• Summer mountain theatre preview: Head for the hills!

    by John Moore | Jun 02, 2018

    Xanadu Ryahn Evers and Deylan Dean in Little Theatre of the Rockies' 'Xanadu,' opening June 7 in Greeley. Photo courtesy of Marco Robinson.

    In summertime, Colorado theatregoers heed the call to 'climb every mountain' in search of wide variety of stage offerings

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Coloradans love to climb their 14ers in the summer. And local theatregoers love to climb every mountain in search of a wide expanse of theatrical possibilities.

    Summer is when many of Colorado's famed seasonal repertory companies open from Grand Lake to Dillon to Creede and beyond. Combined they will present a dizzying array of offerings throughout the state ranging from the Colorado homegrown premiere of the madcap Broadway musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in Grand Lake to Lake Dillon Theatre Company's The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, the searing story of a brash New Jersey detective determined to solve the disappearance of a 14-year-old gay teen. That will star frequent DCPA Theatre Company actor Jeffrey Roark.

    For those preferring to stay closer to home, scroll down for our complete list of summer theatregoing options covering every company in the state. (To add or correct, email jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    Summer Mountain or Repertory Theatre in Colorado:


    • Scott-McLeanFeatured play: Monty Python's Spamalot
    • What’s it all about? Spamalot is coming to taunt Breckenridge. The Tony Award-winning best musical of 2005 was lovingly "ripped off" from the beloved source film, with its full allotment of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight intact. Ish.
    • Directed by: Robert Michael Sanders
    • Keep an eye on: Scott McLean as Arthur. He’s been one of the area’s most reliable song-and-dance men for 20 years, most actively at the Town Hall Arts Center, where he recently appeared in Sisters of Swing and Peter and the Starcatcher. He’s got dramatic chops, too, as he displayed in the Edge Theatre’s Casa Valentina. Spamalot offers McLean the chance to show off his deadpan comic skills as the self-anointed knight who is never, ever in on the joke.  
    June 8-July 21: Our Teacher's A Troll (for children)
    June 15-July 21: Monty Python's Spamalot
    July 26-Aug. 12: Lend Me A Tenor
    Aug. 24-Sept. 2: Annie
    At 121 S. Ridge St.,  970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org


    • rodney_lizcanoFeatured play: Richard III
    • What’s it all about? The Bard’s most murderous, malicious and mesmerizing king is being presented indoors for the first time by the nation’s second-oldest Shakespeare festival. Richard, Edward IV’s deformed and embittered younger brother, will do anything to take the crown for himself — but once he has the throne, everything falls apart. Four centuries later, the masterful conclusion of Shakespeare’s Henriad history cycle still speaks volumes about lies, honor and the dark side of ambition. READ MORE
    • Directed by: Wendy Franz
    • Keep an eye on: Rodney Lizcano in the title role. He’s a graduate of the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory and just appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company’s world premiere of American Mariachi. He’s best-known in Boulder for his broad comedic Shakespeare roles but now he's getting his first chance to slink into a major, villainous lead.

    June 8-Aug. 12: Love's Labour's Lost (outdoors)
    June 22-Aug. 11: Richard III (Indoor stage)
    July 6-Aug. 11: Cyrano de Bergerac (outdoors)
    July 20-Aug. 12: You Can't Take It With You (indoors)
    Aug. 5: Edward III (indoors)
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or coloradoshakes.org


    • Emily_van_FleetFeatured play: 9 to 5
    • What’s it all about? This enduring fan favorite is a musical stage adaptation of the hit comedy film about workplace revenge back in the Rolodex era. When three unlikely women conspire to take control of their company, they learn there's nothing they can't do — even in a man's world.
    • Directed by: Amanda Berg Wilson
    • Keep an eye on: Emily Van Fleet as Doralee — Dolly Parton’s film part. Van Fleet is a 2017 True West Award winner who has been on the roll (of roles) of a lifetime following the DCPA’s The Wild Party at the Stanley Marketplace and most recently in the two (!) female leading roles in the Arvada Center’s Sunday in the Park with George. Long before she stormed Denver, she was a favorite in Creede, located 250 miles south of Denver in the San Juan Mountains.

    Through Aug. 9: Barefoot in the Park
    June 8-Aug. 26: The Wizard of Oz
    June 23-Sept. 8: Boomtown (improv comedy)
    June 29-Aug. 25: 9 to 5
    July 12-14: The KID Show (for children)
    July 27-Sept. 15: Miss Holmes
    Aug. 17-Sept. 14: Guadalupe in the Guest Room
    At 124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or creederep.org


    • Xanadu Ryahn Evers Featured play: Xanadu
    • What’s it all about? Based on the 1980 film starring Olivia Newton-John, this frothy 2007 Broadway adaptation about an artist and his encounter with muses is not your mamma's Xanadu. It pays homage to the original story and music, but with welcome reworking of the source film's evident problems. We're talking roller skates, short shorts and mythological mayhem. It's kind of like The Wedding Singer on roller skates.
    • Directed by: Shelly Gaza
    • Keep an eye on: Ryahn Evers as Kira. She’s a student of musical theatre at the University of Northern Colorado, also home of Colorado’s oldest theatre company. If she looks to you like she could be a princess, you are not alone. She's even paid to be one — as an actor for Wands and Wishes Occasions, a highly sucessful company that provides quality fairy-tale characters for children’s parties. “She is really dynamite,” says her director.

    June 7-July 20: Xanadu
    June 14-21: Lobby Hero
    June 21-July 19: Angel Street
    June 28-July 1: I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
    On the University of Northern Colorado campus, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com


    • Jefrey RoarkFeatured play: The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
    • What’s it all about? Flamboyant, optimistic 14-year-old Leonard Pelkey goes missing in a small Jersey town. As detective Chuck DeSantis investigates the clues left behind, James Lecesne’s one-actor play asks us how to live, who to love, and what gets left behind when one person is lost. The affecting and entertaining play is a testament to the beauty of a world where difference is celebrated rather than denigrated. Recommended for adults and students 14 and older.
    • Directed by: Christy Montour-Larson
    • Keep an eye on: Jeffrey Roark. He’s a graduate of the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory who most recently appeared in the DCPA Theatre’s A Christmas Carol as Jacob Marley. Other credits have included Sweeney Todd, All the Way and To Kill a Mockingbird

    June 18-June 17: The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
    June 15-July 15: Rock of Age
    July 13-29: Topdog/Underdog
    Aug. 3-Sept 2: The Underpants
    Aug. 17-Sept. 2: Mr. Joy
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org


    • Russell Mernaugh 200Featured play: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
    • What’s it all about? This was the most-nominated musical of the 2014 Broadway season, and Rocky Mountain rep is the first Colorado company to stage its own version of it. When the low-born Monty Navarro finds out he’s eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family, he sets down a ghoulish path to speed up the process. Can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and become the second Earl of Highhurst? And what's love got to do with it?
    • Directed by: Michael Querio
    • Keep an eye on: Russell Mernagh made a name for himself in several Denver-area musicals, including Damn Yankees at the Town Hall Arts Center, before heading to Chicago (Goodman and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and then New York. But he’s continued to be a regular member of Grand Lake’s popular summer rep company, having played Chad in All Shook Up and Enjolras in Les Miserables, among others.  Now he's playing Monty Navarro, a man who is writing his memoirs on the eve of his possible (madcap) execution. Special shout-out, too, to Josh Kellman, who is playing all nine members of the D’Ysquith family in what Querio promises "will be a tour-de-force comedic performance." This is Kellman's seventh season with Rocky Mountain Rep. (Here's our expanded story from last year's 50th anniversary season.)

