• Arvada Center pops a wheelie: Record 29 Henry Award nominations

    by John Moore | Jun 12, 2018
    CSFACCC Fun Home

    From the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College's 'Fun Home,' which today received 11 Henry Award nominations. Photo by Jeff Kearney.

    Homegrown productions of groundbreaking Fun Home combine for 19 nominations from Colorado Theatre Guild

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2018 Henry Award nominations reflect the biggest story of the Colorado theatre year: Three Colorado companies became the first to stage the groundbreaking musical Fun Home — and they were rewarded today with a combined 19 nominations.

    The Arvada Center broke the Henry Awards’ all-time record for nominations with 29, followed by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College with 24. The Denver Center was next, with 15. Those three are joined in the Outstanding Season category by the Aurora Fox, Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins, Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden and Vintage Theatre in Aurora.

    The Fine Arts Center’s productions of Fun Home and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tied as the most honored productions of the Colorado theatre year, with 11 nominations each. Among musicals, Miners Alley Playhouse’s staging of Fun Home picked up eight nominations, followed by the Arvada Center’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (7), Inspire Creative’s co-production of Hairspray with Parker Arts (7), and the Aurora Fox’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch (6).

     Arvada Center Sense and Sensibility Photo by Matthew Gale The most honored play of the year is the Arvada Center’s modern adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (on wheels!) with 10, followed by The Edge Theatre’s Mud Blue Sky (5) and the Arvada Center’s All My Sons (4), Vintage Theatre’s August: Osage County (4) and Benchmark Theatre’s A Kid Like Jake (4).  (Pictured: 'Sense and Sensibility.' Photo by Matthew Gale.)

    Sense and Sensibility, which launched the Arvada Center’s second year with a year-round company of resident actors, earned four acting nods including, appropriately enough, one for Outstanding Ensemble. The precisely timed staging by Director Lynne Collins was more than an old-fashioned Jane Austen comedy of manners pitting heart versus head. “It’s a very physical, mannered dance, performed with distinction by a gifted cast,” wrote The Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow. All of the set pieces were placed on wheels and twirled in precise choreography, steered by frenetic actors sometimes holding on by their ankles. Ostrow called the effort "a dizzying, delightful spectacle.”

    DRScoundrels 400Fun Home, the first major Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist, is an underdog story that was staged in early 2018 by companies  in Colorado Springs, Golden and Fort Collins. It is based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of a woman who dives deep into her past to revisit how she discovered her own sexuality — while at the same time trying to piece together the mystery surrounding her late father. Alison is represented onstage by three actors playing the character at different ages. And, in a fun twist — at least one actor playing Alison at all three ages is nominated for a Henry Award, including young Sophia Dotson, who played “Small Alison” for Miners Alley Playhouse. 

    (Pictured: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College's 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,' nominated for 11 Henry Awards.)

    The Henrys nominate seven — and in some cases eight — artists in each category. The Outstanding Lead Actress field not only includes three of Colorado's Fun Home Alisons, it has two women from separate productions of Always … Patsy Cline: Norrell Moore played the iconic singer for BDT Stage, while Jalyn Courtenay Webb played her bossy friend Louise for Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins. (Pictured, photos courtesy Midtown Arts Center and Glenn Ross.)

    Patsy ClinesThe Henry Awards, which consider achievements among Colorado Theatre Guild member companies, have been notoriously topsy-turvy throughout its controversial and unpredictable 13-year existence. This year, for first time in Henrys history, not a single DCPA Theatre Company production is included among the seven nominated outstanding plays or musicals. The Denver Center received only two individual nominations among the Henrys' 58 possible acting slots — Jordan Leigh as a supporting actor in DCPA Cabaret’s First Date, and supporting actress Lulu Fall, who played The Acid Queen in the Theatre Company’s The Who’s Tommy.

    The DCPA Theatre Company, which staged four world premieres this season, placed The Great Leap and Zoey's Perfect Wedding among the seven nominated new works. But not record-setting audience favorite American Mariachi, which already has been performed at the Old Globe in San Diego and has several more stagings lined up throughout the country. It received only one nomination, for costumes.

    How Fun Home found a home in theatres all over Colorado

    The Arvada Center's 29 nominations eclipes the Denver Center's record of 28 set in 2014. It has been two years since the Arvada Center added Collins (a double-nominee for direction) to oversee the production of plays while Rod A. Lansberry continues to supervise the musicals. Lansberry is nominated for his direction of A Chorus Line.  But what put the Arvada Center into record territory was the return of Joseph, once its annual holiday staple, which received seven nominations under the direction of Gavin Mayer.
     

    In all, 29 member companies shared the 178 overall Henry Award nominations: 

    Nominations by Company

    • Arvada Center: 29
    • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College: 24
    • DCPA Theatre Company, Cabaret and Off-Center: 15
    • Miners Alley Playhouse: 13
    • Vintage Theatre (Aurora): 12
    • Midtown Arts Center (Fort Collins): 11
    • Aurora Fox: 9
    • The Edge Theater Company: 7
    • Inspire Creative and Parker Arts: 7
    • Benchmark Theatre: 5
    • Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company: 5
    • Breckenridge Backstage Theatre: 5
    • OpenStage Theatre Company (Fort Collins): 5
    • Local Theater Company (Boulder): 4
    • Thunder River Theatre Company (Carbondale): 4
    • BDT Stage:3
    • Buntport Theater: 3
    • Colorado Shakespeare Festival: 3
    • Lowry's Spotlight Theater (all shared with Vintage Theatre): 3
    • Town Hall Arts Center (Littleton): 3
    • Cherry Creek Theatre: 2
    • Lone Tree Arts Center: 2
    • TheatreWorks (Colorado Springs): 2
    • 5280 Artists Coop: 1
    • Emancipation Theater Company: 1
    • Evergreen Chorale: 1
    • Lake Dillon Theatre Company: 1
    • Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre (Grand Lake): 1

    Noticeably missing from that nominee slate is again Curious Theatre Company, a former Henry Awards darling that pulled out of further consideration in 2016, citing “a profound lack of diversity” among the winners.

    August Adrian Egolf 160Among actors, multiple nominees this year include Adrian Egolf (pictured) as a lead actress in Benchmark Theatre’s A Kid Like Jake, and as a supporting actress in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists. She played a mother competing to get her gender-fluid 4-year-old into the best kindergarten in the former; a beguiling Marie Antoinette in the latter. Emma Messenger, who previously won Outstanding Actress two straight years, is twice nominated as a supporting actress this year, for The Edge Theater’s Mud Blue Sky and Vintage’s current Agnes of God, which runs through July 8. In the former, Messenger played a melancholy flight attendant pushed out of her job because of her body size; in the latter, she plays an imperious nun.

    Nick Sugar, the most honored individual in Colorado Theatre Guild history, is nominated both for directing and choreographing the Aurora Fox’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, bringing his 13-year total to 21 Henry Award nominations.

    There often are nominee clusters in the four design categories each year because the Guild splits scenic, lighting, sound and costume design nominees into two tiers determined by member companies' annual overall operating budgets. Only six member companies have annual budgets above the $1.2 million threshold and are therefore considered Tier I: The DCPA, Arvada Center, Creede Repertory Theatre, Theatre Aspen, Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Colorado Springs TheatreWorks. The rest all compete in Tier II. But both categories still get seven (and sometimes eight) nominees.

    “We are looking to expand the number of Tier I companies for the 2018-19 season,” said CTG board member and past president T. David Rutherford. “We will be discussing the change with producers in the weeks to come.”

    Jason DucatDesigners Jason Ducat (pictured) and Brian Mallgrave pulled off a triple play by each landing three individual nominations this year. Ducat, whose most recent sound design is currently on display in the DCPA’s Human Error, was nominated three times, for the Arvada Center’s All My Sons and Sense and Sensibility; and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Julius Caesar. Mallgrave, a former actor who has now earned 19 Henry Award nominations as a scenic designer, was singled out this year for the Arvada Center’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sense and Sensibility and Sunday in the Park with George.

    Denver Center Costume Designer Meghan Anderson Doyle was nominated twice in Tier I, for the Theatre Company’s American Mariachi and Off-Center’s The Wild Party. Lighting Designer Katie Gruenhagen landed nominations in both tiers: For Off-Center’s This is Modern Art (Tier I) and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s Birds of North America.

    Other multiple nominees this year include:

    • Nathan Halvorson for both directing Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Fun Home, and for his choreography for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
    • Jalyn Courtenay Webb, as Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Louise in Midtown Arts Center’s Always … Patsy Cline in Fort Collins, and for her co-musical direction of Midtown’s Ragtime.
    • Lynne Collins, for directing the Arvada Center’s All My Sons and Sense and Sensibility.
    • Bernie Cardell, for directing August: Osage County for Vintage Theatre and Sleuth as a co-production between Vintage and Lowry's Spotlight Theatre.
    • Barry J. DeBois, who has made a pretty solid career for himself playing Guy in various productions of Once around the country, is nominated as Outstanding Actor in a Musical as well as for his co-musical direction for the Midtown Arts Center. Kurt Terrio is nominated for his co-musical direction of Midtown’s Ragtime and Once. Both productions also are nominated for Outstanding Musical.
    • Costume Designer Clare Henkel is nominated for the Arvada Center’s Sense and Sensibility and Sunday in the Park with George.
    • Scenic Designer Brandon Case is nominated for the Aurora Fox’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Real Women Have Curves
    • Sound Designer Tori Higgins is nominated for Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Fun Home.
    • Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck is nominated for choreographing the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
    • Peter Anthony is nominated for his scenic and sound designs for OpenStage Theatre Company’s The Crucible.

    And while Warren Sherrill is officially nominated only once, for his scenic design of The Edge’s Mud Blue Sky, he also directed two Outstanding Play nominees: The Edge’s Death of a Salesman and Benchmark Theatre’s A Kid Like Jake.

    Highly regarded eligible companies that were shut out of the nominations this year include Boulder’s The Catamounts, which had eight nominations a year ago; Phamaly Theatre Company; Creede Repertory Theatre; the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown; Performance Now in Lakewood; and Theatre Aspen, which earned 25 nominations just two years ago and won Outstanding Season by a company.

    Perhaps the most glaringly omitted individual among all nominees is Emily Van Fleet, who was critically celebrated for headlining two very different challenges in Off-Center’s The Wild Party and the Arvada Center’s Sunday in the Park with George. Van Fleet, a 2017 True West Award winner, has never earned a Henry Award nomination.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Established in 2006, the Henrys are named for longtime local theatre producer Henry Lowenstein and serve as the Colorado Theatre Guild's annual fundraising event. Nominations were determined through a judging process conducted by statewide adjudicators. Five judges must score a show for it to be eligible. According to Rutherford, 162 of 197 shows were fully scored, or 82.2 percent of all member offerings.

    He said that unlike other years, the nominees for Outstanding Season were determined simply by the seven companies with the most nominations.

    The Guild has overhauled the judging pool in recent months, aggressively growing the number of active judges from about 25 a year ago to 100. Rutherford says the judging pool for the new theatre season, which began June 1, has grown to 120. Many other sweeping changes for the coming season include judges being assigned to shows they score, rather than choosing they shows they want to see.

    Tickets for the 2018 Henry Awards ceremony are $35 for CTG members (up from $23 last year); the nonmember price is now $40 (and rises to $45 on the day of the event July 23).

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Video: A look back at the 2017 Henry Awards

    2018 HENRY AWARD NOMINATIONS

    Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company

    • Arvada Center
    • Aurora Fox
    • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • DCPA Theatre Company
    • Midtown Arts Center
    • Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Vintage Theatre

    Outstanding Production of a Play

    • All My Sons, Arvada Center, Directed by Lynne Collins
    • August: Osage County, Vintage Theatre, Directed by Bernie Cardell
    • Constellations, Thunder River Theatre Company, Directed by Mike Monroney
    • Death of a Salesman, The Edge Theater Company, Directed by Warren Sherrill
    • A Kid Like Jake, Benchmark Theatre, Directed by Warren Sherrill
    • The Rape of the Sabine Women, Local Theater Company, Directed by Christy Montour-Larson
    • Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center, Directed by Lynne Collins

    Outstanding Production of a Musical

    • JAKE MENDES HEDWIG AURORA FOXHedwig and the Angry Inch, Aurora Fox, Directed by Nick Sugar, Musical Direction by David Nehls
    • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Directed by Scott RC Levy, Musical Direction by Sharon Skidgel
    • Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Directed by Nathan Halvorson, Musical Direction by Stephanie McGuffin
    • Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse, Directed by Len Matheo, Musical Direction by Mitch Samu
    • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center, Directed by Gavin Mayer, Musical Direction by Roberto Sinha
    • Once, Midtown Arts Center, Directed by Kurt Terrio, Musical Direction by Barry DeBois and Kurt Terrio
    • Ragtime, Midtown Arts Center, Directed by Joseph Callahan, Musical Direction by Jalyn Courtenay Webb and Kurt Terrio

    Outstanding Direction of a Play

    • Craig Bond, Red, Vintage Theatre
    • Bernie Cardell, August: Osage County, Vintage Theatre
    • Bernie Cardell, Sleuth, Vintage Theatre and Lowry's Spotlight Theater
    • Lynne Collins, All My Sons, Arvada Center
    • Lynne Collins, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Mike Monroney, Constellations, Thunder River Theatre Company
    • Christy Montour-Larson, The Rape of the Sabine Women, Local Theater Company

    Outstanding Direction of a Musical

    • Sam Buntrock, The Who's Tommy, DCPA Theatre Company
    • Nathan Halvorson, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Rod A. Lansberry, A Chorus Line, Arvada Center
    • Scott RC Levy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Len Matheo, Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Gavin Mayer, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center
    • Nick Sugar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Aurora Fox Arts Center

    Outstanding Musical Direction

    • Barry J. DeBois and Kurt Terrio, Once, Midtown Arts Center
    • Donna Kolpan Debreceni, In the Heights, Town Hall Arts Center
    • Tanner Kelly, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
      Mitch Samu, Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Roberto Sinha, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center
    • Sharon Skidgel, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Jalyn Courtenay Webb and Kurt Terrio, Ragtime, Midtown Arts Center

    Outstanding Actor in a Play

    • Antonio Amadeo, A Kid Like Jake, Benchmark Theatre
    • Logan Ernstthal, A Picasso, Cherry Creek Theatre
    • Kevin Hart, Death of a Salesman, The Edge Theater Company
    • Chris Kendall, District Merchants, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Esau Pritchett, Fences, Lone Tree Arts Center
    • Lance Rasmussen, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Mark Robbins, Amadeus, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    • Mark Rubald, Sleuth, Vintage Theatre and Lowry's Spotlight Theatre

    Outstanding Actress in a Play

    • Adrian Egolf, A Kid Like Jake, Benchmark Theatre
    • Lauren Hooper, Intimate Apparel, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Candace Joice, District Merchants, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Lenne Klingaman, Hamlet, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Missy Moore, Ugly Lies the Bone, Lake Dillon Theatre Company
    • Jessica Robblee, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Erin Rollman, The Book Handlers, Buntport Theater

    Outstanding Actor in a Musical

    • Brian Boyd, Ragtime, Midtown Arts Center
    • Larry Cahn, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Barry J. DeBois, Once, Midtown Arts Center
    • Tim Howard, The Producers, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
    • Patrick Oliver Jones, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Jake Mendes, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Aurora Fox
    • Kyle Dean Steffen, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

    Outstanding Actress in a Musical

    • Elena Juliano, Once, Midtown Arts Center
    • Jessica Kahkoska, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Susannah McLeod, Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Allison Mickelson, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Norrell Moore, Always ... Patsy Cline, BDT Stage
    • Marissa Rudd, Ragtime, Midtown Arts Center
    • Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Always ... Patsy Cline, Midtown Arts Center

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

    • Geoffrey Kent Matthew GaleZachary Andrews, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Sam Gregory, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Geoffrey Kent, All My Sons, Arvada Center
    • Bob Moore, The Price, Thunder River Theatre Company
    • Matt Schneck, The Rape of the Sabine Women, Local Theater Company
    • Marc Stith, August: Osage County, Vintage Theatre
    • Erik Thurston, Mud Blue Sky, The Edge Theater Company

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

    • Jessica Austgen, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Emily Davies, Mud Blue Sky, The Edge Theater Company
    • Hannah Duggan, Edger Allan Poe is Dead and So is My Cat, Buntport Theater
    • Adrian Egolf, The Revolutionists, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Kristina Fountaine, District Merchants, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Emma Messenger, Mud Blue Sky, The Edge Theater Company
    • Emma Messenger, Agnes of God, Vintage Theatre
    • Martha Harmon Pardee, A Kid Like Jake, Benchmark Theatre

    Jordan LeighOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

    • Brandon Bill, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
    • Randy Chalmers, Ain't Misbehavin', Town Hall Arts Center
    • Stephen Day, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center
    • TJ Hogle, Bullets Over Broadway, Vintage Theatre
    • Jordan Leigh, First Date, DCPA Cabaret (pictured)
    • Josh Rigo, The Producers, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
    • Christopher Willard, The Producers, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre

    Fun Home. Miners Alley Playhouse. Sophia Dotson. Photo by John Moore.

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

    • Mackenzie Beyer, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Judeth Shay Comstock, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Sophia Dotson (pictured above), Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Colby Dunn, The Producers, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
    • Lulu Fall, The Who's Tommy, DCPA Theatre Company
      Julia Tobey, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
    • Megan Van De Hey, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

    Outstanding Ensemble Performance

    • A Chorus Line, Arvada Center
    • A Kid Like Jake, Benchmark Theatre
    • Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • A Picasso, Cherry Creek Theatre
    • Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Sleuth, Vintage Theatre and Lowry's Spotlight Theatre

    Outstanding Choreography

    • Liane Adamo, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
    • Clark Ausloos and Jeff Duke, West Side Story, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre
    • Joseph Callahan, Ragtime, Midtown Arts Center
    • Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, A Chorus Line, Arvada Center
    • Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center
    • Nathan Halvorson, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Nick Sugar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Aurora Fox

    Outstanding New Play or Musical

    • The Book Handlers, By Buntport Theater; Directed by Buntport Theater, Produced by Buntport Theater
    • A Christmas Carol, Adapted for the stage by Josh Hartwell; Directed by Len Matheo, Produced by Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Colorism: Breaking the Chains of Complexion, By Kenya Fashaw; Directed by Kenya Fashaw and Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Produced by 5280 Artists Coop
    • The Great Leap, By Lauren Yee; Directed by Eric Ting, Produced by DCPA Theatre Company
    • Honorable Disorder, By Jeff Campbell; Directed by Jeff Campbell, Produced by Emancipation Theater Company
    • The Three Musketeers, Adapted for the stage by Richard Strahle; Directed by Denise Burson Freestone, Produced by OpenStage Theatre Company
    • Zoey's Perfect Wedding, By Matthew Lopez; Directed by Mike Donahue, Produced by DCPA Theatre Company

    Outstanding Costume Design, larger budget

    • Stephanie Bradley, Amadeus, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks 
    • Meghan Anderson Doyle, American Mariachi, DCPA Theatre Company
      Meghan Anderson Doyle, The Wild Party, DCPA Off-Center
    • Sydney Gallas, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Clare Henkel, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Clare Henkel, Sunday in the Park with George, Arvada Center
    • Drew Mathisen, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center

    Outstanding Costume Design, smaller budget

    • Terri Fong, Ain't Misbehavin', Town Hall Arts Center
    • Brenda King, The Revolutionists, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Laurie Klapperich, Real Women Have Curves, Aurora Fox Arts Center
    • Cole Mitchell, The Producers, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
    • Linda Morken, Always...Patsy Cline, BDT Stage
    • Davis Sibley, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Evergreen Chorale
    • Rebecca Spafford, The Crucible, OpenStage Theatre Company

    Outstanding Lighting Design, larger budget

    • Katie Gruenhagen, This is Modern Art, DCPA Off-Center
    • Alex Jainchill, Macbeth, DCPA Theatre Company
    • Charles R. MacLeod, Native Gardens, DCPA Theatre Company
    • Shannon McKinney, Sunday in the Park with George, Arvada Center
    • Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Smart People, DCPA Theatre Company
    • Holly Rawls, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Jonathan Spencer, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

    Outstanding Lighting Design, smaller budget

    • Seth Alison, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
    • Katie Gruenhagen, Birds of North America, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Sean Jeffries, Constellations, Thunder River Theatre Company
    • Brett Maughan, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Aurora Fox Arts Center
    • Vance McKenzie, Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Andrew Metzroth, Going to a Place Where You Already Are, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Brian Miller, The Crucible, OpenStage Theatre Company

    Outstanding Scenic Design larger budget

    • Lex Liang, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Brian Mallgrave, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Arvada Center
      Brian Mallgrave, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Brian Mallgrave, Sunday in the Park with George, Arvada Center
    • Lisa M. Orzolek, Native Gardens, DCPA Theatre Company
    • Christopher L. Sheley, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Jason Sherwood, The Who's Tommy, DCPA Theatre Company

    Outstanding Scenic Design, smaller budget

    • Peter Anthony, The Crucible, OpenStage Theatre Company
    • Tina Anderson, Going to a Place Where You Already Are, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Brandon Case, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Aurora Fox
    • Brandon Case, Real Women Have Curves, Aurora Fox
    • Susan Crabtree, Wisdom from Everything, Local Theater Company
    • Michael R. Duran, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
    • Ed Haynes, Fences, Lone Tree Arts Center
    • Warren Sherrill, Mud Blue Sky, The Edge Theater Company

    Outstanding Sound Design, larger budget

    • Jason Ducat, All My Sons, Arvada Center
    • Jason Ducat, Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center
    • Jason Ducat, Julius Caesar, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Tori Higgins, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Tori Higgins, Fun Home, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
    • Elisheba Ittoop, This is Modern Art, DCPA Off-Center
    • David Thomas, Sunday in the Park with George, Arvada Center

    Outstanding Sound Design, smaller budget

    • Peter Anthony, The Crucible, OpenStage Theatre Company
    • Justin Babcock, Fun Home, Miners Alley Playhouse
    • Joe Brindley, Hairspray, Inspire Creative and Parker Arts
    • Ashley Campbell, Mud Blue Sky, The Edge Theater Company
    • Carlos D. Flores, Red, Vintage Theatre
    • Wayne Kennedy, Always...Patsy Cline, BDT Stage
    • Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry, August: Osage County, Vintage Theatre

    2018 Henry Awards: Ticket information

    • Monday, July 23
    • 6 p.m. drinks; 7 p.m. awards
    • At the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue,
    • Tickets: $35 for CTG members, $40 non-members.
    • Call 720-509-1000 or go to lonetreeartscenter.org
  • April theatre openings: Don't pass on 'Passing Strange'

    by John Moore | Apr 06, 2018
    Stew, right, the subject and star of the 2008 Broadway musical 'Passing Strange.' Photo by David Lee.

