Photos: My night at Midtown Arts Center’s ‘Les Misérables’

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By John Moore
Nov. 30, 2013

Welcome to my ongoing, 2013 labor-of-love photo series bringing you iconic snapshots from behind the scenes on opening nights in Colorado theater. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series (these are outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 137: Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Misérables”: This production has closed, sadly, but the buzz on it was so strong all the way down from Fort Collins, I wanted to see it — and represent it in our photo series — before it was too late. So think of this as the first “Closing Night” entry in our soon-to-close “Opening Nights” photo series. And the production lived up to its billing. The crowd may have been prodded, but it didn’t take much cajoling to get the screaming dinner patrons to wave their red napkins at the curtain call in support of the rebellion — and the production they had just seen. In all, more than 9,000 attended “Les Misérables” during its 12-week run, making it the second-most attended show in Midtown (formerly the Carousel Dinner Theatre) history. No. 1: “Shrek, the Musical.” “Les Misérables” featured a cast made up of both established local actors and a few who were brought in from New York. It starred David Ambroson as Jean Valjean and featured Brandon Schraml as Javert, Amy Madden Copp as Fantine, Nigel Huckle as Marius, Colleen Johnson as Eponine, Lisa Carter as Cosette, Colin Morgan as Enjolras, Michael Lasris as Thenardier and Jalyn Courtenay Webb as Mrs. Thenardier. The ensemble included Allen Dorsey, Tom Berger, Mikeal Macbeth, Jodye Carroll, Lauren Neely, Benjamin Danielowski, Julia Smith, John Sosna, Anne Tereze-Schwartz, Cynthia Vaughn, Camille Nugent, Korynne Terrio, Rylee Vogel, Elijah Walker Brandt and Kellan Oliver. The directors were Kurt Terrio, Jalyn Courtenay Webb (vocals) and Casey Cropp (orchestra). All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series (these are outtakes), click here. Thanks: cast and crew.

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The cast gets jazzed with director Kurt Terrio moments before the final performance begins.

 

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Photos: My night at Equinox’s ‘Carrie, the Musical’

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By John Moore
Nov. 29, 2013

Welcome to my ongoing, 2013 labor-of-love photo series bringing you iconic snapshots from behind the scenes on opening nights in Colorado theater. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series (these are outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 138: Equinox Theatre Company’s “Carrie: The Musical”: This musical takes a legit stab at adapting Stephen King’s novel for the musical stage. Carrie White is a misfit. At school, she’s an outcast who’s bullied by the popular crowd, and virtually invisible to everyone else. At home, she’s at the mercy of her wacko, overprotective mother. But Carrie has just discovered she’s got a special power, and if pushed too far, she’s not afraid to use it… And you already know she does: When Carrie is humiliated at the prom, she wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in her path. Audiences should know that unlike recent stagings of “Night of the Living Dead” and “Evil Dead” at the Bug Theatre, “Carrie” is not a campy satire. It is written very much in the vein of traditional Broadway fare. “Carrie” stars Haley DiVirgilio, Terra Salazar, Shahara Ray, Dana Hart Lubeck, Devin Bustamante and Ember Everett; and features Chris Arneson, Joseph Graves, Savannah Lake, Chelsea Winslow, Ashley Brown, Taylor Sommer, Chris Riney, James L. Crapes and Zach Nick. Directed by Colin Roybal and Hunter Hall. Final performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30, at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page. Thanks: Alex Weimer, Lauren Meyer, Deb Flomberg, Leticia Bisgard, cast and crew.

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The cast gets ready to open the house with an energy-building exercise. Contrary to the story they play on stage, this tight-knit, “let the sun shine in” group of friends appears to be bully-free.

