• 2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season: In with the old ... and the new

    by John Moore | Apr 01, 2018
    Chris Coleman offers a play-by-play look at the 2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season, his first as the company's new Artistic Director. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Coleman's 40th anniversary season includes two world premieres, Tolstoy and an African-American Oklahoma!

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Incoming DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Chris Coleman has announced a 40th anniversary season he believes both honors the company’s past and boldly steps into the future — and in some intriguing examples, at the same time.

    Coleman will return to the company’s roots by presenting its third Rodgers and Hammerstein musical following previous stagings of Carousel and South Pacific. But Coleman is promising a fresh new look at Oklahoma! by telling the beloved story of a spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys from a mostly African-American perspective. Similarly, Coleman will offer adaptations of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and W. Somerset Maugham’s The Constant Wife, stories of women overcoming great societal barriers that may strike audiences as remarkably contemporary.

    A Last Night 800 1“It’s incredibly exciting to imagine what you want your first season at an organization to be,” said Coleman, who assumes his full-time Denver duties in May. "This company has long been known as a place where you can do really big, interesting, meaty, dramatic literature. One of the things that's exciting to me is to do something really traditional and then follow that with something that is brand new and edgy. That collision of styles and voices is really juicy to me.”

    Pictured above: Valerie Curtis-Newton, left, will return to again direct 2017 Colorado New Play Summit offering 'Last Night and the Night Before' on the mainstage season. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Coleman covers the traditional-to-edgy gamut with the announcement of both an eight-play Theatre Company season that includes three classics and two world premieres, as well as an innovative five-play slate from the company's adventurous Off-Center wing.  

    nataki-garrettWhen Coleman was named Artistic Director in November, he promised programming that will further the DCPA’s efforts to diversify its audiences, champion local storytelling and give voice to underserved communities. All five of the other mainstage directors he named today are women — and three of the playwrights are women or persons of color. Four if you count Off-Center's commission of a planned immersive hip-hop piece from This is Modern Art co-writer Idris Goodwin.
      

    The mainstage season includes two world-premiere plays: Donnetta Lavinia GraysLast Night and the Night Before, which was featured at the company’s 2017 Colorado New Play Summit, and Itamar MosesThe Whistleblower. With the exception of A Christmas Carol, which returns for a 26th year, every playwright and source writer (even Tolstoy) will be new to Theatre Company audiences except Nottage, whose Ruined was one of the most celebrated productions in company history In 2011.

    The Off-Center offerings, said Curator Charlie Miller, will complement the Theatre Company season and tell exciting stories in unconventional ways. “From original micro plays to new theatrical experiments to a large-scale immersive hip-hop show, Off-Center will take audiences into unexpected Denver spaces and showcase local artists, stories, and communities,” he said.

    Take a deeper dive into each play on the 2018-19 season

    The Theatre Company debuted on New Year’s Eve 1979 with The Caucasian Chalk Circle, starring Tyne Daly. Coleman says there is special significance to this being the 40th anniversary season because the company is old enough to have built an significant canon but also young enough to still have staff, artists and audience members who have been here all along — a lot of them.

    "As we step into the next chapter of the Theatre Company’s history, it's inspiring and energizing to look back on the extraordinary body of work that this company has brought to the region over the last 40 seasons," Coleman said. "What's really vivid to me is how many people have been around from Day 1. There are so many people who are really invested in the history and the future of this organization. So, to me, that's worth celebrating. And I view that as a launching pad for me.

    These playwrights and directors are the cream of the crop, and I look forward to the conversations these works will open up with the Denver community."

    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.

    Meet new Theatre Company Artistc Director Chris Coleman


    Chris Coleman 2018-19 season announcement


    2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season at a glance:

    • Aug. 24-Sept. 30: Vietgone (Ricketson Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Sept. 7-Oct. 14: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (Stage Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Sept. 21-Oct. 21: The Constant Wife (Space Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Nov. 21-Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol (Stage Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Jan. 18-Feb. 24, 2019: Last Night and the Night Before (Ricketson Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2019: Anna Karenina (Stage Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Feb. 8-March 10, 2019: The Whistleblower (Space Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • April 26-May 26, 2019: Sweat (Space Theatre) DEEPER DIVE

    DCPA Theatre Company tickets and subscriptions: New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Subscription packages are now available online at denvercenter.org or by calling 303-893-4100. Subscribers enjoy 30 percent off savings, 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. BUY ONLINE

    2018-19 Off-Center season at a glance:

    • July 11-Aug. 22: Mixed Taste: Tag team lectures on unrelated topics (Wednesdays only, with MCA Denver, Seawell Ballroom)
    • Oct. 23-Nov. 18: Bite-Size: An evening of micro theatre (at BookBar)
    • Nov. 23-Dec. 24: The SantaLand Diaries (with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company at The Jones)
    • March 2019: Powered by Off-Center (The Jones)
    • Dates TBA: Untitled Immersive Hip-Hop Show

    Off-Center ticket information: 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.


    2018-19 THEATRE COMPANY SEASON: Title by title

    (Descriptions provided by DCPA Theatre Company)

    Vietgone

    • Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016 VietgoneBy Qui Nguyen
    • Original music by Shane Rettig
    • Directed by Seema Sueko
    • Aug. 24-Sept. 30, 2018 (Opens Aug. 31)
    • Ricketson Theatre
    • Glance: This rap-spitting, pop culture-crusted dramedy is an ode to the real-life courtship of Playwright Qui Nguyen’s parents. Forced to leave their country during the height of the Vietnam War, two refugees find themselves at the same relocation camp in Arkansas – the land of Harleys, hot dogs and “howdy!” Before they find their way into each other’s arms, they’ll have to blaze a trail in their weird new world and leave behind the baggage they didn’t pack. Jump on this emotional ride for an adventure that hums with excitement as it hops across time and around the globe through the highs and lows of love.
    • Fun fact: Qui Nguyen is the self-described geeky playwright behind She Kills Monsters, which addressed stereotypes and social issues through the game “Dungeons and Dragons.”
    • Take a deeper dive into Vietgone

    (Pictured: Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2016 production of 'Vietgone,' courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.)

    Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

    • Oklahoma!Music by Richard Rodgers; book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
    • Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs
    • Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
    • Directed by Chris Coleman
    • Sept. 7-Oct. 14, 2018 (Opens Sept. 14)
    • Stage Theatre
    • Glance: With a spring in their step and a song in their hearts, cowboys, farmers and travelling salesmen alike have chased their destinies to a land that promises everything they could hope for: love, opportunity and a brighter future. The first collaboration by the legendary team of Rodgers and Hammerstein became a landmark musical for its rollicking music and stunning dance numbers, and this joyful presentation will solidify why it has stood the test of time. New DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Chris Coleman makes his DCPA directorial debut with this production, and he will set the story in one of the 50 all-African-American towns in the early days of the Oklahoma Territory. Discover an overlooked piece of American history as one small community stakes its claim on a place full of hope. The choreographer will be Dominique Kelley, a dancer in the film La La Land and the musical Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.
    • Fun fact: Oklahoma! opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre 75 years ago Saturday, and the cast of the Denver-born Frozen marked the anniversary with a curtain-call singalong that you can watch at this YouTube link.
    • Take a deeper dive into Oklahoma!

    The Constant Wife

    • The Constant WifeBy W. Somerset Maugham
    • Directed by Shelley Butler
    • Sept. 21-Oct. 21, 2018 (Opens Sept. 28)
    • Space Theatre
    • Glance: As the intelligent, charming housewife of a successful doctor, Constance Middleton cheerfully plays her traditional role. But she knows far more than she’s willing to let on. This cheeky satire pokes holes in the expectations of relationships, fidelity and social roles that were just as relevant in the 1920s as they are today. Featuring an infectiously plucky heroine at the helm, The Constant Wife takes joy in the imperfections of life and applauds those who elude the strict confines of society to discover true happiness. DCPA alum Shelley Butler (Human Error, The Most Deserving) returns to direct this contagious comedy.Fun fact: Variety calls Maugham’s protagonist “a perverse protofeminist — and an antecedent to the women of “Desperate Housewives” and “Sex and the City.”
    • Take a deeper dive into The Constant Wife

    A Christmas Carol

    • Sam Gregory A Christmas Carol. By Charles Dickens
    • Adapted by Richard Hellesen
    • Music by David de Berry
    • Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
    • Nov. 21-Dec. 24, 2018 (Opens Nov. 29)
    • Stage Theatre
    • Glance: Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, the Theatre Company’s joyous and opulent seasonal offering now in its 26th year 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. Note: This is an added attraction, not part of the Theatre Company subscription season.
    • Fun fact: Denver favorite Sam Gregory is scheduled to return for a third time as Scrooge.
    • Take a deeper dive into A Christmas Carol

    Last Night and the Night Before (world premiere)

    • Summit. Last Night. Donnetta By Donnetta Lavinia Grays
    • Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
    • Jan. 18-Feb. 24, 2019 (Opens January 25)
    • Ricketson Theatre
    • Glance: When Monique and her 10-year-old daughter Samantha show up unexpectedly on her sister’s Brooklyn doorstep, it shakes up Rachel and her partner Nadima’s orderly New York lifestyle. Monique is on the run from deep trouble and brings their family’s Southern roots with her, grabbing hold of Rachel’s life more ferociously than she could have ever imagined. Poetic, powerful and remarkably funny, Last Night and the Night Before play explores the struggle between the responsibilities that are expected of us and the choices we actually end up making.
    • Fun fact: This play was featured in the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. Its original title was simply, Sam. The new title references a line from the children’s game "Last night and the night before, I met my baby at the candy store."
    • Take a deeper dive into Last Night and the Night Before


