• Video, photos: At 40, BDT celebrates its just desserts

    by John Moore | Aug 13, 2017
    Video by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The venerable Boulder dinner theatre will soon mark 150 productions after Technicolor bookends of Joseph

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    BDT Stage celebrated its past and looked forward to its future on Monday when the enduring dinner theatre marked its 40th anniversary with a special performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

    Generations of past and present BDT cast, crew and staff were invited back, along with friends and original investors. Fitting that the title was Joseph: The aerobic Andrew Lloyd Webber dance musical christened the then-named Boulder’s Dinner Theatre back in the Jimmy Carter administration.

    BDT Stage. Joseph. 1977 castWhen Joseph closes Sunday (Aug. 19), it will be followed by Rock of Ages, an homage to 1980s big-hair bands. That will mark BDT’s 150th production at 55th and Arapahoe streets in Boulder. Producing Artistic Director Michael J. Duran estimates the company has given 13,000 performances in that time.

    (Pictured right: Eleven members of BDT Stage's first production, 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,' in 1977, returned Monday. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    BDT has defied all the industry odds by surviving for four decades while all but one other metro-area dinner theatre (the Adams Mystery Playhouse) has fallen by the wayside. Back in 1977, the cast and creatives weren’t sure BDT would survive its first night.

    “It was a disaster,” said Dee Height, one of eight original investor families who put up $17,000 each to buy the land and start the business up in 1977. That’s a total of about $136,0000 in startup money. Crews were still laying down the carpet when it was time to open the doors for opening-night patrons. That first performance did not begin until 10 p.m. as the kitchen struggled to feed the crowd.

    The opening cast included Duran in the title role and two others who would go on to become longstanding professional BDT performers: Barb Reeves and John Scott Clough. Although the ensemble, 11 of whom returned for Monday’s party in Boulder, isn’t so sure just how professional that first show was back in the footloose and fancy-free 1970s.

    “For one thing, none of us could dance,” said Duran, who would nonetheless go on to a 23-year career as a theatre performer in New York before returning to run BDT in 2003. Duran was a late addition to that first Joseph cast. “He joined us two weeks before opening, and he saved our butts,” said castmate Jim Robb.

    So was that first show any good? “It’s all relative,” Duran said with a smile. “It was a small production, but for the very first show at a brand-new dinner theatre in Boulder? It was fantastic.”

    BDT Stage. John Moore

    The theatre used prerecorded music in its early days, and original investor (and current co-owner) Gene Bolles remembers being rallied to record a small trumpet part for that first show. “Our sound booth was the bathroom,” Bolles said. “So I sat on the toilet with the microphone in front of me, and we did about a hundred takes.”

    That first cast ranged in age from 17 to 25. Clough was the youngest.

    “We tried our best, but I was 17, and I was doing what 17-year-olds do, which is get into trouble,” said Clough. Two years after Joseph, Duran played Jesus in BDT’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. “On the final night, we put peanut butter on Mike’s crucifix, and he had to sit in it,” Clough said. Duran said he will never forget the night Jesus died with peanut butter in his crotch.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The founder and mastermind of BDT Stage was Ross Haley, who was not at Monday's party in person but was very much present in the thoughts of those gathered. Haley was the theatre director at nearby Boulder High School in 1976, and his production of Jesus Christ Superstar there was so well-received, parents and others encouraged him to found Boulder’s first professional dinner theatre.

    “Ross always encouraged us to take it very seriously,” said Reeves. Duran said Haley’s “vision and tenacity really helped keep this thing moving through the years.” Clough, likewise, said Haley “took great pride in this building. This was his baby.

    "And we … didn’t as much.”

    Clough mentioned a gigantic backstage fake-blood fight that left the men’s dressing room covered in corn syrup and red food coloring. “Ross was not happy,” Clough said with a smile.  

    BDT Stage. RagtimeBDT has now presented Joseph three times in its history, and all three Josephs were present Monday: Duran (1977), Scott Beyette (2004) and Jack Barton (2017). Beyette, who has been regularly performing with BDT for nearly 28 years, is now playing Joe’s ageless oldest brother, Reuben. He’s been at BDT so long that Barton remembers seeing him in BDT’s celebrated co-production of Ragtime with the late African-American Shadow Theatre Company (pictured above). He was 13. Barton, not Beyette.

    “In fact, I made my parents take me here to see Ragtime for my 13th birthday,” said Barton. “I have wanted to perform here since I was a little kid. That’s why I just feel super lucky to have been a part of this tonight.”

    Beyette is one of about a dozen local actors who have essentially performed at BDT for their entire careers. And the ties are multi-generational. The cast of Joseph includes four children whose parents have worked for BDT Stage onstage and off through the years. One of them is Beyette’s daughter Olyvia, who will star in the upcoming production of Rock of Ages.

    In the Spotlife: Meet Jack Barton of Joseph

    “I truly have been blessed to be able to do what I love to do, and live in this beautiful state, and raise a family,” said Beyette. “It’s been fantastic. Not a single day here has ever felt like work.”

    As he addressed the crowd on Monday, Duran acknowledged that many talented BDT performers have gone on to have successful careers in New York and Los Angeles, including Oscar winner Amy Adams, Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford and Tony nominee Beth Malone. “A lot of other people have come to work here and stayed, and we are ever so grateful to them as well,” Duran said.

    BDT Stage. Jack Barton. John Moore. The closest BDT ever came to closing was in 2003, when Haley was in ill health and the future of the theatre was uncertain. That’s when Bolles and his wife, Judy, bought the theatre and hired Duran to come home and run it. The Bolleses are the unlikeliest of theatre owners. Gene Bolles is a now-retired military neurosurgeon who worked on soldiers injured in Iraq. He has dedicated more than two decades to providing medical care in dozens of impoverished countries.

    Joseph is about dreaming, and I think we’ve all been dreamers, because being in the arts is a dream,” said Judy Bolles.  

    Forty years in, Duran said the reason BDT is still here is because “dinner theatre or not, we present some of the best theatre in the area. Our production values are high. The level of our talent is very high. People like working here and want to work here, and our food has gotten so much better.”

    Reeves says the impact BDT has had on audiences and the local theatre community is huge. “I can’t tell you the number of people this place has touched,” she said.   

    Duran also announced the release of a new book covering the history of the theatre, Remember the Magic, by Brandon Palmer. It is available through the theatre by calling 303-449-6000.

    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.

    BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Ticket information
    Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
    • Directed by Matthew D. Peters
    • Through Aug. 19
    • 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder < MAP IT
    • Tickets $35-$55
    • For tickets, call 303-449-6000 or go to bdtstage.com


    Performance schedule:
    • 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:45 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 1:45 and 7:45 p.m. Sundays (dinner service 90 minutes before).

    Photo gallery from Monday's 40th anniversary celebration:

    BDT Stage's 40th anniversary

    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. All photos may be downloaded and shared with photo credit. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Video: The 'Frozen' interviews, Part 2: Director Michael Grandage

    by John Moore | Aug 13, 2017

     


    Frozen director: 'The vision is to honor the film but at the same time give it its own identity.'

    In advance of the Denver debut of the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen on Aug. 17, we present you with this series of interviews with members of the cast and creative team. Second up: Director Michael Grandage.  

    Frozen Michael Grandage "The vision is to honor the film but at the same time give it its own identity. We can do a lot onstage that you can’t do otherwise," Grandage says. 

    As for his own hopes for the audience, he added: "I’ve always found that if you can have your life changed just a little bit by watching theatre, and it can really make a difference in your life, then I think we have done our job. I hope Frozen does that.  

    Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Frozen plays in Denver through Oct. 1.

    Pictured above from left: Patti Murin, Michael Grandage and Caissie Levy. Photo by Jenny Anderson.

    The full Frozen video series:
    Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin
    Part 2: Director Michael Grandage
    Part 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions
    Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • Video: The 'Frozen' interviews, Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin

    by John Moore | Aug 11, 2017

     


    Frozen stars: 'It's great that this is the city Disney trusts to give them a valid and educated response.'

    In advance of the Denver debut of the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen on Aug. 17, we present you with this series of interviews with members of thA Frozen. Rehearsale cast and creative team. First up: Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna).  

