Photos: My night at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s ‘Spamalot’

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By John Moore
Dec. 26, 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 to date (these ones are specifically the “Balls” outtakes), click here.

 

Opening No. 146: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Monty Python’s Spamalot”: Monty Python has come to Boulder a first time to taunt poor King Arthur, the principled if idiotic leader of the quest for the Holy Grail. Why God the all-knowing has misplaced a cup is anyone’s guess. “Spamalot,” the Tony Award-winning best musical of 2005, lovingly rips off the beloved, warped source film, with its full allotment of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and that one snickeringly legless fightin’ knight. While the plot loosely follows the same course of events as the film, the stage equivalent is very much its own sacrilegious thing, so do not come expecting a carbon copy. We open in Finland, after all. I mean, this is a bona fide Broadway musical, so it’s got to have some actual women too. And here those women are Laker Girls. For real. Starring Wayne Kennedy as the utterly guileless King Arthur, with Alicia Dunfee as his Lady of the Lake. The ensemble includes Brett Ambler, Scott Beyette, Brian Cronin, Barrett Harper, Jessica Hindsley, Bob Hoppe, Brian Jackson, Norrell Moore, Brian Norber, Joey Revier, Scott Severtson, Burke Walton, Tracy Warren, Tracey Zimmerman and … STG … Jerry Lewis (the real Jerry Lewis) as the Voice of God. Directed by Piper Lindsay Arpan, who appeared in the Broadway production of “Spamalot.” Showtimes: 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:45 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 1:30 and 7:45 p.m. Sundays (dinner service 90 minutes before) through March 1 at 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or BDT’s home page Thanks: Michael J. Duran, Seamus McDonough, cast and crew.

OPENING 146 Introducing one of the lesser-known Knights of the Round Table: Sir Fabio. Scott Severtson, who’s not normally this … maned … plays Sir Dennis, a k a Galahad.

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Support the Denver Actors Fund:Buy our awesome fundraising poster:

poster1.4_CrossSo all year long I have been taking photos of beautiful women (and token dudes) from the Colorado theater community, all wearing my cheap sunglasses. Now the result of that work is this great poster supporting the Denver Actors Fund nonprofit I founded in June. Order this poster for just $20. Just send an email to denveractorsfund@gmail.com with your quantity number and address. Thanks!

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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):

Here are your 2013 True West Award Winners: Spread out … or spread thin?

By John Moore
Dec. 29, 2013

The Curious Theatre Company, a whopping seven-time winner of the prestigious “best year by a company” Ovation/True West Award, wasn’t even a finalist in that category this year. That’s largely because Denver’s most vital artery to the pulse of the New York theater got mired in a redundant pattern of stories about unpleasant family squabbles.

But one of them stood starkly apart: “The Brothers Size” took the ordinary premise of two bickering African-American brothers and transported audiences not only inside their percussive, modern-day world on the Louisiana bayou, but all the way down the rabbit hole of their ancestral culture and mythology.  This wasn’t just the story of two  iconic brothers, one struggling to stay the straight course while the other seeks the shortest of short cuts. This was Cain and Abel. A black “True West” — which makes it an all-the-more fitting selection for the True West Awards’ best drama of 2013.

Dee Covington’s rough and lyrical staging, impeccably performed by the trio of Laurence Curry, Cajardo Lindsey and Damion Hoover  (each of whom were individually nominated for their performances), also has won for best director and actor (Curry). This was the Curious we’ve always known, at its best.

For the first time, the best-musical award goes to Fort Collins’ Midtown Arts Center for its stirring production of “Les Misérables.” Longtime Denver actor David Ambroson (best actor in a musical) delivered the performance of his life as Valjean. After 19 years, the MAC has moved ever closer to reaching artistic parity with the Arvada Center when it comes to making big, Broadway musicals.