    Anna Karenina

    • TC-web-Season-Ann-400x3003By Kevin McKeon, adapted from the novel by Leo Tolstoy
    • Directed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman
    • Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2019 (Opens Feb. 1)
    • Stage Theatre
    • Glance: Love holds the power to bind us together or tear us apart, and no one knows better than Countess Anna Karenina. As a noblewoman and socialite, her glamorous lifestyle shrouds her unhappy marriage. But everything changes when she meets the dashing army officer Count Vronsky. She risks her social status, marriage, friends and family for the thrill of forbidden love. Anna Karenina uses the romantic backdrop of Tsarist Russia to tell a turbulent tale of passion and betrayal, dreams chased and lost, and the consequences of getting swept off your feet. Helmed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman, this lush, modern adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece brings the opulent setting and heart-wrenching story to life.
    • Fun fact: The play was made into a 2012 movie adapted by Tom Stoppard and featuring Keira Knightley and Jude Law.
    • Take a deeper dive into Anna Karenina


    The Whistleblower (world premiere)

    • itamarmoses whistleblowerBy Itamar Moses (pictured right)
    • Directed by TBA
    • Feb. 8-March 10, 2019 (Opens Feb. 15)
    • Space Theatre
    • Glance: For screenwriter Eli, an offer to finally create his own TV show should be the ultimate culmination of his goals, but instead shocks him into wondering why he had those dreams in the first place. Armed with a new sense of spiritual clarity, he sets out on a quest to serve up some hard truths to his coworkers, family, exes and friends. What could possibly go wrong? A lively world premiere about the lies we tell to protect ourselves  and how the tiniest gestures can have deep impact on those around us. Written by Itamar Moses, the award-winning author of the musical The Band’s Visit, currently on Broadway.
    • Fun facts: The Whistleblower was first introduced as a staged reading at South Coast Repertory’s 2015 Pacific Playwrights Festival in Costa Mesa, Calif. — alongside Vietgone. Also, Moses was an Executive Story Editor for HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."
    • Take a deeper dive into The Whistleblower

    Sweat

    • TC-web-Season-Ann-400x3004By Lynn Nottage
    • Directed by Nataki Garrett
    • April 26-May 26, 2019 (Opens May 3)
    • Space Theatre
    • Glance: For the people of poverty-stricken Reading, Pa., work is so much more than a paycheck – it’s the glue that holds the town together. The floor of their central factory is where lifelong friendships are made, where love blossoms and where family members work side-by-side. But as layoffs become the new norm and a cheaper workforce threatens the viability of the local union, the threads that once kept the community together begin to fray. Sweat is an “extraordinarily moving drama,” said The New York Times, that powerfully contrasts life’s happiest highs with the heart-wrenching struggles of survival. Using warm humor and deep empathy, this 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner from Lynn Nottage (Ruined) paints a moving portrait of today’s working-class America in decline.
    • Fun fact: Nottage developed her play through interviews with actual former steelworkers in Reading.
    • Take a deeper dive into Sweat

    2018-19 OFF-CENTER SEASON: Title by title

    Mixed Taste: Tag team lectures on unrelated topics

    • Mixed Taste Aug 9Co-presentation with MCA Denver
    • July 11-Aug. 22, 2018 (Wednesdays only)
    • Seawell Ballroom
    • Glance: Returning for a second summer series, even mismatched subjects find common ground in this fun lecture forum that can go pretty much anywhere. Two speakers get 20 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.
    • Fun fact: One clever example from last year’s series: “Wild West mail delivery and post-conceptual art.” Last year’s series emcee Suzi Q. Smith wrote a poem during each performance and read them at the end of every evening.
     

    Bite-Size: An evening of micro theatre

    • 2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS Gary Grundie Meridith C. GrundeiCreated and directed by Meridith Crosley Grundei
    • Oct. 23-Nov. 18, 2018
    • At BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St.
    • Glance:
    • Bite-Size brings you five short plays with bookish twists performed in and around BookBar, an independent bookstore and wine bar in the Tennyson Street Arts District. Grab tapas and drinks between the short performances of original works by Colorado-based artists. There is no better way to see a variety of local playwrights and performers in one place. Whether you’re a theatre geek, a bookworm or on the hunt for an off-beat night out, this evening will leave you eager to crack into a fresh hard-cover and dream up some tales of your own.
    • Fun fact: Director Meridith Grundei, a 2017 True West Award winner, packed up a used R.V. and hit the road with her husband and daughter in 2017 to travel the United States and Mexico for a year.


    The SantaLand Diaries

    • A Santaland Diaries Michael BouchardCo-presentation with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • By David Sedaris, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    • Directed by Stephen Weitz
    • Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2018 (Opens Nov. 25)
    • The Jones Theatre
    • Glance: This acclaimed one-man show is based on David Sedaris’ best-selling memoir about his curmudgeonly experience working as a Macy’s SantaLand elf, once again featuring Michael Bouchard and Luke Sorge as David, and his devilish Macy’s persona, Crumpet the Elf. Think holiday shopping is brutal? Try being on the receiving end of Macy’s SantaLand madness in a pair of pointy shoes. This twisted tale is the cure for the common Christmas show and the perfect excuse to take a break from it all.
    • Fun fact: 2018-19 will mark the 10th anniversary of BETC’s annual holiday staging, the last seven in partnership with Off-Center. That will equal The Bug Theatre’s run of 10 seasonal The SantaLand Diaries starring Gary Culig.

    Powered by Off-Center

    • March 2019
    • The Jones Theatre
    • Glance: Discover your next favorite Colorado performer as they debut new work at the Denver Center. Off-Center is offering the spotlight to local creators of all kinds as they get their projects off the ground with the support of our team. We’re giving our local artistic community a new place to play and a platform to experiment, engage and excite us all. Performance dates and participating artists to be announced.

    Untitled Immersive Hip-Hop Show

    • Idris Goodwin 160Written by Idris Goodwin
    • Directed by Jenny Koons
    • Glance: Following the hit experiential shows Sweet & Lucky and The Wild Party, Off-Center is cooking up its next large-scale immersive adventure. Off-Center has commissioned playwright Idris Goodwin and New York-based director Jenny Koons (Burn All Night at American Repertory Theatre) to create a one-of-a-kind new hip-hop-inspired event. Title, location, dates, and details to be announced.
    • Fun fact: Goodwin is the director and co-writer of This is Modern Art, currently playing through April 15 in The Jones Theatre.

    Note: Due to the nature of live performance, all productions, prices and dates are subject to change.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • BETC moves up in class with ambitious 'The Curious Incident...'

    by John Moore | Mar 20, 2018
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time The Broadway company of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' Photo by Joan Marcus.

    Boulder company will be first in Colorado to stage celebrated plays The Curious Incident and The Wolves

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s 13th season will include its most ambitious undertaking ever: Staging an enormously challenging play that was once thought to be unstageable. For the first time in its history, BETC will stage a Tony Award-winning best play before anyone else in Colorado when it caps its wildly aspirational 2018-19 season with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the stage adaptation of Mark Haddon's 2003 best-selling novel.

    Stephen-Weitz- quoteIntroducing Tony-winning best plays to Colorado audiences is a distinction that for the past two decades has generally been traded between the DCPA Theatre Company (All the Way, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and Curious Theatre (Red, Clybourne Park, next year’s The Humans). No one in Colorado has had the temerity to bite on Curious Incident since it won the Tony in 2015.

    BETC steps into that company this year with the story of a socially awkward British teen who is a mathematical savant but falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. The story follows his quest to clear his name after the neighbor’s dog is speared by a garden fork in the middle of the night.

    The National Theatre’s 2012 London production was a sensation for its ingenious technological advances that somehow helped communicate to its audiences what might be going on inside the young man’s mysterious and often short-circuiting head. The staging used lighting and sound innovations that made the boy's sensory overload both harrowing and eminently understandable.

    But the groundbreaking success of the play also seemed to confirm the presumed belief that it would be impossible to produce for small theatres around the country that, like BETC, do not have multimillion-dollar budgets. “Curious Incident is one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway,” the New York Times said. “So be prepared to have all your emotional and sensory buttons pushed, including a few you may have not known existed.”

    Gene Gillette comes home in The Curious Incident tour

    BETC co-founder Stephen Weitz was not scared off. He believes any good story is a stageable story. Somehow.

    “At its heart, Curious Incident is a powerful story about a young boy,” Weitz said. “People who encountered the play in New York or during the national tour may be expecting a particular production style. Ours will feature plenty of ‘theatre magic,’ but it will be our own BETC vision guiding the aesthetic with that story at its core.”

