Photos: My night at the 2013 Henry Awards

By John Moore
July 27, 2013

My photos from the 2013 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards. To see caption information for any photo above, or to see the gallery if watching on a mobile phone, click here. (The information is posted on the lower-left corner of each photo.) Or just click the “show info” option on any photo.

Additional coverage:

Complete list of nominees
Complete list of eligible shows
Recap: Regional companies make an emphatic bow at 2013 Henry Awards

My video coverage:


My video tribute to Ray Angel, Diane Beckoff, Harry Cruzan, Shana Dowdeswell, Diane Gadomski, Robert Garner, Angela Johnson, David Kristin, Will Marshall, Brook Millard, Adam Perkes and Linda Rae Wheeler. This served as the “memoriam” section of the 2013 Henry Awards celebration held July 22 at the Arvada Center.

 


Members of the local theater community give their shout-outs to this year’s Henry Award nominees. One comes all the way from Poland.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: 2013 Underground Music Showcase: The UMS

To see caption information for any photo above, or to see the gallery if watching on a mobile phone, click here. (The information is posted on the lower-left corner of each photo.) Or just click the “show info” option on any photo.

By John Moore
July 21, 2013

Photos from the 2013 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, a little party I started in 2001 that now offers more than 350 bands over four days on South Broadway. Photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org

 

To read our biased rant on the Comics Vs. Media Face-Off, click here.


Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces one of his personal favorites to the UMS main stage: Sunday headliners Nathaniel Rateliff and Born in the Flood. Read more about it here.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: Denver Actors Fund’s All-Theater Trivia Smackdown

To see caption information for any photo above, or to see the gallery if watching on a mobile phone, click here. (The information is posted on the lower-left corner of each photo.) Or just click the “show info” option on any photo.

By John Moore
July 23, 2013

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. The All-Theater Trivia Smackdown raised more than $1,200 on July 15 at Buntport Theater.

The quizmasters were Erin Rollman and John Moore. Scorekeeper: Samantha Schmitz. Performers: Karen Krause, Rebecca Salamonsson, Stephen Day, Traci Kern, Rob Riney and Sarah Rex. Pianist: Ryan Durfee. Food donated by Chris Silberman and Sue Leiser. Tables by Beki Pineda. Liquid refreshments by Rhonda Brown. Helper: Jessica Robblee.

Photos by Brian Landis Folkins, Carla Kaiser Kotrc and John Moore. Thanks: Kirk Montgomery,
KUSA Cannel 9.

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. To donate, please go here (with our humble thanks):

 
Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

Video: Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces Nathaniel Rateliff at the UMS

By John Moore
July 23, 2013

When he first became Denver’s mayor, I saw now Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sneak into the Lion’s Lair at midnight to catch a little bit of a John Doe set. He has introduced the Avett Brothers the past two years at Red Rocks. A few years ago, he introduced the Flobots before their headlining performance at the little music fest I started in 2001 — now a sprouting teenager called the Underground Music Showcase. The UMS just featured early 400 bands over four days along eight blocks of Broadway in the Baker neighborhood.

The UMS is now — and I did not know this until Mr. Hickenlooper said so on Sunday night — the second-largest live music conclave west of the Mississippi. I was already in hog heaven when Gordon Gano made an appearance playing violin — in a Violent Femmes cover band.

Hickenlooper was back at the 2013 UMS to introduce one of his personal favorites to the main stage: Nathaniel Rateliff, who is also the frontman for the final-day UMS headliners, Born in the Flood. Hickenlooper’s giddy enthusiasm for music, and the arts in general, are palpable. He sounded just like a kid when he boasted, “I will tell you right now that Nathaniel Rateliff is going to become one of the biggest musicians in this country.” … And the part of the clip where Hickenlooper theorizes on the possible origin of the name “Born in the Flood” is priceless.

The band lineup on Sunday was Rateliff, Joseph Pope, Nathan Meese and Patrick Meese.

(And thanks for the shout-outs to Ricardo Baca and me, UMS Event Director Kendall Smith!)

Here are just a few of the photos I took at the 2013 UMS. I still have two days worth to add — they will be updated by the end of the day.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Video: My Memoriam Film for the 2013 Henry Awards

By John Moore
July 23, 2013

My video tribute to Ray Angel, Diane Beckoff, Harry Cruzan, Shana Dowdeswell, Diane Gadomski, Robert Garner, Angela Johnson, David Kristin, Will Marshall, Brook Millard, Adam Perkes and Linda Rae Wheeler. This served as the “memoriam” section of the 2013 Henry Awards celebration held July 22 at the Arvada Center.

Thank you to everyone who helped me make this tribute: Jeremy Palmer, Beki Pineda, Randy Weeks, Neal Johnson, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Bill Wheeler, Lauren Millard, Taylor Millard, Deb Flomberg and Brenda Perkes, mother of Adam Michael Perkes.

If you get a pop-up ad while watching, just click the X in the upper-right corner of the ad, and it will go away.

 

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Newly eligible companies take emphatic bow at 2013 Henry Awards

177 CURIOUS

By John Moore
July 22, 2013

The Colorado Theatre Guild set out to put more Colorado in Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2013 Henry Awards, and tonight’s results certainly accomplished that goal. The question on many minds tomorrow, after the Guild had left so many of its own member companies out of the race for seven years, will be whether it perhaps overcorrected – all in one shot.

It was no surprise that the Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha” was the big winner of a refreshingly spread-out evening, pulling seven awards, including best musical and best direction for Rod Lansberry. Right behind was a mountain-company newcomer to the Henrys: The Lake Dillon Theatre Company pulled four wins, including three for “Kiss of the Spider-Woman.” Curious Theatre won best play for “The Brothers Size.”

In all, 11 companies and 16 shows won at least one award. (Here is the complete list of nominees and here is the complete list of all eligible shows.)

Theater companies from outside the metro area were eligible for Henry Awards for the first time, and all four trophies for best (male) actors went to regional theater companies:

*Jonathan Farwell, best actor in a play, OpenStage & Company’s “Amadeus,” Fort Collins
*Bob Moore, best supporting actor in a play, Lake Dillon Theatre’s “The Sunshine Boys”
*Joshua Blanchard, best actor in a musical, Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s “Kiss of the Spider-Woman”
*Thomas Rainey, best supporting actor in a musical, Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s “Kiss of the Spider-Woman

The Guild made great strides in expanding the eligible pool this year to a record 162 productions. That the 2013 winners represent a real swath of the Colorado theater community for the first time is the truest statement of community the Guild could make.

