'Beautiful' Music Director hosting 'Reunion '85' at Lone Tree Arts Center

Shannan Steele Reunion 85
Shannan Steele in ‘Reunion 85.’ 

The Tony-winning Beautiful – The Carole King Musical does not come to Denver’s Buell Theatre until July, but Susan Draus, the tour’s Music Director, is now hosting a one-of-a-kind theatrical comedy concert called Reunion 85 through this coming weekend (Feb. 13) at the Lone Tree Arts Center. (Draus is pictured at right.)

Susan DrausReunion ’85 takes place in the Event Hall (not the regular theatre) Lone Tree. The setting is the Clovis High School Class of 1985 reunion. Upon arriving, you assume the identity of a class member. You get a fictional name tag, you have your photo taken, and you can even look through the yearbook to learn more about your fictional character. (That is, if you take your character development seriously. If not … just head to the bar and hope they don’t call you out, Mr. Chess Club Secretary.)

The Class President and Class Floozy are your emcees for an evening of frighteningly retro ’80s rock hits, punctuated with the opening of a time capsule, the re-enactment of the school play and more, all culminating with a dance party that for graying Denverites might bring back fuzzy memories of Thirsty’s, M-80s or After the Gold Rush.

Your hosts for the evening are game actors Tom Deckman and Piper Arpan. The band is the realest of deals, including a few from the DCPA Theatre Company’s recent world premiere musical The 12: Guitarist Justin Francoeur and drummer Todd Talbot.

Klint Rudolph, who performed in DCPA Cabaret’s long-running hit I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, is on keys and guitar; Lynn Keller is on bass and Music Director Chris Sargent is on keys.

Your vocalists are hot heavy-hitters Karen Jeffreys (Arvada Center’s Camalot), Shannan Steele (DCPA’s Love, Perfect Change and most recently A Christmas Carol) and John Pinto Jr., who was part of the most recent The Book of Mormon tour and was a featured player in the Arvada Center’s 2006 Christian romp, Altar Boyz.

Draus, of Beautiful, is the creator of all this silly (but seriously good) fun. She is planning for this to be the first in a series of musical reunions themed by decade. (Think the August Wilson Cycle – only for high-school reunions).

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, which plays July 19-31 in the Buell Theatre, tells the true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Reunion '85
‘Reunion ’85’ culminates in an old-school dance party.

Reunion ’85: Ticket information:

  • Remaining concert parties: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11; and 8 p.m. Feb. 12-13
  • At the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., just west of I-25 and south of the Park Meadows Mall
  • Call 720-509-1000 or go to lonetreeartscenter.org

Beautiful — The Carole King Musical: Ticket information:

  • July 19-31 at the Buell Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • TTY: 303-893-9582
  • Groups of 15 or more: 303-446-4829
  • Also: Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby. Buy and print online at DenverCenter.Org.
  • Accessibility performance: 2 p.m. July 31
  • More on Beautiful:
    Video podcast: Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector

    Piper Arpan. Reunion '85.Piper Arpan belts it out in ‘Reunion ’85.’

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