• Meet the cast video series: Lesley Shires

    by John Moore | Oct 29, 2014


    In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 71: Meet Lesley Shires of Fayetteville, N.C., an Army brat who plays the lovable aspiring actress Nina in the Theatre Company at the DCPA's new production of Christopher Durang's celebrated comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

    Shires talks about growing up in a military family ("all of the men in my life are military -- Special Forces, Green Berets, Special Ops -- but they are the nicest, sweetest men," she says -- and the nonprofit organization she created after her young niece was diagnosed with cancer. Hats for Zoe (www.HatsForZoe.Com) provides comfy, creative  caps kids who have lost their hair.

    Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. It's about adult siblings whose lives are disrupted by a visit from their Hollywood star sister ... and a boy named Spike. It plays through Nov. 16 in the Ricketson Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 3 minutes.

    And, hey: Check out our new media outlet covering Colorado theatre at MyDenverCenter.Org

      Meet_The_Cast_Vanya_Lesley_Shires_800

    Lesley Shires plays a sweet, wannabe actress who is happy to be invited to her Pennsylvania neighbor's costume party -- even if it means dressing as one of the seven dwarfs in " Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike."
    Photo by Jennifer L. Koskinen
    .


    Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    : Ticket information
    Performances run through Nov. 16
    Ricketson Theatre
    303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

    Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

    Charlie Franklin,Lord of the Flies
    Patty Goble,The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    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
    Gregory Isaac Stone, Lord of the Flies

    Meet the cast episodes from the 2013-14 season:
    Death of a Salesman
    Just Like Us
    Jackie & Me
    The Most Deserving
    A Christmas Carol
    black odyssey
    The Legend of Georgia McBride
    Hamlet
    Shadowlands
    Animal Crackers
      Our previous coverage of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:
      Vanya: Opening night photo gallery
      Video: Watch a montage of scenes from the production
      Cold coffee, hot popcorn make for a good stew
      Durang strikes an unexpected peace with an indifferent Broadway
      Vanya ... is the most popular play in America
      Vanya: First rehearsal photos
      Video: Eddie Lopez works out with Fox's morning 'Everyday' team
      Check out our Study Guide
    • Video: Andy Kelso's National Anthem Day in Denver

      by John Moore | Oct 28, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


      Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:

    • Podcast: Listen to our interview with Cyndi Lauper
    • Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
    • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”
    • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
    • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
    • Kinky Boots Study Guide
    • Photo essay: Backstage at all three current Theatre Company shows

      by John Moore | Oct 25, 2014

      Molly_Brown_Backstage_800Beth Malone, who plays Molly Brown in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," with castmate Keven Quillon. Photo by John Moore. (To see the entire photo essay, click here.)


      Molly_Brown_Lord_Of_The_Flies_800
      Skyler Gallun, who plays Henry in "Lord of the Flies," transforms into a savage hunter during intermission. Photo by John Moore. (To see the entire photo essay, click here.)


      Vanya_Backstage_800

      Stuart Sanks, a.k.a. Shirley Delta Blow in Off-Center @ The Jones' "Lord of the Butterflies" (playing through Nov. 7), visits "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" actor Kathleen McCall backstage. Photo by John Moore. (To see the entire photo essay, click here.)




      The Theatre Company at the DCPA has opened the 2014-15 season with three shows running simultaneously: The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Vanya and Masha and Spike and Lord of the Flies. That means all three shows are often preparing and performing at the same time.

      DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore visited backstage at each show for a half hour before showtime and came up with this illuminating photo essay.

      At Lord of the Flies, he stayed for intermission to witness how many of the stranded British schoolboys transform from choir boys into full-on savages.

      (To see John Moore's entire photo essay, 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.

      Ticket information:
      Molly Brown closes on Oct. 26
      Lord of the Flies closes on Nov. 2
      Vanya closes on Nov. 16.
      For info: 303-893-4100 or www.denvercenter.org


      Our Previous Molly Brown
      coverage on Denver CenterStage:

      Our Previous Lord of the Flies coverage on Denver CenterStage:

       

    • Podcast: Running Lines with Cyndi Lauper

      by John Moore | Oct 23, 2014


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



      Episode 170:
      John Moore chats with none other than Cyndi Lauper her own self. Lauper wrote the music for the 2013 Tony Award-winning best musical, Kinky Boots, which plays in Denver from Oct. 29 through Nov. 9 at the Buell Theatre.

      Lauper talks about bullying, drag queens and Cyndi's late friend, Gregory, who inspired her now anthemic song, "True Colors."

      Lauper is especially pleased that Kinky Boots, a fun story of inclusion and acceptance, has launched its first national tour, and will now be seen by audiences beyond Broadway.

      "People who are different in Middle America have no place (to go), really," Lauper says in the podcast. "They don’t have anybody to speak up for them. (But) sometimes you can change your mind about a person by understanding their story."

      Lauper challenges audiences to "pick one person and change your mind about them -- and that will help change the world." 

      Lauper also had kind things to say about two Colorado actors with Kinky Boots connections: Eaglecrest High graduate Andy Kelso, who was cast in the ensemble of the hit the Broadway production and is now playing the leading role of Charlie; and Annaleigh Ashford, who originated the role of Lauren and was nominated for a Tony Award. She graduated from Wheat Ridge High School.

      "Andy has a quality about him that’s really kind of sexy, and very rock and roll," Lauper said. And he has a good ear. Kelso is really, really great in this role."

      Kelso also has been flown back to Denver from New York to sing the national anthem before the Denver Broncos' Thursday night football game against the San Diego Chargers tonight (Oct. 23).

      Ashford is now starring on Broadway in You Can't Take it With You. She was part of Kinky Boots from development through its first year on Broadway.

      "When we saw Annaleigh, she was pretty fantastic," said Lauper, who changed the direction of Lauren's big song, "A History of Wrong Guys," after meeting Ashford and  seeing what she could do.

      "I continued writing (the song) really geared toward her, because when I saw her I thought, 'Oh my God,' she could do great,' " Lauper said. "And the rest is history."

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

      Our Previous Kinky Boots coverage on Denver CenterStage:
    •  Video: Exclusive interview with Andy Kelso and Annaleigh Ashford of Kinky Boots
    • Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway
    • Denver Center's full 2014-15 season announcement
    • Kinky Boots Study Guide
    • Cher and Cyndi Lauper put the "sex" in "sexagenarian”


    • Recent "Running Lines" episodes:
      169: Kathy Maes, Charlie Franklin and Matt Gumley of Lord of the Flies
      168: Jeremy Palmer, Ed Mills and J Murray d'Armand of L.A. Diner
      167: Laura Norman and Josh Hartwell on Grounded and Dylan Went Electric
      166: Alison Horsley on Animal Crackers and the art of Dramaturgy
      165: Christy Montour-Larson on directing Shadowlands

       Kinky_Boots_Tour_800_1

      From left: Steven Booth and Kyle Taylor Parker of the national touring production of "Kinky Boots." Photo by Matthew Murphy.
    • Art and Artist: Meghan Anderson Doyle on stitching Chekhov with Snow White

      by John Moore | Oct 22, 2014

      Vanya_Sonia_Masha_Spike_Costumes_McCall_Meghan_Anderson_Doyle_800_1

      Actor Kathleen McCall as a Hollywood star named Masha who wants to go to a costume party dressed as an age-inappropriate Snow White. Design by Meghan Anderson Doyle. Photograph by Jennifer M. Koskinen.




      Vanya_Sonia_Masha_Spike_Zombie_Costumes_Meghan_Anderson_Doyle_400At first glance, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike would not appear to be a costume designer’s dream. More like a snooze. The play opens with contemporary adult siblings in modern dress wearing basic, muted earth tones. 

      But from the moment their sister Masha walks in, “There is just this explosion of Hollywood color,” says Costume Designer Meghan Anderson Doyle (pictured at right).

      In Christopher Durang’s Tony-winning comedy rooted in the anachronistic world of Anton Chekhov, Masha is a successful actor, and her adult siblings are living off her largess.

      “We laughed most about figuring out the Masha celebrity look,” said Doyle, a graduate of Denver North High School and the universities of Denver (B.A.) and Florida (M.F.A). “We came up with everything from Kim Kardashian's mother to The Housewives of New York.”

      But then, out of nowhere, Durang tosses Doyle and costume designers around the world a bright, technicolor bouquet: The family has been invited to a costume party. And Masha -- a woman in her 50s -- has decided she will be going as Snow White. And she has ruled that her siblings will be accompanying her … as dwarfs. Enter Grumpy and Dopey.