But one question tomorrow morning will be whether the Guild, in its noble effort to welcome statewide companies into the mix, inadvertently steered things in their favor. Because to make those outlying productions eligible, the Guild also expanded its pool of judges to those very communities. It takes six judges to make any production eligible for a Henry Award, which previously has made it logistically impossible to include regional theater companies in the pool. Now the outlying shows are judged by a mix of Denver-based judges who make the trek to see theater throughout the state, and reviewers and theater-lovers who live in the communities they now judge.

The natural, if uncomfortable, question might at least be asked: Were those judges predisposed to overly support the productions in their home areas? Or were the best theater performances in Colorado all living outside of the Denver area last year? Or is it maybe a little bit of both?

The eight women’s acting awards were more evenly distributed. It seemed a foregone conclusion that new Denver transplant SuCh (Celie) would win best actress in a musical for “The Color Purple” after she and castmate Ashlie-Amber Harris drew a mid-show standing ovation with their shattering live performance of the duet, “What About Love?”

This was easily the most powerhouse category of the night, including five amazing performances: Selah Grace (“Kiss of the Spider-Woman”), Norrell Moore (“Hair”), Megan Van De Hey (“Baby”), Kathi Wood “Little Shop of Horrors” and Brianna Firestone (“Sweet Charity”).

The Denver Center pulled two of the three remaining female acting awards: Jeanne Paulsen for “Romeo and Juliet” and Ruth Gottschall for “Sense and Sensibility, the Musical” (supporting actresses in a play and musical, respectively).

The other went to beloved local actress Laura Norman for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer.” Interestingly, Norman’s was the most contained performance among a fiery field filled with incendiary performances by Abby Apple Boes and Anne Oberbroeckling in “August: Osage County,” Rhonda Brown in “Red Hot Patriot: The Wit and Wisdom of Molly Ivins,” and Kim Staunton in “Fences.”

Prognosticators were kept guessing all night long, simply because the fields were so deep in so many categories. The fully loaded ensemble award went to Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair.”

On a night stuffed with surprises, one award that was no surprise at all was Curious Theatre winning the outstanding season by a company award. After all, it placed three of the five nominees in the “best play” category. What may come as a surprise is that this is the first time in eight years that Curious, whose mission is to stage only plays that are new to Denver, has ever won the best-season Henry award.


My video tribute to Ray Angel, Diane Beckoff, Harry Cruzan, Shana Dowdeswell, Diane Gadomski, Robert Garner, Angela Johnson, David Kristin, Will Marshall, Brook Millard, Adam Perkes and Linda Rae Wheeler. This served as the “memoriam” section of the Henry Awards.

The first-time hosts for the evening were GerRee Hinshaw and Stephen J. Burge, taking a lighthearted approach that kept the evening quickly moving. The hosts enlisted Eden Lane, Kirk Montgomery, Gloria Shanstrom and myself for a comic opening bit about whether there would — or should — be an opening number. (Of course there was one — “Show People” by the cast of the Arvada Center’s “Curtains.” That kind of made up for the most awkward moment of the night — when eventual Henry-winning best musical “Man of La Mancha,” for reasons both logistical and economic, could not perform live along with the other nominated best musicals. (Instead, a videotape was played of the song “Dulcinea”).

There were many fun small moments — such as the Curious Theatre husband-and-wife team of Chip Walton (“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”) and Dee Covington (“The Brothers Size”) going head-to-head for best director of a play. The winner was Bob Wells, who was honored for directing “The 39 Steps” for the Town Hall Arts Center. That was made sweeter when Wells reminded the crowd that he appeared in the first Arvada Center staging ever held in 1976.

It was also sweet to see a live performance of “On My Own” from Chaparral High School’s recent “Les Miserables.” The show was the first winner of the Denver Center’s new Bobby G Awards, honoring the best in high-school theater musical.

Chris Campbell gave an endearing speech after winning one of the two best-costume awards (for “Man of La Mancha”). She said: “In the words of Jack Benny, I don’t deserve this … but I have arthritis, too, and I don’t deserve that, either.”

A major change by the Guild was a last-minute decision to split the four design categories (costumes, scenic design, sound and lighting) into large budget and small budget tiers.

You couldn’t help but be moved by octogenarian Jonathan Farwell’s surprise win for playing Salieri in “Amadeus.” “I am astonished and humbled,” he told the crowd.

But I think for most people the highlight of the night had to be Jim Hunt winning the
Lifetime Achievement award. It was presented by his former acting student at Alameda High School, Rick Bernstein, who went on to found the Morrison Theatre Company and Miners Alley Playhouse. For more on that, scroll to the bottom of the page.


Members of the local theater community give their shout-outs to this year’s field of 2013 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award nominees. One comes all the way from Poland.

Running list of winners:

Outstanding season:
CURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY

Outstanding Musical
“MAN OF LA MANCHA” Arvada Center

Outstanding Play
“THE BROTHERS SIZE” Curious Theatre Company

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
ROD LANSBERRY “Man of La Mancha” – Arvada Center

Outstanding Musical Direction
DAVID NEHLS
“Man of La Mancha” – Arvada Center

Outstanding Direction of a Play
ROBERT WELLS “The 39 Steps” – Town Hall Arts Center

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
JONATHAN FARWELL
“Amadeus” – OpenStage Theatre & Company

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
LAURA NORMAN
“Ghost-Writer” – Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

Special Award: Lifetime Achievement in Theatre:
JIM HUNT

Outstanding New Play:
“SWEET TOOTH” Buntport Theater Company

Special Award: Outstanding Regional Theatre:
THEATREWORKS, Colorado Springs

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical:
JOSHUA BLANCHARD
“Kiss of the Spider Woman”- Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
SuCh
“The Color Purple” – Aurora Fox Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
BOB MOORE
“The Sunshine Boys” – Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
JEANNE PAULSEN
“Romeo & Juliet” – Denver Center Theatre Company