    Says Levy: "I think you are going to mostly see the show that will arrive on Broadway, but you get to see it first here in Denver, which is cool - and you will know all those insider tweaks that happened. I think that's why we are excited to be here, because this is such a savvy theatregoing city."

    Read more: First interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin

    Says Murin: "Any changes that are made between Denver and New York are going to be because of how the Denver audience reacts. And so it's great that this is the city Disney trusts to give them a valid and educated response." 

    Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Frozen plays in Denver through Oct. 1.

    The full Frozen video series:
    Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin
    Part 2: Director Michael Grandage
    Part 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions
    Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • 'Frozen' performance added for Friday night, Aug. 18

    by John Moore | Aug 10, 2017
    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

     

    Disney's Thomas Schumacher: Creative team will benefit from additional early performance before Denver audience

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The first performance of the highly anticipated developing Broadway musical Frozen takes place in Denver on Thursday, Aug. 17. And the second performance, as of right now, will be the next evening, it was just announced.

    According to the original Frozen schedule, Friday, Aug. 18, was to have been a full work day, with no public performance that evening. But Frozen Director Michael Grandage and Disney Theatricals President Thomas Schumacher have decided the Frozen creative team will benefit more from getting several performances in the books before implementing any potential changes.

    “Frankly, we want to get on a roll, and one performance isn’t enough to help us do that,” said Schumacher. “If we can have a second preview right away, then we can size up more than just one audience.”

    The newly added performance will take place in the Buell Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, which means an additional 2,800 seats have just been made available to the public at denvercenter.org, starting at $25.

    Frozen rehearsal. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin. Photo by Jenny Anderson. Pre-Broadway productions don’t always follow the same performance schedules audiences come to expect from established touring productions that visit Denver. Instead, shows still in development target specific “work days” to stop and incorporate lessons learned from early performances in front of live audiences. Those might include script, set or costume changes that can only be safely incorporated with additional, dedicated rehearsal time. The team still has planned “work days” scheduled for Aug. 22 and 29. 

    The entire seven-week run of Denver is, in essence, a preview period for the show’s opening next spring at the St. James Theatre in New York. For those unfamiliar with the term, a preview performance is essentially any that takes place before a designated opening night. In Denver, the official opening night is Sept. 14, after which any significant potential changes would not be implemented until the Denver run closes on Oct. 1.

    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin

    Schumacher said the Denver audience’s role in the creative process is of vital importance to the creative team. The audience contributes to the creative conversation simply by the way it responds to the story with its laughter, applause and tears. That’s why the creative team wants as much feedback as possible before considering any major changes.

    Michael Grandage, Thomas Schumacher, Christopher Oram. Photo by Jenny Anderson“You can't go by just one audience, because there will be diversity from one audience to the next depending on the time of day and day of the week,” Schumacher said. “Certain people love to come to a weekend matinee, and that is a very specific kind of crowd. The weekday audience is a different crowd. The people who hear about this newly added performance and buy a ticket tomorrow is a different audience than the people who bought their tickets four months ago. The people who bought their tickets four months ago are big Frozen fans. But I think this show also has so much appeal to the traditional audience that might not realize what we are even doing yet. They might not know yet that that this is actually a big, brand-new, proper musical. And when they come, we are going to learn from them as they watch the show, too.”

    The bottom line, Schumacher said: “We're in rehearsal. Previews are part of our process. And we want to get enough of them under our belt to take full advantage of what we learn from our Denver audiences to keep the momentum going.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Tickets for the added performance top out at $75, Schumacher said, since it’s such a late addition to the performance schedule. He added that the Denver engagement of Frozen is selling very well.

    “Today we have sold more tickets for Frozen than for The Little Mermaid pre-Broadway run in Denver 10 years ago,” Schumacher added. He attributed that to Frozen being staged in the Buell Theatre, which has a much higher capacity than the Ellie, which hosted The Little Mermaid.

    And yet, there are still 24,000 seats available to the public for Frozen in Denver, he said. Weeknights have the best availability.


    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.

    Pictured above: Top right: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin in 'Frozen' rehearsal. Above right, from left: Michael Grandage, Thomas Schumacher and Christopher Oram. Photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    dcpa.org


    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen

    Exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

  • 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

  • Colorado Shakes' Hamlet joining Denver-bound 'Waitress' tour

    by John Moore | Aug 09, 2017
    Lenne Klingaman



    DCPA Theatre Company favorite Lenne Klingaman
    will return to Denver with Waitress on Dec. 19

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Lenne Klingaman Asked recently by the DCPA NewsCenter what her next project will be, Lenne Klingaman teased, "I can't tell you yet, but it is going to be fun!"

    Now we know. And it is going to be fun.

    Klingaman, who is playing a female Hamlet for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival through Sunday (Aug. 13), will next join the Denver-bound national touring production of Waitress, it was announced today. 

    Waitress is the new Broadway musical from Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles inspired by Adrienne Shelley's 2007 motion picture. Klingaman, who played Juliet in the DCPA Theatre Company's Romeo and Juliet and Sylvie/Young Helen in the world premiere of Appoggiatura, will play Dawn in Waitress.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Waitress. Desi Oakley and Bryan FenkhartThe Waitress cast will be led by Desi Oakley (Les Miserables, Evita) as Jenna, Bryan Fenkhart (Memphis) as Dr. Pomatter, Nick Bailey (Red Oaks) as Earl and Ryan G. Dunkin (Bull) as Cal. They will be joined by current Broadway cast members Charity Angél Dawson (Waitress, Side Show) as Becky, Larry Marshall (Waitress, Smokey Joe’s Café) as Old Joe and Jeremy Morse (Waitress) as Ogie.

    Oakley was the Eva Alternate on the Evita tour that visited Denver in 2013. Fenkhart played the lead role of Huey Calhoun when the Memphis tour came to Denver in 2012. 
     
    The ensemble includes Skyler Adams, Law Terrell Dunford, Patrick Dunn, James Hogan, David Hughey, Arica Jackson, Kyra Kennedy, Emily Koch, Maiesha McQueen, Gerianne Perez and Grace Stockdale. Koch was the standby for Elphaba in the 2015 tour of Wicked that visited Denver. 

    Read Lenne Klingaman's interview in the New York Times

    Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles ("Brave," "Love Song"), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting for Godot) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland). Paulus launched the national tour of Pippin in Denver.
     
    Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna - a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
     
    "It's an empowering musical of the highest order," said the Chicago Tribune.

    The national tour of Waitress premieres in Cleveland, on Oct. 17. It visits Denver's Buell Theatre from Dec. 19-31. Single tickets go on sale on Friday (Aug. 11) at denvercenter.org.

    In the Spotlife: Our profile of Lenne Klingaman


    Lenne Klingaman in 'Appoggiatura,' left, and 'Romeo and Juliet.' Photos by Jennifer M. Koskinen.
    Lenne Klingaman played Juliet in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'Romeo and Juliet' and two roles in the world premiere of the time-traveling 'Appoggiatura.' Now she is one of the few female actors to take on Hamlet, for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

    dcpa.org
  • In the Spotlife: Christian O'Shaughnessy of 'Much Ado About Nothing '

    by John Moore | Aug 05, 2017
    Christian O'Shaughnessey


    MEET CHRISTIAN O'SHAUGHNESSY
    Don John in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' 'Much Ado About Nothing' at the picturesque Rock Ledge Ranch near the Garden of the Gods through Aug. 19. Tickets

  • Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia 
  • Home now: Colorado Springs
  • High school: Fruita Monument
  • College: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs 
  • What have you done for us lately: I played Reverend Hale in The Crucible at The Millibo Art Theatre in Manitou Springs 
  • What's next? I will be playing Sergey in Wild Honey at Theatreworks from Oct. 19-Nov. 5
  • What's your handle? @christianboheme on both Twitter and Instagram
  • Twitter-sized bio: Heavily influenced by Space Jam, French wine and the paintings of Edvard Munch. Brad Stevens for President. 
  • The role that changed your life: Without a doubt, it was Ibsen's Ghosts at Theatreworks in 2015. It was a play I never thought I'd get a chance to see, let alone be part of at that level. We also had this tremendous Ibsen legacy in the cast and crew of that production that connected us in sort of an unspeakable way, I thought. It heightened and informed everything we were doing inside the play. We all knew that. We all knew we were in the right room at the right time with the right text. I've always felt a kind of relief when I finally get to the theatre each night, but there was definitely something else going on in me whenever I got to the Bon Vivant that fall. It was special, and it unlocked a lot for me.
  • SIMON RUSSELL BEALEIdeal scene partner: Simon Russell Beale: The deal does not get any realer. I saw the NT Live screening of his King Lear and I've never been so honestly enthralled by a performance. That dude has so much grace and vulnerability and control in what he does. If it weren't so beautiful, it would terrify you. 
  • What is Much Ado About Nothing all about? I think the play is about the anxieties of realizing you're absolutely up to your neck in love with someone. What happens when you're that galvanized and out of body with that? It makes you crazy. It's about love, baby. It also might be about Leslie O'Caroll playing Dogberry. Need I say more? 
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: We had a great room for this production, so even when the process was challenging, we all made it easier for each other. And yet, "The King" isn't in the building anymore. Coming back to Theatreworks for the first time since our founder Murray Ross passed away in January was difficult for us. I  worked on about 10 projects with Murray since 2011, and our working relationship had grown into something so exciting. We came a long way from him throwing me out of rooms and locking the door, or calling me a disgrace. He taught me so much about working in the theatre, and what kind of tenderness and drive it requires. There's hardly a lesson I've learned on stage that I can't trace back to him and what he taught me. He had just as much of an influence on my character offstage. Don't let anything hold you back. I loved Murray. Entering any rehearsal room, anywhere in the world will always be a little harder without him around. Our preview did get rained out right after I opened my mouth to speak, though. So, he may still be around. (Read more about Murray Ross here.)
  • Christian O'ShaughnesseyWhat do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? I hope everyone wants to run out of the theatre and go get close to the person they can't stop thinking about. Much Ado should make you want to make out.
  • What don't we know about you? I can drain 3-pointers and recite Sylvia Plath.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? No matter what happens in this country, or anywhere in the world, for better or worse, the Warriors still blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. 

  • (Note: "The Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lead" refers to a series of jokes about how the NBA’s Golden State Warriors lost the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers after having three wins against Cleveland’s one in the best-of-seven series.) 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Christian O'Shaughnessey


    Much Ado About Nothing: Ticket information
    Rock Ledge Ranch Handsome Claudio loves beautiful Hero, and the two dreamboats are going to the Chapel of Love. Or are they? Villainy is afoot, and treachery lurks in a midnight garden. Meanwhile, marriage is the last thing on Benedick’s mind, especially with sharp and witty Beatrice, who is equally resistant to tying the knot. Complications naturally ensue until it all works out in the end.
    • Presented by Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    • Written by William Shakespeare
    • Directed by Jane Page
    • Estimated running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • Through Aug. 19
    • At Rock Ledge Ranch at the base of the Garden of the Gods FIND IT
    • Tickets: $30-42; Children under 18, $20
    • Call  719-255-3232 or go to theatreworkscs.org

    Remaining performance schedule:

    • Saturday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Aug, 8, 7:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.


    Cast list:

    Town Folk
    • Leonato, Owner of Hotel and Saloon: Robert Rais
    • Antonia, Leonato’s Sister, Barkeep: Rya Dyes
    • Beatrice, Leonato’s Niece, Manager of Hotel/Saloon: Jennifer Holcombe
    • Hero, Leonato’s Daughter: Dalia Anderton
    • Margaret, Barmaid: KT O’Conor
    • Ursula, Hotel Maid: Samantha Pistoresi
    • Padre Paul, Local Clergy: Steve Wallace
    • County Clerk – Christian O’shaughnessy

    The Law
    • Dogberry, Local Sheriff: Leslie O’Carroll
    • Verges, Deputy, Dogberry’s Right-Hand Man: Mark E. Cannon
    • Hugh Oatcake, Deputy: Jake Zindorf
    • Georgia Seacole, Deputy: Katie Medved

    Wagoneers
    • Don Pedro, Wagon Master – Kyle Dean Steffen
    • Benedick, Trail Master – Nick Manfredi
    • Claudio, Wheelwright – Alex Williams
    • Don John, Don Pedro’s Brother, Gunsmith – Christian O’shaughnessy
    • Borachio, Trail Cook: Michael Lee
    • Conrad, Drover: Matt Radcliffe
    • Balthasar, Scout: Leo Lopez Rivera

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Jack Barton of BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Repertory Theatre's Arsenic and Old Lace
    Meet the ensemble of Buntport Theater's The Crud
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Alexis Cooley of square product theatre's House of Gold
    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 Ethelyn Friend of ________________, An Opera
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet Emily K. Harrison of She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Tim Howard of Backstage Breckenridge's The Producers
    Meet Haley Hunsaker of Funky Little Theatre Company's Extremities
    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 Lenne Klingaman of Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet
    Meet Carla Kaiser Kotrc of Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    Meet Heather Lacy of the Aurora Fox's Priscilla Queen of the Desert
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Tamara Meneghini of The Last Testament of Mary
    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 Lauren Shealy of Lone Tree Arts Center's Evita
    Meet Jane Shirley of The Avenue's Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Marc Stith of Benchmark Theatre's The Nether
    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
    Meet Adriane Wilson of Miners Alley Playhouse's Cabaret

  • In the Spotlife: Alexis Cooley of 'House of Gold'

    by John Moore | Aug 04, 2017
    Alexis Cooley. House of Gold. Square Product.


    MEET ALEXIS COOLEY
    Jasper in square product theatre company's regional premiere of the JonBenét Ramsey play, 'House of Gold,' now being performed on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.

  • A Alexis Cooley 160Hometown: Los Angeles
  • Home now: Denver
  • High school: McGavock High in Nashville, Tenn.
  • College: University of New Orleans
  • What's your handle? @wildimaginarium on both Twitter and Instagram
  • Website: wildimaginarium.com
  • Twitter-sized bio: Theatre artist - director, designer, actor, and producer - with a penchant for geekery and a flair for the outrageous!
  • The role that changed your life: My first role was as an orphan in La Boheme at the age of 4, and it completely changed my life. That experience set me on a path to learn everything I could so I could make art with my friends for the rest of my life.
  • IA helen-mirren 300deal scene partner: Helen Mirren is everything fabulous in the world: She's strong, hilarious, sexy and super-smart. Given the chance, I would play with Helen Mirren in a heartbeat. I would love to really dig into something meaty and fabulous with her.
  • In short, what is House of Gold all about? Ostensibly, the play is about the 1996 murder of JonBenét Ramsey, which spurred an international media obsession that continues to this day. But in reality, it is about something deeper and darker. What really happened? Who really did it? Those are the “easier” questions. The “harder” questions are really about us, and about humanity. Why did the public become so intensely wrapped up in this story? What is our part in this tragedy? What does this infatuation with “murder porn” say about us as people? What is that need, that absolute craving, that many people have to pour over the tragedies of others, and what should we do about it? That's what I think House of Gold is about.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: Jasper is a 13-year-old white boy who wants nothing more than to be a strong black man. He self-identifies as a black man and worships Richard Pryor, Muhammad Ali and other black celebrities. I am none of those things, so my task is huge. Giving heart to Jasper, this little outcast, while acknowledging and respecting the role of cultural appropriation in this process, is my greatest challenge in this production.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? As with all square product theatre shows, this play is really quite funny, charming, incisive and thought-provoking. I hope the audience leaves thinking about who they are and how they engage with the world – and hopefully have a bit of introspection about the difference in what we say and what we do. It is very telling.
  • What don't we know about you? I am much lighter on my feet than most folks think – and I love fight choreography. Come see House of Gold to see how well I can take a punch.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? I am a ginormous nerd. I really, really, enjoy science and nature shows. If Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku or Brian Cox is explaining something about the universe, I feel so smart and awesome ... until I leave the room, because I immediately forget everything. 
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Alexis Cooley. House of Gold. Square Product. Alexis Cooley with cast members from square product theatre company's 'House of Gold,' running through Aug. 12.


    House of Gold: Ticket information
    • Presented by square product theatre
    • Written by Gregory S. Moss, with original music compositions by Janet Feder and a live sound score performed by Todd Bilsborough
    • Directed by Gleason Bauer
    • Through Aug. 12
    • At The ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Boulder Colorado campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder MAP IT
    • Tickets: Up to $22
    • Call 800-838-3006 or go to brownpapertickets.com

    Remaining performance schedule:

    • Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, Aug. 6, 6 p.m.
    • Monday, Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.