 

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Photos: My night at the Denver Center Theatre Company’s ‘Jackie & Me’

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By John Moore
Nov. 25, 2013

Welcome to my ongoing, 2013 labor-of-love photo series bringing you iconic snapshots from behind the scenes on opening nights in Colorado theater. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series (these are outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 136: Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Jackie & Me: Temperamental 12-year-old Joey Stoshack is being bullied because of his Polish descent. When he goes back in time to 1947, he not only witnesses Jackie Robinson break the baseball color barrier, his own skin color changes in the process, giving him a whole new perspective on prejudice and discrimination. “Jackie & Me” is written by Denver native Steven Dietz, who also wrote “Rancho Mirage,” which is presently being performed by the nearby Curious Theatre Company through Dec. 7. “Jackie & Me” is directed by Stephen Weitz. Starring William Oliver Watkins and Aaron M. Davidson and featuring Michael Santo, Kristen Adele, Ryan Wuestewald, Diana Dresser, Timothy McCracken, Leigh Miller, John Jurcheck and Justin Walvoord. It runs through Dec. 22 in the Space Theatre. Showtimes are variable because of a preponderance of student matinees during the week. Generally there are public performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 1:30 p.m. Sundays. Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site. Thanks: Lyle Raper, Alexandra Griesmer.

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Linda G. Alvarado, co-owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, congratulates 22-year-old actor Aaron Davidson for his opening-night performance by allowing him to wear her 2007 World Series ring. Alvarado is president and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Inc., which built Sports Authority Field at Mile High. She is also a member of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business Magazine. When the Rockies were awarded a franchise, Alvarado became the first Latino owner, male or female, in Major League Baseball history, and the second female owner in the big leagues.

 

More “Jackie & Me” coverage:

Dexter Fowler interview: Colorado Rockies center fielder says “God could not have picked a better person than Jackie Robinson”

Video: Watch as the cast of “Jackie & Me” takes a field trip to a Lakewood batting cage, and gets a tour of Coors Field.

Video: Montage of play highlights at a glance

Video and story: The making of the coolest stage floor … maybe ever

Meet the cast videos: Here’s a link to our full YouTube playlist

Profile: Stage manager Lyle Raper: She wields her wit like a baseball bat

 

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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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at Betsy Stage’s ‘The Travesty of Lear’

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By John Moore
Nov. 22, 2013

Welcome to my ongoing, 2013 labor-of-love photo series bringing you iconic snapshots from behind the scenes on opening nights in Colorado theater. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series (these are outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 135: Betsy Stage’s “The Travesty of Lear”: There’s a new theater sheriff in town, and she’s doing things a little differently. Shannon McAndrews is the general manager of the Betsy Stage (not to be confused with Boulder’s BETC, also colloquially referred to as “Betsy”) and get this — the shows are all free. Always. AND the actors even get paid. Decently, even. How do they do it? There’s a benefactor, McAndrews says. A benefactor with a kingdom, apparently, to partition out, only her kingdom is funding for the making of art. The company’s mission is to “adapt Elizabethan theater for a new audience.” Here, Shakespeare’s “King Lear” is set in the Old West. Lear is the owner of the Scarlet Slipper Saloon. Here he divides his kingdom by putting his three favorite prostitutes to the loyalty test. The script is rife with one-liners, but mostly sticks to Shakespeare in tone. They call in “Shakespeare spiked,” but it’s more like Shakespeare with a “Deadwood” ear. You may recognize some of the names — Phil Luna and Kevin Lowry, for example, but even those you might not recognize make for a pretty decent ensemble. Starring Michael Vasicek as Lear and also featuring Patti Murtha, Brooks Mullen, Michal Andrea Meyer, Jacob Abbas, Todd Simmonds, Elinor Reina, Jeannie Saracino, Jim Hitzke and R.J. Harris. Directed by Samantha McDermott. Again, all tickets are free … really … and the bar is even run on the honor system. Please call for reservations, or email Lear@Betsystage.com — though you won’t be turned away if you don’t. “The Travesty of Lear” plays through Jan. 25. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays at 1133 S. Huron St., 720-328-5294 or go to betsy’s home page. Thanks: Jennifer McCray.

 

OPENING 135SMBW Pictures of pictures of cast members arranged on a lit lobby tree. Not pictured: Kevin Lowry.

 

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Photo: The Ex-Czars Reunion Partay

CZARS

By John Moore

Hey, look: It’s sort-of an ex-Czars “partay” in front of a couple of humping deer at the Deer Pile in downtown Denver on Nov. 16, 2013. Roger Green, Jeff Linsenmaier, Chris Perason, Andy Monley and others showed up to show off what they are up to post-Czars.