Special award:
COLORADO STATE THESPIANS Advocate for Theatre Arts Education

Outstanding Ensemble
“HAIR”
Town Hall Arts Center

Outstanding Choreography
KITTY SKILLMAN HILSABECK
“Man of La Mancha” – Arvada Center

Outstanding Scenic Design, small budget:
ABSTER PRODUCTIONS “August: Osage County” – Abster Productions

Outstanding Scenic Design, large budget
BRIAN MALLGRAVE “Man of La Mancha” – Arvada Center

Outstanding Costume Design: Small budget
LINDA MORKEN
“The Wizard of Oz” – Boulder’s Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design, large budget:
CHRIS CAMPBELL
“Man of La Mancha” – Arvada Center

Special Award:
Outstanding Volunteer, Randy Dipner, TheatreWorks, Colorado Springs

Outstanding Lighting Design Small budget
JACOB M. WELCH
“Kiss of the Spider Woman” – Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design: Large budget
SHANNON MCKINNEY
“Man of La Mancha” – Arvada Center

Outstanding Sound Design: Large budget
BRIAN FREELAND
“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” – Curious Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design: Small budget
ADAM STONE
“Wake” – Buntport Theater

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

THOMAS RAINEY
“Kiss of the Spider Woman” – Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical:

RUTH GOTTSCHALL
“Sense & Sensibility The Musical” – Denver Center Theatre Company

Excerpt of Jim Hunt nomination letter:

Full disclosure: I nominated Jim Hunt for the 2013 Life Achievement Award. I leave you with an excerpt from the nomination letter I submitted to the Guild on Jim’s behalf:

Your requirements for this Life Achievement Award seem written in the very acknowledgement of Jim Hunt’s career:

The nominee must show a significant contribution to the Colorado theater community: Jim Hunt has been an actor, director, teacher and coach in the Denver area for 50 years, dating (in my mind at least) back to a 1964 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opposite Nick Nolte for the Little Theatre of the Rockies. He hasn’t taken much of a break since.

Jim graduated from Westminster High School (1961) and UNC (1965). He taught theater at Alameda High School for eight years, and at Arvada West for 8 1/2. His students have included Rick Bernstein, who founded Morrison Theatre Company and Miners Alley Playhouse. He directed new Arvada Center executive director Phil Sneed as a young man in “South Pacific” at the Arvada Center in 1977.

He has supported efforts promote Colorado theater in innumerable ways, including the often-thankless job of directing of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards for many years.

The nominee must show at least ten years of active participation in theater in Colorado:
Ten? How about 50?

The nominee must show involvement in many aspects of theater:
Teaching
Acting
Coaching
Hosting
Volunteering
Boosterism

The nominee may show involvement with more than one theater:
Jim Hunt has performed and directed at dozens of local venues, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (for the first time) starting in 1974. He was part of the very first production at the Arvada Center when it opened in 1975, and he remained part of the inaugural company there through 1978. He has maintained a pretty good mix between acting and directing ever since.

Jim boldly faced down a serious case of stage-fright in the late 1990s by taking improv theater classes. Since 2001, he has been back on the boards everywhere from the Denver Center to Colorado Shakes to Curious Theatre to the Victorian Playhouse to Paragon to Conundrum to Modern Muse to The Avenue to Town Hall to the Aurora Fox to Country Dinner Playhouse.

His crowning achievement may have been in Paragon Theatre’s “The Caretaker” in 2006. Or maybe it was In 2009, when Jim won the Denver Post Ovation Award for playing “Her Father” in Curious Theatre’s “Eurydice.” Or maybe it was playing Bull McCabe in the final production ever staged at the Vic, “The Field.” You can’t say because he just keeps topping himself.

Jim remains active, vital, and working for a wide range of theaters. Just last year alone, at the age of 68, he performed in Boulder Ensemble’s “The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”; Lake Dillon’s “Sylvia”; Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Noises Off”; Vintage’s “Becky’s New Car”; and Backstage’s “A Christmas Carol.” That’s five productions for five different companies. In a single year! (He won the 2012 True West Award for this accomplishment). What actor – of any age – can ever have claimed that? Well how about Jim Hunt … the year before? In 2011, he won the Ovation Award for Victorian’s “The Field,” and also appeared in Lake Dillon’s “Seascape,” Paragon’s “A Lie of the Mind,” Boulder Ensemble’s “Mauritius,” and Town Hall Arts Center’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Already in 2013, he’s been in Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer” and “Bach at Leipzig,” and Lake Dillon’s “The Sunshine Boys.”

Stay with me: That means in the past 30 months alone, Jim Hunt has performed in 13 productions … for eight different theater companies. … And did I mention … he turns 70 in December!

How has he been able to keep it going? “It’s my demon,” he told me once in an interview. “It’s my necessity.”

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

UMS comedians on their hate/hate relationship with critics

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By John Moore
July 21, 2013

Easily the most aggravating hour of this or any other UMS was the (Not) “Funny Face-­Off: Comedians vs. the Media,” during which one contradictory comic lambasted the largely friendly media coverage comedians receive here. First he gave it to them for somehow destroying the life work, hopes and ambitions of apparently the most hypersensitive performers on the planet. And then, 5 minutes later, the same motormouth charred them for never writing anything negative.

This panel was all over the map, lacking even a basic understanding that the two remaining writers who actually write regularly on comedy — John Wenzel of the Denver Post and Josiah Hesse of Westword — primarily pen trend stories, celebratory profiles and advances, not reviews. (When is the last time you saw an actual, honest-to-goodness, critical review of a comic’s live performance in the newspaper?). But the conversation never strayed from these phantom “reviews.”

Despite moderator Joel Warner’s best efforts, comic and panelist Ben Roy came here looking for a fight. Even when one, among this group, was hardly warranted. Instead of a potential thoughtful dialogue on how technology and the dire financial condition of mainstream media are changing (for the worse) how both comics and the media must evolve and innovate new ways of getting the word out about comics, Roy called into question not only a critic’s right to write about comedy, but pretty much his right to exist on this planet. Not a particularly conducive (or original) approach for a panel discussion, especially at the UMS, which has welcomed comedians into the fold and woven them into the fabric of a music festival that’s all about love, not this kind of cliched, venomous chum.