      Vanya_Sonia_Masha_Spike_Costumes_Meghan_Anderson_Doyle_Quote


      For Doyle, “It’s like getting to design two plays in one.” And the bigger the separation – from a mundane breakfast conversation to a costume party later on -- “the more dynamic the payoff,” she said.

      Durang is known as an absurdist comic writer, but Doyle and Director Jenn Thompson chose to keep the Snow White party costumes true to the Disney movie. That means they are very much drenched in cartoon colors – “vibrant yellow, blue and red,” said Doyle. “She's got the traditional blue bodice with the yellow skirt, and the big red bow in her hair.

      “Of course … the proportions are so completely different from the original characters, so that’s part of the fun, too.”

      Doyle has always loved playing dress-up, so designing a show like this one fulfills a childhood dream.

      “You know, I am still a princessy kind of girlie girl, but I don't know that I was ever exactly a Snow White person,” she said. “I think I was more The Little Mermaid. But whatever the occasion – I do love to dress up.”

      Vanya_Sonia_Masha_Spike_Costumes_McCall_Meghan_Anderson_Doyle_800_2

      Kathleen McCall as a Hollywood star named Masha. Design by Meghan Anderson Doyle. Photograph by Jennifer M. Koskinen.


      No surprise then, that Halloween Doyle’s favorite time of the year. Last weekend, she again conspired with fellow DCPA Costume Designer Kevin Copenhaver to scare the bejeezus out of downtown passersby during Denver’s annual Zombie Crawl.

      “Oh, yes: Kevin and I definitely love anything to do with zombies,” she said. (See photo at top of this page.)

      Doyle began working at the DCPA as an intern while still a student at North High School, and was hired as a full-time designer after she earned her masters degree in 2006. Doyle has since designed six Theatre Company mainstage shows herself and assisted on dozens of others.

      “To have a job in the arts where you are using your degree? That’s pretty fantastic,” she said.

      Doyle has been the lead designer on Jackie & Me, Superior Donuts, Well, The Giver and the world premiere of Ed, Downloaded for the Theatre Company. Interesting trivia: Doyle worked closely with Ed, Downloaded playwright Michael Mitnick for its Denver debut – and Mitnick wrote the screenplay for the new film adaptation of The Giver. “So getting to work with him was pretty exciting,” she said.

      Doyle also designed the first four seasons of Off-Center’s Cult Following, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! and Five Course Love for the Garner Galleria cabaret theatre. When the National Theatre Conservatory was in operation, Doyle designed 16 productions. She has also worked about town at the Curious Theatre Company (Good People, The Brothers Size, A Number, Up, tempOdyssey) and The Aurora Fox (Metamorphoses).

      Her DCPA status is called “full-time seasonal,” meaning she works full-time as long as the Theatre Company is in process. That covers about nine months a year.

      So how big of a deal is it when you get to be the lead designer on a Theatre Company show?

      “Oh, it is huge,” Doyle said. “Especially, I think, being a Denver person and to get to design in the place where you have come to see so many shows growing up.”

      While designing period or Shakespearean pieces often draw the most attention to the designer, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike presented Doyle with several unique challenges. The play is a contemporary comedy but is laced with Chekhov underpinnings.

      So how do you approach a show when it’s a parody -- but it's not? That is rooted in the world of Chekhov -- but it's not? 

      “You know, we really started the whole design process saying, ‘Things are thinly veiled,’ “ Doyle said. There are Chekhovian references, but they are in plain sight. I think a lot of the Chekhov plays more directly into Lisa Orzolek’s set design than into the costumes. But it’s no accident that the script initially references Vanya (Sam Gregory) as being in a nightshirt – even though I don't know too many grown men who wear a nightshirt anymore. So I think the Chekhov is definitely in there.”

      Doyle also had the logistical challenge of designing for a director who lives in New York. Doyle starts the creative process months in advance, and typically an out-of-town director does not arrive in Denver until rehearsals begin about a month before opening. That made for many phone conversations and Dropbox file-sharing between Doyle and Thompson.

      “We did have an initial design conference in May here in Denver, which is great because you meet face-to-face, and you get a real sense of how someone wants to work,” Doyle said. “So we knew even then that Jenn is really easygoing and fun to work with.”

      It’s also fun, she added, “when the actors are such good sports about it. You can go, 'We are going to give you giant plastic ears and a really hot green robe that has arms that are way too long, and ... I hope you do something magical and fantastic with it.’ And they do.” 

      Vanya_Sonia_Masha_Spike_Costumes_Shires_Meghan_Anderson_Doyle_800
      Lesley Shires as Nina ... as a dwarf. Design by Meghan Anderson Doyle. Photograph by Jennifer M. Koskinen.


      Here is more  of our conversation with Meghan Anderson Doyle on her life as a costumer. And check out her full online portfolio here.

      John Moore: Do you think costumers get the credit they deserve for designing contemporary shows, when actors are dressed in everyday clothes?

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: No. I think people see contemporary shows and assume the same kind of planning hasn't gone into it. But just look at television: All those sit-coms and commercials. If it's contemporary, it's got a costume designer who created that look,  but nobody ever knows who that is. The tricky thing about contemporary costumed shows is you really do want to make a piece that's cohesive to the world. You don't want the costumes to stand out as awkward or strange or flashy ... until they should. It's definitely a different way to approach a show. I wouldn't say that it is better or worse, but it is definitely different.

      John Moore: So is it more fun when you get to design a period piece because it's more noticeable? 

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: I think it's a different challenge. You get to do all the fun things that you practiced in school, and you get to research the period, and you get to pick the fabrics. You get to make more of your own choices, I think, as opposed to a contemporary story where it’s more about going shopping and just making choices just on what's in stores.

      John Moore: Does it drive you crazy when costumers win awards for shows when it turns out the costumes were all just rented?

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: Oh … yeah. There are a lot of times where you are like, 'Not cool.' But, you know...

      John Moore: So here's my beef with Shakespeare. In many stories, things get really dirty, muddy and bloody. In The Tempest, there has been a storm and a shipwreck, and the actors walk out of the ocean and they all wearing these beautiful, clean, dry, pristine costumes. It’s pretty obvious that there is more concern for keeping these fancy clothes clean than being true to that moment of the play.

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: Yeah. I think sometimes that happens. I think it depends on the verisimilitude of the world you have created. Sometimes they are supposed to be pristine and perfect. I like more grungy, and a little more grit.

      John Moore: I am sorry to interrupt, but that’s such a good word. For the sake of those who don’t know, I am going to tell readers that means “the appearance of being true or real.”

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: Yes. You have to be true to the world you have created.

      John Moore: Most audiences (and critics!) are undereducated as to what all goes into the costume craft. And sometimes you work on a dress for months, and it’s only on stage for 15 seconds.

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: Yes. Sometimes you are kind of disappointed in that, but then you think, 'If we hadn't done that, it would have been a wasted opportunity.'

      John Moore: And sometimes a moment on stage only has to be a moment.

      Meghan Anderson Doyle: Right. If you ever look at our programs, you can see how many people are working backstage. It really takes so many of us to do what we do. 

      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.


      Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Ticket information
      Performances run through Nov. 16
      Ricketson Theatre
      303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org


      Our previous coverage of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
      Video: Watch a montage of scenes from the production
      Cold coffee, hot popcorn make for a good Vanya stew
      Durang strikes an unexpected peace with an indifferent Broadway
      Vanya ... is the most popular play in America
      Opening Night photos
      Vanya ... First rehearsal photos
      Meet the Cast video: Eddie Lopez
      Check out our Study Guide

      Previous DCPA 'Art and Artist' profiles:
      Scenic Designer Kyle Malone
      Stage Manager Kurt Van Raden
      Teaching Artist Jessica Austgen
      Head of Acting Lawrence Hecht
      Lighting Designer Charles MacLeod
      Director of I.T. Bruce Montgomery
      Stage Manager Lyle Raper

      Vanya_Sonia_Masha_Spike_Costumes_Meghan_Anderson_Doyle_800_3

      "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike": Costume designs by Meghan Anderson Doyle.

