• Paul Ludick: The man who dressed Ben Platt for the part

    by John Moore | Nov 21, 2017
    Paul Ludick and Ben Platt. Dear Evan Hansen.Former longtime DCPA Theatre Company dresser Paul Ludick has spent the past year working with Tony-winning actor Ben Platt, who completed his run in the title role of Broadway's 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Sunday. Photo courtesy Paul Ludick.

    Former Denver Center dresser explains the expansive, intimate role of the backstage dresser at Dear Evan Hansen

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Actor Ben Platt completed his Tony Award-winning run in the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Sunday, which means one thing: He’s going to have to dress himself for a while.

    Since the celebrated Broadway musical opened a year ago, that job (at least at the Music Box Theatre) has gone to Paul Ludick, who also worked for 16 seasons as a dresser for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company.

    Platt earned raves for his performance as Evan Hansen, the lonely high-school student who perpetuates a lie that earns him Internet fame. Platt not only won the Tony Award, he became the youngest recipient of The Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award. That’s an accolade an actor can win only once in a lifetime — and Platt won it at age 23.

    And from the first Broadway preview in October 2016 through Platt's final performance on Sunday, it was Ludick who made sure Platt always was dressed for the part. That and so much more.

    DEH-Mike-Faist-Ben-Platt-0104-Photo-Credit-Matthew-Murphy 800

    By definition, a dresser helps cast members backstage with their costume changes — but the job is far more involved than that. 

    “Yes, we take care of the costumes and we help the actors change in and out of them,” Ludick said. “But sometimes you're also a therapist, a doctor, a personal assistant or a mediator. You’re there to deal with everything that comes up that needs dealing with. My job was to make sure Ben had everything he needed so that he could fully focus on his performance.”

    That included shepherding the actor’s guests backstage and filtering email. Ludick would stay long after each performance to make sure Platt got to his car safely.

    (Pictured above and right: Mike Faist, left, and Ben Platt from the original Broadway company of 'Dear Evan Hansen.' Photo by Matthew Murphy.)

    Paul Ludick 400 Peter PanLudick was a dresser for many DCPA Theatre Company productions between 1988 and 2006, as well as homegrown cabaret musicals in the Garner-Galleria Theatre. In his first season alone, Ludick dressed both Burke Moses and future Tony Award nominee Craig Bierko in Carousel, as well as future Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell in the Theatre Company’s Peter Pan. (Coincidentally, both Bierko and Moses later played Leadville Johnny Brown in various incarnations of the Denver Center’s recent premiere of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.)

    Ludick, a Chicago native, first came to Colorado in 1987 to work for Central City Opera. His most meta experience at the Denver Center had to be when he was the dresser for The Dresser, an acclaimed play by Ronald Harwood starring two Denver legends – Jamie Horton and Tony Church.

    (Photo above and right: John Cameron Mitchell in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'Peter Pan.' Story continues after the photo below.)

    Paul Ludick The Dresser. Jamie Horton. Tony Church Jamie Horton, left, played the dresser in 'The Dresser,' with Tony Church, for the DCPA Theatre Company in 1988. Photo by Terry Shapiro.

    Horton played a backstage assistant who struggles to keep an aging actor’s life together. To research his role, Horton asked Ludick if he could shadow him as he worked on Always … Patsy Cline at the Galleria Theatre.

    “I shadowed Paul for a very good reason:  He was damned good at what he did, and I knew I would learn from him,” Horton said. “And learn I did.” One example: How to properly place a wig on a wig block (that's essentially a Styrofoam mannequin head). At a subsequent rehearsal, Horton interjected: “That’s not how Paul set the wig, so I'm going to do it the way Paul did it.”

    Before Dear Evan Hansen, Platt was known for his appearances in the Pitch Perfect movies. But in the past year, during which Platt was named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man on Broadway” and secured a recording contract, Ludick witnessed a rising young star enter into a new stratosphere in the pop-culture landscape.

    PAUL LUDICK QUOTE

    “Ben is a phenomenon I've never experienced before," he said. "I’m so happy for him, especially him being so young. For someone to be that in-tune with his life at 23 was amazing to see.”

    As is the case in Harwood’s play, Ludick says, dressers can develop lifelong friendships with the actors they serve. It happened with Bobby Cannavale when the Mr. Robot star performed alongside Chris Rock in the edgy Broadway comedy The Motherf**ker with the Hat. That’s a play that got done mostly because Rock, a Broadway newbie, signed on to do it. “I thought Chris Rock did a great thing for theater,” Ludick said. “When a guy of that stature lends his name to a Broadway show that a lot of people who normally don’t go to theater came to see, that is just great.”

    Ludick has seen some careers seriously move. “So always be nice … because you never know,” he said with a laugh.  

    Ludick reunited with Cannavale in 2013 for The Big Knife, and at closing, the star presented Ludick with a framed poster from the original play as thanks. Other New York milestones include working on the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening, and dressing for Mark Ruffalo on Awake and Sing!

    Dear Evan Hansen will launch first national tour in Denver

    Ludick lists Dear Evan Hansen right up there among them, partly because of Platt, but more so because the show is saving lives. Ludick likens its impact to that of Spring Awakening.

    Dear Evan Hansen has touched a nerve that young people can relate to,” Ludick said. “And now, because we have social media, they don't even have to be in New York to experience the essential message of the show. They are hearing about it in Omaha and Charlotte and everywhere in-between."

    The story is about young people who feel there's no one out there for them. "But there are people out there ready to help,” Ludick said. “You just have to reach out and make it known that you're going through a hardship. Ben's character, for example, has anxiety disorders, which we found from his fan mail and from the kids coming to the stage door is a very common thing. Some of them have contemplated suicide. Our show helps them to realize there are ways to get help and people to talk to. And we're opening up a lot of parents’ eyes, too.”

    Read our coverage of Colorado theatre on the NewsCenter

    When Dear Evan Hansen hits the road with its first national touring production next year, Ludick said it will have the opportunity to positively impact tens of thousands more lives. And that road starts in Denver in October 2018 — which is meaningful to Ludick.

    “That's just perfect, because it's a show that I love, in a place that I love,” Ludick said. “That’s just a perfect way to start a tour."

    As Ludick now adjusts, as he has so many times before, to serve a new actor (Noah Galvin), he likes to believe he will occupy a small but special place in Platt’s memory.

    “We've been with each other almost every day for more than a year, so that friendship is strong,” Ludick said. “Once he goes on to start being a mover and a shaker, hopefully we'll stay in touch. Each person I have ever dressed I have a special relationship with, and every one is different. But whenever I see them again, it's like we haven't missed a beat.”

    Ludick was a bit bemused by the request to be interviewed for this story, given the covert nature of his daily work. But he was glad for the opportunity to sing the praises of dressers and the thousands of other invisible practitioners of the unseen arts.

    “If we're doing our job right, we go completely unnoticed,” Ludick said. “That’s actually our goal — to go unnoticed. It’s the same for everyone backstage. But what we do that you don’t see is what makes a show whole. It takes every little part to make the show work.”  

    Jamie Horton, who is now a theatre professor at Dartmouth College, is a believer.

    “I have great respect and admiration for the dressers who have been such an important part of my professional life as an actor,” he said, “and I wish Paul the very, very best.”

    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.


    Dear Evan Hansen: Denver information

    UntitledOctober 2018
    • The Buell Theatre
    • Tickets: An on-sale date will be announced at a later time. For more information, 303-893-4100 or sign up for EMAIL ALERTS
    • Groups: Call 303-446-482

  • 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.
     


    MEET MONICA JOYCE THOMPSON
    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


  • Five things to know about Sunday's Tony Awards

    by John Moore | Jun 09, 2017
    Dear-Evan-Hansen-You-Will-Be-Found-4645-Photo-Credit-Matthew-Murphy 800
    'Dear Evan Hansen,' which will launch its national touring production in Denver in October 2018, is nominated for nine Tony Awards on Sunday, including Best Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 

    Broadway's big night is a valley of the 'Dolls':
    A Doll’s House Part 2 and Hello Dolly! among leaders

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Hamilton has brought more widespread pop-culture attention to Broadway theatre than any musical in decades. And that helped make last year’s Tony Awards telecast the most-watched in 15 years. But as an awards program, it was also something of a fait accompli for viewers as Hamilton racked up 11 trophies.

    A year later, with Hamilton still running strong but out of awards contention, Sunday’s Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, promises to spread the focus around.

    160x600_TuneinBanners_1199Think of Times Square as the Valley of the ‘Dolls’: A Doll’s House Part 2 and Hello Dolly! are among this year's wide-ranging favorites.

     “Compared to last year, where the vast majority of the award attention was centered around Hamilton, this year has many more competitive categories and unknowns,” said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of DCPA Broadway and a Tony Awards voter. “I expect there to be much more drama, shall we say.”

    Broadway introduced 13 new musicals this past season. That's the highest number in 35 years, and it doesn't include five revivals. That means few clear frontrunners this year, Ekeberg said, which should make the 2017 awards unusually competitive.

    Leading the musical field with 12 nominations is Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, followed by the emotionally visceral Dear Evan Hansen, with nine. Come From Away is a potential dark horse, with seven. (See play descriptions below.)

    David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter breaks down the races

    It was recently announced that Denver will launch the first national touring production of Dear Evan Hansen in October 2018. Director Michael Greif, who also helmed the groundbreaking musicals Rent and Next to Normal, told the DCPA NewsCenter, “Dear Evan Hansen is a cathartic story about a kid who comes to love himself. And it's about a grieving family that gets healed.” Read our full interview here.

    The favorites among new plays are Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2, with eight nominations, and J.T. Rogers' Oslo, with seven. Hnath also wrote The Christians, which was presented by the DCPA Theatre Company this last season.

    Celebrity nominees include Cate Blanchett, Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Chris Cooper, Josh Groban, David Hyde Pierce, Danny DeVito, Nathan Lane, Richard Thomas, Patti LuPone, Cynthia Nixon and Sally Field. But most eyes will be fixed on Bette Midler, who is starring in a fun revival of Hello, Dolly!, which is nominated for 10 awards.

     “I can’t wait to see how it all sorts out,” said Ekeberg.

    The awards will be telecast on a one-hour delay at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS-4 Denver. For those who just can’t wait, you can stream the awards live online here.

    Five things to know about Sunday’s Tony Awards

    NUMBER 1laurie-metcalfA Doll's House Part 2 claims the rare distinction of having earned nominations for its entire four-member cast, including Laurie Metcalf (pictured right), the runaway favorite to win for lead actress in a play.