But this forum was pretty much doomed from the start when former Bill Owens staffer (and Denver comic) Jodee Champion opened the conversation with a quote from her former boss calling critics “thumb-sucking, algae-eating, diarrhea-ridden bottom-feeders.” Oh yeah, Jodee? Well, among other political atrocities, your beloved ex-boss is the man who eliminated every single penny of state funding for the arts in Colorado, so, pretty much … F*** him.

And I’m pretty sure that Owens’ petty spite toward his critics has nothing to do with the two guys who write about comedy in Denver and bring publicity to struggling comedians like yourself, so your petty interjection brought no helpful relevance to the conversation. It just established that it was going to be icky. But it did serve as an effective reminder of one small reason why snide, mean-spirited Bill Owens was the worst governor in modern Colorado history — and it’s kind of delicious that it was his own moral hypocrisy that brought down his national political ambitions.

Full disclosure: I was a music and theater critic at The Denver Post for 12 years. And since no one else was standing up for the essential nobility of the profession yesterday, I am happy to do it here. As that pertains to comedians, very few ordinary readers even try to keep informed on who all the relevant, up-and-coming local comics are. I patron all of the arts in Colorado, which means that when I have a rare opportunity to seek out a stand-up comic in Denver, I don’t have an evening to waste. Journalists like John Wenzel and Josiah Hesse serve an essential function in steering consumers like myself toward rising comics in a helpful, curated way. If I see John Wenzel mention Phil Palisoul often enough in print, then I know Phil Palisoul is a guy I am going to want to check out when my schedule allows it. And when Phil Palisoul warrants that recommendation by delivering an insanely funny set, that makes it more likely that I will go out and spend my money seeing someone else. So journalists serve an essential function in the comedy ecology in Denver. Without them, you all would be just that much more screwed when it comes to getting yourself noticed.

So next time, ditch the faux antagonism and have a real and meaningful conversation instead. And leave all unfunny and irrelevant former governors out of it.

OK, good talk!

 

To see our gallery of photos from the 2013 UMS, click here.


Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces one of his personal favorites to the UMS main stage: Sunday headliners Nathaniel Rateliff and Born in the Flood. Read more about it here.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Video: Shout-outs to 2013 Henry Award nominees

By John Moore
July 18, 2013

Members of the local theater community give their shout-outs to this year’s field of 2013 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award nominees. One comes all the way from Poland. The ceremony is July 22 at the Arvada Center.

Video by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Running time: 7 minutes.

Shouters and the shouted at include: Colin Alexander, Joanie Brosseau, Rhonda Brown, Chris Campbell, David Cates, Matthew Dailey, Jennifer DeDominici, Ben Dicke, Terry Dodd, Michael J. Duran, Jonathan Farwell, Deb Flomberg, Brian Freeland, Ronni Gallup, Rachel D. Graham, Josh Hartwell, Tim Howard, Peter J. Hughes, Michelle Hurtubise, Wendy Ishii, Rebecca Joseph, Chris Kendall, Chris Kitchen, Madison Kitchen, Carla Kaiser Kotrc, Rod Lansberry, Sue Leiser, Lauren Cora Marsh, Matt Maxwell, Gavin Mayer, Melanie Mayner, Norrell Moore, Josh Nelson, James O’Hagan-Murphy, Anne Oberbroeckling, Jessie Page, Paul Page, Pat Payne, Max Peterson, Robert Michael Sanders, Steef Sealy, Megan Van De Hey, Jason Tyler Vaughn, Vintage Theatre, Burke Walton, Bob Wells, Chris Wiger, Kathi Wood and Ryan Wuestewald.

Please share this video
Direct link to the YouTube video above: http://youtu.be/5NzFbxsfxVg

2013 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards
Monday, July 22
Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Tickets: $25; available only through the Arvada Center box office, 720-898-7200
Info: Go to the Colorado Theatre Guild web site

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

My night at ‘Krazy Kamp’ at the Heritage Square Music Hall

To see caption information for any photo above, or to see the gallery if watching on a mobile phone, click here. (The information is posted on the lower-left corner of each photo.) Or just click the “show info” option on any photo.

By John Moore
July 16, 2013

Opening No. 95: Rising Star Productions’ “Krazy Kamp” at the Heritage Square Music Hall: This youth musical loosely inspired by “I Know What You Did Last Summer” tells the story of two summer camps — one for boys, one for girls — separated by a lake. When the boys’ camp faces closure by the health department, the girl agree to share their space. “Kraziness” ensues. The ditty, directed by Annie Dwyer, music directed by Eric Weinstein and featuring a cast of 28, serves as a fitting introduction to live theater for many of the student actors, ages 7 to 17. It stars Miles Goeglein as boys ringleader Adam Apple, Katherine Henshaw as a spoiled resort camper Vivian Vandersnap and Madi Walker the girls camp director, Eve Hunnicutt. The snooty old camp owner is a character named Mrs. Thistlemist, and don’t hold it against me that I kept thinking back to 24 hours earlier watching “Avenue Q,” which has a snooty old character named Mrs. Thistle — never mind. I can’t say it. It was performed at 18301 W. Colfax Ave., Golden, 303-279-7800. Thanks: Lisa Port and Gina Weinstein.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Terminal Germinal: Countdown to Closure

By John Moore
Aug. 22, 2013

Rehearsals are underway for the final production to be staged at the Germinal Stage-Denver’s longtime home at 44th Avenue and Alcott streets in northwest Denver.

“Offending the Audience” revives what founder Ed Baierlein describes as “easily Germinal’s most notorious production,” first presented in 1976. The “choral monologue” by Austrian playwright Peter Handke “is a fascinating statement of the live theater,” Baierlein said.


Here’s my video podcast capturing the emotion of the closing-night performance on Aug. 25, 2013. Video by John Moore.

Baierlein has taken an innovative and admittedly chaotic approach to this final staging, after which his company will become nomadic, presenting plays less regularly at rented spaces around town. (Read the complete story about Germinal’s decision to vacate its home here.)

Baerlein has re-gathered 45 Germinal actors who have performed on Germinal stages past and present, and at least one first-timer … me.

