• Video: Ariel Shafir on the new warrior face of 'Macbeth'

    by John Moore | Sep 12, 2017

    'We're getting a taste of where theatre has evolved, and Robert O'Hara is at the finger's edge of all this," Ariel Shafir says of his 'Macbeth' director. Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    'When you see someone like me playing Macbeth, already you are getting a different energy, look and feel.'

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Actor Ariel Shafir is well aware that when most people imagine the face of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, they likely conjure a face like, say, Patrick Stewart’s or Kelsey Grammer’s as the great killer Scot. “It’s usually some 60-year-old, very WASPy looking guy,” Shafir said with a laugh.

    Ariel ShafirBut nevertheless, the decidedly younger Shafir is preparing to play the iconic embodiment of bloodthirsty ambition for the DCPA Theatre Company. And he thinks he’s just right for the role.

    “Macbeth is not one of these old generals in some back room,” Shafir said. “He’s on the battlefield. He’s the greatest warrior they have. So when you see someone like me playing Macbeth, you can see how far we are veering from the typical playbook. Already you are getting a different energy, a different look, a different feel for Macbeth.”

    Director Robert O’Hara is telling the tale of Macbeth from the point of view of a coven of shamanic warlocks. In his world, these warlocks are getting together years later and performing the story of Macbeth as a kind of passion play.

    There are purists who believe Shakespeare should not be tinkered with, even in concept. Shafir challenges that notion. “It is important to note that this is going to be the exact text Shakespeare wrote,” Shafir said. “But instead of relying on the template of productions past, I think Robert is actually probing deeper into the script and striking much closer to the heart of Shakespeare’s actual play.

     “We are delving into some of the darkest shadows of human psychology, and I think I directors sometimes tiptoe that line. But not Robert. There are so many things in our production that many others don’t ever deal with. There are just so many things about our own shadow selves that we need to embrace, and I think we do.”

    Ariel Shafir. Photo by John MooreThere’s a reason Macbeth remains a popular story after 400 years. Shafir says it’s the same reason we love Halloween and horror movies.

    “What is this darkness in ourselves that we need to embrace in the nighttime so that we can go out and be productive in the daylight hours?” he said.

    “This play is reaching forward in time and, at the same time, reaching back. There will be an interesting tension between the classic Jacobean style, while also having this completely futuristic feel as well. There are so many parts of this play that I think will be illuminated for the first time for people.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Ariel Shafir: At a glance
    At the Denver Center: Debut. Other regional credits: John Proctor in The Crucible (Playmakers Rep), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare), Axel Fersen in Marie Antoinette (Steppenwolf), Uzi in Captors (Huntington), John in A Life in the Theater (Alliance), among many others including most recently Isaac in the China Tour of Disgraced. TV/Film: "Orange is the New Black," "30 Rock," "Army Wives," I Love You ... but I Lied," "M'Larky," "What Happens in Vegas" "Bride Wars" "Don Peyote," "What Happens Next," "Hysterical Psycho." Winner of a Suzi Bass Award, Jeff Award and Barrymore Award.

    Macbeth: Ticket information

    Macbeth_seasonlineup_200x200At a glance: Forget what you know about Shakespeare’s brutal tragedy. Director Robert O’Hara breathes new life (and death) into this raw reimagining for the grand reopening of The Space Theatre. To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way – not the lives of others or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. This ambitious reinvention reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses to kill must suffer the consequences.
    • Presented by the DCPA Theatre Company
    • First performance Sept. 15, through Oct. 29
    • Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Macbeth: Previous DCPA NewsCenter coverage
    The masculinity of Macbeth
    at a time when everything is shifting Cast announced for Robert O’Hara’s reimagined Macbeth
    Video, photos: Our coverage of the Space Theatre opening

    Making of Macbeth: Full photo gallery:

    Making of 'Macbeth'

    Photos from the making of Robert O'Hara's 'Macbeth' for the DCPA Theatre Company. To see more, hover your cursor over the image above and click the forward arrow that appears. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Mayor cuts the ribbon on a new era for the Space Theatre

    by John Moore | Aug 15, 2017
    Space Theatre Renovation Photo gallery: To see more photos from the reopening of the Space Theatre, along with early construction photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. Most photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    'The arts are the engine that drives people to our city and sets Denver apart,' Hancock says at reopening ceremony

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist 

    Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock helped cut the ribbon on the newly rebuilt Space Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Tuesday morning, telling the gathered crowd it is the arts that distinguish Denver from other metropolitan cities.