    NUMBER 2There’s a fun twist to the Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category. The nominees include Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!) and Andrew Rannells (Falsettos), both of whom played Elder Price in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon.

    NUMBER 3Celebrity presenters will include Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Glenn Close, Brian d’Arcy James, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Lea Salonga and Tommy Tune.

    NUMBER 4Performers will include the casts of Bandstand, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Falsettos, Groundhog Day The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigon, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and War Paint, along with additional performances by The Radio City Rockettes and Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr.

    NUMBER 5Annaleigh AshfordIf you heard all the great buzz about Jake Gyllenhaal and Wheat Ridge native (and past Tony Award winner) Annaleigh Ashford in Sunday in the Park with George, you may wonder why the show isn’t among the mix of nominees. The producers withdrew the show from Tony Award consideration. Their statement: "With a season so full of tremendous, soon-to-be long-running new musicals and revivals, the producers feel this extremely limited, special run of Sunday stands most appropriately outside of any awards competition. The production is nevertheless proud to be part of such a landmark Broadway season.”

    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.

    NOMINATIONS FOR 2017 TONY AWARDS

    BEST PLAY

    A Doll's House, Part 2
    Author: Lucas Hnath
    The reimagined Ibsen classic considers what has and hasn't changed in terms of gender politics in the past 140 years.

    Indecent
    Paual_VogelAuthor: Paula Vogel
    Indecent
    recounts the controversy surrounding the play God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch, for which the cast of the original production were arrested on the grounds of obscenity.

    Oslo
    Author: J.T. Rogers
    Oslo
    shapes nine months of secret back-channel peace negotiations into a riveting political thriller.

    Sweat
    Author: Lynn Nottage
    This working-class drama, set in 2008, tells the story of a group of friends whose friendships come apart when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


    BEST MUSICAL

    Come From Away
    Set in the week following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Come From Away tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon.

    Dear Evan Hansen
    The story of a lonely boy who perpetuates a lie that earns him Internet fame.

    Groundhog Day The Musical
    Based on the 1993 film of the same name, the plot centers an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
    . A brilliantly conceived electro-poperatic retelling of a chapter of War and Peace


    Best Book of a Musical

    Come From Away
    Irene Sankoff and David Hein

    Dear Evan Hansen

    Steven Levenson

    Groundhog Day The Musical
    Danny Rubin

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Dave Malloy


    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

    Come From Away
    Music and Lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein

    Dear Evan Hansen
    Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

    Groundhog Day The Musical
    Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Music and Lyrics: Dave Malloy


    Best Revival of a Play

    August Wilson's Jitney
    John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
    Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes

    Present Laughter



    Best Revival of a Musical

    Falsettos
    Hello, Dolly!

    Miss Saigon



    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

    Denis Arndt, Heisenberg
    Chris Cooper, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Corey Hawkins, John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
    Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
    Jefferson Mays, Oslo


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

    Cate Blanchett, The Present
    Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
    Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
    Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2


    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

    Christian Borle, Falsettos
    Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical
    David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
    Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

    Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Christine Ebersole, War Paint
    Patti LuPone, War Paint
    Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
    Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon


    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

    Michael Aronov, Oslo
    Danny DeVito, Arthur Miller's The Price
    Nathan Lane, The Front Page
    Richard Thomas, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    John Douglas Thompson, August Wilson's Jitney


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

    Johanna Day, Sweat
    Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Condola Rashad, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Michelle Wilson, Sweat


    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

    Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
    Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen
    Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
    Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

    Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!
    Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
    Jenn Colella, Come From Away
    Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
    Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia


    Best Scenic Design of a Play

    David Gallo, August Wilson's Jitney
    Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
    Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page
    Michael Yeargan, Oslo


    Best Scenic Design of a Musical

    Rob Howell, Groundhog Day The Musical
    David Korins, War Paint
    Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!


    Best Costume Design of a Play

    Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter
    Toni-Leslie James, August Wilson's Jitney
    David Zinn, A Doll's House, Part 2


    Best Costume Design of a Musical

    Linda Cho, Anastasia
    Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
    Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Catherine Zuber, War Paint


    Best Lighting Design of a Play

    Christopher Akerlind, Indecent
    Jane Cox, August Wilson's Jitney
    Donald Holder, Oslo
    Jennifer Tipton, A Doll's House, Part 2


    Best Lighting Design of a Musical

    Howell Binkley, Come From Away
    Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly!
    Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Japhy Weideman, Dear Evan Hansen


    Best Direction of a Play

    Sam Gold, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Ruben Santiago-Hudson, August Wilson's Jitney
    Bartlett Sher, Oslo
    Daniel Sullivan, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Rebecca Taichman, Indecent


    Best Direction of a Musical

    Christopher Ashley, Come From Away
    Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen
    Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day The Musical
    Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!


    Best Choreography

    Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
    Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day The Musical
    Kelly Devine, Come From Away
    Denis Jones, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
    Sam Pinkleton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


    Best Orchestrations

    Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand
    Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!
    Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen
    Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


    Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

    Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

    James Earl Jones 

    Special Tony Award
    Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, Sound Designers for The Encounter

    Regional Theatre Tony Award
    Dallas Theater Center

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
    Baayork Lee

    Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
    Nina Lannan
    Alan Wasser


    Tony Nominations by Production

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 - 12
    Hello, Dolly!
    - 10
    Dear Evan Hansen
    - 9
    A Doll's House, Part 2
    - 8
    Come From Away
    - 7
    Groundhog Day The Musical
    - 7
    Oslo
    - 7
    August Wilson's Jitney
    - 6
    Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    - 6
    Falsettos
    - 5
    War Paint
    - 4
    Indecent
    - 3
    Present Laughter
    - 3
    Sweat
    - 3
    Anastasia
    - 2
    Bandstand
    - 2
    The Front Page
    - 2
    John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
    - 2
    Miss Saigon
    - 2
    Arthur Miller's The Price
    - 1
    The Glass Menagerie
    - 1
    Heisenberg
    - 1
    Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
    - 1
    The Play That Goes Wrong
    - 1
    The Present
    - 1

    Have fun: Tony Awards trivia


    Follow along on social:

    #TonyAwards2017
    www.TonyAwards.com

    Some information in this report was culled from national media reports.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Beth Malone on 'Fun Home': ‘It’s about anyone born of a mother'

    by John Moore | Dec 14, 2016
    Video: Beth Malone sings the national anthem:


    Video: Colorado native Beth Malone returned home to talk about the Denver-bound Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home and sing the national anthem before the Denver Broncos' Oct. 30 win over the San Diego Chargers at Mile High Stadium. Malone is not appearing in the touring production, but she was here as an ambassador for the Fun Home, opening Jan. 10 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Video by David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

     

    Tony Award-nominee Beth Malone had been told for two years how her groundbreaking, underdog Broadway musical Fun Home was changing perspectives and saving lives. The thousands of letters that poured in told her. The misfits and outcasts who lined up at the stage door told her. The everyday mothers and fathers told her.

    “People came out of the woodwork to tell us how impactful this material has been on their lives,” Malone said. Somehow this unlikely true story of an androgynous graphic novelist named Alison struggling to understand her father’s suicide was striking a universal cord both among audience members who were similar to the unprecedented protagonist she was playing – and those who were not at all like her.

    A young fan once told Malone, ‘I don’t know how to own my identity because I am being raised in a hostile environment. I was at the end of my rope, and I didn’t know how to go on. But then Fun Home happened.”

    Beth Malone Fun Home QuoteIt was unexpected, exhilarating and uplifting for Malone to be making that kind of a positive impact on people’s lives eight times a week in New York’s Times Square. So when the Broadway run of Fun Home ended triumphantly in September, validated by critics, strong ticket sales, a Pulitzer Prize nomination and the Tony Award for Best Musical of 2015, Malone’s defenses were down.

    Fun Home had ridden a perfectly timed wave of changing perceptions in America about gender identity, marriage and sexuality to make history as the first musical to feature a lesbian leading character.

    “Fun Home absolutely rode the crest of this huge, cultural wave," Malone said. “People made pilgrimages to see it from all over the world. One night we played to ambassadors from 15 different countries where homosexuality is a crime punishable by law. It felt like hearts and minds were changing that night. Not just in the United States, but internationally. We had a performance on the night that marriage equality passed, and during the curtain speech afterward, we all ran around with a rainbow flag outside to a standing ovation. I feel like the world was ready for Fun Home when it happened.” 

    But when Malone packed her car in September to drive across the country to her native Colorado, a mother was not ready for Malone when she walked into McDonalds bathroom in Pennsylvania – ironically, the very state where Fun Home is set. Malone walked in looking a lot like Alison – T-shirt, jeans, and close-cropped hair. A lot like Beth.

    “But when this woman saw me, she took her daughter’s hand, moved her behind her and said, ‘Don’t stare, don’t stare.’ At me! I’m the most innocuous person you will ever meet. I’m not going to hurt your daughter. I’m just a dyke. I thought, ‘Haven’t you ever seen a gender non-conforming person before? No? Well, maybe your daughter’s having a ‘Ring of Keys’ moment right now.”


    “Ring of Keys” is a song from Fun Home sung by an 11-year-old version of Alison. It’s probably the most well-known tune in the show because young actor Sydney Lucas performed in on national television at the 2015 Tony Awards, when Fun Home was named Best Musical.

    “Ring of Keys” is this song of discovery told from the perspective of a child who sees a butch woman walk into a diner with a handcart full of boxes,” Malone said. “She sees an identity in this woman that she recognizes as her own on a cellular level. In Alison Bechdel’s book, she says: ‘It was like seeing someone from my home planet. Someone I've never met before - but I just recognized.’ And she says, ‘Something about that makes me recognize something in me.’ ”

    New York Times: 'For better or worse ... we're home'

    But that moment echoed in Malone’s mind when she later learned that Fun Home would indeed be touring to cities across the country, starting in Cleveland and including a stop in her native Denver from Jan. 10-22.

    “I have to be very honest – I was conflicted,” Malone said. “I feel very vulnerable still with this material because I thought, ‘If people across the country are not going to embrace it or accept it, that is going to hurt me.’

    Fun Home. Joan Marcus “But that's the opposite of what has happened. The first two cities were sold-out runs. Local papers have said beautiful and amazing things about how important it is for the story to reach this vital audience. And then I remembered: Every time I've had any fear with Fun Home … whenever we have gone to a new level or to an unknown place, love and acceptance have truly outweighed any kind of hate that steps forward to be heard.”

    The Fun Home title comes from the shortened family nickname for the funeral home where Alison’s father worked. Malone describes the story as “the beautiful journey of a woman looking back at her childhood and trying to piece together what was actually happening when she was younger, trying to connect with her father.

