• 'Mixed Taste' is ready to mix it up again this summer

    by John Moore | May 07, 2018

    Mixed Taste. Charlie Miller The popular summer series called 'Mixed Taste' returns to the Seawell Ballroom for a second season in July. 

    Anachronism is art when speakers elucidate audiences on eclectic topics starting with Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé

    For the second straight summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts will be a mixed match. 

    MCA Denver and the DCPA's adventurous Off-Center wing are again partnering up to present Mixed Taste: Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics on Wednesday nights throughout the summer at the Denver Center's Seawell Ballroom.

    Mixed TasteThe lineup of eclectic speakers and even more eclectic topics was announced today. Leading off the series on July 11, for example, is Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers and Ken Theobald, General Manager of the local wine importer Classic Wines, talking Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé. (Rattlesnake Kate was a Greeley legend who reportedly fought off 140 rattlesnakes to save her 3-year-old son in 1925.)

    Pictured at right: Neyla Pekarek is shown in a theatrical production when she was a student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, opposite Rattlesnake Kate. Pekarek has developed her own folk opera called 'Rattlesnake,' based on the life of the Colorado pioneer and the 40-year love letter affair she kept with Colonel Charles D. Randolph, aka Buckskin Bill.)

    Mixed Taste, conceived by MCA Denver’s Adam Lerner, pairs two speakers addressing  completely unrelated subjects, followed by questions from the audience. During the first part of the program, no connections are allowed between the topics. But during the Q&A, anything can happen.

    This year's series begins on July 11 and will continue at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights through Aug. 22. (Please note: The start time for this year's series changes from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.):

    Wednesday, July 11
    Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé
    Featuring Neyla Pekarek and Ken Theobald

    Wednesday, July 18
    Juneteenth and The Selfie
    Featuring Norman Harris and Roddy MacInnes

    Adam Lerner. Mixed Taste. Wednesday, July 25
    Hygge and Psycho
    Featuring Alexandra and Keon Gove; and Alexandre Philippe

    (Pictured at right: Adam Lerner at the season-opener of 'Mixed Taste' in 2017. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Wednesday, Aug. 1
    Incorrupt Saints and Hot Pockets
    Featuring Elizabeth Harper and Brandon Shepherd

    Wednesday, Aug. 8
    Red Pandas and Munchausen Syndrome
    Featuring Janee Zakoren and Dr. Marc D. Feldman M.D.

    Wednesday, Aug. 15
    Presidential Drinking and The Golden Ratio
    Featuring Adrian Miller and Beth Stade

    Wednesday, Aug. 22
    Crop Circles and Prenups
    Featuring Jeffrey Wilson and another speaker to be announced

    (Please note, Mixed Taste topics/speakers are subject to change.)

    Lerner originated Mixed Taste in 2004 in an empty storefront in the Belmar shopping center in Lakewood. In 2009, when he took the helm at MCA Denver he moved the program to downtown Denver. The program has been imitated from Boston to Mexico City. It has been discussed in various museum studies books and is regarded by many as the forefront of innovative cultural education programming.

    "Off-Center produces the kind of smart and quirky programming in the theater world that we strive to create in the art world," said Lerner, MCA Denver’s Director and Chief Animator. We’re excited to see what happens when we work together.”

    Charlie Miller, curator of Off-Center, is a fan of Mixed Tape because, he said, "it is an inherently theatrical format that is always engaging, surprising and fun — everything we strive for in an Off-Center experience.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    MMixedTaste_showtileixed Taste: Ticket information
    Even mismatched subjects will find common ground in a lecture series that can go pretty much anywhere.
    • 7 p.m. every Wednesday from July 11 through Aug. 22
    • Seawell Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets: $20
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Mixed Taste Garden Parties
    Join us before the lecture at the 'Mixed Taste Garden Party,' presented by The Next Stage NOW and Denver Arts and Venues. Grab-and-go eats and libations will be available for purchase and a relaxing vibe will be set by DJ Uplifted Gourmandizer. Quick bites and bar provided by Centerplate. Wednesdays, July 11-Aug/ 22, starting at 5:30 p.m. in The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

  • Read Suzi Q. Smith's original 'Mixed Taste' poems here

    by John Moore | Jul 20, 2017
    Suzy Q Smith
    Suzi Q. Smith at the inaugural 'Mixed Taste' in the Seawell Ballroom on July 5. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    'Know which voice to listen to
    when it’s time to fly,
    when it’s time to land.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Mixed Taste is a weekly tag-team lecture series that paired playfully unrelated topics on Wednesday nights throughout the summer in the Denver Center's Seawell Ballroom. The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is now collaborating on the popular series with Off-Center, the Denver Center's most unconventional programming arm

    Read more: Mixed Taste walks the talk to the Seawell Ballroom

    Local slam poet Suzi Q. Smith was the series emcee. As part of the fun, she created an original poem as each evening progressed to connect the dots between two featured but seemingly unrelated topics. She read them at the end of each night, and we have been publishing them here throughout the summer.

    Read our previous interview with Mixed Taste emcee Suzi Q. Smith

    On Glimmer and Flight

    Aug. 23
    By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture Topics: Air Traffic Control and Drag Queen Activism
    Lecturers: Bruce Goetz and Shirley Delta Blow

    There are so many ways to approach a runway.
    Fast, heavy as a skilled boxer’s glove;
    Precise as a jeweled manicure
    or a highlighted cheekbone;
    Clumsy as the first time in heels.
    It takes time, coordination, and practice
    to get it right.

    Last Suzi QWhat I love about the airport
    is the vastness of possibility:
    every terminal filled with dreams and stories,
    beginnings and long kisses goodbye,
    every face choreographed
    into magnificent ballet – and who
    serves more face
    than drag queens?
    Every wink
    and eyebrow raise
    is worth at least
    56 square miles of

    We must remember that certainty
    when we find ourselves mid-flight
    in what could be chaos.
    Listen: there is a small voice lending us direction –

    stay here,
    come closer,
    not yet,
    aim higher,
    the runway is yours, darling –

    and if we listen, that voice keeps us from disaster.
    Step to the front
    while flashing lights sing
    in reverence to your every eyelash.
    Sashay when they wave you on,
    ignore the flailing arms
    that offer you no welcome.

    Know which voice to listen to
    when it’s time to fly,
    when it’s time to land,
    know who keeps you safe,
    keeps you airborne amidst roaring winds
    that would have your wings
    if you let them.

    Let your pride swell.
    When you hear the sky calling, fly.
    Stay fly
    and flying,
    let the breath of those who love you
    be your wind,
    let their voices be your beacon.

    You, brilliant shimmer,
    land on that runway
    like you mean it.

    On Perspective and Relativity

    Aug. 16
    By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture topics: P.T. Barnum and Infinity
    Lecturers: Kathy Maher and Diane Davis

    I first used the term “infinity” as a means
    to compound an insult
    on some schoolyard playground, as in

                “you’re ugly”
                “your mama’s ugly”
                “you’re ugly times a million”
                “your ugly times INFINITY”

    my Sunday School teacher said infinity
    was like carrying a bucket of water
    from the Atlantic Ocean
    to the Pacific Ocean,
    pouring it in, refilling the bucket
    and carrying it back,
    repeating this process until all of one ocean
    had been poured into the other entirely,
    and I stopped using it then
    as a weapon.

    It seemed a cruel use of vocabulary.
    Speaking of cruelty, I can’t help but weep
    when I consider the life of Joice Heth
    whose body, even in death, was someone else’s spectacle,
    whose suffering was no less than infinite,
    heavy as endless buckets of water colliding into a gulf
    a grand showcase of laughing waves, crashing the shore
    and winking at the grains of sand for their pretense of grandiosity.

    Maybe it is all perspective, bending with time.
    Is time a line, or a circle?
    Are we standing at zero or infinity?
    Is it ingenuity or exploitation?
    Is an elaborate hoax to be scorned or celebrated?

    Neither the sand nor the stars are infinite,
    but they offer a grand show.
    A brilliant display of possibility,
    a quantifiable image to lend this vast vocabulary
    to the dream of something greater.

    And what is greater, more infinite, than our dreams?
    Are we not the most stunning display of blue and bite?
    The most illustrious outpour of story and song?

    May we learn from our history.
    May we transform our finite breath
    into a stunning cascade of tomorrows,
    may we build a world of infinite compassion, courage and creativity –
    I believe it will be the greatest show on earth,
    to infinity

    (and beyond).

    On Bob and booze

    Aug. 9
    A Meet the Cast Bianca Mikahn 600Written by Guest Host Bianca Mikahn
    (Pictured right in May 2016)
    Lecture Topics: Prohibition and Bob Ross
    Lecturers: Jason Hanson and Doug Blandy 

    Bob was once drunk off power
    off his hands and all they could spill

    Thirty years before
    maybe his family would have been driven
    by his bust 'em up demeanor
    to the voting polls
    But then Bob got hooked on painting’s joy

    I wonder
    before he fermented his feelings into
    the nectar of inspiration
    Was his voice
    a rough and burning moonshine
    a howling across brand new highways
    while false McCoys raced in the distance
    How many distillations did it take
    to find the perfect smoky earthy pitch
    lulling so many of us to comfort
    like a perfectly aged red

    Mr Ross is famed for saying
    “there are no mistakes”
    I wonder had he witnessed to the
    dehydrated hypocrisy and
    Overreaching amendment which was the eighteenth
    Would he have maintained his floating
    and free demeanor
    Or would he revive his famed military fire
    for access to the saloon

    Mixed Taste Aug 9Maybe his only intoxication was the palette
    Most likely he would have found a
    favored speakeasy
    (which should be called Bob Rosses
    if time continuum allowed)
    A single malt
    Maybe a dear friend

    Bob Ross was my bartender
    the first to fill my cup with color
    and affirmation
    Replete with seasoned ice and
    landscapes which burned so good going down
    Temperance comes from the Latin word
    temperar which means to restrain
    Tempera is a form of paint and means
    to paint in distemper
    May we generate a toast
    to the eschewing of prohibition’s temperance
    less temperar renders us
    each of us little burgeoning Bobs
    Missing our happy little trees and forgetting
    there are no mistakes
    Just happy accidents

    On Growth and Dirt 

    Aug. 2
    By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture topics: Asparagus and Money Laundering
    Lecturers: Carol O'Meara and Micah Schwalb

    To grow asparagus, it must be planted deeply,
    like an oil drum full of money.
    It helps to have good real estate to bury it in.
    It takes patience and skill to get it right,
    with a nose for detail that must be studied.
    Maybe banks are the best place to begin
    the sprouts, they always have plenty
    of dirt.

    The Romans had a love
    for asparagus as well as coin,
    as both have been known
    as aphrodisiacs, both have led to
    suspicions and secrets, both traceable
    if you know where to sniff.

    I love asparagus. 
    Once, I ate marinated asparagus at a party.
    It was so magical that I decided to recreate the dish at home.
    Asparagus? Check.
    Herbs, seasonings, oil, vinegar? Check.
    I placed the ingredients in a casserole dish
    and covered, then promptly
    forgot about it.
    For days.
    Several days.
    Several long, hot, summer days.

    When I remembered,
    I excitedly removed the lid, ready to delight
    in my first attempt at marinated asparagus, and
    The worst smell I have ever experienced –
    the kind of smell that expands the realms of imagination,
    so bad that my brain had to activate new functions
    just to accurately perceive this level of awful.

    I grabbed the dish and ran outside to throw it in the dumpster –
    the asparagus,
    the spices,
    the oils and vinegars,
    and the glass dish they’d been conspiring in.
    No amount of laundering would have saved it.
    The crime was so dreadful
    that I had to hide the evidence.

    I fled the scene, packed up my daughter,
    and stayed with family that night
    because the scene was too ghastly to remain.

    The word “asparagus” comes from a Persian word
    meaning “shoot” or “sprout.”
    I imagine I asparagussed my way out the back door
    on that fateful day.

    While it was once know for its reproductive effects,
    I have yet to reproduce the marinated asparagus since then,
    the evidence of the failed attempt left an unmistakable mark.

    Both money and asparagus involve a bit of dirt,
    a fair amount of work, but when done well
    can sustain us for generations.

    May all of our harvests be fair and clean. 

    On Ways and Words

    July 26
    By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture topics: Giant Flutes and Celestial Navigation
    Lecturers: Akio Lis and Jim Cook

    I’ve heard that in Australia,
    Aboriginal tribes used to navigate their land
    through music.  Each place had its own song.

    Charlie.jpg_largeI’ve heard it said that
    while any person can learn to play a note,
    it takes a true musician to know why to play a note, and when,
    how to navigate a song and draw its map.

    The earth spins at nearly 1,000 miles per hour,
    so fast it almost feels like we’ve always been still.
    Sound travels at nearly 800 miles per hour,
    so fast it feels eternal, like we’ve always known this music.

    Do you ever think about the fact that we are in space
    right now? Do you wonder why?
    Are we what happens when the momentum of
    sound and orbit collide?
    Does the weight and gravity
    of our instruments help us to know
    where our momentum means something?

    When we look at the center or
    the surface of the earth
    and move toward the distant
    celestial lights twinkling their hello
    (or goodbye, as the case may be),
    is it reasonable to still feel lost?

    Is it reasonable
    to bellow into the dark
    and hope your breath will be enough
    to carry you toward home?
    The way that wind holds a sail,
    our breath carries notes
    and we are transported.

    I’ve heard conflicting tales
    about the Pied Piper, and who he lured away
    with a hypnotizing flute.
    Music has always moved us,
    even if we don’t know where its glinting guides us,
    it is natural to follow what might still be light.

    On Science and Magic

    July 19 By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture topics: Telekinesis and Sauerkraut
    Lecturers: Professor Phelyx and Mara and Willow King

    We train our kids to wash their hands
    with potions
    made by people who want to sell us something.
    We all have a lot to unlearn.

    One kiss is an exchange
    of 8 million bacteria
    invisible, moving beings
    that could kill us
    or heal us,
    we all know kisses can go either way.

    It’s amazing, the magic
    we do with our mouths & minds,
    break down
    or be broken – I don’t think I understand
    the difference between magic and science,
    when the same botulism that can kill us
    can also stop stories
    a living face might tell,
    I suppose it’s a bit of both – wielding nature,
    being wielded by it.

    Maybe everything is cultural –
    time, science, magic, movement –
    like food, fermenting into medicine,
    breaking and becoming more whole.
    They say seeds break open to sprout.
    They say people who are married for a long time
    start to look alike.

    Maybe it is like sauerkraut –
    the more time we spend together, the better we get.
    Maybe science and magic are the same thing.
    Either theory requires a bit of faith,
    even when we see it, even when we taste it.
    Maybe it’s all in our minds,
    or maybe only the best parts of each

    On Language and Justice

    July 12
    By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture topics: Esperanto and Trial by Jury
    Lecturers: Orlando Raola and Fred Bloom

    I have never served on a jury. 

    Have been left to share my opinions on stages,
    and especially on twitter, which is

    I guess.

    Somehow, I have never been invited to the party

    no one else wants to go to.
    I mean – I’d be a good juror, I think.
    I’ve seen like every single episode of Law & Order at least twice.
    And Ally McBeal, The Practice, and pretty much every courtroom drama
    that Netflix has to offer.

    When it comes to the wisdom of crowds,
    the finders of facts, even standing in unpopular opinions,
    I feel like I’d make a strong candidate.

    My friends roll their eyes at being called for jury duty . . .

    while I raise my hand, eager and polite
    as any wallflower
    wanting to dance.

    Meanwhile, it sounds like jury duty is sometimes

    Maybe I want it so bad
    because I believe in the weight of words,
    the intention and design of each syllable.

    How our languages shape fate,
    words as heavy as “guilty” or “not guilty”,
    of course we should speak in planned language
    when our words change lives.

    I saw an article yesterday about a family
    who was drowning in the Atlantic Ocean
    until the people on the beach formed an 80-person chain
    to bring them safely to shore.

    Imagine if we all used the power of our words
    in the same tongue.
    If we all spoke together, listened and understood.
    I imagine the harmony would make me weep,
    I imagine the volume would shake the ground,
    if we knew the weight of our words,
    imagine how heavy we could be.

    On History and Movement

    July 5
    By Suzi Q. Smith
    Lecture topics: Wild West mail delivery and post-conceptual art
    Lecturers: Adam Lerner (pictured right) and Nataki Garrett

    July 4, 1776, some of my ancestors were enslaved.
    One of my ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence.
    What conversations they must be having in my unexpected blood,
    emancipated and armed like Stagecoach Mary.
    How unprepared they must have been for such “mixed taste.”

    Adam Lerner Sometimes, the most essential stories are the impossible truths, born of need.
    Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention.
    Stagecoach Mary was one of the Wild West’s urgent needs:
    her shotgun,
    her six horses,
    her mule named Moses
    and if her story ain’t a burning bush
    clearing our way, maybe we are ready
    for some post-conceptual belief
    and art;
    stasis has never saved us.

    Watch how we grow wild as sagebrush,
    how we perpetuate our own movement like tumbleweed,
    how we find new ways to show the unseen
    as a means to survive.
    See how our manifestation stays migrating,
    maybe home has always been a moving target, the place
    where we are best heard.
    See how we make new language of color and moment.

    I come from a long line of wild westerners.
    Some who were enslaved and fled.
    Some who were desperately poor and fled.
    Some who’ve been here since forever ever ever ever.
    All of them finding new ways to survive.

    We are people who learn to make what we need.
    We are people who pour ourselves over horizons in unmistakable color.
    We both find, and have always been, the frontier.
    What is art if not us?
    If not the impossible conversations in my blood?
    In this room?

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • 'Mixed Taste' walks the talk to the Seawell Ballroom

    by John Moore | Jun 29, 2017

    Mixed Taste 

    Ready, set ... goad! Experts debate silly topics that have absolutely nothing in common. Or do they?

    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    So what’s your pleasure? Telekinesis or, say …  sauerkraut? Giant flutes or, perhaps ... celestial navigation?

    No preference, you say? That may change when those burning topics and more are lustily debated at Mixed Taste, Adam Lerner’s tag-team lecture series pairing playfully unrelated topics that enters its 14th season on Wednesday night in its new home: The DCPA’s Seawell Ballroom. The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is now collaborating on the popular series with Off-Center, the Denver Center's most unconventional programming arm.

    The comic debates will rage beginning at 6:30 p.m. for eight consecutive Wednesday nights through Aug. 23. Up first: Wild West mail delivery and post-conceptual art.

    Here’s how it works: Think political debate, only the politicians are respected experts in their fields of study. The first speaks on one topic for 20 minutes, followed by the other. "The audience then gets to ask questions - and that's wheAdam Lerner Mixed Tastere anything can happen,” said Off-Center Curator Charlie Miller.

    But unlike political campaigns and sporting contests, winners are not declared. This is simply a chance for curious audiences to learn more about bizarre topics and then perhaps even draw unexpected connections between the two. Think the ability to move objects through mental prowess has nothing in common with finely cut fermented cabbage? Don’t be so sure.

    Lerner, the MCA’s director and chief animator, created Mixed Taste in 2004 at The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at the Belmar Shopping Center in Lakewood. The series moved to the MCA in 2009.

    The Seawell Ballroom will be an expansion for the series, which is used to topping out at 400 people. Although the Ballroom can hold up to 1,000 people, Miller says only about 450 seats will be made available for Mixed Taste to preserve its intimacy.

    “MCA approached us a year ago and asked if we would be interested in hosting and giving Mixed Taste the next chapter of its life, and we jumped at the opportunity,” Miller said.

    After nurturing Mixed Taste from its inception, Lerner now feels “the program is ready for its next level of growth," he said, "and I believe Off-Center is the perfect partner to help us take it there.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Mixed Taste is not a theatrical production, and yet Miller feels it is an inherently theatrical adventure for its audience.

    “It’s a really engaging and fun summertime experience,” Miller said. “It’s a way to learn about things you never engage with and inject some new information and fun into a Wednesday night.”

    Mixed Taste. Charlie MillerOther wacky pairings on tap this summer include Prohibition and Bob Ross, Air Traffic Control and Drag Queen Activism, and Asparagus and Money Laundering.

    “Each lecture is 20 minutes, which is long enough to go deep but keep your attention the whole time,” Miller said. “We try to make sure the topics have nothing in common and that makes it fun because after a while you start to think, ‘Well they do have things in common.’

    So how did he come up with a roster of such non-kindred, spirited subjects?

    “I used this as an opportunity to engage friends and Denver Center staff to submit ideas for topics,” he said. “Once we got some ideas we talked with a smaller group of Off-Center collaborators and teammates to narrow it down. Then we started researching people to speak on those topics.”

    Our previous interview with Mixed Taste emcee Suzi Q. Smith

    Miller is particularly excited for the talk on Prohibition and Bob Ross, the American painter and host of The Joy of Painting, which aired on PBS from 1983-94, while his personal favorite is telekinesis and sauerkraut (July 19), simply because it’s such a bizarre combination.

    Mixed Taste. Professor Phelyx. Shirley Delta BlowLocal slam poet Suzi Q. Smith will be the series emcee.

    “Off-Center collaborated with Suzi Q. last summer in our poetry show How I Got Over: Journeys and Verse that she was the lead collaborator on,” Miller said. “She will be the host and poet laureate, so we will be fusing poetry and spoken word into the evening. She will be creating an original poem to connect the two topics to conclude every Mixed Taste.”

    Off-Center is bringing back other past collaborator the series as debaters. Professor Phelyx, the mentalist magician who last worked with Off-Center on Perception, will speak on behalf of telekinesis, while Shirley Delta Blow, recently seen in DragOn at the Galleria Theatre, will be rally on behalf of drag-queen activism. (Photos above right by Adams Viscom.)

    Before every lecture, audiences can attend a Mixed Taste Garden Party starting at 4:30 p.m. just outside of the Galleria Theatre with live music curated by Swallow Hill Music.

    Mixed Taste: Ticket information
    • 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday from July 5 through Aug. 28
    • Seawell Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets: $20
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Avery-Anderson Avery Anderson is interning with the DCPA NewsCenter for the summer. He is the General Manager and producer of Met TV at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was won two Heartland Student Emmy Awards for his work on The Met Report. He has a passion for local arts and culture and enjoys covering theatres across the Denver area and the state. Follow him on Twitter and @a_anderson64.

  • Summertime in Colorado: A time for play ... and plays

    by John Moore | May 31, 2017

    Summer theatre
    Creede is one of Colorado's many hidden mountain gems that offers both recreational activities and some of the best live theatre in the region. Photo courtesy Creede Repertory Theatre.

    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    Colorado offers a plethora of summer activities such as hiking, camping, white-water rafting and iconic nights at landmarks such as Red Rocks or Coors Field. But there are also a surprising number of live theatregoing opportunities across the state.

    Summer is when summer repertory companies open from GraBenjamin Cowhick 2 nd Lake to Dillon to Creede to Breckenridge to Boulder to Greeley to Pagosa Springs and beyond. The statewide lineup holds an array of offerings from BDT Stage's re-envisioning of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to lesser-known contemporary musicals such as [title of show] in Trinidad. But the most popular title of the summer is the musical S ister Act, which is being staged in Greeley, Dillon and Pagosa Springs.

    A busy upcoming summer at the Denver Center includes a new weekly collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art called Mixed Taste; the original drag-meets-Comic Con party DragOn; and, of course, the pre-Broadway run of Frozen

    But here we focus on 10 intriguing titles for summer from throughout the state, in order of opening, followed by every Colorado theatre company’s current schedule. (To update or correct your company’s schedule, email jmoore@dcpa.org).

    As you travel the state this summer, remember to combine theatre with your tourism experience.

    (EDITOR'S NOTE: As the summer progresses, we're deleting our featured choices below that have already closed.)

    NUMBER 2Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Through Aug. 13

    Summer theatre 800 5The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 60th season with The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Hamlet and Henry VI Part 3. The nation's second-oldest Shakespeare festival will continue its recent deep-dive into gender fluidity by casting a female Hamlet, and she's an actor familiar to DCPA Theatre Company audiences. Lenne Kingaman, who played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and two roles in Appoggiatura, will be mulling the meaning of her existence on the University of Colorado's intimate indoor stage. (Read our full interview.) 
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    NUMBER 4Disney’s Newsies
    Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

    Through Aug. 24

    The venerable Rocky Mountain Rep celebrates its 50th anniversary season in Grand Lake with Disney’s hit stage production that follows the 1899 Newsboy Strike from the eyes of fictional paperboy Jack Kelly. Based on the 1992 movie, this musical stage adaptation features music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, and won two.
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    NUMBER 5Ring of Fire
    Vintage Theatre

    Through Aug. 6

    What’s better than country music on a summer day? How about an entire musical filled with country music? Ring of Fire features the music of Johnny Cash, including such as “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” This tribute to “The Man in Black” is directed by Kelly Van Oosbree.
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Summer theatre 800 3

    NUMBER 6Ghost
    Lake Dillon Theatre Company

    July 1- Aug. 24

    Lake Dillon Theatre Company moves into its new $9 million, 16,000 square-foot Silverthorne Performing Arts Center with the musical stage adaptation of the popular '90s movie. Just as in the movie, a woman struggling to accept the death of her lover enlist the help of  a psychic to help the two communicate. SPAC will include multiple theaters and an arts education lab. READ OUR COVERAGE OF THE OPENING
    460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne,  970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    NUMBER 7Sex With Strangers
    Theatre Aspen

    July 6-Aug. 12

    Robblee, JessicaIn this provocative contemporary romance written by Cherry Creek High School alumna Laura Eason, two people are forced together in a secluded B&B with no TV or Internet. Denver actor Jessica Robblee (DCPA Theatre Company’s Frankenstein) stars alongside New York actor Patrick Ball. The Director is Christy-Montour Larson (DCPA’s Two Degrees).
    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    NUMBER 8Annie
    Phamaly Theatre Company

