• Study: There's a lot of Denver in Denver Center casts this fall

    by John Moore | Dec 13, 2017

    Fall Casting 800 Photos by Adams Viscom

    Survey of DCPA cast lists shows 56 percent of all available jobs this fall have gone to actors who live in Denver area 

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    There has been a lot of Denver at the Denver Center this fall. An analysis of cast lists for the eight shows presented since the start of September shows that 56 percent of all actors who have taken to a DCPA stage also call Denver home.

    That doesn’t even include the eight child actors who currently populate the Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol. And when you add in all the actors who grew up in Colorado but are now based elsewhere, the number of actors with local connections jumps to 67 percent.  

    “The Colorado acting community is such a multi-talented group, and that is evident in all the amazing work featured across the entire state and on every one of our stages at the DCPA this fall,” said DCPA Director of Casting Grady Soapes.

    The survey includes all homegrown programming offered by the DCPA, totaling 73 adult actor slots. Much of the local infusion this year can be traced to Off-Center’s immersive musical The Wild Party at the Stanley Marketplace, as well as DCPA Cabaret’s newly launched musical First Date at the Galleria Theatre, both of which cast entirely local actors.

    First Date Fall Casting Photo by Emily LozowFirst Date director Ray Roderick, who is based out of New York, is responsible for the longest-running musical in Colorado Theatre history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, also at the Galleria, as well as The Taffetas, Five Course Love and many others. And while he is always empowered to cast actors based anywhere around the country, he almost always fills his Denver cast lists with Denver actors. Why? Because he can, he says.

    (Pictured above and right: Local actors Seth Dhonau and Adriane Leigh Robinson will be taking their 'First Date' through April 22. Photo by Emily Lozow.)

    “There is no question that there is a wealth of talent here in Denver,” Roderick said. “When I work at other regional theatre centers and I choose my cast, I’m often told, 'Well what have they done on Broadway?’ I never get that here at the Denver Center. The fact is, when you are casting a show, what matters is the story, period. And we have beautiful storytellers in Denver. That they happen to live in Denver has nothing to do with their level of talent.”

    It was the Denver Center’s Jeff Hovorka who convinced then-DCPA President Randy Weeks that the first staging of the Galleria Theatre’s Always…Patsy Cline back in 1997 could be effectively cast with local actors. Melissa Swift-Sawyer and Beth Flynn made Denver musical-theatre history when their show ran for three and a half years, only to be surpassed by I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, another all-local show that opened in 2000 and became Denver’s longest-running musical by 2004.

    “The three biggest successes in the Galleria Theatre history, including Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women, all have had local casts,” said Hovorka, now the DCPA’s Director of Sales and Marketing for Broadway and Cabaret. “Denver always has had an incredibly strong talent base, and we are always proud to celebrate the homegrown talent we have in this city.”

    Check out the all-local cast of DCPA's First Date

    The Wild Party Director Amada Berg Wilson, also the founder of a Boulder theatre company called The Catamounts, put 15 local actors to work on Off-Center’s risky plunge into immersive musical theatre, which was attended each night by 200 live party guests.

    “Having an all-local cast is evidence that we really do have the talent right here to pull off a show like this,” said Wilson. “And I think it is great that as the Denver Center continues to experiment with immersive theatre, we are developing a base of talent right here who have the tools and the vocabulary to make this specific kind of work. We are discovering that audiences are really hungry for more of it, and now we have the people here to do it.”

    michael-fitzpatrick-leslie-ocarroll-photo-credit-adamsviscom_24874516748_oThe list of local actors working for the Denver Center this fall spans beloved veterans such as Leslie O’Carroll, who is again playing Mrs. Fezziwig in the Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol, to first-timers such as longtime BDT Stage favorite Wayne Kennedy and Adriane Leigh Robinson, who just played Sally Bowles for the Miners Alley Playhouse’s Cabaret.

    (Leslie O'Carroll, right with 'A Christmas Carol' castmate Michael Fitzpatrick, is now the longest-tenured actor in the DCPA Theatre Company.)

    Longtime Galleria Theatre favorites Jordan Leigh and Lauren Shealy, now appearing in First Date, have built sustainable acting careers around steady work at the DCPA, including occasional crossover roles in Theatre Company productions. Shealy, headlined the Lone Tree Arts Center’s summer production of Evita that was nominated for Outstanding Musical by the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards.

    Colorado theatre favorite Steven J. Burge, who joined the Denver Center earlier this year to play none other than God in the long-running Galleria Theatre hit An Act of God, is back in First Date, which runs through April 22. This is a job, Burge says, “that I would not quit even if I won the lottery, because I love it so much.”

    Each May, the Denver Center holds three days of “general auditions” that are open to local actors to sign up for. This year a record 100 union and 275 non-union actors participated, directly resulting in many of the fall hirings.

    Many of the Denver Center’s current crop of actors have tentacles that reach throughout the Colorado theatre community from Creede Repertory Theatre (Diana Dresser and Emily Van Fleet) to Phamaly Theatre Company (Leonard E. Barrett), which exists to create performance opportunities for actors with disabilities.

    Michael Bouchard and Luke Sorge, the two actors playing David in Off-Center’s The SantaLand Diaries, are both company members with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, which was co-founded by occasional DCPA Theatre Company actor and Director Stephen Weitz.  

    The Theatre Company’s season-opening production of Macbeth included local playwright Steven Cole Hughes, also a longtime Teaching artist for DCPA Education and graduate of the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory. Robert O’Hara’s cast was a Denver Center reunion of sorts that also brought home Colorado natives Gareth Saxe, Erik Kochenberger and Skyler Gallun.

    Skyler GallunSaxe, a graduate of Colorado College and Denver East High School, played Scar for two years on Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King, but his DCPA Theatre Company roots go back to Cyrano de Bergerac in 2001. Kochenberger also graduated from East High School — but his was in Pueblo. Gallun, who previously appeared in Lord of the Flies, led a talkback with students from his alma mater, George Washington High School, after one Macbeth matinee (pictured at right by John Moore).

    DCPA Education head of acting Timothy McCracken, who has recently performed with both BETC (Outside Mullingar) and Local Theatre company (The Firestorm), landed this fall in both the Theatre Company’s Smart People and A Christmas Carol. His Smart People co-star Jason Veasey graduated from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. His many past local credits include playing Jesus in Town Hall Arts Center’s Godspell.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    This fall also has brought the launch of DCPA Education’s new Theatre for Young Audiences program. The three-person cast of The Snowy Day who performed Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved story for 19,000 pre-kindergarten through third-graders included longtime DCPA Teaching Artist Rachel Kae Taylor (also an NTC grad with three Theatre Company credits) and Robert Lee Hardy, who was recently seen in Vintage Theatre’s A Time to Kill In Aurora.  

    finalpdheadshots0005-web“This has been an exciting year not only for the local actors but for myself and the DCPA,” Soapes (pictured right) said of his local casting. “The dedication this organization has made to further highlighting the talent we have here in Denver has also deepened our appreciation for the artists who are working hard every day to entertain our audiences —  my hat goes off to them,” he said.

    Soapes said his top priority always will be to cast the best person for every role, regardless of ZIP code.

    “We here at the DCPA are excited to continue to tap further into the local talent pool, open our doors wider and show the entire industry why Denver is a destination for quality theatre,” Soapes said.

    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.

    Grady Soapes Quote


    Denver Center Fall 2017 Casting:

    Macbeth: 17 actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Steven Cole Hughes as Doctor of the Psychic/Ensemble)

    Actors from Colorado:

    • Skyler Gallun as Donalbain/Ensemble
    • Erik Kochenberger as Hecate Two/Ensemble
    • Gareth Saxe as Duncan/Ensemble)


    'A Snowy Day. Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy. Zak Reynolds. Photo by Adams Viscom.The Snowy Day:
    Three actor jobs

    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Rachel Kae Taylor as Archie, Amy, Mom and others
    • Robert Lee Hardy as Peter

    Smart People: Four actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Timothy McCracken
    Actors from Colorado:
    • Jason Veasey

    The Wild Party: 15 actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Brett Ambler as Gold
    • Leonard Barrett Jr. as Oscar D’Armano
    • Allison Caw as Sally
    • Laurence Curry as Black
    • Diana Dresser as Miss Madelaine True
    • Katie Drinkard as Mae
    • Trent Hines as Phil D’Armano
    • Drew Horwitz as Burrs
    • Wayne Kennedy as Goldberg
    • Sheryl McCallum as Dolores
    • Jenna Moll Reyes as Nadine
    • Marco Robinson as Eddie Mackrel
    • Emily Van Fleet as Queenie
    • Aaron Vega as Jackie
    • Erin Willis as Kate

    Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women: Three actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Barbara Gehring
    • Linda Klein
    • Amie MacKenzie

    A Christmas Carol (through Dec. 24): 21 adult actor jobs; eight youth jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Sam Gregory as Ebenezer Scrooge
    • Chas Lederer as Swing
    • Kyra Lindsay as Martha Cratchit/Ensemble
    • Chloe McLeod as Swing
    • Timothy McCracken as Ebenezer Scrooge understudy
    • Leslie O’Carroll as Mrs. Fezziwig/Ensemble
    • Jeffrey Roark as Jacob Marley/Ensemble
    • Shannan Steele as Ensemble
    • Marco Robinson as Ensemble

    A Michael Bouchard 800The SantaLand Diaries (through Dec. 24): Two actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Michael Bouchard as David
    • Luke Sorge as David understudy
    First Date (through April 22): Eight actor jobs

    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Adriane Leigh Robinson as Casey
    • Seth Dhonau as Aaron
    • Steven J. Burge as Man 1
    • Aaron Vega as Man 2 (Nov. 11-Dec. 3)
    • Jordan Leigh as Man 2 (Dec. 5-April 22)
    • Lauren Shealy as Woman 1
    • Barret Harper as Male Understudy
    • Cashelle Butler as Female Understudy
  • Vintage, Denver Center collaborate to bring 'Lady Day,' Mary Louise Lee, to stage

    by John Moore | Nov 20, 2017
    Lady Day Mary Louise Lee Adams Viscom Mary Louise Lee in the 2016 DCPA Theatre Company workshop of 'Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.' Photo by  AdamsVisCom.

     

    From First Lady to Lady Day: Billie Holiday musical to open at Vintage, then move to Denver Center's Galleria Theatre

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Mary Louise LeeWhen Mary Louise Lee revisited her signature role as Billie Holiday
    in a special workshop production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill last year, she dedicated the performance to Shadow Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Nickelson. Lee considers having played the jazz legend in 2002 to be the most meaningful performance of her storied career.

    It couldn't be more fitting, then, that when Vintage Theatre Productions brings the story to full stage life again this January with Lee in the title role, she will be be performing in the Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium. 

    Nickelson, who died in 2009, was a graduate of the DCPA’s National Theatre Conservatory masters program. In 1997, he founded Shadow Theatre to present “stories from the heart of the African-American community,” as he liked to say. And the biggest hit in Shadow’s history was that 2002 production of Lady Day, with Nickelson directing and Lee starring as Holiday.

    Lady DayFor her haunting portrayal of a woman with a singular singing voice — and a lethal heroin habit  — Lee won a Westword Best of Denver Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The review said: “A stunning evening of theatre. Lee's singing is absolutely radiant. Her voice is smooth as glass. At times she sounds uncannily like Holiday, at others entirely like her full-throated self." She reprised the role for a special three-day workshop engagement in 2016 at the Denver Center's Jones Theatre. 

    After Nickelsen died of a heart attack in 2009, the theatre he opened at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora was renamed the Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium. Vintage took over operations there in 2011. 

    Berry HartToday, Vintage and the Denver Center announced an unprecedented collaboration. Vintage will introduce its new production of Lanie Robertson's Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, starring Lee and directed by Betty Hart (pictured right), from Jan. 12 through Feb. 18. The production will then move to the Denver Center's Garner-Galleria Theatre on March 5 and perform there on Monday nights through April 23 — while the Denver Center's ongoing musical comedy First Date continues its run for the rest of the week.

    Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill tells Holiday's troubled life story through the songs that made her famous, including "God Bless the Child," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Strange Fruit" and "Taint Nobody's Biz-ness." Set in Philadelphia in 1959, Holiday's performance at Emerson's Bar & Grill was one of her last, and Lady Day is not just a memorable tribute to the singer, but also a moving portrait of her struggles with addiction, racism, and loss.

    "We're thrilled, of course," said Vintage Theatre Artistic Director Bernie Cardell. "This is an exciting event for Vintage and for the theatre community overall. If we are to thrive, collaboration is the key. While we certainly can survive on our own, we can reach bigger heights together. My hope is this is just the start of a new way of producing quality theatre for our community."

     Lady Day Mary Louise Lee. 2002Lee's performing career began at the Denver Center when she appeared in Beehive at what is now the Garner Galleria Theatre while only 18 years old and still a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School. In 2011, Lady Day also became the First Lady of Denver when her husband, Michael B. Hancock, was elected Mayor.

    (Pictured right: Mary Louise Lee in rehearsal for her award-winning turn in 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill' for Shadow Theatre in 2002.)

    Lee has performing at many high profile events over the past two decades, including the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions. She performed with the Colorado Symphony at the 911 Remembrance Ceremony, and in the First Ladies of Jazz concert. She has sung the national anthem before 78,000 Denver Broncos fans, was featured vocalist at the grand opening of Union Station was a Season 9 contestant on America's Got Talent.  She has toured internationally performing for the troops of the U.S. Department of Defense. She returned to the DCPA in 2014 to sing with the cast of the national touring production of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet onstage at the Buell Theatre. And last December, Lee won a 2015 True West Award for her performance in the new musical, Uncle Jed's Barbershop.  

    Read John Moore's Denver Post profile of Mary Louise Lee

    Mary Louise Lee The Wiz. AfterthoughtSome of Lee's other notable local theatre performances have included Vogue Theatre’s A Brief History of White Music, the Arvada Center’s The 1940s Radio Hour, Country Dinner Playhouse’s Ain’t Misbehavin', Denver Civic’s Menopause the Musical and Afterthought Theatre Company's The Wiz, as Glinda the Good Witch (pictured right). She took on that role just after Hancock was elected in 2011.

    From students to senior citizens, Lee is committed to being an ambassador for the arts to help expose and expand access to Denver’s vibrant arts and cultural communities. She is choir director at the New Hope Baptist Church and founder of “Bringin’ Back the Arts," a foundation that encourages arts education in the public schools.

    Betty Hart, the director, recently moved to Denver from Atlanta, where she was a Teaching Artist at the Alliance Theatre. She is the Special Projects Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente Arts Integrated Resources program and recently joined the board of directors for the Colorado Theatre Guild.

    The Music Director will be Trent Hines. He was most recently the conductor and pianist for The Wild Party at the Stanley Marketplace, and he also performed in the show.


    A Lady Day Westword

    Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill: At Vintage Theatre

  • Jan. 12-Feb 18, 2018 (Note: The Feb. 3 show will be performed by Shandra Duncan)
  • 1468 Dayton St., Aurora
  • Tickets $15-$34
  • Call 303-856-7830 or BUY ONLINE


  • Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill: At the Garner-Galleria Theatre

  • March 5-April 23, 2018
  • Denver Performing Arts Complex
  • Tickets start at $42
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • The show runs approximately 90 minutes without intermission
  • Adult language and content
  • Age Recommendation: 17 and over
  •  

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Video: Mary Louise Lee sings with Million Dollar Quartet:

    Video: Watch Mary Louise Lee sing 'Fools Fall in Love' with the cast of  the national touring production of 'Million Dollar Quartet' at the Buell Theatre in 2014.

  • After 16 years, meet Dixie's maker: Kris Andersson

    by John Moore | Aug 02, 2017

    Kris Andersson. Photo by John Moore or the DCPA.
    Playwright Kris Andersson, creator of fast-talking Tupperware saleswoman Dixie Longate, has now sold 170,000 tickets around the world and grossed $6 million in revenue. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    How a playwright turned a Tupperware Party into an enduring and cathartic theatrical franchise

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    When Dixie Longate first encouraged an 85-year-old woman named Dolly to shout out the words “F Off,” she blushed. This genteel older lady from Huntsville, Ala., had never said those words out loud in her life, she told Dixie, and she wasn’t about to start now, in front of 300 people.

    But something changed as that evening’s performance of Dixie’s Tupperware Party progressed. Dixie, the creation of playwright Kris Andersson, wasn’t trying to goad this proper lady into saying a dirty word.

    “Dixie was trying to get her to revel in her own strength,” he says. 

    Dixie is a fictional stage character, but a very real Tupperware salesperson. In fact, Dixie has sold $1.5 million of the durable plastic wares over the past 16 years, twice ranking as the nation’s leading Tupperware seller.

    But the party is also a wildly successful play that has drawn capacity crowds in small towns and major cities alike ranging from New York, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Edinburgh, Nashville, Sydney, Fort Worth, and right now Denver, where Dixie’s record sixth engagement at the Garner Galleria Theatre continues through Sunday (Aug. 6).

    Dixie Longate is a hot Hazard County incarnation of Australia’s Dame Edna. Part Mary Poppins and part Oprah Winfrey. She’s a tall drink of water with fiery red hair and a tasteful polyester rodeo dress adorned with half-naked cowboys. As the story goes, Dixie packed up her catalogues, left her three children back in an Alabama trailer park and is now traveling the country gathering all of you lovely ladies and handsome gents together to talk all about your food storage options. And if you’re lucky, she might take you out back behind the dumpster and, you know … do some stuff.

    Dixie’s Tupperware Party, Andersson is first to say, isn’t changing the world. But since 2001, it has changed the lives of countless women who have seen it.

    Women like Dolly in Hunstville, Ala.

    Brownie_WiseIn the show, Dixie draws upon the example of Brownie Wise (pictured at right), a pioneering Georgia divorcee who was largely responsible for the success of Tupperware through her ingenious idea to sell plastic bowls and cups at home parties. In 1954, Wise became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week magazine – and a role model for generations of women to come.

    “Brownie was told her idea was dumb and that she had no business being in a male-dominated world,” Andersson said. “And do you know what she said? ‘F You.’ ”

    Only she spelled out the F.

    Dixie tells that story in her play, which has now sold 170,000 tickets around the world and grossed $6 million in revenue. Andersson has now surpassed 1,100 performances – “a milestone that any show would be proud to have reached,” he said. Women come in groups to giggle at Dixie’s obliviously sweet style of naughty humor with no idea how unexpectedly cathartic the story can be.

    Dixie to perform standup benefit for Denver Actors Fund on Aug. 6

    “Dixie is not far off from the Brownie Wise model,” Andersson says. “She’s been talked down to by society. She’s been told she’s good for nothing. She has been on the losing end of a lot of moments in her life. Just like a lot of women who come to see our show.”

    The message they hear from Dixie, Andersson says, “is that you are not beholden to anyone else’s idea of who you are supposed to be. You, too, can pick yourself up by the bootstraps and make a better life for yourself. People want Dixie in their lives because she represents a kind of strength they maybe don't have or see in themselves.”

    Later in that Alabama performance of Dixie’s Tupperware Party, that message had become clear. Dixie again approached Dolly and asked if she would like to say the words “F You” out loud.

    Dolly not only said it, loud and proud, she got a raucous standing ovation for it.

    And then Dolly asked with released glee: “Can I say it again?”


    Kris Andersson. Photo by John Moore.
    Photo of Dixie Longate by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 


    The man behind the C (and Sippy) Cups

    While you can’t miss Dixie in her high heels and big hair, you’d never know Kris Andersson walking past you on the street. Seeing Dixie onstage in no way prepares you to encounter this surprisingly slight and soft-spoken playwright with the short-cropped blonde hair who gets immersed each night in the persona of Dixie.

    But after 16 years, Andersson has decided this is the right time to step out from behind Dixie’s shadow and give the world a small peek at the man behind the woman. Or more accurately, the playwright behind the play.

    He thinks.

    “I do feel a little skittish about that, I will admit,” he said, “because people love to play in the world of Dixie. And that is a great world. I mean, she’s kind of a fun broad. But this show is also a real call to action that if you want a different life or to be a different person, you can do it. And we think now after the success we have had, that maybe now is the perfect time to take that message to a larger platform.”

    So, who is this Kris Andersson? Just an average kid from Pittsburgh, of all places, who got his degree in acting at the University of Southern California. He was a film and TV actor living in L.A. in 2001 when his roommate hosted an actual Tupperware party, only to discover that Tupperware pays better than waiting tables. The idea for Dixie was born out of that party.

    Donna Reed "At first, I created her as this 1950s Donna Reed housewife who pops too many pills,” Andersson said. Dixie started with “a completely horrible, haphazard look.” He compares Dixie’s initial hairstyle to roadkill. 

    “But I refined her over time,” he added with a laugh, eventually deciding that Dixie would get a better response if she were more a contemporary redneck American woman.