    “We are all just trying to know each other,” she said. “But it can be really hard to know even the people in your own family. We’ve all experienced those moments of missed opportunity to really know someone.”

    (Photo above and right: Alessandra Baldacchino as 'Small Alison' and Robert Petkoff as Bruce in the touring production of 'Fun Home.' Photo by Joan Marcus.)

    But Malone says Fun Home is not only the story of Alison. “It’s about her father, Bruce Bechdel. It’s about her mother, Helen Bechdel. It is about the other kids. It’s about anyone who was born of a mother. It’s about anyone who was raised in a house with a family. You will learn something about yourself. You'll learn something you can't even put your finger on that you need to know. And when you walk out, you'll be like, ‘Oh. Wow.’ Now I'll have to give my entire identity some thought.”


    Beth Malone in Denver: Our photo gallery

    Fun Home in Denver Photos of Beth Malone singing the national anthen on Oct. 30 at Mile High Stadium. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Malone is a graduate of Douglas County High School in Castle Rock and attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She performed in theatres across Colorado, including a noteworthy five-year run as the narrator in the Arvada Center’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She realized a lifelong dream in 2014 when she starred in the DCPA Theatre Company’s wholly reimagined staging of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

    “For me, that was the culmination of my entire career. It was a giant gift from God and the universe plopped right in my lap. It was amazing.”

    Beth Malone Kate Shindle Fun HomeMalone is not appearing in the national touring production of Fun Home that comes to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in January. She recently returned to Denver as an ambassador of the show and to sing the national anthem at a Denver Broncos game at Mile High Stadium.

    “You have no way of knowing the depth of my allegiance to the state of Colorado,” Malone. “I love every square mile of it. More than anything, I want the people I care so much about to see this beautiful piece of theatre that I've been working on for the past five years. To see why it's so important to me. Hopefully it will resonate in their own lives. I know it will.”

    Here’s more of our conversation with Beth Malone:

    John Moore: You are an openly gay woman who has been married for 20 years. How do you think it might have changed your life if an 11-year old Beth had seen Fun Home?

    Beth Malone: If I had been exposed to this material at age 11, I think that I would have felt an inner strength and pride grow inside of me that, instead, I had to manifest way later in my life. I feel like there was a hidden part of me as I grew up that I definitely didn’t give honor to. It was a coating of shame around this part of me that was a true part of me that was something to explore, unearth and celebrate.

    (Pictured above right: Beth Malone as Alison on Broadway, top; Kate Shindle as Alison in the national touring production coming to Denver Jan. 10-22. Photo by Joan Marcus,)

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    John Moore: What do you think Fun Home might mean to an 11-year-old who sees it next month in Denver?

    Beth Malone: I hope Fun Home reaches an 11-year old who needs to hear it. I also hope it reaches the 11-year old sitting right next to her – because it can help compassion grow at a young age for the people you are growing up with. You know, if you ask a child to describe what Fun Home is about, it’s so simple for them to explain: “Love who you want to love, and live openly.”

    John Moore: So what has been the best part of your time in the Fun Home?

    Beth Malone: It has been such an amazing experience to witness people receiving the show one night at a time and to witness the incredible transformative power of art to change hearts and minds. Maybe even just incrementally. But a little bit of a softening has happened.

    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.

    Bonus coverage: About the national touring cast:

    John Moore: A couple of questions about the touring cast. Robert Petkoff, who played Sweeney Todd in the DCPA Theatre Company's production earlier this year, is playing Bruce. Have you ever performed with him?

    Beth Malone: No, but I understand he was amazing in Sweeney Todd.

    John Moore: Here’s what I know about Kate Shindle, who is playing the role of Alison that you played on Broadway: President of the Actor's Equity Union. Graduate of Northwestern. Talk about exploding preconceptions. 

    Beth Malone: I have to say that when I told the producers it was time for me to step away and let the tour be its own thing, I pointed out that I did have it written into my contract that I could only be replaced by a Miss America. That was in the small print. So they were like, 'Well, who can we get?' And Kate Shindle was No. 1 on the list -  because she’s just a rock star.

    Fun Home
    : Ticket information

    • Jan. 10-22, 2017
    •  The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    •  Based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic-novel memoir; book and lyrics by Lisa Kron; music by Jeanine Tesori; directed by Sam Gold
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    For more information on the production, please visit FunHomeBroadway.com.


    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of Fun Home:
    Denver’s Sweeney Todd will return with Fun Home tour
    Another Malone takes spotlight at Denver Film Festival
    Fun Home
    highlights Denver Center's 2016-17 Broadway season
    Denver’s Beth Malone returning to Broadway in Fun Home

  • Broadway's 'Hamilton' is heading to Denver

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jul 06, 2016



    By Heidi Bosk
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    The national tour of the Broadway musical Hamilton will play the Buell Theatre as part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ 2017-18 Broadway subscription series, it was announced today by producer Jeffrey Seller and the DCPA.
     
    On Sunday, Hamilton won 11 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, after having set the all-time record with 16 nominations.

    Hamilton. Daveed Diggs. The best way to guarantee tickets to Hamilton is to purchase a full 2016-17 Broadway subscription. Broadway subscribers who renew their 2016-17 Broadway subscription packages for the 2017-18 Broadway season will guarantee their tickets for the DCPA's premiere engagement of Hamilton.

    Hamilton will be on the 2017-18 Broadway subscription package. Information regarding engagement dates and how to purchase groups and single tickets will be announced at a later time.
     
    DCPA's full 2016-17 Broadway subscription package features the pre-Broadway debut of Frozen, The Phantom of the Opera, Roundabout Theatre Company's Cabaret, An Act of God, Finding Neverland, Fun Home, An American in Paris and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Subscriptions for the 2016-17 Broadway season start as low as eight payments of $51.25 and are available at DenverCenter.org.  Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for the Broadway touring productions in Denver.

    (Pictured above right: Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette the Broadway musical 'Hamilton.')
     
    With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

    Subscription information for 2016-17 Broadway season

    Hamilton is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.  
     
    Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowa, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda in 'Hamilton.'
    Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda from the Tony Award-winning Broadway cast of 'Hamilton.'

    Hamilton
    's creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights.
     
    Hamilton features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell (DCPA Theatre Company's The Unsinkable Molly Brown), lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Hamilton is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.
     
    The Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide. The Hamilton recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.
     
    Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the DCPA's News Center.
     
    For more information on Hamilton, visit:
    HamiltonOnBroadway.com
    Facebook.com/HamiltonMusical
    Instagram.com/HamiltonMusical
    Twitter.com/HamiltonMusical

    Hamilton’s 2016 Tony Awards:
    Best Musical: Hamilton
    Best Book of a Musical: Lin-Manuel Miranda
    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater:
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Leslie Odom Jr.
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Daveed Diggs
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Renee Elise Goldsberry
    Best Costume Design of a Musical: Paul Tazewell
    Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Howell Binkley
    Best Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail    
    Best Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler
    Best Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire

    Related DCPA NewsCenter coverage:
    Tony Awards offer powerful response to Orlando massacre
    The HamilTony Awards: What Denver’s voter has to say 
    Colorado's ties to the 2016 Tony Award nominations
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Why Lin-Manuel Miranda's father is obsessed with The Unsinkable Molly Brown




    Hamilton. Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Gold, Cephas Jones.
    Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones.


    The Broadway company of Hamilton.
    The Broadway company of 'Hamilton.'

  • Tony Awards offer powerful response to Orlando massacre

    by John Moore | Jun 12, 2016
    Lin-Manuel Miranda's sonnet to Orlando.


    The 2016 Tony Awards were not overshadowed by the worst mass shooting in U.S. history earlier in the day in Orlando, Fla. They were instead underscored by a powerful message of inclusion and human resilience. Fitting, then, that the winner of the 2016 Best New Play is called The Humans.

    As expected, Hamilton the Musical was coronated as one of the most celebrated new musicals in Broadway history, winning 11 Tony Awards. That's one fewer than the record of 12 won by The Producers in 2001 - largely only because Hamilton had multiple nominees in several categories (16 in all).

    But of all the moving acceptance speeches, it was creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, quickly becoming the conscience of the new America, reciting a "thank you sonnet" he wrote in the wake of the massacre that left 50 people dead in an Orlando nightclub. He delivered it after winning for best book of a musical:

    My wife’s the reason anything gets done
    She nudges me towards promise by degrees
    She is a perfect symphony of one
    Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
    We chase the melodies that seem to find us
    Until they’re finished songs and start to play
    When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
    That nothing here is promised, not one day.
    This show is proof that history remembers
    We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
    We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
    And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
    I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
    Now fill the world with music, love and pride.

    Added Tony Awards host James Corden: "Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity. All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that."

    Diane Paulus quote Tony AwardsDiane Paulus, acclaimed director of Best New Musical nominee Waitress, called the Tony Awards "a deeply moving and emotional evening" because of what happened in Orlando. "It made us all think about what our purpose is, and how precious time and life are," she said. But the response of the New York theatre community on display at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday, she said, made plain what makes theatre special among art forms. 

    "It made me appreciate what the theatre can be as a community: A place of tolerance and kindness that is embracing of diversity and freedom of expression," Paulus said in an exclusive interview for the DCPA NewsCenter. "Our role as artists is to do whatever we can to give people courage and resilience at times like this, through music and song and dance or drama."

    Our interview with DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg

    Hamilton, the improbable hip-hop musical about America’s first Treasury Secretary, picked up Broadway’s highest honor, for best new musical. The show is sold out through January 2017. That almost everyone in the cast is non-white punctuated these as the most diverse Tony Awards in history.

    "Think of tonight as the Oscars, with diversity,” Corden joked in his opening monologue. By night's end, 2016 made history as the first Tony Awards where all four awards for acting performances in musicals went to black actors. (Pictured below right: Leslie Odom Jr., Cynthia Erivo, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry. Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions.)

    Additionally, Waitress became the first Broadway musical with an all-female creative team. And the powerful political drama Eclipsed was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring women.

    Tony Awards. Cynthia Erivo. Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images. "This was landmark season for women in so many ways," said Paulus, who launched the national touring production of Pippin in Denver in 2014, and also helmed Finding Neverland, opening here on Dec. 20. "But I have said this time and time again - every artist is in their position on Waitress because they were the best person for the job.

    (Pictured: Actress Cynthia Erivo accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical in 'The Color Purple.' Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Tony Awards.)

