Audiences are about to meet Cupid's misfiring brother, George

by John Moore | Apr 27, 2018
For The Love of George. James Hindman, Barbara Gehring, Ray Roderick and Linda Klein. Photo by John Moore.

'For The Love of George' co-writers, from left: James Hindman, Barbara Gehring, Ray Roderick and Linda Klein on the Conservatory Theatre stage. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Denver Center audiences are being given the opportunity to witness first performances of For the Love of George

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

Denver Center audiences are being given a rare opportunity over two weekends in May to witness the first public performances of what is being called “a developmental staged reading” of an evolving new comedy written by a team that is responsible for some of the most successful productions in DCPA Cabaret history.

And if Cupid’s aim is true, the promising new work will come out ready to be licensed for immediate productions around the country.

Girls OnlyFor the Love of George is written by Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein of Girls Only (pictured right), which has been seen by more than 200,000 women (and a few token dudes) around North America; along with Ray Roderick and James Hindman, who write together and run a New York licensing company called Miracle or 2 Productions. Roderick’s Denver directing credits include the just-closed musical First Date (pictured below right), as well as The Last 5 Years, The Taffetas and the longest-running production in Denver theatre history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Hindman is a versatile New York actor who recently collaborated with Roderick on a new jukebox musical called The Bikinis.

For the Love of George
has been percolating for the past three years and across several states, ever since Roderick and Hindman took over worldwide bookings for Girls Only and realized Klein and Gehring are kindred comedy spirits.

First Date Fall Casting Photo by Emily LozowTheir premise: Cupid is, of course, the God of Love. And George is, well …  Cupid’s less talented brother. While Cupid's arrows bring love, George's arrows do what normal arrows do. They hurt. “People actually feel George’s arrows,” Hindman said. So Zeus has banished George to Earth, where he must learn the true nature of love in all its joy, pain, messiness and inevitability before Zeus will allow him to come home. (By the way, George is 4,338 years old — so it’s taking him some time to get the hang of it.) 

The comedy (with some original music) is set in a quirky, one-room mountain inn called Love Land. In the play, which takes place over several decades, we meet different  couples marching through the decades via the Love Land Inn. For example, we meet a hippie teenage couple from the 1960s, a couple that has been through a divorce, and young parents who are trying to get the romance back.

“Over time, you start to see how love changes along with what is happening in the outside world,” Roderick said. “What do societal and cultural changes do to love and how people relate to each other? It's a little like Love, American Style  in that way."

For those who might be intrigued to see the upcoming, first-ever performances, here are five quick things to know about For the Love of George:

NUMBER 1Gone fishing. For the Love of George is one of those classic fish-out-of-water stories where the protagonist is outside of his natural environment. The creators say it’s right in line with movies such as Elf, Splash and, in particular, It's a Wonderful Life, where the wannabe angel Clarence is working for his wings. “We are all fans of that kind of underdog story,” Gehring said. Roderick also said Buster Keaton was an inspiration for George. “He was the silent-movie guy who is always trying to figure things out,” he said. "There is also a wonderful, childlike curiosity to George.”

NUMBER 2

So is this a musical or what? What. The creators are calling For the Love of George a comedy with music because, while they have written some original music for the show, “the story isn't really told through the music,” Klein said. Roderick calls the work “a wonderful hybrid: A play that has the rhythm of a musical." That’s intentional, he added, so that the piece eventually can be performed in venues that typically house either a play or a musical.

NUMBER 3

Who is the intended audience? From the start, the creators imagined For the Love of George to be a date-night out, and that the wide swath of both time and generations covered in the story should appeal to a variety of  audiences. "This show will have accessible, across-the-board appeal,” Roderick said. But while the show is meant to be a lighthearted escape, Hindman said, it does address universal questions about love and destiny. “Is there any such thing as love at first sight?" he said. "Is love something that you build on? Or are you predestined to be with someone? We examine all of that.” Klein said a lot of people in a relationship might think they were put together by George, not Cupid. "I think there are times when we all feel that way because relationships are never perfect," she said. "It's usually kind of messy and awkward.”  

NUMBER 4

You know this cast. For the Love of George is performed by three actors, all of whom just completed a six-month engagement of First Date in the Galleria Theatre. Longtime Denver Center favorite Jordan Leigh plays George, while Seth Dhonau and Lauren Shealy play all the various couples at the inn. (More on them at the bottom of this story.)