The Czars were unquestionably one of Denver’s most original and influential bands circa 1994-2004, before everyone left the band except frontman John Grant.

Various incarnations took turns Saturday at the Deer Pile, including Jux County and Velveteen Monster. If you were ever a Czars fan, you had to at least check it out. When asked why he was there, local rocker Joe Sampson (Wentworth Kersey, Esme Patterson) summed it up: “I’m came to experience the weirdness.”

 

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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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at Buntport Theater’s ‘Electra Onion Eater’

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By John Moore
Nov. 17, 2013

Opening No. 134: Buntport Theater’s “Electra Onion Eater”: “Hilarious. Squeamish. Incorrigible … Sunburnt.” Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have stumbled upon Buntport Theater’s new slogan. Buntport kicks off its 13th season of innovative, organic and original collaboration with a modern adaptation of Sophocles’ classic yarn. Set in the kitschy pop-culture world of the 1970s, Electra (Erin Rollman) waits patiently for her studly, sunburned brother (a hybrid of Selleck, Reynolds, Hasselhoff and Hutch, to return home in order to enact revenge on their mother for killing their father (who had killed their sister — you know, just the usual family dynamic). With nothing but time on her hands, Electra watches soap operas, cuts patches in her scalp and makes onion pies as offerings to the gods. Also featuring Erik Edborg, Hannah Duggan and guest star Drew Horwitz as … Bruce. And Samantha Schmitz pushing all the right buttons. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 23 at 717 Lipan St. Call 720-946-1388 or go to Buntport’s web page.

 

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Erik Edborg, left, and Andrew Horwitz backstage before Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater.” Some photos … some completely candid photos … require no explanation.

 

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Photos: My night at The Edge’s ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

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By John Moore
Nov. 14, 2013

Opening No. 133: The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”: Brian Landis Folkins plays the boozy, brutal and broken Brick, who is tormented by the death of his best friend (and the incriminating inferences made about that friendship) in Tennessee Williams’ uncompromising tragedy, presented here in its ugly, unedited glory by director Angela Astle. In the tradition of O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” the play follows one long day of a Southern family in inebriated crisis. (But which came first? “Long Day’s Journey” was written 13 years earlier, but wasn’t published until a year after “Cat” won Williams a Pulitzer Prize in 1956.) The story is set on the night of a gathering at the family estate in Mississippi to celebrate the birthday and apparent good health of patriarch Big Daddy Pollitt (Russell Costen). Much like “Death of a Salesman,” the story is a constant joust between appearances and delusion and the malleable, elusive truth. And starving in the corner of this house of malice and death is a wounded, feral alleycat named Maggie (Maggy Stacy). Also featuring Emma Messenger, Marc Stith, Kelly Alayne Dwyer, Ryan Goold, Bob Byrnes, Geri Crawley, Banji Osindero, Sonsharae Tull, Amelia Modesitt, Sam Modesitt, Aliza Fassett and Pace Becker. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 17 at 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or the edge’s home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Amelia Retureta, Rick Yaconis, Patty Yaconis. To see the entire “Opening Nights” photo series, click here

 

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Brian Landis Folkins puts one of his core performing skills — juggling — to useful use before a performance of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Edge Theatre.

 

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Photos: My night at 11 Minutes Theatre’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’

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By John Moore
Nov. 13, 2013

Opening No. 132: 11 Minutes’ ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’: The 11 Minutes Theatre Company may be one of the area’s newest theater companies, but they perform in the historic and cozy Arvada Festival Playhouse, believed to be the oldest building in Arvada. The company is the work of Janine Ann Kehlenbach, who has put together a tight and talented “Dancing at Lughnasa,” Irish playwright Brian Friel’s answer to “The Glass Menagerie.” It’s a memory play told intermittently through a narrator (a wonderful Andrew Uhlenhopp) as he remembers one summer in 1936 with his mother and four aunts. As he recounts the story, we go back in time and watch as these five feisty women confront their loves, hardships and a society whose customs are not changing fast enough. Also featuring Margaret Amateis Casart, Sasha Fisher, Janet Mylott, Sara Michael, Dawn Bower, Kevin R. Leonard (“Sordid Lives”) and Charlie Ault as the uncle missionary who has just returned from an African leper colony with malaria. Ault’s family started the Festival Playhouse’s resident company (the Festival Players) nearly 80 years ago. Their next offering is “Somethin’ Special for Christmas,” opening Nov. 19. “Lughnasa” plays through Nov. 16. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; also 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 at 5665 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., 303-422-4090, or go to the Festival Playhouse’s home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Janine Ann Kehlenbach, Amy Hanselmann and Donna Ault.