The True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001, are the longest-running continuously administered awards program in Colorado theater. And in this, their 13th year, the results reflect a theater community in major transition. Theater is growing at a rate that seems wholly unsustainable for the long run. There were far more total productions offered on Colorado stages in 2013 than in any previous year.  That resulted in a busy, busy year  that will be remembered for its sheer volume, if not for its overall artistic achievement. The year was marked by small starbursts of brilliance, many of which are reflected in these awards. But the year is ending without a detectable, community-wide groundswell of forward artistic momentum.

While it is never the intent of the True West Awards to spread its largess around like Field Day participation ribbons, it is telling that no single theater company received more than three awards for its work in 2013. That 19 companies won at least one award is a record. And a telling one.

Plenty of theater companies are doing good work, and selling a lot of tickets. But overall, The bar for what is considered “good enough” seems to have slipped a rung. The collective vision for the future seems uncertain. While Buntport continues to produce the kind of original, fanciful new creations we’ve become accustomed to for more than a decade, only few small companies  seem poised to make significant growth gains in the coming year — the kind that a decade ago vaulted Curious Theatre from an upstart to its present place as Denver’s only true, mid-sized professional theater.

The scrappy Edge Theatre had a season filled with creative fits and starts that portend a possible breakout year in 2014. Boulder’s The Catamounts and Local Theatre seem to be moving full-forward, and the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company  ventured into new territory. Mountain companies like Lake Dillon and Breckenridge Backstage are growing by leaps and bounds, but the only Denver company that seems clearly poised to become “the next Curious” is the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. This is a company on a documented, sustained growth trajectory over eight years now. Co-founder Stephen Weitz recorded a 42 percent attendance gain last year, with similar upticks in both budget size and donations. And this growth is clearly, directly attributable to the company’s commitment to building the quality of the work on the stage. That, and given that all of the  solid work presented in its smartly chosen 2013 lineup, made BETC (it goes by “Betsy”) the easy choice for the True West “best year by a company” award.

Elsewhere,  ours seems to be a community in a whole lot of flux. Some of it for the better. Some not.

Several of our most reliable and successful companies are now in the midst of varying leadership, personnel, mission or programming transitions, including the Arvada Center, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Miners Alley Playhouse, Vintage Theatre, the Aurora Fox, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre, and even the Denver Center. Many of these companies seem to be re-evaluating who they are, and who they want to be moving forward. That could all be for the better.

But the venerable Heritage Square Music Hall closes on Tuesday.  Germinal Stage-Denver and the LIDA Project have entered periods of dormancy — and we all know companies that enter dormancy often never wake up from it. Those three troupes alone represent 85 years of Colorado theater history.

There is a lot on the line in 2014.

One thing is certain: The local theater landscape almost certainly will look vastly  different a year from now than it does today.

But while we wait for all of that to play out, let’s take a moment to look back on some of the brightest moments in Colorado theater 2013:

CULTURE WEST’s 2013 TRUE WEST AWARD WINNERS:

Note: The “Readers’ choice” designees below are not the official True West Award winners. Those are chosen by John Moore, who saw about 150 productions in 2013. Readers’ choice results are determined by 1,044 unique respondents to an online survey.

THEATER PERSON OF THE YEAR:
Shelly Bordas

(Click here to read our separate story on Shelly Bordas)
3 BORDASReaders’ choice voting:
1. Shelly Bordas: 13.2 percent
1. Rick Yaconis: 13.2 percent
3. Edith Weiss: 13.0 percent
4. John Ashton: 11.4 percent
5. Brian Freeland: 7.5 percent
5. Erin Rollman: 7.5 percent
Also nominated: Ed Baierlein, Linda Morken, Stephen Weitz, Christopher Willard
Write-ins: 10.2 percent
Leading write-in: Deb Flomberg, 4 votes

BEST YEAR BY A COMPANY:
Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

13 BETCReaders’ choice voting:
1. Arvada Center: 23.9 percent
2. Phamaly Theatre Company: 22.9 percent
3. Colorado Shakespeare Festival: 15.7 percent
4. Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company: 13.3 percent
5. Boulder’s Dinner Theatre: 11.3 percent
Write-ins: 13.1 percent
Leading write-ins: Edge Theatre (16 votes) and Midtown Arts Center (14)

