alley is a safe, drop-in place place that assists young people in need of health care, housing, emotional support, and social opportunities in a hate-free environment. It has given thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth support and encouragement to overcome obstacles ranging from  bullying and harassment to peer and family pressures.

    Wicked: Show information
    June 3-July 5
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., June 27

    Our recent NewsCenter coverage of Wicked:
    Daily Wicked lottery makes $25 tickets available to lucky winners
    Video, photos: Wicked arrives in Denver: Load-In Day
    Interview with the two stars on the show's 'Popular' appeal
    Wicked a show for the green girl in all of us
    Wicked has bonded mothers and daughters for a decade in Denver

  • Audio: Exclusive chat with Annaleigh Ashford on her Tony Awards win

    by John Moore | Jun 08, 2015
  • Annaleigh Ashford brings a Tony Award home to Colorado

    by John Moore | Jun 07, 2015
    Annaleigh Ashford holding her Tony Award in the press room
    Annaleigh Ashford holds her Tony Award in the press room.


    Eight years after making her Broadway debut in Legally Blonde The Musical, Wheat Ridge native Annaleigh Ashford is now a Tony Award winner.

    Ashford, 29, was honored with theatre's highest prize tonight for her widely praised role as the eccentric ballet dancer Essie opposite James Earl Jones in the Broadway revival of the classic American comedy You Can't Take It With You.

    Annaleigh prepares before the ceremony. Photos courtesty Holli Swanson. "I can't believe I am standing here on the Radio City Music Hall stage for the worst dancing that ever happened on Broadway," Ashford said to great laughter.

    She thanked her two families, both of the real and You Can't Take It With You varieties. Of her husband, Joe Tapper, and her biological family - including mother Holli Swanson sitting in the very back row of Radio City with Ashford's sister and father, she said, "Thank for being weird and silly and loving me unconditionally."

    She avoided the the trap of possibly leaving anyone out of her thanks by saying: "Thank you to every friend I’ve ever had, every teacher I have ever had, and everybody I have ever met.”

    Reached after the ceremony, Ashford's mother told the DCPA NewsCenter: "We are in heaven. This is a dream come true. We screamed. And we may have peed our pants a little bit."

    (Photo: Annaleigh Ashford prepares for the Tony Awards ceremony. Photo courtesy Holli Swanson.)

    The other actresses nominated in Ashford's category were Patricia Clarkson (The Elephant Man), Lydia Leonard (Wolf Hall Parts One & Two), Sarah Stiles (Hand to God) and Julie White (Airline Highway).

    Colorado's other native nominee, Beth Malone, was up for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Fun Home, the groundbreaking story of a woman dealing with the aftermath of her father's suicide. The award went to the long-suffering Kelli O'Hara​, who played Anna in a revival of The King & I.

    O'Hara, who has been nominated for six Tony Awards but had not won before tonight, kept up an unusual Broadway winning streak: No actress who has ever headlined a Broadway production of The King & I has ever not won a Tony Award.

    Malone, a graduate of Douglas County High School in Castle Rock and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, starred last year in the DCPA Theatre Company's newly reimagined The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She was considered a Tony Award longshot in part because the musical is a true ensemble piece, and her role of Alison is shared among three actors of different ages. However, she also had some momentum as the only nominee playing an original character.

    Beth Malone's name is called by Neil Patrick Harris. Her disappointment was no doubt tempered by Fun Home's win as Best Musical. Fun Home is the first musical in Broadway history to feature a lesbian protagonist. Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home 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, who together won Tony Awards for best book and score of a musical - an accomplishment that even Ashford noted in her post-awards press conference.

    "Two years ago, Cyndi Lauper became the first woman ever to win for Best Score," said Ashford, who co-starred in that winning production of Kinky Boots. "I remember that being such a milestone, and it's great to see women continuing the trend."

    (Photo: Beth Malone's name is called by Tony Award presenter Neil Patrick Harris.) 