    June 8-Aug. 24: Annie
    June 15-Aug. 23: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
    June 29-Aug. 25: The Full Monty
    Aug. 31-Sept. 29: Pump Boys and Dinettes
    At 800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com


    • Jacquie Jo Billings EvitaFeatured play: Evita
    • What’s it all about? This Evita will take a new approach to the story of Argentina's rags-to-riches first lady, setting Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical inside a tango bar in the heart of Buenos Aires on the night of Eva Peron’s death. Driven by ambition and blessed with charisma, Eva was destined to leave a lasting and unique 20th century political legacy. This season marks the debut of young Eli Carpenter (who assisted with the directing of many DCPA Theatre Company shows) as Artistic Director.
    • Directed by: Jimmy Bruenger
    • Keep an eye on: Jacquie Jo Billings as Evita. The 2014 True West Award winner for The Fantasticks at Miners Alley Playhouse is joining her sister, Jamie Billings (director of God of Garnage), at Trinidad’s venerable summer theatre. Jacquie Jo was nominated for a Henry Award for playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at Miners Alley, and later played the troubled daughter in Town Hall’s Next to Normal. The Billings sisters will perform together in Fly By Night. (Photos by Cody Schuyler.)

    June 15-Aug. 19: Fly by Night
    July 8-Aug. 17: Evita
    July 20-Aug. 18: God of Carnage
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com


    • Kimberly Doreen Burns Featured play: Ragtime
    • What’s it all about? One of the greatest American musicals of all time follows a Harlem musician, a WASP matriarch and a Jewish immigrant father in 1904 New York, while weaving in historic figures such as Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington and Henry Ford. Based on E.L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime is a sweeping and volatile tale of love in an intolerant time. It reminds us that everyone’s voice is vital in defining our American experience. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
    • Directed by: Mark Martino
    • Keep an eye on: Kimberly Doreen Burns, who will play Mother. Theatre Aspen always brings a stunning roster of New York-trained actors for the summer, and this year is no exception. Burns has taken on everything from Dot/Marie (Sunday in the Park with George) to Guenevere (Camelot) to Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls) to Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady) to Nellie Forbush (South Pacific).  In Aspen, She also will play Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town under the direction of Hunter Foster, star of Broadway's Urinetown.

    June 27-July 3: Ragtime
    July 14-Aug. 8: Godspell
    July 20-28: Our Town
    At The Hurst Theatre, 470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org


    • Hannah Zilber Little ShopFeatured play: Little Shop of Horrors
    • What’s it all about? Classic, campy rock musical about a down-and-out skid-row floral assistant named Seymour who becomes an overnight sensation after he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh human blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers Seymour fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite. Thingamajig has rented its puppets for this show from Denver puppet master Cory Gilstrap, “and they are magnificent,” Artistic Director Tim Moore says. “The licensor strongly encourages you to rent theirs, but we really wanted to support local artists — and Cory’s stuff is awesome.”
    • Directed by: Ali Whitman
    • Keep an eye on: Hannah Zilber as Audrey. The Chesapeake (Va.) native is, in Moore’s words,  “a true pin-up girl born in the wrong era — and as sweet as Southern performers have a reputation for being. We went to Graceland together and people stopped her for pictures the whole tour.”

    June 15-Aug. 31: Legally Blonde The Musical
    June 22-Aug. 29: West Side Story
    July 6-Aug. 30: Thoroughly Modern Millie
    July 7-Aug. 25: Pinkalicious the Musical
    July 13-Aug. 29: Little Shop of Horrors
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 81147, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    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.

    More (non-rep) statewide summer theatre options:

    Equus Bas Bleu Photo William CottonBAS BLEU THEATRE, FORT COLLINS
    Through July 1: Equus
    401 Pine St., 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Through June 17: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    June 29-July 21: Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind
    Aug. 30-Sept. 2: Pie
    30 W. Dale St., 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    June 15-30: Always a Bridesmaid
    July 13-Aug. 4: Third annual Spectrum LGBTQIA Festival
    367 Pecan St., 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org

    Through Aug. 11: A Precious Bit of the West...or...She Was Simply a Delight!
    June 15-Oct. 13: Disturbance at the Delta, Or...Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy
    444 Ruxton Ave., 719-685-5104 or ironspringschateau.com

    Through July 8: Annie
    July 13-Sept. 30: The Producers
    224 Main St., 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    June 16-July 29: Summer Sundae-Fundays! (Theatre and ice cream)
    1626 S. Tejon St., 719-465-6321, www.themat.org 

    June 1-Aug. 25: Grease
    3750 S. Mason St, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com 

    Through June 30: The Comedy of Errors
    The Park at Columbine Health Systems, 947 Worthington Circle, 970-484-5237 or www.openstagetheatre.org 

    July 19-Aug. 5: Tigers Be Still 
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    July 26-Aug. 26: Macbeth
    Aug. 2-25: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
    At Rock Ledge Ranch, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    June 14-30: Bat Boy: The Musical
    At 67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com

    Summer theatre options in the Denver metro area:

    Through Aug. 25: Murder at the Tiki Bar
    2406 Federal Blvd., Denver, 80211, 303-455-1848 or adamsmysteryplayhouse.com

    44th and Tennyson streets, 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org
    June 15: The Play Crawl on Tennyson Street

    Through Sept. 8: The Little Mermaid
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    June 22-July 21: The Arsonists
    1560 Teller St., benchmarktheatre.com

    Through June 17: A Hymn to the Goddess: An Egyptian Tale
    1137 S. Huron St., 720-328-5294 www.bitsystage.com

    Through June 17: "Rausch," an outdoor adventure
    Starts at Wild Woods Brewery, 5460 Conestoga Ct., 303-440-7826 or thecatamounts.org

    Aug. 23-25: An Evening of Colorado Grown One Acts
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Ave., cctlouisville.org

    Through June 16: Your Best One
    June 25: Denver Stories, featuring Steve Farber
    June 14-July 1: Ars Nova’s Underground Railroad Game
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org  

    Through June 24: Human Error, Garner Galleria Theatre READ MORE (Photo at right of Marissa McGowan and Kimberly Gilbert by AdamsVisCom.)

    Aug. 24-Sept. 30: Vietgone, Ricketson Theatre READ MORE
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through June 10: School of Rock, Buell Theatre READ MORE
    June 13-July 7: The Book of Mormon, The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    July 12-Aug. 5: Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, Garner Galleria Theatre
    July 25-Aug 5: Les Misérables, Buell Theatre
    Aug. 8-19: On Your Feet!, Buell Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through July 1: Remote Denver, Starts at Lincoln Park, 13th Avenue and Mariposa Street WATCH THE VIDEO
    July 11-Aug. 22: Mixed Taste: Tag team lectures (Wednesdays), at Seawell Ballroom, 14th and Curtis streets
    303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    June 25-29: West Side Story (performers grades 6-12)
    Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-316-6360 www.maccjcc.org

    Through June 16: Little Shop of Horrors
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinoxtheatredenver.com 

    July 13-Aug. 5: 9 to 5
    Aug. 24-25: Epic Summer (improv comedy)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    Through June 9: Superior Donuts
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com  

    July 20-Aug. 5: Sister Act
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, 303-805-6800 or Inspirecreative.org

    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org
    July 21-Aug. 13: The Tempest

    June 23-July 22: The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Seam Michael Cummings in District Merchants at Miners Alley Playhouse. Sarah Roshan Photography.MINERS ALLEY PLAYHOUSE
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com
    Through June 24: District Merchants READ MORE (Photo by Sarah Roshan)
    July 13-Aug. 19: Lend Me a Tenor

    July 12-Aug. 5: Into The Woods, at The Space Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-575-0005 or 303-893-4100; denvercenter.org or phamaly.org 

    Through June 9: The Life & Times of Ol' Alfred
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    27357 Conifer Road, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoortheatre.org
    July 13-29: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

    June 14-July 1: Anthem to Aztlan
    721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org 

    July TBA: A Midsummer Night’s Scream: A new-play festival inspired by the Edvard Munch painting
    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org 

    Through June 18: Ain’t Misbehavin’
    2450 W. Main St., 303-794-2787 or townhallsrtscenter.com 

    Through July 8: Agnes of God
    June 22-Aug. 5: The Bridges of Madison County
    Aug. 3-Sept. 9: The Sunshine Boys
    1468 Dayton St., 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • What a wonderful world it was with Daniel Langhoff

    by John Moore | Nov 12, 2017

    Video above: Daniel Langhoff sings 'What a Wonderful World' at an April benefit concert for the Denver Actors Fund. Video provided by Eden Lane and Sleeping Dog Media.