    "This was not about a casting agenda. It's just a reflection that women are at the top of their field in composing, in writing, in choreography. This is the 21st century. We all have benefited from generations of women behind us who actually were told they couldn't be directors or writers. I hope we can provide that example for the next generation of artists wherever they are across America. To say, 'If you work with integrity and you tell important stories, this is not a closed door.' We have a long way to go for women, especially in leadership roles in the musical theatre. So yes, this is a  landmark year - but let's hope it's not a one-off, and that this continues."

    Paulus noted that Eclipsed, Blackbird, Waitress, The Color Purple and Spring Awakening all have one very powerful commonality: "These are all shows about women who are encountering some sort of abuse or violence," she said. "And it's not because that's all we care about as women. It's because 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. experiences some sort of intimate partner domestic abuse. This is a crisis in our time." 

    A practical example of change: CBS did not pull the plug on the Tony Awards telecast at exactly three hours, as it did last year. (The historic win for the female composing team of Fun Home came after the live cutoff.)

    Perhaps both the Hamilton hype and the Orlando massacre played a part, but the telecast posted its highest overnight rating in 15 years, growing 33 percent from last year. The CBS telecast drew 8.7 million viewers, largest since 2001.

    The Humans, by Stephen Karam, won for best new play, best featured actress (Jayne Houdyshell) and featured actor (Reed Birney), who played a married couple struggling to love and cherish a family under stress. The cast features frequent Denver Center actor Lauren Klein, who recently starred with her husband, Mike Hartman, in the DCPA Theatre Company's Death of a Salesman.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The Tony Awards included Denver Center founder Donald R. Seawell in its memoriam segment, alongside names such as Roger Rees, David Bowie and Patty Duke. Seawell was first to bring the Royal Shakespeare Company to America, and he produced more than 65 Broadway plays, including the RSC's The Hollow Crown.

    In the aftermath of Orlando, the night ended with a poignant parting message from Producer Jeffrey Seller, accepting the Best Musical for Hamilton: "How lucky we are to be alive right now." It is a song from the show, and its meaning was all the more resonant given the events of the day.

    Donald Seawell Tony Awards

    News and notes: 

    • Keri Russell, who grew up in Highlands Ranch, introduced the live performance by the cast of Waitress, which is based on the movie she starred in from 2007.
    • Josh Groban shouted out arts education when introducing the Fiddler on the Roof performance. "Thank you very much, arts education," said Groban, who will make his Broadway debut this fall in The Great Comet
    • Best Director Ivo Von Hove said he first came to the U.S. specifically to see David Bowie perform in The Elephant ManHere's our story on how that production began in Denver.
    • Celebrity presenters included Carole King, Barbara Streisand, Carole King Cate Blanchett and Jake Gyllenhaal.
    • One of Hamilton's wins went to Costume Designer Paul Tazewell, who also designed the DCPA Theatre Company's new look at The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 2014.


    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.

    News services contributed to this report.
     

    2016 Tony Award winners:

    Best Musical: “Hamilton”

    Best Play: “The Humans”

    Best Book of a Musical: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”

    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: “Hamilton”

    Best Revival of a Play: “Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge”

    Best Revival of a Musical: “The Color Purple”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Frank Langella, “The Father”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Cynthia Erivo, “The Color Purple”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Reed Birney, “The Humans”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Jayne Houdyshell, “The Humans”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”

    Best Scenic Design of a Play: David Zinn, “The Humans”

    Best Scenic Design of a Musical: David Rockwell, “She Loves Me”

    Best Costume Design of a Play: Clint Ramos, “Eclipsed”

    Best Costume Design of a Musical: Paul Tazewell, “Hamilton” 

    Best Lighting Design of a Play: Natasha Katz, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

    Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Howell Binkley, “Hamilton”

    Best Direction of a Play: Ivo Van Hove, “Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge”

    Best Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”

    Best Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”

    Best Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”

    Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre: Sheldon Harnick, Marshall W. Mason

    Special Tony Award: National Endowment for the Arts, Miles Wilkin

    Regional Theatre Tony Award: Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, N.J.

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: Brian Stokes Mitchell

    Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre: Seth Gelblum, Joan Lader, Sally Ann Parson

  • Brian d’Arcy James: 'The confetti is still falling'

    by John Moore | Mar 04, 2016
    Brian Darcy JamesBrian d'Arcy James will perform with Kelli O'Hara at the annual Saturday Night Alive concert on March 5 to raise money for the DCPA's arts education programs. Photo by Joan Marcus.


    Broadway favorite Brian d'Arcy James, now a conqueror of TV and film as well, has had a whirlwind week like no other in his professional career. On Sunday, James was among the ensemble accepting the Academy Award for the Best PIcture of 2015, Spotlight. The next day, he was offered the leading role on a new CBS-TV pilot based on Tracy Letts' 2008 stage comedy, Superior Donuts. The next day, James was back on Broadway starring as Nick Bottom in the ongoing hit musical comedy Something Rotten!

    Three medium in 48 hours. "I feel like I've got all my bases covered," James said with a laugh. And his week will not end with a nap.

    Kelli O'Hara On Saturday, James will be here in Denver headlining the annual Saturday Night Alive concert alongside Broadway royalty Kelli O'Hara (right). The old friends will be performing together in concert for the first time, helping to raise nearly $1 million for the Denver Center's arts education programs.

    How does he sum it all up? How can he possibly? "The confetti is still falling," James told the DCPA NewsCenter on Thursday. The moment Morgan Freeman announced that Spotlight had won the Oscar, he said, felt like "being shot out of a cannon."

    James grew up in Saginaw, Mich., the son of a mother who sold children’s books, and graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago. He has received Tony Award nominations for his performances in Something Rotten!, Shrek and Sweet Smell of Success, and originated the role of the harried husband in Broadway's breakthrough musical Next to Normal. He also was in the original workshop cast of Broadway's biggest hit, Hamilton. TV credits include Smash (created by The Nest playwright Theresa Rebeck), The Big C and The Good Wife.

    Spotlight is the story of how four dogged investigative reporters from The Boston Globe exposed the Boston archdiocese priest sex-abuse scandal in 2001. James played journalist Matt Carroll alongside Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.

    Superior Donuts follows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop, his new young black employee and their patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago. The comedy is based on the 2008 play by Tracy Letts.

    Something Rotten is an original musical set in 1590s. Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but, stuck in the shadow of Shakespeare, they instead set out to write the world’s very first musical.

    We asked James what to expect from his concert appearance with O'Hara, his castmate in Broadway's Sweet Smell of Success. She is a six-time Tony Award nominee and the winner in 2015 for The King & I. (Watch her acceptance speech here.) One morsel: The pair will sing a never-before-heard song by Marvin Hamlisch that was cut from the Sweet Smell of Success score.  



    Here are more excerpts from our conversation with Brian d'Arcy James:


    John Moore: How do you even describe your life right now?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Well, there was a 48-hour window where I was on the stage at the Dolby Theatre winning an Oscar for best movie, and then the next day I was auditioning for a new television show. By the end of that 48 hours, I found out that I got it. And the next day, I was back in New York performing in my Broadway show.

    John Moore: Let’s start with Spotlight. What was it like for you to go on stage with everyone to accept the Oscar?

    Brian d'Arcy James: It was stunning. I was sitting next to (sexual abuse victim) Phil Saviano, who is portrayed in the film by Neal Huff. We just bolted up there. It was bizarre walking up that aisle, knowing that you're walking past all these luminaries and icons and you're receiving acknowledgement for being in this film that has gone the distance. It's an amazing feeling.

    John Moore: What do you think the film says about the need for the continuation of real, funded, enterprise journalism at a time when the industry seems to be dying from a lack of reader curiosity?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Well the answer is in your question. And all of those things you say are true. It rings an alarm bell. Hopefully, it will let people know in a loud and clear way that without funded and supported long-lead investigative journalism, stories like these won’t be told. I've heard Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, who wrote the movie, speak much more eloquently on the subject about how curtailing reporters on a local level invariably leads to fewer people covering local government. But in those cracks - that's where the grass grows. If no one's minding the store, that's when institutional power tends to get away with abuse. So it takes an informed citizenry and a supportive citizenry to allow for this kind of work to happen. That comes from digital subscriptions and buying papers and reading a paper. Long answer short: Buy a newspaper. 

    Mike Hartman in 'Superior Donuts.' Photo by Terry Shapiro. John Moore: There was a production of Superior Donuts here at the Denver Center in 2011, so we know the story well. (Pictured at right: Mike Hartman in the DCPA Theatre Company production.) Playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) is as good as it gets. And yet, I can’t think of another play being turned into a TV sit-com since maybe The Odd Couple. What's the plan?

    Brian d'Arcy James: That's an interesting point; I don't think I've ever thought about that, either. The plan is to basically use Tracy Letts’ play as a starting-off point to delve deeper, and let these characters explore their community, and all the issues that Tracy wants to address, on a weekly basis. I'm very grateful that it happens to be Tracy Letts. I'm a very big fan of his. He's an extraordinary writer and a great actor. I think my background in the theatre makes me feel like I'm crossing the chasm between television and theatre in a very natural way. How it plays itself out remains to be seen, but the idea is a smart one, and an interesting one, and it is rife for exploring all kinds of themes concerning what's going on in America today. 

    John Moore: So with all of these changes, how long will you be able to stay with Something Rotten! on Broadway?

    Brian d'Arcy James: I am working that out right now. My hope is to stay for an extended period of time. The confetti is still falling right now, so I'm trying to figure that all out. But needless to say, if it's one day more than I thought, that would be a luxurious thing. I want to stay with the show as long as I can because it's funny, it's joyful and it's so well done. It's got great music. It's just everything you want in a Broadway show. The audience leaves happy, and the company leaves happy. That's a pretty good way to end the day.

    Brian d'Arcy James in 'Something Rotten.' Photo by Joan Marcus. John Moore: You have done a lot of musicals based on existing source material, and you’ve done many that have been completely original. Is there an additional joy in bringing a show like Something Rotten! to life that isn't piggybacking on a previous audience base?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Yes, I do feel a certain pride in that. (Doing a show based on existing material) is a formula that works, and for good reason. And just because something works doesn't necessarily mean it should be dismissed, obviously. But to take on something like Something Rotten, which is a completely original idea, is courageous. It speaks to the potency of the idea, and the execution of it, and the way it was written and drawn up and produced and directed. So I feel very happy and proud to be a part of that. We have to encourage each other to embrace the things we don't know. By doing that, we make room for new things that become the new norm. Again, I'm not dismissing the things that are familiar because there's room for that. But I think we should be mindful that we can't put all our eggs in that basket. We have to be diligent in breaking new ground when we can.

    (Photo above right: Brian d'Arcy James in 'Something Rotten.' Photo by Joan Marcus.) 