    Andersson created Dixie as a kind of performance art – she started hosting real Tupperware parties that were held in people’s homes in Southern California. And when The Orange County Register covered one such party in 2003, interest in Dixie exploded. Soon she was hosting 25 parties a month. Still, there were no plans for the stunt to become anything bigger until a friend suggested he develop his material into a live theatre piece.

    Andersson entered Dixie’s Tupperware Party in the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival on a lark … and got in. Problem was, he had not yet written a word of the play. 

    “I remember getting a thick envelope in the mail a couple of months later, and I was like, ‘Oh, crap. That’s an acceptance letter – and we don’t have a show.”

    But by the time the festival closed, Andersson not only had a show, he had an instant and sustainable hit. Andersson further honed his script over the next three years before finally debuting Dixie’s Tupperware Party off-Broadway in 2007 under the direction of Alex Timbers, who later came into fame for creating Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Peter and the Starcatcher. Andersson reworked the show a bit further with director Patrick Richwood, took the show on the road the next year and hasn’t stopped touring since. 

    The secret to Dixie’s success

    Andersson discovered almost immediately the uncanny resonance his character was having on his audiences. A half hour before any show is to start, Dixie comes out to the theatre lobby and mingles with arriving theatregoers. She also lingers with them for up to an hour after the show because, Andersson said, “people just want more Dixie.” And that is when the connection becomes an unshakeable bond.

    “You don’t have Idina Menzel coming out after Wicked and hanging out with people as the witch,” Andersson said. “There is something unique about this that really connects with the fan base.”

    Audience members, especially women, love to sit down with Dixie and chat with her one-on-one about her ridiculous fictional Alabama trailer-park world and her latch-key children Wynonna, Dwayne and 3-year-old Absorbine Jr. He’s got the shakes, that poor kid – but he smells good. Wynona is 16 and works nights at the local Hooters. The place closes at midnight, but the weird thing, Dixie tells us, is that she’s always getting home at 5 a.m., and her hair’s all screwed up.

    Dixie can fire off an improvised quip about as easily as setting a match to a sparkler. Mothers snicker, but they relate to Dixie’s tall family tales in profound ways. And she always makes a point to ask these women to tell her their stories, too. One thing Andersson quickly picked up on when creating the show is that women – and especially mothers – almost always talk about themselves through the other people in their lives. They identify themselves through their husband’s profession, or their kids’ school activities.

    “They never talk about themselves,” Andersson said. “Their lives don’t seem to be framed through their own eyes. It’s as if their self-worth is being completely determined by the things around them.”

    People tend to trust Dixie with personal information she should really never have. “In the past, people have told her they are very unhappy, or that they are trying to figure out how to get out of a bad marriage situation,” Andersson said. “They turn to Dixie as though she were a therapist. They feel safe with her, and she feels honored and privileged to have their trust. I think they recognize in Dixie this garish, outlandish, strong character, and she’s got something in her that they want to find in themselves. They want to figure out how to be as strong as Dixie.”

    But while the show is ultimately an empowering tale of self-worth, it’s also funny. Often extraordinarily, inappropriately funny.

    At one party, Dixie produced a Barbie kid set complete with four mini-Tupperware cups, plates and a pitcher. Dixie called it her “Mini-Alcoholic Starter Kit,” and an elderly woman immediately bent over and started choking. The show stopped. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, she is having a heart attack,’ and everybody rushed to her side,” he said. Turns out, the woman laughed so hard she coughed her fake teeth out of her mouth and into her hand. “When she recovered herself and saw that she no teeth, she just shoved them back in,” Andersson said.

    The thing that makes Dixie such a refreshingly original character for the American theatre, Andersson says, is that she's no better than you, and she knows it. “She is broken, damaged, and shattered,” he said. “So when she says things that are so ridiculous and inappropriate and she tells people they are stupid to their face, there is no malice in it. That’s what makes it so funny. This is not some weird, subversive off-the-beaten path piece. This is a mainstream piece in a non-mainstream package.”
     

    Kris Andersson. Photo by John Moore.

    Kris Andersson has now performed as Dixie Longate at the Denver Center's Galleria Theatre for more than 40 weeks over six stops. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Dixie does Denver, again and again

    Despite the ongoing success of Dixie’s Tupperware Party across the United States and in five countries, Dixie has made a home in Denver like no other place. Three years ago, the Denver Center commissioned Andersson to write and perform his exhaustively titled sequel,Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull (And 16 Other Things I Learned While I Was Drinking Last Thursday). Combined, Andersson has now played Dixie for more than 40 weeks at the Denver Center’s Garner Galleria Theatre.

    “There are people in Denver who are giddy whenever we come back,” he said. "People leave the show and say, ‘See you next year,’ and that gives me great pride.” There are returning audiences who see Dixie so often, he said, they think she actually lives in Denver.

    “There is a buzz whenever Dixie Longate comes back to the Denver Center,” said DCPA CEO Janice Sinden. “This character and this playwright are part of the DNA of this place, and we are proud to have played our small part in helping to establish Dixie and Kris as the authentic artists they are.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    But now having toured as Dixie nonstop for more than a decade, Andersson is taking stock of the franchise he has built from scratch as a writer, actor and self-producer, as well as the best way to take Dixie into the future. The one thing he knows is that he is in no way done with Dixie.

    A Kris Andersson QUOTE“The opportunity to work with one character and get to know one soul so well is such a unique opportunity that few people ever get,” he said. “So I don’t know when the heels will come off for the last time. I want her to be remembered as this great cougar you want to have sex with and go to the bar with for as long as I can make that happen, hopefully on bigger and bigger platforms. I don't think she has an expiration date yet. I think there are a lot more milestones to reach.”

    One of those milestones, of course, would be television. Andersson could continue to bring Dixie before live audiences that range from a few hundred to several thousand at any given performance. But if Dixie were to land a sit-com platform, several million people could potentially see her in one night. That’s a lot of new lives that could be touched.

    “I feel incredible joy and pride in what I have been able to accomplish personally as a writer, actor and as a producer,” Andersson said. “This show has moved people. It has inspired people to change things in their own lives. That’s why I want to bring it to more people. We have only scratched the surface.”

    TV is a big dream, he admits. But then again, so was Brownie Wise’s. “To me, that is the universal message of our show – that you can still be positive and happy having achieved close to your goal,” he said. “But never lose sight of the big prize – because that prize is what keeps you getting out of that bed in the morning.”


    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.

    Video bonus: Dixie's Denver Dialogues


    Dixie's Tupperware Party:
    Ticket information
    Dixie’s Tupperware PartyAt a glance: Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm. Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a stage.
  • Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Through Aug. 6
  • At the Garner Galleria Theatre
  • Tickets start at $39
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


  • No Instructions: A Denver Actors Fund benefit

    Dixie_No_Instructions_homepage_slider_960x430Dixie Longate is also presenting No Instructions, a one-night-only standup benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at the Galleria on the evening of Aug. 6. INFO
  • Video: Dixie's Denver Dialogues

    by John Moore | Jul 27, 2017


    Dixie is back in Denver, and in honor of her record sixth visit to the Mile High City, we present to you Dixie's Denver Dialogues, a series of brief but assuredly profound exchanges with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. In the fifth and final part, Dixie talks about how her show may positively affect your life, if not your literacy. Think of it as a sequel to our Dixie Does Denver video series in 2014.

    Dixie's Tupperware Party plays the Garner Galleria Theatre through Aug. 6. She will also be presenting No Instructions, a one-night-only standup benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at the Galleria on Aug. 6.

    Dixie's Tupperware Party: Ticket information
    At a glance: Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm. Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a stage.
  • Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Through Aug. 6
  • At the Garner Galleria Theatre
  • Tickets start at $39
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Dixie Longate. Photo by John MooreDixie Longate, back in Denver. Photo by John Moore.
  • Dixie Longate comedy benefit for Denver Actors Fund on Aug. 6

    by John Moore | Jul 24, 2017

     

    Dixie brings her unique brand of standup comedy to the Denver Center in support of a great local cause.

    Dixie Longate will perform No Instructions, a one-night-only benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, at the Garner Galleria Theatre.

    Like Momma always says, "You can take the girl out of the trailer, but you can't have sex with a stranger if you already know their first name." It's this kind of learning that made Dixie Longate one of Denver's favorite gals. 

    Join Dixie as the famous, fast-talking Tupperware Lady puts the bowls on the shelf and lets down her hair in support of a great cause. She's seen a lot of places, met a lot of people and has a hell of a lot more stories to tell. FroDixiem her first date to the Last Supper, Dixie ain't holding nothing back. The taller the glass of sweet tea, the looser her lips get.

    You don't want to miss Dixie as she brings her unique standup comedy to Denver. No one under 21 admitted.

    The Denver Actors Fund is a grassroots nonprofit that serves as a modest source of financial and situational relief when members of the local theatre community find themselves in medical need. To date, The Denver Actors Fund has distributed almost $110,000 in direct financial assistance and provided about 400 hours of volunteer service to help local artists.

    Dixie Longate: No Instructions
  • Dixie No InstructionsPresented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6
  • At the Garner Galleria Theatre
  • All seats $25
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Meet the cast: Jamie Grayson of 'An Act of God'

    by John Moore | Jan 29, 2017
    Jamie Grayson. An Act of God


    MEET JAMIE GRAYSON

    Understudying the roles of God and Michael in An Act of God

    At the Denver Center: Debut. New York: Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone and Narrator/Mysterious Man in Into the Woods at The MacHaydn Theatre. Tours and regional: Cats, Hairspray, A Chorus Line and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He is also an internationally recognized baby-gear expert who has been seen on “The Martha Stewart Show,” “The Today Show,” and speaks at events for new and expectant parents.

    • Twitter-sized bio: Sometimes actor/full-time baby-gear expert and "guncle." New to Denver and loving every minute. Fred Armisen *might* have played me in a movie.
    • Hometown: Little Rock, Ark.
    • Home now: I moved to Denver in July
    • Jamie Grayson. Baby Guy Website: babyguygearguide.com
    • Social media:  @TheBabyGuyNYC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
    • Training: BFA in Acting from the University of Mississippi
    • What was the role that changed your life? My first professional gig was in Shenandoah at The MacHaydn Theatre in Chatham, N.Y. I worked there every summer throughout college and a few years after. Summer stock taught me to be a quick study, taught me work ethic, and taught me the "play" in performing. There are not many theatres like this still around, and it's truly the best training a young actor can have. That place feels like home.
    • Why are you an actor? At its best, theatre is communion with an audience. There are not many true places of communion now. So to be in a room with strangers and tell them a story and get immediate engagement and energy back is just the absolute best feeling - so it translates well into my actual career.
    • What would you be doing if you weren't an actor: My "real" job is a baby gear expert/speaker/social media "personality" - LOL. I was on tour for years and grew weary of suitcase life, so I took a survival gig at a store and it ended up turning into an insane career that I love. I knew once I stopped acting I would go into education, so my current job combines my desire to educate and entertain. It's kind of perfect, and I feel very fortunate that I've found ways to begin bridging my two lives.
    • A Jamie Grayson Jodie FosterIdeal scene partner: Jodie Foster. I just love her. Always have. Always will. But also Meryl Streep, because ... duh.
    • Why does An Act of God matter? I was shocked at how intelligent the script is. It's not just some off-the-wall, slap-your-leg, laugh-until-you-hurt piece. It's quieter than that, but very funny and forces you to listen. On top of that, there are references to current events and sections that really make you question your "why" in "why I believe."
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of seeing it? Theatre is a time to shut your phones off, sit with people in the dark, and have an experience. I cannot tell you what your experience will be. I can only hope you have one.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      "...  to get better every day." Stagnation is a horrible thing.
    An Act of God: Ticket information
    • The story: God takes human form in this critically acclaimed new comedy direct from Broadway. He's finally arrived to set the record straight.
    • Through April 8
    • Garner-Galleria Theatre
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Selected Previous NewsCenter coverage:
    An Act of God extends through April 8
    Steven J. Burge is following in God's footsteps
    Meet the cast: Steven J. Burge
    Meet the cast: Erik Sandvold
    Meet the cast: Steven Cole Hughes
    Video, photos: DCPA, Macy's help 'Make-A-Wish' come true
    Casting announced for An Act of God
    A day in the busy life of Director Geoffrey Kent
    Interview: Geoffrey Kent on a laugh-a-minute God
    Geoffrey Kent's 2015 True West Award

    More 2016-17 DCPA Theatre Company 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grindei, Frankenstein
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Robert Manning Jr., The Christians

    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
  • 'An Act of God' extends; Burge ascends to Almighty status

    by John Moore | Jan 24, 2017
    Steven J. Burge An Act of God
    Steven J. Burge in the title role of the hit comedy An Act of God. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Steven J. Burge will assume the role of God in An Act of God starting tonight, and today the Denver Center for the Performing Arts announced that the hit comedy is being extended through April 8 at the Garner Galleria Theatre.

    An Act of God is directed by Geoffrey Kent and also includes Steven Cole Hughes as Michael and Erik Sandvold as Gabriel. Jamie Grayson joins the cast as understudy for God and Michael. 

    A Steven J. BurgeGod takes human form in An Act of God, the acclaimed new play direct from Broadway that opens with the Almighty tackling His greatest challenge yet: The Mile High City. He’s finally arrived to set the record straight about the commandments and other quotes that have been attributed to Him over time ... and He’s not holding back. The script is based on the critically acclaimed book written by God (otherwise known as "The Bible") and transcribed by David Javerbaum, a 13-time Emmy Award-winner for his work as a head writer and executive producer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

    The play premiered on Broadway on May 7, 2015, and ran for a limited run with God occupying the body of Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"). The play returned to Broadway June 6, 2016, for another limited engagement starring Sean Hayes ("Will and Grace"). This production in Denver is one of the first regional productions of the hit comedy.

    Since making his Colorado debut in 2003 as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Burge has appeared on stages throughout the Denver metro area including the Denver Center, Curious Theatre, Arvada Center, Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret and many others. He is also the co-host of the Colorado Theatre Guild's annual Henry Awards.

    The role of God was was originated by Broadway star Wesley Taylor, whose contract ran through Jan. 22. Burge has been serving as understudy in the roles of God and Michael.

    The Denver creative team includes the DCPA's Lisa M. Orzolek (scenic design), Meghan Anderson Doyle (costume design) and Charles R. MacLeod (lighting design). Making his DCPA Broadway/Cabaret sound design debut is Anson Nicholson.

    Steven J. Burge, Erik Sandvold, Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God. Photo by John Moore.
    From left: Erik Sandvold, Steven J. Burge and Steven Cole Hughes in 'An Act of God.' Photo by John Moore.


    An Act of God
    : Ticket information

    An Act of GodThe story: God takes human form in this critically acclaimed new comedy direct from Broadway. He's finally arrived to set the record straight.
    • Through April 8, 2017
    • Garner-Galleria Theatre
    • Tickets start at $47: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Selected Previous NewsCenter coverage:
    Steven J. Burge is following in God's footsteps
    Meet the cast: Steven J. Burge
    Meet the cast: Erik Sandvold
    Meet the cast: Steven Cole Hughes
    Video, photos: DCPA, Macy's help 'Make-A-Wish' come true
    Casting announced for An Act of God
    A day in the busy life of Director Geoffrey Kent
    Interview: Geoffrey Kent on a laugh-a-minute God
    Geoffrey Kent's 2015 True West Award
  • A day in the busy, busy life of Geoffrey Kent

    by John Moore | Oct 11, 2016

    Geoffrey Kent An Act of God
    'An Act of God' Director Geoffrey Kent, right, with his cast, from left: Steven Cole Hughes, Erik Sandvold and Wesley Taylor. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    EDITOR'S NOTE: Artists are natural multitaskers. Perhaps that stems from a young age and the struggle to scrape together a reasonable living in the arts. The more you know – and the more you know how to do – the more likely you might be to pay your rent. But even when artists reach the top of their craft(s), they continue to find their services in great demand throughout their careers. Many continue to juggle a variety of creative duties, often on multiple shows at once. That is certainly the case at the Denver Center.

    Take Geoffrey Kent, for example. Kent is a Colorado native who started teaching classes with DCPA Education back in 1996 and debuted as an actor with the DCPA Theatre Company in Anthony Powell’s Hamlet in 2002. He won a 2015 True West Award for his performance as Iago for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. He’s also a certified stage-combat expert. Literally. He’s the former President of the Society of American Fight Directors, the largest organization of stage combatants in the world. In September, he became one of only 18 certified “Fight Masters,” and the youngest by a decade.

    With that kind of cred, Kent is also the resident Fight Director for all Theatre Company plays. He is also member of the Arvada Center's new resident acting company, where he will act in Bus Stop and direct Waiting for Godot. Kent will make his DCPA directorial debut when An Act of God premieres regionally at the Garner Galleria Theatre on Oct. 21. And while he’s been getting that Broadway comedy ready for opening, he’s also been choreographing the complicated stage combat in Frankenstein. And teaching weekly stage-combat classes at the Denver Center.

    Twenty years after his arrival at the Denver Center, Geoff Kent is as busy as any kid ever was trying to break into the business. In short, he continues to practice pretty much every theatre discipline he ever learned - at the same time. To illustrate the point, we asked him to take notes we could share with readers that show a day in the life of Geoffrey Kent. He chose Saturday, Oct. 1, just a few days before he completed his work on Frankenstein, and just a few days after starting on An Act of God with Broadway star Wesley Taylor in the role of The Almighty.

    Here is his report, in his own words:


    Titus Geoffrey Kent6 a.m.: I’m usually up at 6 because that’s when my “Titus Hates Cats” alarm goes off. Here’s how it goes: The cats enter the bedroom to ask for breakfast. Titus, my Chihuahua who thinks he’s a Great Dane, runs subtle interference by emerging from under the covers yammering at me at 100 mph. “OK, I’m awake! God! I mean, Dog!”

     6:15 a.m.: Breakfast consists of microwave poached eggs on toast - because I’m lazy. And coffee. Times 3. While over-caffeinating, I shoot off some emails about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On!  Project to DCPA Literary Manager Douglas Langworthy. The OSF is commissioning modern translations of every Shakespeare play – and Doug is writing three of them. His Henry VI Parts I and II will be read in a workshop in Boulder soon.

    6:30 a.m.: I’m wracking my brain trying to find the right kid to play Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, which I will be directing next for the Colorado Springs TheatreWorks. I just cannot find that kid. Face palm. My wife, DCPA Teaching Artist Jessica Austgen, is adapting this version. We have a quick connection about the script - over yawns.

    7 a.m.: A walk with my proud post-cat-barking attack dogs.

    Geoffrey Kent An Act of God8 a.m. Saturdays are my busiest day of the week because, in addition to my other show duties, I work a three-hour Rapier and Dagger class at the Denver Center into the mix. I bike to work, taking the long route. I only live about 4 miles from the Denver Center, but I am really enjoying this gorgeous ride ... until I hit 15 miles, when I realize that 15 miles was a terrible and unnecessary choice to start the day. The soundtrack to Rock of Ages gets me through it. My God in An Act of God – Wesley Taylor – sings on that soundtrack, and I realize I am singing my God’s part. Badly. (PS: I say “my God”) a lot these days.

    9:30-12:30: My Rapier and Dagger class at the DCPA’s Newman Education building. That’s across Arapahoe Street from the Denver Performing Arts Complex. I have 16 swashbucklers in this class, with special guest Samantha Egle. (Who among many things is also house-managing for Denver Center shows that will be beginning at 1:30 p.m. today.) She is a mean sword-fighter to boot. On deck for today is fancy footwork and prise de fer – a move where the fencer takes the opponent's blade into a line and holds it there in preparation for attack. It literally means “taking the blade.”

    12:25 p.m.: I enjoy a brief visit from my talented wife, who is teaching an improv class nearby - and she brought coffee! – which is already bringing me to the brink of blissful caffeine overload.

    12:30 p.m. sharp: Class ends. I make a quick stairwell run to join my An Act of God rehearsal, which begins at 12:30 in the Orange Studio. Note to self: Remember to eat.

    An Act of God Scenic Design 12:31 p.m. I forget to eat. Rehearsal starts.

    12:32 p.m.: It’s fun to be working on An Act of God in the Orange Studio. As a longtime fight director I have… well … killed a lot of people in this room. Last week, in rehearsal for Frankenstein, we snapped some necks in this very same spot. Having multiple jobs is weird. (No snapped necks are anticipated for An Act of God.) 

    (Pictured above right: Erik Sandvold, Wesley Taylor and Steven Cole Hughes get a first look at the scenic model for 'An Act of God' at the Galleria Theatre.)

    12:32-5:30 p.m.: We work through the first half of the script. We are encouraged to localize the script, meaning to change jokes about New York to jokes about Denver. God is kind of a braggart at the top of the play. The conceit is that God is coming down to Earth to adapt the dusty 10 Commandments for these modern times. But because the very majesty of God might simply be too much for we mere mortals to handle, He takes on the far more approachable human form of a fabulously fun actor with just enough snark and charm. And he’s chosen Wesley Taylor, star of stage and screen ("Smash"). I encourage Wesley to make the bragging even braggier. So we add a bit where Wesley flashes his abs to the audience. This works. When you see them, you’ll know. We have a short discussion about how to best localize a joke about “the gayest area of Denver.” (It’s a surprise.)