    Sarah BETC’s season is also notable for The Wolves, an utterly original story that takes place on the sidelines of a high-school girls soccer team's games. It is not only Sarah DeLappe’s first play, it was presented at New York’s Lincoln Center — and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

    "I'm thrilled that The Wolves has found its Colorado home at the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company,” DeLappe told the DCPA NewsCenter. The playwright, who grew up playing youth soccer in Reno, Nev., was tutored at Brown University by none other than Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive). DeLappe’s characters are listed in the script not by their names but rather their jersey numbers. They are teammates, after all.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    They play, which has surprisingly little to do with soccer, takes place in nine scenes, each while the girls are warming up for a match. “I was attracted to the idea of a stage where we were watching young women whose bodies were active throughout,” DeLappe told the Lincoln Center’s media office. She said she is hungry for narratives with strong female protagonists, and that she sees The Wolves as a story about women warriors. “I was inspired to think of these characters as a pack preparing for battle,” she said.

    Weitz calls The Wolves “possibly the most honest depiction of the lives of young women I've ever encountered,” he said. “Not only is it a profound story, but if affords an incredible opportunity for nine young women in our acting community — part of our efforts to address equity in all facets of our art form.”

    Arvada Cebter Sense and Sensibility. Mall Gale PhotographyThe 13th BETC season is also notable for two Jane Austen adaptations — Pride and Prejudice (a rollicking new adaptation by Kate Hamill, who also wrote the Arvada Center's current Sense and Sensibility) and its modern sequel, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. This makes the third straight BETC season with a title by Gunderson (Silent Sky, The Revolutionists), currently the most produced playwright in the world not named Shakespeare.

    (Pictured at right: Zachary Andrews, Jessica Robblee, Emma Messenger, Abner Genece, Geoffrey Kent, Jessica Austgen, and Emelie O'Hara in the Arvada Center's 'Sense and Sensibility', running through May 6. BETC will stage a sequel penned by the same adaptor. Matt Gale Photography.)

    2018-19 will also mark the 10th anniversary of BETC’s holiday staging of David Sedaris’ The SantaLand Diaries, the last seven in partnership with Off-Center at the DCPA’s Jones Theatre.The complete season is listed below.

    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.

    Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company 2018-19 at a glance

    • Sept. 13-Oct. 7, 2018: Pride and Prejudice
    • Oct. 25-Nov. 18, 2018: The Wolves
    • Dec. 8-24, 2018: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
    • Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2018: The SantaLand Diaries
    • Feb. 7-March 3, 2019: The Rembrandt
    • April 25-May 19, 2019: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    A closer look at each play:

    (Descriptions provided by BETC)

    Pride and Prejudice
    Sept. 13-Oct. 7, 2018
    By Jane Austen, adapted by Kate Hamill
    This is a playful and unconventional update Jane Austen's classic romance set in Regency, England, where marriage is a must for women. This clever comedy offers a decidedly progressive take on the trials of Lizzie, Mr. Darcy and the Bennet family — with a few dance breaks thrown in for good measure. 

    The Wolves
    Oct. 25-Nov. 18, 2018
    By Sarah DeLappe
    In each scene of this stunning first play by Sarah DeLappe, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, nine girls warm up for their upcoming soccer game. But they must also tackle coming of age and all the confusion, awkwardness, joy and sorrow that comes with it.  Along the way, these unforgettable young women make fierce choices, face their own fragility and ultimately grow into a team. The New York Times said: “The scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence emanates from every scene of The Wolves.”

    Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
    Dec. 8-24, 2018
    By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
    In this sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the bookish middle child of the Bennett family is constantly overshadowed by her four sisters and longs for a large life.' As Mary searches for her identity, she unexpectedly discovers the possibility of true love.

    The SantaLand Diaries
    Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2018
    By David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello
    For the 10th consecutive year, BETC returns to the Macys department store for this delightfully devilish holiday hit, produced in partnership with Off-Center at the Denver Center’s Jones Theatre. Michael Bouchard and Luke Sorge will again alternate as David, the desperate New Yorker who takes a job as a SantaLand elf named Crumpet.

    The Rembrandt
    Feb. 7-March 3, 2019
    By Jessica Dickey
    Inside a modern-day museum, two security guards and a painter find themselves compelled to touch a masterpiece.  But soon, we are skipping through time; watching Rembrandt at work and listening to Homer discuss the nature of art. Dickey’s play asks us to consider the longevity of art, and the brevity of life.  

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Gene Gillete. Curious Joan MarcusApril 25-May 19, 2019
    By Simon Stephens, adapted by Mark Haddon
    Christopher Boone, a sweet 15-year-old Brit, has an extraordinary mind but is ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of everyday life.  When falsely accused of killing his neighbor's dog, he sets out to find the true culprit. His journey across London leads to an earth-shattering discovery that will change his life forever. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.

    Pictured above and right: Colorado native Gene Gillette in the recent national touring production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' Photo by Joan Marcus.)

  • 2017 True West Award: Sammie Joe Kinnett

    by John Moore | Dec 10, 2017
    True West Award Sammie Joe Kinnett
    Photo at right by Zachary Andrews.

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 10: Sammie Joe Kinnett

    Arvada Center
    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Sammie Joe Kinnett is one of the hundreds who started 2017 adrift in grief over the death of Murray Ross.

    Ross founded TheatreWorks as part of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1975 and for the next 42 years, he built it into a fertile incubator of young hearts and minds. Some of them were not even his students. Kinnett, for one, was a teenage community-college dropout who, through Ross, found a mentor — and a home — on a campus he didn’t even attend.

    "Ross was a divining rod of talent," said frequent Colorado Springs Director Geoffrey Kent. When Ross met Kinnett, he didn’t see a dropout. He saw his next Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He saw his future co-writer and the co-star of an original piece they developed together called I Am Nikola Tesla.

    sammie joe-15-m242x323“Murray was able to see when there was something special in someone,” said Kinnett, "and he was able to bring it out in them just by sheer belief.” Ross certainly brought it out in Kinnett, who developed into one of the most intelligent and consistently working comic actors in theatres across Colorado Springs.

    And so when Ross died in January, Kinnett confronted his own profound sadness and honored his mentor by going out and making people laugh. First in a revelatory take on the title character in the warhorse comedy The Foreigner at the Arvada Center. Then by putting a more humane spin on The SantaLand Diaries, David Sedaris’ comic monologue about working as a Macy’s elf (playing through Dec. 23). Both plays were directed by Kent, who calls Kinnett “the ‘fire and forget’ missile of comedians.”

    When he says that, he’s invoking the military term for a projectile that never fails to hit its target. “Once launched in any given direction,” Kent elaborated, “Sammie rockets forward with 110 percent commitment.”  

    Audiences saw a whole different side of Kinnett's comic skills when he played Sancho to Stephen Day's Henry Award-winning Cervantes in Man of La Mancha for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Reviewer Bill Wheeler wrote the casting of Kinnett as Sancho was brilliant, and that "he’s the finest comedic actor working in Colorado Springs."

    True West Awards Sammie Joe Kinnett The Foreigner Arvada CenterThe Foreigner
    has been done and doner since playwright Larry Shue (M*A*S*H) debuted it in 1983. But everything about the tired old comedy felt fresh at the Arvada Center — even, sadly, its intentionally racist overtones that felt uncomfortably contemporary in the wake of the Charlottesville riots. Kinnett played a pathologically shy young Brit who pretends not to speak English to avoid interacting with the rubes visiting a fishing lodge in rural Georgia.

    The reason it felt so fresh, said Drew Martorella, Executive Director of UCCS Presents, is because everything seems to when filtered through Kinnett’s playful lens.

    “Sammie Joe has an innocence about him that allows you to see the world through his eyes — and that is a great vehicle to allow comedy to happen,” Martorella said.

    (Pictured at right: Sammie Joe Kinnett, center, with Jessica Robblee, left, Lance Rasmussen (back) and Edith Weiss in the Arvada Center's 'The Foreigner.' M. Gale Photography.)

    'Murray Ross put beauty and goodness out into this world'

    Kinnett is a great physical comedian who uses his body as a readily available tool just as a painter uses a paintbrush or a mechanic uses a tire iron — and that was on confident display in The Foreigner. This was not the first time on a Denver stage for Kinnett, who turned two memorable summer seasons at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder. But for many, The Foreigner was an introduction worthy of a classic comedy double-take. Take a gander at what the impressed critics had to say:

    • Joanne Ostrow, The Denver Post: “The Foreigner is a particular triumph for Sammie Joe Kinnett, who, through a mix of lithe physical antics, deft dialect work and spot-on timing, brings Charlie to life.”
    • Juliet Wittman, Westword: “Sammie Joe Kinnett sports a goofy, all-stops-out physicality and a gutsy, crazed creativity that lets him try anything and go anywhere for a laugh — the result being gales of laughter from the audience.”

    Ross would have loved seeing Kinnett in this exquisitely executed role, Kent said. Here was this now fully grown-up actor putting on a confident comedy clinic that was fully gained through hard knocks and hard experience. And yet it was infused with a joyful spirit of reminiscent of Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful). Kinnett's humanity even bleeds through his current take on Sedaris’ famously cynical SantaLand elf in Colorado Springs.

    "TheatreWorks made a bold choice," writes the (unnamed) critic for the website Springs on Stage:  "They gave Crumpet a soul.

