In recent months, understudies and swings have been the backbone of theatre, confidently stepping into the limelight when the need arises. But for this understudy, Brian Bohlender, the limelight consisted of more than 66,000 fans in Mile High Stadium.
Brian Bohlender is the understudy for the male roles in The Other Josh Cohen, a rock-n-roll comedy showing at the Garner Galleria Theatre until May. “Josh Cohen has a warm, gooeyness to it…. It’s absolutely perfect for people coming back to theatre after we all have been gone for so long,” said Bohlender.
Singing the National Anthem at the January 8 Broncos vs. Chiefs game was an opportunity Bohlender couldn’t pass up. Though he is a California native, Bohlender’s family has deep roots in Colorado; “When I was younger my dad got me a Broncos keychain and I just decided, ‘Oh, this is my team!’ When you’re a kid you make some decisions that just stick with you forever.” The underlying excitement of being at Mile High and being part of the Broncos experience motivated Bohlender to stay focused. “It really was a dream come true,” said Bohlender.
Bohlender graduated from Utah State in 2021 and is thrilled to be a part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts team. “The Denver Center absolutely loves their understudies and swings; it’s been an incredible experience being an understudy here.” And being a part of The Other Josh Cohen is the cherry on top, getting to watch and learn from the best. “The cast is just so wonderful, and everyone is so talented,” said Bohlender.
While making the experience as safe as possible in a COVID-restricted world, returning to live theatre has been monumental for Bohlender. “Live theatre is one of those arts that you can’t just put in a can; it’s night and day seeing a performance live versus on video,” said Bohlender, “I think getting back to the shared experience of live theatre is so important.”
The Other Josh Cohen
Now – May 1, 2022 • Garner Galleria Theatre