Old timers still know it as StageWest. Die-hard theatre fans may remember it as simply the Galleria Theatre. But since 1996, it has been known as the Garner Galleria Theatre, named to honor Bob Garner, the original presenter of Broadway shows in Denver.
This intimate, 210-seat cabaret theatre has hosted some of Denver’s longest-running and most beloved shows: Always…Patsy Cline; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!, and the original DCPA Cabaret production, Forever Plaid.
Now, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is setting the stage for a six-month run of The Other Josh Cohen, and as we begin, we thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane to encapsulate some of our favorite memories of this long-running venue.
Alicia Bruce, General Manager, Broadway & Cabaret:
My favorite memory of the Galleria is the first time I saw a show there. It was February 2008 and I was visiting Denver prior to moving here. My friend and I were exploring downtown and decided to stop into the box office to see what was playing. We were so excited to see that The Last Five Years was being presented at the Garner Galleria – we had just listed to the cast recording on our drive from California to Colorado. We immediately bought two tickets! After dinner, we made our way back to the theatre and were seated in on the drink rail on Row E. As we waited for the show start, I looked through the program, stopping on the staff page, thinking how awesome it would be to work somewhere that produced this type of work and to have my name on that page in the program. Little did I know about two years later I would not only be working for the DCPA but eventually producing shows in that exact same theatre!
Brenda Elliott, DCPA Senior Graphic Designer:
The show posters decorating the walls of the lobby! It’s a wonderful walk down memory lane of the shows that have played there.
John Ekeberg, Executive Director, DCPA Broadway & Cabaret:
I have fond memories of the 20th anniversary celebration in 2012 – reminiscing with [Broadway founder] Bob Garner, [former Broadway Executive Director & DCPA President] Randy Weeks and others about all the wonderful work that had been done in the space since 1992.
TJ Forlenza, DCPA Copywriter:
Being absolutely blown away by how talented the Improvised Shakespeare players were.
Roger Haak, VIP Ticketing Manager:
Murder for Two was the first DCPA production I ever saw as an employee, and I remember feeling so much joy watching two people play multiple characters, tickle the piano keys and my funny bone. I knew I was in for a real treat of a workplace if that was what I had to expect. A complete joy.
Jeff Hovorka, Director of Sales & Marketing, DCPA Broadway & Cabaret
I’m most proud of the original production of Always…Patsy Cline starring Melissa Swift-Sawyer and Beth Flynn. It was the first longest running show in Denver’s history running three and a half years, eight shows a week, and starred a local cast.
Dave Lenk, Videographer & Heidi Bosk, Associate Director of Press & Promotions, Broadway & Cabaret:
[DAVE] My favorite memory was filming my first show in the Galleria — Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top…
[HEIDI] Ha Ha! I will add that not only was it Dixie’s Tubetop at the Galleria, but it was part of a commercial shoot that also took place at Grizzly Rose…on the mechanical bull.
[DAVE] Ah yes, a commercial shoot on one side of the Grizzly Rose while they were doing construction (with a jack hammer I recall?) on the other side.
Kyle Malone, Design Director:
I remember going to one of the improv sets after How I lost My Denverginity with [former DCPA employee] Seth Holt. He had large beautiful beard at the time and I remember they started picking on us, as we were near the front row (always a danger zone for a Second City show)… I remember Seth sort of got offended when they asked him if “his beard was made of bees?” Hahaha
Whitney Testa, Executive Assistant, Marketing & Broadway:
I saw The Last Five Years at the Garner Galleria in 2006/07 when I was completing my undergraduate degree in Voice Performance and it has become one of my very favorite musicals to play on the piano, sing and listen to.
Austin Walker, Social Media Manager:
My first show in the Galleria was First Date, and it happened to be Easter the day that I saw the show. There were a few extra Easter-themed jokes that got added to the show that I still think about to this day.
Suzanne Yoe, Director of Content & Communications:
The most memorable experience I had in the Garner Galleria Theatre was at Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. I was on a second date and, evidently, sat in the wrong seat. The actor called me up on stage to participate in the act! I, along with two other women, was asked to participate in a contest…blindfolded. When the actor gave us instructions, I had no idea what to do, so I peeked out at the other women and, unexpectedly, got the biggest laugh of the night. Mortifying, nerve wracking yet unforgettable!
Join us for our next big laugh at The Other Josh Cohen.
The Other Josh Cohen
Dec 11, 2021 – May 1, 2022
Garner Galleria Theatre