    "Kinnett brings a wild energy and warmth to the show,” the reviewer goes on to say. “This Crumpet wants to care — he’s just waiting for something that’s worth caring about. It’s a touching blend of deviance and heart.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    And as most any comedian will tell you, successful comedy is often born through life’s rockiest transitions. Over their decade together, Ross watched Kinnett grow up, fall in love, get married, become a father — and then a single father.

    Ross did live to see that his former community-college dropout is now enrolled at UCCS studying for a degree in Performing Arts and Psychology. It seems the more complicated Kinnett’s life has become, the better he’s become as an actor who floats easily from screwball farce to Shakespeare (sometimes at the same time).

    Man-of-La-Mancha_3“We would rehearse for The SantaLand Diaries from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Colorado Springs, and then Sammie would drive to Arvada to perform in The Foreigner that night — all as a full-time student and single dad,” Kent said. “I don’t know how he did it.”

    Kent might not know how Kinnett did it, but he is certain Ross has had everything to do with Kinnett’s now more widely recognized statewide success.

    “Sammie Joe is now equipped with the deep pathos to pair with that classic spit take,” Kent said. “He’s the complete package.”

    (Pictured at right: Sammie Joe Kinnett as Sancho in 'Man of La Mancha' for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Photo by Jeff Kearney.)  

    Martorella believes Kinnett “may be the most generous, most humorous, most accommodating performer we have ever turned out here in Colorado Springs,” he said. “We’re proud that we still have him, and we’re glad he’s still making people laugh.”

    Whatever "that thing" Kinnett has may be indefinable. Martorella knows only one simple thing:

    “Sammie Joe just makes me smile.”

    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.

    Sammie Joe Kinnett: 2017

    • The Hairy Ape, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks (Assistant Director)
    • The Foreigner, Arvada Center
    • The SantaLand Diaries, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks (Actor)

    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS: '30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. 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. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards

  • 2017-18 season: TheatreWorks moving forward in memory of Murray Ross

    by John Moore | Mar 30, 2017

    Theatrworks. Sammie Joe Kinnett
    Sammie Joe Kinnett, seen here in Colorado Springs Theatrworks' 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' will star in 'The SantaLand Diaries.'


    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks has announced its first season since the death of founder Murray Ross (pictured right) in January. The 2017-18 season will be presented in honor of Ross:

    • A Murray Ross 160Much Ado About Nothing, by Shakespeare (July 27-Aug. 19 at Rock Ledge Ranch)
    • Heisenberg, by Simon Stephens (Sept. 7-24 at the Bon Vivant Theatre)
    • Wild Honey, by Michael Frayn, adapted from “The Play Without a Title” by Anton Chekhov (Oct. 19-Nov.  5 at the Bon Vivant Theatre)
    • The SantaLand Diaries, by Joe Mantello, adapted from David Sedaris (Nov. 30-Dec. 23, starring Sammie Joe Kinnett at the Bon Vivant Theatre)

    The following will be presented at the new Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs:

    • Oklahoma! by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers (Feb. 15-March 11, 2018)
    • Amadeus, by Peter Shaffer (April 26-May 13, 2018)

    Our tribute to Murray Ross: He put goodness out into this world'

    For more information, visit theatreworkscs.org or call 719-255-3232

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

     

  • Meet the cast: Michael Bouchard of 'The SantaLand Diaries'

    by John Moore | Dec 20, 2016
     Michael Bouchard. The SantaLand Diaries. Photo by Adams Vicsom. Michael Bouchard of 'The SantaLand Diaries': 'If you're wanting to kick Christmas in the (privates), boy do I have the show for you.' Photo by Adams Viscom.


    MEET MICHAEL BOUCHARD

    David/Crumpet in The SantaLand Diaries, a collaboration between Off-Center and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, running through Dec. 24 in the Jones Theatre.

     Michael Bouchard QuoteAt the Theatre Company: Ensemble in A Christmas Carol. Selected other credits: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Creede Rep), Camelot (Arvada Center), Bach at Leipzig (Boulder Ensemble Theater Company), Avenue Q (Vintage Theater). Spamalot (Aurora Fox). TV/Film: Charles Manson in The CREEP behind the Camera. Special/Awards/Training: Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, 2009 Best Season by an Actor, Denver Post; 2011 Denver Post and Westword Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy; 2012 Westword Best on Stage Couple (with wife Rachel Bouchard.)

    • Twitter-sized bio: I’m an introverted performer who wants to be liked by those around him while constantly starting arguments.
    • Hometown: The I-80 corridor from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe
    • Training: Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts
    • What was the role that changed your life? Probably Eugene in Broadway Bound along with Shady Brady in Slabtown that same year at Creede Repertory Theatre. I proved to myself that I really was capable of leading shows in a range of characters. Eugene being Neil Simon, and Brady being an angry western drunk gunslinger. That’s also the year I met my wife, so it was a really good year.
    • Why are you an actor? As a child I would cope with the difficult divorce of my parents and getting bullied at school by retreating into my imagination. Come to find you can actually make a living playing make believe. Or at least you can try, which is what I’m doing.
    • What would you be doing if you weren't an actor: I’d probably be a writer. An opinion writer at that. I’m just well read enough to have opinions that are substantive and just dumb enough to think people would want to read them if I write them.
    • TatianaIdeal scene partner: Tatiana Maslany. She’s the most versatile actress working today and I have immense respect for that. In America we call people who are morphing in and out or personalities that are not their own, “character actors.” But the Brits simply call them “actors.” That’s what I aspire to be, and she is the gold standard.
    • Why does The SantaLand Diaries matter? The holidays are actually not a very happy time for many people. Not everyone has a Norman Rockwell family to return to, and the stress of presents, decorations and parties can suck all the fun out of the holidays. And there’s no escaping it. Holiday music starts playing in every public square the second after you pull the turkey out of the oven, and from then on out you’re in Holiday North Korea. So, this play helps us to remember to laugh at all the insanity and commercialization surrounding a guy in a red suit who was invented by Coca-Cola.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of seeing it? I know I’ve done my job when people are leaving saying that they haven’t laughed that hard in years. Not everyone does, of course. The humor isn’t for everyone and time to time people leave (or flip me off). But if you're wanting to kick Christmas in the (privates), boy do I have the show for you.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      "... A Tony Award, a syndicated column, a cottage in Aspen, a full library and wine cellar, a sold-out show and a new pair of jeans."
    Video: Your first look at The SantaLand Diaries



    The SantaLand Diaries
    : Ticket information

    • The story: David Sedaris' off-beat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City is the sure cure for the common Christmas show.
    • Through Dec. 24
    • Jones Theatre
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Selected previous coverage of The SantaLand Diaries:
    Video, photos: Your first look at The SantaLand Diaries 2016
    Podcast 2015: Listen in with Michael Bouchard and John Moore


    Michael Bouchard, left, in a previous staging of Creede Repertory Theatre's 'The 39 Steps' with Mario Cabrera and Steven Cole Hughes.
  • Video, photos: Your first look at 'The SantaLand Diaries' 2016

    by John Moore | Dec 03, 2016


    Your first look at the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's 2016 staging of The SantaLand Diaries, presented each holiday season in partnership with the DCPA's Off-Center at the Jones Theatre. Michael Bouchard stars in David Sedaris' off-beat monologue about his real-life stint as a Macy's elf in New York City. The SantaLand Diaries has been called "a sure cure for the common Christmas show." Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Listen to John Moore's 2015 podcast with Michael Bouchard


    The SantaLand Diaries production photos: Our first-look photo gallery:
    The SantaLand Diaries 2016

    To see more photos, click on the "forward" arrow on the image above. Photos by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    The SantaLand Diaries:
    Ticket information
    280x200-santaland-diariesAt a glance: Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hi-jinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris' offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City do not make for your typical Christmas show.

    Presented by Off-Center and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    By David Sedaris
    Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    Directed by Stephen Weitz
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24
    Jones Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    SantaLand Diaries 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisComYou really don't want to be Riley when David (Michael Bouchard) gets going - even if you can't see the misbehaving kid. Photo by Adams VisCom.
  • Cast lists: 'A Christmas Carol,' 'The SantaLand Diaries' begin anew

    by John Moore | Nov 01, 2016

    Christmas Casting Santaland Michael Bouchard

    Michael Bouchard will return next month to his role as a desperate man who takes a job as a department-store elf in David Sedaris' 'The SantaLand Diaries.' Photo by Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    The DCPA Theatre Company has begun rehearsals for its 24th seasonal staging of A Christmas Carol with at least two meaningful beginnings: Melissa Rain Anderson is the first new director to helm the production for the DCPA since 2005, and longtime company favorite Sam Gregory is assuming the role of Ebenezer Scrooge from veteran Philip Pleasants.

    A Christmas Carol. Photo by Adams VisCom.On the other hand, casting for Off-Center’s seasonal co-production of The SantaLand Diaries, staged in partnership with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, will be unchanged for 2016, with Michael Bouchard donning the caustic candy-striped socks for a second time  in David Sedaris’ comic monologue recounting his real-life experience working as a Macy’s Department store elf.

    Bouchard is a Denver Post Ovation Award-winning actor best-known to Colorado audiences from his time at the Arvada Center, the Creede Repertory Theatre and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. Luke Sorge will again serve as Bouchard's understudy.