    Stew, right, was the subject and star of the 2008 Broadway musical 'Passing Strange.' Its first local production will open this month at the Aurora Fox. Photo by David Lee.


    Ten intriguing titles for April offer groundbreaking musicals and a wealth of challenging contemporary works 

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Things will be busier than ever at the Denver Center this month, with a wide range of offerings from Disney's Aladdin to The Who's Tommy to Native Gardens to the final weeks of First Date, This is Modern Art and a sold-out Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. Here we take our monthly look at everything else Colorado theatregoers will have available to them this month:  

    NUMBER 1Trent Armand KendallPassing Strange. This groundbreaking musical went head-to-head with In The Heights for the 2008 Best Musical Tony Award. It opens as a concert with a rousing funk band led by a showman named Stew who takes us back to the tumultuous 1970s where we retrace young Stew’s epic journey from the suburban comforts of Los Angeles to Amsterdam and Berlin in search of “something more real than real." But this is no nostalgia trip. It’s a difficult and meaningful odyssey about cultural identity and family that culminates as young Stew comes face-to-face with present-day Stew — and to terms with the unalterable cost his youthful narcissism has exacted on those he left behind. This is catchy and cathartic performance art unlike anything Broadway has seen before. And the Aurora Fox is the first local theatre company to dare to let anyone in Colorado see it. Directed by Nick Sugar, starring Broadway's Trent Armand Kendall (Into the Woods) and featuring Sheryl McCallum (DCPA's The Wild Party). April 13-May 13 at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    NUMBER 2Sunday in the Park with George. The Arvada Center presents the regional premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway revival inspired by the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. This gorgeous musical merges past and present into poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. George is frustrated as he searches for his artistic path only to find the answer to his future is in the past. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and nominated for 10 Tony Awards. The cast is led by Cole Burden and Emily Van Fleet (as both Seurat’s mistress and model) along with an all-star ensemble that includes local favorites Billie McBride, Boni McIntyre, Jeffrey Roark, Heather Lacy, Robert Michael Sanders, Joe Callahan, Abby Apple Boes, Paul Dwyer, Piper Arpan, Jeremy Rill, Michael Bouchard, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Drew Horwitz, Shannan Steele and Susannah McLeod. April 17-May 6 at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    NUMBER 3Honorable DisorderHonorable Disorder. The new Emancipation Theater Company's inaugural production tells the story of DeShawn Foster, a native of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood and a veteran of  Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following the loss of his commanding officer and father figure, DeShawn struggles to hold on to  his “Soldier’s Creed.” Honorable Disorder addresses the issues of a typical American family in present-day Denver as seen through the eyes of a young black man and his perceived value by those who care most for him. Written and directed by iconic local performance artist Jeff Campbell and featuring Theo Wilson, Erica Brown, Chet Sis, Corey Rhoads and Devon James. Through April 29 at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West, EmancipationTheater.com

    NUMBER 4The 2018 Local Lab. Local Theater Company will welcome three playwrights to Boulder for its seventh annual new-play festival: Clockwork by Emily Zemba, a comedy about a congresswoman up for re-election scrambling to fish her campaign out of the toilet; Ladybits by Rehana Lew Mirza, about an aspiring comedian who finds solace within a group of other female comedians feeling marginalized in an industry dominated by men; and Paper Cut by Andrew Rosendorf, a raw exploration of the physical and emotional toll of war on a soldier returning home as an amputee. "We are committed to bringing stories to the stage that challenge the world we live in today," said Artistic Director Pesha Rudnick. "I can’t think of a more exciting time to engage our community in some of our nation’s most pressing issues through the lens of art." April 20-22 at The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org

    NUMBER 5 Fences. The Lone Tree Arts Center is calling its production of perhaps August Wilson's most popular play its greatest assemblage of talent to date, led by Esau Pritchett. The sixth play in Wilson's decade-by decade "Century Cycle" is the story of a family led by a garbage collector whose rise through the Negro baseball leagues hit a racial ceiling. But now, in 1957, his son sees the world through very different eyes. Fences won the Tony Award for Best Play and was recently made into an Oscar-winning film. Through April 21 at 10075 Commons St. in Lone Tree, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org

    NUMBER 6Romeo and Juliet. Phamaly Theatre Company, which creates performance opportunities for actors with disabilities, brings to life Shakespeare's timeless love story that explores the passion, beauty, poetry, and tragedy of putting aside differences to pursue love above all else. This is a workshop production with minimal staging. Starring Jacob Elledge and Elizabeth Bernhardt, and directed by 2017 True West Awards Theatre Person of the Year Regan Linton. All performances will include open captioning. April 14-22 at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-575-0005 or thedairy.org

    NUMBER 7Dirt, A Terra Nova Expedition. This new play by Laura Pritchett opens with a young scientist in an underground bunker who has recently lost her love after he sacrificed himself to preserve remaining resources for the others. As she waits for the roots to regenerate, she keeps her sanity by daydreaming the science, culture, history and myth of soil. During her journey, she discovers that perhaps humanity has found its humility. April 7-May 6 at the Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    NUMBER 8Going to a Place Where You Already Are. Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's new play by Bekah Brunstetter, a staff writer for NBC’s This Is Us, centers around an elderly couple facing a sudden end-of-life crisis. In this nuanced comedy, two generations wrestle with love and a life well lived as they wonder what might come next. Brunstetter says she wrote the play "to really confront what I believe — or rather, what I can't seem to stop believing." Directed by Rebecca Remaly Weitz. April 12 through May 6 at Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    Baker: 'It’s hard to listen when the message is a brick'

    NUMBER 9Glengarry Glen Ross. OK, so we've said this before, but this time we mean it: The Edge Theatre Company is going on hiatus after farewell stagings of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, followed next month by Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Glengarry, which won Mamet a Pulitzer in 1984, shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate and potty-mouthed Chicago real-estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting buyers. The cast includes Josh Hartwell, Warren Sherrill, Bill Hahn, Kevin Holwerda Hommes, Jihad Milhem, Max Cabot and Tony Ryan. The director is Missy Moore. Fair warning: The Alec Baldwin character in the film does not exist in the play. To see him, you have to come to a special Denver Actors Fund screening of the film (with a live appearance from The Edge cast) on Monday, April 23 at Alamo Drafthouse. The play runs April 13-May 5 at 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    NUMBER 10Bullets Over Broadway. John Ashton directs the regional premiere of this musical stage adaptation of Woody Allen's 1994 screenplay about a  straight-arrow 1920s playwright who finds a producer to mount his show on Broadway. Only ... he's a mobster. The cast includes Mary McGroary, Damon Guerrasio, TJ Hogle, Maggie Tisdale, Michael O’Shea, John Gleason, Colby Dunn, Adrianne Hampton and Bernie Cardell. April 13-May 27 at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

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


    Aladdin Photo by Deen van Meer
    Disney's 'Aladdin' flies into Denver on April 7. Photo by Deen van Meer.


    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    April 5-21: Lone Tree Arts Center's August Wilson's Fences
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org

    A Picasso. Logan Ernstthal and Susie RoelofszApril 5-29: Cherry Creek Theatre Company's A Picasso
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org
    (Pictured at right: Logan Ernstthal and Susie Roelofsz)

    April 5-15: Theatrix USA's Stand Still & Look Stupid
    At the Beacons/Parkside Mansion, 1859 York St., theatrixusa.org

    April 6-29: Emancipation Theatre's Honorable Disorder
    At Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West, EmancipationTheater.com

    April 6-May 6: Town Hall Arts Center's Sisters of Swing
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page

    April 6-28: Equinox Theatre Company’s Reefer Madness: The Musical
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    April 6-21: StageDoor Theatre's Fame
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoortheatre.org
    (No performances April 13-15)

    April 7-28: National touring production of Disney’s Aladdin, Buell Theatre
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 7-May 6: Bas Bleu's Dirt! A Terra Nova Expedition
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    April 12-May 6: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Going to a Place Where You Already Are
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    April 12-21: 5th Wall Productions' Venus in Fur
    The Bakery 2132 Market St.,720-771-8826 or ticketleap.com
    No performances April 13-14

    April 13-May 6: DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    Space Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 13-May 5: The Edge Theatre Company’s Glengarry Glen Ross
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    April 13-May 13: Aurora Fox's Passing Strange
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    April 13-22: Germinal Stage Denver's The Creditors
    At the John Hand Theater Ballroom on the Colorado Free University Campus at Lowry, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

    April 13-July 8: Jester’s Dinner Theatre’s Annie
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    April 13-May 27: Vintage Theatre's Bullets Over Broadway
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    April 14-22: Phamaly Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet
    At the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-575-0005 or thedairy.org

    April 17-May 6: Arvada Center's Sunday in the Park with George
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    LaManchaPromoApril 19-May 5: And Toto too Theatre Company’s The Way Station and The South Star
    At The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org

    April 26-May 13, 2018: TheatreWorks' Amadeus
    At the Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    April 26-June 17: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Man of La Mancha (pictured right)
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    April 27-May 27: DCPA Theatre Company's The Who's Tommy
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 27-May 20: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Fully Committed
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:


    Lawrence Hecht Michael EnsmingerThrough April 14: Curious Theatre's The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism & Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org READ MORE

    Through April 15: Off-Center's This Is Modern Art
    Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 15: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Kiss Me Kate
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through April 22: DCPA Cabaret’s First Date
    Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 22: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Fun Home
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 23: DCPA Cabaret's Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
    Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Lili Shuger as AnneFrankThrough April 28: Lowry's Spotlight Theatre's The Diary of Anne Frank
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    (Photo at right of Lili Shuger by Meghan Ralph)

    Through April 28: OpenStage's And Then There Were None
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Through April 28: Miners Alley Children's Theatre’s Little Red Riding Hood
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 Or minersalley.com

    Through April 29: Miners Alley Playhouse's The 39 Steps
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through May 3: Arvada Center's All My Sons
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 4: Arvada Center's The Electric Baby
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 4: Denver Children's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty
    Public performances 1 p.m. Sundays
    Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-316-6360 www.maccjcc.org

    Through May 6: Arvada Center's Sense and Sensibility
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 13: Vintage Theatre's The Audience
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through May 20: BDT Stage's Always … Patsy Cline
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through May 25: Arvada Center Children's Theatre's Seussical
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 26: Midtown Arts Center's Ragtime
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Aug. 11: Iron Springs Chateau’s A Precious Bit of the West, or: She Was Simply a Delight!
    444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, 719-685-5104 or ironspringschateau.com

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE
  • Ongoing productions

  • AVENUE THEATER


  • Weekends: Comedy Sportz

  • BAS BLEU THEATRE
    • Sunday, April 15: The Homeless Choir Speaks, a film by Susan Polis Schutz
    At 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org


    BUG THEATRE
    • Thursday, March 19: The Emerging Filmmakers Project, showcasing Denver's indie film scene on the third Thursday of every month.
    • Monday, April 30: Freak Train: Open-mic variety show hosted by GerRee Hinshaw on the final Monday of every month

    3654 Navajo St., 303-477-9984 or bugtheatre.info


    BOULDER PHILHARMONIC

    • Monday, April 23: Bernstein at 100: Leonard Bernstein Tribute Concert 

    The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein's iconic West Side Story, in collaboration with Central City Opera and choirs.
    At Levin Hall at the Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Ave., Boulder TICKETS

    • Sunday, April 29: Bernstein at 100: West Side Story in Concert

    The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein's iconic West Side Story, in collaboration with Central City Opera and choirs.
    At the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org


    BUNTPORT THEATER

    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com


    Glengarry 2DENVER ACTORS FUND

    • Monday, April 23: Screening of the film Glengarry Glen Ross with live entertainment from The Edge Theatre's upcoming production of the profane David Mamet classic about the cutthroat world of real estate. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7. Choose your preferred seating

    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com


    EVERGREEN CHORALE

    • Friday, April 20: Swing Into Spring: Big band sound of William and the Romantics
    At the Evergreen Lake House, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org


    LOCAL THEATER COMPANY

  • April 20-22: Local Theater Company's Local Lab new-play festival.

    At the Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or tickets.thedairy.org


  • MILLIBO ART THEATRE
    • April 12-19: Women’s Theatre Festival
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321 or themat.org


    PARKER ARTS
    • April 6-7, 2018: Parker Arts’ Wiley and the Hairy Man
    • April 13, 2018: Parker Arts’ Henry and Mudge
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303.805.6800 or www.ParkerArts.org


    PLATTE VALLEY PLAYERS AND BRIGHTON MUSIC ORCHESTRA
    • Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.: Guys and Dolls in Concert
    At The Armory Performing Arts Center, 300 Strong St., Brighton, 303-227-3053 or plattevalleyplayers.org
    • Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m.: Guys and Dolls in Concert
    At First Presbyterian Church of Brighton, 510 S. 27th Ave., Brighton, 303-227-3053 or plattevalleyplayers.org

     


    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY
    • Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    • April 17-28: 4th EVER WordFest
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org


    STORIES ON STAGE

    • Saturday, April 14: Course Correction. Stories on Stage has renowned actors bring stories to life by combining literature with theater. This month: Cajardo Lindsey,  Emma Messenger and Sam Gregory perform stories about self-help.
    1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive,  303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org
  • March openings: Athena rises as 'All My Sons' leaves American Dream in ruins

    by John Moore | Mar 02, 2018
    All My Sons. Emma Messenger. Sam Gregory. Matt Gale Photography

    Emma Messenger and DCPA Theatre Company favorite Sam Gregory (Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol') are currently starring in the Arvada Center's 'All My Sons.' Matt Gale Photography 2018.


    Month-long Athena Project Festival turns March theatre spotlight to women in fields of theatre, music and dance

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The DCPA Theatre Company's newly completed Colorado New Play Summit serves as something of a kickoff to a series of Colorado festivals celebrating new work for the American Theatre. Throughout March, the spotlight shifts to the 6th annual Athena Project Arts Festival, which has grown into a massive, citywide celebration of women's voices in theatre, dance, music, comedy and fashion.

    Athena Project 2013The festival's signature program is its Plays In Progress series. Organizers have selected three promising scripts from among 150 submissions for development during the festival: The Buddha’s Wife by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin, Mama’s Eggnog by Angela Stern, and The Golden Hour by Elizabeth Nelson. Each script will get two public workshop readings between March 22 and March 31. In addition, Claire Caviglia's The Inside Child will receive a table read on March 22, and Philana Omorotionmwan's Strong Face will have a concert reading on March 29. Most theatre events will be held at the University of Denver.

    Music highlights will include an open-mic night for female singers on March 8 at the Swallow Hill Music Hall; and a concert headlined by Megan Burtt and emerging artist Nina de Freitas on March 10. New this year is Cross Pollinations, in which artists from different disciplines are paired together to create a live, original work of art to be presented March 9. Dance events will be held March 17 and 18.

    Tickets range from free to a $35 series pass that gets you into to all three plays, panel discussions and more. Full schedule and more information at AthenaProjectArts.org.

    The Athena Festival, founded by Angela Astle, will be followed by Local Theater Company's Local Lab new-play festival from April 20-22 in Boulder.

    Here are a few more highlights for the coming month in Colorado theatre, followed by a comprehensive list of all your statewide theatregoing options for March. 

    Ten intriguing titles for March:

    NUMBER 1All My Sons. It not only won the first-ever Best Play Tony Award, All My Sons may be Arthur Miller's best play, period. This classic tale is based on the true story of an Ohio manufacturer who sold faulty parts to the U.S. military during World War II. Joe Keller, played by DCPA Theatre Company favorite Sam Gregory, is made to face the true cost of his business choices and their devastating impact on his family. This is the last opening of the Arvada Center's second Black Box Theatre Company season. The big-name cast also includes Emma Messenger, Geoffrey Kent, Kate Gleason, Regina Fernandez, Abner Genece, Zachary Andrews, Jessica Austgen, Lance Rasmussen and youngsters Harrison Hauptman and August Reichert. Runs through May 3 in repertory with Sense and Sensibility and The Electric Baby at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    NUMBER 2Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. Monday, March 5, promises to be an emotional night when Mary Louise Lee revisits her signature role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at the Galleria Theatre. Lee's performing career began in the Galleria (then called StageWest) when she appeared in Beehive at only 18 years old and still a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School. Lee first portrayed the jazz legend with a singular singing voice — and a lethal heroin habit — for Shadow Theatre in 2002. She returned to the role in January for this unique co-production with Vintage Theatre that now transfers to the Denver Center. This new production, directed by Betty Hart, will perform on Monday nights only through April 23. Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    NUMBER 3Wisdom from Everything. The latest provocative offering from Boulder's Local Theater Company asks: What you would sacrifice to escape a war? Chicago playwright Mia McCullough's story presents a 19-year-old Syrian who finds herself educating girls in the largest refugee camp in the world — until an older Jordanian doctor offers her an education in exchange for marriage. The primo cast includes Amy Carle (known for her work on "Chicago MED" and for the Goodman and Steppenwolf theatres) and Mehry Eslaminia, who performed in the DCPA Theatre Company's world-premiere play Appoggiatura. March 4-26 at The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org

    NUMBER 4The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. With his trademark mix of soaring intellect and searing emotion, legendary playwright Tony Kushner unfurls an epic tale of love, family, sex, money and politics — all set under the hard-earned roof of an Italian family in Brooklyn. When former longshoreman and Marxist union activist Gus decides to die, his kids come home with a raucous parade of lovers and spouses to find that even the house keeps secrets. Curious Theatre presents the regional premiere of Kushner's 2009 opus with an all-star cast including the return of former DCPA Head of Acting Larry Hecht alongside Dee Covington, Karen Slack, Desirée Mee Jung, Kirkaldy Myers, Anne Oberbroeckling, Emily Paton Davies, Matthew Schneck, Luke Sorge and Brian Landis Folkins. March 17-April 14 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    NUMBER 5 Idris Goodwin 160This is Modern Art. Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval recount the true story of the biggest graffiti bomb in Chicago history. In less than 20 minutes, and in a snowstorm, a stealthy crew spray-painted a 50-foot graffiti piece along the exterior wall of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. The tagging began with the words “modern art” and ended with the phrase “made you look.” The work was sandblasted off the next day, but because the artists had chosen such a high-profile target, the consequences got serious. “They were putting out a challenge,” Goodwin said. “What is modern art? Who gets to decide who a real artist is? And where does art belong?” The all-local cast includes John Jurcheck, Brynn Tucker, Jake Mendes, Robert Lee Hardy, Chloe McLeod and Marco Robinson/ Presented by Off-Center from March 22-April 15 at the Jones Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    NUMBER 6Ugly Lies the Bone. When a newly discharged veteran returns to her native Florida hometown after a disabling third tour in Afghanistan, she discovers that readjusting can be painful and disorienting. Through virtual reality video-game therapy, Lindsey Ferrentino's brave and bracing drama, featuring Missy Moore, examines the restoration of one soldier’s life, relationships and self. Through March 18 at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    NUMBER 7Totally Awesome '80s Ski Town, USA. It's rare to see a fully staged, locally written and produced musical, and this silly new party tuner spoofs goofball ski movies of the '80s and early '90s. The story follows Billy Tanner, a hilariously tortured drifter who wanders into a seemingly quiet ski burg and gets mixed up in saving the town from a greedy oil tycoon while slaloming his way through house parties, Norse gods and strange foreign-exchange students. Writers Charlie Schmidt and Cory Wendling draw from films such as Ski Patrol, Better Off Dead, Hot Dog The Movie and even Footloose. Through March 31 at Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, 121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    NUMBER 8Company. On his 35th birthday, perpetual bachelor Bobby contemplates his unmarried state. Through a series of comical outings with pals and an especially anxious wedding, his friends explain the pros and cons of marriage and relationships. Bobby is forced to examine his adamant retention of bachelorhood during these hilarious arrays of social interactions. The humor is sharp and the music is legendary, written by Stephen Sondheim. Presented by the Evergreen Chorale through March 11 at 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen. 303-674-4002 or EvergreenChorale.org. A portion of ticket sales for the weekend of March 2-4 will benefit the Denver Actors Fund.