    It's delightful to rehearse a comedy with a team of actors who have such amazing timing. Wesley’s castmates are longtime Denver favorites Erik Sandvold and Steven Cole Hughes.  Wesley is game for anything. We try 10 punchlines to a single joke. We settle on a favorite, only to abandon it for a better one five minutes later.

    Geoff Kent QuoteAt the end of the rehearsal, I get to give God notes. (Isn’t that weird?) A miniaturized version of Noah’s Ark is a set piece. I catch myself actually saying, “God: Can you cradle the ark like it’s a baby?"

    5:30 p.m.: We wrap An Act of God rehearsal for the day and make plans to work the second half of the play on Sunday. I then eat food … I think?

    6:45 p.m.: It’s fight call for Frankenstein. That means a preview performance is about to take place on the Stage Theatre. About 45 minutes before every show, all of the actors who have any physical contact with another actor during the show meet on the stage for a quick run-through of all violent stage business. This exercise keeps the actors sharp, and safe. It also helps them work these movements into their muscle memory. Frankenstein has lots of short bits of physical action, but this show is further complicated by the fact that two actors trade places each night playing the leading roles of Frankenstein and his Creature. I never remember who is playing the scientist and who is playing the monster on any given night until I show up. My fight captain is Rodney Lizcano, who also is an actor in the show. Because I can’t always be there, a Fight Captain is designated to help the actors with any concerns they may have. One of my fun tasks with Rodney is figuring out how to throw young Charlie Korman about the stage by his head - without actually throwing young Charlie Korman about the stage by the head.

    You really can leave nothing to chance when it comes to fight direction, because the safety of the actors is at stake. In my job, the No. 1 priority is and always will be, “Do no harm.” 

    One major challenge in Frankenstein is staging a moment of conflict between Frankenstein and the Creature that is staged on a massive coffin suspended above the stage by four ropes. Now imagine these two actors wrestling around on this very narrow piece of scenery that is hanging above the stage. Complicated by the fact that the lights go in and out during the scene. Also: The Creature’s eyes are closed. There is very … very little room for error.

    We run the scene. No one dies. … Success!

    7:30 p.m.: I watch the preview performance of Frankenstein. The young Charlie Korman head-toss toss goes well. I note a few tweaks for Rodney to fix the next day. I will next be working with these actors directly on Tuesday. I watched the show from the grid above the stage with Avi Levin (Charlie's understudy), and he hangs on every word for the entire show. It's infectious.

    Jessica Austgen Tartuffe9:30 p.m.: The creative team goes over notes with the cast. Some of the audience has stayed to watch the crew work on the show’s snowfall mechanics. We all say goodbye to amazing Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood, whose work is done, and he leaves town tomorrow. The end of the creative process is often a long series of slow goodbyes, only with no yearbooks to sign. Jason rocks.

     9:45 p.m.: Now I forget where I parked my car and wander the parking garage aimlessly. The bike helmet clipped to my bag fails to remind me that I did not actually drive the car to work today. Eventually I remember this ... and that I forgot to bring my bike lights. So I wait for my wife to finish her performance in the Arvada Center’s Tartuffe. She kindly comes for me and gives me a ride home.

    Midnight: I walk the dogs quickly. They are oddly silent. Surely they are saving their barks for the 6 a.m. wake-up call tomorrow.

    (Pictured above right: Geoffrey Kent's wife, Jessica Austgen, performing in the Arvada Center's 'Tartuffe.' Photo by Matthew Gale Photography.)


    Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the DCPA News Center.

    Geoffrey Kent Teaching
    In this 2015 file photo, Geoffrey Kent is shown conducting a stage swordsmanship class for DCPA Education. His students are Kyle Steffen, left, and fellow Teaching Artist Jessica Austgen (Kent's eventual wife.) Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    An Act of God
    : Ticket information

    • Oct. 15 through March 12, 2017
    • Garner-Galleria Theatre
    • ASL interpreted, Audio-described and Open Captioned performance: TBA
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Frankenstein: Ticket information
    • Through Oct. 30

    • Stage Theatre
    • ASL interpreted, Audio-described and Open Captioned performance: Oct. 23
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829 

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of Geoffrey Kent:
    Geoffrey Kent on 'a laugh-a minute God'
    Casting announced for An Act of God
    Geoffrey Kent's As You Like It cast profile
    Geoffrey Kent's NewsCenter podcast on the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Geoffrey Kent's 2015 True West Award
  • Director Geoffrey Kent on a 'laugh-a-minute' God

    by John Moore | Sep 08, 2016
    Geoffrey Kent quote. An Act of GodAn Act of God is a new comedy that imagines The Almighty is coming down to Earth to adapt the dusty 10 Commandments for these modern times. But because the very majesty of God might simply be too much for we mere mortals to handle, He takes on the far more approachable human form of a fabulously fun actor with just enough snark and charm. Imagine Jim Parsons or Sean Hayes — two popular TV sit-com actors who have played the role on Broadway.

    In Denver, no need to imagine Wesley Taylor. The Broadway and TV star (Smash) has been cast as the omnipotent one here.

    “Think of God as the perfect host of the perfect cocktail party … and he has the mic,” said Geoffrey Kent, a longtime actor and stage-combat expert who will be making his DCPA directorial debut when An Act of God premieres regionally at the Garner Galleria Theatre on Oct. 15. Kent calls the show part stand-up comedy… and part “Oprah.”

    In An Act of God, Kent said, “We get to watch God appear before us as a reflection of who we are now.”

    And who are we now?

    “Oh, we can be kind of terrible sometimes, and we can also be wonderful,” Kent said with a laugh. “And the same thing can be said of God.”

    An Act of God, written by 13-time Emmy winner David Javerbaum of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, is “laugh-a-minute funny,” Kent said – but in an occasionally thoughtful kind of way.

    “I think it pokes fun at the theist and the atheist equally,” Kent said. “But a comedy can ask meaningful questions just as well as a drama can. What’s joyful to me is that through the course of the play, we get to watch God learn something about himself — and that humanizes him.”

    The cast also includes Steven Cole Hughes as the angel Michael, Erik Sandvold as Gabriel and Steven J. Burge as understudy to God.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Kent is a Colorado native who attended Centaurus High School in Lafayette and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. He started teaching classes with DCPA Education back in 1996 and debuted as an actor with the DCPA Theatre Company in Anthony Powell’s Hamlet in 2002. He is the in-house Fight Director for all Theatre Company plays, and is a member of the Arvada Center's new resident acting company.

    “I never thought I would ever have an opportunity to direct a show at the Galleria Theatre,” Kent said, “and it’s thrilling.”

    An Act of God: Ticket information

    • Oct. 15 through March 12, 2017
    • Garner-Galleria Theatre
    • ASL interpreted, Audio-described and Open Captioned performance: TBA
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Selected Previous NewsCenter coverage:
    Casting announced for An Act of God
    Geoffrey Kent's As You Like It cast profile
    Geoffrey Kent's NewsCenter podcast on the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Geoffrey Kent's 2015 True West Award
  • DCPA announces casting for 'An Act of God'

    by John Moore | Aug 15, 2016

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has announced that Broadway's Wesley Taylor, star and fan favorite in the NBC TV show Smash, will play God in the new comedy An Act of God making its Denver debut at the Garner Galleria Theatre starting Oct. 15.

    The King of the Universe is tackling His greatest challenge yet: the Mile High City. God takes the form of Wesley Taylor in An Act of God, a 90-minute comedy where the Almighty and His devoted Angels answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. He’s finally arrived to set the record straight … and He’s not holding back!

    Act of God 600Directed by Geoffrey Kent, An Act of God also includes Steven Cole Hughes as Michael and Erik Sandvold as Gabriel with Steven J. Burge (understudy God/Michael). The entire cast and director make their DCPA Broadway/Cabaret debut with An Act of God.

    An Act of God creative team features DCPA Broadway/Cabaret veterans, Lisa M. Orzolek (scenic design), Meghan Anderson Doyle (costume design) and Charles R. MacLeod (lighting design). Making his DCPA Broadway/Cabaret sound design debut is Anson Nicholson.

    An Act of God is based on the critically acclaimed book written by God and transcribed by David Javerbaum. Javerbaum is a 13-time Emmy Award® winner for his work as a head writer and executive producer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

    The play premiered on Broadway on May 7, 2015 and ran in an acclaimed, limited run through Aug. 2, 2015, starring God in the body of Jim Parsons. It was the first Broadway production of the 2015-16 season to recoup its initial investment. The play is currently playing a return engagement on Broadway starring Sean Hayes. This production in Denver is one of the first regional productions of the hit comedy.

    Tickets start at $35 and are on sale now at denvercenter.org. Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – and denvercenter.org – is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of An Act of God.


    An Act of God
    : Ticket information

    • Oct. 15 through March 12, 2017
    • Garner-Galleria Theatre
    • ASL interpreted, Audio-described and Open Captioned performance: TBA
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    BIOGRAPHIES

    WESLEY TAYLOR (God) most recently starred as 'the Emcee' in Signature Theatre's acclaimed production of Cabaret. On Broadway, he created the roles of "Lucas Beineke" in the original cast of The Addams Family and "Franz" in the original company of Rock of Ages, which garnered him a Theatre World Award (Outstanding Broadway Debut) and an Outer Critics Circle Nomination (Best Featured Actor). He has performed internationally and all over the United States, with extensive credits in Off-Broadway and Regional theatre. On Television, he's been seen on "The Good Wife" (CBS), "Looking" (HBO), "The Tomorrow People" (CW), "One Life to Live" (ABC), "The Tony Awards" (CBS) and 26 episodes as 'Bobby' on "Smash" (NBC). 

    As a writer, Taylor has created countless sketch comedy for the web (including the YouTube series, "Billy Green") and is the Co-creator/Writer/Star of "It Could Be Worse," which was sold to Participant Media and acquired by Hulu (and is now available on Vimeo on Demand). After his play "Cuckold" became runner-up in Manhattan Repertory Theatre's one act competition, The Actor's Fund produced a sold-out evening of six of his short plays last October, featuring Stockard Channing, Nathan Lane, and Debra Messing. In November of 2016, they will produce seven new shorts by Taylor. Anonymous Content is developing his series "Basics" for digital platforms. Twitter: @WesTayTay IG: @sirwestaytay

    GEOFFREY KENT (Director) is an actor, director and fight director based out of Denver Colorado. Recent directing work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, 39 Steps, Grapes of Wrath, The Lying Kind and You Can’t Take it With You for Theatreworks, Metamorphoses and She Kills Monsters for the Aurora Fox. Geoffrey has worked as the resident fight director for CSF and the DCPA for 15 years and stages action across the U.S., including the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. As an actor Geoffrey has appeared with the DCPA Theatre Company (Hamlet, Richard III, Othello, Eventide, Superior Donuts), CSF (Mercutio, Iago, Benedick, Achilles) and numerous professional Colorado theatres. He teaches for the University of Denver and is a former instructor for the National Theatre Conservatory. 