    The busy actor, husband and father fought cancer like the errant knight he played in Man of La Mancha. He was 42.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    When award-winning Denver actor Daniel Langhoff was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2015, the first-time father dreamed what most every doctor told him was an impossible dream: To beat an unbeatable foe. And yet, over the next rocky and remarkable two and a half years, he reached star after unreachable star.

    Daniel LanghoffThe cancer was discovered just a few months after Langhoff and wife Rebecca Joseph welcomed daughter Clara into the world. Langhoff then fought the disease with the same earnest fortitude and blind optimism as Cervantes, the playwright who defends his life through storytelling in the classic Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. That's a bucket-list role Langhoff somehow found the mettle to play last year during a brief cease-fire with his disease, which would make a raging comeback only a few months later.

    In April, doctors discovered a second, more virulent form of cancer in Langhoff’s abdomen, and it was everywhere. The Langhoffs were told it would be a matter of months. Not that the diagnosis changed Langhoff’s attitude one bit. He fought on with grit, optimism and no small share of Quixotic delusion.

    “Dying never entered his mindset,” said Langhoff’s best friend, Brian Murray. “He always thought he would beat it.” It was only recently in the hospital, when Langhoff was no longer able to eat and fluid was filling his lungs that the impossible dreamer offered Murray this one slight concession to his adversary: “The prognosis is not good,” he told Murray.

    DanielLanghoffFacebook“Daniel fought the cancer by trivializing it — like it was just this little thing to be taken care of,” Murray said.

    Rebecca Joseph, known as R.J. to friends, gave birth to a second daughter, Naomi, on Nov. 2. It happened that day because Joseph made it happen that day. She had doctors induce labor to make certain Langhoff would be alive to see Naomi born. A few days later, Langhoff was admitted to Denver Hospice, where he again defied experts' expectations by fighting on for days until there was no fight left in him.  

    Langhoff died at precisely midnight today, peacefully and as his wife held his hand. He was 42.

    When he left, he was different from the man who married R.J. in 2015. During the ensuing years, as cancer gradually robbed his life, life in turn gave him everything to live for: A wife, two daughters, and the seminal roles of his acting career.

    (Story continues below the photo.)

    Daniel Langhoff Find an extensive gallery of Daniel Langhoff photos at the bottom of this report.

    A punctilious punster

    Langhoff was born in Denver on Nov. 8, 1975, and has been a performer since the third grade. He graduated from Cherry Creek High School and the University of Northern Colorado, and has been working steadily at theatres all over Colorado since 1999.

    He was known as a consummate actor with a quirky sense of humor; a way with a guitar, a song and a terrible pun; a geeky affinity for sci-fi films ...  and a massive collection of inappropriate T-Shirts.

    One of his favorites said: “When I die, I am going to haunt the (bleep) out of you.”

    "That was Daniel," his wife said.

    "Daniel was into weird science fiction, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, anything counter-culture and all manner of useless knowledge," said his frequent co-star and sometimes director, Robert Michael Sanders. "We had a shared love for underrated big-hair metal bands and Alien movies." 

    In the dressing room, Langhoff was a serial punster who was known for running exasperated castmates out of the room with his wit. But on stage, Sanders describes Langhoff as an intelligent, steady actor who could only be distracted from his task by perhaps, say … a random reference to Ridley Scott (maker of Alien).

    He was also one of the most dependable and pragmatic friends you could ever have, said Murray, who has been friends with Langhoff since appearing in Company together at the Town Hall Arts Center in 2008. 

    “I always called him my Vulcan,” said Murray, currently starring in Town Hall’s Seussical. “He was Spock, and I was Kirk. I was the emotional one, and he was the logical one."

    Ironically, Langhoff was the human being Murray turned to when he needed one most.

    "When I was going through a divorce in 2009, the only thing that helped me get by was playing video games with Daniel until 3 in the morning and telling him the same stories all over again," Murray said. "He would say to me, 'Brian, this thing happened. It was outside of your control. Now what you have to do is move through it and move on from that." 

    Perhaps the greatest testament to any man's character, Murray said: "Daniel was kind to everyone — even to the people who annoyed him." (Although, to be fair, Langhoff also loved to quote Tom Waits' life philosophy: "Champagne for my real friends ... and real pain for my sham friends.")

    Traci J. Kern was a real friend. For 22 years, Langhoff has been her constant. "Soon after our meeting, Daniel proclaimed himself the little brother I never wanted," she said. "Anytime I needed him, he was there. No questions asked, because it didn’t matter. Dan lived his life full of passion. Whether it was talking about music, theatre, movies, Stephen King novels, sports, his family, his babies or his wife — he spoke with such enthusiasm, you couldn’t help but be drawn in."

    A life on every stage

    Daniel Langhoff was, simply put, “the most consistent actor ever,” said Sanders. He was also just about the most consistently working Denver actor ever. The list of area theatre companies Langhoff has performed with reads essentially like the list of all area theatre companies. You would be hard-pressed to find a person or company whose path has not, at some point, crossed with Langhoff's on a Colorado stage.

    Dan Langhoff DCPA Love Perfect Change Shanna Steele Robert Michael Sanders Lauren Shealy“Once Daniel got it right, he went out and nailed it at that level every night," Sanders said. "You never had to worry what he was going to do, whether it was for one person or 100. Even for dumb stuff like Guys on Ice – he would find moments that mattered.”

    Langhoff made his Denver Center debut in 2010 in the musical comedy Five Course Love at the Galleria Theatre, followed by a stint in a revival of the longest-running musical in Denver history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. He also performed in the DCPA Theatre Company’s seasonal stagings of A Christmas Carol in 2014 and 2015. The latter staging was right when Langhoff was starting his cancer fight. He had surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding lymph nodes – then immediately joined the cast, fitting rounds of chemo into 10-show weeks at the Stage Theatre.

    Langhoff’s substance and versatility put him in an elevated class among local performers: He was a nuanced dramatic actor with a rich singing voice — and an uncommon knack for comedy and children’s theatre. He could glide from playing the conflicted pastor fomenting the Salem witch trials in Firehouse’s The Crucible, to Coolroy in the Arvada Center’s children’s production of Schoolhouse Rock Live, to the long-suffering husband of a bipolar housewife in Town Hall’s Next to Normal.

    Langhoff’s breakout year was 2016, which began in triumph and ended in terror. It started with Performance Now's Ragtime. As Langhoff was continuing his initial chemotherapy, when he called Director Kelly Van Oosbree to express his interest in playing Tateh.