    Fun Home: Third staging to open in Colorado Springs

    NUMBER 9Jessica Robblee. Waiting for Obama. Waiting for Obama. Heeding the call from Florida high-school students for a national day of dialogue, marches and protest, the Bas Bleu Theatre will present a community conversation on the prevalence of gun violence in America, followed by a reading of John Moore's play Waiting for Obama about one Colorado family that, like so many others, is deeply divided by polarizing political beliefs. Waiting for Obama was praised at the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival as “a powerful and timely play that depicts the problem of gun violence in the United States in an emotional but often humorous light.” The cast will include Laurence Curry, Chris Kendall, Leslie O’Carroll, Drew Horwitz, Maggy Stacy, John Hauser and Jenna Moll Reyes. Panel at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, with the reading to follow at 7:30. p.m. Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St. in Fort Collins, CO 80524. Admission is free but donations to the Denver Actors Fund will be accepted. Reservations are strongly encouraged by calling 970-498-8949 or emailing basbleu@basbleu.org.

    NUMBER 10The River Bride. The northern Brazilian locals say the river dolphin found in the Amazon River can transform into human beings in search of their destined life mate. Surely you don't believe that, but ... what if it were true? In this folk tale set alongside the mightiest river in the world, Marisela Treviño Orta's heartrending storytelling blends love, grudges and transformation. Directed Hugo Jon Sayles. March 8-25 at the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org


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

    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    DCPA March Mary Louise Lee. Lady Day. Photo by Adams VisComMarch 1-31: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Totally Awesome 80's Ski Town USA
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    March 2-May 3: Arvada Center's All My Sons
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    March 2-18: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Ugly Lies the Bone
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    March 2-11: Evergreen Chorale's Company
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org

    March 3-31: Athena Project Arts Festival
    Various locations, 303-219-0882 or athenaprojectfestival.org

    March 2-11: Vintage Theatre's Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    March 3-26: BDT Stage's Always … Patsy Cline
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    March 4-24: Local Theatre Company's Wisdom From Everything
    The Carsen Theater at The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org

    March 5-April 23: DCPA Cabaret's Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
    Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    March 8-25: Su Teatro's The River Bride
    721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org

    March 8-25: Millibo Art Theatre's The Blow Up
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, themat.org

    Briar-Rose-Ilasiea-L.-Gray-pricks-her-finger-with-Prince-Owain-Austin-Lazek-SLEEPING-BEAUTY-MACC-2018-RDG-Photography-1440x810March 8-May 4: Denver Children's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty
    Public performances 1 p.m. Sundays
    Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-316-6360 www.maccjcc.org

    March 9-April 1: Theatre Esprit Asia's Coping With America
    At ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-492-9479, or theatre-esprit-asia.org

    March 9-24: Theatrix USA's The Baptism
    At Blanc, 3150 Walnut St., wellattended.com

    March 16-April 8: Evergreen Players’ Love/Sick
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    March 16-25: Inspire Creative's Laughter on the 23rd Floor
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303-805-6800 or inspirecreative.org

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    March 16-25: Longmont Theatre Company's Leaving Iowa
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    March 17-April 14: Curious Theatre's The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism & Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    Benjamin Cowhick RDG PhotographyMarch 20-April 1: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Androcles and the Lion (children's)
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    March 22-April 15: Off-Center's This Is Modern Art
    Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    March 22-25: Magic Moments' In the Same Boat
    Anschutz Family Theatre at Kent Denver School, 4000 East Quincy Ave, Englewood, 303-575-1005 or magicmomentsinc.org

    March 23-April 8: Performance Now's The Producers
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org

    March 23-April 29: Miners Alley Playhouse's The 39 Steps
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    March 23-May 26: Midtown Arts Center's Ragtime
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    March 29-April 22: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Fun Home
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org READ MORE

    March 29-April 8: The Upstart Crow's Playboy of the Western World
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or theupstartcrow.org

    March 30-May 13: Vintage Theatre's The Audience
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    March 31-April 28: Lowry's Spotlight Theatre's The Diary of Anne Frank
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    March 31-April 28: OpenStage's And Then There Were None
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Local Theater. Mehry Eslaminia. Naseem Etemad. Photo by Michael Ensminger
    Naseem Etemad and Regis Jesuit High School graduate Mehry Eslaminia (DCPA Theatre Company's 'Appoggiatura') in Local Theatre's upcoming 'Wisdom from Everything.' Photo by Michael Ensminger.

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through March 3: Grapefruit Lab's JANE/EYRE
    The Bakery, 2132 Market St., eventbrite.com

    Through March 3: Miners Alley Children's Theatre’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through March 4: Miners Alley Playhouse's Fun Home
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com READ MORE

    Through March 4: Bas Bleu Theatre's Waiting for the Parade
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Through March 4: Springs Ensemble Theatre's The Totalitarians
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 80909, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    Through March 4: Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Trouble in Tahiti
    At the Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    Through March 10: Coal Creek Theater of Louisville’s Becky Shaw
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org

    Through March 10: Thunder River Theatre Company's The Price
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com

    Through March 11: Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Oklahoma
    At the Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    Through March 11: Vintage Theatre's Sleuth (with Lowry's Spotlight Theatre)
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through March 17: Midtown Arts Center's Fun Home
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com READ MORE

    Through March 17: Buntport Theater's The Book Handlers
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    Through March 17: Firehouse Theatre's Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com  

    Through March 18: DCPA Theatre Company’s The Great Leap
    Ricketson Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through March 18: Aurora Fox's Real Women Have Curves
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Through March 25: Benchmark Theatre's A Kid Like Jake
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, benchmarktheatre.com

    Through March 25: Town Hall Arts Center's Something’s Afoot
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

    Through March 25: Midtown Arts Center's Always ... Patsy Cline
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through March 26: Local Theater Company's Wisdom from Everything
    At The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org

    Through April 22: DCPA Cabaret’s First Date
    Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 1: National touring production of Hamilton
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through April 8: Jester’s Dinner Theatre’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    Through April 8: The BiTSY Stage’s Jotunheim: A Legend of Thor and His Hammer
    1137 S. Huron St., 720-328-5294 or bitsystage.com

    Through April 15: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Kiss Me Kate
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through May 4: Arvada Center's The Electric Baby
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 6: Arvada Center's Sense and Sensibility
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 25: Arvada Center Children's Theatre's Seussical
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through Aug. 11: Iron Springs Chateau’s A Precious Bit of the West, or: She Was Simply a Delight!
    444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, 719-685-5104 or ironspringschateau.com

    EVERGREEN CHORALE. Company. Photo by Michael Ensminger

     

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE
  • Ongoing productions
  • ARVADA CENTER

  • Wednesday, March 14: The conflicted voices of America's World War I poets will spring to life in this performance written by Colorado Poet Laureate Joseph Hutchison and presented by members of the Arvada Center Black Box Repertory Company. This event is part of “Where Do We Go From Here?” a multifaceted statewide event marking the 100th anniversary of World War I. 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $15.
  • AVENUE THEATER

  • Weekends: Comedy Sportz
  • leonard-barrett-jrAURORA FOX ARTS CENTER

    • March 23-24: True West Award-winning performer Leonard E. Barrett Jr. is the featured artist this month in the Aurora Fox's ongoing cabaret series in its studio theatre. Barrett will perform Unforgettable: The Songs of Nat King Cole, a tribute to Cole through story and song.

    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurora fox.org


    BDT STAGE

    • March 5-6: The Glenn Miller Orchestra

    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com


    BUG THEATRE
    • Thursday, March 15: The Emerging Filmmakers Project, showcasing Denver's indie film scene on the third Thursday of every month.
    • Monday, March 26: Freak Train: Open-mic variety show hosted by GerRee Hinshaw on the final Monday of every month

    3654 Navajo St., 303-477-9984 or bugtheatre.info


    BUNTPORT THEATER

    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com


    THE 39 STEPSDENVER ACTORS FUND

    • Sunday, March 4: Watch the biggest night of the year for movies on the big screen with Denver7 at Alamo Drafthouse Denver. Arrive around 5 p.m. in BarFly for your own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before for food, drinks and fun for everyone i the theatre. Your ticket includes a glass of champagne (or sparkling cider) and a donation to the Denver Actors Fund. Choose your preferred seating

    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com

    • Sunday, March 11: Screening of the film The 39 Steps with live entertainment from Miners Alley Playhouse's s upcoming comical stage adaptation of the Hitchcock classic. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7. Choose your preferred seating

    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com

    • Saturday, March 24: Waiting for Obama. Community conversation on the prevalence of gun violence in America, followed by a reading of John Moore's play about a Colorado family deeply divided by polarizing political beliefs. Panel at 6:30 p.m. with the reading to follow at 7:30. p.m. Admission is free but donations to the Denver Actors Fund will be accepted. 
    At Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins. Reservations are strongly encouraged by calling 970-498-8949 or emailing basbleu@basbleu.org

    DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
  • Tuesday, March 20: The Magic of Adam Trent
      At the Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

  • LOCAL THEATER COMPANY
  • Sunday, March 18: LocalREADS encourages a community-wide reading of a book with complementary themes to Local Theater Company's current production. First up: Helen Thorpe’s The Newcomers as a companion to Local's world premiere production of Wisdom From Everything. Read the book, see the play at 4 p.m. and stay for the conversation after the show.

    At the Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or tickets.thedairy.org

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


    STORIES ON STAGE
    • Sunday, March 18: Wild Women. Stories on Stage has renowned actors bring stories to life by combining literature with theater. This month: Rhonda Lee Brown, Allison Watrous and Betty Hart perform stories by and about women - unconstrained, fun-loving and living large. 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive,  303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org
    (Program repeats on Saturday, March 24 at the Dairy Center in Boulder)
  • January openings: Make way for 'Lady Day,' 'Fun Home' and 'Hedwig'

    by John Moore | Jan 05, 2018
    Lady Day Mary Louise Lee Adams Viscom

    Mary Louise Lee in 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill,' opening Jan. 12 at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora before a spring transfer t the DCPA's Galleria Theatre. Photo by Adams Viscom

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


    Showcase month in Colorado theatre spotlights Mary Louise Lee, world premieres and Boulder artists

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    January will usher in the new theatrical year with a showcase vehicle for the First Lady of Denver, the state's first two homegrown productions of the groundbreaking 2015 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Fun Home, and what promises to be an electrifying staging of the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Aurora Fox. January is also when the DCPA Theatre Company begins its rollout of three consecutive world-premiere plays — Zoey's Perfect Wedding, American Mariachi and The Great Leap. With such an eclectic mix of material, this month we will kick off the winter theatre season with a brief look at 10 intriguing titles to watch, followed by complete list of all your Colorado theatregoing options for January:

    Ten intriguing titles for January:

    NUMBER 1Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. January 12 promises to be an emotional night when Mary Louise Lee revisits her signature role as Billie Holiday in Vintage Theatre's Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She will be performing in Vintage's Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium, named after the late founder of the Shadow Theatre Company who directed Lee back in 2002. Lee's haunting portrayal of the jazz legend woman with a singular singing voice — and a lethal heroin habit — was the biggest hit in Shadow’s history. This new production, directed by Betty Hart, will play weekends at Vintage through Feb. 18 (except Feb. 3), then move to the DCPA's Galleria Theatre on Monday nights from March 5 through April 23. Lee's performing career began in the Galleria Theatre (then called StageWest) when she appeared in Beehive at only 18 years old and still a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School. In 2011, Lee also became the First Lady of Denver when her husband, Michael B. Hancock, was elected Mayor. 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com READ MORE

    NUMBER 2A JANUARY JAKE MendesHedwig and the Angry Inch. It's impossible to overstate the impact John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's underground rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch has had on generations of misfits over the past 24 years. The show is essentially a rock concert featuring a genderqueer singer who was born a boy in communist East Germany and underwent a botched sex-change operation to marry an American soldier who then abandoned her. It's an incredibly powerful, literate and raunchy beacon of hope for anyone who has felt ever felt divided. And Jake Mendes and Norrell Moore promise to infuse the new Aurora Fox production, the first by a Denver theatre company in eight years, with fresh vitality. Jan. 19-Feb. 10 at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    NUMBER 3A Banned Together 800 1Fun Home. In 2015, Fun Home became the first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. Now the the rights to perform it at theatres across the country, it speaks well of the Colorado theatre community that different companies in Fort Collins, Golden and Colorado Springs have jumped at the chance to stage it. Based on Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, Fun Home recounts one women's unique childhood as she grows to understanding her own sexuality and looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.The first to open will be Midtown Arts Center (Jan. 18-March 17) at 3750 S. Mason St. in Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com. The Miners Alley Playhouse production runs  Jan. 26-March 4 at 1224 Washington St. in Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com. And the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College follows from March 29 through April 22 at 30 W. Dale St., 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org. (Pictured: Sophie Dotson of the Golden cast performs "Ring of Keys" at an anti-censorship event this past fall. Photo by John Moore.)

    NUMBER 4Detroit 67. Curious Theatre continues its most provocative season in years with playwright Dominque Morisseau's incendiary look back at the sizzling summer of 1967, a moment in history rife with police brutality, immense racial divide, and a violent uprising, all through the eyes of one family. Featuring Jada Suzanne Dixon and Cajardo Lindsey under the direction of hip hop artist, writer and educator Idris Goodwin, whose own play This is Modern Art opens March 22 at the DCPA's Jones Theatre. Jan. 13 through Feb. 24 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org.  

    NUMBER 5Trump Lear. David Carl, known for mixing Shakespeare with timely political satire, returns not to bury the president but to skewer him in this one-man comedy in which he plays an actor who evokes the wrath of thechief executive as he creates a solo version of King Lear – Shakespeare’s tragic play of a ruler whose vanity tears his country apart. At Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org

    NUMBER 6Disney's The Little Mermaid. The DCPA hosted the Broadway company on its way to the Great White Way in 2006, and now this Inspire Creative effort will be the first homegrown, Denver-area staging of the underwater musical. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's beloved love stories, The Little Mermaid features music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, including familiar songs like "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl" and "Part of Your World." Jan. 19-Feb 11 at the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, 303-805-6800 or inspirecreative.org

    NUMBER 7Guards at the Taj. This dark comedy, set in India in 1648, introduces audiences to two lifelong friends standing watch on the night before the first unveiling of the Taj Mahal. As the action unfolds, these two must take part in an act of unfathomable cruelty, one that will shatter their lives and their relationship. Written by Rajiv Joseph and staged by Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. Jan. 25-Feb. 18 at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    NUMBER 8Fermata. Denver's Theatre Esprit Asia partners with Theater Company of Lafayette to present three generations of Chinese westernized women, two of whom two are world-class musicians and one who became a neurosurgeon. In playwright Maria Cheng’s sixth full-length play, she explores the burden of virtuosity, the politics of art making and the purpose of music. Jan. 12-28 at the Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson St., 720-209-2154 or www.tclstage.org

    NUMBER 9Abner GeneceSense and Sensibility. The Arvada Center's uber-hip repertory company returns with an all-new new adaptation of the Jane Austen classic (by Kate Hamill) that follows the Dashwood sisters as they pursue their quest for love and happiness. This cast is loaded with big names like Kate Gleason, Geoffrey Kent, Emma Messenger and Jessica Austgen (for starters), but the whole community should be cheering the return to the stage of Abner Genece as Sir John Middleton) six months after a devastating car accident nearly killed him and his son. Jan. 26-May 6 at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    NUMBER 10Theatre Made in Boulder. This new festival running Jan. 18 through Feb. 10 will include a robust selection of staged readings, low-tech productions and free public workshops from a diverse group of local artists. (Full schedule below.) The featured, fully staged presentation will be How To Screw Up Your Life!, written specifically for the festival by reliable Boulder playwright Ami Dayan. Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    First Date Photo by Emily Lozow


    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Jan. 5-21: Performance Now's Into the Woods
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performance now’s home page

    Jan. 5-March 25: Midtown Arts Center's Always ... Patsy Cline
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Jan. 6-Feb. 3: Lowry's Spotlight Theatre's Rumors
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Jan. 12-Feb. 18: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com READ MORE

    Jan. 12-Feb. 4, 2018: Town Hall Arts Center's Peter and the Starcatcher
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

    Jan. 12-28: Theater Company of Lafayette's Fermata (with Theatre Esprit Asia)
    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org

    Jan. 12-27: 5th Wall Productions' Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
    At The Bakery Arts Warehouse, 2132 Market St., 5th-wall-productions.com

    Jan. 13-Feb. 24: Curious Theatre's Detroit 67
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org  

    Jan. 18-March 17: Midtown Arts Center's Fun Home
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Jan. 18-20: David Carl's Trump Lear
    Millibo Arts Center, 1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org

    Jan. 18-Feb. 10: How To Screw Up Your Life!
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    Jan. 19-Feb. 4: Theatrix USA's Kiss
    At Dobrin Studios, 931 Santa Fe Drive, theatrixdenver.com

    Jan. 29-Feb. 11: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Building the Wall
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne,  970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    Jan. 19-Feb. 10: Aurora Fox's Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Jan. 19-Feb 11: Inspire Creative's The Little Mermaid
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, 303-805-6800 or inspirecreative.org

    Jan. 19-Feb. 3: Funky Little Theatre Company's The Bigot
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org

    Jan. 20-Feb. 17, 2018: OpenStage Theatre Company's The Crucible
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Jan. 25-Feb. 18: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Guards at the Taj
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    Jan. 26-Feb. 25: DCPA Theatre Company’s Zoey’s Perfect Wedding
    Space Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Jan. 26-March 4: Miners Alley Playhouse's Fun Home
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Jan. 26-May 6: Arvada Center's Sense and Sensibility
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Jan. 26-Feb. 17: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits
    At  121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Jan. 26-Feb. 17: Equinox Theatre Company's Evil Dead: The Musical
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Jan 26-Feb 11: StageDoor Theatre's The 39 Steps
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoortheatre.org

    Feb. 2-25: DCPA Theatre Company’s American Mariachi
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Evil Dead
    From left: Emily Ebertz, Derek Helsing and Chelsea O'Grady from Equinox Theatre's 'Evil Dead The Musical.'

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through Jan. 6: Oddville and Stand Up Smart (Dave Shirley and Bob Dubac)
    At  121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Through Jan. 7: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College's Annie
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Through Jan. 14: National tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King & I
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Jan. 14: Vintage Theatre Productions' Red
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Jan. 30: BDT Stage's Motones vs. Jerseys
    (Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays only)
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through Feb. 14: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Beauty and the Beast
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through Feb. 24: BDT Stage's Annie
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through April 22: DCPA Cabaret’s First Date
    Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

    BOULDER ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY

    • Jan. 11-21: P3M5: Privacy in the Digital Age, a transatlantic theatre project presented in a series of 5-minute films and live plays. 

    Boedecker Cinema at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or dairyartscenter.org


    BUG THEATRE

    • Jan. 6: Fourth annual 50 First Jokes festival (50 of Denver's best comedians tell their first joke of the new year), benefiting The Gathering Place
    • Jan. 18 The Emerging Filmmakers Project, showcasing Denver's indie film scene on the third Thursday of every month.
    • Jan. 29: Freak Train: Open-mic variety show hosted by GerRee Hinshaw on the final Monday of every month
    • Jan. 30: Open Screen Night: Make a video of at least 2 minutes in length about this month's theme (16-bit) and include the phrase "All your base are belong to us." Info:  openscreennight.com

    3654 Navajo St., 303-477-9984 or bugtheatre.info


    BUNTPORT THEATRE

    • Saturday, Jan. 13: Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey (Monthly theatre for young audiences at 1 and 3 p.m.)
    • Saturday, Jan. 13: The Penny Savers, for Stories on Stage, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive (303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org)
    500DAYSOFSUMMERDENVER ACTORS FUND
    • Monday, Jan. 22: Screening of the film 500 Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel with live pre-screening entertainment from DCPA Cabaret's First Date. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7

    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com


    EVERGREEN PLAYERS

    • Jan. 20 and Feb. 9: EPiC Returns (improv comedy featuring Evergreen High School's state-champion improv team
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

     

    MILLIBO ART THEATRE
    • Jan. 6: RiP (improv comedy)
    • Jan 12-13: Vintage Glamour Burlesque
    • Jan 26-27: Cabaret Voltaire (variety performance art) 
    1626 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org


    THEATRE MADE IN BOULDER FESTIVAL
    • Jan. 18-Feb. 10: Staged readings, low-tech productions and free public workshops from local artists. Featured production: How To Screw Up Your Life!, by Ami Dayan
    • Jan. 21: Afropuff Lederhosen: A Critically Comical Investigation of Race, by Vanessa Roberts
    • Jan. 24: Strange Grace, by Jane Shepard
    • Jan. 28: Mud Season, by Felice Locker
    • Jan. 31: An Evening of Shorts: Terrember (Four Choose Two), by Mike Eisenberg; Kosmic Joke: Killing Time, by Buck Lee; and Bloodlines, by Ashley Rice
    • Feb. 4: Trans/Actions, by K. Woodzick and Ayla Sullivan
    • Feb. 4: What Happens in the Dark, by Kristofer Buxton
    • Feb. 11: Rooted, by Joy Barber
    • Feb. 11: Laura and Ibsen, by Susan Flakes
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

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


    STORIES ON STAGE
    • Saturday, Jan. 13: The Penny Savers, with members of Buntport Theater, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive

       

    303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

    Stories on Stage has renowned actors bring stories to life by combining literature with theater.

  • 2017 True West Award: The Difference-Makers

    by John Moore | Dec 25, 2017

    25 2017 True West Award Combined

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 25: The Difference-Makers 

    Leading organizers of 2017 fundraisers on behalf of Denver Actors Fund:
    Ebner-Page Productions’ United in Love concert, $40,083
    The Mothers of 13 the Musical, $13,188
    Dr. Brian Kelly DDS, $10,300 in in-kind services
    Robert Michael Sanders’ Miscast 2017, $7,040
    BDT Stage’s Thoroughly Modern Millie and Annie, $6,147
    Dixie Longate standup comedy benefit, $4,804

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    In 2017, The Denver Actors Fund has made $128,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in situational medical need, compared to $42,000 in all of 2016. And there is just one reason the rapidly growing grassroots nonprofit had that much money to give back in only its fourth year of existence: A boggling array of self-starting individuals, theatre companies and schools from all over the metro area organized their own fundraising efforts that generated $112,000 in unplannable revenue for the Denver Actors Fund.

    They are The Difference-Makers.

    2017 True West Award Eugene EbnerThe biggest chunk by far came from one remarkable sold-out concert at the Lone Tree Arts Center featuring Colorado-connected Broadway stars Annaleigh Ashford, Beth Malone and Mara Davi alongside Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee and more than 20 local performers. The event, called United in Love, was conceived and carried off by Ebner-Page Productions, aka Eugene Ebner and Paul Page. Their concert raised more than $40,000 for the non-profit in part because nearly everyone volunteered their time and talents — and because they went out and secured sponsorships totaling $20,000 from Delta Dental, Kaiser Permanente, Skyline Properties and Alliance Insurance.

    It was a night that changed the trajectory of the Denver Actors Fund forever. But it was just the start of a remarkable year during which school-age kids, for example, accounted for more than $25,000 in donations to the Denver Actors Fund all by themselves.

    The most astonishing of those efforts was a fully staged production of Jason Robert Brown’s 13 the Musical, which in 2008 became the first Broadway musical to feature a cast made up entirely of teenagers.

    2017 True West Award 13 the MusicalThe parents of 13 young metro-area actors banded together to self-produce the first-ever Colorado staging of 13 the Musical, which is the story of a New York-savvy teen whose parents’ divorce lands him in Indiana. The parents absorbed nearly all production costs as their own personal donations so that all proceeds from ticket sales and other revenue sources would go fully to the Denver Actors Fund. As a result, 13 the Musical generated more than $13,000 for The Denver Actors Fund in just two performances at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture. And it was a good production, because the young actors were supported by a dream creative team that included Robert Michael Sanders, Paul Dwyer, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Shannan Steele and more (full list below).

    Sanders also again directed and produced Miscast, an annual evening of silly songs and games at the Town Hall Arts Center that raised another $7,000, bringing Sanders’ four-year Miscast efforts past the $20,000 mark.

    The Denver Actors Fund was also the designated beneficiary when tart-talking Dixie Longate returned to the Galleria Theatre for the Denver Center’s fourth staging of Dixie’s Tupperware Party. While in Denver, Dixie creator Kris Andersson wanted to try out Dixie’s new standup comedy routine, and the evening turned into a $4,804 windfall for the DAF.

    True West Award Robert Michael Sanders0Also this year, the Denver Actors Fund entered into a unique partnership with Thornton dentist (and former Broadway dancer) Brian Kelly, who accepted emergency dental cases referred through the Denver Actors Fund. Kelly helped four DAF patients in need of everything from root canals to full teeth replacement to complex bridge work. In all, Kelly donated more than $10,000 worth of his services to uninsured area artists.

    Area companies regularly designate certain performances for the benefit of the Denver Actors Fund, and this year, two remarkable evenings at BDT Stage organized by Producing Artistic Director Michael J. Duran raised a combined $6,147 for the DAF.

    All done on their own.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “I think the truest mark of a community is how much people will do to help each other without even being asked,” said Denver Actors Fund President Will Barnette. “These dollar figures brilliantly show the depth of love and caring and camaraderie we have in this Colorado theatre community.”

    Here’s a small sampling of additional efforts large and small that benefited more than 40 individual artists facing situational medical needs in 2017 alone:

    • 2017 True West Award BDT StageThe young people in the cast of Town Hall Arts Center kid-centric’s stage adaptation of A Christmas Story created a group they called The Lollipop Kids, and they sold $3,405 worth of suckers in the theatre lobby.
    • For the second straight year, the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden designated one performance of A Christmas Carol for the DAF, including all ticket revenue and bar sales. The evening sold out, and the Christmas miners raised $3,664 — or about $40 per person.
    • Denver School of the Arts was the very first school to take collections for the Denver Actors Fund in 2014, and the $2,117 the theatre students raised this year at performances of The Producers brought the troupe’s three-year total to a record $6,230. Other school-age groups that raised money for the DAF in 2017 included Front Range Theatre Company in Highlands Ranch ($2,041), Cherry Creek High School ($1,614) Summit Middle School in Boulder ($938.35), Parker Performing Arts School ($475) and CenterStage Theatre Company in Louisville ($406).
    • The journalism students at Metropolitan State University hosted an original Christmas special just last week that raised $2,000. The evening, donated by the city of Northglenn, was co-hosted by student Avery Anderson of The Nightly Met and popular area actor Annie Dwyer (currently Miss Hannigan in BDT Stage’s Annie). The program included appearances by Anna Maria High (Aurora Fox’s Hi-Hat Hattie), Abigail Kochevar (Miners Alley Playhouse’s upcoming Fun Home), casts from Town Hall’s Seussical and BDT Stage’s Annie, bands and combos such as Mister Tim and The Denver Dolls, Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts and many more.
    • 2017 True West Award Dixie Longate The Denver Actors Fund hosts a monthly film series at the Alamo Drafthouse in partnership with a rotating local theatre company, next featuring 500 Days of Summer on Jan. 22 with live entertainment from cast members from DCPA Cabaret’s First Date. Half of all ticket proceeds go to the DAF, and the series generated $5,400 in 2017.
    • The Jerseys, made up of area musical-theatre veterans Brian Smith, Paul Dwyer, Klint Rudolph and Randy St. Pierre, designated one February performance at the Clocktower Cabaret to the DAF and raised $2,208.
    • The caustic puppet musical comedy Avenue Q includes a cynical panhandling number called The Money Song, and this year TWO companies used the opportunity to raise real-time money for the DAF during the actual show. The StageDoor Theatre in Conifer raised $1,589 that way, and the Town Hall Arts Center brought in $1,361.
    • The Edge Theatre hosted a staged reading of DAF founder John Moore’s play Waiting for Obama, which had been recently staged in New York, and the evening raised $1,173 for the DAF.

    More information on The Denver Actors Fund

    • Some of the most creative fundraisers were purely personal initiatives. Patty Kingsbaker, who founded Radical Artists talent agency, urged guests at her retirement party to give to the DAF, raising $743. Teenager Willow Samu turned her senior recital into a fundraiser for the DAF and collected $350 at the Clocktower cabaret. Actor Billie McBride, a Colorado Theatre Guild Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, used Facebook to auction off an album she owned that was signed by the original Broadway cast of A Chorus Line, raising $250. Local journalist and In Focus host Eden Lane, who this year made her Denver directorial debut with the Priscilla Queen of the Desert, raised $206 selling custom-made Priscilla coffee cups in the Aurora Fox lobby. Actor Sue Leiser sold hats she made inspired by the Women’s March on Denver, resulting in a $140 donation.
    • The DAF encourages every company in the state to designate one performance per run for a spare-change collection. It’s called Tap Shoe Initiative, which brings in modest amounts that have added up to more than $17,000 over the past four years. This year’s leading Tap Shoe participant was one of the state’s smallest companies: Firehouse Theatre Company raised $937 for the DAF over four collection nights.

    2017 True West Award Brian KellySeparately, the local theatre community was spurred to action last month by the wrenching death of 42-year-old actor Daniel Langhoff from cancer just 10 days after the birth of his second daughter. Over the next six weeks, donations and special events generated $53,000 in targeted donations through the DAF that will help Langhoff’s wife plan for the long-term needs of their children. Among the special efforts:

    • Vintage Theatre’s designated performance of Honeymoon in Vegas raised $2,094.
    • Choreographer and fitness trainer Adrianne Hampton hosted a special class featuring Broadway songs and raised $250.
    • The boards of the Town Hall Arts Center, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre and Performance Now each donated $1,000 to the Langhoffs. Performance Now also pledged to donate 2 percent of all profits for the next year to the DAF (about $365 per show), and challenged all other Colorado theatre companies to do the same.
    • Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company closed out 2017, appropriately enough, by raising exactly $2,017 on opening night of its Every Christmas Story Ever Told.

    “The number of people who planned, participated or attended all of these efforts on behalf of the Denver Actors Fund numbers into the thousands,” the DAF’s Will Barnette said. “Every one of those people is a difference-maker. Their efforts not only sustain us, they galvanize us as we enter 2018. We simply could not do what we do without the continuing efforts of the Colorado theatre community to keep us funded.”

    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. He is also the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.


    Video bonus: Highlights from the United in Love concert:


    Video by The Met Report's Avery Anderson.

    Denver Actors Fund Beneficiaries 2017
    With Name, 2017 Financial Aid and Medical Need

    1. A Daniel Langhoff 800 1Daniel Langhoff, actor, $52,918 ($66,938 overall), Cancer treatments
    2. Archie Valleda, actor, $8,457, Dental
    3. Abner Genece, actor, $6,471, Car accident
    4. Norrell Moore, actor, $4,685, Cancer treatments
    5. Sasha Fisher, actor, $4,522, Car accident
    6. Katherine Paynter, actor, $4,290, Knee surgery
    7. Mark Shonsey, actor, $4,095, Premature birth
    8. Nancy Warner, crew, $3,832, Two emergency surgeries
    9. Don Gabenski, actor, $3,529, Purchase wheelchair
    10. Paul Hartman, pit musician, $2,950, Car accident
    11. Traci J. Kern, actor, $2,693  ($3,243 overall), Cancer tests, Sliced hand
    12. Family of Christopher Tye, actor, $2,500, Funeral expenses
    13. Jaime Lujan, actor, $2,725 ($3,825 overall), Rotator-cuff surgery
    14. 800-DON-GABENSKI-FULL-600x452Patrick Sawyer, director, $2,150 ($5,167 overall), Heart surgery
    15. Anonymous, $2,019 ($2,519 overall), Dental
    16. Becky Toma, props designer,  $1,701 ($1,995 overall), Surgery   
    17. David Ballew, actor, $1,680, Dental
    18. Emily K. Harrison, producer/actor, $1,520, Emergency room
    19. Carol Kelly, hair designer, $1,499, Medical leave
    20. Anonymous, $1,190, Dental
    21. Keegan Flaugh, actor, $1,180, Dental emergency
    22. Meghan Ralph, stage manager/actor, $1,120 ($2,788 overall), Dental emergency
    23. Anonymous, $1,000, Emergency room
    24. Catherine Aasen Floyd, actor, $720, Cancer treatment
    25. Daniel Perkins, actor, $675, Seizures, back surgery            
    26. Joey Wishnia, actor, $600 ($1,597 overall), Eye injections
    27. Twanna Latrice Hill, actor, $540 ($922 overall), Medical
    28. Nick Thorne, actor, $500, Memorial gift
    29. Sheila Traister, actor, $500 ($2,800 ovverall), Bodily injury
    30. Maggie Sczekan, actor, $365, Dental
    31. Lara Maerz, stage manager $246, Diabetes treatments
    32. Faith Goins, actor, $175  ($4,375 overall), Infant’s death
    33. Note: List above does not include beneficiaries of rides, meals and other Action Team assistance
    Video bonus: 'The Cancer Warriors' at Miscast 2017
     

    Actors Jona Alonzo, Daniel Langhoff and Norrell Moore, all at various stages of their personal own cancer battles, performed an original variation of the song "Tonight," from 'West Side Story,' at Miscast 2017. Video by John Moore.


    About The True West Awards: '30 Days, 30 Bouquets'

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

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards


    The 2017 True West Awards

    a-denver-actors-fund-800UNITED IN LOVE
    • Hosts: Steven J. Burge and Eden Lane
    • Musical Director: Mitch Samu
    • Performers: Annaleigh Ashford, Beth Malone, Mara Davi, Jodie Langel, Denise Gentilini, Jimmy Bruenger, Eugene Ebner, Becca Fletcher, Clarissa Fugazzotto, Robert Johnson, Daniel Langhoff, Susannah McLeod, Chloe McLeod, Sarah Rex, Jeremy Rill, Kristen Samu, Willow Samu and Thaddeus Valdez.  Also the casts of both The Jerseys (Klint Rudolph, Brian Smith, Paul Dwyer and Randy St. Pierre), and 13 the Musical (see below).
    • The band: Tag Worley, Steve Klein, Andy Sexton, Scott Handler and Jeremy Wendelin
    MISCAST 2017
    • Hosts: Steven J. Burge, Eric Mather and Shannan Steele
    • Performers: Robert Michael Sanders, Megan Van De Hey, Jackson Garske, Destiny Walsh, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Rylee Vogel, Jeremy Rill, Reace Daniel, Jose David Reynoza, Randy Chalmers, Hope Grandon, Kenny Moten, Margie Lamb, Jona Alonzo, Daniel Langhoff, Norrell Moore, Evan Gibley, Kaden Hinkle, Hannah Katz, Darrow Klein, Hannah Meg Weinraub and Rylee Vogel

    Production team:

    • Director: Robert Michael Sanders
    • Assistant to the director: Jessica Swanson
    • Musical Direction and Live Keys: Donna Debreceni
    • Stage Manager: Maegan Burnell
    • Assistant Stage Manager: Haley Ivy Di Virgilio
    • Technical Director: Mike Haas
    • Lights: Alexis Bond
    • Sound: Curt Behm and Tom Quinn
    • Costumes: Nicole Harrison
    A DAF 1313 THE MUSICAL:
    Cast (moms in parentheses):
    • Joshua Cellar (Emily Cellar)
    • Conrad Eck (Kristin Eck)
    • Macy Friday (Megan Friday)
    • Evan Gibley (Michelle Gibley)
    • Lorenzo Giovanetti (Carmela Giovanetti)
    • Kaden Hinkle (Shannon Gaydos-Hinkle)
    • Hannah Katz (Erin Katz)
    • Darrow Klein (Jennifer Klein)
    • Michelle Lee (Huwon Lee)
    • Gabe Legg (Angela Legg)
    • Carter Novinger (Jennifer Novinger)
    • Rylee Vogel (Kristi Vogel)
    • Hannah Meg Weinraub (Michelle Weinraub)

    Creative:
    • Robert Michael Sanders: Producer and director
    • Paul Dwyer: Assistant director
    • Anna Smith: Assistant director
    • Jayln Courtenay Webb: Music director
    • Lauren Hergenreter: Stage manager
    • Sydney Eck: Assistant stage manager
    • Tom Quinn: Sound
    • Jennifer Orf: Lighting
    • Choreographer: Stephanie Hess, Shannan Steele, Matthew D. Peters, Jessica Hindsley, Abigail Kochevar
    Band:
    • Jason Tyler Vaughn: Guitar
    • Heather Holt Hall: Keyboards
    • S. Parker Goubert: Bass
    • Evan Jones: Drums
  • 2017 True West Award: John Ashton

    by John Moore | Dec 24, 2017

    2017 True West Award John Ashton

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 24: John Ashton

    Vintage Theatre
    The Edge Theatre
    Benchmark Theatre
    Netflix's Our Souls at Night

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    John Ashton rang in 2017 as the guest of honor at his surprise 70th birthday party — and he went soft. Proactively, profoundly and proudly soft. Overwhelmed by both community and camaraderie, the longtime actor, director and producer publicly promised not to let himself become an angry old man. The line got a laugh. That's easy for Ashton.

    A John Ashton 70th birthday Pam Clifton Photo by John MooreIt was funny because Ashton has never shown any encroaching proclivity for shouting at anyone aged millennial or younger to get offa his lawn! Caustic, sure. Playfully cynical — you bet. He is one of the few ex-journalists to have ever worked at The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News AND Westword, after all. That ought to bake anyone’s shell.

    But the actor we saw on Denver stages this year was noticeably more open. More vulnerable. More focused. The change was evident in his work both as vaudevillian comic in The Edge Theatre’s The Nance and more subtly as a genuinely gentle husband in Vintage Theatre’s family corker August: Osage County.

    Ashton, it appears, celebrated his milestone birthday by taking his acting to the next level — something that’s virtually unheard of after reaching the senior side of 70.

    John Ashton Quote Abby Apple Boes“I think there is something about how closely he is examining his work and his life these days that is allowing him to dig deeper and be more honest,” said director and actor Abby Apple Boes, who is also Ashton’s partner in life and, occasionally, on stage. “It maybe means more to him now.”

    It certainly seemed to mean more in everything Ashton did this year. He finished 2016 directing a solid revival of Arthur Miller’s incestuous immigrant drama A View from the Bridge for The Edge Theatre — with Boes as the matriarch who looks the other way.

    “He was really proud of that project. I think he felt like he put a great cast together and brought some nuanced performances out of them,” Boes said of an expert ensemble that included Rick Yaconis, Benjamin Cowhick, Amelia Corrada, Jon Brown and the ever-reliable Kevin Hart.

    Ashton returned to The Edge as an actor in The Nance, Douglas Carter Beane’s disarming play about the lives of burlesque performers in the 1930s. That was a time when it was perfectly fine to play a “nance” onstage, but not to be an openly gay man off it. Ashton played a gruff vaudevillian and theatre manager. In the routine, Ashton's Ephraim played the slapstick “straight man” to  2016 True West Award winner Warren Sherril's self-described pansy, Miles.

    It would have been easy for Ashton to go unnoticed in the shadow of Sherrill’s rich and haunting portrayal, but Ashton did not. The Met Report’s Avery Anderson called Ashton “a Colorado theatre legend who keeps the laughs rolling, even at the toughest times."

    (Story continues below the photo.)

    True West Awards John Ashton by RDG Photography
    John Ashton with the cast of 'The Nance' at the Edge Theatre. RDG Photography.


    Sherrill said Ashton is "both a blast to watch and to be on stage with. He gives and he plays — and he plays a lot — but is always a professional.”

    That's about how Darcy Kennedy described partnering with Ashton in Vintage Theatre’s Herculean undertaking of Tracy LettsPulitzer Prize-winning beast August: Osage County. This feral story of a fractured Oklahoma family that has gathered after the disappearance of its patriarch is filled with strong female characters who could easily swallow all of the men whole. But Ashton’s performance was again impossible to ignore.

    A John Ashton Darcy Kennedy August Osage County RDG PhotographyAshton was perfectly cast as Charlie Aiken, a simple, quiet man who is fully in love with a woman who is very hard to fully love.

    “Oh, he’s a card backstage,” said Kennedy, who played Mattie Fae. “But it was a true pleasure to perform with him. He was very much a giver, and if you ever needed something from him for the sake of your own performance, he would be more than willing to work with you. For example, Mattie Fae says some really rotten things to Charlie, and at one point I told John I really needed him to get more pissed off at me for the scene to work — and we worked our way up to that together.”

    (Pictured above: John Ashton and Darcy Kennedy in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County.' RDG Photography.)

    That moment comes when Charlie admonishes his wife for continually tearing down their son. Ashton nailed the killer line not by going large, but by going real: “We've been married 38 years and I wouldn't trade it for anything," he says to his wife. "But if you can't find a generous place in your heart for your own son, we're not gonna make it to 39.” It was a poignant display of both heart and backbone. Two things, Director Bernie Cardell says, that capture Ashton’s biggest strengths as an actor: Tenderness and strength.