    Cast list:

    • Alexis Cooley
    • Jacob Dorr
    • Emily K. Harrison
    • Andrew Horsford
    • Moses Hunter
    • Michelle Moore
    • Mark Rudolph
    • Andrew Seracuse
    • Jesse Wardak

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Jack Barton of BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Repertory Theatre's Arsenic and Old Lace
    Meet the ensemble of Buntport Theater's The Crud
    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 Ethelyn Friend of ________________, An Opera
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet Emily K. Harrison of She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Tim Howard of Backstage Breckenridge's The Producers
    Meet Haley Hunsaker of Funky Little Theatre Company's Extremities
    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 Lenne Klingaman of Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet
    Meet Carla Kaiser Kotrc of Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    Meet Heather Lacy of the Aurora Fox's Priscilla Queen of the Desert
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Tamara Meneghini of The Last Testament of Mary
    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 Lauren Shealy of Lone Tree Arts Center's Evita
    Meet Jane Shirley of The Avenue's Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Marc Stith of Benchmark Theatre's The Nether
    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
    Meet Adriane Wilson of Miners Alley Playhouse's Cabaret

  • Edge Theatre going on hiatus in mid-2018

    by John Moore | Aug 03, 2017

    A Edge Theatre. Missy Moore, John Wittbrodt. RDG Photography
    John Wittbrodt and Missy Moore in The Edge Theatre's 'Bad Jews,' continuing through Sunday (Aug. 6) in Lakewood. RDG Photography.

    New Benchmark Theatre takes control of Lakewood performance space Jan. 1 as Edge 'rests and reinvents'

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The Edge Theater Company's evolving partnership with the new Benchmark Theatre Company has now turned into a sabbatical. Executive Director Rick Yaconis has announced that The Edge will go on hiatus in mid-2018 to give him time to rest and reinvent his company.

    "We will remain intact and complete the 2017 season as planned with Bad Jews, Dinner, A Delicate Balance and Resolutions," Yaconis said. The Edge will then stage two as-yet unnamed shows in March and June 2018 before ceding control of its Lakewood performance space to Benchmark.

    Edge Theatre. Rick and Patty Yaconis. Photo by John Moore. The companies plan to make a combined 2018 season announcement on Monday, Aug. 7.

    In April, Yaconis announced he would be scaling back The Edge Theatre operations by half, from eight shows each year to four. He cited the toll that running a prolific, year-round theatre company has had on Yaconis and his wife, Managing Director Patty Ionoff Yaconis, both of whom maintain outside careers. The plan was to enter a year-round partnership in which Benchmark and The Edge would each present four shows a year. But Yaconis has since decided to take a more significant leave of absence.

    "I simply need a break from all of this, and then re-invent The Edge to come back in 2019 with a new model," Yaconis said.
    Edge Theatre. 40 West
    The Edge Theatre, which launched in 2010, has been one of the few upstart local theatre companies in recent years to take root and make a significant impact on the local theatre ecology. But it didn't start from scratch. Yaconis assumed control of the former E-Project Theatre, and its established 501c3 non-profit status, in November 2010. 

    "However, we changed the name so we could completely re-brand and be known for our own theater," Yaconis said. "After seven years, we have decided to hand The E Project off to new leadership."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Effective Nov. 1, Benchmark co-founder Rachel Bouchard will become the Executive Director of The E Project, and as of Jan. 1, Benchmark Theatre will assume full control of The Edge's theatre space (known as 40 West) located at 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood.

    Benchmark 800"We'll be doing a lot of thinking concerning the future of The Edge Theater and what it might look like in 2019 and beyond," Yaconis said, "but I can assure you that it won't resurface with the eight-show season model that we've done for the past seven years." 

    Since 2010, The Edge has produced 50 plays (and one musical), which has infused the local theatre with many challenging titles and award-winning performances.

    Benchmark Theatre is newly founded by Bouchard and Haley Johnson. Its inaugural production of The Nether, followed by a sci-fi-themed new-play festival called Fever Dream, were staged this year at Buntport Theater.

    (Pictured above and right: Haley Johnson and Rachel Bouchard at the 2017 Henry Awards. Photo by BLF Photography.)


    Upcoming for The Edge Theatre:
    Through Aug. 6: Bad Jews
    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Dinner
    Oct. 6-Nov. 5: A Delicate Balance
    Dec. 1-31: Resolutions
    March 2018: TBA
    June 2018: TBA
    Information: 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Upcoming for Benchmark Theatre:
    Dec. 1-23: Smokefall (at Buntport Theater)
    Information: or benchmarktheatre.com

    Recent related NewsCenter coverage:
    Edge Theater partnering up with new Benchmark Theatre
    In the Spotlife: Marc Stith of Benchmark’s The Nether
    New Benchmark Theatre plans to have a deep bench
    2016 True West Awards: After Orlando, Warren Sherrill and Patty Yaconis
  • After 16 years, meet Dixie's maker: Kris Andersson

    by John Moore | Aug 02, 2017

    Kris Andersson. Photo by John Moore or the DCPA.
    Playwright Kris Andersson, creator of fast-talking Tupperware saleswoman Dixie Longate, has now sold 170,000 tickets around the world and grossed $6 million in revenue. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    How a playwright turned a Tupperware Party into an enduring and cathartic theatrical franchise

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    When Dixie Longate first encouraged an 85-year-old woman named Dolly to shout out the words “F Off,” she blushed. This genteel older lady from Huntsville, Ala., had never said those words out loud in her life, she told Dixie, and she wasn’t about to start now, in front of 300 people.

    But something changed as that evening’s performance of Dixie’s Tupperware Party progressed. Dixie, the creation of playwright Kris Andersson, wasn’t trying to goad this proper lady into saying a dirty word.

    “Dixie was trying to get her to revel in her own strength,” he says. 

    Dixie is a fictional stage character, but a very real Tupperware salesperson. In fact, Dixie has sold $1.5 million of the durable plastic wares over the past 16 years, twice ranking as the nation’s leading Tupperware seller.

    But the party is also a wildly successful play that has drawn capacity crowds in small towns and major cities alike ranging from New York, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Edinburgh, Nashville, Sydney, Fort Worth, and right now Denver, where Dixie’s record sixth engagement at the Garner Galleria Theatre continues through Sunday (Aug. 6).

    Dixie Longate is a hot Hazard County incarnation of Australia’s Dame Edna. Part Mary Poppins and part Oprah Winfrey. She’s a tall drink of water with fiery red hair and a tasteful polyester rodeo dress adorned with half-naked cowboys. As the story goes, Dixie packed up her catalogues, left her three children back in an Alabama trailer park and is now traveling the country gathering all of you lovely ladies and handsome gents together to talk all about your food storage options. And if you’re lucky, she might take you out back behind the dumpster and, you know … do some stuff.

    Dixie’s Tupperware Party, Andersson is first to say, isn’t changing the world. But since 2001, it has changed the lives of countless women who have seen it.

    Women like Dolly in Hunstville, Ala.

    Brownie_WiseIn the show, Dixie draws upon the example of Brownie Wise (pictured at right), a pioneering Georgia divorcee who was largely responsible for the success of Tupperware through her ingenious idea to sell plastic bowls and cups at home parties. In 1954, Wise became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week magazine – and a role model for generations of women to come.

    “Brownie was told her idea was dumb and that she had no business being in a male-dominated world,” Andersson said. “And do you know what she said? ‘F You.’ ”

    Only she spelled out the F.

    Dixie tells that story in her play, which has now sold 170,000 tickets around the world and grossed $6 million in revenue. Andersson has now surpassed 1,100 performances – “a milestone that any show would be proud to have reached,” he said. Women come in groups to giggle at Dixie’s obliviously sweet style of naughty humor with no idea how unexpectedly cathartic the story can be.

    Dixie to perform standup benefit for Denver Actors Fund on Aug. 6

    “Dixie is not far off from the Brownie Wise model,” Andersson says. “She’s been talked down to by society. She’s been told she’s good for nothing. She has been on the losing end of a lot of moments in her life. Just like a lot of women who come to see our show.”

