Annaleigh Ashford to host two special cabaret concerts at DCPA

Video: Annaleigh Ashford’s Day in Denver.

ASHFORD_ AnnaleighDenver native Annaleigh Ashford is already a Tony Award nominee. She has appeared in five big Broadway productions. She performs onstage every night with James Earl Jones. She has been called “a sly comic genius” by The New York Times. She provides a voice in the biggest animated movie on the planet – Frozen. And next month, she returns to her delicious role as prostitute Betty DiMello on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. And she’s not yet even 30.

The one thing it seems Ashford has not yet done in her young life is perform at her hometown Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Scratch that.

The Wheat Ridge High School grad will come home to perform her acclaimed cabaret act, Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars, on April 11-12 at the Garner Galleria Theatre. Tickets go on sale to current DCPA subscribers at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. A public on-sale will follow at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.

“I am really excited to just share my heart with friends and family and my fellow Coloradans,” Ashford told the DCPA’s NewsCenter.

annaleighquoteBut she wouldn’t call herself a big shot. “Not at all,” she said. “The last few years, I have gotten to be an actor full-time, which is pretty much the dream of all dreams. So I have to tell you, I have been really lucky.”

Lost in the Stars is billed as “an evening of song, story and sequin.” Along with young music director Will Van Dyke and the Whisky 5 band, Lost in the Stars celebrates classic cabaret with an eclectic mix of music that ranges from a 10-minute Donna Summer disco medley, to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, to an audience sing-along of an Alanis Morissette tune. “It’s a game that I created called Cabaret Karaoke,” Ashford said.

Wait … Donna Summer? But Ashford was born in the 1980s.

“The medley really celebrates the history of Studio 54,” Ashford said. But she was a fan of the late disco queen, for real. “In high school, when everyone else was listening to Eminem, I was listening to Donna Summer Live for four months straight,” she said.

'You Can't Take It With You.' Photo by Joan Marcus.When Ashford says the evening will be eclectic, she means it. The program includes the haunting melodies of Kurt Weill and also, Ashford promises, “I even throw in a Stephen Sondheim-Elton John mash-up.” And while big stars don’t typically sing Broadway tunes in their Times Square cabaret shows, Ashford is adding several contemporary Broadway standards to her Denver set list. For those audiences hoping to hear a few of the songs Ashford sang in Legally Blonde, Wicked, Kinky Boots and Rent, “There is a major possibility they will hear them,” she said. “And by ‘major possibility,’ I mean they will hear them.”

And it’s all woven together through heartfelt storytelling that is sure to call upon Ashford’s Colorado roots.  

“I prefer to go to cabaret that is very personal and heartwarming and hopefully funny,” she said, “and that was our goal with this piece.”

Annaleigh AshfordAfter conquering Broadway in Wicked, Legally Blonde, Hair, Kinky Boots and her current role as Essie in You Can’t Take it With You, Ashford has become a sensation on the New York cabaret scene. Local audiences got a glimpse of that when she returned in 2010 to perform a benefit for the Town Hall Arts Center at a church in Littleton. Of her show at the New York hotspot 54 Below, the New York Times said: “Annaleigh Ashford is in a lineage of fearless, saucy entertainers who seem born to conquer,” and called her the “most promising rising star to appear at 54 Below this year.” 

Her stop in Denver is part of a national mini-tour that also goes through Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

But her show will be more than the usual cabaret songs and banter, she said. “What is kind of exciting about our specific club act is that parts of it are like a theatre piece,” she said.

There will even be special appearances by the sun and the moon.

“I know this because I made them myself,” she said. “And that’s all I say. Well, I will say this: Our goal is for people to leave with their hearts warmed.”

Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars

  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11
  • 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12
  • Single tickets start at $50
  • Tickets go on sale to current DCPA subscribers at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. A public on-sale will follow at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.
  • To charge by phone, call 303-893-4100 | TTY: 303-893-9582) | Groups of 10 or more: 303-446-4829
  • Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby
  • buy online

Please be advised that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – and DenverCenter.Org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of “Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars”

Our previous coverage of Annaleigh Ashford in the DCPA NewsCenter:

Podcast: Our ‘Running Lines’ interview with Cyndi Lauper
 Interview: Cyndi Lauper on ‘Kinky Boots’ … and how to save Broadway

Here is our 2013 backstage interview with Annaleigh Ashford and fellow Coloradan Andy Kelso when they were both appearing in “Kinky Boots.”

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