    Listen to John Moore's 2015 podcast with Michael Bouchard

    This will be Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's eighth annual holiday staging of The SantaLand Diaries, and the fourth since it moved to the DCPA's Jones Theatre. The director is again Steven Weitz, who directed the DCPA Theatre Company's Tribes.

    MelissaRianAndersonThe cast for A Christmas Carol includes several returning cast members and some fresh faces. Leslie O'Carroll returns for her 18th turn as the DCPA's Mrs. Fezziwig, again alongside Michael Fitzpatrick as Mr Fezziwig (pictured above right; photo by Adams VisCom.) Newcomers include Broadway veteran Jim Poulos, who starred in the Arvada Center's 2013 production of Curtains. Poulos will play Fred and Young Ebenezer. Also: Daniel Berryman, who played Anthony in the Theatre Company's acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd earlier this year, will return to Denver to play Topper.

    "At Christmastime, there is no better show to be working on," said Anderson (pictured above and right).

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A Christmas Carol: Cast list (alphabetically):
    Daniel Berryman
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd) as Topper/Ensemble.
    Latoya Cameron (DCPA debut) as Mrs. Cratchit/Ghost of Christmas Past.
    Kevin Curtis
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd) as Dick Wilkins/Peter Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Allen Dorsey
    (DCPA’s Lord of the Flies, A Christmas Carol) as Swing.
    Napoleon Douglas
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come/Ensemble.
    Jack Eller
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ebenezer the Child/Ensemble.
    Michael Fitzpatrick
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Mr. Fezziwig/Ensemble.
    Sam Gregory
    (DCPA’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Hamlet, All The Way, A Christmas Carol) as Ebenezer Scrooge.
    Kyra Lindsay
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Martha Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Brody Lineweaver
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Lars Lundberg
    (DCPA’s As You Like It) as Ensemble.
    Chloe McCleod
    (DCPA debut) as Swing.
    Timothy McCracken
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) will understudy Ebenezer Scrooge.
    M. Scott McLean
    (DCPA’s Animal Crackers, As You Like It, A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Chris Mixon
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Old Joe/Ensemble.
    Grace Morgan
    (The Phantom of the Opera, DCPA debut) as Belle/Fred’s Wife/Ensemble.
    Leslie O’Carroll
    (DCPA’s Benediction, A Christmas Carol) as Mrs. Fezziwig/Ensemble.
    Jim Poulos
    (Broadway’s Rent, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, DCPA debut) as Fred/Young Ebenezer/Ensemble.
    Wayne Pretlow
    (DCPA debut) as Ghost of Christmas Present/Ensemble.
    Max Raabe
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Augie Reichert
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Tiny Tim/Ensemble.
    Helen Reichert
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Belinda Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Jeffrey Roark
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, All The Way, A Christmas Carol) as Jacob Marley/Ensemble.
    Christine Rowan
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, Animal Crackers, A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Shannan Steele
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Olivia Sullivent
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Fan/Ensemble.
    Jackie Vanderbeck
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Charwoman/Ensemble.
    Brian Vaughan
    (DCPA debut) as Bob Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Owen Zitek
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Edward Cratchit/Ensemble.


    A Christmas Carol: Ticket information
    A Christmas CarolAt a glance: 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.

    Presented by the DCPA Theatre Company
    By Charles Dickens
    Adapted for the stage by Richard Hellesen
    Music by David de Berry
    Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24
    Stage Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE



    The SantaLand Diaries:
    Ticket information

    280x200-santaland-diariesAt a glance: Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hi-jinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris' offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City are the sure cure for the common Christmas show.

    Presented by Off-Center and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    By David Sedaris
    Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    Directed by Stephen Weitz
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24
    Jones Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

  • Classic comments from Denver-bound David Sedaris

    by John Moore | Oct 29, 2016
    David Sedaris


    EDITOR'S NOTE: Considered America's foremost humorist, best-selling author and cultural icon David Sedaris returns to Denver for three sold-out evenings in the Seawell Grand Ballroom from Nov. 2-4. Sedaris' latest book is titled "Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls." To mark his return, we take a look back at highlights from a fun interview between Sedaris and DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore before a previous Denver visit.

       

    He talked funny one day

    John Moore: David, the last time we saw each other, you were kind enough to sign two books for friends of mine who were not at that particular show. You signed one, “Everyone knows you’re gay,” and the other one, “For that slut in Denver.” Does everyone who doesn’t show up at your shows get "The Sedaris Treatment’?
     
    David Sedaris: There’s always so much pressure to come up with something different to write in each book. Some nights, I come up with new things, and other times, I wind up falling back on old ones. I don’t want anyone to say, “That’s exactly what he wrote in my book.”
     
    John Moore: Time Magazine called you “America’s Best Humorist,” but you haven’t lived in the United States full-time in nearly two decades. How do you stay on top of things here when you are living abroad?
     
    David Sedaris QuoteDavid Sedaris:  Well, that Time Magazine thing was pretty funny. I had real reservations about that. It feels like when you are embraced by Time Magazine, you’ve got to wonder what you are doing wrong. It wasn’t like I nominated myself or anything. But I think being distant helps you to see the U.S. in a different way. When you are living there, things are normal to you, and you stop noticing that things are strange in any way. When you go away and come back, you notice how odd things are here.
     
    John Moore: When you’re here, do you go undercover?
     
    David Sedaris: Often people will say, “Oh, let me take you to a cave,” or “Let me take you to this barbecue restaurant.” But then sometimes, you’re sort of tired of being around people by that point. I love to listen to local talk-radio shows and cable access TV. I mean, that’s half my diary right there, just what I saw on TV the night before.  I’m just unable to believe it. There was a Canadian show when I was there last time called Vets in Training. Have you seen the show?
     
    John Moore: Never heard of that one.
     
    David Sedaris: I can’t figure out if it’s a soap opera or it’s a documentary. But it can’t be a documentary, because they’re too good-looking. They’re all veterinary students, and they all have their little lives and stuff. And then an eagle will sprain its neck or something, and they have to rush to take care of that.
     
    John Moore: We we seem to have this shared belief now that our lives are all interesting, they should be chronicled and they are fully worth the rest of the world’s consumption and consideration.
     
    David Sedaris: What’s that thing where people go to an island?
     
    John Moore: Survivor?
     
    David Sedaris: Yeah. That came on after I moved, so I only read about it. But they started a French version of that show in France. I always wonder if I’m supposed to like these people - because I never do. But in the long run, I think it’s no worse than anything else. I guess that’s the best thing that can be said about that. Like: I laughed as hard as I would laugh at a comedy. I feel as much pity and sympathy as I would as if I were watching Touched by an Angel, you know?
     
    John Moore: Do you ever feel a certain pressure to always be “on” at social occasions - as if you are a stand-up comedian?
     
    David Sedaris QuoteDavid Sedaris: When I go on a tour like this, you just sort of prepare yourself for that.  You just sort of flick yourself “on,” because people expect it. At the same time, I’m usually up for it. What’s funny is that you could say, “Oh, I have a big blister on the bottom of my foot,” and people will laugh. You realize, “Oh - they will laugh at anything I say.”
     
    John Moore:  “So you find puss funny?”
     
    David Sedaris: Right. That’s trouble. When I’m signing books, people are afraid. They’re frightened. And I always think, “Of me?” Like why would anybody …? I don’t know. It just makes me sad.
     
    John Moore:  You don’t take that as a compliment that people get themselves worked up to see you?
     
    David Sedaris: No. I wouldn’t want that. It’s not pleasant to feel that way. Why stand in a line and then have that thing that you’ve been waiting for be unpleasant? That’s like giving blood or something.
     
    John Moore:  I always tend to get nervous.  I don’t know why.
     
    David Sedaris: Well, I’m the same way. I’m terrified whenever I go for a book signing. Anytime I’ve ever gone to hear an author in person, and I think, “Oh, what am I going to say? What I’m going to say is going to sound so stupid” Or, “He’s heard it a million times before.” So I just try to take control. I start asking them questions so they don’t have to stand there and think, “Ugh, that sounded stupid.” Instead I say stuff like, “Are those your real teeth?”
     
    John Moore: That is exactly how I feel when I am standing in the line at a funeral. You are waiting your turn to speak to the family, and you have no idea what you are going to say.
     
    David Sedaris:  But what if you got up there and said, “Where did you get your shoes?” For my book tour, I wanted to try some little gimmicks and things. So I brought out a tip jar, and I made, like, $1,500 in tips! I  made about $140 a night. But I can’t do that on this trip, because I’m being paid to be there, and you know, it just doesn’t seem right. I started a list of questions to ask people. Like: “I don’t know what globalization means.  Do you?” I figure I can just get people’s definitions of that word. And on the book tour, I wear a bow tie, because my father suggested it. So I collected comments about bow ties. Like one night, a guy said that a bow tie was the pierced eyebrow of the Republican Party. That was a good statement.  When I was in San Francisco, a guy said, “A bow tie announces to the world that you can no longer get a (bleep). “ And I thought, "That is exactly what a bow tie does. That is it exactly.”

     

    David Sedaris: SOLD OUT
    • Nov 2-4
    • Seawell Grand Ballrom
    • Produced by Rebek Productions
    • Information: 303-893-4100 for any potential ticket availability

  • November: Colorado theatre openings

    by John Moore | Oct 27, 2016
    November openings DCPA


    NOTE: At the start of each month, the DCPA NewsCenter offers an updated list of all upcoming Colorado theatre openings. Companies are encouraged to submit listings and production photos at least two weeks in advance to the DCPA NewsCenter at jmoore@dcpa.org.