    John Moore: Last year I heard you speak about seeing your first Broadway show. What did Dreamgirls mean to you at the time?

    Brian d'Arcy James: I would have been 14 years old, I think. It was a remarkable experience because I was already very interested in theatre. But there was something about seeing this mythical world – Broadway – and what that meant, in the place where it lives. I was  struck that the theatre was a lot smaller than I would have imagined. But it had an impact in terms of the energy, and the impression that something in a Broadway theatre can make on a young person. It was pretty astounding. At least it was for me.

    John Moore: Let's talk about arts education, which is the primary reason you are coming to Denver on Saturday night. How do you think growing up with a mother who was a bookseller set you on the path to becoming a storyteller yourself?

    Brian d'Arcy James quoteBrian d'Arcy James: My mother has a Library Science degree, and so books and reading were always a part of her natural reflexes. She was an educator as well, so it was always a natural thing to be surrounded by books. My grandmother was an avid reader, too. She had books all over the place when we would visit. Reading was just something we saw as a necessary part of life. So I guess my mother's love for reading, and her interest in the significance that she saw in reading, were passed on to me in that I see that to be fruitful ground in terms of storytelling. Not so much as an author but rather as an interpreter of words. 

    John Moore: What are the consequences of the continuing diminishment of arts education in schools today?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Well, my sister is an art educator. She is a theatre administrator for New Trier High School in Wilmette, Ill. Her whole job is teaching kids about the theatre. Thankfully - and luckily - they have a healthy budget to do that. That's not the norm. These days schools move money around to take care of issues that may appear to be more pressing, and oftentimes it is arts and music that get cut. It's my belief that those are just as important, if not more, in any budget, in order to pass along the chance to awaken a young person's mind to see what a creative life can be. Not only as a possibility of a profession but, more important, as a chance for someone to find their own voice. And a chance for a person to have an opportunity to express themselves when perhaps they were afraid to, or weren't allowed to. Those are just a few ways arts education can give young people a new sense of themselves, and help them find new dimensions of their own personalities. That's invaluable. And that pays itself forward in terms of how we as a society grow and become more healthy. 

    John Moore: People are obviously very excited that you will be performing here with Kelli O'Hara at Saturday Night Alive, which will raise as much as $1 million for arts education programs here at the Denver Center.  How far back do you go with her?

    Brian d'Arcy James: We met doing Sweet Smell of Success on Broadway. We had an extraordinary experience doing that because it was a really big deal for both of us at that time in our lives.

    John Moore: Congratulations on your Tony Award nomination for that.

    Brian d'Arcy James: Thank you. That was thrilling. We haven't had many chances to work together since, but we're good friends. And we thought it would be fitting to honor that time when we worked together by singing something from that show. It’s a beautiful song by Marvin Hamlisch that was cut from the score of Sweet Smell of Success. That's a part of our personal history that we thought would be fun to share with the Denver audience, because that's something that's very rare that we get to do.

    John Moore: Is this show something you're doing for multiple cities or is Denver getting a one-and-only performance?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Well, let's see how it goes. I think the latter is mostly true. These types of shows are often very unique. In this case, Denver had what I think is a great idea, which was to invite both of us to come and do this. It would be lovely to think this is the beginning of many more times doing this show. But I would say it's a work in progress. And that Kelli and I are excited about the chance to sing for this incredible organization that is raising a great deal of money for a great cause. That's exciting. And then, just to be able to share that experience with each other, with our history, and maybe bring a little bit of New York City to Denver - that sounds like a lot of fun to me. 

    John Moore: Is the song list primarily show tunes or will there be some pop as well?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Yeah, there will be some pop. I've always been a pop-music fan. The great thing about the era I've grown up in is that popular music is well-represented on Broadway in a pretty interesting way in terms of Elton John and Billy Joel and Sting and now Sara Bareilles and just a variety of different musical singer/songwriters who are on the radio and are Grammy Award-winning musicians and singers. They're finding an interest and a home in representing themselves on Broadway.  For someone like me, that is fantastic, because I can justify the idea of singing a song by Sting and legitimately say that he was represented on Broadway (in The Last Ship). It's not going to be all pop tunes. We're definitely going to sing some classics, too. It will be a nice mix of Broadway and a bit of pop.

    John Moore: I wanted to ask you about Hamilton and Next to Normal and Smash and Theresa Rebeck and the apostrophe in your name and everything that is happening in Flint, Mich., and about 10 other things. But I am going to exercise a tiny bit of restraint and thank you for your time and end it here.

    Brian d'Arcy James: Well, why don’t you pick one of them. I’d be happy to talk about any of them.

    John Moore: Well, thanks. We just had Theresa Rebeck out here in Denver for the world premiere of her newest play, The Nest. What are your thoughts on working with her on Smash, and the voice that she brings to the American theatre?

    Brian d'Arcy James: Oh, that’s great. Smash was a great experience, and I had an amazing time. She chose me to be in her television show, and I'm forever grateful for that. She has a very unique voice, a very funny voice, and a very strong voice. She's obviously proven herself as someone who's prolific, and she just has a great sense of story and dialogue. I love her writing. The experience of doing Smash was a dream come true for me because I was doing a television show that shot in New York City, and it was about my profession. It was a complete no-brainer that I wanted to be a part of it. I'm very proud to be a part of that tapestry. I love what she did, and the bold vision she had to make that show happen.


    Saturday Night Alive: At a glance
    Annual fundraising gala for DCPA Education
    Saturday, March 5, at the DCPA's Stage Theatre
    Headlining concert: Broadway stars Kelli O'Hara and Brian d'Arcy James
    Five intriguing auction items, from Denver Broncos to African safari
    More information
  • Video and more: Meet LaChanze of 'If/Then'

    by John Moore | Oct 07, 2015

    Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Tony Award-winning actor LaChanze will help make theatre history next week when If/Then becomes what is believed to be the first Broadway musical of the modern era to send out a national touring production with its principal cast intact.

    We spoke to LaChanze about the derivation of her name, winning the Tony Award for The Color Purple, and coming to Denver to launch the If/Then tour alongside original cast members Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and James Snyder.

    And here are more excerpts from LaChanze's interview with DCPA Arts Journalist John Moore that are not included in the video above:

    John Moore: Tell us about the derivation of your name.

    LaChanze: Name: It’s a family name that has been passed down for four generations. I am not Creole. My family is not Creole. But my grandmother was raised there in Louisiana. There are four LaChanzes in my family. My daughter’s middle name is LaChanze. The meaning is “one who is charmed.”

    John Moore: What was it like performing the national anthem in front of 78,000 people before the Denver Broncos’ season-opening win over the Baltimore Raves?

    LaChanze: Typically when I sing the national anthem, it is a very reverent, serious, solemn moment. I think it deserves that kind of respect. But after people started jumping out of planes and landing on the field, and Thunder the Horse did his tour around the stadium, and the fire is shooting up – and all of this happened just before I sang – well, that was a tough act for the national anthem to follow. But it was so much fun.

    John Moore: What is it like for you to be making history by becoming the first Broadway company of the modern era to reunite the entire principal cast for the first national touring production?

    LaChanze: When they announced that they were doing the tour, we all starting checking in with each other. One would say, ‘Would you do it?’ And another would say, ‘I’ll do it of you do it.’ Our producer didn’t know we were having those conversations, but we were. Quite a few of them, actually. But if we were going to do it, we needed to be together. We originated these characters, and this story, together. And we have bonded. We wanted to continue the true telling of this story, with our imprint on it, for the national tour. And it’s great when you get to be onstage with people you already have been onstage with for a year. You already know what to expect. It’s comfortable.

    LaChanze

    John Moore: You won the Tony Award for playing a terribly abused young girl in The Color Purple. How much fun is it to be playing a more grounded, modern character?

    LaChanze: I have played a lot of dramatic characters, and I am known for playing all these roles that resonate with pain and suffering and overcoming. I am rarely cast as an optimistic, outgoing, vibrant woman, which I am, and so here was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. I love the story. And I love that it’s not a journey where I have to cry every single night. People get to see a different dimension in me as an actor and a singer. It is a real personal joy for me to be able to walk out and light up the stage.

    John Moore: What do you love about the If/Then story?

    LaChanze: This story is all of our life story. We always question the choices we make, and sometimes we wonder if we had made a different choice, what the outcome would have been. I think about that all the time.

    John Moore: Tell us about your upcoming record and concert tour.

    LaChanze: I have a show that I will be taking on in the road in 2016 and ’17 called Feeling Good, and it is just that: Music that makes you feel good. Between songs, I cut in a few anecdotes about my life – both optimistic moments that I have had, and some other moments that haven’t been so optimistic. But I talk how I overcame them. So it is slightly autobiographical, but it really is meant to be an inspiring, uplifting evening. I’m hoping we can bring the show here to Denver.

    WATCH LaCHANZE SING THE ANTHEM FOR THE DENVER BRONCOS:




    If/Then:
    Ticket information
    Oct. 13-25
    At the Buell Theatre
    Call 303-893-4100, buy in person at the Denver Center Ticket Office located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby, or BUY ONLINE
    ASL interpreted, Audio described & Open captioned performance: 2 p.m. Oct 25,
    Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    (Please be advised that the DCPA's web site at denvercenter.org is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for 'If/Then' performances in Denver)



    Our previous NewsCenter coverage of If/Then and Idina Menzel:

    Look for additional coverage of If/Then, including our expanded interviews with Idina Menzel, David Stone, Brian Yorkey, Tom Kitt and other members of the cast and crew, at denvercenter.org/news-center

  • Audio: Exclusive chat with Annaleigh Ashford on her Tony Awards win

    by John Moore | Jun 08, 2015
  • Annaleigh Ashford brings a Tony Award home to Colorado

    by John Moore | Jun 07, 2015
    Annaleigh Ashford holding her Tony Award in the press room
    Annaleigh Ashford holds her Tony Award in the press room.


    Eight years after making her Broadway debut in Legally Blonde The Musical, Wheat Ridge native Annaleigh Ashford is now a Tony Award winner.

    Ashford, 29, was honored with theatre's highest prize tonight for her widely praised role as the eccentric ballet dancer Essie opposite James Earl Jones in the Broadway revival of the classic American comedy You Can't Take It With You.

    Annaleigh prepares before the ceremony. Photos courtesty Holli Swanson. "I can't believe I am standing here on the Radio City Music Hall stage for the worst dancing that ever happened on Broadway," Ashford said to great laughter.