    Another Colorado native, Denver East High School graduate Rebecca Eichenberger, plays several roles in An American in Paris, which won four awards. Spencer Ross of Denver is one of the show's producers.

    Listen to our five-minute conversation with Annaleigh Ashford the day after the Tony Awards.


    British writer Mark Haddon's heartbreaking and technically ingenious The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won for best play. Like Fun Home, it features a most uncommon protagonist: A 15-year-old with an unstated condition similar to Asperger syndrome. The tormented math savant is accused of killing the neighbor's dog, which sets him off on a harrowing journey to the big city. The play's title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1892 short story Silver Blaze.

    The Tony Awards were remarkably spread out this year, with Fun Home and Curious Incident leading the way with five awards each, and An American in Paris and The King & I earning four.

    The Tony Awards are often seen as a primary means for Broadway to introduce big new national touring productions to the American heartland audience. Fun Home marks the second straight year when Tony voters honored arguably the most daring and least commercial of all the nominees. The DCPA jumped on the 2014 Tony Award-winning best musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Feb. 16-28). Fun Home has announced a national tour to begin next year, but no cities have yet been announced. 

    Broadway producer (and prominent theatre blogger) Ken Davenport called Fun Home's surprise win over An American in Paris no less than David besting Goliath.

    "This is a shocking upset," Davenport wrote. "Let this forever prove that there is no block of touring presenters who vote for the shows they think will play in their theatres around the country to greater success. Got it?  There is no road vote.  Avenue Q beat WickedGentlemen’s Guide beat Aladdin.  And Fun Home beat Paris, just to name a few. 

    "Never before have I been more proud of our industry than last night, when it rewarded this achingly beautiful new musical that challenges today’s audiences. More people will see Fun Home because of that Tony.  And the world will be just a little bit of a better place because of it.  And that’s the power of theater."

    Ashford made her stage debut in Denver at age 9 in Theatre Group's Ruthless the Musical. She played an aspiring child actress who hangs a rival girl from a catwalk with a jump rope so she can star in the school play, Pippi in Tahiti, The Musical.

    Ashford, who came home to the Denver Center in April to perform her acclaimed cabaret show, Lost in the Stars, has been on an astonishing professional roll. She has appeared in five big Broadway productions. She was called “a sly comic genius” by The New York Times. She provided a voice in the biggest animated movie on the planet – Frozen. And she has returned to her delicious role as prostitute Betty DiMello on Showtime's Masters of Sex.

    Her first Tony Award nomination came in 2013 for playing Lauren in Kinky Boots. This fall, she returns to Broadway as a dog who threatens to break up a marriage in A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia. After the Tony Awards ceremony, Ashford said she will be enrolling in obedience classes with her dog in Los Angeles starting next week.

    "Hopefully at the end of this I will be better trained - and so will my dog," she quipped.

    CLICK HERE FOR A FUN INFOGRAPHIC SHOWING COLORADO'S TIES TO THE TONYS

    Ashford graduated from Wheat Ridge High School at age 16 and from Marymount Manhattan College at 19. She was asked in the press room whether she would have any advice now for her younger self.

    "I would have told myself to slow down," she said. "I was really racing the clock back then, and there are times when I wish I had taken it a little easier on myself, because that time is a special time."

    While other young women her age were just starting college at 19, Ashford found herself living at The Y in New York in a room so small, she could touch the two walls across at once.

    "So that was a depressing year," she said.

    No comparison to 2015, to be sure.
     
    "I was just thinking about how different my life is from from five years ago," she said. "I was working as an actor, but not always consistently, and I so was reminded how lucky we are to just have a job as an actor. And so the slower times and the quieter times just make me that much more grateful for the faster times - and moments like this."


    Annaleigh prepares before the ceremony. Photos courtesty Holli Swanson.
    Annaleigh Ashford prepares before the ceremony with her family, including husband Joe Tapper. Photos courtesy Holli Swanson.