“We will conspire to blow your collective mind,” said Baierlein, sounding more like the avant-garde young envelope-pusher who opened Germinal Stage in downtown Denver than the 69-year-old irascible old (?) radical he has become.

To accommodate actors’ scheduling conflicts, Baierlein has split his swollen cast into 18 teams of two and three. Handke’s rant consists of 71 paragraphs. Each team of actors has been assigned six paragraphs to memorize. Whoever shows up on any given night will be part of that night’s ensemble. And as  long as someone from each team shows up, he’ll be good to go.

As a member of the ensemble, I will be around to chronicle the evolution of the final staging at the historic old theater with the Baierlein pipe smoke embedded in its very walls.

“Offending the Audience”
Aug. 9-25, 2013
2450 W. 44th Ave., 303-455-7108 or germinal’s home page

 

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NEWEST ENTRY:

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“We cannot say our words twice. We cannot do the same thing once again. We cannot speak the same way. Time expires on our lips. Time is unrepeatable.” Goodbye, trusty cards.

To quote another bombastic musical: “One Day More” … you clique of babbits! Tonight is the final performance of “Offending the Audience” — and the final performance of anything at the Germinal Stage Denver’s longtime home at 44th and Alcott. Standing room is available for this historic performance, so … come and be lambasted! Follow our “Countdown to Closure” coverage here. Photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. The play plays at 2450 W. 44th Ave., 303-455-7108 or www.germinalstage.com

 

DAY 1A
The final night is nearly in the books … Are you coming?

 

DAY 1C

 

DAY 1D
Our incessant, mirthful heckler. Everyone loves repeat business … or do they?

 

DAY 1E

 

DAY 1F

 

DAY 1G

 

DAY 1H

 

Additional coverage:

Kenny Burt: Original cast member on marrow and forgotten riots.

At “Terminal Germinal,” these walls CAN talk. Check out our photo essay of all the backstage quotes that have been etched into the dressing-room walls.

“Offending the Audience”: What the hell is this play?

Why dozens of Denver actors are oh so eager to offend you

 

PREVIOUS ENTRIES:

DAY 2
Hard for any of us to believe only two performances remain at the Terminal Germinal, 8 p.m. tonight (Aug. 24) and 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25. After that, the iconic home of avant-garde and modern classical theater will be gone forever. The move out starts on Monday. Pictured above are Jennie MacDonald, Patrick Mann, Steve Kramer and Marc Moran.

 

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During last night’s performance, a lone heckler stood up in silent protest against the verbal hypnosis he was undergoing. Later on, it happened again, with about half the audience joining in. The insurrection lasted for about four minutes, and the play resumed without incident. (Long enough for me to take out my cell phone and take a picture of it — though by then most of the risers already had descended again.)

 

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… And here’s a photo of Paul Greengross, a cast member from San Diego who has joined us for the final weekend of shows. He’s dedicating his performance to David Kimble, a former Germinal actor who died last year. You can read more about David here.

 

DAY 4
Countdown to Closure, 4 Days: The view from Ed Baierlein’s center-stage chair during tonight’s brush-up rehearsal. Only three performances remain at the Terminal Germinal, Friday through Sunday.

 

DAY 5jpg
Countdown to Closure, 5 Days: Is it possible that in only 5 days, it will be time for Sallie Diamond to hang up her monkey for good _ as well as the theater space she and her husband moved into 26 years ago?

 

DAY 7

Countdown to Closure, 7 Days: The reviews are starting to come in, and they are all pretty favorable. Lisa Kennedy writes in The Denver Post: This “is a reunion, not a wake.” Read the whole Denver Post review here.

And here’s Craig Williamson’s review in the North Denver Tribune: Germinal Delivers Exclamation Point with Offending the Audience

And here’s Bob Bows’ review on ColoradoDrama.Com

And here’s David Marlowe’s Musings

 

DAY 13

Countdown to Closure, 13 Days: A little sense of the history now on display onstage at the Germinal Stage-Denver in “Offending the Audience.” PS: I accounted for exactly zero of those roles.

 

DAY 14

Countdown to Closure, 14 Days: Tonight we had two firsts: our first heckler … AND we locked a guy in the men’s room. Seriously, we had to take the door off to get him out. Most surprisingly, one first had nothing to do with the other. But it brought all new meaning to the Sartre poster adorning the inside of the men’s bathroom door. “Offending the Audience” performances resume Aug. 16-18 (I won’t be there), and Aug. 23-25 ( I will be there).

 

DAY 15

Countdown to Closure, 15 Days: At “Terminal Germinal,” these walls CAN talk. I’ve made a photo essay out of all the backstage quotes that have been etched into the dressing-room walls. The most recent addition, above, comes courtesy of cast member Mary Cates quoting “Offending the Audience.” The quotes, ranging from the Lillian Hellman to Harold Pinter to even the B-52s (!), not only tell the story of this particular theater, but in may ways, the story of live theater itself. See ’em all here.

 

DAY 16
Countdown to Closure, 16 Days: Last night was the final opening night at Germinal Stage-Denver’s longtime home at and 44th Avenue and Alcott streets. I took this shot from the back of the stage while the cast (which did not make a traditional exit) was just breaking from a standing ovation that was as much an acknowledgement of 40 years of performances as last night’s (most unusual) one.

DAY 17

Countdown to Closure, 17 Days: It’s the final dress rehearsal: OK, everyone … give ’em your best middle finger! This is not the entire cast … just those who could fit into my lens. “Offending the Audience,” Germinal Stage-Denver’s swan song at its longtime theater space, opens tonight.

 

DAY 18
18 Days to Closure: Just going to show that we’re not ALL fossils in the swan song for Germinal Stage Denver’s longtime theater space. Each cast member wears a name placard with the year they first darkened, er, I mean graced, the Germinal Stage stage. The years range from 40 (Ed Baierlein and Sallie Diamond) to 1 (young Samara Bridwell).

Favorite quote of the day: “I think we can complicate it a little more” … director Ed Baierlein.