    Ashton has been such a fixture in the Colorado theatre community for the past quarter-century that surely many are unaware of the adventurous pre-theatre life that preceded it.

    A quick recap: Ashton grew up in St. Louis and was sent to Colorado during the Vietnam War after filing for conscientious-objector status. Ashton was assigned to work with Monsignor Charles Woodrich, more popularly known as Father Woody — Denver’s patron saint of the poor. Ashton still works for people in need as an external affairs officer for FEMA, responding on-site to occasional disasters around the country.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “John truly is one of the most interesting people I have ever met,” said Boes. “Not only did he work in the newspaper business, he had a radio talk show and he wrote a bunch of murder mysteries, and he was in a bunch of movies — and he was in Breaking Bad."

    After his rather, ahem, colorful journalism career, Ashton reinvented himself as a theatre producer, director and performer. He bought operational control of the Avenue Theater from Bob Wells and ran the vagabond boutique theatre from 1990-2005, including overseeing its move down 17th Avenue from Vine Street to Logan in 2003. Ashton has continued to have a place in the running of The Avenue ever since, but it’s probably no coincidence that when he shifted his full focus to acting last December, he went on to perhaps the best year of his acting life.

    ARandyMooreJohnAshtonOh, and Ashton notched one other thrilling little achievement in 2017: He landed a role in the Netflix film Our Souls at Night, an adaptation of the beloved late Colorado novelist Kent Haruf’s final book. Ashton had two scenes with, ho-hum … Robert Redford.

    (Ashton is pictured at far right with veteran DCPA actor Randy Moore on the set of 'Our Souls at Night.' Photo courtesy of Ashton.)

    Ashton has managed to stay relevant in the Colorado theatre community, Boes said, because he's never stopped being curious or giving. He's always in demand as a voice of Colorado's theatre history, recently having hosted memorial celebrations for towering figures such as Henry Lowenstein and Terry Dodd. He's also always up forJohn Ashton Denver Actors Fund Miscast 2016. Photo by John Moore having fun at his own expense, appearing regularly at the Denver Actors Fund's annual Miscast fundraiser —  most recently as an aging Little Orphan Annie and as Grizabella from Cats (not in the same year).His first gig in 2018 will be directing the regional premiere of the musical Bullets Over Broadway for Vintage, opening April 13.

    “John is a pioneer of the Denver theatre scene, and I love his crazy stories of the good old days,” Sherrill said. “And yet he’s constantly thinking about what Denver needs next.”

    Sherrill admires Ashton no matter what hat he’s wearing. “He’s smart when it comes to producing because he always gives the audience what it wants," he said. "That may be nothing more than a simple slamming-door comedy — which really isn’t that simple — but he will work his hardest to make sure that comedy is a quality experience for his audience. As a director, he’s able to streamline and simplify things, without taking anything away. And as a person, he is one of the most kind and endearing people I’ve ever met.”

    All of which helps to make him a better actor.

    “John is all heart, and that is what he brings to the stage,” Cardell said. “You love watching him — and, while you do, you fall in love with him.”


    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.


    Video bonus: A video review of The Edge Theatre's The Nance:



    Video by The Met Report's Avery Anderson.

    John Ashton: 2017

    • Directed A View from the Bridge for The Edge Theatre*
    • Played Efram in The Edge Theatre's The Nance
    • Played Charlie Aiken in Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    • Appeared in five plays for Benchmark Theatre's Fever Dream Festival
    • Played Rudy in Netflix's Our Souls at Night, with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda

    *This production was staged in December 2016. The True West Awards consideration period runs from December through November of each calendar year.


    About The True West Awards: '30 Days, 30 Bouquets'

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

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards

  • 2017 True West Award: Chris Kendall

    by John Moore | Dec 15, 2017
    2017 True West Award Chris Kendall

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 15: Chris Kendall

    Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    Vintage Theatre
    Benchmark Theatre

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Chris Kendall has an Everyman quality that not every man has.

    And it served the veteran actor well in 2017 when he played, essentially, every man in the history of time in An Iliad. And again as a lonely widower tending to a dingy South Philadelphia bar in Stella and Lou. And again as an aging father attempting to bridge a gap with his adult daughter in Birds of North America. And again as a grieving old Colonel whose encroaching dementia is picking off memories like apples off a tree in the current Smokefall (through Dec. 23).

    Chris Kendall Emma Messenger John MooreAs an actor, Kendall can play just about anyone. He is as sturdy as an oak, as honest as Abe and as reliable as a Rolex. Although he’d probably prefer we say “Timex,” because the one thing Kendall is not is flashy.

    To Emma Messenger, acting with Kendall “is like acting with a unicorn.” OK, so invoking a sparkly, mythical horned creature puts perhaps a too-fanciful spin on this particular point, but hear her out:

    “There is something so magical about the way Chris lives in the world of a play,” she said. "You always feel you’re in the presence of something alive, and that anything could happen.”

    Messenger was Kendall’s scene partner in Vintage Theatre’s charming two-hander Stella and Lou, which was so well-received in 2016 that this year the pair took it on the road to the Dairy Center in Boulder and the Barth Hotel in Denver as a benefit for Senior Housing Options. (Photo at right by Christine Fisk.)

    Lou is Kendall’s kind of guy: A simple man whose compacted grief has him retreating further into his loneliness — until sweet Stella enters the bar.

    Kendall tends to make his biggest impressions as an actor when he goes small. He’s just so natural and unassuming in the way he carries himself on a stage that sometimes you forget he’s playing a role. Ironic then, that after years of steady and reliable performances on stages all over Colorado, he delivered perhaps the crowning achievement of his career this year in a performance that was of — literally —  mythological proportions.

    (Story continues below the photo.)

    True West Awards Chris Kendall Iliad Michael Ensminger
    Chris Kendall in 'Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's An Iliad at the Dairy Arts Center. Photo by Michael Ensminger. 


    An Iliad
    , staged by the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, is a one-man retelling of Homer’s epic poem. And a one-man meditation on perpetual American conflicts from Boston to Colorado Springs. Kendall, known only as The Poet, presents himself in the present day as a tired old garbageman long cursed like Midas to wander the centuries telling his cautionary, first-hand account of the Trojan War until such a time when mankind actually heeds his lessons and puts an end to war itself.

    But as we know only all too well, war has been a constant throughout recorded history. And as America continues to be mired in the longest war in its history, we have little reason to believe it ends here.

    In making The Poet’s case, Kendall transcended time and type. He delivered a physical, raging performance that rattled the cages of all who saw it — and perhaps a few long-disintegrating bones left scattered over time throughout the battlefields of history.

    “The biggest challenge for Chris was that the role is just such a monstrosity,” said his director, Stephen Weitz. “It’s an incredibly physical, emotional, draining role that requires not only stamina but 100 percent, absolute commitment at all times. Chris was out there on the wire all by himself.”

    Writing for getboulder.com, Beki Pineda said Kendall was just right for the challenge. "He has the stature, the age and the gravitas to pull it off," she said. "Like Odysseus, The Poet is an old soldier who just wants to go home. His genuine fatigue and disillusionment lend a poignancy to his mission. This is a tour-de-force performance that holds you by the heart until Kendall lets you go."

    Had Kendall left the stage after An Iliad and never come back, it would have been the theatrical equivalent of Elway walking off the field after winning his second straight Super Bowl and never returning. But that Kendall came back to BETC just a few months later to play a stoic old birder only demonstrates his sweeping range.

    "His simplicity on stage can also be heartbreaking," said Lindsey Pierce, who played Kendall's daughter in the world premiere of the modest two-hander called Birds of North America by Anna Moench.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Kendall, who graduated from the abandoned old Cathedral High School in downtown Denver and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, is presently wrapping up his triumphant year playing another heartbreakingly specific old man whose greatness has been gradually robbed by time in Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, one of the richest new paintings of an American family in years. It’s a fanciful play but deeply rooted in relatable family dynamics.

    Chris Kendall Smokefall McLeod9CreativeKendall plays a loving old military man who goes out for his daily walk and never comes home, leaving his pregnant daughter to forever wonder if simply he got lost, or simply lost her. The five-person play, running through Dec. 23 at Buntport Theater, is a comparative epic for Kendall considering he only shared the stage with three actors in his three preceding 2017 plays combined.

    (Pictured right: Chris Kendall, Sarai Brown and John Hauser in Benchmark's 'Smokefall.'  Photo by McLeod9Creative.)

    “One of the things I've loved most about working with Chris is that he's always willing to play in rehearsal,” said Smokefall director Rachel Rogers. “He creates a fun rapport with his castmates. He comes into the first rehearsal already performance-ready, but he continues to refine his characters with an honest nuance.”

    If there is a commonality to the four indelible old men Kendall portrayed this year, it’s perhaps their accumulated sorrow and fatigue over time. But the difference between The Poet and The Colonel is as stark as the difference between macro and micro. Kendall clearly can do both large and small … and everything in-between.

    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.

    Chris Kendall 2017: 

    • The Poet in An Iliad, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Lou in Stella and Lou, Vintage Theatre

      (At the Dairy Center in Boulder and the Barth Hotel in Denver)

    • John in Birds of North America, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • Colonel/Johnny in Smokefall, Benchmark Theatre (through Dec. 23 at Buntport Theater)
    • Lou in Stella and Lou, Vintage Theatre

    About The True West Awards: '30 Days, 30 Bouquets'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards

  • 2017 True West Award: Maegan Burnell

    by John Moore | Dec 14, 2017
    2017 True West Award Meagan Burnell Arvada Center

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 14: Maegan Burnell

    Arvada Center Stage Manager

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Maegan Burnell moved to Colorado to become a stage manager and fell in love with a stage manager and is soon moving to Chicago so they can both be stage managers together.

    We're talking a two-logistician family.

    “If those two ever have a kid,” Director Robert Michael Sanders said of Burnell and Jonathan D. Allsup, “he’ll be born with head-sets on and holding a spreadsheet.”  

    Today’s True West Award is a parting shot. Because Burnell is moving true east. And the Arvada Center’s Lynne Collins, for one, is “desperately sad we are losing her."

    Stage managers are the chief practitioners of what are often called the invisible arts. They are highly organized, detail-oriented, no-nonsense train conductors who are inordinately calm in the midst of chaos. And if they are doing their jobs well — you in the audience will never know they even exist.  

    “Stage managers are the unsung heroes of what we do,” said Collins, who was hired as the Arvada Center’s Artistic Director of Plays in 2016 to create a company of recurring actors to perform a four-play repertory season. It was Collins’ job to run that operation. It was Burnell’s job to help build that operation from scratch.

    “The logistics of stage-managing a repertory company are enormous,” Collins said. “In our case, it means you are running three productions at the same time. It means managing overlapping actor calendars. It means keeping track of hours and rehearsal spaces."

    A stage manager’s job description can vary from theatre to theatre and show to show. Typically, they provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process. And after the opening performance, when it’s time for the director to move on, the stage manager becomes the law by running the show and standing in for the director in all matters.

    And Burnell, Collins said, “is phenomenal at all of that. She is calm and cool and collected and organized and compassionate and utterly without drama.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Burnell was a grad student when she was hired in 2012 as an assistant stage manager by the acclaimed Creede Repertory Theatre, which presents up to seven productions each summer in the San Juan Mountains about 250 miles southwest of Denver. Her boss was Allsup, who is now the cause of all the distress running throughout the Colorado theatre community because he’s the one she will be starting a life with in Chicago after the Arvada Center’s second rep season ends in May with All My Sons.

    Burnell, originally from Waterford, Mich., graduated from Central Michigan University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City's graduate program before answering the call from Creede. She was lured to Denver in 2014 to become the permanent Stage Manager (losing the “Assistant” from her title forever) of the Arvada Center’s highly accomplished children’s theatre program, starting with Billie McBride’s Lyle the Crocodile.

    In the short three years since, she has helmed mainstage productions at the Aurora Fox, Cherry Creek Theatre Company, The Avenue Theater, Slingshot Theatre and Vintage Theatre, working for an impressive roster of top-notch directors including Sanders, Christy Montour-Larson, Edith Weiss, Bev Newcomb-Madden, Warren Sherrill, Jim Hunt, Piper Lindsay-Arpan, Gavin Mayer, Pat Payne and DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous.

    Notable credits include Porgy & Bess at the Aurora Fox and Tartuffe, which launched the Arvada Center’s rep company in 2016. And it can’t be underestimated, Allsup said, what it took to start that operation from nothing. Her impressive list of 2017 credits has included Bus Stop, The Drowning Girls and The Foreigner. Coming up, before she bolts: Sense and Sensibility and All My Sons.

    (Story continues below the photo.)

    Maegan Burnell Quote Robert Michael Sanders Miscast True West Awards


    But Allsup says what gives Burnell the most joy has been running the Arvada Center’s annual “teen intensive” — that’s a fully staged Broadway production for students, most recently no less than Les Misérables. That and volunteering to run big benefit events such as Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards and the Denver Actors Fund’s annual Miscast cabaret at the Town Hall Arts Center.

    “I love seeing the pure joy that she feels when she is working with students who are eager to learn,” Allsup said. “And I think she especially loves mentoring young theatre technicians at the Arvada Center more than anything.”

    Jonathan Allsup Maegan Burnell True West AwardsAs one of the state’s few gainfully employed, full-time stage managers, Burnell really has no free time for charity. But she makes time, Sanders said, because since the minute she landed in Creede, the Colorado theatre family has become her family. That was obvious enough last week when more than 700 packed the Arvada Center to celebrate the life of actor Daniel Langhoff. “You just don’t always see that in other cities,” Allsup said.  

    Allsup thinks Burnell can do just about anything, but he said the most difficult challenge she has ever taken on will simply be leaving the theatre community that has in short order gone from embracing her to utterly depending on her. “Colorado will always be the state that gave her the start of her career,” said Allsup, who was hired as the new Production Manager at Chicago’s Paramount Theatre seven months ago.

    “Maegan stepped into this community and she made a difference everywhere she went,” added Sanders. “She made a lot of places better while she was here.”

    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.

    Stage Manager Maegan Burnell 2017: 

    • Drowning Girls, Arvada Center
    • Bus Stop, Arvada Center
    • Les Misérables Teen Intensive, Arvada Center
    • The Foreigner, Arvada Center
    • Henry Awards, Colorado Theatre Guild
    • Miscast 2017, Denver Actors Fund

    About The True West Awards: '30 Days, 30 Bouquets'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards

  • 2017 True West Award: Haley Johnson and Sydney Parks Smith

    by John Moore | Dec 05, 2017
    2017 True West Awards. Haley Johnson. Sydney Parks Smith

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 4: Haley Johnson and Sydney Parks Smith

    August: Osage County
    Vintage Theatre, Aurora
    OpenStage Theatre, Fort Collins

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    "I'm in charge now!"


    It's one of the most visceral, gut-scraping lines you'll ever hear in a theatre, and it marks a dramatic turning point in Tracy Letts' Pulitzer-winning family fracas August: Osage County. In that one moment, the eldest daughter of perhaps the must acidic matriarch in the American theatrical canon forcibly wrests that crown right out of her mother's clenched fingers. Only the crown, in this case, is a pill bottle. But Barbara is not rescuing her mother. Not by a long shot. She's becoming her.

    True West Haley Johnson Sydney Parks SmithThe mother is Violet Weston, a pained and profane Okie with cancer of the mouth — medically and metaphorically. Violet pops out furious epithets — most aimed at her three daughters — as quickly as she pops in pills. Her spawn all bear varying degrees of the inherited burns they surely will pass down to their own children. Seriously, Violet is a sniper on par with a Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant. It's a bucket-list role for any seasoned female actor.

    But the part of Barbara, a Boulder mom whose marriage is crumbling, presents a plum challenge all its own. And in 2017, we got to see two highly accomplished area actors tackle it in different but effective ways: Sydney Parks Smith for OpenStage & Company in Fort Collins and Haley Johnson for Vintage Theatre in Aurora. And they had formidable scene partners in Colorado legends Denise Freestone and Deborah Persoff, respectively, as their poisoned Vi's.

    Parks wears Barbara's accumulating disappointments like a suit of armor, and she's just itching to take it into battle. Johnson, who has made her mark for a decade playing wounded birds, grew teeth here that eventually sprouted into fangs. The mother-daughter conflict builds to a battle of ill-wills that left audiences gasping from Fort Collins to Aurora. All culminating in that one haunting line — "I'm in charge now!" — that can be delivered every which way from a declarative whisper to a savage declaration of war. We're witnessing a brutal metamorphosis where Barbara becomes the unshrinking Violet.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The two actors have more than Barbara Fordham in common: Smith is the Associate Artistic Director of OpenStage and Johnson is the Producing Artistic Director of the new Benchmark Theatre, which is finishing up its first season with the world premiere of a freaky-fun new play called Smokefall, playing through Dec. 23 at the Buntport Theater.

    Haley Johnson Sydney Parks SmithSmith won the Colorado Theatre Guild's Henry Award and the OpenStage OPUS Award for Outstanding Actress for her performance as Barbara. Northern Colorado theatre critic Tom Jones called her performance "dynamite."

    Says OpenStage Director Dulcie Willis:
    "Sydney is a highly passionate, focused and dynamic actor. Her work as Barbara perfectly illustrated her deep commitment to nuanced character development. She understood the play inside and out and never, ever stopped working to find the most effective moment-to-moment choices in each scene. Her natural strength and intense zest for life served her thoughtful approach to Barbara while leading the entire cast through a beautiful and challenging piece of theatre. She really was the family heroine of our production."

    (Photos above: Sydney Parks Smith, left and Haley Johnson. Photos by Joe Hovorka and RDG Photography.)

    Says Vintage Theatre Director Bernie Cardell: "The magic of Haley Johnson is that not only can she tap into the broken heart of her characters, she can also find their humor.  She is not afraid to reveal her own wounds in order to find the deepest expression of truth on stage. Plus, she's kind of cool."

    The origin of the poison: Our interview with Tracy Letts

    Said Denver Theatre Perspectives reviewer Michael Mulhern: "Haley Johnson showed incredible range from fragile and bitter to powerful matriarch, and from defeated daughter to hopeful independence."

    Haley Johnson: 2017 at a glance

    Johnson is a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Colorado Denver. She has worked all around the metro area, including the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Edge Theatre, Miners Alley Playhouse and Spotlight Theatre Company. Notable roles include Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Harper Pitt in Angels in America, Becca in Rabbit Hole and Jessie in 'Night, Mother. She is also the producing artistic director of the new Benchmark Theatre.
    • The Nether, Morris, Benchmark Theatre
    • August: Osage County, Barbara Fordham, Vintage Theatre
    Sydney Parks Smith: 2017 at a glance

    Smith has performed and directed with OpenStage Theatre in Fort Collins for the past 20 years and serves as the company's  Associate Artistic Director. Notable roles include Claire in Proof, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Belinda in Noises Off and Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone. As a director, her credits include Stage Kiss, True West, The Book of Liz and Dirty Blonde. She received the Founder’s Award for her outstanding contributions to OpenStage & Company.

    • The Flick, Director, OpenStage
    • Don’t Dress for Dinner, Production Manager, OpenStage
    • Bright Ideas, Production Manager, OpenStage
    • August: Osage County, Barbara Fordham, Production Manager, OpenStage

    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS: '30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards

  • December theatre listings: Broadway abounds in Denver

    by John Moore | Dec 01, 2017
    Mannheim Steamroller. Matt Christine Photography

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


    December is ... well, Christmastime for Broadway fans, who have five touring titles to choose from this month.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    A serious Broadway fan will not have to go to New York to bathe in Broadway this month. Denver audiences have the unusual opportunity to see five national touring productions at the Buell Theatre over the next 32 days. Seriously. There's Chicago (through Sunday), Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis, ELF The Musical, Waitress and, opening Jan. 2: Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King & I. Just pop a tent under the arches.

    Arvada Center Joseph Sarah Rex M Gale PhotographyElsewhere, there is as always a plethora of holiday-themed fare to choose from, ranging from annual offerings such as the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble's Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum and the DCPA Theatre Company's 25th staging of A Christmas Carol, to more subversive titles such as The Avenue Theatre's Santa's Big Red Sack and The SantaLand Diaries, an annual partnership between Off-Center and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. This year also marks the return of the Arvada Center's once seasonal tradition, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

    There's also a surprising number of, you know ... plays on area stages. Here are five intriguing titles, followed by a complete list of all your Colorado theatregoing options for December:

    Five intriguing titles for December:

    NUMBER 1Colorado Gives Day is the most important day of the year for hundreds of Colorado non-profits, especially those in the arts. And the clever kids as Buntport Theater are turning "giving day" into a "show day" on Tuesday (Dec. 5) by staging a reading of one of its early favorites: Donner: A Documentary. That's a 2001 "live documentary" about the reindeer (not the, ahem ... party). Freshly baked cookies will be available as well as, no doubt, electronic gizmos for easy internet giving. Tickets $25 at buntport.com. It's an early start time of 7 p.m. because there is a pizza party after at the Pizzeria Locale on Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The pizzeria will donate 50 percent of your purchase to anyone who mentions Buntport that day. 

