Lovin’ summer: Mountain theatre companies come back to life

Band of Toughs’ ‘Nirvamlet’ is coming to the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Like, all over it.

Our hills will be alive with live theatre from Greeley to Trinidad to Creede

June is when the state’s storied repertory theatre companies come back to life all over the state like blooming perennials. Colorado’s oldest theatre company, The Little Theatre of the Rockies, opens its 85th season in Greeley on June 13 with The Wolves, First Date and Into the Woods. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, a comparative whipper-snapper at 61, bows June 7 with the musically infused Twelfth Night and As You Like It, followed by Romeo and Juliet, and King Charles III: A Future History Play.

Hunter Foster is Aspen-bound

Theatre Aspen brings Broadway to Pitkin County with Hunter Foster, best known for starring in Urinetown, directing Guys & Dolls on a slate that includes Little Shop of Horrors and God of Carnage (844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org). Rocky Mountain Rep brings grand life to Grand Avenue in Grand Lake with Sister Act, Disaster! The Musical and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com). And the Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre brings Grounded, The Last Five Years and The 39 Steps to Trinidad (719-846-4765​ or scrtheatre.com).

But there is so much more happening on area stages this month. It’s a big time for festivals, starting with the 7th annual Athena Project Plays in Progress fest, which returns to its former home at the Aurora Fox with new plays by women playwrights Lans Traverse, Amanda Petefish-Schrag, Jordan Ramirez Puckett, Rebecca Gorman O’Neill, and Donna Hoke. (June 1-2, 303-219-0882 or athenaprojectfestival.org). Then the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, newly remonikered as the Colorado New Play Festival, culminates in Steamboat Springs June 7-8 with developing new plays presented by Curious Theatre, Steppenwolf, South Coast Rep, The Public Theatre and City Theatre Company of Pittsburgh. Featured writers include national big-shots like Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (you may have seen Curious’ Appropriate or Gloria); Andrew Rosendorf (Local Theatre’s Paper Cut); and Caroline V. McGraw. The weekend culminates new with musical by Jill Sobule and Liza Birkenmeier called F*** 7th Grade (cnpfsteamboat.org).

At the Denver Center, Broadway’s Wicked continues; followed by Fiddler on the Roof and Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles; while Off-Center bows its escape-room adventure The Last Defender. Be sure to also check out the Immersive Theatre Sprint on Sunday, June 9. Off-Center is partnering with the Denver Public Library and the local immersive community to create a free, pop-up event featuring live immersive performances. In only 24 hours, dozens of creators will devise experiences that explore the issues and stories of today’s library with the audience at the center of the action. At the Denver Central Library, 10 W. 14th Ave Parkway. READ MORE

Here is our monthly list with just few of your many intriguing theatregoing options on Colorado stages for June, followed by a complete list of all of this month’s openings and ongoing productions:

  1. ‘Northside’ playwright Bobby LeFebre.

    NorthsideThis world-premiere play by celebrated local poet and writer Bobby LeFebre looks at Denver as one of the most most rapidly gentrifying cities in the nation. Northside tells the story of two couples vying to buy one older woman’s home in an up-and-coming inner-city hot spot. One is a professional young Latinx couple looking to buy a home in the neighborhood they grew up in. The other is a suburban white couple looking to take advantage of shifting demographics. The story seeks to open a dialogue about the dynamics of a changing neighborhood and the innate human need to belong somewhere. Directed by Hugo E. Carbajal. June 13-30 at the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org