 

DAY 19
19 Days to Closure: Laura Cuetara had major shoulder surgery last week, and the powerduff missed a day … a whole DAY! … of rehearsal for Germinal Stage’s “Offending the Audience,” opening Friday. Cuetara is a professor of theater, film and video production at the University of Colorado-Denver. Back in the days before Germinal founder Ed Baierlein started directing pretty much everything there, she directed Baierlein in some of his seminal roles, such as 1984’s “Nightpiece,” by Wolfgang Hildesheimer. Laura is known for creating relevant, collaborative multimedia theater for her students. Cases in point: “Becoming Non-Grata,” which focused on events at the Japanese internment camp at Amache, Colo.; “Bitten By A Snake,” which calls into question presumed truths about the Civil War; and “Front Doors … at Home on the Streets of Denver,” which explored local homelessness through scenes, short films, monologues and photography. “I don’t want to sound sociologically self-righteous,” Laura once told Westword, “I just want to ask questions. I think that’s what theater can do best.” “Offending the Audience” is Germinal’s swan song at its 26-year hole in northwest Denver. Baierlein has gathered 40 seminal Germinal veterans (and, for some as-yet unexplained reason … me) to recite Austrian Peter Handke’s argument with the theater. Often to as an “anti-play,” Offendin theg the Audience” is a confrontational and even proudly condescending lecture on the experience of attending live theater. Even still, there is a sentimental quality to it that makes it the perfect way for Germinal to close its doors. To the mighty and surgically undaunted Laura, I have this to say to my castmate: “You trouper! … You tearjerker! You milestone in the history of the theater!” She’ll know what that means.

Favorite quote of the day: “As you know … I always come to party.” … director Ed Baierlein.

 

DAYS 23
23 Days to Closure: Whatever WILL Ed Baierlein do with all of those shoes?

 

DAY 24
24 Days to Closure: There may be no characters and no roles in “Offending the Audience,” but director Ed Baierlein is identifying his 45 actors for the benefit of the audience with placards, along with the year each actor first performed there. In a daring stroke of individuality, Petra Ulrych has sparked a placard art project: Personalizing the string each actor hangs around one’s neck (as apt a metaphor as you are going to get for this acting challenge, by the way). Petra’s choice: Red hearts.

 

DAY 25
25 Days to Closure: Leroy Leonard has found a musicality to the mind-bending, tongue-twisting words that populate Peter Handke’s “Offending the Audience” script. He finds this parking-lot musical method of playing the flute to be a good way to warm up for the evening’s run-through.

 

DAY 26

26 Days to Closure: Each cast member was given a placard on the first day of rehearsal indicating what year he or she first appeared on the Germinal Stage stage. Sallie Diamond, wife of co-founder Ed Baierlein, has been there from the beginning: 1973. The cast members will wear these placards during the performances. Ed has nicely assigned the novice me the year 2002, the year I first reviewed a Germinal production for The Denver Post. Otherwise, if it were to reflect my actual debut at Germinal, it would have to say, “John Moore: Now … and now … and now … and now.” Photo by John Moore. Follow my “Countdown to closure” coverage, click here.

Happy birthday: Suzanna Wellens AND Katharyn Grant.

 

DAY 27

27 days to Closure: It’s our first night off-book: Why does it look like we are all in the throes of either panic or prayer? Because we are, my friends. Oh yes, we are.

Opined director Ed Baierlein: “I’ve seen worse first nights off-book.”

(I’d like to see some documentation.)

Favorite exchange:
Terry Burnsed: “When you really go crazy is when you almost have them.”
Erica Sarzin-Borrillo: “Damn these fucking words!”

Photo by John Moore.

 

DAY 28

28 Days to Closure: I really don’t remember learning lines being this hard when I played Walter Hollander in Regis Jesuit High School’s (stellar) production of “Don’t Drink the Water.” But, Toto, I don’t think we’re behind the Iron Curtain anymore … Or are we?

 

DAY 29

30 Days to Closure: Laura Cuetara and Suzanna Wellens tag-team as part of Team No. 7. That means they (plus Paul Caouette) have been assigned the ame six weighty paragraphs from Peter Handke’s script, and they get to divide them up however they choose. What each actor says will vary from night to night, given that not all team members will be available at every performance. What they are telling the audience in rehearsal here are barbs like: “You are under review by us. But you form no picture. You are not symbolic. You are an ornament. … You are a species.” Cuetara is a faculty member with the University of Colorado-Denver’s Department of Theatre, Film and Video Production. She directed Germinal founder Ed Baierlein in one of his seminal roles, in 1984’s “Nightpiece,” by Wolfgang Hildesheimer. Wellens is a Germinal vet whose credits there include “Home,” “The Show-Off,” “Tartuffe, Born Again” and “Getting Married.” Everyone (except me) in the cast has worked at Germinal before.

 

DAY 30
30 Days to Closure: Having frequented the men’s room at the Germinal Stage for many years, I always assumed Ed Baierlein precisely positioned this poster on the bathroom wall as an ironic commentary on the performance of your bowel movement. Now being a member of the ensemble of the revival staging, I have come to understand that for this particular play, “thumb’s down” really means “thumbs up.” … My colon thanks you.

 

DAY 31

31 Days to closure: Lori Hansen has a few choice words for the coming audience, among them: “You are playgoers. You are of no interest because of your capacities. You are of interest solely in your capacity as playgoers.”

 

DAY 32
32 days to closure: The final two pages of “Offending the Audience” are truth in advertising. Ed Baierlein’s direction to his cast: “Shit-eating grins at all times … That’s the only way to save yourselves.” Photo by John Moore.

 

DAY 33
33 days to closure: When Germinal last staged “Offending the Audience” in 1976, one performance sparked a spontaneous rebellion among the audience that began when a handful of spectators began heckling the performers, joined them onstage and even physically threatened them. Eventually, according to this The Denver Post report, “virtually all the audience was participating in the chaos.” The incident prompted director Ed Baierlein to call a press conference to address the media’s interest in the story. How unprecedented was the uproar? Well, when’s the last time you can remember a local theater company having to (or should we say “getting to?”) call a press conference over anything … And the media showing up? (By the way, here’s another indicator how much times have changed: In 1976, 11 … count ’em, 11 local newspapers had theater critics who reviewed Germinal’s production.)

 

DAY 38
38 days to closure: Germinal Stage’s original “Offending the Audience” ensemble numbered just 10 in 1976, but there could be as many as 45 actors gathered on the theater’s postage stamp of a stage on any given night of the production opening in less than three weeks.