    Five intriguing titles for November:

    Theatregoers have a dizzying array of options in November, with more special events and activities offered than in any other month. All told, you have 81 productions or events to choose from, including a whopping nine from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts alone. Statewide, you can choose between two stage adaptations of Night of the Living Dead, two musicalized versions of the holiday family film A Christmas Story, two It's a Wonderful Lifes, two The Crucibles and four variations of A Christmas Carol.

    At the Denver Center, you will find everything from three nights of David Sedaris to Jersey Boys to Hip Hop Nutcracker to the ongoing irreverent comedy An Act of God. And that doesn't even include two of Denver's most popular November activities: The Denver International Film Festival (Nov. 2-13) and the Denver Improv Festival (Nov. 10-12). Here are five (of many) intriguing titles or events to check out:

    1 PerspectivesJohn Hauser Young John Hauser is on a roll. His latest coup is landing the role of a troubled Texas teen named Jason in Hand to God, presented by Curious Theatre Company. Not to be confused with the DCPA's An Act of God, Robert Askins' ruthlessly profane comedy is about a God-fearing boy coping with his father’s recent death who is forced to join his mother’s Church-led puppet group. When Jason discovers that his foul-mouthed sock puppet has a demonic life all its own, all hell breaks loose. Literally. Hauser is part of the DCPA's Frankenstein company and stars as Romeo in the Education Department's traveling Shakespeare in the Parking Lot program. He also recently starred as Eugene in Miners Alley Playhouse's Biloxi Blues. Hand to God runs Nov. 5-Dec. 17 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    2 Perspectives

    The world premiere of Lost Creatures, written by Denver native Melissa Lucero McCarl, follows the evening British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan met his longtime cinematic obsession, actress Louise Brooks. It's May 1978 and she has sequestered herself for many years, but they discover they are kindred spirits. Starring local big-shots Billie McBride and Mark Collins, and directed by DCPA Education's Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski. Presented by And Toto Too Theatre Company from Nov. 3-19 at 1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org 

    3 PerspectivesGerminal Stage-Denver is presenting a limited engagement of Dalton Trumbo's 1939 anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun. It's the story of a World War I soldier who wakes up in a hospital bed and gradually realizes he has lost his arms, legs and all of his face in an artillery blast. Now through Nov. 6 at the 73rd Avenue Playhouse, 7287 Lowell Blvd., 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com.

    4 PerspectivesEquinox Theatre Company is launching a world-premiere comedy by local actor (and writer) Christian Munck called One Death, Please? It's about a young pop-star named Olive Warren who seems to have it all. But she doesn't, and now she's determined to to take her own life with the help of an assisted suicide clinic. This new play is said to "shine a harsh spotlight on the brutality of the popular media." Nov. 11-Dec. 3 at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    5 PerspectivesThe DCPA’s Tony-winning Theatre Company is helping the community celebrate Denver Arts Week with a special, free evening on Nov. 7 titled Magic of Theatre.
    Ever wonder how it rains on stage? Snows inside? Or how many recipes there are for fake blood? Come explore the secrets of the trade with expert craftspeople. Activities may range from a light show and multimedia display to painting through a bamboo shoot to an exercise in stage combat. Guests also will be treated to scenes from current productions. Details are still being finalized. 6:30 p.m. at the Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    And that's just the start of things. Here are all your options in one handy list:  

    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Oct. 28-30: DCPA's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
    JonesTheatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Oct. 28-Nov. 12: Coal Creek Theater of Louisville and Theater Company of Lafayette's Absurd Person Singular
    At the Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Ave., Louisville, 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org 

    Oct. 28-Nov. 27: Vintage Theatre Productions' Stella and Lou
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Oct. 28-Nov. 6: Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun

    At the 73rd Avenue Playhouse, 7287 Lowell Blvd., 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

    Oct. 28-Nov. 12: Funky Little Theatre Company's The Bold, the Young & the Murdered
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org

    Nov. 3-19: And Toto too Theatre Company’s Lost Creatures
    At The Commons on Champa,1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org 

    Nov. 3-13: Upstart Crow's The Crucible
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or upstart’s home page

     

    Nov. 5-Dec. 17: Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    Nov. 5-Dec. 3: OpenStage Theatre & Company’s The Flick
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or www.openstagetheatre.org

     

    Nov. 5-Dec. 18: The Bitsy Stage's Sadko's Song: A Russian Tale
    1137 S. Huron St. Free, but reservations are required by calling 720-328-5294 or  emailing patti@BitsyStage.com

    Nov. 9-Nov. 13: DCPA Broadway's Jersey Boys
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Nov. 10-12: Control Group Productions' Alone with Todd
    At Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., controlgroupproductions.org

    Nov. 11-Dec. 30: Town Hall Arts Center's A Christmas Story, The Musical
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

    Nov. 11-Dec. 31: Midtown Arts Center's A Christmas Story, The Musical
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Equinox One Death Please. Photo by Christine Fisk. Nov. 11-Dec. 3: Equinox Theatre Company's One Death, Please?
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Nov. 11-20: Inspire Creative's The Diary of Anne Frank
    19650 E. Mainstreet, Parker, 303-805-6800 or inspirecreative.org

    Nov. 17-Dec. 4: Maya Productions' Conviction
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-444-7328 or thedairy.org

    Nov. 18-Dec. 24: Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org READ MORE

    Nov. 18-Dec. 18: Two live radio plays: It's A Wonderful Life in repertory with A Christmas Carol
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Nov. 19-Feb. 25, 2017: BDT Stage's Thoroughly Modern Millie
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Nov. 19-Dec. 23: Bas Bleu Theatre Company's The Snow Queen
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Nov. 11-20: Longmont Theatre Company's Tuesdays with Morrie
    513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Nov 20: DCPA Broadway's The Hip Hop Nutcracker
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Nov. 25-Dec. 24: DCPA Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol, Stage Theatre
    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Nov. 25-Dec. 24: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and Off-Center's The SantaLand Diaries
    At the Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Nov. 25-Dec. 23: Miners Alley Playhouse's A Christmas Carol
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Nov. 25-Jan. 8: Vintage Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2016: The Avenue Theater's Santa’s Big Red Sack
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Nov. 25-Dec. 18: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Bad Jews
    At the Outlets at Silverthorne. Dillon, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    Nov. 25-Dec. 30, 2016: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's She Loves Me
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Nov. 25-Dec. 31: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s A Wonderful Life
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Nov. 25-Dec. 31: Thin Air Theatre Company's A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol
    139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Dec. 1-18: Boys Hair Club's A Krumpus Story
    Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. TICKET INFO

     

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Bat Boy. Longmont Theatre. Through Oct. 29: Longmont Theatre Company's Bat Boy: The Musical
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Through Oct. 29, 2016: Naropa Universiity's Spill
    2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder MORE INFO

    Through Oct. 29: OpenStage Theatre Company’s Ultimate Beauty Bible
    At the Center for Fine Art Photography, 400 N. College Ave., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

     

    Through Oct. 29: Bug Theatre's Night of the Living Dead, Live (with Paper Cat Films)
    3654 Navajo St., 303-477-9984 or bugtheatre.info

    Through Oct. 30: DCPA Theatre Company's Frankenstein
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through Oct. 30: Cherry Creek Theatre's The Last Romance
    Shaver Ramsey Showroom, 2414 E. 3rd Ave., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

    Through Oct. 30: Springs Ensemble Theatre’s The Elephant Man
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    Through Oct. 30: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Grounded
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Oct. 30: Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre’s Sarah, Plain and Tall
    Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Oct. 30: Vintage Theatre's Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, The Musical
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Oct. 30: 5280 Artists Coop's Colorism

    1400 Dallas Street, Aurora, 5280artistcoop.ticketspice.com

    Through Oct. 30: Star Bar Players' Night of the Living Dead, Live
    At the Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado. 719-520-1899 or starbarplayers.org

    Through Oct. 30: Thin Air Theatre Company's Cripple Creep Show
    139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Through Oct. 30: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
    Second Stage, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Through Nov. 5: Midtown Arts Center's Motones vs. Jerseys
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Nov. 5: Firehouse's Theatre's The Crucible
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehouse’s home page READ MORE

    Through Nov. 5: The Avenue Theater's Wait Until Dark
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com

    Through Nov. 6: Arvada Center’s Tartuffe
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org READ MORE

    Through Nov. 6: Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres, or The Sun That You Are
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org READ MORE

    Through Nov. 6: Aurora Fox's Dracula
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., 303-739-1970 or aurorafoxartscenter.org

    Through Nov. 6: TheatreWorks' Game of Love and Chance
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    Through Nov. 6: Evergren Players' Stepping Out
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreen players’ home page

    Through Nov. 12: BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2! (#WhatDidIComeInHereFor)
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com READ MORE

    Through March 12, 2017: DCPA Cabaret's An Act of God
    Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through Nov. 13: The Edge Theatre's Marie Antoinette
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Through Nov. 13: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s Evita
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through Nov. 13: Local Theater Company’s The Firestorm
    Carsen Theater at The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org READ MORE

     