    “We are absolutely giddy to be here as part of this auspicious occasion,” Hancock said at the reopening ceremony, held in The Space Theatre’s fully reconceived new lobby. "We can talk about airports - they help us connect to the world. Everybody has streets. Everybody has parks. But the arts are the engine that drives people to our city and sets Denver apart.”

    The new Space Theatre officially reopens Sept. 22 with Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

    The project was made possible by a $10 million grant from the Better Denver Bond Program, which was part of the largest bond issue in Denver history when it was approved by voters in 2007.

    The nearly 40-year-old Space Theatre was completely gutted and rebuilt from top to bottom. It remains the five-sided “in-the-round” performance space familiar to Denver theatregoers, only it has been fully modernized and features flexible seating configurations that can change from play to play.

    DCPA Chairman Martin Semple called Tuesday “a momentous day in our history.” DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden said: “This has been 30 months of incredible planning and construction. The team at the DCPA and our partners have done a beautiful job.”

    The ceremony took place just hours after the Denver City Council unanimously referred a $937 million bond to the November ballot that, if approved by voters, will make $19 million available for further renovations to the Denver Center’s Stage and Ricketson theatres, also located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex. “We as a city are willing to put our money behind the renovation, upkeep and sustainability of these great venues so that people can continue to enjoy what makes Denver so special,” Hancock said. “These investments are very strategic. They are important in keeping us a world-class city going forward.”  

    Space Theatre. John Moore photo.  The Space Theatre effort also was boosted by a $1 million donation from The Joan and Phill Berger Charitable Fund, represented Tuesday by Phil and Marcie Munishor. An additional unveiling was held christening the new performance space the Joan and Phill Berger Auditorium (pictured right).

    The Space opened in 1979. While it has enjoyed some cosmetic updates over the years, this was is the first overhaul of both audience amenities and backstage support.

    Because the layout of the theatre remains essentially unchanged, lead architect Chris Wineman of Semple Brown Design predicted that, once inside, returning theatregoers might not even notice that much has changed. But their experience getting to their seats will be dramatically different.

    The original design of the Bonfils Complex featured one main lobby with multiple entrances into both the Space Theatre and the larger Stage Theatre next to it. The Space Theatre now has its own enlarged lobby with one central doorway into the theatre. Before, patrons descended a winding staircase and then climbed back up to their seats from stage level.

    Space Theatre. John Moore photo.  That entire staircase is gone. Audiences will now walk directly into the theatre and down to their seats. That will not only be much more convenient for patrons, Wineman said, audiences for the first time will be fully separated from the cast and creative teams running the show below.

    DCPA Technical Director Jeff Gifford said the new theatre boasts state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound; improved sightlines and is now in full ADA compliance - both for audience members and crews working the shows.

    Overall capacity has been reduced from 420 to 380. But because the seating is now flexible, certain configurations will be able to accommodate up to 416, Gifford said.

    Among all the many improvements, audiences no doubt will cheer the construction of new bathrooms, doubling previous the capacity. But there are others, including:  

    • Modern acoustic treatments specifically meant to accentuate and evenly distribute the spoken word throughout the entire theatre.
    • The old Space Theatre was divided into four levels. The new theatre has just two. There are now more seats on the main floor, closer to the action. That will maintain the intimacy of the original theatre and greatly improve sightlines for many.
    • More wheelchair and companion seating.
    • State-of-the art lighting and all new wiring.
    • An elevator inside the theatre will allow patrons to easily access the main seating level.