    ​2015 TONY AWARDS

    BEST PLAY
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST MUSICAL
    Fun Home

    BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
    Skylight

    BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
    The King and I

    BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
    Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
    Sam Gold, Fun Home

    BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
    Helen Mirren, The Audience

    BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
    Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
    Kelli O’Hara, The King and I

    BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
    Michael Cerveris, Fun Home

    BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
    Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

    BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
    Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I

    BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
    Richard McCabe,The Audience

    BEST FEATURED ACTOR  IN A MUSICAL
    Christian Borle, Something Rotten!

    BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
    Fun Home, by Lisa Kron

    BEST SCORE
    Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Paule Constable, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Natasha Katz, for An American in Paris

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
    Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

    BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
    Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris

    BEST COSTUNE DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Catherine Zuber, The King and I

    BEST COSTUNE DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts 1 and 2

    SPECIAL TONY AWARDS
    Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Tommy Tune
    John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: Stephen Schwartz
    Regional Theatre Tony Award: Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

    Tweets about Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone:
    Tweets


    Our recent interview with Beth Malone:




    Our 2015 New York report (to date)
    :
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards
    Ashford: From Ruthless to the Good Girl of Tony Town
    Our exclusive interview with Annaleigh Ashford
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Beth Malone
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Aisha Jackson
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Playwright Max Posner
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Actor Rebecca Eichenberger
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver
    Photos: Annaleigh Ashford's return to Denver for Lost in the Stars
    Video: Watch Annaleigh perform at Miscast in New York

    Annaleigh
  • Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Aisha Jackson

    by John Moore | Jun 04, 2015


    All this week leading up to the Tony Awards, we are rolling out a daily video featuring a Colorado actor working on Broadway. No. 4: University of Northern Colorado alumna Aisha Jackson, who starred in the Arvada Center's Memphis last year and followed that up by making her Broadway debut on Jan. 23 in the ensemble of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical - at the tender age of 23.

    Jackson talks about why Greeley was the perfect fit for her when she left her hometown of Atlanta for college, and shouts out several of the UNC faculty, including Ken Womble, Tom McNally, David Grapes and Shelly Gaza.

    Beautiful visits the Buell Theatre in Denver as a national touring production from July 19-31, 2016. The show won two Tony Awards in 2014. The 2015 Tony Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, on CBS-4 in Denver.

    Video and photos by John Moore.

    2015 Tony Awards
    Sunday, June 1
    7 p.m., CBS-4 in Denver 

    Our 2015 New York report (to date):
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Actor Andy Kelso

    Video: Coloradans in New York: Playwright Max Posner
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Actor Rebecca Eichenberger
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver

    Aisha Jackson from the set of 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,' from the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway. Photo by John Moore. Aisha Jackson on the set of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway. Photo by John Moore.
  • Daily 'Wicked' lottery makes $25 tickets available to lucky winners

    by John Moore | Jun 03, 2015

    Caitlin McConaughy was the first 'Wicked' lottery winner in Denver. Photo by Kevin Replinger.
    Caitlin McConaughy, right, became the first 'Wicked' lottery winner in Denver on Wednesday. Photo by Kevin Replinger.


    Wednesday night's opening performance of Wicked in Denver also marked the start of the show's daily performance lottery. The first name announced was Caitlin McConaughy.

    A limited number of orchestra seats will be made available to lottery participants before every performance throughout the Denver run of Wicked.

    Here's how it works:

    Two and one-half hours prior to each performance, people who present themselves at the Buell Theatre box office will have their names placed in a lottery drum. Thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each - cash only. 

    This lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person.  Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and, if chosen, when purchasing tickets.

    Wicked: Show information
    June 3-July 5
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., June 27

    Our recent NewsCenter coverage of Wicked:
    Video, photos: Wicked arrives in Denver: Load-In Day
    Interview with the two stars on the show's 'Popular' appeal
    Wicked a show for the green girl in all of us
    Wicked has bonded mothers and daughters for a decade in Denver
  • Video, photos: 'Wicked' arrives in Denver: Load-In Day

    by John Moore | Jun 03, 2015



    The hit musical Wicked, opening Wednesday (June 3), is visiting Denver for a record-breaking fifth time. Our video above takes you inside the Buell Theatre as crews unloaded A Wicked LI circle13 trucks and put the set up. It's a process that takes 2 1/2 days and involves about eight Wicked traveling employees, along with 80 local crew. (About 30 local stagehands will help throughout the run of the show. And nine local musicians will join six who travel with the show for an orchestra of 15).

    Your guide in this video is company manager Ryan Lympus.

    "We want this experience for the audience to be as close to going to the Gershwin Theatre in New York as possible," says Lympus, who spent three previous summers in Colorado performing with "Up With People." 

    Video by David Lenk and John Moore.

    Wicked: Show information
    June 3-July 5
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., June 27

    Photos from the Wicked Load-In:
    Photos by John Moore.


    Our recent NewsCenter coverage of Wicked:
    Interview with the two stars on the show's 'Popular' appeal
    Wicked a show for the green girl in all of us
    Wicked has bonded mothers and daughters for a decade in Denver

    Announcing the daily Wicked lottery:
    A day-of-performance lottery will be held for a limited number of orchestra seats throughout the Denver run of Wicked. Two and one-half hours prior to each performance, people who present themselves at the Buell Theatre box office will have their names placed in a lottery drum; 30 minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only.  This lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person.  Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and, if chosen, when purchasing tickets.

    The first piece to be installed is the overhead dragon, which then oversees all other aspects of the load-in. Photo by John Moore. The first piece to be installed is always the overhead dragon, which then oversees all other aspects of the "Wicked" load-in. Photo by John Moore.
  • Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Rebecca Eichenberger

    by John Moore | May 31, 2015


    All this week leading up to Sunday's Tony Awards, we will be rolling out a daily video featuring a Colorado actor working on Broadway. First up: Denver East High School grad Rebecca Eichenberger, who is playing several roles in An American in Paris, which is up for 12 awards. This is the seventh Broadway show for Eichenberger, who in 1988 performed for her hometown Denver Center Theatre Company in the musical Carousel.  She also performed at StageWest (now known as the Garner-Galleria Theatre) in the musical comedy Six Women With Brain Death. "You know what? I am so proud to be from Denver," Eichenberger says. "So many people I know in the (Broadway) theatre came from Denver. It's such a fantastic thing that we all seem to hang on to what we had in high school." Video by John Moore.

    2015 Tony Awards
    Sunday, June 1
    7 p.m., CBS-4 in Denver 

    Our 2015 New York report (to date):
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance

    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver

    REBECCA 800Rebecca Eichenberger grew up in Denver and performed in "Carousel" for the Denver Center Theatre Company in 1988. Photo by John Moore.
  • Interview: 'Wicked' stars on the show's 'Popular' appeal

    by John Moore | May 28, 2015
    Carrie St. Louis and Alyssa Fox in 'Wicked.' Photo by Joan Marcus

    Carrie St. Louis and Alyssa Fox play unlikely friends on stage in 'Wicked,' and have developed a close bond off-stage as well. Photo by Joan Marcus.


    When the national touring production of Wicked returns next week, Denver will become the first city in the nation to have hosted the international stage phenomenon for a fifth time. The prequel to The Wizard of Oz has been playing continuously on Broadway for 11 years, and there have been multiple touring companies since 2005.

    And if you ask Alyssa Fox, who plays Elphaba in the production opening in Denver on June 3, this might be just the beginning. Because there are no signs of Wicked ever slowing down.

    “Not at this point,” said Fox. “I can see Wicked running for another 20 years, honestly.”

    The story about what it really means to be popular is, itself, very, very popular. A recent survey of Denver Center audiences found some who have come to see the show as many as 17 times during Denver stops alone. Several mothers and daughters reported having seen the show together at every previous Denver engagement, and that seeing the show regularly has become a defining bond in their relationships.