    GOD (Playwright) is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere. His previous novels, The Old Testament, The New Testament, and The Koran, have sold an impressive five billion copies, with the first two in particular coming to be collectively regarded as something of a bible of their field. An Act Of God will be his first work written directly for the stage, although his 1827 comic romp The Book of Mormon was recently adapted into a successful Broadway musical. God lives in heaven with his wife, Ruth, and their children, Zach, Jesus, and Kathy.

    DAVID JAVERBAUM (Playwright) is a 13-time Emmy-winning former head writer and executive producer of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” He is the co-author of that show’s bestsellers America: The Book and Earth: The Book, and the sole author of An Act of God: A Memoir and What to Expect When You’re Expected: A Fetus’s Guide to the First Three Trimesters. His recently retired Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod has more than 2.3 million followers. He is also a Tony-nominated lyricist whose collaborations with songwriter Adam Schlesinger include the Broadway musical Cry-Baby, the Grammy-winning songs for Stephen Colbert’s Christmas special The Greatest Gift of All and Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number for the 2011 Tony Awards, “Broadway Is Not Just for Gays Anymore.” He created the talk show “No, You Shut Up!” with Henson Studios for Fusion. He served as a writer-producer for “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” writing the opening to this year’s Tony’s. He is the co-creator with Chuck Lorre of “Disjointed,” an upcoming pot-themed television show for Netflix.

    STEVEN COLE HUGHES (Michael/understudy Gabriel) has spent eleven seasons as an actor with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, appearing in Just Like Us, Pride and Prejudice, All My Sons, Blue/Orange, The Lonesome West, The Three Sisters, The Misanthrope, Scapin, Measure for Measure, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Hamlet and Tantalus. He has spent six seasons with Creede Repertory Theatre and three seasons with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Other theatres include Curious Theatre Company, Arvada Center, Theatreworks, Theatre Aspen, Gulfshore Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Portland Center Stage and Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has appeared on television in “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”  He has an MFA in Acting from the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory. 

    ERIK SANDVOLD (Gabriel) is an honors graduate of Northwestern University, Erik Sandvold has frequently performed major roles with the leading theatre companies in Colorado, including the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, the Arvada Center, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Curious Theatre Company, where he’s an Artistic Council Member.  Notable roles include:  the title roles in Nicholas Nickleby and the world-premiere musical Ichabod!; Lloyd Crowder in the world-premiere of Plainsong; and Mason Marzac in Take Me Out, for which he was named Top Actor by the Rocky Mountain News and awarded The Denver Post’s Ovation Award for Best Comic Performance.  He also won Ovation Awards for Best Solo Performance for playing all 36 characters in I Am My Own Wife and for the world premiere of Bubs: A One Man Musical, which he also performed at Fringe NYC in 2009. Erik has narrated more than 1000 books for the Library of Congress, including the Harry Potter series. 

    STEVEN J. BURGE (understudy God/Michael), a multi-award winning character actor, landed in Denver following national tours of …And Then They Came for Me and A Christmas Carol. Since making his Colorado debut in 2003 as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Steven has appeared on stages throughout the Denver-Metro area including the Denver Center, Curious Theatre, the Arvada Center, Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, and many others. He was the recipient of The Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Solo Performance in Fully Committed (Aurora Fox), a one-man show in which Steven portrayed more than 30, different characters. The piece also earned him a Henry Award nomination, Westword’s Best of Denver Award and an Out Front Colorado Marlow Award. Steven has also been recognized for his work in Contrived Ending (Buntport Theatre) and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Avenue Theatre).

  • Meet the Real(ish) Housewives of ... Cherry Creek?

    by John Moore | Apr 21, 2016
    The Realish Housewives: A Parody. Photo by Kirsten Miccoli

    Get ready, haute Denver: It's 'The Realish Housewives of Cherry Creek: A Parody,'  opening May 3.  Photo by Kirsten Miccoli.

    NOTE: This story by John Moore was first published in Reign Magazine.

    If not for the ubiquitous, spore-like Real Housewives reality TV franchise, we might not ever have known there are gold-digging, finger-snapping, cat-fighting, hair-pulling, bed-hopping, beauty-salon divas from Orange County to Melbourne to Israel … to Cherry Creek!

    No, Denver has not yet sunk to the top of the trashy pile of housewives who have been immortalized for the past decade by the anachronistically titled Bravo! cable channel. We’re not in line for our own season following in the broadcast footsteps of those hallowed, heckled housewives of Beverly Hills, Potomac and Dallas.

    But we are next in line for the next-best thing: The Realish Housewives of Cherry Creek is a live theatrical parody that opens May 3 in the Garner Galleria Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

    Comedians Kate James and Tim Sniffen are the co-creators of the Realish Housewives, a live stage show the duo customizes and localizes for each new city it visits. They both have backgrounds with Chicago’s famed Second City improvisational comedy empire, and at least one of them (James!) proudly professes to be a hardcore fan of the cable show, without a hint of hidden or even ironic shame.

    Realish Housewives QuoteThe comedy pair now have their Gucci bags packed for Denver to introduce to the world the, yes, Realish Housewives of Cherry Creek. Their names are Rovanka, Claudia Louise, Gwen, Desiree and Brooke.

    But who are they … really?

    “A Real Housewife of Cherry Creek is a woman whose confidence in herself is as high as the city she resides in,” says James. “She knows how to have a good time and doesn’t feel the need to apologize for it. And if she can’t be married to a Nugget, she’ll find a guy to put a nugget on her ring finger.”

    Reality TV is rife for pop-culture satire, but parody can be one of the most difficult forms to pull off when it might seem impossible to conjure material that is any more laughable than the source material already is. I mean, this is the TV series that brought us that poignant moment when Porsha Stewart, one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, thought the Underground Railroad was an actual railroad. You know … with trains and stuff.

    “The TV show we were inspired by is pretty ridiculous,” Sniffen admits, “so we wanted to have a stage show that gives people all they've come to expect, and a little bit more.”

    Sniffen harbors no delusions that The Realish Housewives of Cherry Creek constitutes an evening of deep, thoughtful theatre. “This is not Waiting for Godot, he says, probably to the great relief of his target audience. “So grab a group of friends, grab some cocktails and get ready for a great night out.”


    Here’s more of our conversation with co-creators Kate James and Tim Sniffen:

    John Moore: Go out on a limb: What’s your favorite Real Housewives show of all time?

    Kate James: My favorite cast is New York. I love New York City, so I enjoy seeing where the ladies lunch ... and catfight. Plus, New York is the cast that boasts a woman who took off her fake leg and threw it across the table during an argument. You gotta love that.

    Tim Sniffen: Beverly Hills, hands down. I grew up in New York, so that world is otherworldly and fascinating to me. It’s also the first cast I ever watched, and a man never forgets his first Real Housewives. The dinner party with the psychic making unflattering predictions about people is one of my favorite moments of all time.

    John Moore: How have the “Real Housewives” shows changed the pop-culture landscape?

    Kate James: The franchise has continued to evolve the reality genre. It’s fascinating to see women join the show who already have a public persona but feel like they can advance their careers or social standing by being a part of the TV cast. Instead of reality TV being comprised of “real people” who want to play pretend and be famous, you now have famous people who want to be seen as “real.”

    Tim Sniffen: I think they opened the door for the many other reality shows that followed. Along with The Real World and Jersey Shore, the Real Housewives were pioneers in taking people from everyday life - OK, slightly wealthier everyday life - letting them go and leaving the cameras on.

    John Moore: Let’s get philosophical: Is there anything real about the Real Housewives?

    Kate James: The only thing that is “real” is the women’s desire to be in the public eye - no matter what it takes to accomplish that.

    Tim Sniffen: I think the thing that keeps us coming back is we see some of ourselves in them. Yes, that very worst part of yourself that appears after three glasses of wine and  a public fight in a restaurant parking lot with your best friend. But we love to roll our eyes at these ladies while quietly thinking, “Thank God I’m not that bad ... ”

    John Moore: What is with our fascination with seeing people make fools of themselves on TV?

    Kate James: The schadenfreude factor for Real Housewives fans is very high. That’s the pleasure you derive from another person's misfortune. I know I enjoy watching the show because there is a big part of me that says, “Well at least my life isn’t as crazy as that!”

    Tim Sniffen: I think so many magazine layouts and Facebook posts present such perfect, polished facades of people that it wears you down. It’s gratifying to see people at their unapologetic, train-wreck worst.

    John Moore: And now you are coming to Denver with your parody homage. Will we recognize any “real Denverites” in any of the characters you have created for us?

    Kate James: No, all of our characters are mash-ups of all the best and worst qualities of the actual Housewives. We are celebrating the quirks and personality types of the women who are featured on the TV show. Our characters are kind of a beautiful homage, a love letter, to all of them.

    Tim Sniffen: There’s still lots of room in the show for local personalities. But I’d rather people go into the theater without any spoilers. The same way I appreciated not knowing Han Solo was going to bite it. Oops!

    John Moore: So what kind of a night out are audiences in for when they see “The Realish Housewives of Cherry Creek”?

    Kate James: This show is a fast-paced, lighthearted night with lots of laughs. Our goal is to bring everything we love - and love to hate - about the TV franchise to life so that you and your friends enjoy a drink - or three - and have a fun night out.

    Tim Sniffen: When we began writing this show, Kate was a Housewives aficionado, and I was a Housewives virgin. I think that mix created a show where you can love the Real Housewives world, or barely know it, and still have a great time. Our goal was to create the theatrical equivalent of a glass of champagne … that’s been thrown in your face after one too many catty comments about someone’s latest Botox injection.

    The Realish Housewives of Cherry Creek
    May 3-22
    Garner-Galleria Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    Tickets start at $29303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

  • 'Murder For Two': Killer take on 'The 12 Days of Christmas'

    by John Moore | Dec 22, 2015


    In the video above, Noel Carey and Jeremiah Ginn from Murder For Two (playing through Feb. 21 at the Garner Galleria Theatre), perform a killer version of the Christmas classic 'The 12 Days of Christmas.' One hint: There is a potful of poisonous tea.