  2. Take to the Highway: A Celebration of James Taylor. The Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins had announced that its farewell production before merging with the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown would be the Broadway musical Matilda. But the plan has since changed to this new revue of songs celebrating the career of James Taylor and his longtime collaborators Carole King and Carly Simon. The score incudes Carolina in My Mind, Mexico, and Fire and Rain, as well as hits by Simon and King including I Feel The Earth Move, It’s Too Late and You’re So Vain. June 7-Aug. 3 at 3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com READ MORE
  3. Nirvamlet. Colordao’s best-named theatrical collaborative, Band of Toughs, returns with this wild mash-up of Shakespeare and ’90s grunge – with a splash of conspiracy, murder and self-loathing thrown in. As part of the Denver Arts & Venues Next Stage Now programming, the Band of Toughs will transform sections of the Denver Performing Arts Complex into a present-day Elsinore castle. The audience is part of the action, traveling with the fated rock stars through corridors and vinyl graveyards – all with live music and tasty beer in hand. Plays throughout the summer at itermittent times but essentially it’s Fridays in June, Thursdays in July and Aug. 1-3. The action begins in the fourth-floor parking garage above the Limelight Supper Club at 1400 Curtis St. bandoftoughs.org
  4. RipcordCreede Repertory Theatre opens its 54th summer season in the San Juan mountains with an all-star staging of David Lindsay-Abaire‘s comedy about two old gals in an assisted living facility in New Jersey who are polar opposites. (Let’s just say nasty and nice.) When they make a bet where the winner gets the room for herself, the challenge devolves into a cutthroat competition. Think of this play as a mix between The Odd Couple and Grumpy Old Women. Oh, and then there’s skydiving. Starring Creede stage queens Christy Brandt and National Theatre Conservatory graduate Annie Butler. Directed by Billie McBride, who starred in the same show a few years ago for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. June 14-Aug. 8 at 124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org
  5. The Play Crawl. Perhaps the funnest fundraiser of the year is this fundraiser for And Toto Too, a Colorado theatre company dedicated exclusively to women’s voices. For its ninth annual Play Crawl, you’ll see 10 two-minute plays by local women playwrights presented environmentally in galleries and shops along six blocks of Tennyson Street. The home base is Local 46, a bar located at 4586 Tennyson St. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12. 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org
  6. Alexander Sage Oyen. Photo by John Moore

    Discount Ghost Stories. Local Theater Company is presenting the world premiere of this new Colorado folklore musical that weaves Rocky Mountain tales of life, death and the beyond. It’s set and performed in a bar where the eclectic house band brings to life real Colorado historical figures including a lovesick miner, a legendary outlaw and radical pioneer Clara Brown. This unique musical experience is being devised by members of Local Theater Company with original rock tunes by Alexander Sage Oyen. Featuring Tony Aidan Vo, Runner Francisco, Jenna Moll Reyes, Faith Angelise Goins-Simmons and Erik Fellenstein. Directed by Austin Regan. June 8-29 at Trident Booksellers and Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder, eventbrite.com

  7. Bull in a China Shop. Benchmark Theatre’s regional premiere of Bryna Turner’s fast-paced comedy was inspired by letters between Mary Woolley and her partner Jeannette Marks over 40 years at a New England women’s college. It chronicles the lives of these two women who revolutionized education at the turn of the 20th century. With a modern spin and witty dialogue, this play asks: What does it mean to be at odds with the world? And how the heck do we grow old together? The cast features Gabriella Cavallero, Lauren Bahlman, Cindy Laudadio-Hill, Tresha Farris and Regina Fernandez. Directed by Kate Gleason. May 31-June 29 at The Bench at 40West, 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, benchmarktheatre.com
  8. Barret Harper.

    Tarzan: One of Disney’s lesser-known stage musicals makes its Northern Colorado debut at the state’s largest dinner theatre, the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, located 40 miles north of Denver. Tarzan tells the story of the infant boy orphaned in a shipwreck on the shores of West Africa and raised by a tribe of gorillas. Featuring music by pop icon Phil Collins. Starring Barret Harper (DCPA Cabaret’s First Date) as Tarzan and Katie Jackson as Jane. Featuring Tim Howard, Harmony Livingstone and Scotty Shaffer. Directed by Piper Lindsay Arpan. June 6-Aug. 25 at 4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

  9. Crowns. Regina Taylor’s gospel musical explores black history and identity, using an exquisite variety of regal hats to tell the shared history and rituals of African-American women ranging in era from slavery to current fashion. It is a tribute to black women, their church hats and the “hattitude” that is passed through generations. Vintage Theatre Company’s new production, the first in Denver since the DCPA Theatre Company first introduced it here in 2005, features Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee (Aurora Fox’s Caroline Or Change), Michaela Murray, Rajulari, Lisa Young, Sonsharae Tull, Cha’Rel Wright and Michael Peters. The director is Betty Hart, currently performing in Barnum at the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. June 28-Aug. 4 at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com READ MORE
  10. Farwell’s Farewell? Octogenarian and two-time Henry Award-winning best actor Jonathan Farwell will present a career retrospective that includes cuttings from roles he has played over the years such as Salieri in Amadeus and the title role in King Lear. June 21-30 at the Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org READ MORE NOTE: THIS PRODUCTION HAS BEEN CANCELED.