    The message they hear from Dixie, Andersson says, “is that you are not beholden to anyone else’s idea of who you are supposed to be. You, too, can pick yourself up by the bootstraps and make a better life for yourself. People want Dixie in their lives because she represents a kind of strength they maybe don't have or see in themselves.”

    Later in that Alabama performance of Dixie’s Tupperware Party, that message had become clear. Dixie again approached Dolly and asked if she would like to say the words “F You” out loud.

    Dolly not only said it, loud and proud, she got a raucous standing ovation for it.

    And then Dolly asked with released glee: “Can I say it again?”


    Kris Andersson. Photo by John Moore.
    Photo of Dixie Longate by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 


    The man behind the C (and Sippy) Cups

    While you can’t miss Dixie in her high heels and big hair, you’d never know Kris Andersson walking past you on the street. Seeing Dixie onstage in no way prepares you to encounter this surprisingly slight and soft-spoken playwright with the short-cropped blonde hair who gets immersed each night in the persona of Dixie.

    But after 16 years, Andersson has decided this is the right time to step out from behind Dixie’s shadow and give the world a small peek at the man behind the woman. Or more accurately, the playwright behind the play.

    He thinks.

    “I do feel a little skittish about that, I will admit,” he said, “because people love to play in the world of Dixie. And that is a great world. I mean, she’s kind of a fun broad. But this show is also a real call to action that if you want a different life or to be a different person, you can do it. And we think now after the success we have had, that maybe now is the perfect time to take that message to a larger platform.”

    So, who is this Kris Andersson? Just an average kid from Pittsburgh, of all places, who got his degree in acting at the University of Southern California. He was a film and TV actor living in L.A. in 2001 when his roommate hosted an actual Tupperware party, only to discover that Tupperware pays better than waiting tables. The idea for Dixie was born out of that party.

    Donna Reed "At first, I created her as this 1950s Donna Reed housewife who pops too many pills,” Andersson said. Dixie started with “a completely horrible, haphazard look.” He compares Dixie’s initial hairstyle to roadkill. 

    “But I refined her over time,” he added with a laugh, eventually deciding that Dixie would get a better response if she were more a contemporary redneck American woman.

    Andersson created Dixie as a kind of performance art – she started hosting real Tupperware parties that were held in people’s homes in Southern California. And when The Orange County Register covered one such party in 2003, interest in Dixie exploded. Soon she was hosting 25 parties a month. Still, there were no plans for the stunt to become anything bigger until a friend suggested he develop his material into a live theatre piece.

    Andersson entered Dixie’s Tupperware Party in the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival on a lark … and got in. Problem was, he had not yet written a word of the play. 

    “I remember getting a thick envelope in the mail a couple of months later, and I was like, ‘Oh, crap. That’s an acceptance letter – and we don’t have a show.”

    But by the time the festival closed, Andersson not only had a show, he had an instant and sustainable hit. Andersson further honed his script over the next three years before finally debuting Dixie’s Tupperware Party off-Broadway in 2007 under the direction of Alex Timbers, who later came into fame for creating Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Peter and the Starcatcher. Andersson reworked the show a bit further with director Patrick Richwood, took the show on the road the next year and hasn’t stopped touring since. 

    The secret to Dixie’s success

    Andersson discovered almost immediately the uncanny resonance his character was having on his audiences. A half hour before any show is to start, Dixie comes out to the theatre lobby and mingles with arriving theatregoers. She also lingers with them for up to an hour after the show because, Andersson said, “people just want more Dixie.” And that is when the connection becomes an unshakeable bond.

    “You don’t have Idina Menzel coming out after Wicked and hanging out with people as the witch,” Andersson said. “There is something unique about this that really connects with the fan base.”

    Audience members, especially women, love to sit down with Dixie and chat with her one-on-one about her ridiculous fictional Alabama trailer-park world and her latch-key children Wynonna, Dwayne and 3-year-old Absorbine Jr. He’s got the shakes, that poor kid – but he smells good. Wynona is 16 and works nights at the local Hooters. The place closes at midnight, but the weird thing, Dixie tells us, is that she’s always getting home at 5 a.m., and her hair’s all screwed up.

    Dixie can fire off an improvised quip about as easily as setting a match to a sparkler. Mothers snicker, but they relate to Dixie’s tall family tales in profound ways. And she always makes a point to ask these women to tell her their stories, too. One thing Andersson quickly picked up on when creating the show is that women – and especially mothers – almost always talk about themselves through the other people in their lives. They identify themselves through their husband’s profession, or their kids’ school activities.

    “They never talk about themselves,” Andersson said. “Their lives don’t seem to be framed through their own eyes. It’s as if their self-worth is being completely determined by the things around them.”

    People tend to trust Dixie with personal information she should really never have. “In the past, people have told her they are very unhappy, or that they are trying to figure out how to get out of a bad marriage situation,” Andersson said. “They turn to Dixie as though she were a therapist. They feel safe with her, and she feels honored and privileged to have their trust. I think they recognize in Dixie this garish, outlandish, strong character, and she’s got something in her that they want to find in themselves. They want to figure out how to be as strong as Dixie.”

    But while the show is ultimately an empowering tale of self-worth, it’s also funny. Often extraordinarily, inappropriately funny.

    At one party, Dixie produced a Barbie kid set complete with four mini-Tupperware cups, plates and a pitcher. Dixie called it her “Mini-Alcoholic Starter Kit,” and an elderly woman immediately bent over and started choking. The show stopped. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, she is having a heart attack,’ and everybody rushed to her side,” he said. Turns out, the woman laughed so hard she coughed her fake teeth out of her mouth and into her hand. “When she recovered herself and saw that she no teeth, she just shoved them back in,” Andersson said.

    The thing that makes Dixie such a refreshingly original character for the American theatre, Andersson says, is that she's no better than you, and she knows it. “She is broken, damaged, and shattered,” he said. “So when she says things that are so ridiculous and inappropriate and she tells people they are stupid to their face, there is no malice in it. That’s what makes it so funny. This is not some weird, subversive off-the-beaten path piece. This is a mainstream piece in a non-mainstream package.”
     

    Kris Andersson. Photo by John Moore.

    Kris Andersson has now performed as Dixie Longate at the Denver Center's Galleria Theatre for more than 40 weeks over six stops. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Dixie does Denver, again and again

    Despite the ongoing success of Dixie’s Tupperware Party across the United States and in five countries, Dixie has made a home in Denver like no other place. Three years ago, the Denver Center commissioned Andersson to write and perform his exhaustively titled sequel,Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull (And 16 Other Things I Learned While I Was Drinking Last Thursday). Combined, Andersson has now played Dixie for more than 40 weeks at the Denver Center’s Garner Galleria Theatre.

    “There are people in Denver who are giddy whenever we come back,” he said. "People leave the show and say, ‘See you next year,’ and that gives me great pride.” There are returning audiences who see Dixie so often, he said, they think she actually lives in Denver.

    “There is a buzz whenever Dixie Longate comes back to the Denver Center,” said DCPA CEO Janice Sinden. “This character and this playwright are part of the DNA of this place, and we are proud to have played our small part in helping to establish Dixie and Kris as the authentic artists they are.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    But now having toured as Dixie nonstop for more than a decade, Andersson is taking stock of the franchise he has built from scratch as a writer, actor and self-producer, as well as the best way to take Dixie into the future. The one thing he knows is that he is in no way done with Dixie.

    A Kris Andersson QUOTE“The opportunity to work with one character and get to know one soul so well is such a unique opportunity that few people ever get,” he said. “So I don’t know when the heels will come off for the last time. I want her to be remembered as this great cougar you want to have sex with and go to the bar with for as long as I can make that happen, hopefully on bigger and bigger platforms. I don't think she has an expiration date yet. I think there are a lot more milestones to reach.”

    One of those milestones, of course, would be television. Andersson could continue to bring Dixie before live audiences that range from a few hundred to several thousand at any given performance. But if Dixie were to land a sit-com platform, several million people could potentially see her in one night. That’s a lot of new lives that could be touched.

    “I feel incredible joy and pride in what I have been able to accomplish personally as a writer, actor and as a producer,” Andersson said. “This show has moved people. It has inspired people to change things in their own lives. That’s why I want to bring it to more people. We have only scratched the surface.”