    “I remember thinking, ‘How in the hell is this going to happen?’ ” Van Oosbree said. “I couldn’t wrap my brain around it because if were in the same situation, I wonder how I would even cope. But Daniel did not let cancer stop him from doing anything.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Langhoff had strong sentimental and professional reasons for wanting to play Tateh. He had played the homegrown terrorist known as “Younger Brother” in a remarkable production of Ragtime for the Arvada Center in 2011, and he wanted to complete the circle by playing Tateh — also a dreamer, also a new father — for Performance Now. “Tateh was a role that spoke to him,” said Van Oosbree said.

    Dan Langhoff Sunglasses project. Photo by John MooreIn the summer of 2016, doctors declared Langhoff cancer-free. He celebrated by performing for the Arvada Center (40th anniversary concert), Firehouse (The Crucible) and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (Every Christmas Story Ever Told). He began 2017 by reuniting with Van Oosbree to play the chivalrous and insistent dreamer in Man of La Mancha. These were perfect bookend roles, said Van Osbree: Both Tateh and Cervantes are kind, inventive men who see the world not as it is, but how it should — or could — be. “They are both Daniel,” she said.

    But just as Man of La Mancha was to begin rehearsals, Langhoff noticed another abnormality in his abdomen, and doctors soon discovered a new, more prevalent and more vicious strain of cancer in his abdominal walls. Langhoff began a second round of chemo just as he had been cast to perform in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Arvada Center, followed by Ring of Fire at Vintage Theatre. This time, he would not be well enough to play either role. And he again downplayed the challenge. “I am just more physically compromised than I was before,” he conceded at the time.

    The great work of helping others

    Langhoff was known for helping out any company or cause that needed a hand — or a voice. Back in 2010, he joined the volunteer cast of Magic Moments' The Child. That's an annual musical revue where up to 200 disabled and able-bodied performers perform together, many for the first time. Langhoff played a war veteran opposite a devil character played by Drew Frady, his castmate back in the Arvada Center's 2008 staging of Les Miserables. Langhoff had been recruited as a late replacement for another actor. On his first day, the stage manager ended her introduction of Langhoff by saying, to his horror, “He loves hugs.” And, he later said with a laugh, “I didn’t really have the heart to correct her.”

    Over the next few months, Langhoff said, he learned to love hugs.

    “This is the kind of place where you can still be 5 minutes late for rehearsal, even if you show up on time, because there is a 5-minute gantlet of hugs to navigate,” he said.

    Daniel Langhoff, Laura Mathew Siebert and Nate Siebert. Photo by John Moore. Throughout his cancer ordeal, Langhoff was both a beneficiary of, and great champion of, The Denver Actors Fund, which in three years has made $133,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in situational need. Between direct aid and targeted donations, the theatre community has so far made more than $14,000 available to help the Langhoff family with medical bills, along with practical volunteer assistance. And Langhoff has given back at every opportunity, performing at five DAF fundraising events over the past three years.

    In April, a weakening Langhoff made a galvanizing appearance at United in Love, a benefit concert staged by Ebner-Page Productions that raised $40,000 for the Denver Actors Fund at the Lone Tree Arts Center. (See video at the top of this page.) 

    Dan Langhoff. Annaleigh Ashford. RDG PhotographyLanghoff sang a heart-rending version of What a Wonderful World to acknowledge the support and love he has received from the theatre community throughout his medical ordeal. “All of these performers, this stunning audience, all of these donors make me feel like my fight ahead is just a matter of logistics,” he said.

    (Photos at right, top: Photographer Laura Mathew Siebert, with son Nate Siebert, raised money for Langhoff's cancer fight in 2016 by taking portraits and donating the proceeds. Photo by John Moore. At right: Broadway's Annaleigh Ashford with Langhoff at Klint Rudolph at the April 'United in Love' concert for the Denver Actors Fund. RDG Photography.)

    His final performance was on Sept. 25 at Miscast, a popular annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund, and it was one for the ages. Langhoff, Jona Alonzo and Norrell Moore, all actors in the midst of their own cancer journeys, performed a variation of the song Tonight, from West Side Story, that was written by Langhoff and his (pregnant) wife, who also choreographed. It was essentially a rousing declaration of war against cancer, and it brought the Town Hall Arts Center audience to their feet. The trio were immediately dubbed "The Cancer Warriors."

    (Story continues below the video.)

    Daniel Langhoff, Jona Alonzo and Norrell Moore perform Sept. 25 at 'Miscast,' a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at the Town Hall Arts Center.

    The impact of family

    Everyone close to Langhoff says the courage and unyielding optimism he has shown since his diagnosis can be explained in three simple words: Rebecca, Clara and Naomi. "Those three were everything to him," Murray said. "They were his life."

    He met his R.J.  in a theatre, but Langhoff wasn't on the stage; he was a member of the audience. Joseph caught Langhoff's eye after a performance of Vintage Theatre’s Avenue Q. Langhoff noticed the assistant stage manager — usually one of the most invisible jobs in all of theatre. She eventually agreed to a late-night date at the Rock Bottom Brewery that almost didn’t happen because she was running late. Langhoff was appearing in, ironically, the dating comedy I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at the Denver Center's Galleria Theatre. She was attending Red at the Curious Theatre, which ran longer than she was expecting. Luckily, he waited. Sanders later married the couple in a ceremony at the Town Hall Arts Center.

    Langhoff recently helped Sanders in a profound creative way when the singer-songwriter went into production on his second solo album (under the name Robert Michael). In 2013, Sanders was the victim of a botched shoulder surgery that partially paralyzed his arms and left him unable to play the guitar. Sanders now writes new music through the help of friends who act as his fingers. Langhoff co-wrote the lyrics and music to a track called Forever that Sanders says is informed in part by their own personal experiences:

    You found your forever. You put your hand in his.
    He pulled you close to him, gave you that forever kiss.
    You found your forever, now you'll wake up every day.

    With him smiling back at you, and you have no words to say.

    And that's OK.
    You found your forever. 

    (To listen to 'Forever' on Spotify, click here. Backing vocals by Daniel Langhoff and Norrell Moore.)

    As the theatre community struggles to process the news that Langhoff is gone, his friend Murray was asked what Langhoff himself might say to bring comfort to those he leaves behind. His response:

    "I think the Vulcan in Daniel would say to us exactly what he said to me: 'This thing happened. It was outside of everyone's control. I did everything I could to make it not happen, but it still happened. Now what you have to do is move through that and try to move on from that.' "

    In addition to his wife and daughters, Langhoff is survived by his parents, Jeannie and Charlie Langhoff, and his sister, Amy Langhoff Busch.

    After an intimate family service later this week, a larger celebration of Daniel Langhoff's life will be announced in the coming weeks.

    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.

    Here's how to help Daniel Langhoff's family:
    The Denver Actors Fund is accepting targeted donations that will go 100 percent to Rebecca Joseph to help with medical, funeral and expenses. Any eventual excess funds will go toward the future educational needs of daughters Clara and Naomi. Here's how it works: Click here. When prompted, "Where do you want your donation directed?" choose from the pulldown: "For the family of Daniel Langhoff." The Denver Actors Fund will absorb all transactional fees.) If you prefer to mail a check, the address is P.O. Box 11182, Denver , CO 80211. Separately, if you are motivated to start your own campaign to proactively raise additional funds for the Langhoffs, you can create your own personalized fundraising page on the Langhoffs' behalf. To do that, just click on this (different) link. Choose "Start a fundraiser." Follow the instructions from there.

    Photo gallery: A look back at the life of Daniel Langhoff

    Daniel LanghoffTo see more photos, click on the photo above to be taken to our full Flickr album.