Read more about the impending closure of the Midtown Arts Center

NOTE: At the start of each month, the DCPA NewsCenter offers an updated list of upcoming theatre openings, spotlighting work being presented on stages statewide. Companies are encouraged to submit listings and production photos at least two weeks in advance to the DCPA NewsCenter at jmoore@dcpa.org.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

JUNE THEATRE OPENINGS AND EVENTS IN COLORADO:

May 31-July 28: Off-Center’s The Last Defender
Beneath the Patagonia retail store at 1510 Blake St., 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org OUR INTERVIEW WITH CREATOR NATHAN ALLEN

May 31-June 29: Benchmark Theatre’s Bull in a China Shop
1560 Teller St., Lakewood, benchmarktheatre.com

May 31-August 24: Creede Repertory Theatre’s Peter and the Starcatcher
124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or creederep.org

May 31-September 1: Thingamajig Theatre Company’s Mamma Mia!
2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

May 31-June 9: StageDoor Theatre’s Almost, Maine
27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoortheatre.org

May 30-June 8, 2019: Fountain Community Theater’s Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein
326 West Alabama Ave., Fountain, 719-233-5192, fountaintheater.org

June 1-2: 7th Annual Athena Project’s Plays in Progress
At the Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., 303-219-0882 or athenaprojectfestival.org

June 1-23: Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s Tell Me on a Sunday
460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne,  970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

June 1-29, 2019: Openstage Theatre Company’s Much Ado About Nothing
Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

June 3: Clocktower Cabaret’s A Piano and Me: An Evening of Songs by David Nehls
D&F Clock Tower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com

June 5: Miners Alley Playhouse’s ScriptProv
1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

June 6-Aug. 25: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s Disney’s Tarzan
4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

​June 6-15, 2019: Chase & Be Still Productions Presents’ You’ll Find Flies
At Theater29, 5​138 W. 29th Ave., Theater29denver.com

June 7-August 11: Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Twelfth Night
At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or coloradoshakes.org

June 7-Aug. 3, 2019: Midtown Arts Center’s Take to the Highway: A Celebration of James Taylor
3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com READ MORE

June 7-29: Equinox Theatre Company’s Be More Chill
At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinoxtheatredenver.com

June 7-24: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s Sister Act
800 Grand Ave., Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

June 28-July 7: Counterweight Theatre Lab’s Red
320 S. Weber St. Colorado Springs,  719-445-8302 or artxcolorado.org

 

June 8-29: Local Theater Company’s Discount Ghost Stories
At Trident Booksellers and Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder, eventbrite.com

June 7-8: The Colorado New Play Festival
Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, 970-879-4335 or cnpfsteamboat.org

June 11-16: National touring production of ­Fiddler on the Roof
At the Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

Jessica Austgen And Toto Too. Photo by John Moore

And Toto Too Theatre Company’s 2018 Play Crawl. Photo by John Moore.

June 12: And Toto too Theatre Company’s Ninth Annual Play Crawl
Starts at Local 46, 4586 Tennyson St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org

June 13-30: Su Teatro’s Northside
At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org

June 13-23: Little Theatre of the Rockies’ The Wolves
Norton Theatre on the University of Northern Colorado campus, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com

June 13-July 7: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s The Taming of the Shrew
121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

June 13-29, 2019: Thunder River Theatre Company’s Tribes
67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com

June 14-Aug. 8: Creede Repertory Theatre’s Ripcord
124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or creederep.org

June 14-August 3: Band of Toughs’ Nirvamlet
At the Denver Performing Arts Complex, fourth-floor parking garage above the Limelight Supper Club, 1400 Curtis St., bandoftoughs.org

June 14-30: Performance Now’s My Way, a Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org

June 14-August 31: Thingamajig Theatre Company’s The Who’s Tommy
2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

June 14-22: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s Disaster! The Musical
800 Grand Ave., Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

June 21-August 10: Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s As You Like It
At the University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or coloradoshakes.org

June 21-August 17: Theatre Aspen’s Guys & Dolls
The Hurst Theatre, 470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

June 21-30: Bas Bleu Theatre’s Farwell’s Farewell?
401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org NOTE: THIS PRODUCTION HAS BEEN CANCELED

June 22-July 20: Firehouse Theatre Company’s Well
At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com

June 23: National touring production of Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles
At The Ellie, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

June 27-August 4: Little Theatre of the Rockies’ First Date
Presented in repertory in the Norton Theatre on the University of Northern Colorado campus, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com

Betty Hart, Mary Louise Lee and Rajulari of Vintage’s Crowms recently attended the Denver Center’s ‘Crowns’-inspired Hattitude luncheon. Photo by John Moore

June 28-Aug. 4: Vintage Theatre Company’s Crowns
1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

June 28-August 25: Creede Repertory Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors
124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or creederep.org

June 28-August 11: Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s MAMMA MIA!
460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne,  970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

June 28-23: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
800 Grand Ave., Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

June 28-August 30: Thingamajig Theatre Company’s Jekyll and Hyde, The Musical
2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

CONTINUING THEATRE PRODUCTIONS IN COLORADO:

Through June 1: Funky Little Theatre Company’s August: Osage County
1367 Pecan St., Colorado Springs, 719-471-4462 or funkylittletheater.org

Through June 2: Black Actors Guild and with Emancipation Theatre’s Mosque
At The People’s Building, 9995 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, eventbrite.com

Through June 2: Buntport Theater’s Something is Rotten
717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

Through June 2: Peak to Peak Players’ Romeo and Juliet
Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

Through June 5: Buntport Theater’s Magnets on the Fridge (First Wednesdays)
717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

Through June 6: Phamaly Theatre Company’s 30th Anniversary Concert
303-575-0005 or phamaly.org

  • June 2 in the Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St.
  • June 6 at the Levitt Pavilion, 1380 W. Florida Ave.

Michelle Moore. Photo by Ed Baierlein.

Through June 8: Germinal Stage-Denver’s Hay Fever
At the John Hand Theater on the Colorado Free University Campus at Lowry, 7653 E 1st Place, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

Through June 9: National touring production of Wicked
Buell Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

Through June 9: Bas Bleu Theatre Company’s Harvey
401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

Through June 9: Dangerous Theatre’s The Love and Violence Trilogy (Three short plays by Luke Gomez)
2620 W. 2nd Ave, No. 1, Denver, 720-989-1764 or dangeroustheatre.com

Through June 15: Curious Theatre Company’s Sanctions
1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org READ MORE

Pre-show pageantry in Colorado Springs. Photo by John Moore

Through June 16: Town Hall Arts Center’s Sister Act
2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.com

Through June 16: Vintage Theatre’s The Language Archive
1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

Through June 16: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Barnum
30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

Through June 22: Cygnet Theatre’s Awaiting the Apocalypse
2931 W. Short Place, 720-660-0506

William Hahn and Abby Apple Boes. RDG Photography

Through June 23: Miners Alley Playhouse’s Queen of Conspiracy
1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

Through July 7: Jesters Dinner Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz
224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

Through August 1: Iron Springs Chateau’s One Bad Apple, or As the Worm Turns
444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, 719-685-5104 or ironspringschateau.com

Through August 31: BDT Stage’s Beauty and the Beast
5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

Through September 15: Thingamajig Theatre Company’s Ring of Fire
2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

Through November 18: The Source Theatre’s Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret (every third Monday)
At Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Onstage Colorado: Your comprehensive online Colorado theatre calendar

Want to know what shows are performing on any specific date? We at the DCPA NewsCenter want to point you Alex Miller’s OnStage Colorado, which offers Colorado theatre news, reviews and a comprehensive, functional and searchable Colorado theatre calendar. You can look for shows by title, date or company. Continue to send your show listings to jmoore@dcpa.org and info@onstagecolorado.com.