    A Space Theatre 800 3
    From left: DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and DCPA Chairman Martin Semple. Photo by John Moore.

    For those artisans who work behind the scenes, Gifford is most excited by the presence of five control booths, one in each section of the theatre. “That means our sound and light operators working the shows now will actually be able to see the shows with their own eyes,” Gifford said. “I don't know if people realize this, but they used to be kept behind a wall, and the only way they saw the show was on a video monitor - as long as that monitor was actually working.”

    Now there will be a home for additional specialists, such as a projections operator, if necessary. Now there is a discreet place where the director or understudy actors can watch a performance without sitting among the crowd. Before, understudies would be sent all the way up to the catwalks to watch a show from overhead. That’s the highest point in the theatre, above the rafters and lights.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The renovation has been supervised by the DCPA Vice President of Facilities and Event Services Clay Courter. “Clay really spearheaded this project from blueprint to completion,” Sinden said.

    “This new and improved Space Theatre keeps the intimate theatre-in-the-round style that brought audiences to an island of lost boys in Lord of The Flies and into the world of August Wilson's Fences,” Courter said. “This new theatre is going to represent a new way of heightening the energy of the audience and the performers in creating that sense of intimacy and connection that has always been the hallmark of seeing a show in the Space Theatre.”

    Several city leaders were present at Tuesday’s ceremony, including Arts and Venues Executive Director Kent Rice and Deputy Director Ginger White Brunetti; Interim Director of Public Works George Delaney, and Deputy City Attorney Shawn Sullivan.

    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.

    Space Theatre tour facts.

    The Space Theatre/Fun facts:

    • The Space Theatre opened on Dec. 31, 1979, with Moby Dick Rehearsed. It reopens Sept. 22 with Robert O’Hara’s reimagined, all-male production of Macbeth.
    • The DCPA Theatre Company has entertained 4.5 million patrons in its four performance venues in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, including the Space Theatre, over the past 38 years.
    • 11,500 worker hours went into the electrical work alone.
    • Turner Construction Company hauled away more than 350 tons of concrete, which is equal to 700 grand pianos, 53 elephants or nearly 5,300 people. Crews then re-poured 550 tons of concrete.

    : Ticket information

    Macbeth_seasonlineup_200x200At a glance: Forget what you know about Shakespeare’s brutal tragedy. Director Robert O’Hara breathes new life (and death) into this raw reimagining for the grand reopening of The Space Theatre. To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way – not the lives of others or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. This ambitious reinvention reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses to kill must suffer the consequences.
    • Presented bythe DCPA Theatre Company
    • First performance Sept. 15, through Oct. 29
    • Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    A Space Theatre 800 4The original Space Theatre.
  • 'Lost Creatures': Love finds its voice in the ruins of Rochester

    by John Moore | Nov 05, 2016

    Watch the trailer for Louise Brooks' 1929 silent film, 'Pandora's Box.'

    By McKenzie Kielman

    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    Louise Brooks was an iconic American silent-film star from the 1920s and ’30s, the flapper who immortalized the bobbed hairstyle 50 years before Dorothy Hamill skated her way into America’s hearts. Kenneth Tynan was a highly regarded English theatre critic who so idolized Brooks that he tracked her down in 1978 to profile her in The New Yorker. By then, Brooks was a forgotten recluse living in a dingy apartment in Rochester, N.Y.

    Lost Creatures. And Toto Too. Billie McBride and Annabel ReaderAnd yet, despite their 20-year age gap, an unlikely love story unfolded in the course of their marathon dialogue about sex, philosophy, art and criticism.

    Acclaimed local playwright Melissa Lucero McCarl (Painted Bread) imagines what might have happened during that fateful encounter in Lost Creatures, the final play in the 11th season for And Toto Too, the only Colorado theatre company dedicated exclusively to new works by women playwrights. The fan and the idol identify one another as kindred spirits despite the May-December age difference. 

    Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski, the DCPA’s Associate Director of Education, directed the play starring Colorado Theatre Guild Lifetime Achievement Award winner Billie McBride and former local theatre critic Mark Collins, along with Annabel Reader as Lulu, the famous character Brooks played in the 1929 silent film Pandora’s Box. Appropriately enough, Lulu does not speak during the play, either.

    Read Kenneth Tynan's New Yorker profile on Louise Brooks

    “I’m very intrigued to see how audiences respond to this third character, who is somewhat spectral and never clearly defined - on purpose - as if she’s not really there, or a product of imagination,” said Elkins-Zeglarski.

    Patrick Elkins Zeglarski. Lost Creatures. Although film is a fundamental basis for the dialogue, no clips from the 24 films Brooks appeared in have been incorporated into the play. “Oh, the horror,” Tynan jokes. But the absence is intentional, Elkins-Zeglarski said.

    “Ken even starts the evening by saying there are no film clips, because this is a play about language and ideas,” he said. “We will be talking about film, but we will not be looking at film.”

    McCarl’s resulting play, he said, is smart. “It’s just an exceptional evening to sit in the company of these two great minds as they delight and challenge each other.”

    Some audience members may come in with a vast knowledge of Brooks and Tynan, while others may never have heard of either one. Elkins-Zeglarski said the conversation stands on its own. But he finds it inconceivable that these two renowned figures in film history might otherwise be lost in the sands of time. Pop culture loses a Louise Brooks and gains a Kardashian. "I don’t think the play judges that, but I do think that the play says, ‘Hey, there are other options out there,' " Elkins-Zeglarski said. “We are spending time with two of those options.”

    And while everyone knows Kim, Kylie, Klohé, Kourtney and Kendall, we call all relate to Brooks, Elkins-Zeglarski said, “Whether you are also someone who wants to create, or are someone who is also managing addiction, or if you identify with being labeled or pigeonholed but not succumbing to those people. I think this is a very modern and contemporary conversation, even if it takes place in the late 1970s.

    Meet Mark Collins, the critic who plays the critic Kenneth Tynan

    “That’s a benefit of this play. You get to spend an intimate evening with these two people and walk away wondering, ‘How did these lives touch me in this theatrical journey?’”

    Lost Creatures. Kenneth Tynan. Louise Brooks. The city is helping bring McCarl's world-premiere staging to the Denver Performing Arts Complex in a new performance space called The Commons, located at 1245 Champa St. It’s part of the city’s Next Stage Now program - a public initiative to enliven and diversify the downtown arts complex. A new partnership between the city’s department of Arts & Venues, the Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has made $200,000 available to support public performances, programming and place-making initiatives at the arts complex in 2016. 

    McKenzie Kielman is a sophomore at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and is an intern this semester for the DCPA NewsCenter. Contact her at cintern@dcpa.org

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Lost Creatures: Ticket information
    Nov. 9-13
    At The Commons, 1245 Champa St.
    Performances 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays
    Tickets $25
    Call 720-583-3975 or go to and-toto-too-theatre-company.org



  • In the Spotlife: Mark Collins of 'Lost Creatures'

    by John Moore | Nov 01, 2016
    Mark Collins. Lost Creatures
    Photo of Mark Collins by Sara Harris.

    (The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.)


    The former Boulder theatre critic is playing renowned theatre critic Kenneth Tynan in Melissa Lucero McCarl's 'Lost Creatures' for And Toto too Theatre Company