 

DAY 39
39 days to closure: Here’s how “Offending the Audience” looked when Germinal first staged it in 1976 at its old home in downtown Denver. The 2013 cast includes four returning cast members: Ed Baierlein, Sallie Diamond, Kenny Burt and Paul Caouette.

 

DAY 40

40 days to closure: Let the offending begin, courtesy Steve Kramer: “You washouts, you fire eaters, you generation of freaks.”

 

DAY 41

41 Days to closure: “Offending the Audience” director Ed Baierlein.

 

41 DAYS40 DAYS39 DAYS

Germinal Stage-Denver: Countdown to Closure. The whole photo series to date, with some additional outtakes.

 

Cast list:
Lawrence Allen
Ed Baierlein
Tad Baierlein
Linda Barner
Paul Barner
Laura Booze
Erica Sarzin-Borrillo
Phi Bernier
Dennis Bontems
Samara Bridwell
Terry Burnsed
Mary Cates
Paul Caouette
Laura Cuetara
Tupper Cullum
Claude d’Estree
Sallie Diamond
David Fenerty
Eric Field
Kristina Pitt Garner
Katharyn Grant
Paul Greengross
Michael Gunst
Lori Hansen
Elgin Kelley
Steve Kramer
Leroy Leonard
Fred Lewis
Jennie MacDonald
Joe MacDonald
Patrick Mann
John Moore
Marc Moran
Lisa Mumpton
Michael Parker
Melissa Pear
Ed Sampson
Penny Stames
Carol Timblin
Augustus Truhn
Petra Ulrych
Gina Wencel
Suzanna Wellens
Diane Wziontka

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

My night at the Town Hall Arts Center’s teen “Grease”

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By John Moore
July 16, 2013

Opening No. 93: Town Hall Arts Center’s teen “Grease”: Robert Michael Sanders is the MacGuyver of the Colorado theater community. Not even three months after a botched routine shoulder surgery left his arms and fingers partially paralyzed, the actor, musician, set builder and all-around good guy directed the Town Hall Arts Center’s teen “Grease” that opened Juy 12 in Littleton. Sanders has made both progress both incremental and monumental in his slow but determined recovery, which has included an intense program at the Craig Rehabilitation Center. What he can’t make his fingers do, he uses gadgets to find other ways to do things. On opening night he not only tied his own tie (it took eight minutes) — he drove himself to the theater (after being certified by his medical team and the local Department of Motor Vehicles). He admitted to his opening-night audience that “Grease” … “is a terrible story with a terrible moral,” but it has good music, and audiences still enjoy it. His is a 70-minute, family friendly version with choreography by the lovely Shannan Steele. It performs again at 7 p.m. July 19 and 20, and also at 10 a.m. July 17-18. It stars Amanda Staab as Sandy, Lenny Gilbertson as Danny, and … let’s just say several dozen others. (Keep an eye out for young Devon Erickson, who sings a pretty spot-on “Those Magic Changes” as Doody.) Tickets $5. At 2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page. Thanks Ellen Shamas-Brandt, Seth Maisel, cast and crew.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at the Arvada Center’s ‘Curtains’

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By John Moore
July 15, 2013

Opening No. 91: Arvada Center’s “Curtains”: In this new-to-Denver Broadway whodunit musical comedy by Kander & Ebb (& Rupert Holmes), a Boston cop with a not-so-secret secret love for musical theater, investigates the murder of a Broadway-bound theater company’s tremendously untalented star on opening night. Nominated for eight Tony Awards. Directed by Gavin Mayer. Music direction by David Nehls. Starring Jim Poulos, Erica Sweeney Lauren Shealy and Jeffrey Roark. Featuring Megan Van De Hey, Mark Rubald, Colin Alexander, Kara Dombrowski, Scott Severtson, Thadd Krueger, Michael E. Gold, Adam Pepper, Mercedes Perez and an ensemble including Johnny Stewart, Matthew Dailey, Stephen Bertles, Rachel Turner, Maddie Franke, Samantha Berman, Zina A. Mercil, Jale Corcoran, Rae Klapperich, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Ben Delony, Matt LaFontaine and Parker Redford. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Matinees 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. hrough July 28 at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or the Arvada Center’s home page. Thanks: Melanie Mayner, Rod Lansberry, Lisa Cook. All photos by John Moore for CultureWest.Org.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at LIDA Project’s ‘Watershed’

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By John Moore
July 9, 2013

Opening No. 92: LIDA Project’s “Watershed (Part 1): The Sea is Not Full”: The 18-year-old LIDA Project has never looked bigger — or more at home — than they do this weekend only at the Rawls Theatre on the Auraria campus. In partnership with Metro State, Denver’s venerable experimental ensemble is exploring global warming and the essential role of water in our lives, in two theatrical parts. This first deals with too much; the second (opening Aug. 23) will addresses the more imminently threatening sustainability problem of not enough. Our narrator/gods/lifeguards are Terry Burnsed and Jaime Lujan, who take us through three disparate tales, primarily that of Adamina (the name is the male form of “Adam,” meaning, not coincidentally, “the Earth.”) She is an outcast goddess who is dying of thirst in both real and metaphorical ways. We also are given a pseudo-comic demonstration of a drowning in a public pool and, the plight of a Dust Bowl farmer intermixed with statistics that make plain just how screwed really we are as a planet. This “modern performance fantasy” looks at water as both a finite resource and an essential element throughout our lives, from fetuses awash in amniotic fluid until our deathbed ointment. Despite the harsh reality it takes on,”Watershed” is one of the LIDA Project’s loveliest theatrical efforts to date — always viscerally and visually engaging if not always easily comprehensible. As a playgoing experience, it’s like water running over a rocky creek bed: The water creates soothing sounds and eases your passage, but there’s a violent undertow just under the surface. “Thousands have lived without love … not one without water.” we’re told. That’s from W.H. Auden, whose wisdom is “tapped” in this original piece along with that of Lewis Carroll, the Bible, ee cummings, Barbara Kingsolver, Shakespeare, Jean Giraudoux, Disney, Shakespeare, Celia Hinojosa … and Wikipedia. Starring Terry Burnsed, Jaime Lujan and Rhea Amos; and featuring Allyx Townend, Miriam BC Tobin, Matthew Schultz, Michelle Hurtubise, Ryan Wuestawald, Tate Freeland and three Torbensons: Dane, Clio and Tian. Showtimes: 8 p.m. today (Friday, July 12), also at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday (July 13) at the King Center, Metro State University on the Auraria campus, 720-221-3821, or lida’s home page, or the king center’s ticketing page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Kristen Littlepage, Erik Larsen, cast and crew.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Video: 16th Blues n BBQ fest coming to Arvada July 14

Ranger Miller of the Duke Street Kings and Dot Wright, hip chick from the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, talk about the 16th annual Blues ‘n BBQ block party coming to the streets of Olde Town Arvada on July 14. $10 for 18 bands on three stages. All proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. For more info, go to www.bluesnbbq.com. Video by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Posted July 10, 2013.