    July 15-Aug. 3

    You may know the story of Annie, but you have not seen America’s favorite orphan through the lens of Phamaly, Denver’s acclaimed theatre company that makes performance opportunities available to actors with disabilities. Phamaly’s approach to this well-worn story will be more raw and humanistic, says Phamaly Artistic Director Regan Linton. “These are hardened orphans who have faced a lot of adversity in their lives, just like the actual young actors in our cast who are going to be playing these roles,” Linton said. READ MORE
    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page

    NUMBER 9Much Ado About Nothing
    July 27-Aug. 19

    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    At Rock Ledge Ranch

    Summer theatreThe Colorado Shakespeare Festival is not the only company tackling the Bard this summer. Audiences can once again experience the Bard at the stunning outdoor Rock Ledge Ranch at the base of the Garden of the Gods with a new staging of Much Ado About Nothing. This Colorado Springs tradition was started by Colorado Springs TheatreWorks founder Murray Ross, who died in January. The company has dedicated the upcoming season to him.
    3105 Gateway Road, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    NUMBER 10General Store
    Creede Repertory Theatre

    Aug. 18-Sept. 16

    In this world premiere, the owner of the local general store is determined not to let anything stop him from holding onto his small piece of the America Dream. This big-buzz new play, which actually kicks off the fall sesaon, is written by Colorado native Brian Watkins and will star Logan Ernstthal (Miners Alley Playhouse’s A Skull in Connemara) and be directed by Christy Montour-Larson. Summer titles include She Loves Me, The Syringa Tree and Arsenic and Old Lace.
    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org


    (The following listings are through September 2017. Send updates or additions to jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    At The Bakery 2132 Market St., ticketleap.com
    July 13-28: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


    Presented by Marne Interactive Productions, 2406 Federal Blvd., 303-455-1848 or adams’ home page
    Ongoing events and rotating shows

    44th and Tennyson Street, 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org
    No summer events scheduled

    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org
    Sept. 12-Oct. 1: A Chorus Line

    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org
    Season 33 to be announced July 10

    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org
    July 27-30: Theatre Esprit Asia’s Coming to America: Boat Person & Antecedent

    No summer events scheduled

    720-328-5294 bitsystage.com
    No summer events scheduled

    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or betc’s home page
    Sept. 14-Oct. 8: The Revolutionists

    Jack BartonBDT STAGE
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdt’s home page
    Through Aug. 19: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat READ MORE
    Aug. 25-Nov. 11: Rock of Ages

    Aug. 18-27 at venues around Boulder

    121 S. Ridge St., 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org
    Through Aug. 6: The Producers
    July 7-Aug. 12: Buyer and Cella
    Aug. 25-Sept. 4: Billy Elliot (at the Riverwalk Amphitheatre)

    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport’s home page Buntport.com
    No new productions scheduled - check web site for monthly offerings

    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970) 744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com
    Through Aug. 27: The Slipper and the Rose
    Sept. 7-Nov. 5: The Music Man

    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thecatamounts.org
    Sept. 8-30: You On the Moors Now


    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, or tickets.thedairy.org
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., Louisville (see below)

    July 15-24, 2017: In the Heights (Youth performers) (At Dairy Center, Boulder)
    303-444-7328 or thedairy.org

    July 27-Aug. 6, 2017: Godspell (Youth performers) (At Louisville Center for the Arts) ticket info

    124 Eureka St., 303-292-6700 or centralcityopera.org
    July 8-Aug. 6: Carmen
    July 15-Aug. 6: Così fan tutte
    July 26-Aug. 6: The Burning Fiery Furnace
    July 26-Aug. 6: Cabildo
    July 26 through Aug. 6: Gallantry

    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org
    No summer events scheduled

    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page
    Through Aug. 13: The Taming of the Shrew, outdoors
    Through Aug. 13: Hamlet, indoors
    July 7-Aug. 12: Julius Caesar, outdoors
    July 21-Aug. 13: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, indoors
    Aug. 6-8: Henry VI, Part 3 (Original Practices), outdoors

    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or www.csfineartscenter.org
    Sept. 8-Oct. 1: Parallel Lives
    Sept. 16: An Evening with Jim Breuer

    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org
    Through Aug. 11: Pants on Fire
    Through Aug. 10: She Loves Me
    Through Aug. 26: The Syringa Tree
    Through Sept. 9: Boomtown
    June 30-Aug 9: Arsenic and Old Lace
    July 14-Sept. 15: Talley’s Folley
    Aug. 18-Sept. 14: General Store

    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curious’ home page 
    Sept. 2-Oct. 14: Appropriate


    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-444-7328 or tickets.thedairy.org
    June 3-July 23: Tommy Koenig’s Baby Boomer Baby

    Dixie Longate Photo by Bradford RogneDENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page
    July 5-Aug 23: Mixed Taste, Seawell Ballroom
    July 15-Aug. 6: Phamaly Theatre Company’s Annie, Stage Theatre
    July 19-Aug. 6: Dixie's Tupperware Party, Garner Galleria (Photo at right)
    Aug. 9-27: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!, Garner Galleria Theatre
    Aug, 17-Oct. 1: Frozen, Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    Sept. 21-Oct. 22: Girls Only - The Secret Comedy of Women, Garner Galleria

    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or the edge’s home page
    Through July 2: Mud Blue Sky
    July 14-Aug. 6: Bad Jews
    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Dinner

    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page
    Through July 1: The Rocky Horror Show
    July 28-Aug. 19, 2017: Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story

    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreen players’ home page
    July 15-Aug. 6: Monty Python's Spamalot
    Aug. 25-26: EPiC summer improv

    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehouse’s home page  Through July 15: Rock of Aging

    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org
    No summer events scheduled

    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street
    303-455-7108 or www.germinalstage.com
    July 28-Aug. 20: Seascape
    Sept. 22-Oct.15: The Master Builder

    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org
    July 14-Aug. 6: Hairspray (with Parker Arts)


    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com
    Through July 2: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org
    Through Aug. 13, 2017: Sister Act
    June 30-July 9: Buyer and Cellar
    July 1-Aug. 24: Ghost
    Aug. 11-20: Grounded
    Sept. 1-17: Noises Off
    Sept. 15-24: Pretty Fire
    Nov. 24-Dec. 17: Murder for Two

    University of Northern Colorado campus, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com
    Through July 16: Baby
    Through July 23: Simply Simone
    June 29-July 21: Proof
    July 27-July 30: Sister Act

    10075 Commons St., 720-509-1000, lone tree’s home page
    June 10: An evening with Betty Buckley

    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page
    July 15-Aug. 6: As You Like It (multiple locations)  

    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    Through July 30: It's Only a Play (At Vintage Theatre)
    July 29-Aug. 26: On Golden Pond

    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com
    Through Aug. 26: Hair

    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, themat.org
    July 21-Aug. 26, 2017: Circus of the Night

    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or map’s home page
    July 14-Aug. 20: Broadway Bound
    Sept. 8-Oct. 15: Les Liasons Dangereuses

    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org
    Through July 1: The Three Musketeers              
    Sept. 21-Oct. 14, 2017: Ideation (At ArtLab, 239 Linden St., Fort Collins)

    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org
    July 14-Aug. 6: Hairspray (with Inspire Creative)

    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org

    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page
    July 13-Aug. 6: Annie 

    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
    Through Aug. 26: Mamma Mia
    Through Aug. 24: Newsies
    June 30-Aug. 25: West Side Story
    Sept. 1: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver

    The Barth Hotel, 1514 17th St. seniorhousingoptions.org
    Stella and Lou (presented by Vintage Theatre)

    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com
    Through Sept. 1: [title of show]
    July 1-Sept. 2: Dames at Sea
    July 21-Aug. 18: The Murder Room

    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org
    July 20-Aug. 6: Gidion’s Knot

    At the ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder, squareproducttheatre.org
    July 29-Aug. 12: House of Gold

    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado, Colorado Springs or starbarplayers.org
    No summer events scheduled

    220 W. Sackett Ave., Salida, 719-530-0933 or salidasteamplant.com
    No summer events scheduled

    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or su teatro’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org
    Through Aug. 19: Hairspray
    July 6-Aug. 12: Sex With Strangers
    July 13-Aug. 15: The World According to Snoopy

    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org
    July 15-Aug. 6: As You Like It (Various locations)

    July 27-30: Coming to America: Boat Person and Antecedent (at Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins)

    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org
    July 27-Aug. 19: Much Ado About Nothing, at Rock Ledge Ranch (3105 Gateway Road)
    Sept. 7-24: Heisenberg, at the Bon Vivant Theatre

    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com
    June 2-July 28: A Cripple Creek Ragtime Revue
    June 23-Aug. 24: After Dark
    June 30-Aug. 26: Annie, Get Your Gun
    Sept. 1-23: The Nerd

    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org
    Through Aug. 25: Aida
    Through Aug. 26: Hairspray
    July 8-Aug. 27: Big River
    July 15-Aug. 26: Sister Act

    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com
    Through July 1: The Memory of Water

    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page
    Sept. 8-Oct. 8: In the Heights

    Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or upstart’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page
    Through July 23: It's Only a Play (with Spotlight Theatre)
    Through Aug. 6: Ring of Fire
    July 13-23: Stella and Lou (with Senior Housing Options at the Barth Hotel)

    Avery-Anderson Avery Anderson is interning with the DCPA NewsCenter for the summer. He is the General Manager and producer of Met TV at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was won two Heartland Student Emmy Awards for his work on The Met Report. He has a passion for local arts and culture and enjoys covering theatres across the Denver area and the state. Follow him on Twitter and @a_anderson64.
  • Vast and visceral: 2017-18 Theatre Company, Off-Center seasons

    by John Moore | Apr 03, 2017


    Macbeth, The Who's Tommy, four world premieres and
    "a deep dive into some truly exciting collaborations"

    By John Moore
    DCPA Senior Arts Journalist

    The DCPA Theatre Company’s 39th season will include vast and visceral reimaginings of two distinct cutting-edge classics, a record-tying four world premieres and the company's 25th staging of perennial favorite A Christmas Carol.

    The season begins in September with visionary director Robert O'Hara’s Macbeth to reopen the newly renovated Space Theatre, and builds to The Who’s rock musical Tommy, directed by Sam Buntrock (Frankenstein). And both directors promise ambitious stagings unlike anything audiences have seen before.

    Nataki Garrett QuoteThe DCPA has worked its way to the forefront of new-play development in the American theatre, and next season’s slate will include the comedy Zoey’s Perfect Wedding by former Playwright in Residence Matthew Lopez; José Cruz González’s American Mariachi, the musical tale of an all-female 1970s mariachi band; Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, about an American college basketball team that travels to Beijing in 1989; and Eric Pfeffinger’s timely comedy Human Error, which raucously explores the great American ideological divide through two vastly different couples - and one wrongly implanted embryo.

    Zoey’s Perfect Wedding will reunite Lopez and Mike Donahue, writer and director from the DCPA’s endearing world premiere The Legend of Georgia McBride (which makes its West Coast debut tomorrow at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.)

    American Mariachi
    was a favorite from the Theatre Company's 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. "Women of course had many challenges trying to play in such a male-dominated musical form," González said. "We interviewed a number of amazing women who were able to help us enter into that world, and we found an amazing group of artists who will play and sing in the piece."

    The Great Leap and Human Error emerged from the recent 2017 Summit in February.  In The Great Leap, Yee explores sport as a metaphor for how countries rub up against each other in terms of strategy, styles and priorities. "If you think of all the sports out there, basketball is the one in which you can really lay the ideals of communism on top of it. Everyone gets to touch the ball. Everyone is equal in their position,” she says.

    Human Error will set a precedent as the first Theatre Company offering ever to be staged in the cabaret-style Garner-Galleria Theatre.

    “The 2017-18 DCPA Theatre Company season represents the microcosm at the heart of the American experiment,” said Associate Artistic Director Nataki Garrett. “These writers, spanning across generations, cultures, and genders, are exploring the ways in which our commonalities are more meaningful than our differences."

    2017-18 Broadway season brings Hamilton to Denver

    For the first time, the DCPA simultaneously announced the upcoming year of its adventurous and ambitious Off-Center line of programming. Off-Center is known for creating experiences that challenge conventions and expand on the traditional definition of theatre. Next season will be the largest yet for Off-Center. It includes Mixed Taste, a summer-long partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; a 360-degree immersive staging of The Wild Party musical at the Stanley Marketplace. Also of great intrigue: Remote Denver, a  guided audio tour of the secret city; and This Is Modern Art, a controversial play by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval that explores graffiti as modern art ...  or urban terrorism.

    “The expansion of Off-Center is a result of the incredible response of the Denver community,” said Off-Center Curator (and Theatre Company Associate Artistic Director) Charlie Miller. “We have seen that audiences are hungry for a broad range of experiences, and are eager for the unexpected.”

    Miller calls the upcoming year "a deep dive into some truly exciting collaborations." A continuing one will be the return of The SantaLand Diaries, in partnership with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and again starring Michael Bouchard

    Combined, the DCPA today announced 14 upcoming new productions that will be presented across eight different venues at the Denver Performing Arts Complex and beyond.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “Theater has the opportunity and the ability to help bridge our differences by offering performances that inspire us to seek deeper connections with one another,” said Garrett, who will make her DCPA debut directing Lydia Diamond's acclaimed race comedy Smart People. “We are honored to provide a space for conversations and connections to the Denver community this year through this season's offerings.”

    Lisa Portes Robert O'HaraMacbeth will be directed by Robert O'Hara, a rising playwright, director and screenwriter who won the 2010 NAACP Best Director Award and the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. He was a young prodigy of original Angels in America Director George C. Wolfe and is perhaps best-known as a writer for Insurrection, a time-traveling play exploring racial and sexual identity. 

    The Who's Tommy, the rock musical based on the classic 1969 concept album about the pinball prodigy, will reunite acclaimed British Frankenstein director Sam Buntrock and Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood (who also will create the world of Macbeth). Native Gardens will mark the DCPA return of playwright Karen Zacarias, who wrote Just Like Us in 2014. Zacarias has penned a very close-to-home border-war story: One that plays out between two neighboring couples in D.C. who have a dispute over their property line. The director is Chicago's Lisa Portes, who recently won the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation's 2016 Zelda Fichandler Award, which recognizes an artist who is "transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in the theatre." She is head of the masters program in directing at DePaul University.

    Next year's A Christmas Carol will be the 25th season staging of Dickens' classic by the DCPA since 1990. Melissa Rain Anderson will return for her second turn at directing, and popular longtime DCPA actor Sam Gregory again will play Scrooge.


    • Sept. 15-Oct. 29: Robert O’Hara’s Macbeth (Space Theatre Grand Reopening)
    • Oct. 13-Nov. 19: Smart People (Ricketson Theatre)
    • Nov. 24-Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol (Stage Theatre)
    • Jan. 19-Feb. 25, 2018: Zoey’s Perfect Wedding (Space Theatre)
    • Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2018: American Mariachi (Stage Theatre)
    • Feb. 2-March 11, 2018: The Great Leap (Ricketson Theatre)
    • April 6-May 6, 2018: Native Gardens (Space Theatre)
    • April 20-May 27, 2018: The Who's Tommy (Stage Theatre)
    • May 18-June 24, 2018: Human Error (Garner Galleria Theatre)


    • July 5-Aug. 23 Mixed Taste, with MCA Denver (Seawell Grand Ballroom)
    • Oct. 12-31: The Wild Party (The Hangar at Stanley)
    • Nov. 24-Dec. 24: The SantaLand Diaries, with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (Jones Theatre)
    • March 22-April 15, 2018: This Is Modern Art (Jones Theatre)
    • Spring/Summer 2018: Remote Denver (on the streets of Denver)

    TC 2017-18 800

    And here is a more detailed look at all 14 newly announced productions, in chronological order:

    MIXED TASTE (Off-Center)
    mixed-tasteTag team lectures on unrelated topic
    Presented by Off-Center with MCA Denver
    Wednesdays from July 5 through Aug 23
    Seawell Grand Ballroom
    Even mismatched subjects will find common ground in a lecture series that can go pretty much anywhere. Two speakers get twenty minutes each to enlighten you on unrelated topics, but can’t make any connections to each other. Ideas start to blend afterward when audience members ask questions to both speakers and anything goes. READ MORE ABOUT IT

    macbethBy William Shakespeare
    Directed by Robert O’Hara
    Sept. 15-Oct. 29
    Space Theatre (Grand Reopening)
    To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way – not the lives of others, the people of Scotland or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. Shakespeare’s compact, brutal tragedy kicks off the grand reopening of our theatre-in-the-round in a visceral re-imagining from visionary director Robert O’Hara, who is “shaking up the world, one audience at a time” (The New York Times). This ambitious reinvention of the classic tale reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses the dagger must suffer the consequences. 

    the-wild-partyMusic and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
    Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
    Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
    Directed by Amanda Berg Wilson
    Oct. 12-31
    The Hangar at Stanley
    You’re invited to leave your inhibitions (and Prohibitions) behind for a decadent party in the Roaring Twenties. Indulge your inner flapper as you mingle with an unruly mix of vaudevillians, playboys, divas, and ingénues in a Manhattan apartment lost in time. Debauchery turns disastrous as wild guests becomes unhinged and their solo songs reveal the drama bubbling underneath the surface. Whether you’re a wallflower or a jitterbug, you’ll think this jazz- and booze-soaked immersive musical is the bee’s knees. Dress up in your finest pearls, suits and sequins – encouraged but not required.


    smart-peopleBy Lydia R. Diamond
    Directed by Nataki Garrett
    Oct. 13-Nov. 19
    Ricketson Theatre
    Intelligence can only get you so far when it comes to navigating love, success and identity in the modern age. This biting comedy follows a quartet of Harvard intellectuals struggling to understand why the lives of so many people – including their own – continue to be undermined by race. But no matter how hard they research, question and confront the issue, their own problems with self-awareness make it difficult to face the facts of life. Fiercely clever dialogue and energetic vignettes keep the laughs coming in a story that Variety calls “Sexy, serious and very, very funny.”


    christmas-carolBy Charles Dickens
    Adapted by Richard Hellesen
    Music by David de Berry
    Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    Stage Theatre
    Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol promises to “warm your heart and renew your holiday spirit” according to the Examiner. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Denver favorite Sam Gregory returns as Scrooge. READ MORE ABOUT IT

    (Note: 'A Christmas Carol' is an added attraction, not part of the Theatre Company subscription season.)

    SantaLand Diaries 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisCom
    'The SantaLand Diaries,' 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisCom.