NUMBER 5 But it’s not being staged at the Galleria Theatre? No. For the Love of George is being performed in the Conservatory Theatre located at 13th and Arapahoe streets in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education. It’s a beautiful theatre primarily used for DCPA Education projects rather than public performances.

And this P.S.: This project has nothing to do with an independent movie called For the Love of George that was released in February starring Nadia Jordan.

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

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


For the Love of George
: Ticket information

For the Love of George

After an unfortunate misfire, Cupid’s less talented brother George is banished to earth to learn the joy, pain, messiness and inevitability of love. Armed with only an autoharp and little pluck, he is thrown into the role of a guide to unsuspecting soulmates to prove his mastery. George hopes that in return, Zeus will allow him home once he truly becomes a God of Love.

  • Presented by DCPA Cabaret
  • Performances May 3-11
  • Showtimes 7:30 p.m. May 3-4 and 10-11
  • Conservatory Theatre, located at 13th and Arapahoe streets in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education
  • Recommended for audiences age 18 and over
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Meet the cast:

Seth DhonauSETH DHONAU. Since moving to Denver last year, Seth has been seen in several productions including First Date (DCPA Cabaret), Red Hot and Cole (Cherry Creek Theater and Evita (Lone Tree Arts Center). Previously he lived in New York and sang with some of the top choirs in the area, appearing at both St. Patrick's Cathedral and Carnegie Hall. Seth studied opera, theater and economics at Northwestern University where he appeared in Bernstein’s Mass, The Waa-Mu Show and multiple productions with the American Music Theatre Project. 

• Hometown: Fond du Lac, Wis.
• College: Bachelor of Music (Voice and Opera) from Northwestern University
• What's your handle? @Deathsono on Instagram
• Twitter-sized bio: Connoisseur of film, literature, music, wine and cowboy boots.



Jordan LeighJORDAN LEIGH
couldn’t be happier to be back on the Garner Galleria stage for a sixth time after his record-setting run in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (1,731 performances), Five Course Love, The Doyle and Debbie Show, Forbidden Broadway and First Date. A proud Denver native, he has appeared on stages across the city for 20 years, including his co-starring role with the DCPA Theatre Company as the Apostle, Matt in 2015’s The 12 (pictured below right) and in front of capacity crowds at The Buell while co-starring in the DCPA Theatre Company’s, White Christmas. An award-winning film actor as well, (three-time Best Actor-48 Hour Filmmaking Project/Special Screening Cannes), he recently appeared alongside Hollywood legends, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, in the Netflix feature Our Souls at Night. Proud 17-year member of Actors Equity Association. Much love to Hannah.

• Hometown: Denver. I am a third-generation Coloradan!
• College: BA in Theatre and Masters Acting Intensive from UCLA School of Theatre (magna cum laude)
• What's your handle? @JordanLeighActs on Twitter; @ThatActorGuyJordan on Instagram
• Twitter-sized bio: Buddhist Jew who loves Jesus. And Science. And South Park. And Animals. Hopes we can find a way to cut through all this worldly Mishegas (Yiddish for “insanity”).



Lauren ShealyLAUREN SHEALY:
DCPA Cabaret: First Date; Forbidden Broadway; The Doyle and Debbie Show; I Love You, You’re Perfect…. DCPA Theatre Company: Sweeney Todd (Swing), A Christmas Carol (Ensemble). Off Broadway: Lingoland (Lauren), How to Succeed In Business... (Rosemary). The Arvada Center: White Christmas (Betty), A Man Of No Importance (Mrs. Patrick), Curtains (Georgia), Miracle On 34th Street (Doris), 1940’s Radio Hour (Anne). Lone Tree Arts Center: Evita (Eva, pictured below right), South Pacific (Nellie). National Tour: South Pacific (Nellie). Other Theaters: Jekyll and Hyde (Lucy), Tick, Tick…Boom (Susan), Phantom (Christine). Awards: 2017 True West Award for season of Evita, Company and First Date; 2015 CTG Henry nomination for Best Actress in a Musical; Westword’s Best Actress in a Musical for 2013. 

• Hometown:
Littleton
• College: BFA Drama from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts
• What's your handle? I am not that cool.
• Twitter-sized bio: Lover of life, stories, music, family, heavy weights, hikes, hugs and cake pops. Habitual bath taker, banana bread maker and horror movie watcher.

 

Leave a comment

POPULAR POSTS
 
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.