 

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Dawn Bower, left, and Sasha Fisher put the dancing in the “Dancing at Lughnasa” during a pre-show “dance call.”

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Photos: My night at Curious Theatre’s ‘Rancho Mirage’

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By John Moore
Nov. 12, 2013

Opening No 131: Curious Theatre’s “Rancho Mirage”: Colorado native Steven Dietz’s latest play continues Curious’ entire season of evident if perhaps unintentional looks at dysfunctional family relationships. Here, six longtime “friends” (?) gather for one final dinner party. The evening unfolds with comic surprises, alarming secrets and near-farcical bombshells. Also featuring Erik Sandvold, Emily Paton Davies, C. Kelly Leo, David Russell, Karen Slack and Devon James. Directed by Christopher Leo. Dietz is now the most produced playwright in Curious history. Dietz also wrote “Jackie & Me,” which will be performed by the Denver Center Theatre Company, opening Nov. 15. “Rancho” showtimes: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 7 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or Curious’ web page. Thanks: Sean Cummings, Kate Marie.

 

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“It’s been a year … did you miss me, Denver?” “Rancho Mirage” marks oft-honored freakyman actor Bill Hahn’s return to the stage since last appearing at Curious in “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.” Here, he plays a freakily normal-seeming suburban husband. Which, for Bill, is, you know … freaky.

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Colorado theater schedules, however you like them:

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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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at Byers-Evans’ ‘Evermore’

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By John Moore
Nov. 5, 2013

Opening No. 130: Byers-Evans House Theatre Company’s “Evermore”: Maggie Stillman’s company, which specializes in the period macabre, is presenting its final show in the environs of the Byers-Evans House. She’s renaming her troupe the Ripple Effect Theatre Company and moving into a bona-fide theater in RiNo that is about to be vacated. (We’ll leave it to you to connect those dots.) Her goodbye to the museum tells the romantic whims and publishing difficulties of Edgar Allan Poe. We open October 1849. Poe has recently died, and his literary executor is compiling Poe’s works for posthumous publication. Memories of Poe’s final years full of love, hate, loss, and literature are played out through the memories of Dr. Griswold and Poe’s mother-in-law, Maria Clemm. Poe’s best-known tales and poems are woven into the dialogue. Featuring Seth Maisel, Kristin Mair, Michael Gurshtein and Nancy Flanagan. Directed by Ed Berry. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 16 at 1310 Bannock St., 303-620-4933. Thanks: Dana Huss, Orianna Keating and Maggie Stillman. Click here to see the complete “Opening Nights” photo series.

 

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Oooh, Edgar Allan Poe, he’s so scary, can’t you tell? From left: Nancy Flanagan, Seth Maisel, Kristin Mair and Michael Gurshtein yuk it up before one of the Byers-Evans House Theatre Company’s final performances before the troupe moves to RiNo as the new Ripple Effect Theatre Company.

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Colorado theater schedules, however you like them:

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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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s ‘The Full Monty’

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By John Moore
Nov. 4, 2013

Opening No. 129: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Full Monty”: Based on the popular British film, this now ubiquitous tale has five unemployed steelworkers (moved for the stage to Buffalo) who come up with a bold way to make some quick cash: By taking off their clothes. In the process, they find renewed self-esteem and the importance of friendship. “The Full Monty” stars Seth Caikowski as Jerry, the gruff but well-meaning dad who’s desperate to make some cash to keep visitation rights with his son. Also featuring Joel Adam Chavez as Dave; Scott Beyette (also the director) as Harold, Burke Walton as Ethan, Brett Ambler as Malcolm, and longtime big-time vocalist Robert Johnson (17th Avenue All-Stars) as Horse. The cast also includes Alicia Dunfee, Shelly Cox-Robie, Amanda Earls, Jason Vargas, Joanie Brosseau, Scott Severtson, Tracy Warren, Jessica Hindsley, Norrell Moore, Bob Hoppe (alternating with Matthew D. Peters), and young Thomas Russo as Nathan (alternating with Kaden Hinkle). Showtimes: 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:45 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 1:30 and 7:45 p.m. Sundays (dinner service begins 90 minutes before) through Nov. 9 at 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or go to BDT’s home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Michael J. Duran, Seamus McDonough, Neal Dunfee and Brian Jackson. To see the entire “Opening Nights” series to date (these are outtakes), click here.

 

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The photo above shows a side of working the dinner-theater circuit that most audiences don’t see: The actors settling up at the end of each performance. (Most times they don’t do it in robes, but most times, it’s not “The Full Monty,” hah.) Most actors also bus tables for the tips that, combined with their acting stipends, help make for something approximating a liveable wage doing what they love to do on the stage. It’s a good opportunity to remind readers that when you attend theater that involves personal service, the performers are primarily working for your gratuity.

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Colorado theater schedules, however you like them:

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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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Colorado Shakes 2014 will feature Henrys, Hamlet-hating and hooch

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The Colorado Shakespeare Festival last staged “The Tempest” in 2007.

By John Moore

When you schedule your every summer around pretty much the same 400-year-old canon, you can understand why the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is pretty excited about a major development coming next summer at … the concession stand.

The nation’s second-oldest Shakespeare fest will feature regular beer and wine sales outside at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, inside at University Theatre, and in the adjacent Shakespeare Garden for picnicking. Previously, only sales of 3.2-percent alcohol beverages were permitted inside the theaters.

“This now means you can enjoy a beer or glass of wine with a picnic and carry it right into the theater with you,” said interim artistic director Timothy Orr.

On stage, Colorado Shakes’ 57th season of the Bard will consist of “The Tempest,” “Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” The slate will also include the so-so comedy with the can’t miss title, “I Hate Hamlet.” That’s a contemporary comedy about a lousy TV star with no business acting on a legit stage who is cast to play Shakespeare’s brooding prince in New York’s Central Park, and winds up being visited by the ghost of great Shakespearean actor John Barrymore.

“These are some of our all-time favorite plays by and about Shakespeare,” Orr said. “You could call it the CSF ‘staff picks.’ The early concept conversations we’re having point to some amazing, moving, hilarious and entertaining theater. It’ll be a season to remember.”

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival just enjoyed a rebound summer, having logged a 10.3 percent increase in attendance over 2012. But the fest is in the midst of the longest leadership transition in just about ever, with Orr now planning his second summer as the interim artistic boss. Officials from the University of Colorado aren’t expected to name a permanent replacement for Philip Sneed, who left in January for a job at the Arvada Center, until September 2014. Orr, Geoffry Kent and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company founder Stephen Weitz are among the known local candidates for the job, although the search is very much national in scope. The University is ultimately expected to name an artistic director with an established academic resume.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2014 season at a glance:
(Descriptions written by Colorado Shakespeare Festival)

• “The Tempest” — Shakespeare’s final play includes magic, romance, high adventure, humor and pathos. Directed by Geoffrey Kent, director of the the acclaimed 2013 comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (Kent also played the hack actor in the Aurora Fox’s staging of “I Hate Hamlet” in 2006, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in that role next summer.) Last staged in Boulder in 2007.

• “Henry IV, Part 1” — The second leg in the four-play “Henriad” cycle, begun in 2012 with “Richard II,” introduces the licentious, crafty Falstaff and begins Prince Hal’s ascension to the throne of England. Last performed by the Colorado Shakes in 1999.

• “Henry IV, Part 2” — There will be just two performances — and the fest is calling them “original practices,” meaning (I guess) not fully staged, or glorified rehearsals. It covers Prince Hal’s rise in stature and his old adviser Falstaff’s descent into debauchery. Also last performed at the fest in 1999.