    Daniel Langhoff/Selected shows and companies

    • High School: Cherry Creek
    • College: Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley
    • Denver Center for the Performing Arts: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Five Course Love at the Galleria Theatre; A Christmas Carol for the DCPA Theatre Company
    • Arvada Center: A Man of No Importance (Breton Beret), Ragtime (Younger Brother), A Man for All Seasons, A Wonderful Life, The Crucible, Man of La Mancha, Miracle On 34th Street Les Miserables. Children's shows: Charlotte's Web, Lyle the Crocodile, Schoolhouse Rock
    • Town Hall Arts Center: Next To Normal (Dan), Annie (Daddy Warbucks), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Company, Batboy! The Musical
    • Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company: Every Christmas Story Ever Told
    • Firehouse Theatre Compay: The Crucible (Rev. Hale)
    • Miners Alley Playhouse: Pump Boys and Dinettes
    • Performance Now: Man of La Mancha (Cervantes), Ragtime (Tateh)
    • Aurora Fox: Spamalot (King Arthur)
    • Vintage Theatre: Hamlet, Prince of Pork, 18 Holes (Lyle)
    • Next Stage: Assassins (The Balladeer)
    • Magic Moments: The Child
    • Hunger Artists
    • Film: Bouquet of Consequence, Why There Are Rainbows

    Video: Daniel Langhoff presents Community Impact Award to Denver Actors Fund:

  • In the Spotlife: Monica​ ​Joyce​ ​Thompson of 'South Pacific'

    by John Moore | Oct 02, 2017
    Monica.Joyce.Thompson. South Pacific
    Monica Joyce Thompson backstage after opening weekend of 'South Pacific,' which plays in Parker through Oct. 15. Photo via Instagram.

    Nellie Forbush In Inspire Creative's South Pacific at the PACE Center in Parker. 

    • Monica.Joyce.Thompson. South PacificHometown: Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., though I grew up in Colorado.
    • Home now: Centennial
    • High school: Grandview High School
      in Aurora
    • College: Honors Double Major in Vocal Performance and Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University
    • What have you done for us lately? I played Presendia in the 2011 opera Dark Sisters, which centered around polygamy, for the Oklahoma City University's Bass School of Music.
    • Twitter-sized bio: Jesus-loving, Colorado-living actress who just wants to listen and tell stories. Find me hiking, reading, writing, eating (because, food) and squeezing the best moments out of life. 
    • What's your handle? @BitOfMonica on Twitter and Instagram
    • Do you blog? Find me at alittlebitofmonica.blog
    • The role that changed your life: I played Mother in Ragtime my senior year at Grandview High School. It was a full-circle experience because my freshman year, I auditioned for the musical and did not even get a called back. I was so incredibly shy and nervous to sing in front of anyone. Not only did this role teach me a lot about myself, but it gave me a deep desire to pursue a career in acting. Our show was selected out of all the high schools in Colorado to perform at the Colorado State Thespian Conference in downtown Denver. I performed in front of 5,000 people, and I will never forget the feeling of finally overcoming my fear.
    • audra_mcdonaldIdeal scene partner: I trained in classical singing like Audra McDonald, but I also consider her to be an incredible storyteller. That’s where my heart is when I perform. Plus, she has six Tony Awards, so she must be doing something right.
    • What is South Pacific all about? South Pacific is about two love stories set on the backdrop of an island in the South Pacific during World War II. But at its core, the story is really a drama about where our prejudices come from and questions if love can overcome all.
    • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: Nellie Forbush is such a likeable character; a cockeyed optimist, if you will, which is the fun part to play. But she also is a racist and it is a huge challenge playing someone so deeply affected by those prejudices. I had to find Nellie’s redemption journey under her many layers. She truly grows into a woman in this show and allows herself the freedom to love.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? South Pacific is powerful in every day and age - that’s why it is a classic. But I believe its message is especially poignant in this day and age. In the song You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught, human prejudices are brought into question. I hope the audience leaves with a deeper understanding of what it means to love - to love deeply and fully.
    • What don't we know about you? This past June, I was first runner-up for the title of Miss Colorado. I also won the Miss America Community Service Award for raising more than  $20,000 and dedicating hundreds of hours of community service to my platform, “Building Strong Girls.” I am very passionate about growing the next generation of women to be strong, confident, and healthy.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? My favorite animal is a chicken - for real - but I also eat chicken. It confuses people.

    South Pacific. Inspire Creative.

    South Pacific:
    Ticket information

    South Pacific was written shortly after World War II ended; its message of unity and its confrontation of racial stereotypes through the all-too-familiar lens of the war was poignant to the audiences of the time. Hailed as a landmark musical is still relevant to this day.

    • Composed by Richard Rodgers; lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
    • Directed by Ralph Neumann
    • Through Oct. 15
    • At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker
    • Tickets $20-$29
    • For tickets, call 303-805-6800 or go to parkerarts.org

    Remaining performances:
    • Friday, Oct. 6: 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 7: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, Oct. 8: 2 p.m.
    • Friday, Oct. 13: 2 p.m. (reduced price Friday matinee)
    • Friday, Oct. 13: 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 14: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, Oct. 15: 2 p.m.

    2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County

  • Rocky Mountain Rep: Having a Grand Old Time at 50

    by John Moore | Jun 22, 2017


    Grand Lake's mainstay, Main Street mountain theatre draws nearly 20,000 theatregoers every summer.

    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    It might be easy to overlook Grand Lake on a map - if not for the largest natural body of water in Colorado that sits alongside it.

    Grand Lake is a tiny mountain village located 105 miles northwest of Denver at the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Many might not know that movie star John Wayne once owned a vacation home here, or that for five decades the town has been home to a professional summer-stock theatre company that produces big Broadway musicals from June through September.

    Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre is, in fact, one of only six Colorado theatre companies that are now 50 years or older. Rocky Mountain Rep, is it more affectionately called, opened its Golden Anniversary season on June 9 with Mamma Mia, soon to be followed by Newsies, West Side Story and Almost Heaven; Songs of John Denver, which began as a Denver Center world premiere in 2002.

     Judy Goodman _Little Mary Sunshine 1970Theatre in the mountains is just different than it is in the city. In Denver, the curtain might be delayed for heavy traffic. In Grand Lake, the curtain might be delayed by a heavy Rocky Mountain Elk blocking the entrance to the theatre.

    But make no mistake: Rocky Mountain Rep has grown from a mom-and-pop operation in 1967 into a premiere company that drew about 19,000 theatregoers last season despite a year-round population of just 466. About 43 percent of its audiences come from all over the state, while 33 percent come from around the country and beyond. The company’s estimated economic impact on Grand County and the surrounding area is $6.7 million per year.

    (Pictured right: 'Little Mary Sunshine' in 1970.)

    Although named the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, the original idea for it came to life in Yellowstone National Park. That’s where founders David and Audrey Thompson met and first dreamed of their future life running a mountain theatre ... somewhere. In 1965, now living in Chicago, the Thompsons heard that the town of Grand Lake was forming an arts council. The couple loaded up their family and headed for Colorado. They created the Troupe of American College Players in 1967 as a place for young actors and students to practice and build their craft.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The company performed its first season with a cast of college students, lights made out of large tin cans and an eagerness to show the town their first production, The Sound of Music, in the town's Pine Cone Lodge. Forty-four years later, in 2011, the company  opened the doors to a $5.5 million, 300-seat state-of-the-art new facility on Main Street.

    “It’s sorta like: Boy theatre, we’ve grown up,” current executive director Michael Querio said.

    Michael Querio quote 3“We could only fit 170 people In our old theatre, we sold out most of our performances and had waiting lists.”

    It was time to think bigger. Or, more appropriately for this company: Grander.

    “We got a generous lead donation of the property, raised $5.5 million and opened the theatre with no debt,” Querio said.