    TV is a big dream, he admits. But then again, so was Brownie Wise’s. “To me, that is the universal message of our show – that you can still be positive and happy having achieved close to your goal,” he said. “But never lose sight of the big prize – because that prize is what keeps you getting out of that bed in the morning.”


    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: Dixie's Denver Dialogues


    Dixie's Tupperware Party:
    Ticket information
    Dixie’s Tupperware PartyAt a glance: Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm. Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a stage.
  • Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Through Aug. 6
  • At the Garner Galleria Theatre
  • Tickets start at $39
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


  • No Instructions: A Denver Actors Fund benefit

    Dixie_No_Instructions_homepage_slider_960x430Dixie Longate is also presenting No Instructions, a one-night-only standup benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at the Galleria on the evening of Aug. 6. INFO
  • Photos: Phamaly Theatre Company's amazing Opening Night tradition

    by John Moore | Aug 01, 2017
    Phamaly: Opening Night of 'Annie' Photos from Opening Night of Phamaly Theatre Company's 'Annie,' playing through Aug. 6 at the Denver Center's Stage Theatre. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    The pre-show ritual is called 'Zap,' and it infuses the cast and crew with energy and focus.

    By John Moore
    Senor Arts Journalist

    In the minutes before the opening performance of Phamaly Theatre Company's Annie, actor and founding company member Mark Dissette gathers the cast of 36 actors, each with widely varying disabilities, along with crew and volunteers, for one of the most electrifying pre-show rituals in the local theatre community.

    They form a circle. Those who can stand, stand. Those who cannot roll up in their wheelchairs. Those who can clasp hands, clasp hands. Those with missing or disfigured hands make contact with their neighbors as best they can. They all close their eyes in reverence as Dissette calls out from memory the agonizingly long list of company members who have passed away during the 28 years that this unique company has been creating performance opportunities for actors with disabilities.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Dissette then begins the ritual they call "Zap." As if there weren't enough energy in the air already, the group begins to buzz. Literally. "This is our dream - get a little louder," Dissette orders. And they do. "Bzzz." "This is our vision - get a little louder." And they do. "BZZZ." After more exhortation, the vibration builds to a deafening climax.

    "1-2-3 ..." Dissette shouts, and all voices scream in unison, "ZAP!"

    Now there is nothing but sudden, solemn silence. The next spoken word is not to be uttered until the actors hit the stage. For a company whose actors are blind and deaf, with disabilities ranging from stroke to spina bifida to multiple sclerosis to AIDS, it is both the beginning and the culmination of an extraordinary opening-night journey. 

    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.

    Phamaly Theatre Company's Annie: Ticket information
    • Through Aug. 6
    • Stage Theatre Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets: $20-$37
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Accessible performance: Aug. 3

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of Phamaly:
    The triumph of Phamaly's not-so-horrible Hannigan
    Pop-culture Annie, from comics to Broadway to Jay-Z
    Phamaly gala, campaign raise $200K, ‘save the company’
    Phamaly launches emergency $100,000 fundraising campaign
    Regan Linton accepts Spirit of Craig Award
    Regan Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment

    Phamaly
  • A new 'Frozen' for every age: Our exclusive interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin

    by John Moore | Jul 31, 2017

    Frozen Quote. Caissie Levy, Patti Murin. Photo by Jenny Anderson


    Disney's new musical Frozen 'is about women being supportive of each other. Simply put: Together we are stronger.'

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Caissie Levy and Patti Murin never imagined they would grow up to be princesses. “Not in a million years,” Levy said, just for emphasis. But there’s no question both Broadway stars have been living a fairy tale since they were cast to play Elsa and Anna in Disney’s Broadway-bound stage adaption of Frozen.

    “I am so proud to be a part of this company. I count my blessings every day,” Murin said in an exclusive interview just a week after rehearsals began for the pre-Broadway launch in Denver that runs from Aug. 17 through Oct. 1.

    “To be in this club is thrilling, to say the least,” added Levy, who plays Elsa to Murin's Anna. “And with each new day we have been working on it, that sense of giddiness and excitement has just grown deeper and deeper.”

    Both actors say the stage adaptation of Frozen will surprise people with its universal appeal to all audiences.

    (Story continues after the video)

    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver:

    “There is something for everybody,” Levy said. “We have discovered so many more layers to examine within this story that can only happen in the theatre. A lot of adult themes are explored. It’s not just for kids.”

    Murin added that adapting the 85-minute film into a full, two-act Broadway production with more than twice as much music gives the actors the opportunity to dig deeper into their characters’ storylines.

    “This is a complete show,” Murin said. “With the addition of so much new material, we have the freedom to expand and to go deeper than you are able to in a film.” To Director Michael Grandage, it’s about emphasizing “the beating heart of the story,” she said. 

    “I think what’s so brilliant about what the writers and Michael and (Choreographer) Rob Ashford are doing is that while they are using the film as a template, they are not trying to re-create what we saw on the screen for the stage,” Levy said. “This is not a replica of the movie. It’s a wholly new work of art. People who love the movie will want to buy a ticket to the musical because they love the movie, but once they are in the theatre they are going to have a completely new experience coming at them.”

    Great care has gone into the stage adaptation, said Levy, because with great opportunity also comes royal pressure.

    “This is not just any Disney show. It’s Frozen,” said Levy. “Elsa and Anna mean so much to so many people. The weight of that is both a huge responsibility and a huge honor.” 

    Frozen earned $1.2 billion at cinemas worldwide and that was before it was made available for home viewing. The soundtrack became the highest-selling album of 2014, moving more than 10 million units. The New Yorker magazine said Frozen “has transcended the commercial realm and captured the culture.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Levy totally gets it. The Oscar-winning anthem “Let It Go” has become so pervasive, Levy said, that her 16-month-old is already singing the song from his diapers.

    So how does one go about creating a new character for the stage that comes from a film that is already so ingrained in the hearts and minds of its Frozen 800. Caissie Levy, Michael Grandage and Patti Murin. Photo by Jenny Anderson. Frozen.audience?

    “It’s tricky,” Levy said with a laugh. “I think the reason Elsa resonates with so many people is that her struggle to figure out how to be who she really is and accept and own that and love herself in spite of her flaws, is so relatable. She is trying to shed the pressure of other people’s expectations of her and figure out how to celebrate her flaws as part of who she is. And that is what I am trying to focus on as the actor playing Elsa. A lot of people have expectations about how she should be portrayed, but I am trying to take a page from ‘Let It Go’ and get all of that out of my head.”

    Frozen is the story of two princesses, one cursed with the power to control and manipulate ice. When Elsa accidentally injures her sister, it sets off a series of betrayals, treacheries and curses that can only be healed with an act of true love. But unlike most fairy tales, the heroic act that saves the day in Frozen doesn’t have anything to do with a handsome prince; it’s all about sisterhood.

    “It’s about women being supportive of each other,” Murin said. “Simply put: Together we are stronger.”

    Levy and Murin have played Elphaba and Glinda, respectively, in Wicked — just not at the same time. Like Elphaba, Elsa possesses a power she has repeatedly been told is a bad thing, and it inadvertently hurts someone she loves. Levy said it is crucial for women in the audience to see their own individual power — whatever that power might be — as a beautiful thing.

    Patti Murin Quote “It’s all about harnessing that power and taking those things we don’t love about ourselves and trying to see the positive side of it,” Levy said. The essential message of Frozen, Murin added, is “accepting who you are — and not being afraid to be who you are.”

    The purpose of the seven-week Denver run is for the creative team to explore, experiment, act and react as the musical continues its development up to its Broadway opening in 2018. “The feedback from the audiences is critically important to the production as the creative team molds the show,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President of Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements at Disney Theatrical Productions.

    But Levy already has a pretty good idea of the theatrical experience audiences are in for here.

    “I think it’s going to really surprise people,” she said. “Yes, it is going to be visually spectacular. Yes, it is going to sound incredible. Yes, it’s going to have all of the things that you want out of a Disney production. But it is also going to have so much depth and heart and soul.

    “Nothing about this is frothy. What you will see is every important moment in the lives of these characters. You are going to come away having experienced something unique and new, while still within the template of something you know and love already.”

    Video bonus: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin:

    Our video interview with 'Frozen' stars Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna).


    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.