    NUMBER 2 Jason Spina Phil Luna Red RDG PHOTOGRAPHYMotones vs. Jerseys. BDT Stage no doubt will be packing them in this month with the timeless family friendly musical Annie. But you know what? That adorable little red-headed munchkin is not, in fact, for everyone. So BDT is smartly also offering the "now for something completely different" audience participation 1960s pop music battle Motones vs. Jerseys on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights starting Dec. 10. It's an evening of song and dance from the Motown and Four Seasons songbooks, along with Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Beach Boys, Rick James and even Bruno Mars. At the end of each  night, the audience will vote on a winner. 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    NUMBER 3Smokefall. Last month we told you The Edge Theatre is going on hiatus after  Josh Hartwell's world premiere comedy Resolutions (Dec. 1-31) in Lakewood. The new Benchmark Theatre, which will takes over The Edge's performance space next year, finishes its first season at Buntport with the world premiere of Noah Haidle’s Smokefall. It's an unusual family drama that combines everything from vaudeville to magical realism. So get ready for fetuses swapping philosophy, a daughter who eats dirt and an apple tree that grows through the walls of the house. Dec. 1-23 at 717 Lipan St., benchmarktheatre.com.

    NUMBER 4Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance's nomadic, 47-year holiday tradition returns to its original home in Denver’s Historic Five Points for this year's spectacle of dance, live music, spoken word and ornate celebrations of seasonal customs from around the world. The story centers around a Granny whose memories are her gifts to those she loves. Dec. 2-17 at 119 Park Avenue West, 303-295-1759 x13 or go to cleoparkerdance.org.

    NUMBER 5The Gnome in the Room. This is not your traditional Christmas fare in Colorado Springs, where the Springs Ensemble Theatre wraps up its eighth season with a campy horror story involving decoration, death, divorce, relatives, mythological beings who can't keep their noses out of other people's business — and a Nintendo Entertainment System, Written by locals Jenny Maloney and Jessica Weaver, The Gnome in the Room follows a 10-year-old whose family has decided they will not celebrate Christmas this year, leaving the boy stuck in a cabin with no hope of getting what he wants. Enter the Weirdo and the Gnome. Dec. 7-17 at 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St. 7:30 p.m.  Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Call 719-357-3080, or go to  springsensembletheatre.org.

    A Christmas Carol 2017. Michael Fitzpatrick and Leslie O'Carroll. Photo by Adams Viscom


    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Dec. 1-31: Edge Theatre Company's Resolutions
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Dec. 1-23: Benchmark Theatre's Smokefall
    At Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., benchmarktheatre.com

    Dec. 1-16: Funky Little Theatre Company's The Couple Next Door
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org

    DecemberSantasBigRedSack Dec. 1-24: The Avenue Theater's Santa’s Big Red Sack
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com

    Dec. 1-9: StageDoor Theatre's Cinderella
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819 or stagedoortheatre.org

    Dec. 1-30: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Scrooge, Bah Humbug!
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    Dec. 1-23: OpenStage's Christmas Chaos: Ralphie Gets Scrooged
    At ArtLab, 239 Linden St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or www.openstagetheatre.org

    Dec. 2-17: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre’s Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum
    119 Park Avenue West, cleoparkerdance.org or 303-295-1759 x13

    Dec. 7-24: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Every Christmas Story Ever Told
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    A Su Teatro Juan Diego PerfilDec. 7-23: Su Teatro's The Miracle at Tepeyac
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org

    Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College's Annie

    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Dec. 7-17: Lone Tree Arts Center's Home for the Holidays
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000, lone tree’s home page

    Dec. 7-17: Thunder River Theatre Company's Constellations
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com

    Dec. 7-17: Upstart Crow's Dear Brutus
    At the Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or upstart’s home page

    Dec. 7-23: Millibo Arts Theatre's Fa-La-La
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org

    EmoryJohnCollinsonBobMorschandCyndiParrinGNOMEINTHEROOMDec. 7-17: Springs Ensemble Theatre’s The Gnome in the Room
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 80909, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    Dec. 8-17: Longmont Theatre Company's Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf

    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Dec. 9-10: National touring production of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Dec. 13-17: National touring production of Elf The Musical
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Dec. 19-31: National touring production of Waitress
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Dec. 10, 2017-Jan. 23, 2018: BDT Stage's Motones vs. Jerseys
    (Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays only)
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Dec. 14-29: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s A Rocky Mountain Christmas
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Dec. 14-23: Denver's Dangerous Theatre's The Perfect Gift
    2620 W. 2nd Ave, No. 1, Denver, 720-989-1764 or dangeroustheatre.co

    Dec. 17-23: Evergreen Players’ A Christmas Carol (costumed staged readings)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    Dec. 30-31: Vintage Theatre's I’ll Eat You Last: A Conversation with Sue Mengers
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Jan. 2: National touring production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King & I
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through Dec. 2: Equinox Theatre Company's Disaster!
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Through Dec. 3: National touring production of Chicago
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Dec. 9: Curious Theatre's Body of an American
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org  READ MORE

    BEAU JESTThrough Dec. 10: Cherry Creek Theatre's Beau Jest
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherry creek theatre’s home page

    Through Dec.17: Bas Bleu Theatre's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Through Dec. 17: Vintage Theatre Productions' Honeymoon In Vegas

    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Dec. 17: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Murder for Two
    Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    Through Dec. 17: Anansi: The Itsy BiTSY Spider Stories
    1137 S. Huron St., 720-328-5294 or bitsystage.com

    Through Dec. 23: Arvada Center's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org





    Through Dec. 23: Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie (see video above)
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org READ MORE

    Through Dec. 23: TheatreWorks' The SantaLand Diaries
    At the Bon Vivant Theatre, 3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

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

    Through Dec. 23: Miners Alley Playhouse's The Story of the Nutcracker (children’s)
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through Dec. 23: Firehouse Theater Company’s The Miracle Worker
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com 

    Through Dec. 24: DCPA Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Santaland Diaries Michael BouchardThrough Dec. 24: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and DCPA Off-Center's The SantaLand Diaries
    Jones Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Dec. 29: Arvada Center's A Year With Frog and Toad (children’s) 
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through Dec. 30: Town Hall Arts Center's Seussical
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.com

    Through Dec. 30: Thin Air Theatre Company's Angel of the Christmas Mine
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

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

    Through Dec. 31: Avenue Theater's Comedy Sportz (late nights in December)
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com READ MORE

    A Josh Hartwell Jason Maxwell. Photo by Sarah Roshan 400Through Jan. 14, 2018: Vintage Theatre Productions' Red
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Feb. 14, 2018: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Beauty and the Beast
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through Feb. 24, 2018: BDT Stage's Annie
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through April 22, 2018: DCPA Cabaret’s First Date
    Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through May 2018: Buntport Theater's Siren Song (ongoing children's series, second Saturdays of every month)
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

    AURORA FOX ARTS CENTER

    • Dec. 31: Central City Opera’s Winter Song, a mix of favorite tunes from jazz standards to light opera, performed by crossover classical theatre artists Jennifer DeDominici, Chad Reagan, Amanda Raddatz and Deborah Schmit-Lobis. Includes a champagne and dessert reception.

    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurora fox.org

    BUNTPORT THEATRE


    DENVER ACTORS FUND
    • A RyanChrysRoughCuts 400Monday, Dec. 11: Screening of the film Elf, starring Will Ferrell, with live pre-screening entertainment from The Longmont Theatre Company's Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7.
    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com

    • Tuesday, Dec. 19: The Nightly Met Christmas Special at the D.L. Parsons Theatre in Northglenn, hosted by  Avery Anderson and Annie Dwyer, featuring Anna High, and Ryan Chrys and Rough Cuts. Tickets $8-$10. All proceeds to the Denver Actors Fund.  BUY TICKETS
    EQUINOX THEATRE COMPANY
    Sunday, Dec. 10: Equinox: The Season is Slaying (A drag benefit show)
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page
       
    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY
    • Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org 

    STORIES ON STAGE
    • Saturday, Dec. 16: Making Merry (at Dairy Arts Center, Boulder)

    • Sunday, Dec. 17: Making Merry (at the King Center, 855 Lawrence Way, Auraria campus)

    303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

    Stories on Stage has renowned actors bring stories to life by combining literature with theater. This month, Jamie Horton reads from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, GerRee Hinshaw reads Crimble Wocky by Graham Potter (a Lewis Carroll-inspired variation on The Night Before Christmas), Anthony Adu reads from "The Goldfish” by Simon Van Booy. Music provided by award-winning composer/pianist Gary Grundei.

  • Vintage, Denver Center collaborate to bring 'Lady Day,' Mary Louise Lee, to stage

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

     

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

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    A Lady Day Westword

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

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


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

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

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Video: Mary Louise Lee sings with Million Dollar Quartet:

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

  • Local theatres respond to actor's death with challenges, collections, dedications

    by John Moore | Nov 16, 2017
    Daniel Langhoff Ragtime. Performance Now
    Daniel Langhoff recently starred as Tateh in Performance Now's 'Ragtime,' above. The company has unanimously voted to donate 2 percent of all net profits from every show in the 2017-18 season to the Denver Actors Fund in Langhoff's name.


    Performance Now issues an extraordinary challenge as others announce creative ways to support Langhoff family

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    This week's death of beloved local actor Daniel Langhoff has galvanized the Colorado theatre community and beyond, with targeted donations to Langhoff's wife and two infant daughters through the Denver Actors Fund already reaching $23,578 in four days. READ MORE HERE

    Daniel Langhoff NaomiPerhaps most immediate and most remarkable: Performance Now Theatre Company has not only made a substantial donation of $1,000 to the Langhoff family, the company's Board of Directors on Monday unanimously agreed to donate 2 percent of all net profits from every show in the 2017-18 season to the Denver Actors Fund to be used at its discretion.

    "We challenge all Denver-area theatre companies to do the same," Performance Now Executive Producer Ken Goodwin and Artistic Director Alisa Metcalf said in a joint statement. "Imagine how much more the DAF could help others if the companies themselves got involved and the DAF would not have to rely as heavily on individual donations."

    (Pictured above and right: Daniel Langhoff with second daughter Naomi, who was born Nov. 2, just 10 days before he died from cancer.)

    Performance Now even made the initiative retroactive, sending a separate contribution of $386 for its recent production of The Marvelous Wonderettes. Coming up next: Into the Woods opening Jan. 5 at the Lakewood Cultural Center.

    Langhoff has been a major player with Performance Now, having recently starred in both Ragtime and Man of La Mancha at the Lakewood Cultural Center. The challenge is all the more remarkable given that when Performance Now lost longtime Artistic Director Nancy Goodwin (Ken's wife) to breast cancer in 2007, it established a scholarship fund in her name to aid and reward young college students who are working toward a degree in the performing arts.

    "All performing-arts nonprofits face extraordinary funding challenges as a matter of course," said Denver Actors Fund President Will Barnette. "When nonprofits with already stretched resources still find a way to support other nonprofits, that is kind of remarkable, when you think of it." 

    Donate to the Denver Actors Fund's Langhoff collection

    Daniel


    Barnette added that The Denver Actors Fund does have a modest, ongoing giving campaign in collaboration with area companies called the Tap Shoe Initiative, in which participating companies choose one night per run of a show to collect spare change for the DAF. To date, the initiative has raised about $20,000. Companies interested in participating are encouraged to email Debbie Weinstein Minter at sk8bug77@yahoo.com.

    Elsewhere, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has announced that it is dedicating the opening performance and the entire run of First Date, opening Friday, as well as the entire run of A Christmas Carol, to Langhoff.

    Langhoff made his Denver Center debut in 2010 in the musical comedy Five Course Love at the Galleria Theatre, followed by a stint in a revival of the longest-running musical in Denver history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. He also performed in the DCPA Theatre Company’s seasonal stagings of A Christmas Carol in 2014 and 2015.

    “Daniel was a brilliant actor and comedian who loved to laugh almost as much as he loved to hear others laugh," said First Date director Ray Roderick.

    Through curtain speeches, information in the show programs and DCPA NewsCenter, the DCPA will be directing audiences to make targeted donations to the Langhoff family.

    Immediate efforts to add to the Langhoff fund:

    Many other individuals and theatre companies have responded with creative entrepreneurial efforts to add to the total over the coming days and months. Here is a roundup:

    • A November Denver Dolls 400The Aurora Fox's new monthly cabaret series this weekend (Nov. 17-18) features The Denver Dolls presenting their USO/Andrews Sisters tribute, performed in the style of The Manhattan Transfer. The Dolls, presented by YearRound Sound, are led by frequent DCPA performer and Langhoff castmate Heather Lacy, who will lead a collection as audiences leave the studio theatre at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora. 303-739-1970 or BUY TICKETS
    • BDT Stage opens its new production of Annie this weekend and will make an audience appeal for donations to the Langhoff fund at performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 17-19). 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com
    • Local actor, choreographer and certified fitness instructor Adrianne Hampton is holding a benefit "Broadway Boot Camp" at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, with all proceeds and donations going to Langhoff's family. What is a Broadway Boot Camp? Well, it's a workout, with showtunes. "It’s a place where theaA Daniel Langhoff Vintage. Honemoon in Vegas RDG Photographytre people can come to hone their skills and support each other," Hampton said. "Just come, bring your dancing shoes and have fun dancing. If you don't want to be part of the class, you can come and watch or just come and make a donation." $15. Littleton Ballet Academy 1169 W. Littleton Blvd.
    • Vintage Theatre has announced that all proceeds from the industry-night performance of its new musical Honeymoon in Vegas on Monday, Nov. 27, will go to Langhoff's family, including, remarkably, box office. The DAF's Sue Leiser will lead a collection brigade. All tickets are $15 for this performance only. At 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or BUY TICKETS
    • Daniel Langhoff Community BETCThe Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company will also donate 100 percent of the proceeds from its official opening performance of Every Christmas Story Every Told on Dec. 13 to the DAF's Langhoff Fund. Langhoff was a cast member of this very same show at this time last year. "Daniel Langhoff will be deeply missed by all the artists who had the opportunity to work with him...and there were so many," said BETC Managing Director Rebecca Remaly Weitz. "He touched so many of us with his wit, optimism, persistence, kindness and humor. Our hearts go out to his family." Additional donations will be accepted at the door on Dec. 13. At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or BUY TICKETS

    Details on a life celebration for Daniel Langhoff are expected to be announced soon.

    Pictures above, from top: The Denver Dolls; James Thompson and the cast of A Daniel Vintage Theatre's Honeymoon in Vegas (RDG Photograph and Daniel Langhoff in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Every Christmas Story Every Told (Michael Ensminger). 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Robert Lee Hardy of 'The Snowy Day' on living with joyous goodwill

    by John Moore | Nov 07, 2017
    Cast of The Snowy Day. Adams Viscom

    The cast of DCPA Education's 'The Snowy Day Other Stories,' from left: Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy and Zak Reynolds. Age recommendation: Pre-school to 3rd grade, with adult supervision. Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    MEET ROBERT LEE HARDY
    Robert Lee Hardy QuotePeter in The Snowy Day, playing through Nov. 18 in the Conservatory Theatre. Recent stage credits include A Time To Kill at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora; Flyin’ West, The Three Sisters and Home. TV and film credits include Jazz in the Diamond District, Jamesy Boy and HBO’s The Wire.

    • Hometown: Baltimore
    • Home now: Denver
    • Training: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film
    • What's your handle? @RobertLeeHardy on Twitter and Instagram
    • What was the role that changed your life? The role was Cephus Miles from the play Home by Samm-Art Williams. I had to learn eight monologues, the production only had three characters — and it was over two hours long with no intermission! I understood Cephus. He was my grandfather, my uncle and my father. Cephus lost his home, was thrown in jail for not wanting to fight in the Vietnam War and became addicted to drugs. During the run of the show, I was going through a really rough point in my life, and Cephus inspired me. Despite all, he never lost his joyous goodwill or his indomitable spirit. He held onto to his faith in himself and ended up with a life filled with love and happiness.
    • Why are you an actor? I love suspending reality. I have the power to use this gift bestowed upon me, to take people's level of consciousness to a higher level.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I would be a news anchor. I love the words, I love the camera and I love storytelling.
    • RobertLeeHardyJeffreyWrightIdeal scene partner: Jeffrey Wright (pictured right) and Heath Ledger. They literally know how to put on someone else's shoes, and walk in them.
    • Why does The Snowy Day matter? When I was a child I didn't often see people who looked like me onstage, film or TV. The Snowy Day allows children to see that actors and artists come in all colors, shapes and sizes.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want them to leave the show feeling inspired. Whether you can't whistle or write well. If you believe in yourself, the possibilities are endless.
    • Complete this sentence: “All I want is … “
      "... for the world to know that a career as an artist is realistic and ideal.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Robert Lee Hardy A Time to Kill. Vintage

    Robert Lee Hardy, right, starred as Carl Lee Hailey with Drew Hirschboeck as Jake Brigance in Vintage Theatre's regional premiere production of 'A Time to Kill' in April. He has since joined DCPA Education's 'The Snowy Day.'   


    The Snowy Day and Other Stories: Ticket information
    Snowy DayFrom the joys of a first snowfall and learning how to whistle to thrilling encounters delivering a precious invitation, the delightful moments of childhood are perfectly captured in this medley of simple, sweet stories.

    • Written by Ezra Jack Keats; adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
    • Performances through Nov. 18
    • School performances: Weekdays 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. (except Thursdays are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
    • Public performances: 1:30 p.m. Saturdays
    • Conservatory Theatre, located in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education, 1101 13th St.
    • Tickets $10 (discounts and scholarships available)
    • Best suited for: Pre-K through third grade
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Teachers: Inquire by clicking here or calling 303-446-4829
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Snowy Day and Other Stories



  • In the Spotlife: Deb Persoff of 'August: Osage County'

    by John Moore | Aug 28, 2017
    Deb Persoff August Osage County
    Deb Persoff, bottom left, stars in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County' as a pill-popping grandma with more than one form of mouth cancer. Playing her daughters are, from left, Kelly Uhlenhopp, Haley Johnson and Lauren Bahlman.
     


    MEET DEB PERSOFF
    Violet Weston in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County.' She was the winner of the Colorado Theatre Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

  • Hometown: PhiladelphiaDeb Persoff Marvin's Room
  • Home now: Aurora
  • College: I studied to become an X-Ray Technician and wanted to enter the medical field.
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Grandma in Vintage Theatre's production of Billy Elliot: the Musical.
  • What's next? I will be playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience opening next March at Vintage Theatre.
  • Twitter-sized bio: I am an actor who does not know what Twitter is.
  • Do you have a Twitter handle? Anyone who knows me just laughed out loud reading that question.
  • The role that changed your life: Playing Bessie in Marvin's Room for the late Theatre Group. At the end of the play, she says how lucky she is to have been able to love so deeply. A mantra for life.
  • Maggie SmithIdeal scene partner: Maggie Smith, for her comic timing, her aristocratic bearing, her wonderful expressive face and her history of theatre.
  • What is August: Osage County all about? Family, and the rich web that binds us, are not always smooth in  texture. There are frictions and distinct personalities, but always it is the lineage of our future. It defines us as people and the door is always open to home.
  • Tracy Letts talks 'origin of the poison' with John Moore

  • Deb Persoff August QuoteTell us about the challenge of playing this role: Violet loves her three daughters and feels she's knows what is best for them. Her defiance and resolve gets her through her days. Addiction to pills is always present, but she is a survivor. Her strength and fire makes me stronger as an actress.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? Sharing the time together from the stage to the audience, surrounded by this rich writing and riveting cast is a bond I hope will linger long after the evening ends. 
  • What don't we know about you? I love gift wrapping any surface. Paper is fragile, like us, and can create beauty and illusion. You then ask: "What is beneath?"
  • What do you want to get off your chest? Why is "age" such a stigma, when long life is what we all wish for? 
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    August: Osage County: Ticket information
    • Written by Tracy Letts
    • Directed by Bernie Cardell
    • Sept. 1-Oct. 15
    • At the Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010 MAP IT
    • Tickets $25-$30
    • For tickets, call 303-856-7830 or go to vintagetheatre.com

    Performance schedule:
    • Fridays, Saturdays and Monday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m.
    • Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

    Cast list:

    • Deb Persoff: Violet Weston
    Roger Hudson: Beverly Weston
    Haley Johnson: Barbara Fordham
    Kelly Uhlenhopp: Ivy Weston
    Lauren Bahlman: Karen Weston
    Marc Stith: Bill Fordham
    Kaitlin Weinstein: Jean Fordham
    Andrew Uhlenhopp: Steve Heidebrecht
    Darcy Kennedy: Mattie Fae Aiken
    John Ashton: Charlie Aiken
    Brandon Palmer: Little Charlie Aiken
    Emily Gerhard: Johnna Monevata
    Stephen Krusoe: Sheriff Deon Gilbeau

    2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace

    Deb Persoff Life Achievement

    Deborah Persoff accepts the Colorado Theatre Guild's 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Henry Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • August theatre in Colorado: Run, 'Rabbit,' run!

    by John Moore | Aug 09, 2017

    White Rabbit Red Rabbit


    Denver, Colorado Springs companies launching month-long runs of a daring play where the actor hasn't read the script.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    August is the month of the rabbit. And, of course, Frozen.