    She thanked her two families, both of the real and You Can't Take It With You varieties. Of her husband, Joe Tapper, and her biological family - including mother Holli Swanson sitting in the very back row of Radio City with Ashford's sister and father, she said, "Thank for being weird and silly and loving me unconditionally."

    She avoided the the trap of possibly leaving anyone out of her thanks by saying: "Thank you to every friend I’ve ever had, every teacher I have ever had, and everybody I have ever met.”

    Reached after the ceremony, Ashford's mother told the DCPA NewsCenter: "We are in heaven. This is a dream come true. We screamed. And we may have peed our pants a little bit."

    (Photo: Annaleigh Ashford prepares for the Tony Awards ceremony. Photo courtesy Holli Swanson.)

    The other actresses nominated in Ashford's category were Patricia Clarkson (The Elephant Man), Lydia Leonard (Wolf Hall Parts One & Two), Sarah Stiles (Hand to God) and Julie White (Airline Highway).

    Colorado's other native nominee, Beth Malone, was up for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Fun Home, the groundbreaking story of a woman dealing with the aftermath of her father's suicide. The award went to the long-suffering Kelli O'Hara​, who played Anna in a revival of The King & I.

    O'Hara, who has been nominated for six Tony Awards but had not won before tonight, kept up an unusual Broadway winning streak: No actress who has ever headlined a Broadway production of The King & I has ever not won a Tony Award.

    Malone, a graduate of Douglas County High School in Castle Rock and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, starred last year in the DCPA Theatre Company's newly reimagined The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She was considered a Tony Award longshot in part because the musical is a true ensemble piece, and her role of Alison is shared among three actors of different ages. However, she also had some momentum as the only nominee playing an original character.

    Beth Malone's name is called by Neil Patrick Harris. Her disappointment was no doubt tempered by Fun Home's win as Best Musical. Fun Home is the first musical in Broadway history to feature a lesbian protagonist. Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home is a refreshingly honest coming-of-age story about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. It was adapted for the stage by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, who together won Tony Awards for best book and score of a musical - an accomplishment that even Ashford noted in her post-awards press conference.

    "Two years ago, Cyndi Lauper became the first woman ever to win for Best Score," said Ashford, who co-starred in that winning production of Kinky Boots. "I remember that being such a milestone, and it's great to see women continuing the trend."

    (Photo: Beth Malone's name is called by Tony Award presenter Neil Patrick Harris.) 

    Another Colorado native, Denver East High School graduate Rebecca Eichenberger, plays several roles in An American in Paris, which won four awards. Spencer Ross of Denver is one of the show's producers.

    Listen to our five-minute conversation with Annaleigh Ashford the day after the Tony Awards.


    British writer Mark Haddon's heartbreaking and technically ingenious The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won for best play. Like Fun Home, it features a most uncommon protagonist: A 15-year-old with an unstated condition similar to Asperger syndrome. The tormented math savant is accused of killing the neighbor's dog, which sets him off on a harrowing journey to the big city. The play's title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1892 short story Silver Blaze.

    The Tony Awards were remarkably spread out this year, with Fun Home and Curious Incident leading the way with five awards each, and An American in Paris and The King & I earning four.

    The Tony Awards are often seen as a primary means for Broadway to introduce big new national touring productions to the American heartland audience. Fun Home marks the second straight year when Tony voters honored arguably the most daring and least commercial of all the nominees. The DCPA jumped on the 2014 Tony Award-winning best musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Feb. 16-28). Fun Home has announced a national tour to begin next year, but no cities have yet been announced. 

    Broadway producer (and prominent theatre blogger) Ken Davenport called Fun Home's surprise win over An American in Paris no less than David besting Goliath.

    "This is a shocking upset," Davenport wrote. "Let this forever prove that there is no block of touring presenters who vote for the shows they think will play in their theatres around the country to greater success. Got it?  There is no road vote.  Avenue Q beat WickedGentlemen’s Guide beat Aladdin.  And Fun Home beat Paris, just to name a few. 

    "Never before have I been more proud of our industry than last night, when it rewarded this achingly beautiful new musical that challenges today’s audiences. More people will see Fun Home because of that Tony.  And the world will be just a little bit of a better place because of it.  And that’s the power of theater."

    Ashford made her stage debut in Denver at age 9 in Theatre Group's Ruthless the Musical. She played an aspiring child actress who hangs a rival girl from a catwalk with a jump rope so she can star in the school play, Pippi in Tahiti, The Musical.

    Ashford, who came home to the Denver Center in April to perform her acclaimed cabaret show, Lost in the Stars, has been on an astonishing professional roll. She has appeared in five big Broadway productions. She was called “a sly comic genius” by The New York Times. She provided a voice in the biggest animated movie on the planet – Frozen. And she has returned to her delicious role as prostitute Betty DiMello on Showtime's Masters of Sex.

    Her first Tony Award nomination came in 2013 for playing Lauren in Kinky Boots. This fall, she returns to Broadway as a dog who threatens to break up a marriage in A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia. After the Tony Awards ceremony, Ashford said she will be enrolling in obedience classes with her dog in Los Angeles starting next week.

    "Hopefully at the end of this I will be better trained - and so will my dog," she quipped.

    CLICK HERE FOR A FUN INFOGRAPHIC SHOWING COLORADO'S TIES TO THE TONYS

    Ashford graduated from Wheat Ridge High School at age 16 and from Marymount Manhattan College at 19. She was asked in the press room whether she would have any advice now for her younger self.

    "I would have told myself to slow down," she said. "I was really racing the clock back then, and there are times when I wish I had taken it a little easier on myself, because that time is a special time."

    While other young women her age were just starting college at 19, Ashford found herself living at The Y in New York in a room so small, she could touch the two walls across at once.

    "So that was a depressing year," she said.

    No comparison to 2015, to be sure.
     
    "I was just thinking about how different my life is from from five years ago," she said. "I was working as an actor, but not always consistently, and I so was reminded how lucky we are to just have a job as an actor. And so the slower times and the quieter times just make me that much more grateful for the faster times - and moments like this."


    Annaleigh prepares before the ceremony. Photos courtesty Holli Swanson.
    Annaleigh Ashford prepares before the ceremony with her family, including husband Joe Tapper. Photos courtesy Holli Swanson.


    ​2015 TONY AWARDS

    BEST PLAY
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST MUSICAL
    Fun Home

    BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
    Skylight

    BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
    The King and I

    BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
    Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
    Sam Gold, Fun Home

    BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
    Helen Mirren, The Audience

    BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
    Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
    Kelli O’Hara, The King and I

    BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
    Michael Cerveris, Fun Home

    BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
    Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

    BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
    Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I

    BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
    Richard McCabe,The Audience

    BEST FEATURED ACTOR  IN A MUSICAL
    Christian Borle, Something Rotten!

    BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
    Fun Home, by Lisa Kron

    BEST SCORE
    Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Paule Constable, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Natasha Katz, for An American in Paris

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
    Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

    BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
    Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris

    BEST COSTUNE DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Catherine Zuber, The King and I

    BEST COSTUNE DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts 1 and 2

    SPECIAL TONY AWARDS
    Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Tommy Tune
    John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: Stephen Schwartz
    Regional Theatre Tony Award: Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

    Tweets about Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone:
    Tweets


    Our recent interview with Beth Malone:




    Our 2015 New York report (to date)
    :
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards
    Ashford: From Ruthless to the Good Girl of Tony Town
    Our exclusive interview with Annaleigh Ashford
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Beth Malone
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Aisha Jackson
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Playwright Max Posner
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Actor Rebecca Eichenberger
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver
    Photos: Annaleigh Ashford's return to Denver for Lost in the Stars
    Video: Watch Annaleigh perform at Miscast in New York

    Annaleigh
  • Ashford: From 'Ruthless' to the Good Girl of Tony Town

    by John Moore | Jun 07, 2015
    Even when she was 9 years old, Annaleigh Ashford was rendering people speechless.

    When Steven Tangedal, her co-star in Theatre Group’s playfully raunchy 1995 comedy Ruthless: The Musical, watched the good girl from Wheat Ridge audition to play the bad, bad girl from Ruthless, he was struck mute.

    “We just sat there silent," he said. "I thought, ‘Oh gosh – she’s good.’ We were all worried we weren’t going to be as good as her."

    Steve Tangedal and 9-year-old Annaleigh Ashford in Theatre Group's 'Ruthless the Musical' at Theatre on Broadway in 1995. Photo courtesy Steven Tangedal.  Ashford played an aspiring child actress who hangs a rival girl from a catwalk with a jump rope so she can star in the school play, Pippi in Tahiti, The Musical.

    She’s come a long way, baby, in the years that have followed. But in all the important ways, she hasn’t changed a bit. She’s still a good girl from Wheat Ridge, and the rest of the theatre world is still wondering if they can be as good as her.

    For the second time in three years, Ashford is nominated for a Tony Award, theatre’s highest prize, at tonight’s ceremony in New York. Not only are the awards named after a Denver resident (Antoinette Perry) but Ashford will be joined as a nominee by Colorado native Beth Malone.

    Photo: Steven Tangedal and a 9-year-old Annaleigh Ashford in Theatre Group's 'Ruthless The Musical' in 1995. Photo courtesy Steven Tangedal. 

    Ashford is nominated as Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work as Essie in You Can't Take It With You opposite James Earl Jones. She already has won a Drama Desk Award for her performance. Malone, a graduate of Douglas County High School and a longtime performer throughout Denver and Aspen, is nominated as Best Actress in a Musical for Fun Home the Musical, about a woman coming to grips with her father’s suicide.

    Ashford has been ahead of her time from the beginning of (her) time. She graduated from Wheat Ridge High School at age 16 and from Marymount Manhattan College at 19. She made her Broadway debut in Legally Blonde the Musical in 2007 and has since appeared on Broadway in Hair, Off-Broadway in Rent, and as Glinda in the national touring production of Wicked. Her first Tony Award nomination came in 2013 for playing Lauren in Kinky Boots the Musical. This fall, she returns to Broadway as a dog who threatens to break up a marriage in A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia.

    And to think it all started when she was 9, auditioning to play Tina Denmark in Ruthless at the former Theatre on Broadway. She was discovered by veteran actress Sue Leiser, who at the time also supervised auditions for the venerable Country Dinner Playhouse. Leiser already had signed on to play one of Tina Denmark’s grandmothers - a tart-tongued theatre critic who hates musicals. Ashford’s other grandmother would be played by Tangedal – in drag.

    “Sue found Annaleigh at an audition for The Sound of Music at the Country Dinner Playhouse, and she said, ‘No, you have to come play Tina in Ruthless,’ ” Tangedal said.

    The rest was Ruthless history.