       
      MORE ON DENVER CENTER COSTUMING:

      Kevin Copenhaver, Christine Rowan, "Animal Crackers" and the art of costume quackery. A video project by John Moore.
    • Meet the Cast video series: Eddie Lopez

      by John Moore | Oct 21, 2014


      In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 70: Meet Eddie Lopez of Sacramento, who plays the lovably oblivious boy-toy Spike in the Theatre Company at the DCPA's new production of Christopher Durang's celebrated comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

      Lopez talks about capoeira (the national sport of Brazil), his first impressions of Denver and his thoughts on Meryl Streep ... and kindness.

      Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. It's about adult siblings whose lives are disrupted by a visit from their Hollywood star sister ... and a boy named Spike. It plays through Nov. 16 in the Ricketson Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 3 minutes.

      And, hey: Check out our new media outlet covering Colorado theatre at MyDenverCenter.Org

       Vanya_Meet_The_Cast_Eddie_Lopez_800
      Let's just be honest: Eddie Lopez has the assets you need in an actor who plays a muscular boy toy named Spike.
      Photo by Jennifer L. Koskinen
      .


      Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
      : Ticket information
      Performances run through Nov. 16
      Ricketson Theatre
      303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org


      Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

      Charlie Franklin, Lord of the Flies
      Patty Goble
      , The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      Matthew Gumley, Lord of the Flies

      Paolo Montalban, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      Linda Mugleston, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      Donna English, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      Burke Moses, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      Ben and Noah Radcliffe, Lord of the Flies
      Gregory Isaac Stone, Lord of the Flies

      Meet the cast episodes from the 2013-14 season:
      Death of a Salesman
      Just Like Us
      Jackie & Me
      The Most Deserving
      A Christmas Carol
      black odyssey
      The Legend of Georgia McBride
      Hamlet
      Shadowlands
      Animal Crackers

        Our previous coverage of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
        Opening Night photos
        Video: Watch a montage of scenes from the production

        Cold coffee, hot popcorn make for a good stew
        Durang strikes an unexpected peace with an indifferent Broadway
        Vanya ... is the most popular play in America
        Vanya ... First rehearsal photos
        Check out our Study Guide
      • Video: Talking 'Appoggiatura' with James Still and Risa Brainin

        by John Moore | Oct 19, 2014



        Appoggiatura_Video_Interview_800The world premiere of the play Appoggiatura will be performed Jan. 16 through Feb. 22 in the Ricketson Theatre. It's a sun-drenched romance about love, loss, and a broken family re-living the past and healing their hearts in Venice. Followed by a violin-playing Vivaldi, a charming but bogus Italian tour guide accompanies a widow and a bereaved middle-aged man who both mourn for the same person while a granddaughter questions her future.

        Appoggiatura is a Denver Center commission by three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist James Still, who In this video talks with director Risa Brainin about the play, and staging it in Denver. When it debuted as a reading at the  2014 Colorado New Play Summit, the word that came up most in response to it was "sweet." 

        "And I think it takes enormous courage right now to approach a new play with that kind of deeply sweet quality," says Still, "because it is risky."

        The plays that have been selected to be read at the 2015 Summit will be announced Monday, Oct. 20.

        "I can't imagine any writer not wanting to have a play premiere at the DCPA," says Still. "That's just an incredible honor."

        For ticket information to Appoggiatura, go to http://www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore.


      • Photos: Opening night of 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike'

        by John Moore | Oct 18, 2014
        Vanya_Opening_Night_800_1

        If only they liked each other. From left: Amelia White, Lesley Shires, Socorro Santiago, Kathleen McCall, Director Jenn Thompson, Eddie Lopez and Sam Gregory. Photo by John Moore.


        To see our complete gallery of opening-night photos from "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," click here.

        Photos from opening night at the Theatre Company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.

        This Chekhovian mash-up erupts into chaos when Vanya and Sonia receive a surprise visit from their Hollywood star sister, Masha, and her boy-toy Spike.

        The Theatre Company production runs through Nov 16, 2014 in the Ricketson Theatre.

        Photos by John Moore. 303-893-4100 or www.denvercenter.org

        Vanya_Opening_Night_800_2
        Cast members from "Lord of the Flies" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" lend their support to the cast of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at the opening-night party. Photo by John Moore.

        To see our complete gallery of opening-night photos from "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," click here.


        Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

        Through Nov. 16
        Ricketson Theatre
        Accessible Performance: Nov. 15, 1:30 pm
        Tickets: 303.893.4100 | denvercenter.org
        Talkback: 3:30 p.m., Oct. 19, Ricketson Theatre
        Page to Stage Discussion: Noon, Nov. 4, Colfax Tattered Cover
        Higher Education Advisory Council Talkback: 3:30 p.m. Nov. 9
        Theatre & Theology: 8:30 p.m., Nov. 11
        Book Club Discussion: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 12, Colfax Tattered Cover
        Theatre Thursday: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 13, Ricketson Theatre
        Events information: Click here


        Our previous coverage of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
        Video: Watch a montage of scenes from the production
        Cold coffee, hot popcorn make for a good stew
        Durang strikes an unexpected peace with an indifferent Broadway
        Vanya ... is the most popular play in America
        Vanya ... First rehearsal photos
        Check out our Study Guide

        Cast list
        Vanya: Sam Gregory
        Sonia: Amelia White
        Masha: Kathleen McCall
        Spike: Eddie Lopez
        Nina: Lesley Shires
        Cassandra: Socorro Santiago

      • Molly Brown kin: New Denver musical is 'icing on the cake'

        by John Moore | Oct 17, 2014

        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Dog_800
        Helen Benziger, with her dog, Brojan, gave her blessing to the DCPA's new "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" at the opening-night party. Photo by John Moore.   


        Helen Benziger is not like most descendants of Margaret Tobin Brown. She actually liked the 1964 movie that made her great-grandmother famous. Even if it got almost everything about her life wrong.

        “I actually adored the movie,” Benziger said of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the celluloid adaptation of what many theatre aficionados have, until now, considered the unfixable Broadway musical.

        And she really likes the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company's launch of a brand-new take on the original 1960 musical.

        “I was overwhelmed with what they did with the play,” said Benziger. “A lot of us have been trying to get the real story out about who Margaret really was, and this is the icing on the cake. This is going to make people understand more about her.”

        Benziger has inherited the mantle of representing those “please-don’t-call-her Molly” Brown family members who have cringed at how the most famous survivor of the Titanic disaster has been portrayed in pop culture since she died more than 80 years ago.

        Starting with that first name. For the record, Margaret never went by Molly. Not even as a nickname.

        “They changed it to Molly (for the musical) because it was easier to sing,” said Benziger, who has devoted much of her life since 1999 to setting the record straight on behalf of a family that, for the most part, wanted to hear nothing of it when Dick Scanlan set out in 2005 to revisit the Meredith Willson musical. Generations of family have complained about gross misrepresentations of Brown in the character Debbie Reynolds made famous.

        “My grandmother wouldn’t have anything to do with the movie,” Benziger said. “She would always say, ‘This is not the mother I knew. This is someone I don’t even know.’ ”

        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Quote_2

        The movie shows Molly as an uneducated mountain girl with only a surrogate father. Margaret had two loving parents, including a mother, Johanna Tobin, who insisted she receive an eighth-grade education, which was three years more than the average woman for the time.

        “Margaret was quite sophisticated, and she spoke many languages,” said Benziger. “She ran for Senate before women even had the right to vote.”

        Brown didn’t drop out of that 1914 race because of a scandal involving her philandering husband, J.J., Benziger said. “Oh make no mistake -- he was very much a philanderer,” she said. “But Margaret really dropped out because her sister married a German baron at a time when such a relationship was scandalous. But she couldn't say, 'Hey, sis drop the baron because I am running for office.’ ”

        The film depicts Molly coming down the Colorado River in a basket, and being raised by a drunken Irishman named Shamus. “It's so ridiculous,” Benziger said. But her family cringes most over the scene in the movie where J.J. Brown accidentally burns his own money after Molly hides it in the stove.

        “What makes that so funny is that they didn't even have paper money in Leadville at that time,” Benziger said.

        Given all that misinformation, it was a bit unexpected when Benziger accepted an invitation to attend the opening performance of Scanlan’s delightfully received retelling of the Molly Brown musical at the DCPA.

        “You have to understand, I first saw the movie at a rather young age,” Benziger said. “It was just a big movie to me, and I thought it was great. It was only later on and I kept watching it that I realized most of it wasn’t true. But what was true is that the original movie captured her heart, her spirit and her soul.”

        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Quote_1

        Benziger, who is visually impaired, couldn’t be living the spirit and soul of Margaret more. She lives in a log cabin with her husband and guide dog, Brojan, in Story, Wyo. That’s a quiet a town of 800 people nestled in the Bighorn Mountains about 400 miles north of Denver near Sheridan.

        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Beth_Malone_400What Benziger loved most about the movie, she said, “is that it kept Margaret alive until we could start telling the real story.”

        What Brown’s family most want from pop culture is what Scanlan most wanted when he approached a new The Unsinkable Molly Brown: To show a more human, complicated and significant Molly Brown. A woman who served as director of the American Committee for Devastated France during World War I and was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her work. Who wielded her influence in national politics, particularly in the area of workers' rights.

        Brown was motivated to action by the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, when 11,000 workers went on strike and resorted to living in tents after their families were turned out of company-owned housing. When the miners' union refused to surrender two petty criminals, the National Guard fired into the crowd, killing five men. That night, the Guard doused tents in oil and burned them to the ground, killing nearly a dozen children. Brown sent nurses, shoes and clothing to Ludlow. She then spearheaded the investigation into the miners' deaths.

        Not that all of this is depicted in the new The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

        Scanlan rewrote the book to show audiences a more significant heroine and a more complicated love story. Which is not to say that Scanlan and his team felt beholden to write a stage documentary set to Willson songs.

        “This is still very much a musical,” said Director Kathleen Marshall, who set out to stage an old-fashioned musical and not apologize for it. Only improve it.

        Benziger was particularly charmed by actor Beth Malone’s portrayal of her great-grandmother. She was perfect,” Benzinger said. “She embodied her spirit. And she's just a doll. She’s so sweet.”

        Benziger appreciated Malone’s pluck, her powerful voice and her dancing. But the primary reason she liked Malone may surprise you. 

        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Cup “I really like the fact that she's not fat,” said Benziger. “People always portray Margaret as being a large woman, and she wasn't. Kathy Bates, who played Margaret in the Titanic movie, was three times her size. If you look at the picture of Margaret presenting the ‘Loving Cup’ Arthur Rostrand, the captain of the Carpathia, her waist is tiny.”

        Now that the new stage musical of The Unsinkable Molly Brown has Benziger’s seal of approval, she predicts it will … not have much impact on the rest of her extended family.

         "I am really the only one on my side of the family who is doing this,” she said. “And I don’t have children, so there is no one to take over.” 

        If any of her relatives ever do see the show, she predicted, “I think they will love it. And I think they will get a lot out of it. I don’t think they will, but I hope they do.”

        And if Benziger has any say in it – and  she does not -- they will have another chance after the show closes in Denver on Oct. 26.

        “It’s going to New York,” she said. “My word on it. I mean, it has to go. It will go.”

        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.

        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Cast_800
        Helen Benziger, with her dog, Brojan, meet cast members from the DCPA's new "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" at the opening-night party. Photo by John Moore.   


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


        Our Previous Molly Brown coverage on Denver CenterStage:
        'Molly Brown' Meet the cast videos:
        Beth Malone
        Burke Moses
        Patty Goble
        Paolo Montalban
        Linda Mugleston
        Donna English


        Molly_Brown_Benziger_Beth_Malone_Burke_Moses_800

        Beth Malone and Burke Moses, above, bring levels of complexity to their roles as Molly and J.J. Brown in the DCPA's new "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Below, Malone meets Molly Brown's granddaughter, Helen Benziger. Photos by John Moore.   


        Molly_Bronw_Benziger_Beth_Malone_800
      • 'Vanya': Cold coffee, hot popcorn and an opening this Friday

        by John Moore | Oct 14, 2014

        Vanya_Cast_800
        Director Jenn Thompson (in the super-cool shades) with, from left: Eddie Lopez, Kathleen McCall, Amelia White, Lesley Shires, Sam Gregory and Socorro Santiago. Photo by John Moore. To see our full gallery of photos showing "the making of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," click here

         

        Vanya_Jenn_Thompson_300Director Jenn Thompson is an experienced Broadway and regional actor, so she knows what she speaks of when she says making live theatre isn’t always “kismet and magic.”

        Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, she said of her DCPA directorial debut, “is a really nice stew.”

        Her ingredients included assembling a cast from all over the country, and inheriting an entire Denver-based design team.

        “That is an unusual circumstance for a director who is coming into a place where everybody is established and has worked together -- and you are the new person,” Thompson said at Perspectives -- a gathering of audience members before last week’s first preview performance of Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning best play.

        As a child actor, Thompson played Pepper in the original Broadway production of Annie, starred in the film Little Darlings and appeared in the TV series Harper Valley PTA. She later appeared on Broadway in Ah, Wilderness! and The Heiress and is now the co-artistic director of The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) in New York. So she is more used to mixing her own stew.

        Vanya_Jenn_Thompson_Quote


        “Often, you bring your own team to a theatre like Denver,” she said. “But here they bring the creative team to you. That is something that is unique here, and it ended up being incredibly successful. But also two of the leads (Kathleen McCall and Sam Gregory) are Denver-based actors who are very well-known to this audience -- but were not known to me at all before I got here.”

        Thompson rounded out her cast with two actors she has worked with extensively in the past (Amelia White and Lesley Shires) along with two actors who were new to her who won their roles cold in auditions (Eddie Lopez and Socorro Santiago).

        The result, she believes … “is kismet and magic.”

        “But it’s a little bit of a psychological experiment, because there is matchmaking involved. We got really lucky with this cast because not only was everyone really well-suited to their roles in terms of their skill-sets as actors, but it was a really fun process. When there is trust there, I find that actors will do anything for you.”

        Thompson told the story of how Lopez won his role as Spike, the hunky young boyfriend who seems to spend more time with his clothes off than on. Thompson had any number of beefcake actors to choose from. But Lopez got the job, she said, not just because of what he did with his 15-minute audition, but because he was a nice guy.

        “I cast Eddie because he was the one I would most want to be in the same room with for the next six weeks,” she said.

        Sam800

        "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" actor Sam Gregory ... before and after. Scenic design by Lisa Orzolek. Photo by John Moore. To see our full gallery of photos showing "the making of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," click here


        Thompson knew she had struck the right chemistry at the first rehearsal last month.

        “It’s always a good sign when actors bring food to share,” she said. “I am not kidding. They brought brownies, popcorn ... And we all go to dinner every Sunday after rehearsal. That is another good sign: When the week is over, and people still want to see each other.”

        Dramaturg Allison Horsley called the rehearsal space “a fantastically inappropriate room. It was always funny, and it was always fun.” Thompson termed it “an NC-17 room.”

        Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a chaotic Chekhovian mash-up, but Thompson said it stands on its own as a serio-comic look at adult sibling relationships.

        The story takes place in the Bucks County countryside of Pennsylvania. Siblings Vanya (Gregory) and the adopted Sonia (White), who were named by their eccentric parents after Chekhov characters, are wiling their adult lives away without much purpose. They live at their childhood home off the largess of their Hollywood star sister, Masha (McCall).

        When Masha and her boy-toy, Spike (Lopez), arrive unannounced, the residents of the normally quiet household are thrown into comic upheaval as they confront issues of sibling rivalry, regret, lust, love and, of all things … cold coffee.

        Not unlike Chekhov, “Durang offers these huge, philosophical questions in tandem with the more mundane misery of everyday life,” said Horsley. “I think it is very funny that Durang’s characters become very upset that the coffee has gotten cold -- and they see that as a metaphor for their lives having been unfulfilling.”

        It is Durang’s ability to celebrate Chekhov and send him up at the same that is a big reason Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is currently the most popular play in America. With 27 professional productions slated across the country this season, Durang’s ditty will be produced nearly three times more often than any other play not written by Dickens or Shakespeare.

        “But what’s most amazing is that it’s not a parody,” Thompson said. “I think this play is a little bit of a departure for him, because of this Chekhovian flavoring that he drew from for inspiration. There is always an element of pain and sadness in his work, which for me only heightens what is funny.”

        For those who might be intimidated by the title, Thompson emphatically stated that it’s not important to know Chekhov to enjoy the play.

        “No, not even a little bit,” she said. “I think it’s an enhancement if you do. But you can know nothing about it and go completely along for the ride and enjoy it.” 