    By David Sedaris
    Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    Presented by Off-Center with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    Directed by Stephen Weitz
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    The Jones Theatre
    This disgruntled Macy's elf has the cure for the common Christmas show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking? Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious hijinks in this acclaimed one-man show based on stories by David Sedaris. Crumpet’s twisted tales from his stint in Macy’s SantaLand are the cure for the common Christmas show. Release your holiday stress, get all of those obnoxious carols out of your head and check out even more late night options this year. READ MORE ABOUT IT


    zoeys-perfect-wedding2By Matthew Lopez
    Directed by Mike Donahue
    Jan. 19-Feb. 25, 2018
    Space Theatre
    The blushing bride. The touching toast. The celebration of true love. These are the dreams of Zoey’s big day…and the opposite of what it’s turning out to be. Disaster after disaster follow her down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. Even worse, her friends are too preoccupied with their own relationship woes to help with the wreckage around them. From the team that brought you, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Matthew Lopez’s wildly funny fiasco destroys expectations with the realities of commitment, fidelity and growing up. READ OUR 2015 INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW LOPEZ


    american-mariachi2By José Cruz González
    Director to be announced
    Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2018
    The Stage Theatre
    Lucha and Bolie are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band in the 1970s. The only things standing in their way are a male-dominated music genre, patriarchal pressure from inside their families and finding the right women to fill out their sound. As they practice, perform and strive to earn the respect of their community, their music sparks a transformation in the lives of those around them – especially Lucha’s parents. This humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music played on stage. González writes a passionate story about families and friendships that you should share with yours. READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH JOSÉ CRUZ GONZÁLEZ


    the-great-leap2By Lauren Yee
    Director to be announced
    Feb. 2-March 11, 2018
    Ricketson Theatre
    When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Yee’s “acute ear for contemporary speech” and a “devilishly keen satiric eye” (San Francisco Chronicle) creates an unexpected and touching story inspired by events in her own father’s life. READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN YEE


    this-is-modern-artBy Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin
    Directed by Idris Goodwin
    March 22-April 15, 2018
    The Jones Theatre
    Graffiti crews are willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when one crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? This Is Modern Art gives a glimpse into the lives of anonymous graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art. READ MORE ABOUT IT

    native-gardensBy Karen Zacarias
    Directed by Lisa Portes
    April 6-May 6, 2018
    Space Theatre
    Dealing with neighbors can be thorny, especially for Pablo and Tania, a young Latino couple who have just moved into a well-established D.C. neighborhood. Though Frank and Virginia have the best intentions for making the new couple feel welcome next door, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Frank is afraid of losing his prized garden, Pablo wants what is legally his, Tania has a pregnancy and a thesis she’d rather be worrying about, and Virginia just wants some peace. But until they address the real roots of their problems, it’s all-out war in this heartfelt comedy about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.

    Sam Buntock

    the-whos-tommyMusic and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
    Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
    Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
    Directed by Sam Buntrock
    April 20-May 27, 2018
    Stage Theatre
    Based on The Who’s iconic 1969 rock concept album, Tommy is an exhilarating musical about the challenges of self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit. When young Tommy retreats into a world of darkness and silence after a deeply traumatic incident, he must navigate a harsh and unforgiving world with no hope of recovery. But when he discovers a newfound talent for pinball, he’s swept up in the fame and fortune of his success. Tommy and his family give new voice to The Who’s classic stadium rock as they navigate the troubles and joys of being alive. This production reunites director Sam Buntrock and scenic designer Jason Sherwood, the team behind last season’s audience favorite, Frankenstein.


    human-error2By Eric Pfeffinger
    Director to be announced
    May 18-June 24, 2018
    Garner Galleria Theatre
    Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listening, latte-sipping, blue-state liberals, while Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholding, truck-driving, red-state conservatives. After an unfortunate mix-up by their blundering fertility doctor, Heather is mistakenly impregnated with the wrong child. Now the two couples face sharing an uproarious nine-month’s odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely – but heartfelt – friendships. “Up-and-coming scribe Eric Pfeffinger has the vital nerve to explore the gaping communication gap between red America and blue America, liberal humanists and the conservative right” (Chicago Tribune). READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH ERIC PFEFFINGER

    remote-denverBy Rimini Protokoll
    Concept, Script and Direction: Stefan Kaegi
    Research, Script and Direction Denver: Jörg Karrenbauer
    Spring/Summer 2018
    On the streets of Denver
    Join a group of 50 people swarming Denver on a guided audio tour that seems to follow you as much as you are following it. Experience a soundtrack to the streets, sights, and rooftops of The Mile High City as a computer-generated voice guides your group’s movements in real time. Discover a "secret Denver," exploring places like gathering spaces, back alleyways, dark hallways and public areas through a new lens. You’re not just audience members — you’re actors and spectators, observers and observed, individuals and hordes, all at the same time.



    • Theatre Company: New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Subscription packages are available online at denvercenter.org/nextseason or by calling 303-893-4100. Subscribers enjoy free ticket exchanges, payment plans, priority offers to added attractions, discounted extra tickets, a dedicated VIP hotline, free events including talkbacks and receptions, and the best seats at the best prices, guaranteed. Single ticket on-sale date will be announced at a later time. Note: Plans for the new season are subject to change and benefit restrictions may apply.
    • Off-Center: The single-ticket on-sale date for all Off-Center productions will be announced at a later time. Subscriptions are not available for Off-Center shows.



  • MCA Denver, Off-Center bringing 'Mixed Taste' to Denver Center

    by John Moore | Feb 27, 2017

    Mixed Taste
    Last year, Mixed Taste espoused the virtues of Merle Haggard and "The History of Dinner." The popular summer series moves to the Seawell ballroom in July. 

    The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts are officially a mixed match. 

    MCA Denver and the DCPA's adventurous Off-Center wing have formed a partnership to present Mixed Taste: Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics throughout the summer at the Denver Center's Seawell Ballroom.

    Adam Lerner Mixed TasteMixed Taste, conceived by MCA Denver’s Adam Lerner, pairs two speakers addressing  completely unrelated subjects, followed by questions from the audience. During the first part of the program, no connections are allowed between the topics. But during the Q&A, anything can happen.

    The partnership begins on July 5 and will continue on Wednesday nights through Aug. 23.

    “Having nurtured Mixed Taste for over 10 years, the program is ready for its next level of growth, and I believe Off-Center is the perfect partner to help us take it there,” said Lerner, MCA Denver’s Director and Chief Animator. "Off-Center produces the kind of smart and quirky programming in the theater world that we strive to create in the art world. We’re excited to see what happens when we work together.”

    Charlie Miller, curator of Off-Center, is a fan of Mixed Tape because, he said, "it is an inherently theatrical format that is always engaging, surprising and fun - everything we strive for in an Off-Center experience. We are excited to partner with MCA Denver to give Mixed Taste its next life at the Denver Center.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Lerner originated Mixed Taste in 2004 in an empty storefront in the Belmar shopping center in Lakewood. In 2009, when he took the helm at MCA Denver he moved the program to downtown Denver. The program has been imitated from Boston to Mexico City. It has been discussed in various museum studies books and is regarded by many as the forefront of innovative cultural education programming.

    Past Mixed Taste lecture topics have included:

    • Walt Whitman and Whole Hog Cooking
    • Existentialism and Giant Vegetables
    • Parkour and Bollywood
    • Gospel Music and Zebra Sharks
    • Tequila and Dark Matter in the Universe

    The full lineup for the summer series will be announced at a later date.

    Travelers of the Lost Dimension coming to Stanley Marketplace

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.