January: When local theatre digs deeper

Love Perfect Change Equinox. Photo by Deb Flomberg

Equinox will become the first Denver theatre company to stage the newly modernized version of the musical comedy ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ at The Bug Theatre, opening January 25. From left: Emily Macomber, Carter Edward Smith, Amy E. Gray and Joel Abelson. Photo by Deb Flomberg.

From Hooded to Gloria to American Prom, substantive new plays tackle issue of race at theatres from Aurora to Denver to Colorado Springs

Traditionally, January is the most substantive month of the theatre year. Something about the end of the holidays and the start of the cold, dark season that tends to put winter theatregoers in an open frame of mind for stories with deeper meanings. The DCPA Theatre Company is readying three plays of vastly different scopes and sizes: Last Night and the Night Before, Anna Karenina and The Whistleblower (two of them world premieres). Here are just a few of your intriguing options this month, followed by a complete list of all January openings in Colorado.

  1. John Hauser and Laurence Curry. Photo by John Moore.

    Aurora Fox’s Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies. Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s searing look at being a young black teenager in America today is a timely examination of two very different 14-year-olds: A book-smart prep-school kid from suburban Maryland and a street-savvy Baltimore teen. Tru thinks Marquis has lost his “blackness” and pens a manual entitled “Being Black for Dummies” to help him navigate a world of cheerleaders, Black Lives Matter, 2Pac, Nietzsche, Apollo and Dionysus — each vying for Marquis’ future. Directed by True West Award winner Betty Hart. The cast includes Randy Chalmers, Laurence Curry (DCPA’s The Wild Party), John Hauser (DCPA Education’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot), Jacqueline Garcia, Drew Hirschboeck, Tara Kelso, Adeline Mann and AJ Voliton. Note: Adult language and situations. January 18-February 10 at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

  1. Phamaly’s Morph Masters: How Disability Made Famous Artists Awesome. Phamaly’s new educational touring show, co-created by company members, tells the stories of famous artists throughout history who were masters of their craft while living and working with disabilities. Morph Masters will be touring throughout 2019 after launching from January 11-20 at the Denver Center’s Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre, 13th and Arapahoe streets, 303-575-0005 or Phamaly.org
  1. Idris Goodwin

    Idris Goodwin

    TheatreWorks’ American Prom. Colorado Springs’ TheatreWorks has commissioned this new work from award-winning playwright, rapper, essayist, and poet Idris Goodwin, who directed his own play This is Modern Art for Off-Center last year at the Denver Center’s Jones Theatre. It’s about Jimmy and Kia, who live in a town that holds segregated proms. The decision to hold an integrated prom tests the town, and their friendship. Directed by Lisa Marie Rollins. January 24-February 10 at Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

  1. Curious Theatre’s Gloria. Last year, Curious Theatre introduced Colorado audiences to MacArthur Fellow playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins with Appropriate. Gloria introduces ambitious editorial assistants working at a prestigious New York magazine who share the same dream: A book deal by age 30. Then one day, an ordinary day at the office turns into a living nightmare, and the survivors look to turn their truth into career-making stories. Who should “own” the story when tragedy strikes in our society? Washington Post critic Peter Marks called Gloria a “blistering tragicomedy.” Directed by Chip Walton. Featuring Brian Kusic, Sydnee Fullmer, Candace Joice, Rakeem Lawrence, Desiree Mee Jung and Brian Landis Folkins. January 12-February 16 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org
  1. Square product theatre’s Celebration, Florida. Boulder’s intentionally lower-cased theatre company returns from a year-long hiatus with an innovative theatregoing experience for both audiences and actors: Each night features two rotating performers who have never even met. And they will not have seen or read the script before they take to the stage. London-based Greg Wohead’s performance work is described as “a quietly surreal show for anyone who has ever missed anyone or anything. Veering between reality and simulation, the piece orbits around ideas of surrogacy; a stand-in to replace a person you miss; a re-creation of an experience you can’t stop thinking about; nostalgia for a place that perhaps never existed.” To make things even freakier, the playwright himself will speak to the audience through the evening’s two guinea pigs, er, actors, using pre-recorded audio and headphones. The performer lineup includes Karen Slack, Betty Hart, Diana Dresser, Peter Trinh, Brian Colonna, Jeffrey Parker, Miriam Suzanne, Meredith Young, Mark Collins, Bernadette Sefic, Bud Coleman and Luke Sorge. January 24-February 2 at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. in Denver. February 6-9 at the Carsen Theater in the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St. in Boulder. 800-838-3006 or celebrationflorida.bpt.me
  1. Stories on Stage’s A Typewriter Revolution. Now in its 18th season, Stories on Stage presents professional actors reading and performing entertaining short stories. This month’s special edition will be presented in collaboration with Buntport Theater, an ensemble that creates all-original stories. Here they challenge the digital paradigm with poems and stories written on, for and about our good old friend … the typewriter! The material comes from submissions made over the past month by members of the public who typed out their submissions on typewriters provided at the Tattered Cover Bookstore or the Park Hill Library. All attendees will receive a take-home gift: A typewriter-themed short story written by DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. January 12 at the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

‘Rock of Ages’ photo by Jeremy Daniel.