    That, Fox said, is likely because of the strong female presence in the show.

    “It's not often you see two female characters on the stage having a positive relationship, and this is definitely one of them,” Fox said. “I think a lot of mothers and daughters can relate to the friendship Glinda and Elphaba have because all mothers and daughters fight, and they all have differences. But there is always this underlying sense of love that you have for each other, and I think our show expresses that beautifully.”

    The reasons for Wicked’s enduring appeal have been well documented. It starts with its roots in one of the most beloved films of all time.

    “There's just something about Wicked,” said St. Louis. “It's just such a great story. The music is so great. People really fall in love with the characters. It's got just such a great message. There’s the spectacle, too: The costumes and the set.”

    But the biggest reason for its longevity might be that it’s not just a story for mothers and daughters.

    “It speaks to all ranges of people,” Fox said.

    Added St. Louis: “We see men; we see entire families; we see grandparents; we see young teenage boys.”

    And with Father’s Day coming up while Wicked is in Denver (June 21), the co-stars were asked what dads who bring their daughters to the show tell them.

    “I think a lot of fathers really want a positive message to send to their daughters about being a strong woman growing up in the world,” Fox said. “That's a wonderful lesson that a father can give to his daughter. Everyone can relate to something in the show.” 

    Wicked Quote Carrie St. LouisWicked tells the untold story of what happened long before Dorothy dropped into the land of Oz. It follows the rocky road to friendship between two iconic young women: One who is smart, fiery, misunderstood – and born with emerald-green skin. And the other who is beautiful, ambitious and, yes, popular. Wicked challenges your assumptions about who these women are – and how they came to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

    “Because of The Wizard of Oz, you think Glinda is the good witch and Elphaba is the bad witch, and that's just the way it is,” St. Louis said. “But through the course of the show, you find out that being pretty or popular does not necessarily make you a good person or a bad person. It questions those stereotypes and questions a lot of the issues that girls deal with growing up. So I think it does send a very powerful message.”  

    More from our interview

    When speaking to Fox and St. Louis at the same time, one must be prepared: “There will be a lot of giggling,” warned St. Louis.

    And there was a lot of giggling. Here are more excerpts from our conversation about Wicked:

    John Moore: It seems to me that anyone who, like me, strives to better understand women, can benefit from seeing Wicked.

    Alyssa Fox (laughing): Yes, it is definitely a glimpse into the complicated lives of women.

    Carrie St. Louis: Next we will be doing Side Show! (That’s a Broadway musical about conjoined twins.)

    John Moore: It's obvious from the laughter that you guys already have established a special bond. Does the show naturally lend itself to that kind of a friendship off the stage?

    Alyssa Fox: We took to each other pretty quickly.

    Carrie St. Louis: We are so much like our characters. We are pretty much Glinda and Elphaba in real life, which is very funny when we are just doing normal things like going to the grocery store. When you spend that much time with someone on stage, and especially on the road, you form a special relationship. So I am very lucky to have her with me on the stage.

    John Moore: How long have you been performing these roles together now?

    Alyssa Fox: We have been doing it full-time together since the end of January.

    John Moore: Do you still get excited to do the show every night?

    Carrie St. Louis: I still get goosebumps whenever Elphaba flies through the air, and I have the best seats in the house to watch her do it.

    Alyssa Fox: Awwww...

    John Moore: I know you both have played your roles opposite other actors. Is it hard when you hit the sweet spot with one actor to start over with someone else who might have their own ideas about the characters?


    Alyssa Fox: I think you get a different story when there is someone else there, because that person puts their own personality into it. And that does change it a little bit.

    Carrie St. Louis: But that's also what keeps it interesting.

    Alyssa Fox quote Alyssa Fox: Yes. When you see an understudy, it is going to be really amazing in a different way.

    Carrie: I couldn't even name how many Glindas there have been. But the thing I learned is that you just have to play yourself, in a way, and bring elements of yourself to the character.

