• 'Frozen': Your first look at production photos

    by John Moore | Sep 14, 2017
    The video above captures the excitement from Opening Night of the pre-Broadway engagement of 'Frozen; in Denver on Sept. 14, 2017. The run continues at the Buell Theatre through Oct. 1 before the moving to Broadway in February 2018. 


    Your first look at Opening Night and production photos from the Denver debut of the upcoming Broadway musical

    The first production photos of Disney Theatrical’s new Broadway musical Frozen were released this morning. The pre-Broadway engagement at the Buell Theatre opens tonight (Sept. 14)  and continues through Oct. 1. Photos by Deen van Meer.
     

    Jelani Alladin (Kristoff) and Patti Murin (Anna) in FROZEN. Photo by Deen van Meer
    Jelani Alladin (Kristoff) and Patti Murin (Anna) in 'Frozen.' Photo by Deen van Meer.



    Patti Murin (Anna) and John Riddle (Hans) in FROZEN. Photo by Deen van MeerPatti Murin (Anna) and John Riddle (Hans) in 'Frozen.' Photo by Deen van Meer.


    Jelani Alladin (Kristoff) and Andrew Pirozzi (Sven) in FROZEN. Photo by Deen van MeerJelani Alladin (Kristoff) and Andrew Pirozzi (Sven) in 'Frozen.' Photo by Deen van Meer.


    Patti Murin (Anna) and Caissie Levy (Elsa) with Jacob Smith in FROZEN. Photo by Deen van Meer

    Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Patti Murin (Anna) and Caissie Levy (Elsa) with Jacob Smith in 'Frozen.' Photo by Deen van Meer.

    The Company of FROZEN. Photo by Deen van MeerThe Company of 'Frozen.' Photo by Deen van Meer.


    Video: Our interviews with stars, creative team:

    Video above: Our series of interviews with members of the cast and creative team from the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen, which continues in Denver through Oct. 1. Videos by David Lenk. Interviews by John Moore.

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Through Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Following its pre-Broadway engagement, Frozen will join Disney Theatrical hits Aladdin and The Lion King on Broadway, beginning performances at the St. James Theatre on Feb. 22, 2018, and opening March 22. Tickets for Broadway performances are on sale now through Aug. 12, 2018. Visit FrozenTheMusical.com for more information.

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


     

  • 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
    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.
  • Fall theatre in Colorado: Time to confront issue of racism

    by John Moore | Sep 10, 2017

    Video playlist: Check out our "10 Most Intriguing Plays and Musicals" for fall 2017, in the words of featured actors from each production.


    The most divisive social issue of the summer has unified the local theatre community going into the fall.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    If nothing else, the white supremacists in Virginia last month moved the conversation about the festering racial divide in America from the margins to the mainstream. And this fall, Colorado theatres are moving it from the margins to the mainstage.

    Curious Theatre. Appropriate. Sean Scrutchins. Photo by Michael Ensminger. It seems the most polarizing social issue of the summer has unified the local theatre community. Area companies are confronting the issue this fall the only way they can: By telling stories that will instigate the kind of conversations that hopefully lead to new understanding.

    Jamil Jude, director of Curious Theatre's Appropriate - the story of a contemporary Arkansas family that discovers racist artifacts in their patriarch's possessions - said he hopes the play "can push audiences, especially white audiences, into difficult conversations.

    "We name systemic injustice and white privilege as institutions that have profited many and disenfranchised many more. We hope white allies will empower themselves to speak to their families to work to eradicate these systems and further advance equity." (Read our full interview)

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    As about 55 Colorado theatre companies prepare to open their 2017-18 seasons, at least 12 this fall will be tackling issues relating to racial, gender, economic or social inequities in America, past or present. That's about one in every five companies. Here's a sample, with links to more information:

    Below, we offer the upcoming theatre schedules for every company in the state. But first, here's a rundown (with links) to our choices for the 10 most intriguing plays and musicals of the upcoming fall season. Each includes a selfie video provided by a featured actor from each production: 

    Our 10 Most Intriguing Plays and Musicals for Fall 2017:

    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s Company
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    2017-18 COLORADO THEATRE SCHEDULES

    (All rights reserved. Send updates or additions to jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    5th WALL PRODUCTIONS
    Mostly at The Bakery, 2132 Market St., ticketleap.com
    January 2018: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
    September 2018: The Last Five Years

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

    Presented by Marne Interactive Productions, 2406 Federal Blvd., 303-455-1848 or adams’ home page
    Ongoing events and rotating shows

    AND TOTO TOO
    At The Commons on Champa in the Studio @ 1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org
    Nov. 2-18: Flowers in the Desert

    ARVADA CENTER
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org
    Sept. 12-Oct. 1: A Chorus Line READ MORE
    Oct. 13-Nov. 18: The Foreigner
    Nov. 17-Dec. 23: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Jan. 26-May 6, 2018: Sense and Sensibility
    Feb. 9-May 4, 2018: The Electric Baby
    March 2-May 3, 2018: All My Sons
    April 17- May 6, 2018: Sunday in the Park with George

    AURORA FOX ARTS CENTER
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org
    Sept. 22-Oct. 22: Company READ MORE
    Nov. 24-Dec. 23: Hi-Hat Hattie READ MORE
    Jan. 19-Feb. 10, 2018: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    Feb. 23-March 18, 2018: Real Women Have Curves
    April 13-May 13, 2018: Passing Strange

    THE AVENUE THEATER
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page
    Sept. 8-Oct. 15: My Brilliant Divorce READ MORE
    Opening Oct. 20: Comedy Sportz
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24: Santa’s Big Red Sack

    BAS BLEU THEATRE

    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org
    Through Oct. 8: Elephant’s Graveyard READ MORE
    Nov. 18-Dec.17: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Feb. 3-March 4, 2018: Waiting for the Parade
    April 7-May 6, 2018: Dirt! A Terra Nova Expedition
    June 2-July 1, 2018: Equus

    BENCHMARK THEATRE
    At 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, benchmarktheatre.com
    Feb. 16-March 25, 2018: A Kid Like Jake
    June 22-July 21, 2018: The Arsonists
    Sept. 14-Oct. 14, 2018: Uncanny Valley
    Oct. 19-28, 2018: Fever Dream Festival
    TBA: What You Will

    BOULDER ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or betc’s home page
    Sept. 14-Oct. 8: The Revolutionists READ MORE
    Oct. 19-Nov. 12: Birds of North America
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24: The SantaLand Diaries, at the Jones Theatre (Denver Center)
    Dec. 7-24: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!)
    Jan. 25-Feb. 18, 2018: Guards at the Taj
    April 12-May 6, 2018: Going to a Place Where You Already Are

    BDT STAGE
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdt’s home page
    Aug. 25-Nov. 11: Rock of Ages READ MORE
    Nov. 18-Feb. 24: Annie
    Dec. 10, 2017-Jan. 23, 2018: Motones vs. Jerseys
    March 3-May 26, 2018: Always … Patsy Cline
    March 5-6, 2018: The Glenn Miller Orchestra
    June 2-Sept. 8, 2018: The Little Mermaid

    BRECKENRIDGE BACKSTAGE THEATRE
    121 S. Ridge St., 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org
    No shows scheduled

    BUG THEATRE
    3654 Navajo St., 303-477-9984 or www.bugtheatre.info
    Sept. 16: The Bug’s Best (highlights from the past 20 years)

    BUNTPORT THEATER

    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com
    Third Tuesdays: The Great Debate
    Third Wednesdays: The Narrators
    Opening Oct. 14: Siren Song (young audiences; second Saturdays through May 2018)

    CANDLELIGHT DINNER PLAYHOUSE
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970) 744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com
    Sept. 7-Nov. 5: The Music Man
    Nov. 16, 2017-Feb. 14, 2018: Beauty and the Beast
    Feb. 23-April 15, 2018: Kiss Me Kate
    April 26-June 17, 2018: Man of La Mancha
    June 28-Aug. 26, 2018: Newsies

    THE CATAMOUNTS
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thecatamounts.org
    Sept. 8-30: You On the Moors Now READ MORE
    Oct. 27-28: FEED: Los Muertos (Longmont)
    Feb. 9-11, 2018: FEED: Love (TBD)
    May 25-June 17, 2018: Rausch (with Control Group Productions, TBD)

    CHERRY CREEK THEATRE
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheater.org
    Nov. 9-Dec. 10: Beau Jest
    Feb. 1-25, 2018: Respect: A Musical Journey of Women
    April 5-29, 2018: A Picasso
    Oct. 18-Nov. 11, 2018: My Name is Asher Lev

    COAL CREEK THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org
    Oct. 20-Nov. 4: Shining City

    COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or www.csfineartscenter.org
    Through Oct. 1: Parallel Lives
    Sept. 16: An Evening with Jim Breuer
    Oct. 5-Oct. 29: Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
    Oct. 13-Nov. 12: Bunnicula
    Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018: Annie                              
    Feb. 8-Feb. 25, 2018: Intimate Apparel
    March 20-April 1, 2018: Androcles and the Lion
    March 29-April 22, 2018: Fun Home
    April 27-May 20, 2018: Fully Committed
    May 24-June 17, 2018: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    June 29-July 21, 2018: Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind

    CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE
    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org
    Through Sept. 15: Talley’s Folley
    Through Sept. 14: General Store

    CURIOUS THEATRE
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curious’ home page 
    Through Oct. 14: Appropriate READ MORE
    Nov. 4-Dec. 9: Body of an American
    Jan. 13-Feb. 24, 2018: Detroit 67
    March 17-April 14, 2018: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism & Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
    May 5-June 16, 2018: Your Best One

    DENVER ACTORS FUND
    Various locations, denveractordfund@gmail.com or denveractorsfund.org
    Sept. 25: Miscast 2017, at Littleton Town Hall Arts Center
    Oct. 8: 13 The Musical, at the Mizel Center
    Oct 15: Denver Actors Fund Presents: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (at the Sloans’ Lake Alamo Drafthouse, with live entertainment from OpenStage’s Spamalot)

    DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE COMPANY
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page
    Fall Theatre Preview. MacbethSept. 22-Oct. 29: Macbeth, Space Theatre READ MORE
    Oct. 20-Nov. 19: Smart People, Ricketson Theatre
    Dec. 1-24: A Christmas Carol, Stage Theatre
    Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2018: Zoey’s Perfect Wedding, Space Theatre
    Feb. 2-25, 2018: American Mariachi, Stage Theatre
    Feb. 9-March 11, 2018: The Great Leap, Ricketson Theatre
    April 13-May 6, 2018: Native Gardens, Space Theatre
    April 27-May 27, 2018: The Who's Tommy, Stage Theatre
    May 25-June 24, 2018: Human Error, Garner Galleria Theatre

    Our video interview with 'Frozen' stars Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna).


    DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS BROADWAY

    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page
    Through Oct. 1: Frozen, Ellie Caulkins Opera House READ MORE
    Sept. 21-Oct. 22: Girls Only - The Secret Comedy of Women, Garner Galleria
    Oct. 17-29: Something Rotten!, Buell Theatre
    Nov 4-5: Breakin’ Convention, Buell Theatre
    Nov. 11, 2017-April 22, 2018: First Date, Garner Galleria
    Nov. 14-19: Rent 20th Anniversary Tour, Buell Theatre
    Nov. 28-Dec. 3: Chicago, Buell Theatre
    Dec. 9-10: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Buell Theatre
    Dec. 13-17: Elf The Musical, Buell Theatre
    Dec. 19-31: Waitress, Buell Theatre
    Jan. 2-14, 2018: Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, Buell Theatre
    Feb. 13-18, 2018: Stomp, Buell Theatre
    Feb. 27-Apr 1, 2018: Hamilton, Buell Theatre
    April 6-28, 2018: Disney’s Aladdin, Buell Theatre
    May 29-June 10, 2018: School of Rock, Buell Theatre
    June 13-July 1, 2018: The Book of Mormon, The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    July 25-Aug 5, 2018: Les Misérables, Buell Theatre
    Aug. 8-19, 2018: On Your Feet! Buell Theatre


    Cast of The Wild Party. Photo by Adams VisCom
    From left: 'The Wild Party' castmates Emily Van Fleet, Laurence Curry, Sheryl McCallum and Drew Horwitz. Photos by Adams VisCom.


    DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS OFF-CENTER

    Various locations, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page
    Oct. 12-31: The Wild Party, at The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace READ MORE
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24: The SantaLand Diaries, with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Jones Theatre
    March 22-April 15, 2018: This Is Modern Art, Jones Theatre
    Spring/Summer 2018: Remote Denver, on the streets of Denver

    THE EDGE THEATER
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com
    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Dinner
    Oct. 6-Nov. 5: A Delicate Balance
    Dec. 1-31: Resolutions

    EQUINOX THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinoxtheatredenver.com
    Nov. 10-Dec. 2: Disaster!

    EVERGREEN CHORALE

    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org
    Sept. 15-Oct. 8: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame READ MORE

    EVERGREEN PLAYERS
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org
    Oct. 20-Nov. 1: The Explorers Club

    FIREHOUSE THEATER COMPANY
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com 
    Through Oct. 7: The Mystery of Love and Sex READ MORE
    Feb. 17-March 17, 2018: Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

    FUNKY LITTLE THEATER COMPANY
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org
    Sept. 15-30: Maid to Order

    GERMINAL STAGE-DENVER
    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street
    303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com
    Sept. 22-Oct.15: Absurdio

    INSPIRE CREATIVE
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303-805-6800 or Inspirecreative.org
    Sept. 29-Oct. 15: South Pacific
    Jan. 19-Feb 11, 2018: The Little Mermaid
    March 16-25, 2018: Laughter on the 23rd Floor
    July 13-Aug. 5, 2018: The Full Monty

    JESTERS DINNER THEATRE

    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com
    Through Oct. 1: Anything Goes

    LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org
    Through Sept. 17: Noises Off
    Sept. 15-24: Pretty Fire READ MORE
    Nov. 24-Dec. 17: Murder for Two

    Rape of the Sabine Women. Local Theater Company. Photo by George Lange.
    Erik Fellenstein in Local Theater Company's 'The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias.' Photo by George Lange. 

    LOCAL THEATER COMPANY

    Carsen Theater at The Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org
    Oct. 27-Nov. 19: The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias READ MORE
    Feb. 28-March 26, 2018: Wisdom From Everything
    March 16-18, 2018: Local Lab 2018: New Play Festival

    LONE TREE ARTS CENTER
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000, lonetreeartscenter.org
    Nov. 9-19: Love Letters

    LONGMONT THEATRE COMPANY
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page
    Sept. 15-24: The Outgoing Tide
    Oct. 13-28: The Rocky Horror Show
    Nov. 10-19: Becky’s New Car
    Dec. 8-17: Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf
    Feb. 2-18, 2018: Steel Magnolias
    March 16-25, 2018: Leaving Iowa
    May 4-20, 2018: Gypsy

    LOWRY SPOTLIGHT THEATER COMPANY
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    Oct. 14-Nov. 11: Buyer & Cellar (co-production with Theatre Or)
    Jan. 6-Feb. 3, 2018: Rumors
    Feb. 9-March 18, 2018: Sleuth (co-production at Vintage Theatre at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora)
    March 31-April 28, 2018: The Diary of Anne Frank
    June 23-July 22, 2018: The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged

    MIDTOWN ARTS CENTER
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com
    Through Sept. 1-Nov. 11: Once READ MORE
    Nov. 17-Dec. 31: A Christmas Story
    Jan. 5-March 25, 2018: Always Patsy Cline
    Jan. 18-March 17, 2018: Fun Home
    March 23-May 26, 2018: Ragtime
    June 1-Aug. 25, 2018: Grease

    Curtiss Johns and Lisa DeCaro. Miners Alley Playhouse.
    Curtiss Johns and Lisa DeCaro in Miners Alley Playhouse's 'Les Liasons Dangereuses.'


    MINERS ALLEY PLAYHOUSE

    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or map’s home page
    Through Oct. 15: Les Liasons Dangereuses
    Sept. 16-Oct. 28: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (children’s)
    Nov. 24-Dec. 23: A Christmas Carol
    Jan. 26-March 4, 2018: Fun Home
    March 23-April 29, 2018: Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps
    May 18-June 24, 2018: District Merchants
    July 13-Aug. 19, 2018: Lend Me a Tenor
    Sept. 7-Oct. 14, 2018: Lungs
    Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 2018: A Christmas Carol

    OPENSTAGE & COMPANY
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org        
    Sept. 21-Oct. 14: Ideation (At ArtLab, 239 Linden St., Fort Collins)
    Oct. 28-Nov. 25: Monty Python's Spamalot
    Dec. 1-23: Christmas Chaos: Ralphie Gets Scrooged (at ArtLab, 239 Linden St.) 
    Jan. 20-Feb. 17, 2018: The Crucible
    March 31-April 28, 2018: And Then There Were None
    June 2-30, 2018: The Comedy of Errors (at The Park at Columbine Health Systems)

    PERFORMANCE NOW
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org
    Through Sept. 24: The Marvelous Wonderettes
    Jan. 5-21, 2018: Into the Woods
    March 23-April 8, 2018: The Producers
    June 15-July 1, 2018: The Secret Garden

    PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY
    At various locations, 303-575-0005 or phamaly,org
    Oct. 28-Nov. 4: Vox Phamilia: Under Construction, at Community College of Aurora, 16000 E, Centretech Parkway

    PLATTE VALLEY PLAYERS
    At The Armory at the Brighton Cultural Center, 300 Strong St., Brighton, 303-227-3053 or plattevalleyplayers.org
    Oct. 13-21 2017: To Kill a Mockingbird

    PROGRESSIVE THEATRE
    Sept. 16-17: Belleville, at John Hand Theatre (benefiting Lowry’s Spotlight Theatre and Firehouse Theatre)

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN REPERTORY THEATRE

    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
    Through Sept. 30: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver READ MORE

    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org
    Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret

    SPRINGS ENSEMBLE THEATRE
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org
    Oct. 12-29: Afterlife: A Ghost Story

    STAGEDOOR THEATRE
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page
    Sept. 15-Oct. 1: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    Oct. 6-22: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged
    Dec. 1-9: Cinderella
    Jan 26-Feb 11, 2018: Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps
    April 13-28, 2018: Fame
    May 11-20, 2018: Once Upon a Mattress
    July 13-29, 2018: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

    STORIES ON STAGE
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, or
    At Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder
    303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org
    Sept. 17: A Little Help from My Friends (at Su Teatro)
    Oct. 7: The Year of Magical Thinking(at Dairy Arts Center, Boulder)
    Oct. 15: The Year of Magical Thinking (at Su Teatro)
    Nov. 11: On the Couch (at Su Teatro)
    Dec. 16: Making Merry (at Dairy Arts Center, Boulder)
    Dec. 17: Making Merry (at the King Center, Auraria campus)
    Jan. 13, 2018: The Penny Savers: A Buntport Collaboration (at Su Teatro)
    Feb. 11, 2018: Love & Marriage (Su Teatro)
    March 18, 2018: Wild Women (at Su Teatro)
    March 24, 2018: Wild Women (at Dairy Arts Center, Boulder)
    April 14, 2018: Course Correction (at Su Teatro)
    May 6, 2018: Thrilling Tales (at Su Teatro)

    SU TEATRO
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org
    Oct. 12-28: La Carpa Aztlan presents: I Don’t Speak English Only
    Dec. 7-23: The Miracle at Tepeyac

    THEATRE ASPEN
    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org
    Sept. 12-16: The Mad Show (at the Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave.)

    THEATRE COMPANY OF LAFAYETTE
    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org
    No productions scheduled

    THEATRE ESPRIT ASIA
    At ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-492-9479, or teatheatre.org
    Oct. 7-29: Hearts of Palm

    THEATREWORKS
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org
    Sept. 7-24: Heisenberg, at the Bon Vivant Theatre
    Oct. 19-Nov. 5: Wild Honey at the Bon Vivant Theatre
    Nov. 30-Dec. 23: The Santaland Diaries, at the Bon Vivant Theatre
    Feb. 15-March 11, 2018: Oklahoma!, at the Ent Center for the Arts
    April 26-May 13, 2018: Amadeus, at the Ent Center for the Arts
    Feb. 22-March 4, 2018: Trouble in Tahiti, at the Ent Center for the Arts

    THIN AIR THEATRE COMPANY
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com
    Sept. 1-23: The Nerd
    Sept. 29-Oct. 28: The Toxic Avenger Musical READ MORE
    Nov. 24-Dec. 30: Angel of the Christmas Mine

    THUNDER RIVER
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com
    Sept. 28-Oct. 14: Dead Man's Cell Phone
    Dec. 7-17: Constellations
    Feb. 22-March 10, 2018: The Price
    June 14-30, 2018: Bat Boy: The Musical

    In the Heights. Town Hall Arts Center. Photo by Becky Toma. TOWN HALL ARTS CENTER
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page
    Sept. 8-Oct. 8: In the Heights READ MORE
    Nov. 10-Dec. 30: Seussical
    Jan. 12-Feb. 4, 2018: Peter and the Starcatcher
    Feb. 23-March 25, 2018: Something’s Afoot
    April 6-May 6, 2018: Sisters of Swing
    May 17-June 18, 2018: Aint Misbehavin’

    THE UPSTART CROW
    Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or theupstartcrow.org
    Oct. 12-22: Richard III
    Dec. 7-17: Dear Brutus
    March 29-April 8, 2018: Playboy of the Western World
    May 24 - June 3, 2018: Under Milk Wood

    VINTAGE THEATRE
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com
    Sept. 1-Oct. 15: August: Osage County READ MORE
    Sept. 8-22: The Little Dog Laughed
    Nov. 3-Dec. 17: Honeymoon In Vegas
    Dec. 22-Dec. 31: I’ll Eat You Last: A Conversation with Sue Mengers
    Nov. 25-Jan. 14, 2018: Red
    Jan. 26-March 4, 2018: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
    Feb. 9-March 25, 2018: Sleuth (co-production with Lowry Spotlight)
    Feb. 14, 2018: Same Time, Next Year (reading)
    March 30-May 13, 2018: The Audience
    April 13-May 27, 2018: Bullets Over Broadway
    June 1-July 8, 2018: Agnes of God
    June 22-Aug. 5, 2018: The Bridges of Madison County
    Aug. 3-Sept. 9, 2018: The Sunshine Boys
    Sept. 7-Oct. 21, 2018: The Kentucky Cycle, Parts 1 and 2
    Oct. 5-Nov. 11, 2018: Boston Marriage
    Nov. 23-Jan. 6, 2018: Mary Poppins
    Nov. 30-Dec. 31, 2018: A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show

  • 'Appropriate' a call for America to clean out its bigoted closet

    by John Moore | Sep 07, 2017

    Jamil Jude. Appropriate.


    Curious Theatre's season-opening family drama unearths nation's freshly dug racial skeletons

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Charlottesville didn’t rip open a deep American scab last month. For a scab to be ripped open, it would have had to have time to heal.

    “This is not new. Not to me, anyway,” said DCPA Theatre Company Associate Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, an African-American woman. “The marching you saw in Charlottesville has been happening every single day of my life. It is only new to eyes that have been willfully blind to it.”

    Appropriate. Curious Theatre. Michael Ensminger. But the festering racial divide that was exposed on the streets of Virginia was given a horrifyingly modern face by the dozens of white supremacists who did not even feel the compunction to cover their heads, as their forebears often did decades before while burning crosses and lynching African-Americans under anonymous hoods and cloaks.

    Jamil Jude, the Associate Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta, was in Denver the day James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly plowed his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of Virginia pedestrians, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Jude was here rehearsing Curious Theatre Company’s incendiary new family drama Appropriate, which introduces Colorado theatre audiences to rising young playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

    (Pictured above right, from left: Dee Covington, Sean Scrutchins and Erik Sandvold in Curious Theatre's 'Appropriate.' Photo by Michael Ensminger.)

    No one in Colorado knows the MacArthur Genius better than Jude and Garrett, who have a broad range of separate and shared experiences directing his work at theatres around the country.

    Jacobs-Jenkins’ six published plays all address race relations in some way, Garrett said. Neighbors, for example, from a strictly black perspective. An Octoroon from the lens of American history. And Appropriate, which plays at Curious through Oct. 14, from an entirely white lens. And while the three plays do not constitute a trilogy, Jude says, they could serve as one.

    Story continues after the video:

    Featured actor in the video above: Sean Scrutchins of Curious Theatre's 'Appropriate.'

    In Appropriate, three adult, estranged siblings descend on a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch’s estate. He was a powerful man who graduated at the top of his Harvard law class and was on his way to becoming a Supreme Court justice when he died. But when his children find gruesome Southern artifacts among his belongings, they are forced to question who this man was, and the bigotry they have descended from.

    “This family’s legacy is exactly what marched down the street in Charlottesville, and in Berkeley, and tried to do the same in San Francisco and Boston,” Garrett said.

    Jamil Jude Nataki Garrett Appropriate. Enter, into Denver, the work of Jacobs-Jenkins, whose Neighbors is a scathing satire of black entertainment though an uncouth family of black actors named the Crows who perform in blackface. He rose to national prominence with An Octoroon, a modern riff on Dion Boucicault’s 1859 classic melodrama that makes for a subversive take on race in America then and now.

    (Pictured right: Nataki Garrett and Jamil Jude.)

    “The throughline with all three plays is that in the American zeitgeist, there is this need to have conversations around race in which ‘The Other’ does not exist,” said Garrett, who will be directing Lydia R. Diamond’s racially charged Smart People for the DCPA Theatre Company in October. “So when you say, ‘I am not a racist,’ or, ‘I don't see color,’ that requires ‘The Other’ to not exist. What Branden's plays all suggest is that you can't have one without the other. You cannot live outside of that.”

    To theatre audiences, Appropriate might seem to be a racial incongruity. Jacobs-Jenkins has been hailed as one of the essential new African-American voices in the American theatre. But you won’t see an African-American actor on stage at Curious Theatre. And that, said Jude, is by design. Garrett, who has directed both An Octoroon and Neighbors from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, says that in a metro area like Denver where the population is only 10 percent African-American, it just makes practical sense to introduce audiences to Jacobs-Jenkins’ work with Appropriate.

    Our 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: Appropriate

    Garrett recalls a recent evening attending a local theatre production accompanied by Denver Center CEO Janice Sinden, who is white. “A very nice white woman approached me and asked, ‘How did you get here?’ ” Garrett said. “She didn’t ask Janice that question. She asked me. I didn’t know how to answer her, so I just said, ‘I got into my car and drove here.

    “So you can't just start all the way over there,” Garrett added. “You have to condition all of your audience to be able to sit in that room together. And that means you need a few more plays before you get there.”

    Jude believes Jacobs-Jenkins has plenty to say about race from the perspective of white characters, but he said there is an elephant in the room, and it is most definitely white. “Appropriate will be one of the most-produced plays in America over the next two to three years, and that is absolutely by his design,” he said, “because it is a play that talks about race - and you don't have to hire any people of color to do it.”

    That is not the case at Curious though. Jude said it was important to the company that it hire an African-American to direct the play. And it was important for Jude to bring more people of color inside the creative process. His assistant director is acclaimed area actor Jada Dixon (who will be appearing in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s upcoming The Revolutionists), and he invited in several recent college graduates to assist and learn in various ways.

    Jude assumes and accepts that the majority of his audiences for Appropriate will be white. And given the freshness of Jacobs-Jenkins’ voice, they might be surprised, he said, by just how traditional Appropriate will seem to them, at least in form. This is a classic living-room family drama that Jacobs-Jenkins says he gleefully ripped off in style from Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard and Tracy Letts. Academics call the living-room drama “an inherited form," and borrowing from that form, Jude said, is also by design.

    “When you look at some of the great plays of the past century, the issue of race is so deeply rooted into these characters, even though it is never discussed that way,” he said. “We never go out of our way to say, 'Oh this is a white Southern experience,’ or, ‘This is a white Northern experience.’ We just assume that it is. I think this is Branden’s way of saying, 'I am going to appropriate this form, and I am going to use it to have a deeper conversation with you about race. We're bringing all of that to the table, so you can't circumvent it. You have to embrace it. You have to investigate it.”

    And there is that key word: Appropriate.

    The title of the play is very much a double entendre. There is “appropriate,” as in, “suitable for a given occasion.” And there is the alternately pronounced take on the word meaning “borrowing (or stealing) from a particular person or culture.”

    “This play is definitely, intentionally both,” said Jude. “He's very much saying, ‘This is the conversation I want to have. You all have identified me as a black playwright, and anytime I write something, you say that it is racially charged. Well, then, I am going to use the most American of play forms - the living-room drama - and I am going to have a conversation about whiteness and race using that very form.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    But if a familiarity with the form momentarily lulls the audience into a false sense of comfort, Jude says, just you wait. “He challenges that (bleep) right away," he said. Like two pages into the script.

    "Even as the lights start to go down, you are immediately made to feel slight discomfort that will grow throughout the play, regardless of who you are. I don't know if we ever get comfortable.”  

    Those white supremacists were certainly marching comfortably in Charlottesville last month, “and that’s because Donald Trump has allowed them to feel comfortable,” Jude said. “What needs to be unmasked now are not the names of individual protesters but rather those people who are in positions of real power, especially in the judicial system, who hold these personal prejudices and apply their power in ways that are abusive and unjust. It is the system that is the problem, not the people inside of it.

    “In this play, we see a family that is wrestling with the question, ‘What do I do with the legacy that has been passed down to me?’ And we see them constantly fail to eradicate the system they come from.”

    Jacobs-Jenkins’ plays are a gift to his audiences, Jude said. “He gives audiences a chance to investigate their own family origins and then hopefully inspire them to do something about it,” he said.

    Mare Trevathan and Audrey Graves in Curious Theatre's 'Appropriate.' Photo by Michael Ensminger.)“I hope people walk out of this play and then ask their parents deep questions about where they came from and how they were raised,” he said. “I don't feel like we can actually address issues around systemic injustice, police brutality and inequality until we start to clean up our own houses. You have to clean your own closets before you can go somewhere else and start to address it.

    “I hope when people walk out of this play, they really question what is happening in their own families. I hope they say, ‘Uncle Frank says some really sexist stuff. How can I challenge my own sexist ideologies so that I can then challenge Uncle Frank? Then, when my kids see Uncle Frank being sexist, they might not think that's funny.' ”

    Little frustrates Jude more than white friends telling him they just can’t talk to their conservative family members at the holidays.

    “Listen, you are not my ally if you can't talk to your own family member about me at your dinner table,” Jude said. “Because if your family member is racist, or if your family member believes in building a wall on our Southern border, then they are never going to let my black (butt) at their dinner table so that I can try to challenge their notions myself. So, don't tell me you are my ally when you don't fight for me in my stead. If you don't fight for people who look like me, and you choose to pass the buck and hope that somehow, through osmosis, your family members can change, then we are not friends.”

    And until we can engage in those deeper conversations, Garrett said, “We are kind of screwed as a nation.”

    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.

    (Pictured above and right: Mare Trevathan, Rhianna DeVries and Audrey Graves in Curious Theatre's 'Appropriate.' Photo by Michael Ensminger.)

    Appropriate: Ticket information

    • Presented by Curious Theatre Company
    • Sept. 2-Oct. 14
    • 1080 Acoma St.
    • 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org
    • Playwright: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    Cast list:

    • Dee Covington: Toni
    • Erik Sandvold: Bo
    • Mare Trevathan: Rachel
    • Sean Scrutchins: Frank
    • Alec Sarché: Rhys
    • Rhianna DeVries: River
    • Audrey Graves: Cassidy
    • Harrison Lyles-Smith: Ainsley

     Creatives:
    • Jamil Jude: Director
    • Markas Henry: Scenic Designer
    • Kevin Brainerd: Costume Designer
    • Richard Devin: Lightning Designer
    • Jason Ducat: Sound Designer
    • Kristin MacFarlane: Props Designer
    • Dane Torbenson: Fight Choreographer
    • Jada Suzanne Dixon: Assistant Director
    • A. Phoebe Sacks: Stage Manager

  • Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: ‘The Revolutionists’ and 'The Wild Party'

    by John Moore | Sep 06, 2017
    For 10 days, the DCPA NewsCenter is offering not just 10 intriguing titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. This year we are expanding our preview by featuring 10 musicals AND 10 plays. Today is Day 7.

    PLAY OF THE DAY: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists


    Featured actor in the video above: Jada Dixon, who is also the Assistant Director of Curious Theatre's 'Appropriate.'

    • Sept. 14-Oct. 8
    • Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder
    The Revolutionists Jada Dixon 303-440-7826 or go to betc.org
    • Playwright: Lauren Gunderson
    • Director: Allison Watrous (Denver Center's Director of Education)

    The story: The Revolutionists takes place during the Reign of Terror in 1790s France.  It tells the story of four historical women struggling to find their individual and collective voices in a time of chaos and madness. Full of wit and wisdom, this historical comedy shines a light on women's place in history, and what happens when society breaks down.

    But what is it about? As our own society breaks down into madness and chaos, how do we effect change in the face of a world in which we feel powerless? How do the disenfranchised assume a seat at the table in the conversations that will define who we are as a people? That Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company has assembled an all-female production team also speaks to its commitment to diversity and a broader array of voices in the theatre. (Provided by Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company.)

    What is it about that writer? Gunderson also wrote the DCPA Theatre Company's The Book of Will. This will be the fourth Gunderson title to be presented in the metro area in the past year. The others were The Catamounts' The Taming and Boulder Ensemble's Silent Sky.

    Please note: The Revolutionists contains adult language and content, so may not be suitable for patrons under 16 years old. Parental discretion advised.

    Cast list:

    • Olympe De Gouges: Rebecca Remaly
    • Marianne Angelle: Jada Dixon
    • Charlotte Corday: Maire Higgins
    • Marie Antoinette: Adrian Egolf

    More creatives:
    • Stage Manager: Karen Horns
    • Set Designer: Tina Anderson
    • Costume Designer: Brenda King
    • Lighting Designer: Katie Gruenhagen
    • Sound Designer: Ashley Campbell
    • Properties Designer: Amy Helen Cole
    • Dramaturg: Heather Beasley

    The Revolutionists Adrian EgolfImage above of Adrian Egolf. Photography: Michael Ensminger. Graphic Design: Brian Kolodziejski. Hair and Makeup: Vintage Hairstylings. Corset by Redthreaded.



    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: Off-Center's The Wild Party


    Featured actor in the video above: Emily Van Fleet.

    • Oct. 11-31
    • The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
    Emily Van Fleet. The Wild Party. Call 303-893-4100 or go to wildpartydenver.com
    Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
    Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
    Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
    • Director: Amanda Berg Wilson
    • Music Director: David Nehls

    • The story:
    You’re invited to leave your inhibitions (and Prohibitions) behind for a decadent 360-degree party in the Roaring Twenties. Indulge your inner flapper as you mingle with an unruly mix of vaudevillians, playboys, divas, and ingénues in a Manhattan apartment lost in time. Debauchery turns disastrous as wild guests becomes unhinged and their solo songs reveal the drama bubbling underneath the surface. Whether you’re a wallflower or a jitterbug, you’ll think this jazz- and gin-soaked immersive musical is the bee’s knees.

    • But what is it about? Last summer, Off-Center took over a 16,000 square-foot warehouse in RiNo to bring you Sweet & Lucky. This fall, we’re breaking out the bathtub gin and heading to the Hangar at Stanley to tackle the first musical in Off-Center’s history. Much like Sweet & Lucky, The Wild Party will transport audience members to a different era, where they will be immersed in the story as guests at Queenie and Burr’s party. The live band will be swinging and we’ll find out what happens when you let down your guard and give yourself over to the party.” (Provided by Off-Center curator Charlie Miller.)

    Cast list:
    Brett Ambler: Gold
    Leonard Barrett Jr.: Oscar D’Armano
    Allison Caw: Sally
    Laurence Curry: Black
    Diana Dresser: Miss Madelaine True
    Katie Drinkard: Mae
    Trent Hines: Phil D’Armano
    Drew Horwitz: Burrs
    Wayne Kennedy: Goldberg
    Sheryl McCallum: Dolores
    Jenna Moll Reyes: Nadine
    Marco Robinson: Eddie Mackrel
    Emily Van Fleet: Queenie
    Aaron Vega: Jackie
    Erin Willis: Kate

    More creatives:
    • Patrick Mueller: Choreographer
    • Jason Sherwood: Scenic Designer (DCPA Theatre Company's Frankenstein)
    • Meghan Anderson Doyle: Costume Designer
    • Jason Lynch: Lighting Designer
    • Sean Hagerty: Sound Designer
    • Erin Ramsey: Fight Coordinator

    Emily Van Fleet. The Wild Party.

    From left: 'The Wild Party' castmates Emily Van Fleet, Laurence Curry, Sheryl McCallum and Drew Horwitz. Photos by Adams VisCom.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:
    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
  • Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: 'The Mystery of Love and Sex' and 'Company'

    by John Moore | Sep 05, 2017
    For 10 days, the DCPA NewsCenter is offering not just 10 intriguing titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. This year we are expanding our preview by featuring 10 musicals AND 10 plays. Today is Day 6.

    PLAY OF THE DAY: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex



    Featured actor in the video above: Suzanne Connors-Nepi

    • Sept. 9-Oct. 7
    • John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place (former Lowry Air Force Base)
    A Suzanne Connors Nepi Firehouse 400303-562-3232 or go to firehousetheatercompany.com
    • Playwright: Bathsheba Doran
    • Director: Lorraine Scott

     

    The story: Now students at a southern college, Charlotte and Jonny have been friends since childhood. She’s Jewish, he’s Christian; he’s black, she’s white. Their differences intensify their connection until sexual desire complicates everything. Their relationship takes unexpected turns while Charlotte’s parents, who hold secrets and resentments of their own, keep watch.

    But what is it about? The Mystery of Love and Sex is a modern comic drama that explores the impact of racial and religious differences; sexuality, friendship and love; and the fluidity of identity. It is a story of discovery, alienation and ultimately, forgiveness. Audiences will reflect on how relationships affect the ways in which we come to terms with who we are. (Provided by Firehouse Theater Company.)


    Cast list:
    • Charlotte: Kristen Poole
    • Jonny: Johnathan Underwood
    • Howard: Joel Silverman
    • Lucinda: Suzanne Connors Nepi


    A Suzanne Connors Nepi Firehouse 610Clockwise from left: Joel Silverman, Johnathan Underwood and Kristen Poole and Suzanne Connors Nepi in rehearsal for Firehouse Theatre’s 'The Mystery of Love and Sex.' Photo by Christine Fisk.



    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: Aurora Fox's Company

    Featured actor in the video above: Jeremy Rill.


    • Sept. 22-Oct. 22
    • 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
    A Jeremy Rill 400Call 303-739-1970 or go to aurorafoxartscenter.org
    Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
    • Book by George Furth
    • Director and Choreographer: Kelly Van Oosbree
    • Andrew Fischer: Music Director

    • The story:
    On his 35th birthday, a perpetual bachelor named Bobby contemplates his unmarried state. Through a series of comical outings with pals and an especially anxious wedding, his friends explain the pros and cons of marriage and relationships. Bobby is forced to examine his adamant retention of bachelorhood during these hilarious arrays of social interactions.

    • But what is it about? Company is about relationships in all their oddball, loving and teeth-clenching glory. No person can escape a viewing of Company without seeing themselves portrayed on stage. Regardless of who you love, you are guaranteed to encounter your caricature head-on. The humor is sharp and the music is legendary, written by musical theatre’s greatest composer, Stephen Sondheim. (Provided by the Aurora Fox.)

    Cast list:
    Jeremy Rill: Bobby
    Lauren Shealy: Sarah
    Kyle Steffan: Harry
    Michelle Merz-Hutchinson: Susan
    Patrick McAleer: Peter
    Carolyn Lohr: Jenny
    Andy Sievers: David
    Rebekah Ortiz: Amy
    Timmie Antoine: Paul
    Heather Lacy: Joanne
    Frank Oden: Larry
    Lindsey Falduto: Marta
    Leiney Rigg: Kathy
    Heather Doris: April

    More creatives:
    • Jen Orf: Production Stage Manager
    Brandon Case: Technical Director and Scenic Designer
    Curt Behm: Sound Designer
    Brett Maughan: Lighting Designer

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:

    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical



    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
  • 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: 'Elephant’s Graveyard' and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'

    by John Moore | Sep 03, 2017
    For 10 days, the DCPA NewsCenter is offering not just 10 intriguing titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. This year we are expanding our preview by featuring 10 musicals AND 10 plays. Today is Day 5.

    PLAY OF THE DAY: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard

    Featured actor in the video above: Kaya Rudolph

    • Sept. 9-Oct. 8
    • 401 Pine St., Fort Collins
    970-498-8949 or go to basbleu.org
    • Playwright: George Brant
    • Director: Garrett Ayers
    • Assistant Director: Baylor Bebo

    The story: September 1916. Carrying boundless momentum (and a 6-ton elephant), a traveling circus makes its way to a small town in Tennessee, only to stumble into catastrophe. Through memory and storytelling, Elephant's Graveyard describes what happened before, during and after the event that still haunts that Tennessee town to this day.

    But what is it about? Elephant's Graveyard is an important, timely story - particularly in lieu of recent events in Charlottesville, Va. The title has a double meaning, says actor Kaya Rudolph: An elephant really was hung at a circus in Tennessee. That was a century ago. But the elephant in the room remains the racial divide that continues to smolder in America. Elephant’s Graveyard employs physicality and humor, a live Piedmont Blues score and 15 cubic tons of dirt to explore issues related to race, the multiple perspectives of history and the uniquely American appetite for spectacle and violence. (Provided by Bas Bleu Theatre. Photo above by William A. Cotton.)


    Cast list:
    • Hungry Townsperson: Kaya Rudolph
    • Muddy Townsperson: Tabitha Tyree
    • Young Townsperson: Holly Wedgeworth
    • Preacher: Jim Valone
    • Steam Shovel Operator: Wesley Longacre
    • Marshal: Gregory Clark
    • Engineer: Drew Cuthbertson
    • Ringmaster: Nick Holland
    • Strongman: Ken Benda
    • Ballet Girl: Kate Lewis
    • Clown: Liz Kirchmeier
    • Trainer: Liam Kelley
    • Tour Manager: Scott McCoppin
    • Guitarist/Foley Musician: Paul Brewer

    Rehearsal for Bas Bleu Theatre's 'Elephant's Graveyard' in Fort Collins. Photo by William A. Cotton.
    Rehearsal for Bas Bleu Theatre's 'Elephant's Graveyard' in Fort Collins. Photo by William A. Cotton.



    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame


    Featured actor in the video above: Adam Kinney.

    • Sept. 15-Oct. 8
    • At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen
    A Adam Kinney 400Call 303-674-4002 or go to evergreenchorale.org
    Based on the novel and songs from the Disney film. Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and Book by Peter Parnell.
    • Stage Director: Timothy Kennedy
    • Musical Director: Christine Gaudreau

    • The story:
    Our story, featuring a cast of 53, is based on Victor Hugo's novel, set in 15th century Paris. Quasimodo is confined in Notre Dame by his evil guardian, Frollo. They both love the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, who prefers Phoebus, captain of the guard. Seeking vengeance, Frollo attacks the gypsies. Quasimodo, Phoebus and Esmeralda are captured and meet a tragic end. 

    • But what is it about? "This show asks so many questions that are so relevant to the turbulent times that we live in," says Adam Kinney, who plays Quasimodo. Questions like, "What makes a monster and what makes a man?" Although written in 1831, the theme of people being discriminated by society for their appearance or background resonates today. Set to Alan Menken’s gorgeous music, The Hunchback of Notre Dame challenges us to strive for a better world. (Provided by the Evergreen Chorale.)

    Cast list:
    Quasimodo: Adam Kinney
    Frollo: Mike DeJonge
    Esmeralda: Hannah Marie Harmon
    Phoebus: Brian DeBaets
    Clopin: Brian Trampler

    The Ensemble:
    Katrina Atkinson, Alexandra Rose Brown, Wyatt Burnham, Dave Cameron, Edie Cherubino, Tracy Denver, Sierra Dunham, Mark Fairchild, Buz Gibson, Michelle Jeffres, Lindsey Jones, Christine Kahane, Ian Kisluk, Colleen Lee, Anna MacPhee, Jeremiah Martinez, Dodge McCord, Max McCord, Drew McDowell, Anna Piper, Charlee Polivka, Alan Rubin, Becky Sides, Ethan Sides, Zane Steele, Jessica Swanson and Samantha Wood.

    Choir of Notre Dame:
    Laurie Atkinson, Bob Baldwin, Greg Bond, Chris Boyd, Mayra Delgadillo, Alyssa Gerard, Sara Hashman, Charlie Hodes, Geri Ikelheimer, Anna Lacjak, Genevieve LeBlanc, Tom McAllister, Zach Miller, Sophie Orsund, Jonathan Pine, Danita Richter, Richard Scudder, Sarah Steen, Ariel Thomas, Madeleine Wilson and Trevor Wood.

    More creatives:
    • Choreographer: Rachael McWilliams Lessard
    • Costume Designer: Davis Sibley
    • Set Designer: Biz Schaugaard
    • Lighting Designer: Chelsea Asmus


    Rehearsal for the Evergreen Chorale's upcoming 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.'

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:
    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
     
  • 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: 'My Brilliant Divorce' and 'A Chorus Line'

    by John Moore | Sep 01, 2017
    For 10 days, the DCPA NewsCenter is offering not just 10 intriguing titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. This year we are expanding our preview by featuring 10 musicals AND 10 plays. Today is Day 4.

    PLAY OF THE DAY: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce

    Featured actor in the video above: Jane Shirley

    • Sept. 8-Oct. 15
    • 417 E. 17th Ave.
    Jane Shirley303-321-5925 or go to avenuetheater.com
    • Playwright: Geraldine Aron

    The story: Angela Kennedy-Lipsky used to be one half of "Angela and Max," the world’s happiest couple. Until Max left her after 25 years for a younger woman. Now, trying to figure out a new life in London, Angela sets off on a hilarious and sometimes poignant journey back to happiness. This consummately observed one-woman modern comedy stars Jane Shirley, best known for her work with the late Rattlebrain Theatre and appearing in Santa's Big Red Sack, The Avenue's long-running caustic Christmas comedy.

    But what is it about? My Brilliant Divorce is about a woman reclaiming her life. It’s about honesty, courage, self-reflection, happiness, humor - and the healing power of chocolate. The play, like most divorces, Shirley says, is happy, sad, dramatic and funny. (Provided by The Avenue Theater.)

    Cast list:
    • Jane Shirley as Angela Kennedy-Lipsky
    • Director: Richard H. Pegg


    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line


    Featured actor in the video above: Matthew Dailey.

    • Sept. 12-Oct. 1
    • 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
    Matthew DaileyCall 720-898-7200 or go to arvadacenter.com
    Conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett
    • Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
    • Music by Marvin Hamlisch
    • Lyrics by Edward Kleban
    • Co-Choreographed by Bob Avian

    • The story:
    Everything is on the line for 17 dancers as they audition for a highly competitive place in the chorus of a Broadway musical.  Through this exhausting process, their stories and vulnerabilities are laid on the line as they ultimately come together and become one singular sensation. 

    • But what is it about? A Chorus Line captures the one universal experience all performers dread: The audition. From its inception, when a group of real-life Broadway dancers gathered in a dingy New York loft and shared their true experiences, to now, 40 years later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Chorus Line remains an Iconic experience and remains one of the most significant musicals of all-time. Colorado native Matthew Dailey says the iconic musical speaks to many people "because it shows the sacrifice all of these performers go through." (Provided by the Arvada Center.)

    Watch video of Matthew Dailey's Jersey Boys homecoming

    Creatives:
    Directed by Rod A. Lansberry
    Musical Direction by David John Madore
    Choreography by Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck

    Cast list:
    Stephen Cerf: Zach, The Director
    Jean-Luc Cavnar-Lewandowski: Larry

    The Auditioners:
    Dayna Tietzen: Cassie
    Katie Mitchell: Sheila
    Lexie Plath: Val
    Natalie Kaye Clater: Diana
    Kristen Paulicelli: Judy
    Seles Van Huss: Kristine
    Jordana Grolnick: Maggie
    Jennifer Arfsten: Bebe
    Rae Leigh Case: Connie
    Tucker Worley: Mike
    Michael Canada: Richie
    Matthew Dailey: Don
    Jake Mendes: Paul
    Tyler Jensen: Mark
    Ron Tal: Greg
    Parker Redford: Bobby
    Zachary Scott: Al

    The Ensemble:
    Norrell Moore: Vicki
    Emily Hin: Tricia
    Shannan Steele: Lois
    Danny Kingston: Frank
    Adam Estes: Butch
    David Miller: Roy
    Joe Callahan: Tom           

    Matthew Dailey

    The cast of the Arvada Center's 'A Chorus Line' on the first day of rehearsal. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:
    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
     
  • 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: 'General Store' and 'In the Heights'

    by John Moore | Aug 31, 2017
    For 10 days, the DCPA NewsCenter is offering not just 10 intriguing titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. This year we are expanding our preview by featuring 10 musicals AND 10 plays. Today is Day 3.

    PLAY OF THE DAY: Creede Repertory Theatre's’ General Store

    Featured actor in the video above: Logan Ernstthal

    • Now through Sept. 16
    • 124 Main St., Creede, located 250 miles southwest of Denver
    • 719-658-2540 or go to creederep.org
    • Playwright: Brian Watkins
    • Director: Christy Montour-Larson

    A Creede Repertory Theatre 400The story: General Store, first presented at Creede Rep's 2016 Headwaters New Play Festival, is set in rural Colorado. Mike is determined to keep his faltering general store up and running, and he’ll let nothing get in the way: Not his two wily daughters, the trucker who thinks he’s dead, the rancher who thinks he’s dying or even the blizzard outside. But something mysterious is under the floorboards. And it’s getting louder and hungrier. Can Mike save his American Dream from the ravenous creature beneath his store? Or should he just save himself instead? Part Sam Shepard, part Stephen King, Watkins is an innovative playwright with an American voice all its own. This one of the most technically challenging plays Creede Rep has ever brought to its stages, and it will grip you until the final blackout.

    But what is it about? General Store is about what happens when your way of life is being devoured by forces you can’t control. Mike’s American dream is literally and figuratively crashing down around him. (Provided by Creede Repertory Theatre.)

    • Of special note to travelers: Creede Repertory Theatre has worked out some special lodging deals for September to make it easier for visitors from around the state to see General Store as well as Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly. If you mention the Colorado Theatre Guild when orderering, you get the senior ticket price. (Call 719-658-2540.) And the following hotels are offering discounts of 10-15 percent on lodging: Antlers Rio Grande Lodge, Finding Gems and Aspen Inn, Blessings Inn, Blue Creek Lodge, Cascada (weekdays only), Club at the Cliffs, Creede Snowshoe Lodge, Dragonfly Flats, Big Country Fun Outdoor Adventures, The House on Old Mill Road, Windsock Acres, Windsor Hotel and The Soprano Suite.

    Cast list:
    • Logan Ernstthal: Mike
    • Ben Newman: Jim
    • Stuart Rider: Rick
    • Caitlin Wise: Nikki
    • Bethany Eilean Talley: Greta

    More creatives:
    Scenic Design: Robert Mark Morgan
    Costume Design: Clare Henkel
    Lighting Design: Jacob Welch
    Sound Design: Jason Ducat
    Production Stage Manager: Devon Muko

    A Creede Repertory Theatre 610 2
    Of 'General Store,' Logan Ernstthal (left) says, 'It’s as if Sam Shepard, the Coen Brothers and Stephen King had a love child. And it’s got a huge metaphor hiding under the floorboards.' Photo by John Gary Brown.


    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: Town Hall Arts Center’s In the Heights


    Featured actor in the video above: Jose David Reynoza

    • Sept. 8-Oct. 8
    • 2450 W. Main St., Littleton
    Town Hall In the Heights303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org
    • Director: Nick Sugar
    • Music director: Donna Kolpan Debreceni

    • The story: In the Heights is set in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which to leave behind. This music was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who just won the Pulitzer Prize for Hamilton.

    • Why should I see it? The live music: In the Heights blends rap, hip-hop, merengue and salsa. The humor: If you want to laugh out loud, witty lines abound. The story: In the Heights is a fantastic piece of musical theatre, but also a beautiful story that leaves you feeling happy and uplifted. Three more words: Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Provided by Town Hall Arts Center.)

    Cast list:
    Usnavi de la Vega: Jose David Reynoza
    Vanessa: Sarah Harmon
    Nina Rosario : Rose Van Dyne
    Benny: Randy Chalmers
    Sonny de la Vega: Chris Castaneda
    Daniela: Chelley Canales
    “Abuela” Claudia: Margie Lamb
    Kevin Rosario: Anthony Rivera
    Camila Rosario: Nancy Begley
    The Piragua Guy (Piragüero): George Zamarripa
    Carla: Destiny Walsh
    Graffiti Pete: Joseph Lamar Williams
    Ensemble: Andy Nuanhngam, Cassie Lujan, Gabriel Morales, Jenny Weiss Mather, Jordan Duran and Tashara May

    The band:
    Donna Kolpan Debreceni: Keyboards
    Austin Hein: Bass
    Scott Smith: Guitars
    Larry Ziehl: Drums and Percussion
    Dustin Arndt: Percussion
    Rob Reynolds: Trumpet and Flugelhorn

    More creatives:
    Scenic Designer: Tim Barbiaux
    Costume Designer: Linda Morken
    Lighting Designer: Seth Alison
    Sound Designer: Curt Behm
    Props Designer: Becky Toma
    Production Stage Manager: Steven Neale
    Technical Director: Mike Haas
    Assistant Choreographer: Jenny Weiss Mather
    Dialect/Cultural Awareness Coach: Olga Lopez

    Town Hall Arts Center In the Heights Jose David Reynoza says 'In the Heights’ represents a culture that isn't often seen on stage. It really is an honor to be a part of a story that portrays a large part of who I am here in the United States,’ says Reynoza, himself an immigrant. From left: Jenny Weiss Mather, Andy Nuanhngam, Anthony Rivera, Reynoza and Nancy Begley. Photo by Becky Toma. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:

    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
  • 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: 'You on the Moors Now’ and 'Almost Heaven'

    by John Moore | Aug 30, 2017
    For 10 days, the DCPA NewsCenter will offer not only 10 intriguing theatre titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. This year we are expanding our preview by featuring 10 musicals AND 10 plays. Today is Day 2.

    PLAY OF THE DAY: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now

    Featured actor in the video above: Anastasia Davidson

    • Sept. 8-30
    • At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder
    Catamounts. Anastasia Davidson 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org
    • Playwright: Jaclyn Backhaus
    • Director: Amanda Berg Wilson

    The story: You on the Moors Now features iconic characters from 19th-century novels Jane Eyre, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. Set in the mythical land of Moors, our four heroines have run away after shockingly rejecting the suitors who ardently loved them. Stung by the spurning, the men wage war on the women.

    But what is it about? This timely feminist romp juxtaposes the romantic confines of the past with present ideas of courtship and playfully examines women’s perennial quest to be valued as men’s equals, the ancient interconnectedness of love and loss, and the contemporary recognition that humans must find their own way before finding one another.

    Cast list:

    Catamounts. You on the Moors NowElizabeth Bennet: Anastasia Davidson
    • Cathy: Laura Lounge
    • Jo March: Alaina Beth Reel
    • Jane Eyre: Alex Forbes
    • Fitzwilliam Darcy: Brian Kusic
    • Heathcliff: Matthew Blood-Smyth
    • Laurie Laurence: Joe Von Bokern
    • Mr. Rochester: Jason Maxwell
    • Player 1: Caroline Bingley, Amy: Luciann Lajoie
    • Player 2: Mr Bingley, Old Grandpa Laurence: Jihad Milhem
    • Player 3: Nelly Dean, Beth, Jane Bennet: Maggie Tisdale
    • Player 4: Joseph, Mrs. March: Sam Gilstrap
    • Player 5: St. John Rivers, Bhaer, Edgar Linton: Austin Terrell
    • Player 6: River Sister, Meg: Joan Bruemmer-Holden


    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: Rocky Mountain Rep’s
    Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver

    Featured actor in the video above: Matilde Bernabei

    • Sept. 1-30
    • 800 Grand Ave in Grand Lake, located 100 miles northwest of Denver
    Grand Lake. Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Matilde Bernabei970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
    • Director: Jeff Duke
    • Music director: Michael Querio

    • The story: Almost Heaven is a revue of John Denver songs in wonderfully creative new arrangements, connected with words and thoughts from the artist, about the artist and placing the songs' creation in context of our country's history. This musical was premiered by the DCPA Theatre Company in 2003 and was extended for nine months. 

    • But what is it about? While the songs are certainly well-known, hearing them performed surrounded by the beauty of Grand Lake will be special. The musical also emphasizes John Denver's work as an environmentalist and social activist.

    Cast list:
    Jack Bartholet
    Matilde Bernabei
    Suzanna Champion
    Paige Daigle
    Jens Jacobson
    Kyle Ashe Wilkinson
    Jeff Duke
    Michael Querio

    Grand Lake. Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Almost Heaven. John Denver.

    The cast of Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's 'Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver' has a little fun at rehearsal in Grand Lake. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:

    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
  • 2017 Colorado Fall Preview: 'Rock of Ages' and 'Appropriate'

    by John Moore | Aug 29, 2017
    Continuing a tradition dating to 2002, for the next 10 days, we will offer 10 intriguing theatre titles to watch on theatre stages throughout Colorado. Only this year we are expanding our coverage by offering 10 musicals AND 10 plays here on the DCPA NewsCenter

    PLAY OF THE DAY: Curious Theatre's Appropriate

    Featured actor in the video above: Sean Scrutchins


    Featured Actor Sean ScrutchinsSept. 2-Oct. 14
    • 1080 Acoma St.
    • 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org
    • Playwright: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    The story: Three adult children descend on a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch’s estate. There, they find a gruesome Southern relic that causes them to question their family's history.

    But what is it about? Appropriate is a challenging play on racial legacy that is "right on time" as our country grapples with how to handle Confederate relics like statues. Appropriate asks us how we explore our own history with race and how we should progress as a society.

    Cast list:
    Jamil Jude: Director
    Jada Dixon: Assistant Director
    Dee Covington: Toni
    Erik Sandvold: Bo
    Mare Trevathan: Rachel
    Sean Scrutchins: Frank
    Alec Sarché: Rhys
    Rhianna DeVries: River
    Audrey Graves: Cassidy
    Harrison Lyles-Smith: Ainsley


    MUSICAL OF THE DAY: BDT Stage's Rock of Ages

    Featured actor in the video above: Tim Howard


    Featured actor Tim HowardAug. 25-Nov. 11
    • 5501 Arapahoe Ave.
    • 303-449-6000 or bdt’s home page

    • The story: It’s the end of the 1980s, and the party is raging. Aqua Net, Lycra, lace and liquor flow freely on L.A.’s Sunset Strip. Rock of Ages is a mix-tape compilation including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “We Built This City” by Starship and Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” set to a story about pursuing dreams.

    • But what is it about? Rock of Ages is about following your dreams even when there are giant egos blocking your path. It’s about being loud when your heart speaks the truth. This is a poignant musical that finds that fighting spirit with anthems that make you want to jump out of your seat and show the world you still know how to rock.

    Cast list:
    Director: Scott Beyette
    Choreographer: McKayla Marso
    Drew: Tim Howard
    Dennis: Scott Beyette
    Lonnie: Barret Harper
    Franz: Brian Cronan
    Hertz: Brian Burron
    Stacee: Scott Severtson
    Sherrie: Olyvia Beyette
    Regina: Valerie Igoe
    Waitress: Tracey Warren
    Constance: Danielle Scheib
    Justice: Joanie Brosseau
    Groupies: Jessica Hindsley, Alyssa Robinson
    Ensemble: Brian Jackson, Alejandro Roldan, Leo Battle

    RockofAges_GlennRoss 610

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Our complete 2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview:

    Day 1: Curious Theatre's Appropriate and BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    Day 2: The Catamounts’ You on the Moors Now and Rocky Mountain Rep’s Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store and Town Hall Arts Center's In the Heights
    Day 4: Avenue Theater’s My Brilliant Divorce and the Arvada Center’s A Chorus Line
    Day 5: Bas Bleu’s Elephant’s Graveyard and Evergreen Chorale’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Day 6: Firehouse Theatre’s The Mystery of Love and Sex and the Aurora Fox’s ‘Company’
    Day 7: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Revolutionists and Off-Center’s The Wild Party
    Day 8: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Pretty Fire and the Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie
    Day 9: Edge Theatre Company’s A Delicate Balance and Midtown Arts Center’s Once.
    Day 10:  Local Theater Company’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and Thin Air Theatre Company’s The Toxic Avenger Musical

    This 2017 Colorado fall preview is compiled by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore as a service to the Colorado theatre community. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011 and is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund.
  • In the Spotlife: Deb Persoff of 'August: Osage County'

    by John Moore | Aug 28, 2017
    Deb Persoff August Osage County
    Deb Persoff, bottom left, stars in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County' as a pill-popping grandma with more than one form of mouth cancer. Playing her daughters are, from left, Kelly Uhlenhopp, Haley Johnson and Lauren Bahlman.
     


    MEET DEB PERSOFF
    Violet Weston in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County.' She was the winner of the Colorado Theatre Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

  • Hometown: PhiladelphiaDeb Persoff Marvin's Room
  • Home now: Aurora
  • College: I studied to become an X-Ray Technician and wanted to enter the medical field.
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Grandma in Vintage Theatre's production of Billy Elliot: the Musical.
  • What's next? I will be playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience opening next March at Vintage Theatre.
  • Twitter-sized bio: I am an actor who does not know what Twitter is.
  • Do you have a Twitter handle? Anyone who knows me just laughed out loud reading that question.
  • The role that changed your life: Playing Bessie in Marvin's Room for the late Theatre Group. At the end of the play, she says how lucky she is to have been able to love so deeply. A mantra for life.
  • Maggie SmithIdeal scene partner: Maggie Smith, for her comic timing, her aristocratic bearing, her wonderful expressive face and her history of theatre.
  • What is August: Osage County all about? Family, and the rich web that binds us, are not always smooth in  texture. There are frictions and distinct personalities, but always it is the lineage of our future. It defines us as people and the door is always open to home.
  • Tracy Letts talks 'origin of the poison' with John Moore

  • Deb Persoff August QuoteTell us about the challenge of playing this role: Violet loves her three daughters and feels she's knows what is best for them. Her defiance and resolve gets her through her days. Addiction to pills is always present, but she is a survivor. Her strength and fire makes me stronger as an actress.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? Sharing the time together from the stage to the audience, surrounded by this rich writing and riveting cast is a bond I hope will linger long after the evening ends. 
  • What don't we know about you? I love gift wrapping any surface. Paper is fragile, like us, and can create beauty and illusion. You then ask: "What is beneath?"
  • What do you want to get off your chest? Why is "age" such a stigma, when long life is what we all wish for? 
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    August: Osage County: Ticket information
    • Written by Tracy Letts
    • Directed by Bernie Cardell
    • Sept. 1-Oct. 15
    • At the Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010 MAP IT
    • Tickets $25-$30
    • For tickets, call 303-856-7830 or go to vintagetheatre.com

    Performance schedule:
    • Fridays, Saturdays and Monday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m.
    • Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

    Cast list:

    • Deb Persoff: Violet Weston
    Roger Hudson: Beverly Weston
    Haley Johnson: Barbara Fordham
    Kelly Uhlenhopp: Ivy Weston
    Lauren Bahlman: Karen Weston
    Marc Stith: Bill Fordham
    Kaitlin Weinstein: Jean Fordham
    Andrew Uhlenhopp: Steve Heidebrecht
    Darcy Kennedy: Mattie Fae Aiken
    John Ashton: Charlie Aiken
    Brandon Palmer: Little Charlie Aiken
    Emily Gerhard: Johnna Monevata
    Stephen Krusoe: Sheriff Deon Gilbeau

    2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace

    Deb Persoff Life Achievement

    Deborah Persoff accepts the Colorado Theatre Guild's 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Henry Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Video: The 'Frozen' interviews, Part 3: Thomas Schumacher

    by John Moore | Aug 18, 2017

     


    Disney's Thomas Schumacher: 'Frozen is not a musical film. It’s a theatrical musical on film.'