    Tangedal said the production never got to be too much for Ashford’s young sensibilities. Not even when Tina is sent away to the Daisy Clover School for Psychopathic Ingénues. Partly because Ashford's laid-back mother, Holli, was with her every step of the way. 

    “It was like Annaleigh was one of the adults,” Tangedal said. “She was one of us. And she knew the material perfectly.”

    Fellow actor Jeremy Palmer noted Ashford’s playful side during a production of Little Women at the Town Hall Arts Center back in the late 1990s.

    “Annaleigh was part of a trio of March sisters who would see how many inappropriate things they could say or do to me during a scene change blackout,” Palmer said. “She claimed to be following the example of her older co-stars, since she was only about 14 at the time. But as an impressionable 16-year-old myself, I can't say as I minded all that much.”

    One of Ashford’s former teachers at Wheat Ridge High School says Ashford showed grace under pressure even when she wasn’t on the stage.

    “One day, all of the power went out at school while she was in her Honors English class,” said Melissa Marilyn Hadden. Ashford was a freshman. “I was on hall duty and was commissioned to check on the classes in that wing. Annaleigh was leading a class sing-a-long of Disney tunes. We passed the time as Jasmine, Ariel and Belle.”

    With hindsight, Tangedal now can say Ashford showed all the potential to be a Tony Award-nominated actress even at age 9. But he really knew stardom was an inevitability when Ashford made her Broadway debut in Legally Blonde. She has since appeared in films and on TV, including a choice role as a prostitute on Masters of Sex.

    “She is a born comedian,” Tangedal said. “She knew how to work the audience even when she was 9 years old. She had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand.

    “I am really proud to say I knew her back then, and I am proud to call her a friend."

    Should Ashford win the Tony Award tonight, there will be no small irony that in her very first stage performance at Theatre on Broadway, her ruthless character famously declares, gun in hand …

    “There's no money in Broadway!”  

    2015 Tony Awards
    Sunday, June 1
    7 p.m., CBS-4 in Denver

    THE TONY AWARDS AIR ON AN HOUR DELAY IN DENVER. CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW ALL THE RESULTS IN REAL TIME

    More testimonials:
    Melissa Marilyn Hadden: I was just one of Annaleigh's teachers at Wheat Ridge High School. She was an effervescent freshman, always joyful and loving toward others. She was such a giving performer, even when we cast her as a chorus member in Kiss Me, Kate. She wasn't ever pouty to not have a lead, but jumped right in and also volunteered to be on the makeup crew.   She also organized and executed a fundraiser while there. I believe it was someone who was very ill. She brought in performers from all over Denver with whom she'd worked and put on a great show, even casting her teachers in some numbers. Her recent cabaret show at the Garner Galleria Theatre was truly magical - one of her favorite words. As I watched her sing, dance and interact with the audience, I realized this incredibly talented woman is still that kind and loving girl who hasn't allowed fame to get the best of her.

      Video: Annaleigh Ashford's recent Day in Denver

    More of our Tony Awards coverage fromNew York:
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Beth Malone
    Our exclusive interview with Annaleigh Ashford
    Photos: Annaleigh Ashford's return to Denver for Lost in the Stars
    Our backstage interview backstage at Kinky Boots including Andy Kelso
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Aisha Jackson
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Actor Andy Kelso

    Video: Coloradans in New York: Playwright Max Posner
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Actor Rebecca Eichenberger
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Video: Watch Annaleigh perform at Miscast in New York

  • The Tony Awards: Click here for real-time results

    by John Moore | Jun 07, 2015
    Colorado native Beth Malone is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for 'Fun Home.'
    Colorado native Beth Malone is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for "Fun Home."

    Annaleigh Ashford before the ceremony. Photo courtesy Holli Swanson. The Tony Awards telecast airs tonight in Denver on an hour delay. If you don't want to wait to find out the winners, check back here throughout the evening and we will fill in the names of the winners as they happen. Also, check back for our complete report from the Tony Awards following the ceremony.

    BEST PLAY
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST MUSICAL
    Fun Home

    BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
    Skylight

    BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
    The King and I

    BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
    Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
    Sam Gold, Fun Home

    BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
    Helen Mirren, The Audience

    BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
    Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
    Kelli O’Hara, The King and I

    BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
    Michael Cerveris, Fun Home

    BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
    Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

    BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
    Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I

    BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
    Richard McCabe,The Audience

    BEST FEATURED ACTOR  IN A MUSICAL
    Christian Borle, Something Rotten!

    BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
    Fun Home, by Lisa Kron

    BEST SCORE
    Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Paule Constable, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Natasha Katz, for An American in Paris

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
    Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

    BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
    Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris

    BEST COSTUNE DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
    Catherine Zuber, The King and I

    BEST COSTUNE DESIGN OF A PLAY
    Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts 1 and 2

    SPECIAL TONY AWARDS
    Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Tommy Tune
    John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: Stephen Schwartz
    Regional Theatre Tony Award: Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio


    Our 2015 New York report (to date):
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards
    Ashford: From Ruthless to the Good Girl of Tony Town
    Our exclusive interview with Annaleigh Ashford
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Beth Malone
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Aisha Jackson
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Playwright Max Posner
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Actor Rebecca Eichenberger
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver
    Photos: Annaleigh Ashford's return to Denver for Lost in the Stars
    Video: Watch Annaleigh perform at Miscast in New York

    Tony Awards
  • Coloradans on Broadway: Tony-nominated Beth Malone

    by John Moore | Jun 05, 2015



    All this week leading up to the Tony Awards, we are rolling out a daily video featuring a Colorado actor working on Broadway. No. 5: Castle Rock native Beth Malone, who Beth Malone in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown.' Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen. starred in the DCPA Theatre Company's new The Unsinkable Molly Brown last year and is now nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Fun Home, the stage adaptation of Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir that chronicles her coming out as a lesbian at the same time her closeted father committed suicide.

    Malone graduated from Douglas County High School and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She talks with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore about how her life has changed in the past year - and since she was nominated for theatre's highest prize. The surrealness crescendoed when she found herself eating lobster for breakfast with Sting. She also talks about the ways in which Fun Home is a groundbreaking Broadway musical, including being the first in history to feature a lesbian protagonist.

    The 2015 Tony Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, on CBS-4 in Denver.

    Video by John Moore. Photo at right: Beth Malone in the DCPA Theatre Company's The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.

    2015 Tony Awards
    Sunday, June 1
    7 p.m., CBS-4 in Denver 


    Our Beth Malone photo gallery:
    Our photos of Beth Malone when she as in Denver to perform in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Photos by John Moore.


    Our 2015 New York report (to date):
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Aisha Jackson
    Video: Coloradans in New York: Playwright Max Posner
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Actor Rebecca Eichenberger
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver


    Beth Malone hopped over a fence in Times Square to help us get this shot where she plays off the Coors Light ad slogan: 'Born in the Rockies. Lives in NYC.' Photo by John Moore.

    Beth Malone hopped over a fence in Times Square to help us get this shot where she plays off the Coors Light ad slogan: "Born in the Rockies. Lives in NYC." Photo by John Moore.


    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of Beth Malone

    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Denver's Beth Malone returning to Broadway in Fun Home
    The Unsinkable Molly Brown: Opening Night photos
    Meet the Cast video series: Beth Malone
    Your first look at The Unsinkable Molly Brown rehearsal
    Video: Visiting with Denver Center's new Molly Brown in Leadville, Colorado
    Video: Beth Malone's big day singing at the Denver Broncos game
    Molly Brown will reunite local favorites Beth Malone, Patty Goble
    Denver's Molly Brown is Denver's Beth Malone

  • Video: Coloradans on Broadway: Rebecca Eichenberger

    by John Moore | May 31, 2015


    All this week leading up to Sunday's Tony Awards, we will be rolling out a daily video featuring a Colorado actor working on Broadway. First up: Denver East High School grad Rebecca Eichenberger, who is playing several roles in An American in Paris, which is up for 12 awards. This is the seventh Broadway show for Eichenberger, who in 1988 performed for her hometown Denver Center Theatre Company in the musical Carousel.  She also performed at StageWest (now known as the Garner-Galleria Theatre) in the musical comedy Six Women With Brain Death. "You know what? I am so proud to be from Denver," Eichenberger says. "So many people I know in the (Broadway) theatre came from Denver. It's such a fantastic thing that we all seem to hang on to what we had in high school." Video by John Moore.

    2015 Tony Awards
    Sunday, June 1
    7 p.m., CBS-4 in Denver 

    Our 2015 New York report (to date):
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance

    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver

    REBECCA 800Rebecca Eichenberger grew up in Denver and performed in "Carousel" for the Denver Center Theatre Company in 1988. Photo by John Moore.
  • Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'

    by John Moore | May 26, 2015



    We asked Coloradans working on Broadway (or on the way to Broadway) to send their encouragement and advice to the Colorado high-school students attending the third annual Bobby G Awards coming up on Thursday (May 28) at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Some samples:

    Bobby G Awards logo"Be yourself," says Castle Rock native Beth Malone of Fun Home: "Be relentlessly yourself."

    Adds Rebecca Eichenberger of An American in Paris: "Live your life. Don't make theatre everything. Because then you will be an interesting person - and you will be more interesting onstage." 

    Also featured in this video are actors Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You), Aisha Jackson (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Andy Kelso (Kinky Boots), Denny Paschall (Chicago), Gareth Saxe (The Lion King) and Aléna Watters (the pre-Broadway Ever After); and Page 73 commissioned playwright Max Posner. They represent Douglas County High School, Denver East High School, Wheat Ridge High School, the University of Northern Colorado, Eaglecreat High School, Pomona High School and Mesa Ridge High School.

    Ashford and Malone are nominated for Tony Awards this coming June 7.

    Video by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. Run time: 5 minutes.

    Colorado's Beth Malone is nominated for a Tony Award for 'Fun Home.'. Photo by John Moore.

    Colorado's Beth Malone is nominated for a Tony Award for 'Fun Home.' Photo by John Moore.


    2015 Bobby G Awards
    Thursday, May 28
    7 p.m.
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100, 800-641-1222 or  BUY ONLINE
    Complete list of nominees

    Our 2015 New York report (to date):
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance

    Broadway: The British aren't coming: They're already here!
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver

    SOME COLORADANS ON (OR NEAR) BROADWAY:

    Annaleigh Ashford, Wheat Ridge High School: Just completed her Tony-nominated run as Essie in “You Can’t Take It With You”

    Jacqueline Antaramian: The longtime Denver Center Theatre Company actor played Anna Gromeko in the just-closed “Doctor Zhivago.”

    Sierra Boggess, George Washington High School, class of 2000: Starring as Rebecca Steinberg in “It Shoulda Been You.”

     
    Kevin Copenhaver,
    DCPA Costume Crafts Director: Built about 18 of the hats in “Doctor Zhivago”

    Colin Cunliffe, Littleton High School: Ensemble in the new Broadway musical “Finding Neverland”

    Rebecca Eichenberger, George Washington High School,” is playing Olga in “An American in Paris”

    Donna English, who appeared in DCPA Theatre Company productions in the 1980s and again in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” last fall, is part of the developing Broadway-bound restaging of “Saturday Night Fever.”

    Allison Horsley, longtime dramaturg for the DCPA Theatre Company: Dramaturg for “Doctor Zhivago”

     
    Aisha Jackson,
    University of Northern Colorado: Starred in the Arvada Center’s “Memphis” as Felicia last year. Now she’s a swing in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” on Broadway

    Andy Kelso, Eaglecrest High School, class of 1998; University of Northern Colorado, class of 2002: He starring as Charlie in “Kinky Boots” on Broadway

    Beth Malone, Castle Rock native, who opened the DCPA Theatre Company season starring in a refreshed version of the classic Broadway musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” is nominated for best leading actress in a musical as Allison in “Fun Home.” Malone is a graduate of Douglas County High School and the University of Northern Colorado.

     Linda Mugleston, longtime DCPA Theatre Company actor (“Quilters,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”), is playing Doctor Johnson in “On the Twentieth Century”

    Denny Paschall, Pomona High School class of 1996, is playing Aaron in “Chicago”

    Gareth Saxe, graduate of Denver East High School and Colorado College, is playing Scar in “The Lion King”

    Jason Watson, University of Northern Colorado, joined the ensemble in the Broadway cast “Mamma Mia” on April 6th.

    Aléna Watters, Colorado Springs Widefield and Mesa Ridge high schools, University of Northern Colorado: Has been cast in the presumably Broadway-bound new musical "Ever After." The production is being directed by Broadway veteran Kathleen Marshall and will play at The Papermill Playhouse through June 21.

    Elizabeth Welch, Rangeview High School, University of Colorado: Ensemble; Christine understudy in Broadway's "The Phantom of the Opera."

     


  • The British Aren't Coming. (They're Already Here!)

    by John Moore | May 19, 2015

    he Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" concerns a mystery surrounding the death of a neighbour's dog that is investigated by young Christopher Boone, who has Asperger's-like issues, and his relationships with his parents and school mentor.


    NEW YORK - Dating back to George M. Cohan, America’s unique and singular contribution to the pop-culture landscape has been the Broadway musical. But in this era of all things globalization, there seem to be more stars yet fewer stripes on the Great White Way than ever before.

    A quick survey of current Broadway offerings shows that 23 plays and musicals are set on foreign soil, while just 12 stories take place in America.

    Forget about the British Invasion. Broadway is undergoing a British occupation. The question is, is this a particularly new phenomenon? Or has it always been that way?

    America may have invented the musical as we know it, but the European influence on the American musical theatre is longstanding and irrefutable. (Look no further than The Phantom of the Opera: 11,319 performances and still going strong).

    When it comes to plays, the parade of British winners often makes the Tony Awards telecast sound as though it’s being simulcast from London, not New York. This year will be no exception as seven of the 10 nominated leading actors and actresses are Brits. (Make no mistake: These are very grateful Brits who always manage to sound far more eloquent than the Americans in their acceptance speeches).

    You can’t wander through Times Square right now without bumping into big-buzz British balderdash: A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, Finding Neverland, Kinky Boots, Matilda The Musical, Skylight, Something Rotten!, The Audience, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Wolf Hall … Parts 1 and 2!

    A Broadway quoteWhile the British presence seems pronounced, DCPA Broadway Executive Director (and Tony Awards voter) John Ekeberg isn’t so sure this is a new trend. After all, musical theatre exists to transport audiences to a new world. And most American musical theatre audiences want to get as far away from their own backyards as they can get.

    "A great play will show you a slice of life, and often that slice reflects a very real human experience that helps them better understand the world they live in," Ekeberg said. "Traditionally, we think of that as the job of American play. But more often, people look to musicals to help them escape from their own lives for a few hours and take them someplace that's new to them."

    The groundbreaking musical Fun Home is the rare musical that manages to accomplish the goals of a great play and musical at once, Ekeberg said. Fun Home poignantly recalls cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s home life in Pennsylvania, where she discovered she was a lesbian at about the same time she learned her father had been living a closeted gay life since before his parents were even married.

     “For me, that is a world I am not at all familiar with, Ekeberg said. “So in its way, it accomplished for me what people most want from a musical.”

    And yet for other audiences, Fun Home also accomplishes the primary purpose of a play as well. For audiences who grew up in families like the Bechdels' and faced the same issues, Fun Home can be a place of understanding, healing and catharsis - like any great play. 

    Ekeberg cites the Denver-bound If/Then as a similar example. It features a Sliding Doors-like plot that shows the two different futures our protagonist (played by Idina Menzel) might live out based on the consequences of one choice.

    "In that way, If/Then takes the audience to two completely different worlds in the same musical,” Ekeberg said.

    The 2015 Tony Awards should be a travelphile’s dream as it celebrates stories that take audiences all over the world. The four works nominated for best play are written by a Brooklyn bartender (Robert Askins, Hand to God); a Dame (literally) in Dame Hilary Mary Mantel (Wolf Hall); a young historian from Manchester (Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time); and a Pakistani American (Ayad Ahktar, Disgraced).

    Of the four nominated best new musicals, only Fun Home is set in the U.S. The others are An American in Paris, Something Rotten! (South London in 1595) and  The Visit (a small European town).

    Broadway in America
    Airline Highway: The Hummingbird Motel in New Orleans
    An Act of God: Set in Heaven (but written by an American)
    Beautiful, The Carole King Musical: New York and California
    Chicago: CHICAGO!
    Fish in the Dark: Written by Larry David; starring Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)
    Fun Home: Cartoonist Alison Bechdel's hometown of Lock Haven, Pa.
    Jersey Boys: JERSEY!!
    Hand to God: Somewhere in Texas
    It Shoulda Been You: An American wedding
    It's Only a Play: An American townhouse
    On the Town: World War II New York City
    On the Twentieth Century: Chicago and New York in the early 1930s

    Broadway around the world
    A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder: A musical that’s bathing in British (blood)
    Aladdin: Middle-Eastern city of Agrabah
    An American in Paris: An American in Paris
    The Audience: Queen Elizabeth II
    The Book of Mormon: Uganda!
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Set in Wiltshire and London
    Doctor Zhivago: Set in Russia (closed)
    Finding Neverland: British, set in Neverland
    Gigi: Set in Paris (mostly) at the turn of the century
    Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Out Protagonist was born in East Berlin
    The King and I: The Royal Palace in Bangkok, 1860s
    Kinky Boots: Shoe factory in Northern England
    Les Misérables: French Revolution
    The Lion King: The lion kingdom of Africa
    Mamma Mia!: Big Swedish pop songs on a tiny Greek island
    Matilda The Musical: A wormy little village in England
    The Phantom of the Opera: Paris Opéra House. 1881-1911
    Skylight: A flat in Northwest London
    Something Rotten!: South London, 1595
    The Visit: Small European town based on novel’s fictional German town of Güllen
    Wicked: You know … Oz. (And not the HBO prison!)
    Wolf Hall Part One: The court of Henry VIII, 1527
    Wolf Hall Part Two: More, ore, more!  

    Tony Awards telecast
    Sunday, June 7
    CBS-4
    7-10 p.m. MDT

    Our New York report (to date):
    Colorado's Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Malone both nominated for Tony Awards Broadway League dedicates New York conference to DCPA’s Randy Weeks
    Idina Menzel will launch 'If/Then' national tour in Denver

    More in the coming days:
    Our New York report continues with articles on Lin-Manuel Miranda (author and star of Hamilton), and videos featuring Colorado actors on Broadway

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

    by John Moore | Apr 28, 2015

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


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

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

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

    WATCH THE TONY AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT HERE


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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

    Read our featured interview with Annaleigh Ashford

    Read our featured interview with Beth Malone




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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Wire reports contributed to this report.



    COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

    CBS has broadcast the Tony every year since 1978.

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

  • Annaleigh Ashford to host two special cabaret concerts at DCPA

    by John Moore | Feb 11, 2015

    Video: Annaleigh Ashford's Day in Denver.



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

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

    Scratch that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars

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

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


    Our previous coverage of Annaleigh Ashford in the DCPA NewsCenter:

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


    Here is our 2013 backstage interview with Annaleigh Ashford and fellow Coloradan Andy Kelso when they were both appearing in "Kinky Boots."
  • 'Molly Brown' creatives: 27 Tony nominations, 6 wins

    by John Moore | Jul 25, 2014

    image

    Kathleen Marshall showed her design concepts to the Denver Center team last month. Photo by John Moore.

    Random stat of the day: Members of the Denver Center's The Unsinkable Molly Brown creative team have 27 Tony Award nominations among them, and six wins. Here's how it breaks down:

    • Donald Holder, lighting design: 10 nominations, 2 wins
    • Kathleen Marshall, director and choreographer: 6 nominations, 3 wins
    • Derek McLane, Scenic Design: 3 nominations, 1 win
    • Dick Scanlan, Book Writer and Additional Lyrics: 3 nominations
    • Paul Tazewell, Costume Design: 5 nominations

    Previous Molly Brown coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

     

     

  • 'Molly Brown' Lighting Designer Donald Holder Up for 10th Tony Award

    by John Moore | Jun 03, 2014

    The Denver Center Theatre Company's refreshed staging of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" opens the 2014-15 season on Sept. 10 with a creative team that includes Director Kathleen Marshall, Writer Dick Scanlan and Lighting Designer Donald Holder, who is nominated for his 10th Tony Award for "The Bridges of Madison County." Holder, who won in 1998 for "The Lion King" and again in 2008 for "South Pacific," was in Denver recently to talk about lighting and the challenge of staging "Molly Brown" on the Denver Center's Stage Theatre. "For me, what a Lighting Designer does is reveal the world of the play. And it's hard to know how to reveal something if you don't understand intention." The Denver Center wishes Donald Holder well at the Tony Awards on June 8. The "Molly Brown" creative team returns to Denver for rehearsals starting in August. For information, call 303-893-4100 or go to the Denver Center's web site. Video by John Moore. 

    Previous Molly Brown coverage on MyDenverCenter.Org:

     

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

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