    Alyssa Fox: Exactly.

    Carrie St. Louis: But it definitely has been great that we're contracted together, because we really get to explore things on more than just a surface level. It becomes a little bit deeper over time. There are a lot of moments we have found and invested in that I really only share with Alyssa on stage. So, yes, it becomes more special the more you do it with the other person.

    Alyssa Fox: And I think we grow more and more all the time traveling through each of these cities. We grow together as performers and as friends.

    John Moore: What are your thoughts on coming to Denver?

    Carrie St. Louis: This is actually my first time coming to Denver. But I am very excited because I have a lot of friends visiting. All my friends wanted to come when we are in Denver.

    Alyssa Fox: I have a lot of friends visiting as well. I think Denver must be a popular city for friends to meet up in. 

    John Moore: What do you attribute the staying power of the show to?

    Carrie St. Louis: I think a lot of it, honestly, is that Wicked is never frozen, which I don't think a lot of people know. The creative team is constantly making changes and adding things. We just recently added flying, for example, to a scene that didn't have flying before. We changed the choreography in "One Short Day" a little bit. So they are always tweaking and working on it. The creatives come out on the road with us every month or two to work with us and fine-tune the show.

    Alyssa Fox: They make sure everything is in tip-top shape. The lighting is right; the costumes are right.

    Carrie St. Louis: Everyone is 100 percent committed to keeping Wicked as great as it can be, and as great as it should be. That has contributed a lot to the success of the show. You are never going to get a B-show. The creatives are always going to make sure of that.

    Alyssa: Right.

    John Moore: There really are no signs of this ever slowing down, are there?

    Carrie St. Louis: Not at all. I always joke that next time I come back, I am going to play Madame Morrible.

    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.

    About Alyssa Fox:
    Alyssa is a Dallas native who sang her first solo in church at age 4. She began her Wicked journey in San Francisco as the Elphaba understudy and continued on tour as the Elphaba standby. Favorite shows include: Who's Your Baghdaddy?, Rocky Horror, Little Women and numerous concert performances. Twitter: @alyssafox. Instagram:  @allyfox
     
    About Carrie St. Louis:
    Carrie was in the original Las Vegas company of Rock of Ages as Sherrie, and later appeared on Broadway in the same role. Regional: Justin Love (Amanda Bell - world premiere), The Fix (Deborah) Carrie is a graduate of USC's Thornton School of Music. Instagram and Twitter: @carriestlouis

    Announcing the daily Wicked lottery:
    A day-of-performance lottery will be held for a limited number of orchestra seats throughout the Denver run of Wicked. Two and one-half hours prior to each performance, people who present themselves at the Buell Theatre box office will have their names placed in a lottery drum; 30 minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only.  This lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person.  Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and, if chosen, when purchasing tickets.

    Wicked
    June 3-July 5
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., June 27

    Our recent NewsCenter coverage of Wicked:
    Wicked a show for the green girl in all of us
    Wicked has bonded mothers and daughters for a decade in Denver


    Photos by Joan Marcus.
  • 'Wicked' a show for the green girl in all of us

    by NewsCenter Staff | May 19, 2015


    By Teri Downard

    Special to The DCPA NewsCenter

    One hundred and fifteen years ago this year, author L. Frank Baum wrote a charming book called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that became a children’s classic. The book was turned into a stage musical a year later (one such production is slated for the Buell next February) and begat another great classic: the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland played a girl who, after a close encounter of the tornado kind, found herself in a strange and mysterious land. Dorothy was her name and all she really wanted was to get back home to Kansas.

    Carrie St. Louis and Alyssa Fox. Photo by Joan Marcus. The film’s iconic characters and images have become so deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness that psychologists use the movie as an archetype of the hero’s journey. Like Dorothy, all we want, it would seem, is to find our way back home.

    The next Oz-ian incarnation came along in 1972 when a sleek version of the story called The Wiz, featuring an all-black cast, opened on Broadway. It ran for 1,672 performances and was later made into a movie starring Michael Jackson in his only theatrical role.