    Through Nov. 13: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Full Code
    Grace Gamm Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or betc.org

    Through Nov. 13: Ignite Theatre's Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe
    2590 Washington St., 866-811-4111 or click here for tickets

    Through Nov. 19: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
    Second Stage, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Through Nov. 27: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Godspell
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

     

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE
    Ongoing productions
    2406 Federal Blvd., Denver, 303-455-1848 or adamsmysteryplayhouse.com

    ATHENA PROJECT
    Nov. 19: Staged reading of Sheltered, a play by local playwright Catherine Wiley
    7 p.m.  $20 ticket includes donation to The Gathering Place.
    At Red Line Contemporary Art Gallery, 2350 Arapahoe St. or tickets

    BUNTPORT THEATRE

    Sept. 30: Untitled at the Denver Art Museum
    Nov. 12: Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey (Monthly theatre for young audiences at 1 and 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, through May 13)
    Nov. 15: The Great Debate
    Nov. 16: The Narrators (a live storytelling show and podcast)
    Nov. 18-19: Stratus Chamber Orchestra with Buntport Theater at Augustana Lutheran Church
    Nov. 19: TRUNKS: a live comic book is back! (2-4 p.m.)
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    THE CATAMOUNTS
    Nov. 5-6: FEED: Los Muertos
    Celebrating stories and rituals honoring the departed, including a three-course meal, live music and performance.
    Firehouse Arts Center, 667 4th Ave., Longmont, 720-468-0487 or brownpapertickets.com

    DENVER ACTORS FUND PRESENTS ...

    (Monthly film series in partnership with local theatre companies)
    Nov. 15: A Christmas Story
    Pre-screening entertainment by cast of Town Hall Arts Center's current production.
    At the Alamo Drafthouse, Aspen Grove, 7301 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, 720-588-4107 or BUY TICKETS

    DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
    Nov. 2-4: DCPA Broadway's An Evening with David Sedaris
    At the Seawell Grand Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    DENVER IMPROV FESTIVAL

    Nov. 10-12: The Denver Improv Festival features the top improv performers from across Colorado as well as teams from all over the country. BUY TICKETS
    Venues:
    The Bovine Metropolis Theater, Voodoo Comedy Playhouse and Backstage at Beryl's.

    LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY
    Nov. 4-5: Tim and Ben
    The Outlets at Silverthorne. Dillon, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    LAKEWOOD CULTURAL CENTER
    Nov. 18: Aquila Theatre's Much Ado About Nothing
    Nov. 19: Aquila Theatre's Agatha Christie's Murder on the Nile
    470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or Lakewood.org

    LANNIES CLOCKTOWER CABARET
    Nov. 2: Drag Decades with Hostess Shirley Delta Blow
    Nov. 4 and 11: The Jerseys Sing the Four Seasons
    Nov. 5-26: Unforgettable, an R&B tribute starring Mary Louise Lee and Michael C

    Nov. 25: Revenge of the Misfit Toys, holiday improv comedy 
    D&F Clock Tower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or Clocktowercabaret.com

    November openings. Einstein Mizel. MIZEL ARTS AND CULTURE CENTER
    Nov. 20: Einstein!, a solo play by Jack Fry, 4 p.m.
    Elaine Wolf Theatre, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-316-6360 or maccjcc.org

    PACE CENTER
    Oct. 27: Rock the Presidents
    This high-energy musical revue spans 223 years of American presidents.
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org

    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY

    Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

     

    STORIES ON STAGE
    Nov. 12: Born Funny
    1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or TICKETS
    Selections include:
    "Attempting Normal," by Marc Maron, performed by Drew Horwitz
    “Confessions of a Juggler,” by Tina Fey, performed by MareTrevathan
    “The Long Epiphany,” by George Carlin, performed by Bob Buckley

    November openings. Aquila Lakewood Cultural Center
  • 'SantaLand' Podcast: Michael Bouchard is the new elf in town

    by John Moore | Nov 09, 2015

    To listen to our podcast, press play.

    Episode 175 of our Running Lines Audio Podcast:

    There's a new elf in town. Yes, there will be a fresh, caustic candy-striper playing Crumpet in the Denver Center’s annual presentation of The SantaLand Diaries, David Sedaris’ comic monologue recounting his real-life experience working as a Macy’s Department store elf. His name is Michael Bouchard, a Denver Post Ovation Award-winning actor best-known to Colorado audiences from his time at the Arvada Center, the Creede Repertory Theatre, and as a newly appointed company member with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, which is presenting The SantaLand Diaries at the Jones Theatrein collaboration with the DCPA’s Off-Center.

    Why is he perfect for the role of David Sedaris? Bouchard isn't bragging when he says with a twinkle, "I’m a cynical bastard through and through." He says the people who most annoy him are "classical liberal intellectuals," whom he defines as "those who love humanity … but they hate people." He only associates with them, he says, "when I look in the mirror."

    Bouchard may be cynical about the commercialization of Christmas, but he thinks audiences should consider attending both The SantaLand Diaries' and the far less cynical A Christmas Carol, because it will be fellow actor Philip Pleasants' last time playing Scrooge. "And he might be the greatest scrooge I have ever heard of, much less seen," he said. 

    A Christmas Carol is good for the human spirit," he added. The joy of SantaLand, he added, is that it pokes fun at the industry of Christmas. "You can shed some of that cynicism off while getting a really hard laugh."

    The running time of the podcast is 6 minutes.

    Podcast Outtake:

    Bouchard is proud to have recently been named a full company member with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. The company, known colloquially as "Betsy " after its BETC acronym, was co-founded by Bouchard's SantaLand Director, Steven Weitz, who also just directed Tribes for the DCPA Theatre Company. 

    "There are a lot of great theatre local companies out there doing a lot of different theatre," Bouchard said. "But BETC is a theatre that is doing just really good work. They are doing the best shows they can find with the best people they can get their hands on, and there's not necessarily a gimmick to it. For me, that's the sweet spot."


    Matt Zambrano, left, with Michael Bouchard. Photo by John Moore.

    There was a recent informal passing of the hat when Matt Zambrano, who played Crumpet in the 2013 and '14 DCPA stagings of "The SantaLand Diaries," symbolically turned the role over to Michael Bouchard. Zambrano recently appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company's "As You Like It." Last year, Bouchard appeared in "A Christmas Carol."  Photo by John Moore. 


    The SantaLand Diaries: Ticket information

  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 at the Jones Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performances: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20
  • 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

  • Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for 'The SantaLand Diaries.'


    More SantaLand coverage
    :
    Beginnings and endings A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries'

    Recent Running Lines podcasts:
    Our interview with ... Geoffrey Kent and Benjamin Bonenfant of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Our interview with ... Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford
    Our interview with: Emma Messenger and Haley Johnson of 'Night, Mother
    Our interview with ... Margie Lamb of Next to Normal
    Our interview with ... Jane Lynch of Glee
    Our interview with ... Cyndi Lauper of Kinky Boots
    Our interview on dialects with ... The cast of Lord of the Flies
    Our interview with ... Jeremy Palmer, Ed Mills and J Murray d'Armand of Wit's L.A. Diner
    Our interview with ... Laura Norman and Josh Hartwell of Grounded
    Our interview with ... Dramaturg Allison Horsley of Animal Crackers
    Our interview with ... Director Christy Montour-Larson of Shadowlands

  • First rehearsal: Scrooge, in typical fashion: Let's get to work!

    by John Moore | Nov 07, 2015
    Photos from the opening meet-and-greet rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 2015 staging of 'A Christmas Carol.' Photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter. To download any photo for free, click on "View original Flickr" image and choose from a variety of download sizes.


    Director Bruce K. Sevy took a moment during the first rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company’s upcoming 23rd staging of A Christmas Carol to honor venerable actor Philip Pleasants, who will be playing Scrooge at the Denver Center for the 11th and final time.

    Sevy called working with Pleasants over the past decade a remarkable partnership and learning experience. “This is one of the rare experiences you get in the theatre that makes you think your whole career was worth it,” Sevy said.

    Sam Gregory and Philip Pleasants. Photo by John Moore. DCPA veteran Sam Gregory, who will understudy Pleasants this year and eventually assume the role of Scrooge as his own, called Pleasants the greatest actor to ever play the role.

    “I have watched Phil progress and grow in this role since I first played Bob Cratchit to Phil's Scrooge at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 1998,” Gregory said. “He has been so magnificent. There is no one in this room more intimidated than I am right now.”

    Pleasants had to sit there and take the accolades like Cratchit working on Christmas Eve. He then summoned his inner Scrooge and declared simply, "It is a great honor and privilege. I am thrilled to be here. Now ... let's get to work!"

    (Photo above: Sam Gregory, left, and Philip Pleasants. Photo by John Moore.) 

    Sevy welcomed faces old and new for the official meet-and-greet that launches the beginning of the rehearsal period before every Theatre Company production. This year, the noontime party included guests from another DCPA holiday offering, David Sedaris’ caustic monologue, The SantaLand Diaries.

    Stephen Weitz, who also directed the Theatre Company's Tribes (running through Nov. 15), is helming SantaLand for a seventh straight holiday season. This is the third year the show is being presented as a collaboration between Weitz's Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and the DCPA's Off-Center.