    • Lulu Mark Collins Lost CreaturesHometown: Reidsville, N.C.
    • Home now: Denver
    • High School: Boulder High School
    • College: I have a BFA in Acting from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    • What have you done for us lately? I played Michael in God of Carnage at Miners Alley Playhouse
    • What is Lost Creatures all about? In 1978, former British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan visited reclusive former silent-film star Louise Brooks in her dingy one-room apartment in Rochester, N.Y. Tynan, a fan of Brooks', was there to interview the 71-year-old for a profile he wrote that eventually ran in the New Yorker. Playwright Melissa Lucero McCarl imagines what happened when these two kindred spirits – two lost creatures – met and drank and talked and ...?
    • Tell us about your character: Kenneth Tynan was a foremost drama critic, and a notorious and purposefully provocative sexual deviant; he suffered from emphysema and had a life-long stammer. As an actor, though, the big stretch for me has been that Ken speaks in complete and often flourishing paragraphs. I, on the other hand, have trouble speaking in complete sentences. So that’s been a challenge.
    • Lost CreaturesWhat do you love most about this experience? First, to get to work with this dynamite team – the supportive and miracle-making duo of (producers) Susan Lyles and Darren Smith; our onion-peeler-of-a-director Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski, our smokin’ hot writer Melissa McCarl, clever stage manager Lauren Myer, and the lovely tandem of Billie McBride and Annabel Reader - is a real treat. Billie will break hearts as Louise, I guarantee it. But one of the things I’m most looking forward to is how the audience responds to the character of Lulu, played by Annabel. She, as Louise Brooks’ iconic film character from the 1929 pre-talkie Pandora’s Box (you’ll recognize the hairstyle she made famous), is a silent character. She is (mostly) unseen by others on stage, yet Lulu is ever present and ever mischievous, and Annabel has created this fully realized character without words wonderfully.
    • From 2012: Moore & Collins: Two ex-theater critics having coffee

    • What's one thing most people don't know about you? I think many people in the local theater scene know I was a theater critic for the Boulder Camera for several years. Many don’t realize that was a freelance position, and my full-time work for much of that period was as a sports editor/writer for the (University of Colorado) Buffalo Sports News. Truth be told, I’m much more fluent on the history of the Colorado Buffaloes football than I am on, say, Bertolt Brecht.
    • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? Um, so, as an audience member, my pet peeve is those increasingly present, but frustratingly intrusive post-curtain marketing speeches. Please don’t tell me to like you on Facebook when I’m absorbing and processing and feeling what’s just happened on your stage. Oh, but that’s a downer note to end on. So, I want to get this off my chest, too: Theater is filled with lost creatures, and I’m so grateful to be among that tribe here in Colorado!


    Lost Creatures: Ticket information

    • By Melissa Lucero McCarl
    • Directed by Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski
    • Nov. 3-19
    • Presented by And Toto too Theatre Company at 1245 Champa St. (In the brand new performance space called The Commons.)
    • Performances: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays 
    • Tickets $15-25
    • Info: 720-583-3975 or go to andtototoo.org 

    Cast List:
    • Mark Collins as Kenneth Tynan
    • Billie McBride as Louise Brooks
    • Annabel Reader as Lulu

    About the Next Stage NOW Project
    Lost Creatures is supported in part by Next Stage NOW, a public initiative with a mission to enliven and diversify the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Denver Arts & Venues in partnership with the Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has made $200,000 available to support public performances, programming and place making initiatives at the Arts Complex in 2016.

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre'sThe Crucible
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Parking near the downtown arts complex: Help is on the way

    by Olivia Jansen | Apr 04, 2016

    Parking DPAC
    A new office building at 1401 Lawrence St. will providing about 400 new parking spaces within a block of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the largest of its kind in the country under one roof. It is home to the Tony Award-winning DCPA Theatre Company, Broadway touring productions, contemporary dance and ballet, chorales, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, internationally acclaimed opera and much more. With 15 performance and meeting spaces over its 12 acres, parking spaces can be few and far between on a busy night.

    Parking DPACThe math is grim: The complex offers almost 12,000 seats. And the on-site, city-owned parking structure (pictured at right) offers only 1,700 spots. Even with the 1,000 spaces available at the nearby Colorado Convention Center, many patrons are left searching for alternate places to park.

    But there’s relief on the way.