    (Photo: Carrie St. Louis and Alyssa Fox star in the Denver-bound 'Wicked.' Photo by Joan Marcus.)

    Then, in 1995, strident political satirist and author Gregory Maguire wrote a Gargantuan and immensely popular fantasy novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. In an ironic twist — everything in Oz seems to have an ironic twist — the book examines, among other things, the nature of good and the nature of evil. Maguire found them alarmingly and inextricably entwined. 

    Then the adventures in Oz morphed once again, this time into a stage production adapted from Maguire’s book. Its latest life form is that of the Tony Award-winning musical by composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Godspell) and librettist Winnie Holzman (“My So Called Life,” “thirtysomething”). 

    Wicked tells a tale that is about as far removed from Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz as the Emerald City is from Wichita. The show’s dark, witty, sophisticated charm made it the hottest ticket on Broadway.

    Glinda, the good witch is still there, but what, the musical inquires, is goodness after all? The main action revolves around Elphaba, the so-called wicked witch, (named by Maguire as a derivation of L. Frank Baum’s initials). Elphaba proves the popular adage that, indeed, it’s not easy being green. Born a lovely shade of jade, she is misunderstood, shunned and persecuted. While this naturally takes its toll, the question remains: is she evil? The answer is as ambiguous as her name. Elphaba and Glinda’s unlikely friendship illustrates the fact that it’s not simple trying to figure out which witch is which. 

    “The idea behind Wicked is that things are not as they seem,” notes book-writer Winnie Holzman. “What you think you know, you don’t really know. It is the premise of the novel that you know certain things, but you don’t know the deeper story.”

    The same notion drew composer Stephen Schwartz to the project: “I’m often attracted to an idea that takes a familiar story and spins it, looking at it from another direction, like Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I like it when I see things like that, and I like to write them. For me, if you take a familiar story — whether it be the Book of Genesis or The Wizard of Oz — and you come at it from another point of view, the tension between the audience’s preconception and the approach you’re taking to the story adds an extra level of response, plus it helps to clarify the points you’re trying to make.

    “The idea of taking what is one of the iconic villains of American culture, the Wicked Witch of the West — so much ‘the villain’ that we don’t even know her name — and looking at it from her point of view, that seemed to me a brilliant concept. It was clear [that] a show about her could explore some of my favorite themes: the difference between surface appearances and what’s really going on underneath, how life is more complex and has more ambiguity than we tend to be comfortable with and, certainly, than our public discourse admits to.”

    Schwartz also found the whole idea inherently musical.

    “Oz is a fantastical, larger-than-life setting full of characters who almost demand to sing,” he said, “and the witch herself is so full of big emotions — rage, ambition and longing — the idea was screaming to be a musical.”

    In addition, tucked into this timeless tale is enough eye-popping technical wizardry in Eugene Lee’s award-winning sets to keep everyone this side of Oz happy. Yet beyond the show’s infectious score and mind-boggling sets is a thoughtful universal theme.

    Actor David Garrison, who played the Wizard in Denver’s first tour wisely suggested: “There’s a Green Girl in all of us…. Everyone has felt like the outcast at one time or another. It’s part of the show’s broad appeal. It’s not a children’s show, but kids enjoy the fantasy of it, adolescents get the love story and adults see the political allegory.

    “This show is like a rock concert every night. It’s very heartening to see that. It’s what theatre does best.” 

    Teri Downard is a Denver-based writer and contributor to Applause magazine.

    Wicked
    June 3-July 5
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Accessibility performance: 2 p.m., June 27

    Our recent NewsCenter coverage of Wicked:
    Wicked has bonded mothers and daughters for a decade in Denver
  • New York's Broadway League dedicates 2015 conference to Randy Weeks

    by John Moore | May 12, 2015
    Randy Quote2

    Randy Weeks.