    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

  • Video: Your first look at 'Frozen' in Denver

    by John Moore | Jul 31, 2017

    This summer, Denver is home to Disney’s new Broadway-bound musical Frozen, playing from Aug. 17-Oct. 1, 2017, at the Buell Theatre. Here is first look at the production in progress in Denver.

    Grandage"It really is a female take on this idea of female sacrifice and loyalty,” said co-producer Anne Quart.

    Other guests include Director Michael Grandage; Disney Theatrical Productions President and Producer Thomas Schumaker; Writers Jennifer Lee, Kristen Anderson Lopez, and Bobby Lopez; and Choreographer Rob Ashford.

    Frozen: Ticket information
    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.

    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

  • Photos: 2017 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase

    by John Moore | Jul 28, 2017
    2017 Underground Music Showcase

    Our photos from The Denver Post's 2017 Underground Music Showcase, otherwise known as "The UMS." To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.

    Now in its 17th year, The UMS is Denver’s largest homegrown, indie-music festival, featuring 400 performances over four days at more than 25 venues on a 10-block stretch along South Broadway in the Baker neighborhood.

    The UMS continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday - actually until 2 a.m. early Monday. For information on bands, venues and tickets, click here

    All photos by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore, who founded The UMS in 2001. Read more.


    Video bonus:

    Tyler Despres, co-founder of the popular Denver band Gin Doctors, died of an aortic aneurysm in November 2016. He was 34. On the final day of the 2017 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase (The UMS), headliner Esmé Patterson sang a song dedicated to (and written by (Despres), backed by Jessica DeNicola, Maria Kohler and her band. Her is a portion of that song.

    Lyrics:

    “You coulda rode you shoulda rode the waves, you coulda walked yah you shoulda walked the beaches, but now you’re an angel floatin downstream — oh now you’re the cosmos in a beautiful beam.”

    Video bonus 2:

    This is what happened when Benjamin Booker took a liking to a superfan named Ford at the 2017 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase (The UMS). The music is not Benjamin Booker's because, you know ... YouTube and copyright and all. But it's fun. Video by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

  • Video: Dixie's Denver Dialogues

    by John Moore | Jul 27, 2017


    Dixie is back in Denver, and in honor of her record sixth visit to the Mile High City, we present to you Dixie's Denver Dialogues, a series of brief but assuredly profound exchanges with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. In the fifth and final part, Dixie talks about how her show may positively affect your life, if not your literacy. Think of it as a sequel to our Dixie Does Denver video series in 2014.

    Dixie's Tupperware Party plays the Garner Galleria Theatre through Aug. 6. She will also be presenting No Instructions, a one-night-only standup benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at the Galleria on Aug. 6.

    Dixie's Tupperware Party: Ticket information
    At a glance: Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm. Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a stage.
  • Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Through Aug. 6
  • At the Garner Galleria Theatre
  • Tickets start at $39
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Dixie Longate. Photo by John MooreDixie Longate, back in Denver. Photo by John Moore.
  • Video playlist: Our 2017 Henry Awards coverage

    by John Moore | Jul 27, 2017


    This, the third in our series of DCPA NewsCenter videos from the 2017 Henry Awards, offers part of the presentation of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Germinal Stage-Denver co-founders Denver Ed Baierlein and Sallie Diamond.

    Ed Baierlein. BLF Photography. Of her husband, Diamond said: "I don't think there is anybody I have ever seen who has brought me to the theatrical catharsis that you are supposed to have when you see someone on stage. He's very funny. He's very touching. He can make you cry. He can make me cry."

    The award was presented by their son, Tad Baierlein. Germinal Stage-Denver is currently presenting Seascape, by Edward Albee, through Aug. 20 in the black-box theatre at Westminster High School, 6933 Raleigh St. Call 303-455-7108.

    The Colorado Theatre Guild's 12th annual Henry Awards were held on July 17 at the PACE Center in Parker.

     

    Video by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. More videos will be added to this special YouTube playlist.

    Previous 2017 Henry Awards videos:
    2017 Henry Awards Outstanding Musicals in performance
    Watch our 2017 Memoriam video honoring those who have died

    Complete NewsCenter coverage of the 2017 Henry Awards:

    Our complete photo coverage of the 2017 awards
    2017 Henry Award nominations make way for the new
    Nominations: Henry Awards spreads love from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins


    Our complete photo gallery from the 2017 Henry Awards:

    2017 Henry Awards Photos by Brian Landis Folkins and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. To see more, click on the forward arrow above.

  • Photo coverage: 2017 Henry Awards

    by John Moore | Jul 26, 2017
    2017 Henry Awards

    Our complete photo gallery from the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2017 Henry Awards ceremony held July 17 at the PACE Center in Parker. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. All photos may be instantly downloaded and shared with proper photo credit. All photos by Brian Landis Folkins and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The Henry Awards honor outstanding achievements by member companies. To read our full report, click here. The photo above shows hosts Steven J. Burge and GerRee Hinshaw at the PACE Center in Parker.

    Read our full report: Henry Awards spreads love across state

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    2017 HENRY AWARDS. Stephen Day
    Stephen Day, who won Outstanding Actor in a musical, performs from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's 'The Ma of La Mancha' at the Henry Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Our 2017 Henry Awards memorial video:


    Video by John Moore. More video coverage from the event to come, including performances and acceptance speeches.

  • Single tickets to most 2017-18 shows, classes go on sale Aug. 11

    by John Moore | Jul 26, 2017

    DCPA TITLES


    Later on-sale dates will be announced for Hamilton, Disney’s Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, Remote Denver and Dear Evan Hansen

    Tickets for most of the Denver Center's 2017-18 Broadway, Theatre Company, Cabaret, Off-Center and Education shows, as well as all fall and winter classes, will be made available to the general public at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, at denvercenter.org

    The full list of 29 DCPA productions available for purchase on Aug. 11 is below.

    Please note that Hamilton, Disney’s Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, Remote Denver are not included in the Aug. 11 on-sale. A separate on sale for each production will be announced at a later time. Dear Evan Hansen will launch its national tour in Denver as the first show of the 2018/19 Broadway season and will go on sale to the public at a later time in 2018.

    More information on the Broadway shows on-sale Aug. 11

    More information on Theatre Company, Off-Center shows

     DCPA ORG

    2017-18 DCPA tickets on sale Aug. 11:

    Show title

    Venue

    Run Dates

    Men are from Mars,
    Women are from Venus LIVE!

    Garner Galleria

    Aug 9 - 27, 2017

    Macbeth

    Space

    Sept 15 - Oct 29, 2017

    Girls Only - The Secret Comedy of Women

    Garner Galleria

    Sept 21 - Oct 22, 2017

    The Snowy Day and Other Stories
    by Ezra Jack Keats

    Conservatory Thtr.

    Sep 21 - Nov 18, 2017

    Rob Lowe - Stories I Only
    Tell My Friends: LIVE!

    The Ellie

    Oct 1, 2017

    The Wild Party

    Hangar at Stanley

    Oct 11 - 31, 2017

    Smart People

    Ricketson

    Oct 13- Nov 19, 2017

    Something Rotten!

    Buell

    Oct 17 - 29, 2017

    Breakin' Convention

    Buell

    Nov 4-5, 2017

    First Date

    Garner Galleria

    Nov 11, 2017 - Apr 22, 2018

    RENT 20th Anniversary Tour

    Buell

    Nov 14 - 19, 2017

    A Christmas Carol

    Stage

    Nov 24 - Dec 24, 2017

    The SantaLand Diaries

    Jones

    Nov 24 - Dec 24, 2017

    Chicago

    Buell

    Nov 28 - Dec 3, 2017

    Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
    by Chip Davis

    Buell

    Dec 9 - 10, 2017

    ELF The Musical

    Buell

    Dec 13 - 17, 2017

    Waitress

    Buell

    Dec 19 - 31, 2017

    Rodgers & Hammerstein's
    The King and I

    Buell

    Jan 2 - 14, 2018

    Zoey's Perfect Wedding

    Space

    Jan 19 - Feb 25, 2018

    American Mariachi

    Stage

    Jan 26 - Feb 25, 2018

    The Great Leap

    Ricketson

    Feb 2 - March 11, 2018

    This is Modern Art

    Jones

    Mar 22 - April 15, 2018

    STOMP

    Buell

    Feb 13 - 18, 2018

    Native Gardens

    Space

    April 6 - May 6, 2018

    The Who's Tommy

    Stage

    April 20 - May 27, 2018

    Human Error

    Garner Galleria

    May 18 - June 24, 2018

    School of Rock

    Buell

    May 29 - Jun 10, 2018

    Les Misérables

    Buell

    July 25 - Aug 5, 2018

    On Your Feet!

