Opening No. 12, Jan. 18: Actors (from left) Mehry Eslaminia, Megan Heffernan, Jane Shirley, Cindy Laudadio-Hill, LuAnn Buckstein and Jeff Kosloski, have their official, opening-night iPhone portrait clicked by Avenue Theater director of operations Colin Elliott moments before their near-capacity performance of “Motherhood Out Loud,” It is a series of comic and poignant vignettes authored by 14 writers from the fields of journalism, fiction, TV and theater. Directed by Robert Wells. Through Feb. 23 at 417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or www.avenuetheater.com. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org.
Opening No. 11, Jan. 17: Actors Joel Rainwater, left, and Tom Borrillo conduct an opening-night audience talkback moderated by artistic director Christopher Alleman after their chess-like staging of “Sleuth.” Directed by Alan Osburn. Through Feb. 10 at 176 Lake Dillon Dr. in Dillon, about 70 miles west of Denver. Call 970-513-9386 or www.LakeDillonTheatre.Org. Thanks: Nikki Lalonde. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org
Opening No. 10, Jan. 12: Once you see Curious Theatre’s 1950s parallel-universe comedy “Maple and Vine,” you’ll know why Mad Housewife wine was such an appropriate opening-night gift from actor C. Kelly Leo, left, to castmate Karen Slack. Through Feb. 23 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or www.CuriousTheatre.Org. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Kate Roselle and Chip Walton.
Opening No. 9, Jan. 11: From left: Chris Bleau, Erica Johnson and Deborah Curtis gather with director Richard Pegg (in mirror) in tight quarters behind the Miners Alley Playhouse stage before the opening performance of the Jeffrey Hatcher coming-of-age comedy “Mrs. Mannerly,” about an Ohio boy and his battles with his Ohio etiquette teacher. Through Feb. 17 at 1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or www.minersalley. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Paige Larson, Lisa DeCaro, Rick Bernstein, Len Matheo and Brenda Billings.
Opening No. 8, Jan. 10: At the Town Hall Arts Center, patrons who can’t take the stairs go up by elevator. They then enter the theater through the backstage area, sometimes encountering cast members such as Tim Howard of “Forever Plaid.” Through Feb. 10 at 2450 W. Main St., 303-794-2787 or www.townhallartscenter.com. Also starring Barret Harper, Mark Middlebrooks and Jacob Villareal. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Nick Sugar, Steven Neale.
Opening No. 7, Jan. 9: Cast members from the national touring production of “War Horse” circle up on the Buell Theatre stage for vocal warmups moments before the audience is allowed in. Through Jan. 20 at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100 or www.denvercenter.org. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org.
Opening No. 6, Jan. 5: The opening-night ritual often includes cast and crew exchanging personal notes and gift baskets. Here, “Bullshot Crummond” star Matthew Stalker thanks OpenStage producer Denise Freestone after the cast weathered severe illness, family loss and a challenging, physical rehearsal process over the busy holiday season en route to a rousing opening performance. Through Feb. 2 at the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins. 970-221-6730 or www.OpenStage.Com. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Directed by Candice Ingold. Thanks: Denise Freestone, Bruce Freestone and Morgan Taylor.
Opening Night No. 5, Jan. 5: Alex Reitze, Matt LaFontaine and Michael Brown brush up on a routine in the moments just before patrons are brought in for dinner service. For LaFontaine (Jinx), it was his sixth opening in a production of “Forever Plaid.” Directed by Tom Berger. Through Feb. 24 at the Midtown Arts Center, 3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or www.MidtownArtsCenter.com. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Ian Beutler, Nicole Yost.
Opening Night 4, Jan. 4: There’s a lot of testosterone in Jonson Kuhn’s mafia-driven original play, “Newark Violenta,” a both descendant of and wink at films like “Reservoir Dogs.” The kind of testosterone actor Ryan Goold wears on his skin. Directed by Rich Cowden. Through Jan. 26 at The Edge Theatre, 9797 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or www.theeproject.org. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Rick and Patty Yaconis.
Opening Night 3, Jan. 4: Actor James O’Hagan-Murphy prepares to open in his first-ever one-man show, “RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy,” presented by Vintage Theatre Productions. Directed by Terry Dodd. Through Jan. 27 at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Craig Bond, Gloria Shanstrom.
Bonus Opening Night 2: Director and star Ben Dicke takes a moment to collect himself behind the Aurora Fox before the delayed opening performance of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” on Sept. 27, 2012. Presented by Ben Dicke Productions. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org.
Bonus Opening Night 1: Actor Rhonda Brown reflects backstage at the Aurora Fox moments before the opening performance of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” on Sept. 14, 2012. Presented by Ashton Entertainment. Directed by John Ashton. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org.