    The Broadway League’s 26th annual spring road conference opened on Tuesday in New York with a special dedication to late DCPA President Randy Weeks, who died last Oct. 9 at age 59. The conference has gathered nearly 1,000 producers, presenters and staff from Broadway touring markets around the country.

    Here was the opening statement from Al Nocciolino, President of NAC Entertainment:

    "Today I have the privilege of dedicating this conference to Randy Weeks. Randy was president of the Denver Center, and he was responsible for its Broadway series for many, many years. He was an active, engaged member of the Broadway League. He served on the Board of Governors, our executive committee, and also as one of our conference co-chairs. He was a very, very important part of our industry. But more important, Randy turned Denver into one of the most important theatre cities in America. Numerous tours chose Denver to open because of what Randy and his staff were able to do. It is one of the great, great theatre towns in America. We will always remember Randy, but if he could get a message to me right now, he would say, ‘Al: Tell them they are looking good, congratulations … and get on with it.’ So we are going to get on with it. But please remember our friend, Randy Weeks, and we dedicate this conference to him.”

     




      

    Our previous coverage of the death of Randy Weeks:
    Video: Highlights, interviews from Randy Weeks celebration
    Celebration draws 1,500 to recall a singular friend in story and song
    DCPA president Randy Weeks dies at London conference
    Video: Randy Weeks honored with dimmed lights, moments of silence
    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 tour to Randy Weeks
  • Photos: Family Night at 'Annie' in Denver

    by John Moore | May 06, 2015

    All our photos are free and easily downloadable from our Flickr site by clicking here.



    A young audience member gets her hair glittered during family activities before 'Annie.' Photo by John Moore. Wednesday was Family Night at the national touring production of Annie, playing through May 10 in Denver. Youngsters got to meet the cast and participate in theatrical activities in the Buell Theatre lobby before the performance, which was followed by a talkback. All photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Annie
    Through May 10
    Buell Theatre
    ASL interpreted, Audio described & Open Captioned performance: May 10, 2pm
    Tickets: Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    800-641-1222 | Groups (10+): 303-446-4829

    A young audience member, left, meets the actor who plays Annie after the show. Photo by John Moore.
    A young audience member, left, meets the actor who plays Annie after the show. Photo by John Moore.


    'Annie' cast members sign autographs before Wednesday's performance. Photo by John Moore.
    'Annie' cast members sign autographs before Wednesday's performance. Photo by John Moore.

  • Webcast: Watch Tuesday's Tony Award nominations live here

    by John Moore | Apr 27, 2015


    You can watch the 2015 Tony Awards nominations announcement right here beginning at about 6:30 am. MDT tomorrow (Tuesday, April 28). Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis will co-host this special live webcast. Parker is a former Tony winner (Proof) and three-time nominee. Willis is set to make his Broadway debut this fall in the upcoming play Misery, a new stage adaptation of the Stephen King novel.

    Find out first which shows are nominated for Best Musical. Learn which of several actors with Denver-area connections who are under consideration for awards will have their dreams come true.

    (UPDATE: Both Wheat Ridge High grad Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take it With You)  and Castle Rock native Beth Malone (Fun Home)  were just nominated for  Tony Awards. More to come).

    The list of nominees promises to feature some huge stars. Most are predicting Bradley Cooper (The Elephant Man), Jake Gyllenhaal (Constellations) and Hugh Jackman (The River) will be nominated for outstanding actor in a drama.

    How do your predictions stack up against the experts? Gold Derby is predicting that Fun Home, starring Colorado native Beth Malone, will not only be nominated for Best Musical, but will win. Malone starred this season in the title role of the DCPA Theatre Company's The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

    After the nominations are announced, check back here throughout the morning as we update this page with inside info, trivia and more.

    The Tony Awards will be presented on June 7 on CBS. On the Twentieth Century headliner Kristin Chenoweth and recent Cabaret star Alan Cumming will host the 69th annual ceremony live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

    TRIVIA
    CBS has broadcast the Tony every year since 1978.

    Tony Award nominations

  • 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

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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.