    Buell

    Aug 8 - 19, 2018

     

    Subscriptions
    Full Broadway subscriptions are no longer available to the general public. Theatre Company Full Season, Power Pass, All Stages, Family Package, Premium Subscriptions, Designer Series and Theatre Company Choose Your Own are available. For more information, visit denvercenter.org/subs. Hamilton priority access will not be available with any new DCPA subscriptions.

    Radvantage
    Patrons between the ages of 18-30 are invited to join the Radvantage membership program, which grants access to specially priced tickets to participating shows. Ticket prices start at $20. For more information, please visit denvercenter.org/radvantage.

    Sponsors
    The 2017-18 DCPA Broadway season is generously sponsored by BMW of Denver Downtown, UCHealth and United Airlines. The 2017-18 DCPA Theatre Company season is generously sponsored by Larimer Square and Daniel L. Ritchie. Media sponsorship is provided by The Denver Post and CBS4. Denver Center for the Performing Arts is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

  • In the Spotlife: Christy Brandt of 'Arsenic and Old Lace'

    by John Moore | Jul 25, 2017
    Christy Brandt. Creede Repertory Theatre. Photo by John Gary Brown.

    Christy Brandt with the cast of Creede Repertory Theatre's 'Arsenic and Old Lace.' Photo by John Gary Brown.
     


    MEET CHRISTY BRANDT
    Abby Brewster in Creede Repertory Theatre's 'Arsenic and Old Lace,' her 135th show in 43 seasons in Creede, located 250 miles southwest of Denver in the San Juan Mountains. She also appears in the ensemble of 'She Loves Me,' playing through Aug. 10. Brandt won a 2011 Denver Post Ovation Award for her work in 'The Road to Mecca.'

  • Hometown: Evanston Ill.
  • Home now: Creede and Lawrence, Kan.
  • CChristy Brandt quoteollege: BA from the University of Kansas in 1973
  • What have you done for us lately? I played in Carol in The Last Romance, which played at both Creede Rep and the Arvada Center in 2014  
  • Twitter-sized bio: I love Creede. My husband, my friends, my house, my garden and my career in Creede have given me more joy than anyone deserves. I grew up in the Chicago area and I love small-town life, and I am proud to have worked at this high-quality repertory theatre for my whole life.
  • The role that changed your life: Playing Princess Winnifred in Once Upon A Mattress. I realized there was something I could do well that brought me satisfaction and audiences some pleasure. I knew immediately that I wanted to be and actor.
  • Ideal scene partner: I would love to have worked with Glenda Jackson before she went into politics. I saw her do the Elizabeth R series, and they did some backstage segments that really impressed me. She was so incredibly good, and as soon as a scene was over she completely let down and was very earthy and even crass. Very funny.
  • In short, what is Arsenic and Old Lace all about? It's about two sisters who believe they are doing good works by poisoning lonely, unhappy old men. They seemingly have no idea that what they are doing could be construed as bad or even illegal. The story is also about the nephews of these old ladies, one of whom is a nice, hard-working protective young man. And the is a psychopathic murderer.
  • Summertime in Colorado: A time for play ... and plays

  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: I see Abby as a very sweet, good-hearted and generous soul with a slightly skewed sense of right and wrong. My challenge was to make her genuinely likeable and entirely batty - in a murderous sort of way.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? I hope they have lots of fun and lots of laughs throughout this zany play. 
  • What don't we know about you? I was a professional picture-framer for about 25 years, but I injured my hands and can’t do it anymore.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? I take care of my 94 year old father in the winter, which is a full-time job. It is frustrating to be unable to take acting jobs in the winter, but very rewarding to be taking care of my dad. 
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Christy Brandt. She Loves Me. Photo by John Gary BrownChristy Brandt with John S. Green in 'The Last Romance,' which opened at the Creede Repertory Theatre before moving to the Arvada Center in 2014. Photo by John Gary Brown.


    Arsenic and Old Lace: Ticket information

    • Written by by Joseph Kesselring
    • Directed by Justin Lucero
    • Through Aug. 9
    • 124 Main St., Creede  MAP IT
    • Tickets $11-$35
    • For tickets, call 719-658-2540 or go to creederep.org
    • Note: The 2017 summer repertory seasons also includes:
    Through Aug. 10: She Loves Me
    Through Aug. 11: Pants on Fire
    Through Aug. 26: The Syringa Tree
    Through Sept. 9: Boomtown
    Through Sept. 15: Talley’s Folley
    Aug. 18-Sept. 14: General Store


    Remaining performance schedule:
    • Thursday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 29, 7:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, Aug. 4, 1:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Aug. 5, 1:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m. 
    • Wednesday, Aug. 9, 1:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.

    Cast list:

    Abby Brewster: Christy Brandt
    Martha Brewster: Anne F. Butler
    Rev. Dr. Harper and Witherspoon: Stuart Rider
    Teddy Brewster: Logan Ernstthal
    Officer Brophy: Claudio Venancio
    Officer Klein: Josh Zwick
    Elaine Harper: Emily Van Fleet
    Mortimer Brewster: Donovan Woods
    Mr. Gibbs and Lieutenant Rooney: Brian Kusic
    Jonathan Brewster: John DiAntonio
    Dr. Einstein: Rick D. Wasserman
    Officer O’Hara: Spencer D. Christensen
    Elaine (understudy): Bettina Lobo
    Cops (understudy): CJ Salvani
    Jonathan/Teddy (understudy): Pat Moran
    Mortimer (understudy): Josh Zwick

    Creative team:
    Scenic Design: Heidi Hoffer
    Costume Design: Kate Mott
    Lighting Design: Jacob Welch
    Sound Design: Jake K. Harbour
    Assistant Director: Zoe Ruth
    Stage Manager: Devon Muko
    Assistant Stage Manager: Lucas Bareis-Golumb
    Make-up Design: Rick D. Wasserman

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Jack Barton of BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Meet the ensemble of Buntport Theater's The Crud
    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 Ethelyn Friend of ________________, An Opera
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet Emily K. Harrison of She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Tim Howard of Backstage Breckenridge's The Producers
    Meet Haley Hunsaker of Funky Little Theatre Company's Extremities
    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 Lenne Klingaman of Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet
    Meet Carla Kaiser Kotrc of Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    Meet Heather Lacy of the Aurora Fox's Priscilla Queen of the Desert
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Tamara Meneghini of The Last Testament of Mary
    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 Lauren Shealy of Lone Tree Arts Center's Evita
    Meet Jane Shirley of The Avenue's Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Marc Stith of Benchmark Theatre's The Nether
    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
    Meet Adriane Wilson of Miners Alley Playhouse's Cabaret

  • Dixie Longate comedy benefit for Denver Actors Fund on Aug. 6

    by John Moore | Jul 24, 2017

     

    Dixie brings her unique brand of standup comedy to the Denver Center in support of a great local cause.

    Dixie Longate will perform No Instructions, a one-night-only benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, at the Garner Galleria Theatre.

    Like Momma always says, "You can take the girl out of the trailer, but you can't have sex with a stranger if you already know their first name." It's this kind of learning that made Dixie Longate one of Denver's favorite gals. 

    Join Dixie as the famous, fast-talking Tupperware Lady puts the bowls on the shelf and lets down her hair in support of a great cause. She's seen a lot of places, met a lot of people and has a hell of a lot more stories to tell. FroDixiem her first date to the Last Supper, Dixie ain't holding nothing back. The taller the glass of sweet tea, the looser her lips get.

    You don't want to miss Dixie as she brings her unique standup comedy to Denver. No one under 21 admitted.

    The Denver Actors Fund is a grassroots nonprofit that serves as a modest source of financial and situational relief when members of the local theatre community find themselves in medical need. To date, The Denver Actors Fund has distributed almost $110,000 in direct financial assistance and provided about 400 hours of volunteer service to help local artists.

    Dixie Longate: No Instructions
  • Dixie No InstructionsPresented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6
  • At the Garner Galleria Theatre
  • All seats $25
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
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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.