    In advance of the Denver debut of the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen on Aug. 17, we present you with this series of interviews with members of the cast and creative team.

    Thomas-Schumacher-denver-center_frozen_photo-by-jenny-andersonPart 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, who talks about his company’s special relationship with the city of Denver, and what makes Frozen the perfect choice for a musical stage adaptation.

    “At its core, Frozen is not a musical film. It’s a theatrical musical on film,” Schumacher said. “The characters tell the stories with their songs. The songs turn the corner for the story action. Music propels it forward. And that’s why it wants to be on the stage.”

    Interview by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Frozen plays in Denver through Oct. 1.

    (Pictured above from left: Director Michael Grandage, Thomas Schumacher and Scenic and Costume Designer Christopher Oram. Photo by Jenny Anderson.)

    The full Frozen video series:
    Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin
    Part 2: Director Michael Grandage
    Part 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions
    Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Production
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • Video: The 'Frozen' interviews, Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    by John Moore | Aug 16, 2017

     


    The choreographer calls the new Broadway musical's mingling of old and new songs 'seamless'

    In advance of the Denver debut of the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen on Aug. 17, we present you with this series of interviews with members of the cast and creative team.

    Travis Patton, Rob Ashford & James Brown III Photo by Jenny AndersonPart 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford, who says the mingling of old and new songs is surprisingly seamless. "When I first heard all the new music, I was like, ‘Is that a new song? I’m not sure.’ Because they all feel like they could have absolutely been in the film."

    Ashford says he had something of a blank slate because there is not much dancing in the animated source film. He's points to the Coronation Ball as an example of a scene he thinks the movement really works. "Anna sees Elsa across the room and she is thrilled to see her sister again, but doesn’t know how to approach her," said Ashford," and so all of those things are done through dance." He calls choreographing Frozen "a joy and a privilege."

    Interview by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Frozen plays in Denver through Oct. 1.

    (Pictured above, from left: Travis Patton, Rob Ashford and James Brown III. Photo by Jenny Anderson.)

    The full Frozen video series:
    Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin
    Part 2: Director Michael Grandage
    Part 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions
    Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • City Council approves referendum on DCPA improvements

    by John Moore | Aug 15, 2017
    Michael B. Hancock. Photo by John Moore
    "This is a thoughtful, balanced and responsible investment package created by and for the people of Denver," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, pictured today at the reopening of the DCPA's Space Theatre.

    Voters in November will consider wide slate of improvements including Stage and Ricketson theatres

    By John More
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The Denver City Council on Monday unanimously referred a bond to the November ballot that if approved by voters will make funds available for 460 projects valued at $937 million, including $19 million to renovate the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Stage and Ricketson theatres. Without a tax increase.

    Roughly half of the total bond program would go toward road maintenance, sidewalk connections, intersection improvements and transit infrastructure, Denverite reported.

    The slate includes library renovations; new recreation centers and playgrounds; and upgrades to police and fire stations, cultural institutions such as the Denver Center and enhancements to Denver Health Medical Center.

    Mayor Michael B. Hancock called the initiative "a thoughtful, balanced and responsible investment package created by and for the people of Denver." He said the November vote represents an unparalleled opportunity for the city. 

    More than half of the projects on the list will fix and repair existing infrastructure, with the remainder dedicated to upgrades and new infrastructure across the city.

    There was no opposition voiced at the council meeting.
     
    The proposed improvements will be presented to voters as seven separate spending packages. The referendum including the DCPA and other cultural institutions will be known as 2B, which DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden took as a positive sign, given its proximity to Shakespeare's "To be or not to be" speech from Hamlet.

    "We're excited to work with the city on the upcoming bond campaign," DCPA Sinden said at this morning's reopening of the DCPA's Space Theatre - which benefited in part from the city's 2007 "Better Denver" bond package. "I will be plugging it shamelessly." 

    The improvements would not mean an increase in the tax rate, Denverite reported, which will likely be a taken as major selling point. Property owners would be paying more for debt service than in the past because their property generally is worth more.

    "These measures were created with the most public input of any bond proposal in Denver’s history,” Hancock said.

    The seven separate ballot questions include:

    • $431 million for transportation and mobility projects
    • $116.9 million for city-owned cultural facility improvements (including the Stage and Ricketon theatres)
    • $75 million for a new outpatient care center at Denver Health Medical Center
    • $77 million for safety facility projects
    • $69.3 million for Denver Public Library improvements
    • $151.6 million for parks and recreation
    • $16.5 million for city-owned facility improvements
    Visit 2017GObond for more information about the bond process and projects.
  • Video: The 'Frozen' interviews, Part 2: Director Michael Grandage

    by John Moore | Aug 13, 2017

     


    Frozen director: 'The vision is to honor the film but at the same time give it its own identity.'

    In advance of the Denver debut of the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen on Aug. 17, we present you with this series of interviews with members of the cast and creative team. Second up: Director Michael Grandage.  

    Frozen Michael Grandage "The vision is to honor the film but at the same time give it its own identity. We can do a lot onstage that you can’t do otherwise," Grandage says. 

    As for his own hopes for the audience, he added: "I’ve always found that if you can have your life changed just a little bit by watching theatre, and it can really make a difference in your life, then I think we have done our job. I hope Frozen does that.  

    Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Frozen plays in Denver through Oct. 1.

    Pictured above from left: Patti Murin, Michael Grandage and Caissie Levy. Photo by Jenny Anderson.

    The full Frozen video series:
    Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin
    Part 2: Director Michael Grandage
    Part 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions
    Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • Video: The 'Frozen' interviews, Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin

    by John Moore | Aug 11, 2017

     


    Frozen stars: 'It's great that this is the city Disney trusts to give them a valid and educated response.'

    In advance of the Denver debut of the upcoming new Broadway musical Frozen on Aug. 17, we present you with this series of interviews with members of thA Frozen. Rehearsale cast and creative team. First up: Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna).  

    Says Levy: "I think you are going to mostly see the show that will arrive on Broadway, but you get to see it first here in Denver, which is cool - and you will know all those insider tweaks that happened. I think that's why we are excited to be here, because this is such a savvy theatregoing city."

    Read more: First interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin

    Says Murin: "Any changes that are made between Denver and New York are going to be because of how the Denver audience reacts. And so it's great that this is the city Disney trusts to give them a valid and educated response." 

    Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Frozen plays in Denver through Oct. 1.

    The full Frozen video series:
    Part 1: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin
    Part 2: Director Michael Grandage
    Part 3: Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions
    Part 4: Choreographer Rob Ashford

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: Making of Frozen

    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Frozen performance added for Friday, Aug. 18
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • 'Frozen' performance added for Friday night, Aug. 18

    by John Moore | Aug 10, 2017
    Frozen
    'Frozen' photo gallery in Denver. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson.

     

    Disney's Thomas Schumacher: Creative team will benefit from additional early performance before Denver audience

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The first performance of the highly anticipated developing Broadway musical Frozen takes place in Denver on Thursday, Aug. 17. And the second performance, as of right now, will be the next evening, it was just announced.

    According to the original Frozen schedule, Friday, Aug. 18, was to have been a full work day, with no public performance that evening. But Frozen Director Michael Grandage and Disney Theatricals President Thomas Schumacher have decided the Frozen creative team will benefit more from getting several performances in the books before implementing any potential changes.

    “Frankly, we want to get on a roll, and one performance isn’t enough to help us do that,” said Schumacher. “If we can have a second preview right away, then we can size up more than just one audience.”

    The newly added performance will take place in the Buell Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, which means an additional 2,800 seats have just been made available to the public at denvercenter.org, starting at $25.

    Frozen rehearsal. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin. Photo by Jenny Anderson. Pre-Broadway productions don’t always follow the same performance schedules audiences come to expect from established touring productions that visit Denver. Instead, shows still in development target specific “work days” to stop and incorporate lessons learned from early performances in front of live audiences. Those might include script, set or costume changes that can only be safely incorporated with additional, dedicated rehearsal time. The team still has planned “work days” scheduled for Aug. 22 and 29. 

    The entire seven-week run of Denver is, in essence, a preview period for the show’s opening next spring at the St. James Theatre in New York. For those unfamiliar with the term, a preview performance is essentially any that takes place before a designated opening night. In Denver, the official opening night is Sept. 14, after which any significant potential changes would not be implemented until the Denver run closes on Oct. 1.

    Our exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin

    Schumacher said the Denver audience’s role in the creative process is of vital importance to the creative team. The audience contributes to the creative conversation simply by the way it responds to the story with its laughter, applause and tears. That’s why the creative team wants as much feedback as possible before considering any major changes.

    Michael Grandage, Thomas Schumacher, Christopher Oram. Photo by Jenny Anderson“You can't go by just one audience, because there will be diversity from one audience to the next depending on the time of day and day of the week,” Schumacher said. “Certain people love to come to a weekend matinee, and that is a very specific kind of crowd. The weekday audience is a different crowd. The people who hear about this newly added performance and buy a ticket tomorrow is a different audience than the people who bought their tickets four months ago. The people who bought their tickets four months ago are big Frozen fans. But I think this show also has so much appeal to the traditional audience that might not realize what we are even doing yet. They might not know yet that that this is actually a big, brand-new, proper musical. And when they come, we are going to learn from them as they watch the show, too.”

    The bottom line, Schumacher said: “We're in rehearsal. Previews are part of our process. And we want to get enough of them under our belt to take full advantage of what we learn from our Denver audiences to keep the momentum going.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Tickets for the added performance top out at $75, Schumacher said, since it’s such a late addition to the performance schedule. He added that the Denver engagement of Frozen is selling very well.

    “Today we have sold more tickets for Frozen than for The Little Mermaid pre-Broadway run in Denver 10 years ago,” Schumacher added. He attributed that to Frozen being staged in the Buell Theatre, which has a much higher capacity than the Ellie, which hosted The Little Mermaid.

    And yet, there are still 24,000 seats available to the public for Frozen in Denver, he said. Weeknights have the best availability.