    You know by now that Disney is presenting the stage adaptation of its Broadway-bound musical adaptation of the highest-grossing animated film in history. Performances of Frozen begin at the Buell Theatre on Aug. 17 and continue through Oct. 1.

    On the other end of the temperature scale, one of the hottest theatre topics this month is White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. We'd tell you what his story is about, but there's the trick: No one knows. Or rather, those who do know are asked not to tell.

    August Adrian Egolf 300With no rehearsal, no director and a different actor each night, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is an audacious theatrical experiment and a potent reminder of the power of spontaneous theatre. Because all that awaits each intentionally unprepared sole actor on the stage is a script in a sealed envelope.

    And ... go!

    Two Colorado companies are undertaking this newly popular social experiment, both beginning this Friday night (Aug. 11): The Star Bar Players in Colorado Springs, and the new Pipedream Productions, an upstart crew from the University of Denver. 

    Soleimanpour could not get a passport out of Iran in 2010 because he refused to do national service. So, at age 29, he devised a play that could travel the world without him. He didn't even see it performed himself until 2013.

    White Rabbit. Red Rabbit has been performed by more than a thousand actors around the globe, including Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming, Martin Short, F. Murray Abraham, Cynthia Nixon, Stephen Rea and John Hurt. The work, says the official website, “has been called a play. But it’s a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. Since Soleimanpour cannot leave Iran, he travels the world through this remarkable work."

    The Denver run starts with a guinea pig, er, rabbit, named Adrian Egolf, who has been seen in DCPA Theatre Company productions of Benediction and Death of a Salesman.

    All proceeds will go to one of three charities, each to be chosen by that performance's given actor: The Colorado Humane SocietyColorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and PEN Center USA. That's animal rights, immigrant rights and free speech. And that may offer a clue about the play's content.

    The Denver lineup: 

    • Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Adrian Egolf
    • Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Meridith C. Grundei
    • Sunday, Aug. 13, 2 p.m.: Luke Sorge
    • August John HauserThursday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Anthony Adu
    • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Emma Messenger
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 2 p.m.: Ilasiea Gray
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Ben Hilzer
    • Sunday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m.: Andrew Uhlenhopp
    • Thursday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Erik Fellenstein
    • Friday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m.: Jihad Milhem
    • Saturday, Aug. 26, 2 p.m.: Julie Wolf
    • Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.: John Hauser (pictured at right in DCPA Education's A Midsummer Night's Dream)
    • Sunday, Aug. 27, 2 p.m.: Kelly Uhlenhopp
    • Monday, Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Sean Michael Cummings
    • Thursday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m.: Anne Penner
    • Friday, Sept. 8: 7:30 p.m.: Chloe McLeod
    • Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m.: Jonathan Edward Brown
    • Saturday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.: Jeff Jesmer
    • Sunday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Mare Trevathan
    • Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Susannah McLeod

    The Colorado Springs lineup:

    • Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.:  Rev. Nori June Rost
    • Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Hossein Forouzandeh
    • Thursday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Phil Ginsburg
    • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Lynne Hastings
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Stoney Bertz 
    • Sunday, Aug. 20, 4 p.m.: John Hazlehurst
    • Thursday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Bob Morsch
    • Friday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m.: Omid D Harrison
    • Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.: Jodi Papproth
    • Sunday, Aug. 27, 4 p.m.: Michael Lee

    Click here for more on the Denver run, and here for more on Colorado Springs.

    Here are five more intriguing titles opening in the next few weeks. But be sure to also peruse the list of currently running shows that are about to close: More than 40 will finish by the end of the month.  

    (To update or correct your company’s schedule, email jmoore@dcpa.org).

    August DCPA 800


    NUMBER 1Creede Repertory Theatre. There's a lot going on at Creede Rep this month, starting with two benefit performances of award-winning actor Rhonda Brown's one-woman Molly Ivins tribute Red Hot Patriot on Aug. 15-16. The acclaimed theatre 250 miles southwest of Denver then premieres a promising new play called General Store, written by Colorado native Brian Watkins and directed by Christy-Montour Larson (DCPA’s Two Degrees) from Aug. 18-Sept. 16. It's about the owner of a small-town store who is determined not to let anything stop him from holding onto his small piece of the America Dream. That opening leads into Creede Rep's Headwaters New Play Festival on Aug. 25-26, which will feature readings of the new plays The Mess of Us, by Moss Kaplan and Greg Ungar; Caliban’s Island, by Diana Burbano; and Visible From Four States, by Barbara Hammond (and directed by former DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Kent Thompson). 124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org

    NUMBER 2August BELLEVILLEBelleville. Progressive Theatre, the invention of Candace Joice, is a local company that exists to support other local theatres. For three successive weeks, Progressive will present its latest offering, Belleville, by Amy Herzog (Curious Theatre's After the Revolution), at three host theatres that will then keep the proceeds: Vintage Theatre (Aug. 25-26), Buntport Theater (Sept. 8-9), and Lowry’s Spotlight Theatre and Firehouse Theatre (at the John Hand Theatre Sept. 16-17). It's about two young Americans living a perfect ex-pat life in Paris that's about to become less perfect.

    NUMBER 3 Boulder Fringe. The Boulder International Fringe Festival is a 12-day freakout that provides a platform for artists to showcase their work in often non-traditional spaces throughout Boulder. The Fringe celebrates theatre, dance and music that is independent, accessible and affordable. The event brings together local, national and international acts.

    NUMBER 4Appropriate. Curious Theatre Company is about to embark on a 20th season that harkens to its hottest, hot-button roots. It starts Sept. 2 with Appropriate, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, an incendiary play on race, family, and if it’s possible for history to ever stay in the past. When the Lafayettes descend on a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch’s estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt and a contentious family history. Directed by Jamil Jude. Sept. 2-Oct. 14, 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org 

    NUMBER 5

    Patsy Cline. Today, Tomorrow, & Forever: A Celebration of Patsy Cline. Always…Patsy Cline made musical theatre history in Denver in the late 1990s when it ran for 3 1/2 years at the Denver Center's Galleria Theatre. That production starred Melissa Swift-Sawyer reliving the brilliant but brief career of the fated country singer. Swift-Sawyer has portrayed Cline almost 3,000 times around the country since, and she will be channeling the star's enduring popularity and unique vocal style in an intimate reflection for the Longmont Theatre Company. Aug. 18-26. 513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page

    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.


    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Send updates or additions to jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    Aug. 11-20: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Grounded
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    Aug. 11-Sept. 11: Pipedream Productions' White Rabbit Red Rabbit
    At the University of Denver's JMAC Studios, 1903 E. Iliff Ave., whiterabbitredrabbitdenver.bpt

    Aug. 11-25: Star Bar Players' White Rabbit Red Rabbit
    The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado, Colorado Springs, starbarplayers.org

    Aug. 11-12: Star-Crossed Theatre's Green Day's American Idiot
    At Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Aug. 15-16: Creede Repertory Theatre's Red Hot Patriot
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Aug. 17-Oct. 1: DCPA Broadway's Frozen
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Aug. 17-Sept. 2: The Sisters, SweetwaterAt Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    Aug. 18-27: Boulder International Fringe Festival
    At venues around Boulder, boulderfringe.com

    Aug. 18-Sept. 14: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Aug. 18-26: Longmont Theatre Company's Today, Tomorrow, & Forever: A Celebration of Patsy Cline
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page

    Aug. 25-26: Creede Repertory Theatre's Headwaters New Play Festival
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Aug. 25-Nov. 11: BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Aug. 25-Sept. 4: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Billy Elliot
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Edge Theatre's Dinner
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheatre.com

    Aug. 25-26: Progressive Theatre's Belleville
    At Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Aug. 25-26: Evergreen Players' EPiC summer (quarterly improv comedy)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    Sept. 1-Oct. 15: Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Sept. 1-17: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Noises Off
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    Sept. 1-30: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com READ MORE

    Sept. 1-23: Thin Air Theatre Company's The Nerd
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Sept. 2-Oct. 14: Curious Theatre's Appropriate
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org 

     

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS

    Through Aug. 9: Creede Repertory Theatre's Arsenic and Old Lace
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 10: Creede Repertory Theatre's She Loves Me
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 11: Creede Repertory Theatre's Pants on Fire
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 12: Theatre Aspen's Sex With Strangers
    Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 12: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Buyer and Cellar
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Through Aug. 12: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Julius Caesar
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org

    A Alexis Cooley 800 2Through Aug. 12: square product theatre's House of Gold (pictured right)
    At the ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder READ MORE

    Through Aug. 13: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's The Taming of the Shrew
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org

    Through Aug. 13: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet
    At the University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org READ MORE

    Through Aug. 13: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
    At the University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org

    Through Aug. 13: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Sister Act
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    Through Aug. 15: Theatre Aspen's The World According to Snoopy
    Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 18: Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre's The Murder Room
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 19: BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com READ MORE

    Through Aug. 19: TheatreWorks' Much Ado About Nothing
    At Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org READ MORE

    Through Aug. 19: Equinox Theatre's Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Through Aug. 19: Theatre Aspen's Hairspray
    Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 20: Germinal Stage-Denver's Seascape
    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

    August BROADWAY BOUNDThrough Aug. 20: Miners Alley Playhouse's Broadway Bound
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through Aug. 20: Lakewood Cultural Center's My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!
    470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or Lakewood.org/LCCPresents

    Through Aug. 23: Off-Center's Mixed Taste
    Wednesdays at the Seawell Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Aug. 24: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Ghost
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    MIXED TASTE 400Through Aug. 24: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's Newsies
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 24: Thin Air Theatre Company's After Dark
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 25: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's West Side Story
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 25: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Aida
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Hairspray
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Sister Act
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Lowry Spotlight Theatre's On Golden Pond
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Through Aug. 26: Creede Repertory Theatre's The Syringa Tree
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 26: Midtown Arts Center's Hair
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Aug. 26: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's Mamma Mia
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 26: Thin Air Theatre Company's Annie Get Your Gun
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 26: Millibo Arts Theatre's Circus of the Night
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org

    Through Aug. 27: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!
    Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Aug. 27: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's The Slipper and the Rose
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through Aug. 27: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Big River
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Sept. 1: [title of show]
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Sept. 2: Dames at Sea
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Sept. 9: Creede Repertory Theatre's Boomtown
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Sept. 15: Creede Repertory Theatre's Talley’s Folley
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Oct. 1: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Anything Goes
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

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

    by John Moore | May 31, 2017

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


    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NUMBER 2Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Boulder
    Through Aug. 13

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

    NUMBER 4Disney’s Newsies
    Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

    Through Aug. 24

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

    NUMBER 5Ring of Fire
    Vintage Theatre

    Through Aug. 6

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

    Summer theatre 800 3

    NUMBER 6Ghost
    Lake Dillon Theatre Company

    July 1- Aug. 24

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

    NUMBER 7Sex With Strangers
    Theatre Aspen

    July 6-Aug. 12

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

    NUMBER 8Annie
    Phamaly Theatre Company

    July 15-Aug. 3

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

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

    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    At Rock Ledge Ranch

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

    NUMBER 10General Store
    Creede Repertory Theatre

    Aug. 18-Sept. 16

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


    COLORADO SUMMER THEATRE SCHEDULES

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

    5th WALL PRODUCTIONS
    At The Bakery 2132 Market St., ticketleap.com
    July 13-28: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BENCHMARK THEATRE
    benchmarktheatre.com
    No summer events scheduled

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

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

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

    BOULDER INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL
    boulderfringe.com
    Aug. 18-27 at venues around Boulder

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

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

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

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

    CENTERSTAGE THEATER COMPANY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DAIRY ARTS CENTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    JESTERS DINNER THEATRE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    THEATRE ESPRIT ASIA
    teatheatre.org
    July 27-30: Coming to America: Boat Person and Antecedent (at Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Avery-Anderson Avery Anderson is interning with the DCPA NewsCenter for the summer. He is the General Manager and producer of Met TV at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was won two Heartland Student Emmy Awards for his work on The Met Report. He has a passion for local arts and culture and enjoys covering theatres across the Denver area and the state. Follow him on Twitter and @a_anderson64.
  • Charles Packard leaving Aurora Fox after 19 years

    by John Moore | May 23, 2017
    Charles Packard Charles Packard was nominated for a Denver Post Ovation Award for designing this set for the ice-climbing drama 'K2' in the Aurora Fox studio theatre in 2012. 
     

    Longtime Executive Producer cited budget cutbacks, exhaustion and personal hurdles as ongoing difficulties

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Charles Packard, Executive Producer for the Aurora Fox Arts Center since 2009, has resigned, both he and city officials confirmed today in joint statements. 

    Packard is resigning "to pursue other opportunities," said Abraham Morales, Senior Public Information Officer for the city of Aurora. In his own statement, Packard cited fatigue. "I have grown tired, then exhausted, and it has come time to close," he said.

    Associates close to Packard, who was placed on administrative leave May 8, say his sometimes competing role as both an artist and arts administrator for Charles Packard Quotea city-owned performing-arts facility had become increasingly more difficult to navigate. Reached at home 10 days ago, Packard said he was looking forward to visiting family in Michigan, and that "I am really thrilled for what's coming next in my life."

    In today's statement, he elaborated: "I will be spending the next few months 'in the sandwich,' " he said. "My parents are aging, and my kids are growing fast. I will be with them while my artistic and public-servant batteries recharge.

    "In the 19 years I've been at the Fox we have had a few failures, many successes and tremendous growth. The audience has changed and the neighborhood has changed. I have grown as an artist." (Read the full statement here.)
     
    On the blog Packard regularly kept on the Aurora Fox web site, Packard wrote openly about the theatre's many artistic achievements, but also "unprecedented challenges including staff changes, budget crises, weather and other assaults, as well as intense personal hurdles."

    The change comes at a tenuous time for the Fox, which has not yet announced its 33rd season beginning in September. Cultural Services Manager Gary Margolis, Packard's boss, will handle administrative duties while a national job search is conducted to find Packard's replacement. Margolis joined the city a year ago. When he moved to Aurora from San Diego, Packard described him as "Aurora’s No. 1 arts advocate."

    Packard's resignation also comes as the Fox has been enjoying a steady stream of artistic and box-office successes. Last July, the Fox received six Henry Award nominations, including Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company.

    Local actor, director and former Aurora Fox employee Robert Michael Sanders said Packard has been one of the most impactful people in the local theatre community over the past two decades.

    "In his years at the Fox, Charlie set himself and the theatre apart with a simple premise: 'Why not?' " said Sanders. "He set the bar high and brought people up around him."

    Packard, a former president of the Colorado Theatre Guild, joined the Aurora Fox in 1999 as Production Manager and Associate Producer. He is also a multiple award-winning Scenic Designer known for elaborate sets including The Wedding Singer, Xanadu, Something Wicked this This Way Comes, Arabian Nights, K2 and Big Fish. He won the 2014 Henry Award for his design of the water-themed Metamorphoses in the Aurora Fox studio theatre.

    Packard has long been known for openly sharing his talents with theatre companies throughout the metro area including Curious Theatre, Magic Moments and more. His scenic work is currently on display in Curious' The Luckiest People. His boxing-ring design for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a co-production between Curious and Colorado Springs TheatreWorks, was nominated for 2013 True West and Henry awards. He is also an accomplished lighting designer, winning the 2006 Denver Post Ovation Award with Jennifer Orf for Phamaly Theatre Company's The Wiz.

    Read the Aurora Sentinel's 2012 profile on Charles Packard

    Sanders said Packard has been one of the theatre community's strongest advocates for actors' rights. "He has always fought behind the scenes for actors to be paid a decent wage and have health insurance," Sanders said.

    The Aurora Fox was built for $10,000 as an art-deco neighborhood movie theater in 1946. It was renovated in the 1980s as a community arts center with two performing spaces and has become an anchor of the Aurora Cultural Arts District, which stretches along East Colfax Avenue from Clinton Street to Geneva Street. That includes the nearby Vintage Theatre, which also sports two performing spaces less than a half-mile away. For years, city leaders have hoped to turn this iconic stretch of East Colfax Avenue into a cultural destination that might grow surrounding businesses, but the results have been mixed.

    "Charles Packard has been the anchor of the Aurora Cultural Arts District for the better part of a decade," said Vintage Theatre Executive Director Craig Bond. "At the helm of the Aurora Fox he has directed, produced, supported and encouraged various groups of artists to achieve amazing theatrical successes within Aurora. His leadership will be missed within Aurora, but I am sure his amazing staff will continue to support great work within the 80010 zip code."

    Charles Packard The Wedding SingerIn his role at the Fox, Packard has overseen both the 245-seat mainstage theatre and the transformable studio theatre that seats about 90. The Aurora Fox typically produces five shows per year while making its theatres available for many other local theatres to rent. In recent years, Packard has blown open the Fox’s doors to underserved voices and audiences with productions including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics, The Color Purple, Black Elk Speaks, Porgy & Bess and the current Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

    Packard has also steered the Fox through several small controversies over the years. The Fox’s partnership with Ignite Theatre, which staged 31 productions at the Fox, hit a hiccup in 2015 when Aurora city officials said the Fox could no longer present simultaneous shows in its two spaces until the backstage dressing-room space was expanded. That forced Ignite to move or cancel three upcoming productions. And in January, Ignite ceased production

    Charles Packard  Consider the OysterThe Fox garnered much unwanted attention late last month when Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the finale of the current mainstage season, was beset with production problems, culminating with the last-minute decision to cancel the opening weekend of performances out of concern for the safety of the actors. 

    (Pictured above: Charles Packard's curtain speeches have been a staple at the Aurora Fox since 2009. Here: 'Consider the Oyster' in 2013. Photo by John Moore.)

    While numbers for the current season are not complete (Priscilla closes out the season on May 28), 2015-16 was a banner year for Packard and the Aurora Fox. In his blog, Packard reported records for fundraising, ticket revenue and season subscriptions (up an astounding 26 percent over the previous season). “My goal for the year was to be up 10 percent, which in itself was a pretty bold promise to make my board of directors,” Packard told the Aurora Sentinel. “But the increase probably just means that (Aurora Cultural Arts District Managing Director Tracy Weil’s) efforts of image control for the neighborhood have been successful.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Part of Packard’s job was “refining the theater’s financial model,” which proved to be an evolving and ongoing challenge with the city.

    Back on his blog, Packard wrote: “I am very proud of our results this year. We achieved high and quantifiable artistic successes (despite budget cutbacks.) We pushed ourselves as individual artists and stretched the very definition of what it means to be a collaborative arts center. And, we had unprecedented challenges. We’ve had staff changes, budget crises, weather and other assaults as well as intense personal hurdles."

    Beginnings in Michigan summer stock

    Charles Packard MiscastPackard, a Michigan native, said in a 2012 Aurora Sentinel profile that his first gig was working in “the creative chaos of summer-stock festivals after dropping out of Western Michigan University. Packard worked as a stage manager for a musical workshop in New Bedford, Mass., helping to create new works as creative egos clashed and backers pulled out.

    Packard arrived in Colorado in 1997 and quickly found work as a freelance stage manager and designer. His duties at the Fox evolved to season selection, design, administration and a long list of other small jobs necessary for running a theater. He stepped into the executive producer role in early 2009, just after the full effects of the economic collapse of 2008 started to hit the local theater community.

    (Photo at right: Charles Packard showed off his playful side by performing a number from 'La Cage Aux Folles' for Miscast, a 2007 benefit performance. Photo by John Moore.)

    “About every day, I was on the phone with my grandfather and my great aunt, begging for them to tell me stories about the Great Depression,” Packard said, laughing. “I wanted to know — how bad can this get?”

    Aurora Chamber of Commerce Vice President George Peck said of Packard’s hiring in 2009: “Charlie reaches out and creates networks. He understands that arts are not narrowly focused. We were very impressed with Charlie’s facility to wear both of those hats. He still has that very creative side that is necessary to be successful running a theater. But he understands the business aspects as well.”

    Packard's reach into the community often exceeded theater. In 2007, Packard helped with the defense in a gruesome federal death-penalty case. Rudy Sablan, an inmate in the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, was charged with murder for helping his cousin eviscerate a third man in the 7-by-14-foot cell the three shared. Packard was hired to meticulously re-create the jail cell in the U.S. District courtroom.

    “I don’t really care whether the person being defended is a good guy or a bad guy,” Packard said at the time. “I am proud to be part of giving him a rigorous defense.”

