2 2018 True West Awards Harts 800

2018 True West Award: Betty Hart and Kevin Hart

2 2018 True West Awards Harts 800


If you had to have theatre in Colorado this year, you had to have Hart

They share a last name, and a distinction: 2018 was a breakout year for two very different actors in the Colorado theatre community. Kevin Hart, graduate of Ranum High School and the University of Colorado Denver, has been doing what he does for decades (and currently in Curious Theatre’s The Humans.) Betty Hart recently came to Colorado like a cyclone, in 2018 directing, acting and shaking up the Colorado Theatre Guild and the annual Henry Awards to their rafters. If you had to have theatre in Colorado this year, you had to have Hart.

Betty Hart with Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee on Opening Night of ‘Lady Day.’ Photo by John Moore.

Betty Hart: 2018

As a director:
• Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, staged at both Vintage Theatre and the DCPA’s Garner Galleria Theatre

As an actor:
• Intimate Apparel, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
• Rausch, Persephone and others, The Catamounts
• Richard III, Queen Elizabeth, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
• You Can’t Take It With You, Mrs. Kirby, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
• Edward III, Artois, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
• Lysistrata, Lysistrata, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

As a community leader:
• Joined Colorado Theatre Guild Board of Directors
• 2018 Henry Awards, Co-host
• Special Projects Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs

They said it: Scott RC Levy, who directed Hart in Intimate Apparel: “Betty’s portrayal of Mayme was deep, funny, profound and heartbreaking. Betty is a fiercely passionate artist, and I’m excited to be directing her again later this season in Barnum (May 23-June 16 in Colorado Springs).” Joye Cook-Levy, who directed Hart in Lysistrata:Betty is the professional in the room. She tries everything and if by chance a direction falls flat, she always has another option to play. She is a problem-solver, and her gifts as an educator always glimmer out of her collaborative playful but no-nonsense soul.”

Critics Corner:While Richard III offers a crowd of noteworthy performances — Colorado Shakespeare Festival newcomer Betty Hart shines as Queen Elizabeth. And in You Can’t Take it With You, she gives Mrs. Kirby all the requisite stuffiness and sensitivity.” Adam Goldstein, Boulder Daily Camera

Find all of the announced 2018 True West Awards to date

2018 True West Awards Kevin Hart. Photo by Michael Ensminger

Kevin Hart is appearing in Curious Theatre’s ‘The Humans’ through December 22. Photo by Michael Ensminger.

Kevin Hart: 2018
As an actor:

Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman, The Edge Theater
• Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Max Prince, Parker Arts’ Schoolhouse Theater
• Lend Me a Tenor, Saunders, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
• The Humans, Erik, Curious Theatre Company

He said it: Antonio Amadeo, Hart’s co-star in Death of a Salesman and The Humans: “Working with Kevin has been a pleasure. On stage, he is strikingly sincere. His choices feel relatable, so you believe his struggle. He’s also a very giving actor. Working with him is a true partnership. Watching him embody an iconic character like Willy Loman in a way that felt so fresh and authentic is a testament to his skill.”

Critics corner: “The emotional gut punches are delivered by Kevin Hart again and again. From the moment he walks on stage in the first scene, this is Hart’s show. He turns on a dime between manic anger and resigned defeat. There is a temptation for an actor to play Willy’s depression and manic swings over the top. But instead Hart is restrained, even when he’s screaming at the top of his lungs. Which makes the spiral he finds himself in all the more painful to watch. There are times when as an audience member you just want to reach out and shake Hart and scream at him to make the right decision.” Ramsey Scott, Aurora Sentinel

About The True West Awards: ’30 Days, 30 Bouquets’

The True West Awards, now in their 18th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2018 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre magazine in 2011. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter