For two actors in the First National Tour of Beetlejuice, coming back to Denver is like returning to a place of magic. Kate Marilley, who stars as Delia in Beetlejuice, performed in her dream role with the DCPA Theatre Company – twice. “In both 2007 and 2012 – with slightly different casts but the same creative team, I played Judy Haynes in White Christmas at the Buell Theatre,” said Marilley. Judy Haynes was originated by dancing starlet Vera-Ellen in the 1954 film. “I absolutely loved performing with the Denver Center – everyone is so welcoming. Audiences are so ready to embrace whatever is onstage.”
In Brian Vaughn’s case, the magic persisted for several seasons of A Christmas Carol, playing Bob Cratchit in the DCPA Theatre Company’s annual tradition. “The Denver Center is a national treasure,” he said, “It was a dream to perform there, especially in the holiday season. I think it speaks to the value of the Denver Center to the community, how A Christmas Carol has become a sort of tradition. We would often perform to full houses, and see people year after year, bringing their family and friends.”
Now, in Beetlejuice, Vaughn plays Maxie Dean and understudies Charles, which has introduced him to a whole new theatre experience. “Inside the big Broadway machine has been an eye-opening experience for me,” he explained. “I have such a massive respect and admiration for the directorial and creative teams, and my castmates.” Outside the tour, Vaughn has worked extensively as an actor and director around the country. Working on both sides of a production has enabled him to see the bigger picture and to deepen his connection to theatre. “I believe in storytelling and I believe the theatre is a vital source for our health as human beings, both to reflect and to learn how to be a better human and connect with others,” he said.
Marilley agrees, finding her character Delia to be a freeing experience. “Of all the roles I’ve played, Delia is maybe the most special and unique character I’ve ever had the privilege to play,” she said. Director Alex Timbers has given the cast the ability to develop their own versions of the characters, something that can be difficult after the musical originated on Broadway, based on a famous movie. “We’re going beyond just cookie cutter versions of the roles that originated on Broadway,” Marilley said. “I’ve really pushed myself into Delia’s eccentricities and had fun with it.”
It’s easy to see why audiences everywhere are enamored with Beetlejuice – showing up to the theatre in costume, cosplaying their favorite characters. The cast is deeply invested in the story and bringing those characters to life, and they continue to deliver a spectacular production. For Marilley and Vaughn, returning to Denver is sure to bring the magic.