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


        Vanya_Jenn_Thompson_800_Cast
        Director Jenn Thompson addresses her cast after the final rehearsal before previews began last week. Photo by John Moore. To see our full gallery of photos showing "the making of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," click here


        Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

        Through Nov. 16
        Ricketson Theatre
        Accessible Performances: Nov. 15, 1:30 pm
        Tickets: 303.893.4100 | denvercenter.org
        800.641.1222 | TTY: 303.893.9582
        Groups (10+): 303.446.4829
        Talkback: 3:30 p.m., Oct. 19, Ricketson Theatre
        Page to Stage Discussion: Noon, Nov. 4, Colfax Tattered Cover
        Higher Education Advisory Council Talkback: 3:30 p.m. Nov. 9
        Theatre & Theology: 8:30 p.m., Nov. 11
        Book Club Discussion: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 12, Colfax Tattered Cover
        Theatre Thursday: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 13, Ricketson Theatre
        Events information: Click here

        Cast list
        Vanya: Sam Gregory
        Sonia: Amelia White
        Masha: Kathleen McCall
        Spike: Eddie Lopez
        Nina: Lesley Shires
        Cassandra: Socorro Santiago

        Our previous coverage of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
        Durang strikes an unexpected peace with an indifferent Broadway
        Vanya ... is the most popular play in America
        Vanya ... First rehearsal photos
        Check out our Study Guide
      • Photos: Blue Man Group paint Jefferson High School ... blue

        by John Moore | Oct 11, 2014
        Blue_Man_Group_Jefferson_800_1

        Mike Brown, left, and Adam Zuick of the Blue Man Group put a Jefferson High School student through his training at the school on Friday. Photo by John Moore. To see our complete gallery of photos showing The Blue Man Group's visit to Jefferson, click here.


        Three members of the Blue Man Group spent time on Friday, Oct. 10, visiting with students at Jefferson High School in Edgewater.

        The trio demonstrated what they means when they say the completely non-verbal Blue Man Group mean when they call their performance "painting with sound."

        The visiting BMG -- Mike Brown, Adam Zuick and Music Director Jesse Nolan -- demonstrated some of the musical instruments the BMG play, a few of which are their own inventions.

        Zuick explained that the BMG put on their famous blue painted masks as a way of removing the invisible masks we wear in our everyday lives.

        The class in attendance is led by Jefferson High School Spanish Teacher and World Languages Chair Grace C. Lopez-Aliaga.

        The Blue Man Group are only here in Denver through Sunday, Oct. 12. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow.

        Blue Man Group
        Oct 10-12
        Remaining shows: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday
        Buell Theatre
        Age recommendation: 4 and up
        303-893-4100
        www.denvercenter.org.

        More coverage of The Blue Man Group:
        Aurora's 'Blue Man' grad: This show is 'exuberance incarnate'


        Blue_Man_Group_Jefferson_800_2

        Adam Zuick demonstrates just how different his intentions appear when he walks up an aisle ... versus when he walks over a crowd of high-school students in their setas. Photos by John Moore.


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        Blue_Man_Group_Jefferson_800_4

        To see our complete gallery of photos showing The Blue Man Group's visit to Jefferson, click here. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow.


      • Meet the cast video series: Gregory Isaac Stone

        by John Moore | Oct 10, 2014


        In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 68: Meet Gregory Isaac Stone of Bloomington, Ind., who plays the savage young hunter Jack Meridew in the DCPA Theatre Company’s new adaptation of the William Golding classic “Lord of the Flies.” Gregory talks about The Beast -- you know, Grover from the "Sesame Street" classic book "The Monster at the End of This Book." "Lord of the Flies.” It plays through Nov. 2 in the Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 3 minutes.

        And, hey: Check out our new media outlet covering Colorado theatre at MyDenverCenter.Org


        Meet_The_Cast_Gregory_Isaac_Stone_800
        It doesn't take Gregory Isaac Stone long to descend from Choir Director to savage  hunter
        in the DCPA Theatre Company’s new adaptation of the William Golding classic “Lord of the Flies.” Photo by John Moore
        .

        Lord of the Flies
        : Ticket information
        Performances run through Nov. 2
        Space Theatre
        303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

        Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

        Charlie Franklin
        Patty Goble

        Matthew Gumley

        Paolo Montalban
        Linda Mugleston
        Donna English
        Burke Moses
        Beth Malone
        Ben and Noah Radcliffe

        Meet the cast episodes from the 2013-14 season:
        Death of a Salesman
        Just Like Us
        Jackie & Me
        The Most Deserving
        A Christmas Carol
        black odyssey
        The Legend of Georgia McBride
        Hamlet
        Shadowlands
        Animal Crackers


        Our Previous Lord of the Flies coverage on Denver CenterStage:
      • Why Lin-Manuel Miranda's father is obsessed with 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown'

        by John Moore | Oct 08, 2014

        Luis_Miranda_Lin-Manuel_800_1Lin-Manuel Miranda, left, and his pops, Luis: "I never had a chance to be anything but a musical theatre guy." Photo courtesy Luis Miranda.



        You’re about to learn everything you need to know about how Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony- and Grammy-winning composer, rapper, lyricist, and actor of In the Heights, turned out the way he did:

        His padre is obsessed with The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

        No joke. Miranda’s 60-year-old father, who grew up poor in a small Puerto Rican town, remains, to this day, obsessed with The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

        “Every time people ask my son about his life in the theatre, he always says, 'I never had a chance,’ ” said Luis Miranda, a community activist turned political consultant who still lives in Inwood, the uptown New York City neighborhood that inspired his son’s 2008 Tony-winning Best Musical, In the Heights.  

        “He's always telling people: ‘If you have a dad whose favorite musical is The Unsinkable Molly Brown -- a title that is not at the top of everybody's list -- how can I have a chance but to be in musical theatre?’ ”

        Luis_Miranda_Lin-Manuel_Quote_1

        Just how obsessed is Luis Miranda? He endured a troubled eight-hour flight to Denver to visit the Molly Brown House Museum and attend the opening performance of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ launch of a newly reimagined The Unsinkable Molly Brown helmed by Broadway royalty Kathleen Marshall and Dick Scanlan.

        Because of those flight problems – which included engine trouble AND a diversion to make way for another plane carrying Vice President Joe Biden -- Luis had to beg the museum staff to stay open late so he could zip through the home where Molly Brown lived on Pennsylvania Avenue (now Pennsylvania Street). Miranda made it to the museum, saw the opening performance, ran out of the Stage Theatre during the curtain call and hopped into a car that took him to the airport for his midnight return flight to Newark.

        And then there was … the birthday party.

        “I just turned 60 on Aug. 23,” said Luis, “and so I held a big party for several hundred people at an unbelievable theatre in Washington Heights called United Palace.”

        Guests were told Luis would screen the 1964 The Unsinkable Molly Brown film starring Debbie Reynolds to end the party. And because most of Luis’ friends know of his proud obsession with Molly Brown all too well, he anticipated many of them might simply slip out as soon as the film started.

        So what did he do? 

        “I lied to everyone,” he said. “I did it in a way that you had to see the movie before you could go into the party. So people had no choice but to sit through The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

        Diabolical. How did all of this happen?

        It turns out Luis Miranda, a prominent New York political consultant who has served in three New York City mayoral administrations, feels a tremendous kinship with the girl from Hannibal, Mo.

        Molly Brown left Missouri at age 18 with nothing and came to Leadville, Colorado. Luis Miranda left Puerto Rico at age 18 with nothing and came to New York City. But by then, Molly Brown was already in his blood … thanks to Debbie Reynolds.

        “I am from a small town of 3,000, but my grandparents lived in San Juan,” Miranda said. “Every Sunday, my family would visit my grandparents, and in the afternoons, my dad and I would go to the movies at a theatre called The Metro."

        And one day in 1965, he took Luis to see The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

        Not because he particularly liked it -- because he knew I liked musicals. I mean, I had seen The Sound of Music, like, 80 times. 

        “I was 10 years old when The Unsinkable Molly Brown came out, and I was captivated by the movie. Thinking back on it now, as an adult, I can see that I always thought there was something bigger for me than just being in my small town. And that's the theme of Molly Brown's life, too: ‘There is more to life than what I have. There is something bigger out there that I am called to do.’”

        And as quickly as Molly Brown came, she left.

        Eight years later, Miranda moved to New York with no plan, no job and no friends. But on his very first night in New York, he knew a larger plan was in action. And he believes its author was, if not Molly Brown, then certainly the woman he calls “Miss Debbie Reynolds,” who starred as Molly Brown in the 1964 film.