    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.

    Pictured above: Top right: Caissie Levy and Patti Murin in 'Frozen' rehearsal. Above right, from left: Michael Grandage, Thomas Schumacher and Christopher Oram. Photos by Jenny Anderson.

    Frozen: Ticket information

    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.
    • Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    • Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Single tickets are onsale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY NOW
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    dcpa.org


    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen

    Exclusive first interview with Caissie Levy, Patti Murin
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Video: Your first look at Frozen in Denver
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Meet the entire cast of Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen

  • Photo coverage: 2017 Henry Awards

    by John Moore | Jul 26, 2017
    2017 Henry Awards

    Our complete photo gallery from the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2017 Henry Awards ceremony held July 17 at the PACE Center in Parker. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. All photos may be instantly downloaded and shared with proper photo credit. All photos by Brian Landis Folkins and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The Henry Awards honor outstanding achievements by member companies. To read our full report, click here. The photo above shows hosts Steven J. Burge and GerRee Hinshaw at the PACE Center in Parker.

    Read our full report: Henry Awards spreads love across state

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    2017 HENRY AWARDS. Stephen Day
    Stephen Day, who won Outstanding Actor in a musical, performs from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's 'The Ma of La Mancha' at the Henry Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Our 2017 Henry Awards memorial video:


    Video by John Moore. More video coverage from the event to come, including performances and acceptance speeches.

  • Denver Center taking new plays to new level in 2017-18

    by John Moore | Jul 02, 2017

    Lauren Yee. The Great Leap
    Lauren Yee’s 'The Great Leap,' which was introduced as a reading at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit, will premiere at the Denver Center next February, then re-open at the Seattle Rep just 12 days after closing here. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Companies are now jumping on new Denver Center works before they have even been fully staged here.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The Denver Center is taking a major step forward in its development of new work for the American theatre in 2017. And one major reason is a hip new term in the theatrical lexicon: “Co-Pro.”

    For the first time, the DCPA Theatre Company will stage two new plays next season that will immediately transfer to major theatres around the country as essentially continuing world premieres. They will quickly re-open in their second cities with their Denver Center directors and casts intact.

    American Mariachi. Summit The Theatre Company opens José Cruz González’s American Mariachi on Jan. 26, 2018. Less than a month after it closes in Denver, the production will re-open at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, which bows in Denver on Feb. 2, will re-open at the Seattle Rep just 12 days after closing here.

    By virtue of these unique partnerships, both stagings are considered “co-productions.” Or, as the kids say, “Co-Pros.” Coincidentally, the re-opening nights in San Diego and Seattle will both take place on March 23.

    (Pictured above right: 'American Mariachi' was introduced as a reading at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    For 12 years, artistic leaders from around the country have come to the Denver Center’s Colorado New Play Summit each February to see readings of developing new works, then come back the next year to see the subsequent fully staged world-premiere productions before scheduling some of the plays themselves. Among the popular titles that have expanded through this slow growth plan have been Jason Grote’s 1001 and Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale.

    But now companies are coming here to see readings and committing to scheduling them even before they are fully staged at the Denver Center for the first time.

    Matt McGrath in 'The Legend of Georgia McBride.' Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen. All this comes at a time when Denver Center-born works are proliferating on national stages like never before. In 2017, Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride will become the most-produced new Denver Center work since Quilters in 1982. Ten companies this year are presenting the story of a straight man who explores the world of drag to feed his family in cities stretching from Los Angeles to Key West, Fla., with four more already slated for 2018. Lopez’s newest work, Zoey’s Perfect Wedding, will debut at the DCPA’s Space Theatre next Jan. 19.

    (Pictured above right: Matt McGrath in the Denver Center's 2014 world premiere of 'The Legend of Georgia McBride.' Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.) 

    How Georgia McBride has evolved since Denver

    Since former Artistic Director Kent Thompson launched the Colorado New Play Summit in 2006, the DCPA has given 27 new plays their world-premiere stagings. At least 32 productions of 13 DCPA-born works are being presented around the country this year and next, most notably a high-profile return of the reimagined The Unsinkable Molly Brown, which plays from July 21-27 at The Muny in St. Louis. The Muny is America’s largest outdoor musical theatre. After that, star Beth Malone said, the goal is Broadway.

    LEAD MOLLY"That is absolutely the intention of putting it up at The Muny,” Malone said. “There is no other reason than for it go to Broadway. Everyone involved with it feels very strongly that we are completely on track.”

    (Pictured at right: The cast of the DCPA Theatre Company's 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown.' Photo by Adams VisCom.)

    Last week, two recent Colorado New Play Summit readings landed on The Kilroys, a curated list of the 31 most promising new plays by women: Yee's The Great Leap and Donnetta Lavinia Grays' Last Night and the Night Before.

    NATAKI GARRETT 3Even older new plays like Octavio Solis' Lydia (2008) are still making an impact. “Lydia is a blast-furnace drama now in its Seattle debut in a blistering, urgent staging from Strawberry Theatre Workshop," Misha Berson of the Seattle Times wrote last month of a "forcefully directed ensemble of visceral power." Last year, the Aurora Fox became the first company to stage the Denver Center’s Native American premiere of Black Elk Speaks since 1996.

    All of this proliferation is not only changing the way the nation looks at the Denver Center, said Associate Artistic Director Nataki Garrett. It is changing how the Denver Center looks at itself.

    “The Colorado New Play Summit is a nationally renowned place where theatre companies from all over the United States come to see those playwrights who are moving up in the ranks and becoming the clarions for the future of playwriting,” she said.  “But I think this is where it was always heading. The most important part of the work we do as theatre artists is to foster and develop new work, and I think this is that idea coming to full fruition.”

    (Story continues after the video)

    Video spotlight: American Mariachi



    What makes for a successful Co-Pro, Garrett said, is the continuation of the Denver Center’s commitment to the playwright once the new play reaches its immediate second destination.

    “What I am really focused on with these companies is, 'Are you willing to make space for that writer to keep writing?’ ” Garrett said. “The whole point is to for them to be able to keep evolving their piece after they leave Denver, if that’s what the piece needs.”

    The Theatre Company’s commissioning program is one reason the pipeline stays stocked. At any given time, the company has a number of renowned and emerging playwrights under commissions. That essentially binds the playwright to write a new work of his or her choice, and the DCPA Theatre Company then has the right of first refusal to stage it. The playwrights with commissions in progress are:

    • Kemp Powers
    • Anne Garcia-Romero
    • Aleshea Harris
    • Mary Kathryn Nagle
    • Tony Meneses
    • David Jacobi
    • Regina Taylor

    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.


    DCPA AROUND THE COUNTRY: 2017-18

    The Unsinkable Molly Brown, by Dick Scanlan and Meredith Willson: The 1960 musical that tells the rags-to-riches tale of Colorado's greatest heroine is infused with new songs and a new script.

    • The Muny, St. Louis, July 21-27, 2017

    The Book of Will, By Lauren Gunderson:  The untold story of the race to publish Shakespeare's First Folio before half his canon was lost to history.

    • Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, June 9-July 28, 2017
    • Northlight Theatre, Skokie, Ill., Nov. 9-Dec. 17, 2017
    • Round House Theatre, Bethesda, Md., Nov. 29-Dec. 24, 2017
    • Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Ore., June-October, 2018

    The Great Leap, by Lauren Yee: An American college basketball team travels to Beijing in 1989.

    • American Conservatory Theatre New Strands Festival, San Francisco (reading), May 19, 2017
    • DCPA Theatre Company, Feb. 2-March 11, 2018
    • Seattle Rep, March 23-April 22, 2018 (co-world premiere)

    The Legend of Georgia McBride, by Matthew Lopez: A young Elvis impersonator turns to drag to feed his growing family.

    • Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, April 4-May 14, 2017
    • GableStage, Coral Gables, Fla., May 27-June 25, 2017
    • Marin Theatre Company, San Francisco, June 8-July 9, 2017
    • ACT Theatre, Seattle, June 9-July 2, 2017
    • Theatre Nova, Detroit, June 9- July 9, 2017
    • Dorset Theatre Festival, Vermont, Aug. 3-19, 2017
    • Northlight Theatre, Skokie, Ill., Sept. 14-Oct. 22, 2017
    • Hippodrome State Theatre, Gainesville, Fla., Oct. 13-Nov. 5, 2017
    • B Street Theatre, Sacramento, Calif.,Nov. 6-Dec. 9, 2017
    • Uptown Players, Dallas, Dec. 1-17, 2017
    • Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, March 23-April 22, 2018
    • Key West Players, Key West, Fla., May 2-19, 2018
    • Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham Mass., May 3-20, 2018
    • Round House Theatre, Bethesda, Md., June 8-July 1, 2018

    American Mariachi, by Jose Cruz Gonzalez: The musical tale of an all-female mariachi band in the 1970s.

    • DCPA Theatre Company, Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2018
    • Old Globe (San Diego), March 23-April 29, 2018 (co-world premiere)

    Just Like Us, by Karen Zacarías: Documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls in Denver - two are documented, two are not.

    • Visión Latino Theatre Company, Feb. 24-March 12, 2017

    Dusty and the Big Bad World, by Cusi Cram: When a popular children’s TV  show spotlights a family with two daddies, it sparks a conservative outcry.

    • Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, July 6-19, 2017

    Appoggiatura, by James Still: A trip to Venice brings love, loss, pain and joy to three weary travelers in search of healing and happiness in a magical story filled with music and amore.
    • Indiana Repertory Theatre, March 7-31, 2018

    FADE, by Tanya Saracho: When Mexican-born Lucia is hired to write for a Latina TV character, she finds an unexpected muse in the Latino studio custodian.
    • Cherry Lane Theatre, New York, Feb. 8-March 5, 2017
    • TheatreWorks, Hartford, June 1-30, 2017

    Lydia, by Octavio Solis: A maid cares for a border family's near-vegetative teenage daughter who was left in a coma after a mysterious accident. 

    • Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Seattle, June 1-24, 2017

    Almost Heaven: The Songs and Stories of John Denver: The songwriter's life story is told through anecdotes and 21 songs.

    • Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Grand Lake, Sept. 1-30, 2017

    The Whale, by Samuel D. Hunter: An oversized, homebound and dying man struggles to reconcile with his estranged teenage daughter before it’s too late.
    • Verge Theatre Company, Nashville, June 2-14, 2017

    black odyssey, by Marcus Gardley: An imagination of Homer’s epic lens through the lens of the black American experience.
    • California Shakespeare Theatre, Orinda, Calif., Aug. 9-Sept. 3, 2017

    Quilters, by Molly Newman: A series of vignettes performed in song and spoken word that chart the joys and sorrows of the frontier journey West.

    • Ferndale (Calif.) Repertory Theatre, March 9-April 2, 2017

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


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    ABOUT THE EDITOR
    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.

    DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.