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 Tuedsay (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

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

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

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.

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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.

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