    For most of the company’s history, the actors have been primarily summering college students from Denver and around the country. Although Querio hires both students and professional performers today, he boasts that all of his performers “are young, strong, and going to be big names in the future.”

    Some notable alums have included future Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, Tony Award nominee Peter Freedman (Ragtime) and multiple Henry Award-winning director and choreographer Nick Sugar.

    This season’s up-and-coming actors include Josh Kellman, who is returning for his sixth season after starting his own traveling company called Empirical Theatre.

    The young actors who arrived in Grand Lake that first summer in 1967 were greeted by a major culture shock. The Thompsons had cast out of Chicago, and when the students arrived by train they had to be taken to their summer homes in a cattle car. Grand Lake was very different from the world the Chicagoans were used to, but when the townspeople came out to the station and greeted the newcomers with signs that said, “Grand Lake Welcomes the Troupe," they knew they were starting something special.

    Mamma Mia Men 2017“I remember clearly how excited everyone was when the show was over that first night,” said David Thompson Jr., son of the founding couple (who goes by the first name Tom). “Not just the actors but the audience. And they didn’t leave the theatre until everyone came from backstage. It was clear something special had happened.”

    In those early years, a naughty young Thompson and his five siblings could be spotted in the rafters throwing candy wrappers on the actors as they rehearsed. But those years set him on a path to a career as a playwright that led to a Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominations for writing the books to John Kander and Fred Ebb's Steel Pier and The Scottsboro Boys.

    “My love of the theatre and my understanding of what’s important about a life in the arts is a gift from my parents,” Thompson said. “They taught all of us the importance of pursuing a passion.”

    (Photo above: The men of 'Mamma Mia,' 2017. Story continues after the video)

    Video bonus: John Moore at the 2010 opening of the new theatre in Grand Lake:

    The company has performed in many different Grand Lake venues over the years after the Pine Cone Lodge burned down. They performed in a tent while the theatre was rebuilt. The Pine Cone is now a local Mexican restaurant called El Pacifico.

    In the 1980s, Denver’s esteemed Loretto Heights performing-arts college took over the theatre and shared the Pine Cone with the Little Bear Bar. Longtime actor, director and producer Paul Dwyer, a student at the time, says that at 9:30 p.m. every night the bar’s band would start playing and thundering through the building - whether the show was done or not.

    1974 Pine Cone Theatre“There were times that intermission went long and we would be like, ‘Speak faster, skip lines,’ ” Dwyer said with a laugh. “It was like playing Russian Roulette with theatre. It was crazy fun.”

    In 1989, the Town of Grand Lake asked the Thompson family to come home and run the theatre full-time. Performances moved around between the local school, the town hall and a cabin theatre at the center of Main Street. The Thompson family continued to run the theatre until 1993, when founder David Thompson died. Company members Judith and Skelly Warren then ran the company for a decade.  

    (Pictured right: 'West Side Story' in 1974.)

    Even though the theatre has modernized and changed its mission over the years, it is still the quirky, beloved mountain theatre it always was. Why, just the other day, Querio said, a bear came up to the window during rehearsals.

    “Grand Lake is a small town, with a small-town feel,” he said. “They take care of their own. It’s a wonderful relationship.”

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

    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
    Through Aug. 26: Mamma Mia
    June 16-Aug. 24: Newsies
    June 30-Aug. 25: West Side Story
    Sept. 1: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver

    1973 Man of La ManchaMan of La Mancha in 1973.
  • In the Spotlife: Napoleon M. Douglas of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

    by John Moore | Mar 20, 2017
    NAPOLEON M. DOUGLAS. Photo by John Moore. Napoleon M. Douglas gave audiences a sneak peek of his upcoming performance as Judas Iscariot at last week's benefit screening of the 1973 'Jesus Christ Superstar' film for The Denver Actors Fund at Alamo Drafthouse. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

    (EDITOR'S NOTE: On March 22, it was announced that vocal issues will prevent Napoleon M. Douglas from performing the role of Judas in this production. He has been replaced by Matt LaFontaine.) 


    Napoleon M. Douglas, who has appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol' and is a DCPA Education Teaching Artist who performs at area high schools as part of the 'Shakespeare in the Parking Lot' program, will play Judas Iscariot in the Arvada Center's 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'  from March 24 through April 16.

  • Hometown: Washington D.C.
  • Home now: Denver
  • NAPOLEON M. DOUGLAS High School: Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa
  • College: BA in Theatre Arts from Drake University in Des Moines; MBA in Entrepreneurship from Southern New Hampshire University (in progress)
  • What have you done for us lately? I played T.J. in Sister Act at the Arvada Center
  • Twitter-sized bio: I am a black kid named Napoleon, which makes me unforgettable. My spirit animal is the Energizer Bunny, which makes me unstoppable.
  • What was the role that changed your life? Playing Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime. When I was a senior in high school, I had a serious knee surgery that ended my not-too-promising athletic career. I always loved to sing and had recently become involved in the drama department, so I decided to audition for the ensemble in our school production of Ragtime. When I saw my name next to Coalhouse’s name, I promptly quit. I told my director: 'I am not fit to lead a musical. I don’t even know what that means.' She responded, 'Well, you will find out.' I was thrown into a situation I was very unfamiliar with, but I came out of it understanding what it is like to share a powerful story with audiences. I realized that performance art is something I can't live without. Not because of the praise we got at the end of each performance, but because it is an opportunity to affect how people look at the world. 
  • Ideal scene partner: One from my long list is Heath Ledger. His performances were always beyond captivating. Working with him would have pushed me as an artist, both in terms of my technical skills and my emotional being. Although his career got the best of him, the dedication he had to his roles is admirable. I would have loved seeing his work habits up close and personal.
    Napoloeon Scene
  • What is Jesus Christ Superstar all about? The story surrounds what happened in the final week of Jesus’ life, while highlighting the political and interpersonal struggles between Judas Iscariot and Jesus of Nazarath that are not present in the Bible.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing Judas: First, this is a sung-through musical – meaning there is no spoken dialogue – and Judas has a very difficult vocal line to carry throughout the show. Beyond that, Judas is the antagonist because he opposes the direction Jesus has taken his ministry during the three years preceding where our story begins. Judas believes that if Jesus doesn’t regain his humility, severe consequences will happen. It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that that every other character on stage is not on my side. I have to be the brick wall – the purest definition of the bad guy. Just like in real life, Judas just wants someone to understand and relate to him. But Judas has no one rooting for him but Judas.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing this play? I hope they understand that there is always more than one way to look at a story. If you take the time to look at the same issue from multiple angles, you will have a better foundation to really stand for what you believe in.
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • What's one thing most people don't know about you? I hate warming up my voice. So instead, I play basketball and run for up to five miles before every performance. By working up a sweat, my 'vocal folds' warm up along with the rest of my body. (And, yes, they are called 'vocal folds,' not 'vocal chords.')
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? America will never be 'great again’ until we stop with all the labels and respect and love one another for who we are. Until all sides come together and remember that we are already the greatest country on this planet, we will always be as troubled as we are now.
  • Instagram handle: Napoleonic.code
  • Twitter handle: _napoleoniccode

  • From left: Jenna Bainbridge, Billy Jewis Jr. and Napoleon Douglas. M. Gale Photography.
    From left: Jenna Bainbridge (Mary Magdalene), Billy Jewis Jr. (Jesus of Nazareth) and Napoleon M. Douglas (Judas Iscariot) in the Arvada Center's 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' M. Gale Photography.