Photos: My night at Vintage Theatre’s ‘Closer’

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By John Moore
July 9, 2013

Opening No. 90: Vintage Theatre’s “Closer”: Four lovers intertwine and trade places over nearly five years years in this stinging look at modern love and betrayal written by Brit Patrick Marber. This is a crazy sexual square dance in which partners are constantly swapped in a series of pass-the-lover scenes between a quartet that constantly feeds its carnal desires and yet still struggles to find any real intimacy. Directed by Bernie Cardell. Featuring Casey Andree, Erica Fox, Eric Mather and Haley Johnson. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays through July 21 in Vintage’s studio theater, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page. Thanks: Tanner Johnson Heck, Conor Fleming, Rachel Thompson.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: Opening Night at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s ‘Macbeth’

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By John Moore
July 4, 2013

Opening No. 89: Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”: Shakespeare’s tragedy explores the darkest corners of the human heart as the ambitious Macbeth schemes and murders in his raw, ambitious quest for the throne. Award-winning director Jane Page sets the tribal story amid the harsh landscapes – both political and geographic – of 1980s Afghanistan. Starring Nigel Gore, who also starred in last summer’s “Richard III” in Boulder. Also starring Liza de Weerd as Lady M, and featuring Sam Gregory, Lawrence Hecht, Nathan Stith among an ensemble of 27. Next performance: 8 p.m. July 13 at the Mary Rippon outdoor Amphitheatre on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus; times then vary throughout the summer. Call 303-492-0554 or go to colorado shakes’ home page. Thanks: Clay Evans, Timothy Orr, Rachel Ducat, Paul Behrhorst, cast and crew.

To read my 60-second review of “Macbeth,” click here.

Photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the complete “Opening Nights” photo series to date, including one representative shot from all 89 (and counting) opening performances we’ve seen in 2013, click here.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: Nick Cave’s ‘Heard • DAM’ at Denver Art Museum

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By John Moore
July 3, 2013

Opening No. 88: Nick Cave’s “Heard • DAM”: Nick Cave – the renowned Chicago textiles artist, not the renowned Australian rocker – presented a large-scale, multimedia public performance in collaboration with about 50 dancers as part of “Untitled,” the Denver Art Museum’s late-night, mixed-media series staged on the final Friday of every month. Cave presented a large-scale, multimedia public performance on June 28 that featured collaborations with three respected local dance companies (3rd Law, Wonderbound and Cleo Parker Robinson) as well as 15 individual amateur dancers who auditioned from the community. (One was Buntport Theater’s own Mitch Slevc). Cave’s team gave each company movement assignments they developed with his creative team over the preceding week, capped at the final rehearsal by the insertion of Cave’s signature, sometimes full-bodied “Soundsuit” costumes, which included several human-sized horses. Think textiles meets modern dance. The show, which sold out in 15 minutes, was a variation on “Heard • New York,” which Cave staged at New York’s Grand Central Terminal in March. Friday night’s multi-sensory explosion corresponded with the opening of Cave’s massive Denver Art Museum exhibit, titled “Nick Cave: Sojourn,” running through Sept. 22. Info: 720-865-5000 or www.denverartmuseum.org. Cave will re-create the live dance performance July 19 in Civic Center Park as part of Denver’s Biennial of the Americas. Thanks: Ashley Pritchard, Hope Grandon and William Morrow.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: Opening night at Candlelight’s ‘The Sound of Music’

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By John Moore
July 2, 2013

Opening No. 87: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “The Sound of Music”: With the recent closing of the Union Colony Dinner Theatre and the impending shuttering of the Heritage Square Music Hall, we’re down to a handful of dinner theaters remaining in Colorado. At the newest, the 380-seat, $6.2 million Candlelight in Johnstown (about 45 miles of Denver), whole families of audiences were starting to gather in the lobby at 4:30 p.m. for Thursday night’s opening performance of the classic Rogers & Hammerstein musical. Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, it’s 1930s Austria, where young Maria leaves her convent to serve as governess to the seven mischievous children of Navy captain and widow Georg Von Trapp. The cast of 28 is directed by Brian Burron. Starring Alisha Winter as Maria and Christopher Valcho as Captain Von Trapp. Featuring Marlin May as Max, Joey Revier as Rolf, Lindsey Coleman as Elsa, Bren. (with a period!) Eyestone Burron as the Mother Abbess, Samantha Walter as Liesl, and a whole lot of other double-cast Von Trapp kids including Katie Canterbury, Delany Garcia, Matthew Reichen, Owen Whitham, Isaac Sprague, Owen Whitham, Sophie Krupanszky, Delany Garcia, Nathaniel Braswell, Matthew Reichen, Natalie Sarver, Katie Canterbury, Becca Hyde, Rylee Vogel, Natalie Orsborn and Lexie Woolridge. Not to mention … so … many … nuns: Samantha Jo Staggs, Lindsey Coleman, Michelle Sergeeff, Heather McClain, Elizabeth Bond and Chaundra Nelms. And a few big bad Germans (Broc Timmerman, Stephen Turner). 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 1: 30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays (dinner service 90 minutes before). Through Sept. 1 at 4747 Market Place Drive, 970-744-3747, 1-877-240-4242 or candlelight’s home page. http://www.coloradocandlelight.com/ Thanks: Charlie Villarreal, Don Berlin, Patrick Sawyer and Dave Clark.

 

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):