    For the Fox season that is ending May 28, Packard adopted the theme “Life on the Margins of Polite Society.” The intent of the season, he wrote on his Fox blog, “was to examine ourselves and the groups we form for safety and comfort. We have reflected on those tight-knit groups of like-minded people we hold dear. Our polite society. We have been introduced to others. To those left on our margins, the different, the foreign, the newcomer. We have seen that those individuals are at the center of their own hard spheres.”

    He signed off, as he often did, “ I will see you at the theater.”

    In today's closing statement, Packard wrote: "No arts organization should become dependent on the presence of any single mind. That is true of The Fox ... Dozens of artists are still here working hard on the 33rd season. Soon a new producer will emerge, and he or she will build on our accomplishments."

    Said Sanders: "Whether it was choosing shows, directing, designing or running the business of theatre, Charlie always asked the same question: 'Does it have heart?'

    "He does."

    An excerpt from Charles Packard’s blog:

    “As arts advocates and administrators we remove obstacles. We deflect worry and distraction from our artists whenever possible. We don’t want them to know how hard it can be. When you have gifted painters living in your community the last thing you want them to worry about is how to buy paint or where to hang their finished work. You want them to create art for all of our benefit. That is my job and the job of other administrators and advocates for The Fox.”

    Note: This report will continue to be updated throughout the day.

    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.
  • In the Spotlife: Marc Stith of 'The Nether'

    by John Moore | Apr 05, 2017
    Marc Stith Photo of Marc Stith by Nathan Rigaud.

    MEET MARC STITH

    Marc Stith plays Sims (known to some as Papa) in Benchmark Theatre's 'The Nether,' set in a futuristic world where the internet is a virtual wonderland that indulges your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment in The Nether, it triggers a high-stakes interrogation into the ethics of the broadening internet. The play runs through April 23 at the Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. (Photo below of Marc Stith by McLeod9Creative.)

  • Marc Stith. Photo by McLeod9CreativeHometown: Jefferson City, Mo.
  • Home now: Castle Rock
  • College: BFA in theater from the University of Central Missouri
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Arnold in Hir at the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden
  • What's next? I will play Bill Fordam in August: Osage County from Sept. 1-Oct. 15 at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora
  • Twitter-sized bio: Closet optimist, aspiring cynic, socially awkward penguin, dog and cat lover. I quietly resent people who put clothes on their pets.
  • Twitter and Instagram handle: @japhydean
  • What was the role that changed your life? I was cast as Jed Jenkins in Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson. It was 1990, and I was a student in college. It was the first play I did subsequent to taking an acting class from Dr. Richard Herman. Before that class, I had no idea of how to go about approaching a role, or any concept of the “magic if” – that sort of thing. And I was really just awful. So thank God for teachers. Fifth of July was the first script where I got to apply theories learned in class, so to this day I consider that to be the moment when acting really began for me. And if I may – a quick shout-out to the University of Central Missouri. They have an outstanding theatre program. I am a proud alumnus.
  • Mark RuffaloIdeal scene partner: Mark Ruffalo is so understated and natural and interesting to watch. Yes, calling The Hulk 'understated' is pretty ridiculous. But I’m thinking The Kids Are All Right Mark Ruffalo. Infinitely Polar Bear Mark Ruffalo. Indie-film Mark Ruffalo! (That said, sharing a scene with Hulk would be cool, too.)
  • What is The Nether all about? The play explores whether the moral codes and laws and ideals of real-life society apply in a virtual world - and does time spent in the virtual world further define who we are (or how we act) in the real world? There are a few surprises and twists along the way. I’m hesitant to divulge more.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing your part: Without giving too much away, I’m kind of playing two roles … but not really. One role is an idealized version of the other – or what one character “pretends to be” in a different place and time. Because it’s his interpretation of his own existence in that setting, he has character affectations that wouldn’t necessarily be present in a historically accurate period piece.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing this play? The major themes of the play could be seriously challenging for some audience members. I hope they trust us to take them on that journey. And I would hope that their drive home is full of compelling discussion and healthy debate.
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • TLCWhat's one thing most people don't know about you? If you want to instantly bond with me, just walk up to me and start singing a TLC song. Any TLC song. I will shamelessly join you. I am not kidding. I will. Also, I lived in Los Angeles for seven years and played bass guitar in a power trio. We did the Sunset Boulevard thing, playing the Whiskey and the Roxy, among other clubs. It was a fun time in my life, and a bucket list item for sure.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? I’m alarmed by the current political landscape in this country. It’s surreal. We live in a time when millions of people are making a conscious choice to be uninformed and ignorant of reality, rather than to be confronted with ideas that conflict with their personal or political ideologies. It’s concerning because the process of having our belief systems occasionally challenged - being forced to consider something from a different perspective - is healthy. It contributes to our growth and evolution as thinking beings. But there’s a resistance to that right now, which means that collectively we have, in some ways, stopped moving forward. Throw in a well-funded, partisan media that for many has become a substitute for independent thought; on that  constantly demonizes 'the other side' in lieu of actual journalism; AND  our society’s propensity for violence ... It just feels very, very volatile right now, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. But I also think that underscores the need for artists to be productive and fully engaged right now. The optimist in me thinks that some really good art will emerge as a result.

  • Marc Stith. Hir. Miners Alley PlayhouseRecently, Marc Stith played a father who is tortured by his wife after he has had a stroke in 'Hir,' opposite Martha Harmon Pardee, at the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden. 


    Benchmark Theatre's The Nether: Ticket information


    The NetherBy Jennifer Haley
    • Directed by Rachel Bouchard
    • Through April 23
    • Performances 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays
    • Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St.
    • Tickets $20-$30
    • For tickets or information, go to benchmarktheatre.com

    Cast list:
    •  Haley Johnson as Morris
    •  Jim Hunt as Doyle
    •  Ella Madison as Iris
    •  Marc Stith as Sims/Papa
    •  Cameron Varner as Woodnut

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

  • In the Spotlife: Peter Trinh of 'Chinglish'

    by John Moore | Mar 31, 2017
    A Peter Trinh Chinglish 800 1


    MEET PETER TRINH

    Peter Trinh plays three roles in the Aurora Fox's 'Chinglish,' a comedy about the challenges of doing business in a country where the language and underlying cultural assumptions can be worlds apart from those of the West. It runs through April 9.

  • Hometown: Denver
  • Home now: Denver
  • High school: Arvada West
  • College: Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Peter Trinh QuoteWhat have you done for us lately? I played Monk in the The Oldest Boy, presented by Vintage Theatre and Theatre Esprit Asia 
  • What's next? I will play myself in the return of my one-man play Boat Person with Theatre Esprit Asia from July 27-30 at the Bas Bleu Theatre,
    401 Pine St. in Fort Collins
  • Twitter-sized bio: First generation American; DEN native; father of two boys; actor; playwright; stand-up comedian. 
  • Twtter and Instagram handle: @Peter_Trinh
  • What was the role that changed your life? I was cast in Dust Storm for Theatre Esprit Asia in 2013. It is a solo play and it was my first lead role. This show proved to myself that I could carry a show as a lead, and even on my own.
  • Ideal scene partner: I have always respected Edward Norton. He is a character actor, but strong enough to play a lead. I recall his scene in Birdman with Michael Keaton, and I imagine working a scene with him would be similar to that. There is an honesty in his performances that I feel is deeply engaging.
  • What is Chinglish all about? The inevitable miscommunications between cultures. It's a comedy that follows Daniel, a businessman from the Midwest, who arrives in a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contract for his family’s sign-making company. He soon finds that the complexities of such a venture far outstrip the expected differences in language, customs and manners – and calls into question even the most basic assumptions of human conduct. Through comic exchanges, he learns what is lost and found in translation. Despite our efforts to understand each other, there is a part of us that will never understand those from other cultures, but that doesn’t mean we cannot share or live together.
  • Peter_Trinh Boat PersonTell us about the challenge of playing your part: My lines are about 65 percent Mandarin. I do not speak Mandarin. Learning enough to be able to pronounce my lines decently was a bear. It’s harder than it looks. Luckily, our dramaturg and the two native speakers in our cast made me feel comfortable. I am bilingual in Vietnamese – which could be considered a derivative dialect of Mandarin – so learning the tones was familiar.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing this play? I hope they laugh. The jokes (which come with subtitles) make for a unique theatregoing experience for the audience. But most of all, I hope this play inspires people to travel and experience the world outside the realm of what they presently know.
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • What's one thing most people don't know about you? I’m the first person on either side of my family to be born on American soil. My parents were pregnant with me when they were sponsored to Denver in 1982.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? I feel like what the world is missing is compassion. We need to find away to allow others to believe the way they wish without imposing our own beliefs. This country has been so busy drawing lines in the sand on this issue, and that issue, we seem to be losing our humanity. Let’s agree to disagree.

  • Peter Trinh Chinglish. By Christine Fisk From left: Mark Rubald, Tim O'Connell, Peter Trinh and Ke Zang in the Aurora Fox's production of 'Chinglish.' Photo by Christine Fisk.

    Aurora Fox's Chinglish: Ticket information

    • By David Henry Hwang
    • Directed by Steve Wilson
    • Through April 9
    • Performances 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
    • 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
    • Tickets $16-$37
    • 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Cast list:
    •  Mark Rubald as Daniel Cavenaugh
    •  Peter Trinh as Bing, Judge Geming and Qian
    •  Tim O'Connell as Peter Timms
    •  Christa Yan as Xi Yan
    •  Ke Zang as Minister Cai Guoliang and Prosecutor Li
    •  Molly O'Niel as Zhao and Waitress

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

    by John Moore | Feb 01, 2017
    February Theatre Openings

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

    Five intriguing titles for February:

    NUMBER 1The Zeus Problem. Buntport Theater’s latest creation is described as “a dark comedy about a god and the mess he made.” And they swear it was conceived and written before the recent presidential election. Whatever. Inspired by Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, The Zeus Problem is an original tale about abuse of power, the potential of storytelling "and the importance of a stretchy waistband at the dinner table." Featuring guest god Jim Hunt, winner of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Feb. 3-25 at 717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    NUMBER 2A Murray Ross 160The Hairy Ape. Colorado Springs lost an icon with the death of Murray Ross, who started TheatreWorks from nothing on the campus of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 1975. In tribute to the man and his passion, TheatreWorks will continue as planned its staging of Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 expressionistic masterwork, with Scott RC Levy, Producing Artistic Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, taking over as director. The Hairy Ape stars Dylan Mosley as Yank, an immigrant who finds America to be a world riddled by unrest and controlled by the wealthy. Sound familiar? Feb. 11-26 in the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater. 719-255-3232 or www.theatreworkscs.org

    NUMBER 3Billy Elliot, The Musical. Broadway’s stage adaptation of the charming British film about the coal-town kid who prefers ballet over boxing, has its first two homegrown Colorado stagings this month. Vintage Theatre’s production, directed by Bernie Cardell and featuring a cast of 26, plays Feb. 3-March 19 at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com. Evergreen Chorale, which is partnering with the Colorado Ballet for its production, plays Feb. 24-March 12 at Center Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive in Evergreen, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org. A special performance will be held on Friday, March 17, at the Colorado Ballet’s Armstrong Center for Dance.

    NUMBER 4February Theatre OpeningsKing Lear. Boulder’s 35-year-old Upstart Crow, Colorado’s only company dedicated exclusively to presenting classics, expands out to Longmont for its new staging of King Lear. Shakespeare’s infamously bad old dad brings his storm to the Longmont Performing Arts Center, otherwise known as the Longmont Theatre Company’s longtime home at 513 Main St. It’s a perfect marriage: Boulder County’s two oldest theatre companies cooperating on the story of Shakespeare’s oldest protagonist. Directed by Joan Kuder Bell. Starring Louis Clark as Lear. Feb. 9-19 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    NUMBER 5Yohen. Speaking of partnerships, Colorado’s only Asian-American theatre Company, Theatre Esprit Asia, has called on Tony Garcia, Producing Artistic Director  of Colorado’s only Chicano theatre, Su Teatro, to direct Philip Kan Gotanda's play, featuring Maria Cheng and Don Randle. "Yohen" refers to pottery that comes out of the kiln with imperfection. "Usually the pots are thrown away, but sometimes that imperfection is so unique that it makes the pot special and cherished," Garcia said. "I am thrilled to be able to work with other actors of color to continue to build these relationships. At ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-492-9479, or theatre-esprit-asia.org

    February Theatre Openings

    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Feb. 2-12: Lone Tree Arts Center's Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000, lonetreeartscenter.org

    Feb. 2-26: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's An Iliad
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    Feb. 3-March 12: DCPA Theatre Company's Two Degrees
    Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 3-25: Buntport Theater's The Zeus Problem
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    Feb. 3-26: Theatre Esprit Asia’s Yohen
    At ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-492-9479, or theatre-esprit-asia.org

    Feb. 3-March 19: Vintage Theatre Productions' Billy Elliot, The Musical
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Feb. 4-March 5: That Championship Season
    417 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Feb. 9-26: 5th Wall Productions' Straight
    At Tony P's, 777 E. 17th Ave., 5th-wall-productions.ticketleap.com
    (No shows Feb. 11 or 25)

    Feb. 9-19: Upstart Crow's King Lear
    Presented at Longmont Theatre Company, 513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Feb. 9-26: Millibo Art Theatre's Lovette
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321 or themat.org

    Feb. 10-11: Off-Center's Cult Following: Secrets & Confessions
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 10-11: Evergreen Players' EPiC Winter (improv comedy)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.com

    Feb. 10-26: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Enchanted April
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Feb. 11-26: TheatreWorks' The Hairy Ape
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    Feb. 14-18: Vintage Theatre and Edge Theater's I'll Eat You Last: A Conversation with Sue Menger
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    Feb. 15-19: National touring production of Motown the Musical 
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 16-March 18: OpenStage Theatre & Company’s August: Osage County
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    February Theatre OpeningsFeb. 16-March 5: The Heir Apparent
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    Feb. 17-March 19: Town Hall Arts Center's Bonnie & Clyde
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hallartscenter.org

    Feb. 17-March 18: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's The Toxic Avenger
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Feb. 17-18: The Avenue Theater's The Golden Years
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Feb. 18-March 18: Spotlight Theater Company's Sabrina Fair
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Feb. 21-26: Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 23-March 12: Phamaly Theatre Company's Pygmalion 
    At the Aurora Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., 303-575-0005 or phamaly.org

    Feb. 23-March 12: The Catamounts' Beowulf, A Thousand Years of Baggage
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or the dairy.org

    Feb. 23-March 11: Thunder River Theatre Company’s The Tempest
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or www.thunderrivertheatre.com

    Feb. 23-25: square product theatre’s The Box Marked Black: Tales from a Halfrican American Growing up Mulatto (with Sock Puppets)!
    Performed in rep with Hoarded Stuff Performance’s Practicing
    At the Boulder Creative Collective Warehouse, 2500 47th St., Unit 10, Boulder, 800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com
    (Also: March 2-4 at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., Denver)

    Feb. 24-May 14: Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or the arvada center’s home page

    Feb. 24-March 12: Evergreen Chorale's Billy Elliot, The Musical
    At CenterStage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org

    Feb. 24-March 11: Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville's And Then There Were None
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org

    Feb. 24-March 12: The Avenue Theater's Robert Dubac’s The Book of Moron
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Feb. 24-March 26: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Junie B. Jones: The Musical
    Second Stage, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through Feb. 4: Firehouse Theatre Company's Becky’s New Car
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or firehousetheatercompany.com
    Thursday, Feb. 2, benefits The Denver Actors Fund

    Through Feb. 4: Town Hall Arts Center's Avenue Q
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

    Through Feb. 4: OpenStage Theatre & Company’s Bright Ideas
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Through Feb. 4: Equinox Theatre Company’s The Who’s Tommy
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Through Feb. 12: The Edge Theatre's Burn This
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Through Feb. 12: The Avenue Theater's Almost, Maine
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Through Feb. 12: Vintage Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast

    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Feb. 12: Parker Center and Inspire Creative's Disney's Beauty and the Beast
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org

    Through Feb. 12: Something’s Afoot
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page

    Through Feb. 17: Curious Theatre's The Happiest Song Plays Last
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

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

    February Theatre OpeningsThrough Feb. 19: Aurora Fox's Myth
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Through Feb. 19: Cherry Creek Theatre's Red Hot and Cole
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center's Pluss Theatre, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherry creek theatre’s home page

    Through Feb. 26: DCPA Theatre Company's The Christians
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Feb. 26: DCPA Theatre Company's The Book of Will
    Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    February Theatre OpeningsThrough March 5: Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through March 5: Vintage Theatre's Brilliant Traces
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Through March 12: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s Forever Plaid
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through March 18: Midtown Arts Center's Million Dollar Quartet
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through March 18: Midtown Arts Center's Forbidden Broadway (Studio Theatre)
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through April 8: DCPA Cabaret's An Act of God
    Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A February Openings 800 1

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

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

    ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE DENVER
    Sunday, Feb. 26: Oscars Viewing Party (with KMGH Channel 7)
    7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, drafthousedenver.com.
    Benefits Denver Actors Fund

    February Theatre Openings BDT STAGE
    Sunday, Feb. 19: Procceds from the closing (evening) performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie benefit the Denver Actors Fund
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    BUNTPORT THEATRE

    Feb. 11: Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey (Monthly theatre for young audiences at 1 and 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, through May 13)
    Feb. 15: The Narrators (a live storytelling show and podcast)
    Feb. 24: Untitled (in the freight elevator at the Denver Art Museum)
    Feb. 20: Staged reading of The 30th of Baydak Tickets here

    Feb. 21: The Great Debate
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    THE CLOCKTOWER CABARET
    Sunday, Feb. 19: The Jerseys sing the Four Seasons and more
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com
    Benefits the Denver Actors Fund

    Friday, Feb. 3: Drag Decades hosted by Shirley Delta Blow
    Performances inspired by musicals from TV, movies and the stage. Appearances by Vivian LeCher (Miss Gay Pride of Colorado), Zarah (Drag Machine) and Brody Danger.
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com

    Monday, Feb. 6: Cabaret for a Cause
    Eugene Ebner and Paul Page Productions presents the third annual "Cabaret for a Cause," songs celebrating the power of love.
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com
    Benefits Challenge Denver

    Wednesday, Feb. 22: Tony Desare in concert
    New York cabaret star Tony DeSare performs Night Life, his classic and elegant 1950s New York nightclub act featuring songs from Cole Porter to Bob Dylan
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com
    Benefits Think360 Arts

    DCPA THEATRE COMPANY
    Feb. 18-26: Colorado New Play Summit
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    DENVER ACTORS FUND
    Feb. 16, 18 and 22: Fathom Events screening of Broadway's Newsies, featuring Jeremy Jordan, at Alamo Drafthouse Denver, 7301 S Santa Fe Drive, https://drafthouse.com/denver/show/fathom-presents-disneys-newsies-the-broadway-musical
    See also: Alamo Drafthouse, Clocktower Cabaret and BDT Stage

    LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY

    Friday, Feb. 3: Broadway st the Summit
    Celebrating the music of ABBA
    At the Outlets at Silverthorne. Dillon, 970-513-9386

    Wednesday, March 1: Snowshoe Hike and Supper
    Raven Golf Course, Silverthorne. Email megan@lakedillontheatre.org

    LOCAL THEATER COMPANY

    Wednesday, Feb. 6: Public reading of Home in the Heart, a student adaptation of Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street
    This free, 45-minute presentation  is geared for elementary and middle-school students. Starring Mehry Eslaminia. Directed by Megan Mathews.  
    At Boulder Public Library's Canyon Theater, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. Get tickets in advance

    PACE CENTER

    Thursday, Feb. 23: The Berenstain Bears Live! in Family Matters, the Musical
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org

    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY

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

    SQUARE PRODUCT THEATRE
    Friday, Feb. 25: Being Black in Boulder: A Community Conversation
    Immediately following the performance of The Box Marked Black: Tales from a Halfrican American Growing up Mulatto (with Sock Puppets)!
    Panelists: Arthur Antoine, Paris Ferribee, and Vanessa Roberts
    At the Boulder Creative Collective Warehouse, 2500 47th St., Unit 10, Boulder. Free. 800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com

    STORIES ON STAGE

    Sunday, Feb. 12: Legal Fictions
    “The Something by John Grisham,” by B.J. Novak, performed by Leigh Miller
    “Weight,” by Margaret Atwood, performed by Stephen Weitz
    "The Conversion of the Jews,” by Philip Roth Young, performed by Michael Bouchard
    "The Blue Hole” by Erika Krouse, performed by Jessica Austgen
    "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets,” by Kevin Brockmeier, performed by Cajardo Rameer Lindsey
    1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

    THUNDER RIVER THEATRE COMPANY
    Friday, Feb. 24: At its production of The Tempest, Thunder River will re-name the “black-box” studio theatre its founder opened in 2006 as The Lon Winston Theatre.

    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or www.thunderrivertheatre.com

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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.