 

  1. Town Hall Arts Center’s Casa Valentina. Casa Valentina is four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein’s first play in almost 30 years. It’s a fact-based return to the 1962 Catskill Mountains, where some men went to escape … being men. It’s set in the heart of Borscht Belt comedy at an inconspicuous bungalow colony that catered to a very specific clientele: Heterosexual men whose favorite pastime was safely inhabiting their chosen female alter egos. But given the times, the freedom they would gain while away also threatened their personal ruin back home. Directed by True West Award winner Nick Sugar and featuring Phil Luna, Archie Archuleta, Melissa McCarl, Mark Collins, Sam Gilstrap, Tim Howard, Bill Kahn, Emily Tuckman and Bob Wells. January 11-February 3 at 2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 ortownhallartscenter.com
  1. Germinal Stage-Denver’s The Pinter Plays. Denver’s venerable Germinal Stage-Denver takes up residence at the John Hand Theatre with two Harold Pinter one-acts: The Collection and The Room. In The Collection, directed by Ed Baierlein, Stella makes a confession to her husband that she has been unfaithful to him … but is she telling the truth? The Room, directed by Stephen R. Kramer, is Pinter’s chilling first play. It opens with Rose having a one-way dialogue with a husband who remains silent while she serves him a breakfast fry-up. The cast includes Kramer, Libby Arnold, Clint Heyn, Andrew Horsford, Michelle Moore, Marc Moran and Gary Webster. January 4-February 2 at the John Hand Theater on the Colorado Free University Campus at Lowry, 7653 E 1st Place, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com
  1. Sophia Dotson

    Sophia Dotson

    Cherry Creek Theatre’s A Little Night Music. Cherry Creek Theatre opens its ninth season with Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical set in 1900s Sweden. The story centers around past lovers who reconnect as various trysts and liaisons play out around them over a weekend in the countryside. Directed by Kelly Van Oosbree. Featuring Brian Merz-Hutchinson, Susie Roelofsz, Jeremy Rill, Rachel Turner and Megan Van De Hey, Ryan Belinak, Lindsey Falduto, Barret Harper, Susan Long and Sophia Dotson (who last summer became the youngest winner of a Henry Award for Miners Alley Playhouse’s Fun Home.)  January 24-February 17 in the Pluss Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

  1. Benchmark Theatre’s Wakey Wakey. Will Eno’s one-act comic play follows a man resolved to spend the remainder of his dwindling days celebrating his experiences and demonstrating how to live a good life. Eno is best known for writing Thom Pain. Directed by Rachel Rogers. Featuring Augustus Truhn and Arlene Rapal. January 18-February 16 at 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, benchmarktheatre.com

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

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.

JANUARY THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

A dance jump from ‘A Bronx Tale.’ Photo by Joan Marcus.

January 3-March 10: Midtown Arts Center’s First Date
3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

January 4-February 2: The Pinter Plays
At the John Hand Theater on the Colorado Free University Campus at Lowry
7653 E 1st Place, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

January 4-19, 2019: Legally Blonde, The Musical
At The Bakery Arts Warehouse, 2132 Market St., Denver, Co 80205, fearless-theatre.ticketleap.com

January 8-20: National touring production of A Bronx Tale
At the Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

January 10-March 17: Midtown Arts Center’s My Way
In the Ballroom, 3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

January 10-March 3: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s Nunsense
4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

BDT Stage is bringing back ‘Disenchanted,’ its hit musical-comedy satire that gives fairy tales the bird. Photo by Glenn Ross.

January 11-March 31: BDT Stage’s Disenchanted!
5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

January 11-February 3: Town Hall Arts Center’s Casa Valentina
2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 ortownhallartscenter.com

January 11-February 17: Vintage Theatre’s Betrayal
1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

January 11-12: CenterStage Theatre Company’s Working
Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Ave., Louisville, workingcenterstage.bpt.me

January 12-February 16: Curious Theatre’s Gloria
1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

January 12: Stories on Stage’s A Typewriter Revolution: A Buntport Collaboration
At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, or 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

January 18-February 10: Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies
9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

January 18-February 16: Benchmark Theatre’s Wakey Wakey
1560 Teller St., Lakewood, benchmarktheatre.com

January 18-February 24: DCPA Theatre Company’s Last Night and the Night Before
At the Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

January 18-February 10: Parker Arts’ Disney’s Newsies
At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303-805-6800 or parkerarts.org

January 18-26: Theatre Company of Lafayette’s Tables to Woods
Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or www.tclstage.org

January 19-February 16: OpenStage Theatre Company’s Steel Magnolias
Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

January 19-20: The Catmounts’ FEED: Melting Pot
At 3550 Frontier Avenue Unit A2, Suite E, Boulder, 720-468-0487 or thecatamounts.org

January 24-February 17: Cherry Creek Theatre’s A Little Night Music
At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

January 24-February 10: TheatreWorks: American Prom
5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

January 24-February 2: square product theatre’s Celebration, Florida
at Buntport Theater, Denver, 717 Lipan St., 800-838-3006 or celebrationflorida.bpt.me

January 24-27: Millibo Art Theatre’s Borscht Belted
1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, themat.org

January 25-February 24: DCPA Theatre Company’s Anna Karenina
At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

January 25-27: National touring production of Rock of Ages
At the Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

January 25-March 3: Miners Alley Playhouse’s Lost in Yonkers
1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

January 25-February 16: Equinox Theatre Company’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinoxtheatredenver.com

January 31-February 24: Bas Bleu Theatre Company’s The Waverly Gallery
401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Where is our full monthly list of all currently running productions?

We at the DCPA NewsCenter are joining forces with Alex Miller’s new website called OnStage Colorado, which offers Colorado theatre news, reviews and a comprehensive, functional and searchable Colorado theatre calendar. Rather than doubling up on the work, we are happily sending you to his fancy and easy-to-use digital calendar, where you can look for shows by title, date or company. Continue to send your show listings to jmoore@dcpa.org, but be sure to also add info@onstagecolorado.com to your email lists. Submit your own listings for free here.

DCPA Theatre Company's Anna Karenina. Photo by John Moore.

The first performance for DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘Anna Karenina’ will be January 25. Photo by John Moore.