• “The Merry Wives of Windsor” — Falstaff owns the show in perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest farce. His efforts to woo two married English ladies results in his being tricked. Set here in a 1960s Catskills vacation resort, so we are told to expect some “dirty dancing.” Also last performed at the fest in 1999.

• “I Hate Hamlet” — When a rising young Hollywood star accepts the role of Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park, everyone thinks he’s nuts — and that’s before he starts getting advice from the ghost of the great Shakespearean actor John Barrymore. A comic romp that also explores the meaning of Shakespeare in the modern world. Written by New Yorker contributing writer Paul Rudnick, screenwriter of the “The Addams Family” films. I wrote of the Aurora Fox production: “I couldn’t love it. I couldn’t hate it. I just felt … neutral, which in the theater can be worse than hate. It’s certainly less interesting.”

Season tickets go on sale Monday, Nov. 4 by phone (303-492-8008) or in person at the University Club on the CU-Boulder campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Online sales open on Nov. 11 at www.coloradoshakes.org. Single-tickets will go on sale Dec. 9 online, by phone or in person.

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Geoffrey Kent, right, with David Russell (at the ghost of John Barrymore) in the Aurora Fox’s 2006 production of “I Hate Hamlet.”

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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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: My night at Evergeen Players’ ‘All My Sons’

To see caption information on any photo above, or to see the gallery on a mobile phone, click here. (It will be on the lower-left corner.) Or just click “show info” on any photo.

By John Moore
Nov. 2, 2013

Opening No. 128: Evergreen Players’ “All My Sons”: Arthur Miller wrote “All My Sons” as a final attempt at writing a commercially successful play. If the play failed to find an audience, he had vowed “to find some other line of work.” What resulted was perhaps his masterpiece. “All My Sons” is based on a true story a child who informed on her father who had sold faulty parts to the U.S. military during World War II. Asked in a TV interview what about the story had inspired him, Miller said, “I was fascinated by the idea that a child could have this kind of moral courage.” When asked why he changed the gender of the character for his play, Miller said, “At the time I didn’t understand women very well.” The cast features Joe Wilson, Jacquie Jo Billings, Jennifer Condreay, Jordan Crozier, Cindy Laudadio Hill, Brandon Palmer, Ken Paul, Eric Ritter, JR Cody Schuyler, and young Spencer Coffey as young Bert. Directed by Len Matheo. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 10 at Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or go to the Evergreen Players’ home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Rachael Henney. To see the entire “Opening Nights” series to date (these are outtakes), click here.

 

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The cast of the Evergreen Players’ “All My Sons” circles up for one last bit of bonding before taking the stage. Joe Wilson, left, had just left the pre-show ritual to take a final solitary moment in the dressing room before the play began. He plays Joe Keller.

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Colorado theater schedules, however you like them:

All currently running theater productions

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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. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Photos: Creede Rep leaves town with party to announce 2014 plans

By John Moore
To see caption information on any photo above, or to see the gallery on a mobile phone, click here. (It will be on the lower-left corner.) Or just click “show info” on any photo.

By John Moore
Nov. 1, 2013

The Creede Repertory Theatre marked the closing of its annual fall staging at the Arvada Center on Sunday with a party in downtown Denver during which the revered, remote mountain theater company’s plans for the summer of 2014 were revealed.

Artistic director Jessica Jackson announced Creede Rep’s 49th season, to be held in its two separate theaters that line Main Street, at a festive gathering at the Wazee Street Supper Club.

The eight-show slate again cuts a wide swath … just not as wide as we’ve become accustomed to in years past. The season ranges from contemporary comedies (“Hope and Gravity” and “The Last Romance”) to a traditional American musical (“Annie Get Your Gun”) to children’s theater (“Pants on Fire) to late-night improv comedy (“Boomtown”).

Creede, located 250 miles southwest of Denver, has weathered natural disasters the past two summers — in 2012, it was the influx of Hollywood crews filming the Johnny Depp bomb “The Lone Ranger”; and, in 2013, it was a trio of devastating nearby wildfires. Both catastrophes kept tourists away from Creede in the early summer. That may explain why the company’s 2014 lineup, for the first time in years, doesn’t include a title that could be called particularly groundbreaking or cutting-edge. (Last summer, that would have been its epic zombie Shakespeare mash-up, “William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead.”) It’s time to regroup and recoup.