    Arvada Center's Jesus Christ Superstar: Ticket information

    • Written my Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics)
    • Directed by Rod Lansberry and David Nehls (music)
    • March 24 through April 16
    • Performances 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 1 p.m. Wednesdays
    • 6901 Wadsworth Ave.
    • Tickets $53-$77
    • Info: 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Cast list:
    • Jesus of Nazareth: Billy Lewis Jr.
    • Judas Iscariot: Napoleon Douglas
    • Mary Magdalene: Jenna Bainbridge
    • Caiaphas: Stephen Day
    • Annas: Joe Callahan
    • Pontius Pilate: Markus Warren
    • King Herod: Wayne Kennedy

    • Men's Ensemble: Adam Estes, Aaron M. Davidson, Michael Bouchard, Reace Daniel, James Francis, Barret Harper, Tyler Nielson, Damon Guerrasio, Drew Horwitz, Brett Ambler, Rob Janzen, Matt LaFontaine, Daniel Langhoff
    • Women's Ensemble: 
    Norrell Moore, Satya Chavez, Sheryl McCallum, Rae Leigh Case, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Sarah Rex, Piper Arpan

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Kelsey Didion of Curious Theatre's Constellations
    Meet Denise Freestone of OpenStage's August: Osage County
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Jim Hunt of Buntport's The Zeus Probem
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre'sThe Crucible
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Angela Mendez of Beauty and the Beast
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Cory Sapienza of Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    Meet Sean Scrutchins of the Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    Meet Jane Shirley of Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Sharon Kay White of the Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • 2016 True West Award: Daniel Langhoff

    by John Moore | Dec 15, 2016
    Daniel Langhoff


    30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

    Day 16: Daniel Langhoff

    When a man is diagnosed with cancer, he tends to take stock. Make a bucket list. Daniel Langhoff made a bucket list of dream roles - both of them dreamers: Tateh, the immigrant single father in the epic musical Ragtime, and the chivalrous knight Don Quixote in the epic musical Man of La Mancha.

    Both characters are kind, inventive men who see the world not as it is, but how it should (or could) be. “They are both Daniel,” said director Kelly Van Oosbree, the director of both productions for Performance Now Theatre Company in Lakewood.

    Daniel Langhoff picked the year he got his life back to have the year of his life as an actor.

    A Daniel Langhoff QuoteA year ago, when Langhoff was just beginning a six-month round of chemotherapy, he got word that Performance Now would soon be staging Ragtime. He called Van Oosbree to express his interest in playing Tateh, the poor inventor who rises to become one of the most prominent silent-film directors of the era.

    “I remember thinking, ‘How in the hell is this going to happen?’ ” Van Oosbree said. This was December, just a few months after Langhoff married, became a father and was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. Van Oosbree knew he had just begun chemotherapy.

    “I couldn’t wrap my brain around it because if were in the same situation, I wonder how I would even cope,” she said. “But Daniel did not let cancer stop him from doing anything.”

    Quite the contrary. Langhoff had surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding lymph nodes in October – then immediately joined the cast of the DCPA Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol, fitting rounds of chemo into 10-show weeks at the Denver Center. Then, on to Ragtime.

    Langhoff, 41, had strong sentimental and professional reasons for wanting to play Tateh.

    He had played the homegrown terrorist known as “Younger Brother” in a remarkable production of Ragtime for the Arvada Center in 2011, and he now wanted to complete the circle by playing Tateh for Performance Now. Like Tateh, Langhoff was now a first-time father, having welcomed daughter Clara into the world with wife Rebecca Joseph earlier in the year.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “As a father and a dreamer, Tateh was a role that speaks to him,” Van Oosbree said. As surely will the  imprisoned author Miguel de Cervantes, the chivalrous and blindly hopeful dreamer who sees beauty in brokenness and uses the power of storytelling to save his own life. Langhoff, in his own way, has used storytelling, insistent optimism, the love of family – and amazing advancements in medicine – to save his own.

    Arvada center 40. Daniel Langhoff. Provided by the Arvada Center, Matthew Gale Photography 2016.In July, he was declared cancer-free. He celebrated by performing as a featured vocalist in the Arvada Center's 40th anniversary concert outdoors alongside fellow big-time local musical-theater stars Megan Van De Hey, Lauren Shealy and Stephen Day, accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. (Picture above by Matthew Gale Photography). He then played the Rev. John Hale in Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible for Firehouse Theater Company. The minister is the dupe who comes to Salem intent on seeing witchcraft at play. Currently he's appearing in the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's regional premiere of the madcap Every Christmas Story Ever Told though Dec. 24. After Man of La Mancha (Jan. 6-22), he will join the ensemble of Jesus Christ Superstar for the Arvada Center (March 24-April 16), then perform the music of Johnny Cash in Ring of Fire for Vintage Theatre (June 23-Aug. 6).

    Daniel Langhoff and Anna Eastland in Ragtime. Photo by Rachel D. Graham PhotographyVan Oosbree said it was a coup for her to get Langhoff to even audition for Ragtime. Not because Performance Now doesn’t do great work, but because it’s not a place where an actor makes a living. “And Daniel was making a living as an actor,” Van Oosbree said. “You come to Performance Now because you love it, and Daniel loved it. It really, really meant something for him to play Tateh – and it meant something to all of us that he wanted to do it here.

    “Daniel doesn’t care about the money. He cares about doing thought-provoking, meaningful theater.”

    But there’s no question, Van Oosbree said, that Langhoff’s battle with cancer enhanced his portrayal of Tateh. It made his performance somehow deeper and richer; sweeter and more soulful, she said.

    “I think anyone who goes through something like that realizes how important and brief our time is,” she said. “And that makes you more grateful for the time that you have.”

    Langhoff is not winning a True West Award for overcoming cancer. He’s winning a True West Award for overcoming cancer as a new husband and father, all while conquering one big role after another, and maintaining an uncommon kindness and humility throughout.

    (Photo above and right: Daniel Langhoff and Anna Eastland in 'Ragtime.' Photo by Rachel D. Graham Photography.)

    Daniel Langhoff/At a glance

    • High School: Cherry Creek
    • College: Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley
    • DCPA connection: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Five Course Love at the Galleria Theatre; A Christmas Carol for the DCPA Theatre Company
    Daniel Langhoff and Lisa Kraai in The Crucible. Photo by Christine Fisk.
    Daniel Langhoff and Lisa Kraai in Firehouse's 'The Crucible.' Photo by Christine Fisk.


    The True West Awards, now in their 16th 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 2016 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

    Day 1: Jada Suzanne Dixon
    Day 2: Robert Michael Sanders
    Day 3: After Orlando
    Day 4: Michael Morgan
    Day 5: Beth Beyer
    Day 6: Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski
    Day 7: donnie l. betts
    Day 8: Night of the Living Dead
    Day 9: The Killer Kids of Miscast
    Day 10: Jason Sherwood
    Day 11: Leslie O'Carroll and Steve Wilson
    Day 12: Jonathan Scott-McKean
    Day 13: Jake Mendes
    Day 14: Charles R. MacLeod
    Day 15: Patty Yaconis
    Day 16: Daniel Langhoff
    Day 17: Colorado Shakespeare Festival costumers
    Day 18: Miriam Suzanne
    Day 19: Yolanda Ortega
    Day 20: Diana Ben-Kiki
    Day 21: Jeff Neuman
    Day 22: Gabriella Cavallero
    Day 23: Matthew Campbell
    Day 24: Sharon Kay White
    Day 25: John Hauser
    Day 26: Lon Winston
    Day 27: Jason Ducat
    Day 28: Sam Gregory
    Day 29: Warren Sherrill
    Day 30: The Women Who Run Theatre in Boulder
    Theatre Person of the Year Billie McBride

    Video: Daniel Langhoff presents Community Impact Award to Denver Actors Fund:

  • Alamo Drafthouse, Denver Actors Fund launch monthly film series with 'Heathers'

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jan 15, 2016

    Alamo Drafthouse Denver Actors Fund

    The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton today announced a new ongoing series in partnership with the Denver Actors Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance to members of the Denver theater community who find themselves in situational medical need.