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

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Murder for Two: Ticket information

  • 'Murder for Two.' Photo by Joan MarcusPerformances through Feb. 21
  • Garner Galleria Theatre
  • 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • TTY: 303-893-9582
  • Groups of 15 or more: 303-446-4829
  • Also: Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby. Buy and print online at DenverCenter.org.
  • Previous NewsCenter coverage of Murder for Two:
    Official show page
    Video: John Wascavage performs a one-man 'One Day More'

    Murder for Two. Noel Carey and Jeremiah Ginn from Murder For Two.

  • Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards

    by John Moore | Apr 28, 2015

    Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone
    Tony Award nominees Annaleigh Ashford ("You Can't Take it With You") and Beth Malone (Fun Home").


    Both Wheat Ridge High grad Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take it With You)  and Castle Rock native Beth Malone (Fun Home) were nominated this morning for Tony Awards.

    Beth MaloneASHFORD_ AnnaleighMalone, who opened the DCPA Theatre Company season starring in a refreshed version of the classic Broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, was nominated for best leading actress in a musical for Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's coming-of-age graphic novel about her closeted and suicidal dad. Alison is portrayed by three actors at different times in her life. Malone plays the middle-aged Alison.

    Wrote The New York Times: "Ms. Malone expertly turns seeming self-effacement into penetrating presence."

    WATCH THE TONY AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT HERE


    Malone was nominated alongside Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O’Hara, Chita Rivera and Leanne Cope. She was so convinced she had no chance of being nominated, she slept through the televised morning announcement made by none other than Bruce Willis. "I just wanted to wake up and have it be done because I didn't want it to hurt," she said. "But oh my God, it's so nice to be wrong."

    Beth MaloneWhen wife Rochelle Schoppert's cell phone started pinging, she turned to Malone and said, "Congratulations, Tony nominee."

    "It was like a sensation of both relief and joy washed over me while I just lay there spooning my dog," said Malone. "And then we went to the dog park and picked up poop."

    Malone credited her experience with Molly Brown in Denver as a significant factor in her Fun Home success.

    "I have to say that doing Molly Brown and have it be a success on the level that it was really helped me walk back into the Fun Home rehearsal knowing that I could lead a cast," said Malone. "Molly Brown and that whole experience at the Denver Center bolstered my confidence in my bones."



    Photos from Beth Malone's time in Denver starring in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Photo by John Moore.


    Ashford was here in Denver just two weeks ago performing two sold-out evenings of her acclaimed cabaret show, Annaleigh Ashford: Lost in the Stars.  She has been nominated as best featured actress in a play for You Can't Take it With You opposite James Earl Jones.  She was previously nominated for best featured actress in a musical for Kinky Boots.

    "I’m so honored to have been nominated among such an extraordinary group of women," Ashford told the DCPA NewsCenter. "But I’m even more grateful to have been a part of the amazing ensemble cast of You Can't Take it With You. It was one of the highlights of my life, and this is just extraordinarily amazing."

    You Can't Take it With You is the 1938 Pulitzer-winning play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart about a good-natured and decidedly eccentric family that lives life according to their whims rather than societal convention.

    The New York Times called Ashford "a sly comic genius" in its review. Ashford played Essie, who goes through life in toe shoes and on point. "Priceless moments as offered up by Ms. Ashford as Essie makes like Pavlova in every conceivable context," wrote Ben Brantley. "Just wait for the position she assumes by Mrs. Kirby’s chair in the big dinner scene."

    Both Malone and Ashford grew up on Colorado stages and have the former Country Dinner Playhouse in common. Ashford  made her stage debut at age 10 in Theatre Group's Ruthless! The Musical! Malone played the narrator in the Arvada Center's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and has other credits spanning BDT Stage to Theatre Aspen.

    Read our featured interview with Annaleigh Ashford

    Read our featured interview with Beth Malone




    Photos from Annaleigh Ashford's visit last month to Denver. Photo by John Moore.


    The musicals "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home" each received a leading 12 Tony Award nominations, showing two very different sides of this Broadway season.

    One side is sunny — the dance-heavy stage adaptation of the 1951 musical film choreographed by Gene Kelly — and the other dark.

    Michael Cerveris got one of the dozen nods for "Fun Home" — as best leading actor in a musical — and hopes that will attract more people to see his poignant show that might not initially be a lure for tourists.

    "The real value of the Tonys — and I suppose any awards — is to draw attention to something that people otherwise might not seek out. So the fact that every aspect of the production has been acknowledged is the best kind of advertising," he told The Associated Press.

    The nominations also ranged from 11-year-old Sydney Lucas in "Fun Home" to the 82-year-old Chita Rivera, looking for her third Tony. Helen Mirren and Bradley Cooper each got nominations but Matthew Morrison from "Glee" did not get a nod in his return to Broadway.

    The best new play category will include the candidates "Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two," ''Hand to God," ''Disgraced" and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Larry David's "Fish in the Dark" was snubbed entirely.

    In addition to "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home," the best new musical category includes "Something Rotten!" and "The Visit." The Peter Pan-themed "Finding Neverland," marking Harvey Weinstein first-ever venture into Broadway as a lead producer, didn't get a single nomination.

    ​The category of best revival includes the Rodgers and Hammerstein gem The King and I, the Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green classic On The Town and the Cy Coleman/Comden/Green romp On the Twentieth Century.

    The British did well, with transfers "Wolf Hall Parts One & Two," ''The Audience", "The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time" and "Skylight" grabbing 24 nominations. Sting's "The Last Ship" earned the rocker a nomination for best original score.

    The best actress in a musical category includes Kristin Chenoweth for "On the Twentieth Century," Kelli O'Hara for "The King and I," Chita Rivera for "The Visit," Leanne Cope from "An American in Paris" and Beth Malone from "Fun Home."

    The best actor in a musical nominees are Brian d'Arcy James for "Something Rotten!", Michael Cerveris in "Fun Home," Ken Watanabe in "The King and I," Tony Yazbeck in "On the Town" and Robert Fairchild in "An American in Paris."

    The best actor in a play nominees include Bradley Cooper for "The Elephant Man," Ben Miles for "Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two," Alex Sharp in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," Steven Boyer in "Hand to God," and Bill Nighy for "Skylight."

    The five best actresses in a play nominees are: Carey Mulligan in "Skylight," Helen Mirren in "The Audience," Ruth Wilson in "Constellations," Geneva Carr in "Hand to God" and Elisabeth Moss in "The Heidi Chronicles."

    Mirren earned her nod for playing Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audience" imagines the private weekly meetings between the monarch and eight of Britain's prime ministers over her six-decade reign. Mirren already has an Oscar for playing the same sovereign in the film "The Queen" and was a hit in the play in London.

    "I've studied the shape of her mouth. I know her face probably better than anyone else does. But it's only my portrait," she said. "I can only surmise and imagine.

    DCPA NewsCenter viewers were able to watch the 2015 Tony Awards nominations announcement live in a special webcast hosted by Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis. Parker is a former Tony winner (Proof) and three-time nominee. Willis is set to make his Broadway debut this fall in the upcoming play Misery, a new stage adaptation of the Stephen King novel.

    Check back here throughout the morning as we update this page with inside info, trivia, quotes and more.

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

    Wire reports contributed to this report.



    COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES


    Best Play
    Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
    Hand to God by Robert Askins
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens
    Wolf Hall Parts One & Two by Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton

    Best Musical
    An American in Paris
    Fun Home
    Something Rotten!
    The Visit

    Best Revival of a Play
    Skylight
    The Elephant Man
    This Is Our Youth
    You Can’t Take It With You

    Best Revival of a Musical
    On the Town
    On the Twentieth Century
    The King and I

    Best Book of a Musical
    Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
    Lisa Kron, Fun Home
    Craig Lucas, An American in Paris
    Terrence McNally, The Visit

    Best Score
    John Kander and Fred Ebb, The Visit
    Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
    Sting, The Last Ship
    Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home

    Best Leading Actor in a Play
    Steven Boyer, Hand to God
    Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
    Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    Bill Nighy, Skylight
    Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    Best Leading Actress in a Play
    Geneva Carr, Hand to God
    Helen Mirren, The Audience
    Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
    Carey Mulligan, Skylight
    Ruth Wilson, Constellations

    Best Leading Actor in a Musical
    Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
    Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
    Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
    Ken Watanabe, The King and I
    Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

    Beth_Malone_Molly_Brown_Broncos_3Best Leading Actress in a Musical
    Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
    Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
    Beth Malone, Fun Home
    Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
    Chita Rivera, The Visit

    Best Featured Actor in a Play
    Matthew Beard, Skylight
    K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
    Richard McCabe, The Audience
    Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
    Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

    Annaleigh Ashford and Molly Nash. Ashford once perfdormed a benefit concert to defray Nash's medical expenses. Photo by John Moore. Best Featured Actress in a Play
    Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
    Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
    Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
    Julie White, Airline Highway

    Best Featured Actor in a Musical
    Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
    Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
    Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
    Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
    Max von Essen, An American in Paris

    Best Featured Actress in a Musical
    Victoria Clark, Gigi
    Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
    Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
    Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
    Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

    Best Scenic Design of a Play
    Bunny Christie & Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Bob Crowley, Skylight
    Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It With You

    Best Scenic Design of a Musical
    Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
    David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
    Michael Yeargan, The King and I
    David Zinn, Fun Home

    Best Costume Design of a Play
    Bob Crowley, The Audience
    Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It With You
    Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    David Zinn, Airline Highway

    Best Costume Design of a Musical
    Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!
    Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
    William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
    Catherine Zuber, The King and I

    Best Lighting Design of a Play
    Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    Natasha Katz, Skylight
    Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

    Best Lighting Design of a Musical
    Donald Holder, The King and I
    Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
    Ben Stanton, Fun Home
    Japhy Weideman, The Visit

    Best Director of a Play
    Stephen Daldry, Skylight
    Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It With You
    Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
    Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

    Best Director of a Musical
    Sam Gold, Fun Home
    Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
    John Rando, On the Town
    Bartlett Sher, The King and I
    Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

    Best Choreography
    Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
    Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
    Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
    Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

    Best Orchestrations
    Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
    John Clancy, Fun Home
    Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
    Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

    Tony Nominations by Production
    An American in Paris - 12
    Fun Home - 12
    Something Rotten! - 10
    The King and I - 9
    Wolf Hall Parts One & Two - 8
    Skylight - 7
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - 6
    Hand to God - 5
    On the Twentieth Century - 5
    The Visit - 5
    You Can’t Take It with You - 5
    Airline Highway - 4
    The Elephant Man - 4
    On the Town - 4
    The Audience - 3
    The Last Ship - 2
    Constellations - 1
    Disgraced - 1
    Gigi - 1
    The Heidi Chronicles - 1
    It’s Only a Play - 1
    This Is Our Youth - 1



    TRIVIA
    Gold Derby is predicting that Fun Home, starring Beth Malone, will not only be nominated for Best Musical, but will win.