        "This was 1973. There was no cable in those times, so you actually had to look at the TV Guide,” Luis said. "And that night, they are showing The Unsinkable Molly Brown on the TV. When I saw that movie again, I knew that leaving my small town and coming to New York without knowing anybody was part of my plan. That is just fate. It is fate that the first day I am in New York, they are showing this movie that meant so much to me when I was 10, but I have not seen again for the last eight years.”

        Miranda rose through the ranks to become a successful businessman and influential player in New York City politics. He raised his family in a neighborhood similar to Washington Heights, one Lin-Manuel has described as similarly “made up of immigrants, Spanish speakers and urban decay softened by panoramic vistas.”

        Luis_Miranda_Lin-Manuel_In_The_HeightsBut in part because of his father’s success, Lin-Manuel went to an elite public high school on the upper East Side, then on to the playwrights’ breeding ground of Wesleyan University. When In the Heights exploded onto Broadway alongside Passing Strange, Lin-Manuel was credited with changing the color and language of the American musical by introducing hip-hop and spoken-word into a mainstream musical. In The New York Times, Charles Isherwood called Miranda “music personified; commanding the spotlight as if he were born in the wings.”

        Actually, he was simply born in the wings of a man who had subjected his son to “If I Were a Rich Man, “The Hills Are Alive” and “Belly Up to the Bar, Boys.”

        Several years ago, Lin-Manuel was hosting a live show for People en Espanol in San Antonio. The hosts gave Lin-Manuel 10 unexpected tickets upon his arrival, and he didn’t have anyone to give them to. So Lin-Manuel took to Twitter. His dad picks up the story from there.

        “He said the first person to name my dad's favorite movie gets the tickets, and the response was unbelievable,” Luis Miranda said. “At least 20 people said, The Unsinkable Molly Brown."


        How did they know?

        “Because every time a reporter ever asks my son about how he ended up this way, he tells them.”

        The Mirandas keep a home in Montauk, N.Y., in the East Hamptons of Long Island. Lin-Manuel hadn’t visited in years, so he took collaborator Tom Kitt (Bring it On) there to work on their hilarious opening number for the 2013 Tony Awards. Back home in the city, Luis checked his very active Twitter account, and chuckled.

        “I see this Tweet from my son saying that he’s taping several hundred musical LPs that I have left back in my place in Montauk,” Luis said. “He Tweeted out: 'I never had a chance to be anything but a musical theatre guy.’ ”

        Luis_Miranda_Lin-Manuel_Quote_2


        It was Lin-Manuel who informed his father that the DCPA was going to launch a newly conceived iteration of the original 1960 Broadway The Unsinkable Molly Brown musical in Denver. Luis immediately wrote to Lin-Manuel’s agent and said, “You have got to get me invited to this.”

        Luis was told the DCPA would be delighted to have him at the opening performance on Sept. 19, as well as a guest. But this would prove to be a problem. Keep in mind, all of this was happening just a week or so after … the birthday party.

        “I tried to get everyone I know to come with me,” Luis said. “And the only one who had a real excuse was Lin-Manuel.”

        Lin-Manuel was deep into preparations for his highly anticipated new musical Hamilton, which explores the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. It opens Jan. 20 at the Public Theatre in New York. Luis calls it “pure genius.” Lin-Manuel was off the hook.

        “So then I asked my wife, and she says, 'I just saw The Unsinkable Molly Brown with you on your birthday, honey, and you make us watch The Unsinkable Molly Brown every year!’ He said back to her: “But honey, this is a very different production.” And she responded: “I'll see it with you when it comes to New York.”

        In her defense, Luis’ wife took a vow to be with him in sickness and in health -- but not at every opportunity to see every incarnation of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

        “So then I asked my daughter, who is 40 years old and has three kids. She was sincere when she said, 'Dad, I would love to go with you, but I don't know if you remember this but I have three kids -- and you are asking me the week before you are going to Denver. No.' ”

        Next on the list was Luis’ 13-year-old nephew. “He has been with me since he was born, and I am his legal guardian, so I invited him. He was my last hope. He never says no.”

        He said no.

        “He’s like, 'Tio! We just saw The Unsinkable Molly Brown a week ago!' And so I gave up. I went by myself."

        Then came the troubled flight. But eight hours later, there he was in Denver dashing through Molly Brown’s house. Then came the performance on The Stage Theatre.

        “And the minute it ended, I ran out,” Luis said. “I didn't even stay for the applause.”

        The musical Luis saw in Denver was significantly changed from the movie he fell in love with. The book has been completely rewritten. Writer Dick Scanlan and Musical Director Michael Rafter were given permission to overhaul the original score. Only six songs remain untouched from the original Meredith Willson score, and Scanlan has introduced 11 “new" Willson songs.

         So … what was Luis’ assessment?

        “People have got to see this new version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” he said. “I was delighted that I did. I had a great time.” 

        Miranda had been prepared to expect something new from an article he had read in The New York Times.

        “I read about how the musical starts at a different place -- just as she was surviving the Titanic disaster,” he said. “Through the years, I have read enough about Molly Brown to know that the movie was a little bit of a fantasy. I knew she had parents -- but in the movie, there is only a surrogate dad. I knew Molly Brown had kids -- and in the movie, there are no kids.

        “Today, people want their stories to be a more faithful to real life. In the 1960s, the studios didn't care. So I knew that I would be seeing a more historically accurate production of the life of Molly Brown, and that did not bother me at all. The important thing to me was that I knew my favorite songs will continue.”

        Luis_Miranda_Lin-Manuel_Molly_Brown_800Beth Malone and Burke Moses in the DCPA Theatre Company's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen


        Miranda also offered praise for Beth Malone, the actor who plays Molly Brown -- even though he admits she had an impossibly high bar to clear.

        “You have to understand … There is no other woman in the world to me like Debbie Reynolds … other than my wife,” Luis said. “She is my favorite. So I had to erase Debbie Reynolds from my head. 

        “One of the highlights of my life was spending a night with Debbie Reynolds at her home when Lin-Manuel did In the Heights at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. I literally flew out for the last night of the show, because I knew we were going to spend the night with Debbie Reynolds. She was so funny when I finally met her. She was like, 'Oh my God, your wife is going to be jealous.’ ”

        Reynolds sent Miranda home with a signed photo just for his wife. It said: "To a lovely lady who can put up with this man.”

        Luis_Miranda_Lin-Manuel_Debbie_Reynolds

        A smitten Luis Miranda meets Debbie Reynolds at her home in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy Luis Miranda.



        That said, Miranda added, “Beth Malone absolutely lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed her portrayal of Molly Brown very much.”

        While no one knows whether the new The Unsinkable Molly Brown’s future will take it to Broadway, Miranda certainly hopes that it does. “And if it does,” he said, “I will clearly be going to the theatre many more times to see it. But when I like something ... I sort of go a little bit overboard. I saw Wicked nine times.” 

        But as long as the show remains in Denver, Miranda has a message to those in the Mountain Time Zone:

        “I will not understand why anybody who is just a car ride away would not go to see The Unsinkable Molly Brown when I went in a plane for eight hours to see a two hour and 15-minute production,” he said. “It would be unthinkable to me that they would not go and see The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

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



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

        Our Previous Molly Brown coverage on Denver CenterStage:
        'Molly Brown' Meet the cast videos:
        Beth Malone
        Burke Moses
        Patty Goble
        Paolo Montalban
        Linda Mugleston
        Donna English
      • Photos: Opening Night at 'Lord of the Flies'

        by John Moore | Oct 06, 2014
        Lord_Of_The_Flies_Opening_800_1

        The Opening Night "Lord of the Flies" afterparty was proof that we really CAN all just get along.  Photo by John Moore.


        Oct. 3 was the opening performance of  Lord of the Flies, the DCPA Theatre Company's provocative adaptation of William Golding's classic novel. Stranded on a deserted island, a group of English schoolboys become intoxicated by sudden freedom. Their time on the beach quickly descends not only into a savage struggle for power, but an exploration into whether man's inherent nature is to be civilized or animals.

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


        Lord_Of_The_Flies_Opening_800_2

        Charlie Franklin (Ralph) takes it all in following the opening performance of "Lord of the Flies" on Oct. 3. Photo by John Moore.


        Lord_Of_The_Flies_Opening_800_3 
        The cast and design team from "Lord of the Flies" engaged the first preview audfience with a pre-show Prologue panel discussion on Sept. 27. To see more photos from the Prologue event, click here.