    The monthly series, “Denver Actors Fund Presents ...” will focus on films inspired by musicals that are currently being performed by a Colorado theatre company. Fifty percent of ticket proceeds from each show will benefit the Denver Actors Fund. Since Nov. 1 alone, the DAF has sent out more than $12,000 to help an actor undergoing chemotherapy, a costumer with a pulmonary embolism, a director who had an attack of diverticulitis and an actor in need of emergency dental surgery.

    Alamo Drafthouse Denver Actors Fund"We've been looking for a wonderful intersection of film and theater at the Alamo Denver,” said Alamo Drafthouse Creative Manager Steve Bessette. “I believe that supporting the Denver Actors Fund while giving our mutual guests an amazing experience that heightens your average moviegoing traditions is just where we want to be."

    Buy tickets to the Feb. 14 screening of Heathers here

    Added Denver Actors Fund Founder John Moore: “The Denver Actors Fund has always been about building community while building funds. So a monthly mash-up of the Silver Screen and the Broadway Boards? How much fun can you get? We are beyond grateful to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for the opportunity to spotlight classic and cult films while drawing attention to the spectacular work being done by local artists on our local theatre stages. Everybody wins.” 

    The series kicks off Sunday, Feb. 14, with an exclusive screening of the cult classic, Heathers, starring Golden Globe winner Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. Ignite Theatre Company, whose upcoming production of Heathers The Musical will be the first by a Denver theatre company, will perform songs from the show prior to the screening.

    Heathers film director Michael Lehmann (Meet the Applegates, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Because I Said So) will participate in a Q&A after the screening. Tickets are $20 and are on sale now here. Tickets include a chicken pot pie and a carton of milk.

    The monthly series will continue with a screening of Ragtime and a pre-show performance by Performance Now Theatre Company on Monday, March 14.

    In conjunction with the DCPA Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Sweeney Todd, featuring brand new orchestrations by the Grammy nominated band DeVotchKa, “Denver Actors Fund Presents ...” will show the film version on Monday, April 18, after a live performance by members of the Theatre Company.

    Additional screenings will be announced at a later time.

    Alamo Drafthouse is an entertainment brand comprised of the acclaimed cinema-eatery chain, the largest genre film festival (Fantastic Fest) in the United States and a collectible art gallery (Mondo). Named "the best theater ever" by Time Magazine, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will soon begin construction on a second location in Colorado in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood. Info: www.drafthouse.com

    The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of financial and situational relief when members of the local theatre community find themselves in medical need. To date, The Fund has distributed about $30,000 and provided about 200 hours of volunteer service to help local artists. Info: www.DenverActorsFund.Org.

    Ignite Theatre is a program of Lucent Performing Arts. The mission is to challenge audiences with provocatively innovative, high-quality and diverse theatrical experiences. Currently it is presenting the regional premiere of Green Day's "American Idiot" through Jan. 24. www.ignitetheatre.com

    Performance Now Theatre Company, founded by the late Nancy Goodwin in 2000, has produced more than 40 musicals and plays that have included more than 500 actors and live musicians, all from the highly talented pool of local artists. www.performancenow.org

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is a not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. The DCPA is the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation, offering more than 40 plays and musicals year-round that engage and inspire audiences of all ages and interests. www.denvercenter.org  

    For interview opportunities, please email alexandra.griesmer@drafthouse.com or call 303-204-6785.

    Press inquiries related to the DCPA Theatre Company’s production of Sweeney Todd should be directed to Hope Grandon at HGrandon@dcpa.org
  • Meet the cast: Napoleon M Douglas of 'A Christmas Carol'

    by John Moore | Dec 15, 2015
    Napoleon M Douglas singing at a benefit fundraiser last month. Photo by John Moore. Napoleon M Douglas sang "Merry Christmas Baby" at a benefit fundraiser last month for DCPA Education and the Denver Actors Fund at the downtown Hard Rock Cafe. Photo by John Moore.

    Ensemble in A Christmas Carol

    Napoleon M Douglas At the DCPA Theatre Company: Debut. Regional: Oklahoma (Jud Fry/Dream Jud); Memphis, Sweeney Todd (Beadle Bamford); White Christmas (Mike), Miss Saigon (u/s John); Hairspray! (Seaweed Stubbs). BA Theatre Arts from Drake University;  from Southern New Hampshire University

    • Hometown: Washington, D.C.
    • Training: BA in Theatre from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Currently working on an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Southern New Hampshire University.
    • What was the role that changed your life? Playing Coalhouse in Ragtime my senior year of high school. I had spent most of my high-school years as a track and football athlete. When I shattered all of the cartilage in my right knee, I needed a new activity. I auditioned for the fall musical hoping to get into the ensemble, only to be cast in one of the leading roles. So I promptly quit. When my drama teacher approached me and asked why, I told her, "I don't think you want me to have such a big role. I'm terrified, and I have never done drama before." She said: "I choose you to be the leader of this venture not because you are the world's greatest actor - although you are very good. I chose you because you have the kind of heart that is meant to touch other lives. If you don't do this you will regret your decision." Since that day, I haven't left theatre.
    • Napoleon M DouglasWhy are you an actor? Because it's my job to touch others' lives.
    • What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t an actor: I could imagine myself a humanitarian ... dedicating myself to giving back to souls in need. Luckily I can still do that while I act, hah. 
    • Ideal scene partner: I would love to do a scene with Heath Ledger. I am fascinated with darker characters, probably because my life tends to lean on the lighter side. I would love to be able to know his craft up close and personal and see how far his career would have gone if he were still alive.  
    • Why does A Christmas Carol still matter? Because the Christmas spirit is still very relevant nowadays, transcending from centuries ago. Life is taxing on the human soul, so this time of year is important to help us replenish the joy and excitement that we should relish in our daily walk. Unfortunately, our busy lives come with much more stress and opportunity to become pessimistic. This play reminds us to enjoy each other's company while we are still alive and the importance of spreading everlasting hope to all ages.  
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of it? I hope the audience takes away the struggle that Scrooge experiences - both where it comes from and how he extinguishes it. It's that progression that teaches us the lesson to never forget where we come from and to always value the individuals who surround you. And that life is a constant battle of obstacles we must overcome to achieve an ultimate purpose in life.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..." for the world to love and care for one another as we all persist in our journeys, up our hills, to where success lies in our hearts.

    Photo credit above right: Adams Visual Communications.

    A Christmas Carol:
    Ticket information

  • Through Dec. 27 in the Stage Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performance: 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19

  • Previous 2015 'Meet the Cast' profiles:

    Meet Courtney Capek (Belle)
    Meet Shannan Steele (Fred's wife)
    Meet Jake Williamson (Ensemble)
    Meet Ben Heil (Peter Cratchit)
    Meet Ella Galaty (Fan)
    Meet Allen Dorsey (Dick Wilkins and Christmas Yet to Come)

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol:
    Photos, video: Your first look at A Christmas Carol 2015
    Philip Pleasants: A Scrooge for the ages, one last time
    First rehearsal: Scrooge, in typical fashion: Let's get to work!
    From Denver Center's Tiny Tim to TV's Fuller House
    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

    Previous years' 'Meet the Cast' videos:
    James Michael Reilly
    Leslie Alexander
    Philip Pleasants
    Sam Gregory
    Mehry Iris Eslaminia
    Allen Dorsey
    Leslie O'Carroll
    Stephanie Cozart
    Charlie Korman
    Kyra Lindsay
    M. Scott McLean

    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.