    This year, Michael Bouchard, who appeared in last season’s A Christmas Carol, will assume the candy-striped tights of Crumpet the Elf from Matt Zambrano in The SantaLand Diaries, which plays Nov. 27-Dec. 27 in the Jones Theatre.

    Another first: For the first time in eight years, Weitz announced, that will be a new Crumpet costume Bouchard is sporting. Weitz jokingly cited an EPA violation from eight years of cumulative sweat from his previous Crumpets, Zambrano and Geoffrey Kent.

    Michael Bouchard and Bruce K. Sevy. Photo by John Moore.
    A joking 'A Christmas Carol' Director Bruce K. Sevy, right, doesn't look too happy with actor Michael Bouchard's life choices. After performing for Sevy in 'A Christmas Carol' last year, Bouchard will move over to the Jones Theatre to star in David Sedaris' 'The SantaLand Diaries' this holiday season. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    David Sedaris wrote The SantaLand Diaries in 1992 detailing his real-life experience working as an elf at the Macy's department store in New York,” Weitz said. “Since then, it has really become a staple of holiday theatre all across the country. We've always thought of it as an alternative holiday outing to more traditional offerings like A Christmas Carol. It attracts a somewhat different audience, and it traffics in Sedaris’ unique brand of snark and cynicism. In many ways, Seadris' view of the holidays in 1992 was prophetic in that he was just starting to comment on the commercialization of Christmas, and how it was becoming about all the wrong things. I don't think any of us knew how far that trend was going to continue, but when you look at where we are today, it's still incredibly timely.

    “And yet what makes the play wonderful is that underneath all the biting commentary, it really does have a heart about what Christmas is, and should be, and can be.”

    Daniel Langhoff, Laura Mathew Siebert and Nate Siebert. Photo by John Moore. Before offering his thoughts on A Christmas Carol, Sevy invited returning cast member Daniel Langhoff to address the gathering. Langhoff, a new father, was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in August, and two weeks ago had the mass removed. Next week, he starts a 24-week course of chemotherapy.

    “I don’t know how this is going to hit me,” Langhoff said, but he thanked his director, cast and crew for inviting him to come back to the show regardless. “This couldn't be coming at a better time for me,” he said of A Christmas Carol. "I just want to say thank you all for that. “

    Langhoff gave a shoutout to the Denver community for supporting him through the start of his ordeal, including the Denver Actors Fund, which has raised about $3,600 to help off-set his medical expenses. Also present was local photographer Laura Mathews Siebert, who hosted a recent portrait fundraiser that raised an additional $1,500 for Langhoff’s family.

    In a remarkable small-world twist, Siebert is also the mother of 10-year-old Nate Patrick Siebert, who is newly cast in the Denver Center's A Christmas Carol for the first time. Twice before, young Nate has donated $100 from his acting stipends (Arvada Center’s Camelot and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Mary Poppins) to the Denver Actors Fund.

    “If you ever are worried about the transient nature of relationships in theatre, it's a lie,” Langhoff said. “Theatre relationships go on. We are all here for each other, whether or not we even know it.”

    (Photo above right: Daniel Langhoff, Laura Mathews Siebert and her son Nate, along with a montage of portraits Laura photographed to raise money for Langhoff's cancer treatments. Photo by John Moore.)


    The children of 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by John Moore

    The children of the DCPA's 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by John Moore.


    Four things Director Bruce K. Sevy loves about A Christmas Carol:

    1 PerspectivesThe music by David de Berry, with fresh orchestrations by Gregg Coffin. “This is a very musical play, with its use of traditional carols, singing, underscoring and sound,” Sevy said. Added Coffin: “The music is beautifully ornamental. None of the music defines character or forwards the plot. Instead it hangs like little ornaments on a tree. And all of these little musical moments help to paint a fuller picture of the Dickensian world.” Over his six years with the DCPA, Coffin has completely reimagined the scoring by adding more indigenous instruments such as hammer dulcimers, fiddles and guitars that help bring out the feel of Victorian England.

    2 PerspectivesTheatricality. "We did Hamlet a couple of years ago, and I realized while I was watching it how much Marley's scene with Scrooge is actually borrowing the same sensibility from Hamlet with his father, who is also a ghost,” Sevy said. He added with a laugh: “So Scrooge is actually Hamlet, and Marley is his father. That is really what is going on here.”

    3 PerspectivesSocial conscience. "This story is remarkably progressive; moral without being stuffy," Sevy said. "It gets into some fundamental questions about our relationship to one another, and what the point of life is after all. We know at the core of this play is a man who has cut himself off from the world, and from other human beings. His journey is one of reconnecting. I think when most people come to A Christmas Carol, they leave thinking mostly of the happy stuff. But by the time we get to the part where Scrooge comes to ask if he can come to dinner at his nephew's place, and then surprises Cratchit with a pay raise - it's moving. That's the power of this piece. It speaks to a shared value that we all have."

    4 PerspectivesTimeliness: “What's similar between 1840 and now is that we have a comparable imbalance between those who have money and those who don't,” Sevy said. “Almost every scene in this play has some reference to either money, finances or the lack of it. The reason Belle breaks up with Scrooge is because he has a new golden idol - and it is money. Just as it is today, Scrooge's world is out of balance when we start the play. That's a big part of what this play is about.”                  

    A Christmas Carol: Cast list:

    Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
    Adapted by Richard Hellesen
    Music by David de Berry

    Directed by Bruce K. Sevy
    Music Direction by Gregg Coffin
    Orchestrations by Gregg Coffin
    Choreography by Christine Rowan
    Set Design by Vicki Smith
    Costume Design by Kevin Copenhaver
    Lighting Design by Don Darnutzer
    Sound Design by Craig Breitenbach       

    Colin Alexander (Ghost of Christmas Present)
    Leslie Alexander (Mrs. Cratchit)
    Benjamin Bonenfant (Undertaker’s Man)
    Courtney Capek (Belle)
    Stephanie Cozart (Ghost of Christmas Past)
    Allen Dorsey (Ghost of Christmas Future)
    Napoleon M. Douglas (Ensemble)
    Mehry Eslaminia (Ensemble)
    Michael Fitzpatrick (Mr. Fezziwig)
    Ella Galaty (Fan)
    Sam Gregory (Scrooge Understudy)
    Edwin Harris (Ensemble)
    Ben W. Heil (Peter Cratchit)
    Charlie Korman (Boy Scrooge)
    Robert Andrew Koutras (Ensemble)
    Daniel Langhoff (Ensemble)
    Avi Levin (Ensemble)
    Kyra Lindsay (Martha Cratchit)
    Brody Lineaweaver (Ensemble)
    Rodney Lizcano (Old Joe)
    Emma C. Martin (Ensemble)
    M. Scott McLean (Young Scrooge)
    Leslie O’Carroll (Mrs. Fezziwig)
    Philip Pleasants (Ebenezer Scrooge)
    Max Raabe (Edward Cratchit)
    Augie Reichert (Tiny Tim)
    Helen Reichert (Belinda Cratchit)
    James Michael Reilly (Bob Cratchit)
    Jeffrey Roark (Jacob Marley)
    Christine Rowan (Ensemble)
    Nate Patrick Siebert (Ensemble)
    Shannan Steele (Ensemble)
    Olivia Sullivent (Want)
    Jake Williamson (Ensemble)
    Erin Willis (Ensemble)
    Owen Zitek (Ensemble) 

    A Christmas Carol: Ticket information

  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 (Opens Dec. 4) at the Stage Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performance: 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19

  • The SantaLand Diaries: Ticket information
  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 at the Jones Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performance: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20
  •  
    For both shows:
  • 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

  • Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for 'A Christmas Carol' and 'The SantaLand Diaries.'


    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of  A Christmas Carol:
    Beginnings and endings for stars of A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas O'Carroll ... in 5 minutes
    Actor Scott McLean is now also a published children's author
    Video: The Christmas Carol Coast to Coast Challenge. No. 1: Denver
    By the numbers: A Christmas Carol over 22 years at the DCPA
    First day of 2014 rehearsal: Interviews, cast list and photos
    Meet the cast video: James Michael Reilly
    Meet the cast video: Leslie Alexander
  • Page to Stage Video: Matt Zambrano talks 'SantaLand Diaries'

    by John Moore | Nov 19, 2013

    Crumpet may be one cynical elf, but Colorado's own Matt Zambrano proved to be a joyful sprite of a guy when he joined John Moore for a fun-filled hour at November's "Page to the Stage," a monthly lunchtime conversation at the Tattered Cover book store. This brief video contains highlights from their talk. The SantaLand Diaries, a co-production with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, opens Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 24. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org

  • First look: 'The SantaLand Diaries' TV commercial

    by John Moore | Nov 15, 2013


    Here's your first look at a fun new TV spot for "The SantaLand Diaries." It was conceived by Denver Center graphic Designer Kyle Malone, whose animation required about 150 individual Photoshop layers, with an assist from videographer Ken Mostek.

     Local favorite Matt Zambrano dons the candy-cane tights in
    "The SantaLand Diaries," bringing to life David Sedaris' semi-true story working as an elf in a Macy's SantaLand display. It opens Nov. 29 in the Garner-Galleria Theatre as a co-production with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. Call 303-839-4100 or visit www.denvercenter.org

  • POPULAR POSTS
     
    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.