Creede has built a national reputation for presenting risk-taking, original works alongside more standard, crowd-pleasing fare, but while the 2014 slate includes the newest works by Michael Hollinger, Joe DiPietro and David Ives (all titles new to Colorado), the collective lineup makes for a comparatively safe season by Creede standards.

Creede is a tiny mining town in the San Juan mountains where only 400 people live year-round, but with a summer population that swells to 20,000. As the largest employer in Mineral County, the theater company has long been a powerful economic generator for southern Colorado. Creede Rep is a powerful lure for some of Denver’s top actors and directors, including most recently John Arp, Christy Montour-Larson and a steady stream of Denver Center Theatre Company members from both on and off the stage. And Creede Rep has returned the favor, infusing the Denver theater community with a steady stream of new actors who first came to Colorado from Creede and then make significant impacts in Denver, including Michael Bouchard, Jake Walker, Diana Dresser and many others.

After closing Season 48 in Creede in September, Jackson moved “Around the World in 80 Days” up to the Arvada Center, where it played for three weeks. That show featured, among others, Arp and Caitlin Wise, a longtime Creede Repper and a graduate of the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory.

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Creede Rep’s 2014 summer season

(Descriptions provided by the Creede Repertory Theatre)
“Annie Get Your Gun”
By Irving Berlin, Herbert & Dorothy Fields. Revised by Peter Stone.
The feisty love story of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler set against the backdrop of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Irving Berlin’s timeless score includes “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “I Got the Sun in the Mornin’” and “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly.” Annie shoots for the stars, hits her target and lives scrappily ever after.

“The Liar”
By David Ives
Adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille
Paris, 1643. A charming young man has only one flaw: he cannot tell the truth. He hires a servant who cannot tell a lie, falls in love with Lucrece, whom he thinks is Clarice, who is secretly engaged to his best friend. Nor is he aware that his father is trying to marry him off to Clarice, whom he thinks is Lucrece, who actually is in love with him. His increasingly-more-ridiculous lies add up to a sparkling romantic farce, adapted for modern audiences.

“The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild”
By Paul Zindel
Mildred’s life is ordinary. But her dream world, fed by the 3,000 movies she has eagerly devoured, is spectacular. And when the outside world intrudes via her husband, his meddling sister, their hard-boiled landlady, or the wrecking crew sent to tear down the building – Mildred meets each crisis with a hilarious fantasy drawn from her precious lode of old movies. She makes for a kooky, lovable and enchanting heroine.

“The Last Romance”
By Joe DiPietro
Company favorites John Green, Christy Brandt and Annie Butler will star in this golden-years romantic comedy. Ralph, an elderly widower, feels young again – all thanks to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Up against Carol’s reluctance and his domineering sister’s meddling, Ralph embarks on the challenge of a lifetime, and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

“Hope and Gravity”
By Michael Hollinger
Lives overlap and elevators stop on random floors as nine characters are compellingly revealed in this contemporary comedy about fate. From an impossible elevator accident to an unlikely hotel hook-up, chance encounters lead to surprising connections. From the author of 2012’s “Ghost-Writer,” this deeply fascinating play traces nine stories, told out-of-order, that lead inevitably to one momentous leap of faith.

“Pants on Fire”
A totally made-up musical for kids
Ever wondered what would happen if you could control a play? This hour-long improvised musical is created from the imaginations of kids in the audience. It’s your adventure. We just live in it.

“Boomtown”
Improv Comedy
Back, as they say, “by jocular demand.” Armed with only an audience suggestion and their twisted imaginations, these inventive actors perform an unscripted, often bizarre show.

Ticket information:
Call 719-658-2540
Go to www.creederep.org
The theater is located at 124 N. Main St.

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

 

Colorado theater schedules, however you like them:

All currently running theater productions

All theater listings by company
All theater listings by opening date

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 to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):