    Last month, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock unveiled “Next Stage,” a bold proposal for what a transformed Denver Performing Arts Complex might look like. The plan calls for a new parking facility under Sculpture Park that would raise the current number of available parking spots by 900. The plan is still in the conceptual phase, and design proposals are expected in 2017.

    More immediately: A new office building at 1401 Lawrence St. will include nine levels of parking, providing about 400 new parking spaces. The 23-story high-rise is scheduled to open this June. Another new office tower at 15th and Arapahoe streets will include 13 levels of parking, introducing 850 more much-needed parking spaces downtown. The 40-floor building, with a targeted opening date of December 2017, will be the fourth-tallest building in Denver.

    Denver Performing Arts Complex parking tips

    In the meantime, check out our list of 10 available nearby parking locations, all within a 15-minute walk to the arts complex. First, two insider tips: The city now offers $25 valet parking on most nights in the arts center garage. Enter on 13th street between Arapahoe and Champa streets. Also: Park at the Independence Plaza garage underneath the Rock Bottom Brewery at 16th and Curtis streets. Eat at the restaurant after 3 p.m. (or all day on weekends) and your parking will be validated for only $3.

    Parking DPAC 600 2

    This new office tower at 15th and Arapahoe streets will introduce 850 more parking spaces downtown within a block of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Alternate transportation to the arts complex


    Ten selected parking options close to the Denver Performing Arts Complex:

    16th Street Center Parking, 1621 Champa St. MAP

    • 7-minute walk
    • Parked after 4 p.m.: $6


    Alpha Park,
    1440 Stout St. MAP

    • 5-minute walk
    • Night rates: $7-$15


    Colorado Convention Center,
    1104 Champa St. MAP

    • 5-minute walk
    • Park up to 8 hours: $12


    Writer Square Parking,
    1551 Lawrence St. MAP

    • 10-minute walk
    • Friday after 5 p.m., all day Saturday and Sunday: $10


    Spot Parking,
    1481 Lawrence St. MAP

    • 8-minute walk
    • Each hour: $6
    • All day: $13, Saturday and Sunday after 4 p.m.: $12


    Tremont Parking Garage,
    440 15th St. MAP

    • 11-minute walk
    • Friday nights through Sunday nights: $6


    Pavilions Mall Garage,
    15th and Glenarm Place, 1533 Welton St. MAP

    • 10-minute walk
    • Park 2-3 hours: $12, park over 3 hours: $14
    • 800 underground parking spaces off Welton Street, 200 surface parking spaces off Glenarm Place.

    Hilton Garden Inn
    , 1400 Welton St. MAP

    • 7-minute walk
    • Park up to 4 hours: $20


    Park Central Garage,
    1550 Lawrence St. MAP

    • 10-minute walk
    • Friday after 5 p.m. and all day Saturday: $10
    • Sunday evenings: $6

    17th Street Parking,
    1761 Lawrence St. MAP

    • 12-minute walk
    • Weekends and evenings after 4 p.m.: $6


    To reserve hotel parking spots the night of a show at a cheaper price, check out parkme.com, parkingpanda.com and parkwhiz.com.

    • Curtis Hotel, 2-minute walk to DPAC
    • Renaissance Downtown, 9-minute walk to DPAC
    • Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown, 9-minute walk to DPAC
    • Grand Hyatt Denver, 13-minute walk to DPAC
    • Spring Hill Suites, 14-minute walk to DPAC

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • DCPA CEO Scott Shiller: Where The Wild Thoughts Are

    by Scott Shiller | Jan 15, 2016
    Scott Shiller Denver Performing Arts Complex

    It’s a little too late to say “Happy New Year,” so I’ll just welcome you to the second half of our 2015-16 theatre season. Although the ball has dropped and we’ve all moved on, every new calendar is like a blank slate. What did I learn from the last year? Can I dream a little bigger this year? These are all probably questions we should ask ourselves more than once a year. But who’s counting?