    Donald Holder, who designed the lights for The Unsinkable Molly Brown in Denver, was nominated for an 11th time for The King and I.

    CBS has broadcast the Tony every year since 1978.

    Tony nominees Beth Malone, above, and Donald Holder, below, when they were here in Denver for The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

  • Photos: Annaleigh Ashford's smashing return to Denver

    by John Moore | Apr 12, 2015

    Our photo gallery covering Annaleigh Ashford's return to Denver. All photos are available for free downloading, in a variety of sizes.
    Just click here.


    Tony Award-nominated Broadway star Annaleigh Ashford returned home Saturday for the first of two special cabaret performances at the Garner Galleria Theatre.

    Annaleigh Ashford and Molly Nash. Ashford once perfdormed a benefit concert to defray Nash's medical expenses. Photo by John Moore. Lost in the Stars was an evening of songs and stories that she will perform again at 5 p.m. tonight (Sunday, April 12). Ashford revisited the disco of Donna Summer, Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, and even emceed an Alanis Morissette singalong. She also performed a medley from her Broadway and off-Broadway shows. It was all woven together by Ashford's heartfelt stories, many of which covered the Wheat Ridge High School alum's days growing up in Denver.

    Saturday's performance brought dozens of friends and influences from Ashford's days growing up in Denver. There was a meet-and-greet after the show, and we were there for pictures. (There is not a similar reception after tonight's show because Ashford has a plane to catch.) Photos by John Moore.

    Pictured above right: Annaleigh Ashford and Molly Nash. Ashford once performed a benefit concert to help defray Nash's medical expenses.


    READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ANNALEIGH ASHFORD HERE


    Steven Tangedal played Annaleigh Ashford's grandmother in 'Ruthless the Musical' when Ashford was 10 years old. Photo by John Moore.

    Steven Tangedal played Annaleigh Ashford's grandmother in "Ruthless the Musical" when Ashford was 10 years old. Photo by John Moore.


    Annaleigh Ashford's family after the Saturday night performance. Photo by John Moore.
    Annaleigh Ashford's family after the Saturday night performance. Photo by John Moore.


    Annaleigh Ashford
    – Lost in the Stars: Ticket information

    • 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12
    • Single tickets start at $50
    • To charge by phone, call 303-893-4100
    • buy online
    Please be advised that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – including  DenverCenter.Org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of “Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars”




    Our previous NewsCenter coverage of Annaleigh Ashford:


    Video: Follow Annaleigh Ashford's day in Denver promoting "Lost in the Stars," including co-hosting "Colorado's Everyday Show" with Kathie J, and a stop at the DCPA's Page to Stage monthly conversation at the Tattered Cover Book Store. Video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    Our exclusive interview with Annaleigh Ashford

    Our backstage interview backstage at Kinky Boots including Andy Kelso
    Video: Watch Annaleigh perform at last week's Miscast in New York


  • Video: Annaleigh Ashford's Day in Denver

    by John Moore | Apr 06, 2015


    In advance of Annaleigh Ashford's performances of her critically acclaimed Lost in the Stars cabaret act, she returned to her hometown of Denver to talk about the show.

    Annaleigh Ashford. Photo by John Moore. We followed the Tony-nominated Broadway star
    as she co-hosted the Everyday show on KDVR FOX31 with Kathie J., and then at her appearance at the DCPA's monthly Page to Stage conversation at the Tattered Cover Book Store hosted by DCPA Arts Journalist John Moore.

    Lost in the Stars will be an evening of song, story and sequins at the Galleria Theatre on April 11 and 12.  Performing alongside Will Van Dyke and the Whisky 5 band, Lost in the Stars honors the disco of Donna Summer to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall. There will be an Alanis Morissette singalong as well as a mash-up of Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill. All woven together by Ashford's heartfelt stories, many of which cover her days growing up in Wheat Ridge.

    Video by John Moore and David Lenk.

    READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ANNALEIGH ASHFORD HERE

    Our Annaleigh Ashford in Denver photo gallery:


    Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars: Ticket information

    • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11
    • 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12
    • Single tickets start at $50
    • To charge by phone, call 303-893-4100 | TTY: 303-893-9582) | Groups of 10 or more: 303-446-4829
    • Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby
    • buy online
    Please be advised that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – including  DenverCenter.Org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of “Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars”

    Video: Watch Annaleigh perform at last week's Miscast in New York

    Annaleigh Ashford with Kathie J. Photo by John Moore.

    Annaleigh Ashford with Kathie J. Photo by John Moore.

  • Video: Last call for 'Forbidden Broadway' in Denver

    by John Moore | Feb 13, 2015
    Video by John Moore and David Lenk.



    William Selby. Photo by John Moore. In the video above, William Selby, director of Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!, talks about how the popular franchise, now in its 32nd year, is all-new for Denver.

    This comic roast of Broadway has just two weeks left in its return run to Denver with a fresh view of the highs and lows of recent Broadway shows. It features outrageous costumes, comic rewrites of classic showtunes old and new, and dead-on impressions by a stellar, all-Colorado cast of Lauren Shealy, Sarah Rex, Jordan Leigh and Chad T. Reagan. "You talk about Colorado Pride: I am super-proud of this group. One of the best I have ever worked with," said Selby, who has directed 18 iterations of Forbidden Broadway. The Musical Director is Denver's Martha Yordy.

    There show plays only through March 1 at the Garner Galleria Theatre. Appropriate for children 8+. 303-893-4100 or go to the DCPA's web page.

    Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!: Ticket information
    Performances run through March 1
    Garner Galleria Theatre
    Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission
    Performances daily except for Monday
    Tickets: Start at $25
    Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous coverage of Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!
    Go to the show page
    Video: Jordan Leigh's fresh take on Adam Sandler's 'Hanukkah Song'
    Opening Night performance coverage
    Jennifer Schmitz is an unsung hero of Forbidden Broadway
    Download the program
    Meet the homegrown cast of Forbidden Broadway

    Photos by Terry Shapiro for the DCPA.
  • Annaleigh Ashford to host two special cabaret concerts at DCPA

    by John Moore | Feb 11, 2015

    Video: Annaleigh Ashford's Day in Denver.



    ASHFORD_ AnnaleighDenver native Annaleigh Ashford is already a Tony Award nominee. She has appeared in five big Broadway productions. She performs onstage every night with James Earl Jones. She has been called “a sly comic genius” by The New York Times. She provides a voice in the biggest animated movie on the planet – Frozen. And next month, she returns to her delicious role as prostitute Betty DiMello on Showtime's Masters of Sex. And she’s not yet even 30.

    The one thing it seems Ashford has not yet done in her young life is perform at her hometown Denver Performing Arts Complex.

    Scratch that.

    The Wheat Ridge High School grad will come home to perform her acclaimed cabaret act, Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars, on April 11-12 at the Garner Galleria Theatre. Tickets go on sale to current DCPA subscribers at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. A public on-sale will follow at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.

    “I am really excited to just share my heart with friends and family and my fellow Coloradans,” Ashford told the DCPA’s NewsCenter.

    annaleighquoteBut she wouldn’t call herself a big shot. “Not at all,” she said. “The last few years, I have gotten to be an actor full-time, which is pretty much the dream of all dreams. So I have to tell you, I have been really lucky.”

    Lost in the Stars is billed as “an evening of song, story and sequin.” Along with young music director Will Van Dyke and the Whisky 5 band, Lost in the Stars celebrates classic cabaret with an eclectic mix of music that ranges from a 10-minute Donna Summer disco medley, to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, to an audience sing-along of an Alanis Morissette tune. “It’s a game that I created called Cabaret Karaoke,” Ashford said.

    Wait … Donna Summer? But Ashford was born in the 1980s.

    “The medley really celebrates the history of Studio 54,” Ashford said. But she was a fan of the late disco queen, for real. “In high school, when everyone else was listening to Eminem, I was listening to Donna Summer Live for four months straight,” she said.

    'You Can't Take It With You.' Photo by Joan Marcus.When Ashford says the evening will be eclectic, she means it. The program includes the haunting melodies of Kurt Weill and also, Ashford promises, “I even throw in a Stephen Sondheim-Elton John mash-up.” And while big stars don’t typically sing Broadway tunes in their Times Square cabaret shows, Ashford is adding several contemporary Broadway standards to her Denver set list. For those audiences hoping to hear a few of the songs Ashford sang in Legally Blonde, Wicked, Kinky Boots and Rent, “There is a major possibility they will hear them,” she said. “And by ‘major possibility,’ I mean they will hear them.”

    And it’s all woven together through heartfelt storytelling that is sure to call upon Ashford’s Colorado roots.  

    “I prefer to go to cabaret that is very personal and heartwarming and hopefully funny,” she said, “and that was our goal with this piece.”

    Annaleigh AshfordAfter conquering Broadway in Wicked, Legally Blonde, Hair, Kinky Boots and her current role as Essie in You Can’t Take it With You, Ashford has become a sensation on the New York cabaret scene. Local audiences got a glimpse of that when she returned in 2010 to perform a benefit for the Town Hall Arts Center at a church in Littleton. Of her show at the New York hotspot 54 Below, the New York Times said: “Annaleigh Ashford is in a lineage of fearless, saucy entertainers who seem born to conquer,” and called her the “most promising rising star to appear at 54 Below this year.” 

    Her stop in Denver is part of a national mini-tour that also goes through Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

    But her show will be more than the usual cabaret songs and banter, she said. "What is kind of exciting about our specific club act is that parts of it are like a theatre piece," she said.

    There will even be special appearances by the sun and the moon.

    “I know this because I made them myself,” she said. “And that's all I say. Well, I will say this: Our goal is for people to leave with their hearts warmed.”

    Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars

    • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11
    • 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12
    • Single tickets start at $50
    • Tickets go on sale to current DCPA subscribers at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. A public on-sale will follow at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.
    • To charge by phone, call 303-893-4100 | TTY: 303-893-9582) | Groups of 10 or more: 303-446-4829
    • Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby
    • buy online

    Please be advised that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – and DenverCenter.Org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of “Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars”


    Our previous coverage of Annaleigh Ashford in the DCPA NewsCenter:

    Podcast: Our 'Running Lines' interview with Cyndi Lauper
     Interview: Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway


    Here is our 2013 backstage interview with Annaleigh Ashford and fellow Coloradan Andy Kelso when they were both appearing in "Kinky Boots."
  • Photos: Denver opening of 'Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking'

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


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

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

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

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


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



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


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

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


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


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

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