2015 True West Award: The Mighty Moore Family

by John Moore | Dec 17, 2015

Missy Moore  and Kelly Uhlenhopp in Vintage Theatre's 'Unmarried in America.' Photo by Christine Fisk.


2015 TRUE WEST AWARDS: 30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

​Today’s recipient:
The Mighty Moore Family:
Bob, Wendy and Missy

Today’s presenter: Christopher Alleman
Lake Dillon Theatre Producing Artistic Director


If the family that plays together stays together, then the mighty Moores of Glenwood Springs are stuck with each other. Which is not exactly breaking news, considering that Bob and Wendy Moore have been married for 42 years, all the while working on more than 150 shows. Each. Their daughters - actor Missy and four-time Emmy-nominated choreographer Mandy - have been performing since they started to teethe.

A Moore Family MISSY 300Whenever people ask Missy how she got started in the theater, she tells them, "I never really had a choice ... the auditorium was my babysitter."

The theatrical reach of the Moore family would dry up a cartographer’s ink supply. In 2015 alone, Moores touched down on stages in Denver, Lakewood, Aurora, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Boulder. Sometimes side by side. Sometimes side by side by side.

If Wendy Moore is the businesslike director of the family, then Bob is the jovial Cheshire cat who performs roles both comic and dramatic with equal panache and blue-collar humanity. And if Bob is the natural center of attention, you can bet Missy is circling somewhere nearby. She swings from adorable children’s theatre characters to shameless provocateurs with glee. Of her performance in the Edge Theatre’s current world premiere drama Exit StrategiesWestword reviewer Juliet Wittman called Missy "one of the most stylish and original whores I've ever seen.”

Bob was nominated for the Colorado Theatre Guild's 2015 Henry Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama for his performance in Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s Freud’s Last Session, which imagines a discussion between the great psychoanalyst Freud and the great moralist C.S. Lewis just a few weeks before Freud reportedly committed suicide. The remarkable production was a Moore team effort, with Wendy directing.

(Photo above right: Missy Moore in 'Exit Strategies.' Below right: Bob Moore in 'Freud's Last Session.')

Bob Moore in Freud's Last Session. 2015 was an especially meaningful year for Wendy, who also realized her dream to bring Unmarried in America, written by Coloradan K.D. Carlson, to its first full production. The play humanizes all sides of the gay-marriage issue surrounding California’s statewide Prop 8 referendum, which for a time defined marriage as between a man and a woman only. Wendy developed the play with Carlson at theatres in Aspen, Salida, Denver (including the DCPA) and Indiana before finally launching its fully staged world premiere this year at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora, with Missy playing several key roles.

It is both the expanse of the family’s work as well as their continued proximity to one another that amazes friends and fans alike. Bob and Wendy were part of the Heritage Square Opera House ensemble in Golden from 1972-75 ("the Pleistocene Era," jokes Bob). They were regulars at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre for 20 years – Wendy was the Artistic Director for nine – before moving to Glenwood Springs.

“The contribution the Moore family continues to make on the entire Colorado theatre community is immeasurable,” said Christopher Alleman, Producing Artistic Director of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and today’s True West Awards Guest Picker. He chose the Moore family unit, he said, for their talents, passion, laughter and impact. “We consider them a close part of our family."

Here’s a full rundown of the Moores’ 2015 at a glance:

  • Arvada Center’s Harvey: Missy played cynical socialite daughter Myrtle Mae Simmons in Mary Chase’s classic comedy about the 6-foot, possibly imagined rabbit.
  • Christopher Alleman quoteThunder River Theatre Company’s Red Herring: In Michael Hollinger’s comic send-up of McCarthy-era paranoia, Bob played a dead body, a Soviet masquerading as a mute and an emasculated dressmaker’s husband. Directed by Wendy in Carbondale.
  • Denver Children’s Theatre’s Androcles and the Lion: Missy played Androcles in this musical retelling of the friendship between a runaway slave and his thorny lion.
  • Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s Freud’s Last Session: Bob's Henry Award-nominated performance. Directed by Wendy.
  • Vintage Theatre’s Unmarried in America: Missy played both a woman whose husband comes out as gay and a lesbian hoping to marry in this look back at the court case that made same-sex marriage illegal in California. Directed by Wendy.
  • Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Wittenburg: Missy understudied all of the female roles in this new comedy that that imagines Prince Hamlet as a college senior with  Doctor Faustus and Martin Luther as his contrasting professors.
  • Thunder River Theatre Company’s The Mineola Twins: Missy played 1950s-era twins, one straight-laced and the other wild, in Paula Vogel’s absurd political and family satire.
  • Defiance Community Players' Fiddler on the Roof: Bob played beloved Russian milkman Tevye in this Glenwood Springs production.
  • Arvada Center’s Charlotte's Web: Missy plays The Goose in the children’s classic about the clever spider and her pig friend, Wilbur, through Dec. 30.
  • The Edge Theatre’s Exit Strategies: In this world premiere running through Dec. 31, Missy plays a hooker named Kai who accompanies her gay friend home for his father’s funeral.

While older sister Mandy continues to enjoy a spectacular career in Los Angeles as Resident Choreographer on the hit TV show Dancing With the Stars and the upcoming Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling film La La Land, Missy, Bob and Wendy are showing no signs of slowing down in Colorado.

In 2015, Missy will play Arlene in Marsha Norman’s Getting Out, followed by the titular role in Marie Antoinette. Bob and Wendy will remount Freud’s Last Session in February for the Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale. For starters.

“I think we continue to challenge and support each other, and we celebrate every single project any of us ever tackles,” said Missy.

Looking back on a family theatrical dossier that goes back to the early 1970s, Alleman says of the Moores with reverence: “The cumulative effect of their work around the state makes them a continuing force to be reckoned with."

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. He is not related to the Moores honored above.

ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS

The True West Awards began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. This year, DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from around the state over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore's daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

THE 2015 TRUE WEST AWARDS
Day 1: Rachel D. Graham
Day 2: BALLS! A Holiday Spectacular
Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's 50th anniversary season
Day 4: Laurence Curry
Day 5: Bernie Cardell
Day 6: Susan Lyles
Day 7: John Jurcheck​
Day 8: Christopher L. Sheley
Day 9: DCPA Education's 'Shakespeare in the Parking Lot'
Day 10: Man and Monster: Todd Debreceni and TJ Hogle
Day 11: Shauna Johnson
Day 12: Geoffrey Kent and Benjamin Bonenfant
Day 13: Sesugh Solomon Tor-Agbidye
Day 14: Keith Ewer
Day 15: Allison Watrous
Day 16: Jonathan Farwell
Day 17: Bob, Wendy and Missy Moore
Day 18: Emma Messenger
Day 19: Shannon McKinney
Day 20: Mary Louise Lee and Yasmine Hunter
Day 21: Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin
Day 22: Scott Beyette
Day 23: Augustus Truhn
Day 24: Jimmy Bruenger
Day 25: The Masters of Props: Rob Costigan, Peki Pineda and Becky Toma
Day 26: Jalyn Courtenay Webb
Day 27: Andre Rodriguez
Day 28: Rebecca Remaly
Day 29: Mark Collins
Day 30: Phamaly Theatre Company's Cabaret
Bonus: Donald R. Seawell

2 comments

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  1. Blanch Emore | Aug 30, 2016
    The Moore Family have been an incredibly fulfilling and blessed part of Summit County. Having had the opportunity to sing with Bob and being in their home with the family, I also attest to their warm and hospitable nature. Bob was just on stage for the Keystone Gala supporting our local arts. Much gratitude to all of you!! 💋
  2. Liana Huey | Dec 17, 2015
    And besides all this, they are remarkably regular people who are giving and generous and just flat-out wonderful.  Congratulations Wendy, Bob, Missy and Mandy.  Love you all, Liana and Ken

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    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.

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