    Scott Shiller (President and Chief Executive Officer)Our city has been dreaming bigger lately. Recently, Mayor Hancock asked for a pie-in-the-sky vision of what the Denver Performing Arts Complex could be. (Reminder: the City of Denver manages the physical Complex and we, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, present and produce the live theatre within it.) The mayor wanted to look past the current and short-term challenges the Complex faces and just dream. Not to dismiss today’s challenges but to reconsider the Complex’s place in our shared history — and in our shared future.

    So Denver’s Arts & Venues, in partnership with other city agencies and the community, launched a master planning process to generate a vision and plan for the 12-acre campus. Experts in the arts, urban planning and development have been working together ever since to imagine the “Next Stage” for the Complex. See the progress for yourself at artsandvenues.com/nextstage.
    Imagine a multi-level parking structure beneath the Complex and the current garage replaced with a completely new music hall. Imagine a School for the Arts on campus, where the next generation of artists and professionals can train and perform. Imagine a renewed galleria lined with stores and restaurants to make it feel as dynamic as any downtown street. Imagine a Bike House. To find out what that is, you’ll have to visit the link above.

    Along with the Mayor and the executive leadership team, I invite you to offer your ideas for the Complex. What’s important to you and your family in a cultural facility? What amenities and/or activities would you enjoy before and after a show? As the theatre organization with a lot riding on the success of the Complex, we have opinions. But you’re the reason we do what we do.

    So go wild and dream a little bigger about what’s all around you. We’re listening.

    Let us know your thoughts by commenting at the bottom of this story.

    About our Guest Columnist:
    Scott Shiller, a nationally recognized Producer, Presenter and Entertainment Executive, was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in February, 2015. As President & CEO, Shiller has overall responsibility for the DCPA’s programmatic, operating, revenue, marketing, development and administrative functions. He comes to the DCPA from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, where he served as Executive Vice President from 2007 to 2015. With direct oversight of programming and marketing initiatives, Shiller’s first season at the Center resulted in a $3.3 million turnaround, more than 100 sold-out performances, and a 76 percent increase in attendance. Shiller began his career working with Tony Award-winning producer Jon B. Platt on productions including Wicked (Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Joel Grey), Man of La Mancha (Brian Stokes Mitchell), Sly Fox (Richard Dreyfuss), The Graduate (Kathleen Turner, Alicia Silverstone, Jason Biggs), Blue Man Group: Tubes, Cabaret (Teri Hatcher, Norbert Leo Butz), Master Class (Faye Dunaway), Wait Until Dark (Quentin Tarantino, Marisa Tomei), Taller than a Dwarf (Matthew Broderick, Parker Posey), Macbeth (Kelsey Grammer), The Diary of Anne Frank (Natalie Portman), and The Vagina Monologues (Eve Ensler).

    Previous conversations with Scott Shiller:
    Previously, Scott Shiller posed these questions for NewsCenter readers:

    *Making Cents of Arts Funding:
     "Should the federal government allocate more funding to the National Endowment for the Arts?" To read his essay - and reader responses, please visit our NewsCenter here

    *Declining arts coverage:
    How to respond to declining arts coverage? To read his essay - and reader responses, please visit our NewsCenter here

    *Social media in the theatre:
    How will we, as theatre professionals and audiences, find common ground for mobile devices in theatres? To read his essay - and reader responses, please visit our NewsCenter here

  • Annaleigh Ashford to host two special cabaret concerts at DCPA

    by John Moore | Feb 11, 2015

    Video: Annaleigh Ashford's Day in Denver.

    ASHFORD_ AnnaleighDenver native Annaleigh Ashford is already a Tony Award nominee. She has appeared in five big Broadway productions. She performs onstage every night with James Earl Jones. She has been called “a sly comic genius” by The New York Times. She provides a voice in the biggest animated movie on the planet – Frozen. And next month, she returns to her delicious role as prostitute Betty DiMello on Showtime's Masters of Sex. And she’s not yet even 30.

    The one thing it seems Ashford has not yet done in her young life is perform at her hometown Denver Performing Arts Complex.

