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.

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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.