        Lord of the Flies
        : Ticket information
        Performances run through Nov. 2
        The Space Theatre
        Featuring Charlie Franklin, Gregory Isaac Stone, Matthew Gumley, Kurt Hellerich, Jack DiFalco, Ben Radcliffe, Noah Radcliffe, Allen Dorsey, Skyler Gallun, Ben Griffin, Charlie Korman and Geoffrey Kent.
        303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

        Our Previous Lord of the Flies coverage on Denver CenterStage:

        Meet the cast video episodes:
        Charlie Franklin
        Matthew Gumley

        Ben and Noah Radcliffe

        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.



      • Photos, video: 'Miscast 2014' highlights for the Denver Actors Fund

        by John Moore | Oct 05, 2014
        Video by John Moore for the DCPA.


        “Miscast 2014” was an opportunity for members of the local theatre community to sing songs and act out scenes they would never … ever! … get cast to perform on any legitimate stage. This popular tradition was brought back by the Aurora Fox Theatre as a fundraiser for the Denver Actors Fund on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

        To see our complete gallery of photos from the evening, which raised just more than $2,000 for The Denver Actors Fund, click here.

        The Denver Actors Fund provides financial and practical services to members of the local theatre community who find themselves in medical need. The hosts were Elvira Barcelona and Damon Guerrasio. The director was Robert Michael Sanders.

        Performers included Alisa Schmidt, Chris Boeckx, Damon Guerrasio, Daniel Traylor, Debbie Weinstein Minter, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Jeremy Palmer, Josh Nelson, Lyndsay Giraldi-Palmer, Mark Pergola, Melinda Cary Smart, Nigel Huckle, Owen T. Niland, Patrick Brownson, Sam Wood, Arlene Rapal, Laura Chavez Slack, James Sherman, Jenna Bainbridge, Stewart Caswell, Mark Dissette and Lisa Young.

        In addition, four students from Denver School of the Arts performed a song from their recent production of Hairspray -- with actors Madison Kitchen, Jeremy Willis, Jimmy Bruenger and Amelia Corrada switching roles. Two weeks earlier, the Hairspray cast presented the Denver Actors Fund with the largest donation in the non-profit's existence: $2,411.

        The Denver Actors Fund, founded by DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore in May 2013, provides financial and practical services to members of the local theatre community who find themselves in need from a medical situation.

        To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, click here.

        To see our complete gallery of photos from Miscast 2014, click here.

        To read stories of from artists who have benefited from Denver Actors Fund support, click here.


        Denver_Actors_Fund_Miscast_800_1

        The stormy love affair between "Miscast 2014" co-hosts Damon Guerrasio, left, and Elvira Barcelona kept audiences entertained all evening. Photo by John Moore.

        Denver_Actors_Fund_Miscast_800_2

        Denver's handicapped Phamaly Theare Company brought the house down with a climactic strip-tease, "Let It Go," from "The Full Monty. Photo by John Moore.


        Denver_Actors_Fund_Miscast_800_3

        Melinda Smart lives out many female actors' dream: She's playing the sadistic dentist from "Little Shop of Horrors." Photo by John Moore.
      • Meet the cast video series: Charlie Franklin

        by John Moore | Oct 05, 2014


        In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 67: Meet Charlie Franklin of Albany, N.Y., a 22-year-old graduate of Pace University. Charlie talks about performing on Broadway in "The Bridges of Madison County," working with Kelli O'Hara, and why, if he ever met Jim Carrey ... they'd probably be fighting. Charlie plays Ralph (pronounced "Rafe"), the hunted leader of the British schoolboys still trying to hold on to their civility after a plane crash in the DCPA Theatre Company’s new adaptation of the William Golding classic “Lord of the Flies.” It plays through Nov. 2 in the Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 2 minutes, 28 seconds.

        And, hey: Check out our new media outlet covering Colorado theatre at MyDenverCenter.Org

        Lord_Of_The_Flies_Meet_Charlie_Franklin_800

        Charlie Franklin, right, with 'Lord of the Flies' Director Anthony Powell at an audience discussion before the first preview performance. Photos by John Moore
        .


        Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

        Patty Goble
        Matthew Gumley

        Paolo Montalban
        Linda Mugleston
        Donna English
        Burke Moses
        Beth Malone
        Ben and Noah Radcliffe

        Meet the cast episodes from the 2013-14 season:
        Death of a Salesman
        Just Like Us
        Jackie & Me
        The Most Deserving
        A Christmas Carol
        black odyssey
        The Legend of Georgia McBride
        Hamlet
        Shadowlands
        Animal Crackers

        Lord of the Flies: Ticket information
        Performances run through Nov. 2
        Space Theatre
        303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

        Our Previous Lord of the Flies coverage on Denver CenterStage:
      • Wilson resigns from Phamaly Theatre Company after 14 years

        by John Moore | Oct 04, 2014
        Steve_Wilson_Phamaly_8001

        Steve Wilson addresses his cast just before the opening performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" at the DCPA's Space Theatre in 2013. Photo by John Moore.


        Steve_Wilson_Phamaly_FaceSteve Wilson, longtime Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Phamaly Theatre Company, announced his resignation today after 14 years as the creative leader of a troupe dedicated to creating professional performance opportunities for actors with disabilities.

        While the decision was termed mutual, Phamaly Executive Director Christopher Silberman said it was spurred "by our collective desire to create a full-time Artistic Director position for the company."

        Wilson also serves as full-time Executive Artistic Director of the Mizel Arts and Culture Center,  a multidisciplinary arts center on the campus of the Jewish Community Center with an annual budget of $3 million.

        The resignation is effective Dec. 31.

        In a statement, Silberman said the announcement comes as the demands of both companies have exponentially increased in recent years. Until seven years ago, Phamaly performed just one show annually. The company now produces up to six shows each year, plus a regional touring show. In March 2015, Phamaly will bring its production of The Fantasticks to Osaka, Japan.

        “It is difficult to express the colossal impact of Phamaly on my life," Wilson said in a statement. "It has been a warm, nurturing, creative home for me. It has been my artistic identity and a place where I have always felt embraced as a leader and mentor.” 

        In Wilson’s time with Phamaly, he directed or co-directed 18 plays and musicals, most recently the company’s 25th anniversary reprisal of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

        Wilson won Denver Post Ovation Awards for directing Phamaly's first Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2005 and Side Show in 2008. He also won Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards for Joseph, Urinetown, Man of La Mancha and Beauty and the Beast.

        Wilson, a graduate of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' National Theatre Conservatory masters program, also picked up a 2003 Ovation Award for acting, in Theatre Group's "Gross Indecency."

        “Phamaly would not be what it is today without Steve’s brilliant artistic mind, passion and direction," said Silberman, who added he hopes Wilson will return at some time in the future as a guest director. But for now it is unknown who will helm Phamaly's announced summer 2015 musical, Cabaret.

        Wilson was known for putting his signature spins on Phamaly productions that helped create deeper layers of meaning in the stories on stage, while giving audiences a unique insight into the challenges of living with a disability.

        Wilson set Joseph in a mental hospital, making the Biblical storytelling a temporary escape for a group of mentally and disabled outcasts. Side Show is a story that centers on conjoined twins presented as circus freaks, so there were inherently deeper levels of meaning when Wilson cast those parts with actors in wheelchairs. He was unafraid to make political commentaries as well, often for comic effect. He cast exclusively blind actors to play the greedy town leaders in Urinetown.

        What might present itself as a challenge to other directors has been to Wilson an opportunity for groundbreaking staging innovations.

        Wilson's Man of La Mancha  will be forever remembered for paralyzed actor Regan Linton, playing the whore Aldonza, crawling across the floor after having been attacked and thrown from her wheelchair. It was a moment no other La Mancha could possibly deliver.

        "We always hoped we would be a place where the disabled could grow, both as actors and human beings," Wilson told me in a 2010 interview.

        Perhaps Wilson's greatest legacy is growing his company from a group of actors who primarily performed only for Phamaly -- because only Phamaly would have them -- to one whose members are regularly cast by companies across the state and country. Two examples: Jenna Bainbridge has performed in leading roles the past two summers with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder. Linton is now a company member with the Oregon Shakesepare Festival in Ashland.

        "There are a lot of preconceptions in the theater when it comes to accepting and fully integrating disabled actors," Wilson said.

        A core tenet of Phamaly under Wilson's tenure has been not to ignore his actors' disabilities, but rather to incorporate them. "My job is to highlight the fact that the world we inhabit is a world full of disabilities," Wilson said.

        Beauty and the Beast is perhaps best known for a big, sweeping waltz between Belle and the Beast. Bainbridge, who played Belle, has neurological spine disorder. "That means she walks with a sizable gait — and I love it," Wilson said. "I think it's beautiful."

        The "tale as old as time" has always been about redefining our notions of beauty. And Wilson's staging of Beauty and the Beast with disabled actors became about redefining beauty for his own audiences.

        "I'm not going to cover up what they are," Wilson said, "because I love who they are."

        Wilson said his sadness at leaving Phamaly now is "profound."

        "I gave everything possible in my time with the company and have received much more in return," he said. "But I know my leaving will provide the company with an ability to excel in new ways with a refreshed artistic energy."

        Silberman will lead a national search process for Wilson’s successor, details of which will be announced later this month.


        Steve_Wilson_Phamaly_8002

        Steve Wilson with his parents, daughter and wife Leslie O'Carroll, a longtime actor with the DCPA Theatre Company. Photo by John Moore.


        Next for Phamaly: Vox PHAMALIA: Pity Pity Bang Bang
        (
        Phamaly Theatre Company's 'differently-abled sketch comedy' show)
        Performances Oct. 16-26
        The Avenue Theatre, 417 E. 17th Ave. 
        7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, plus Oct. 20 and 23; also 2 p.m. Sundays
        Tickets: $20 in advance or $24 at the door
        303-321-5925
        Click here to go to the ticketing page

        About the Phamaly Theatre Company
        Phamaly Theatre Company (formerly known as the Physically Handicapped Actors & Musical Artists League) is celebrating its 25th anniversary season of professional-scale performances exclusively featuring actors with disabilities (physical, cognitive, and emotional). Their mission is to inspire people to re-envision disability through professional theatre. Phamaly produces plays and musicals throughout the Denver Metro region, in venues such as the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Arvada Center, the Aurora Fox Arts Center, and the Lone Tree Arts Center. The organization additionally has a regional touring program. This year, Phamaly is serving over 200 performers with disabilities and nearly 20,000 audiences across the state. For more information on Phamaly, visit www.phamaly.org.
      • The scenic canvas of 'Lord of the Flies': Fire, smoke, rocks ... and blood

        by John Moore | Oct 04, 2014
        Jim_Kronzer_Lord_Of_The_Flies_800_1
        When the boys decide to set a ritualistic fire, flames go up about 24 inches in the center of the Space Theatre ... " And it’s just beyond beautiful," says Scenic Designer James Kronzer. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen


        Lord of the Flies
        brings fire and smoke to the stage. An airplane crash. A parachuting corpse. A bloody pig. A murder off a high rock.

        Clearly, the actors in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' visceral adaptation of William Golding’s masterwork don’t get to have all the fun. The Space Theatre has become scenic designer Jim Kronzer’s personal sandbox.

        Seriously. We’re talking tons of sand.

        Kronzer, a DCPA veteran (When Tang Met Laika and Ed, Downloaded), talks about creating both an indoor island … and a metaphorical monster.
         
        John Moore: Lord of the Flies was my favorite book growing up, even though it gave me night terrors. What are your earliest recollections?

        Jim Kronzer: When I first encountered the story, I took it literally: That it was just a story about a bunch of stranded kids who do bad things while trying to survive. I am much more aware now that it is a metaphor for where society can go very quickly and very easily, given how we are tribal, how society deals with those who are weaker, and how reason doesn’t always win.

        John Moore: What rings truest for you today?

        Jim Kronzer: How timeless it is. Reading the script, I couldn’t help but think about Vladimir Putin launching his way into the Crimea. He’s the big bully going in and getting his way without concern for reason. That’s what makes Lord of the Flies so interesting and universal — and frightening.

        John Moore: Do you want people to enter The Space and feel they’ve been transported to an actual island? Or do you want to take them into a more surreal world? Because, let’s face it — you have a roof. And no ocean.

        Jim Kronzer: Well, you start with, “What is this place…really?” I wanted to get a literal, visual sense of where these kids are running around. So Phase 1 was researching islands and rocks and that kind of thing. And then you have to consider that the architecture of your theatre space always dictates design. But I was very excited to learn that we are doing it in The Space Theatre because it is the perfect place to tell this story.

        John Moore: Beyond roundness, what else makes The Space the right venue for this island story?

        Jim Kronzer: It gives us the sense that the kids can be anywhere and come out from anywhere in the theatre. I love the idea of us not being so comfortable when watching theatre. So I think The Space Theatre can be a little less predictable, more expansive and more immersive.

        John Moore: Let’s talk about a few of your staging challenges. How about the aerial battle, when a dead fighter pilot drifts down to the island in a parachute and gets tangled in a tree?

        Jim Kronzer: That’s why I love my job. When I read a stage direction like that one, it’s just so wonderful to figure out. Without giving too much away, yes, there is a pilot, and it will be chilling and creepy. I will say I found these great pictures of parachute test dummies from the 1940s, and they were almost puppet-like. And you have to remember, the pilot is the symbol of something larger.

        John Moore: Here’s a biggie: When Jack’s savages set fire to the forest, much of the island is consumed in flames.

        Jim Kronzer: We have actual fire on the stage. [Shop Foreman] Bob Orzolek did a great test in the shop. It’s a burner ring with propane gas. When the boys decide to set this ritualistic fire, they pull up a piece of almost sand-colored rock that covers the propane ring. The flames go up about 24 inches or so, and it’s just beyond beautiful. Now, that comes with all kinds of other responsibilities, like working with the Fire Department about safety mechanisms. Part of the process was trying to figure out just how much real flame and fire we could do. In the theatre, the artistic is always buffeted by the pragmatic.

        John Moore: And the murder of Piggy?

        Jim Kronzer: He jumps off a rock and into an abyss. And it was important to me that we got it so that everybody in the audience can see it. That’s such a pivotal moment in the story, we all felt we had to pull it off, and pull it off well. So basically these two rocks  part to reveal a hole in the stage, and this kid jumps into a pit. He’s standing on a rock that is 48 inches off the floor, which doesn’t sound like a lot. But when you figure he’s dropping down at least another 6 to 8 feet, he does do quite the plummet into a black hole surrounded by a ring of rocks. That was the toughest challenge of all for me, and I think we solved it quite beautifully.

        John Moore: It sounds like the island is going to be as pivotal a character in this story as any human.

        Jim Kronzer: It certainly is a great canvas for these larger stories to play out in. The island starts out neutral, but it becomes a stronger personality as time goes on. This all goes back to the sense that there is always a larger story being told 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.


        Jim_Kronzer_Lord_Of_The_Flies_800_2

        The set of "Lord of the Flies" at the DCPA, designed by Jim Kronzer. Photo by Gabe Koskinen.


        Lord of the Flies
        : Ticket information
        Performances run through Nov. 2
        The Space Theatre
        Featuring Charlie Franklin, Gregory Isaac Stone, Matthew Gumley, Kurt Hellerich, Jack DiFalco, Ben Radcliffe, Noah Radcliffe, Allen Dorsey, Skyler Gallun, Ben Griffin, Charlie Korman and Geoffrey Kent.
        303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

        Our Previous Lord of the Flies coverage on Denver CenterStage:

        Meet the cast video episodes:
        Charlie Franklin
        Matthew Gumley

        Ben and Noah Radcliffe



      • 'Lord of the Flies' opens: Photo essay, montage of scenes

        by John Moore | Oct 03, 2014
        A photo essay ... in video


        Senior Arts Journalist John Moore put together this brief photo essay on the DCPA Theatre Company's harrowing new stage adaptation of William Golding's classic novel, Lord of the Flies.

        In the story, a group of British schoolboys become stranded on a deserted island and are quickly intoxicated by sudden freedom and power. It plays through Nov. 2 in the Space Theatre.

        Featuring Charlie Franklin, Gregory Isaac Stone, Matthew Gumley, Kurt Hellerich, Jack DiFalco, Ben Radcliffe, Noah Radcliffe, Allen Dorsey, Skyler Gallun, Ben Griffin, Charlie Korman.

        Lord of the Flies plays through Nov. 2 in the Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org.

        Video montage of scenes

        Video by David Lenk

        Lord of the Flies: Ticket information
        Performances run through Nov. 2
        Space Theatre
        303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

        Our Previous Lord of the Flies coverage on Denver CenterStage:

        Lord_Of_The_Flies_Montage_800

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

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