    Scratch that.

    The Wheat Ridge High School grad will come home to perform her acclaimed cabaret act, Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars, on April 11-12 at the Garner Galleria Theatre. Tickets go on sale to current DCPA subscribers at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. A public on-sale will follow at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.

    “I am really excited to just share my heart with friends and family and my fellow Coloradans,” Ashford told the DCPA’s NewsCenter.

    annaleighquoteBut she wouldn’t call herself a big shot. “Not at all,” she said. “The last few years, I have gotten to be an actor full-time, which is pretty much the dream of all dreams. So I have to tell you, I have been really lucky.”

    Lost in the Stars is billed as “an evening of song, story and sequin.” Along with young music director Will Van Dyke and the Whisky 5 band, Lost in the Stars celebrates classic cabaret with an eclectic mix of music that ranges from a 10-minute Donna Summer disco medley, to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, to an audience sing-along of an Alanis Morissette tune. “It’s a game that I created called Cabaret Karaoke,” Ashford said.

    Wait … Donna Summer? But Ashford was born in the 1980s.

    “The medley really celebrates the history of Studio 54,” Ashford said. But she was a fan of the late disco queen, for real. “In high school, when everyone else was listening to Eminem, I was listening to Donna Summer Live for four months straight,” she said.

    'You Can't Take It With You.' Photo by Joan Marcus.When Ashford says the evening will be eclectic, she means it. The program includes the haunting melodies of Kurt Weill and also, Ashford promises, “I even throw in a Stephen Sondheim-Elton John mash-up.” And while big stars don’t typically sing Broadway tunes in their Times Square cabaret shows, Ashford is adding several contemporary Broadway standards to her Denver set list. For those audiences hoping to hear a few of the songs Ashford sang in Legally Blonde, Wicked, Kinky Boots and Rent, “There is a major possibility they will hear them,” she said. “And by ‘major possibility,’ I mean they will hear them.”

    And it’s all woven together through heartfelt storytelling that is sure to call upon Ashford’s Colorado roots.  

    “I prefer to go to cabaret that is very personal and heartwarming and hopefully funny,” she said, “and that was our goal with this piece.”

    Annaleigh AshfordAfter conquering Broadway in Wicked, Legally Blonde, Hair, Kinky Boots and her current role as Essie in You Can’t Take it With You, Ashford has become a sensation on the New York cabaret scene. Local audiences got a glimpse of that when she returned in 2010 to perform a benefit for the Town Hall Arts Center at a church in Littleton. Of her show at the New York hotspot 54 Below, the New York Times said: “Annaleigh Ashford is in a lineage of fearless, saucy entertainers who seem born to conquer,” and called her the “most promising rising star to appear at 54 Below this year.” 

    Her stop in Denver is part of a national mini-tour that also goes through Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

    But her show will be more than the usual cabaret songs and banter, she said. "What is kind of exciting about our specific club act is that parts of it are like a theatre piece," she said.

    There will even be special appearances by the sun and the moon.

    “I know this because I made them myself,” she said. “And that's all I say. Well, I will say this: Our goal is for people to leave with their hearts warmed.”

    Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars

    • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11
    • 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12
    • Single tickets start at $50
    • Tickets go on sale to current DCPA subscribers at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 16. A public on-sale will follow at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.
    • To charge by phone, call 303-893-4100 | TTY: 303-893-9582) | Groups of 10 or more: 303-446-4829
    • Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby
    • buy online

    Please be advised that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – and DenverCenter.Org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of “Annaleigh Ashford – Lost in the Stars”

    Our previous coverage of Annaleigh Ashford in the DCPA NewsCenter:

    Podcast: Our 'Running Lines' interview with Cyndi Lauper
     Interview: Cyndi Lauper on 'Kinky Boots' ... and how to save Broadway

    Here is our 2013 backstage interview with Annaleigh Ashford and fellow Coloradan Andy Kelso when they were both appearing in "Kinky Boots."
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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