BEST DRAMA:
Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”

16 BROTHERSReaders’ choice voting:
1. Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”: 25.9 percent
2. Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”: 24.2 percent
3. Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”: 19.8 percent
4. Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer”: 15.6 percent
5. Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “A Steady Rain”: 8.8 percent
Write-ins: 6.1 percent
Leading write-in: Edge Theatre’s “Newark Violenta,” 3 votes

BEST MUSICAL:
Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”

24 LES MISReaders’ choice voting:
1. Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof”: 21.4 percent
2. Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”: 20.2 percent
3. Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”: 19.8 percent
4. Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 17.4 percent
4. Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 17.4 percent
Write-ins: 3.2 percent
Leading write-in: Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein,” 4 votes

BEST COMEDY:
Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
28 midsummerReaders’ choice voting:
1. Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: 43 percent
2. Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”: 17.7 percent
3. The Avenue’s “Motherhood Out Loud”: 14.9 percent
4. Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”: 14.6 percent
5. OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”: 6.5 percent
Write-ins: 3.8 percent
Leading write-in: Phamaly Theatre Company’s “The Foreigner,” 2 votes

31 WAKE

BEST NEW PLAY:
Buntport Theater’s “Wake”
Other nominees:
LIDA Project’s “R.U.R/lol”
Buntport Theater’s “Electra Onion Eater”
The Edge’s “Newark Violenta”
(Note: This was not a readers’ choice category)

BEST YEAR BY AN ACTOR:
Sam Gregory

Readers’ choice voting:
36 GREGORY1. Sam Gregory: 15.6 percent
2. James O’Hagan-Murphy: 15.2 percent
3. Matt LaFontaine: 13.1 percent
4. Jeremy Palmer: 11.9 percent
5. Seth Caikowski: 10.2 percent
Also nominated: Wayne Kennedy, Seth Maisel, Eric Mather, Tyrell D. Rae and Sean Scrutchins
Write-ins: 0.8 percent
Leading write-in: Four with one vote each

BEST YEAR BY AN ACTRESS:
Megan Van De Hey

54 van de heyReaders’ choice voting:
1. Megan Van De Hey: 20 percent
2. Jamie Ann Romero: 13.7 percent
3. Emma Messenger: 12.1 percent
4. Sarah Grover: 11.5 percent
5. Haley Johnson: 9.4 percent
Also nominated: Rhonda Brown, Rachel Fowler, Devon James, Missy Moore, Anne Oberbroeckling
Write-ins: 2.3 percent
Leading write-in: Jennifer DeDominici, 2 votes

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA:
Laurence Curry, Oshoosi Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”

56 CURRYReaders’ choice voting:
1. Cajardo Lindsey, Ogun Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”: 24.2 percent
2. Laurence Curry, Oshoosi Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”: 22.9 percent
3. Steve Emily, Denny, Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “A Steady Rain”: 19.9 percent
4. Lorenzo Sarinana, Yank, LIDA Project’s “The Hairy Ape”: 16.3 percent
5. Patrick Call, Rico, Dangerous Theatre’s “Dark Wood”: 11.4 percent
Write-ins: 5.2 percent
Leading write-in: Brian Landis Folkins, Edge Theatre’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” 3 votes

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA:
Erica Sarzin-Borrillo, Mary Tyrone, Germinal Stage-Denver’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

63 sarzinReaders’ choice voting:
1. Maggy Stacy, Maggie, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”: 33.1 percent
2. Anne Oberbroeckling, Sister Aloysius, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Doubt”: 22.7 percent
3. Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Martha, Athena Project’s “Tell Martha Not to Moan”: 18.3 percent
4. Laura Norman, Myra Babbage, Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer”: 14.1 percent
5. Erica Sarzin-Borrillo, Mary Tyrone, Germinal Stage-Denver’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”: 9.9 percent
Write-ins: 2.0 percent
Leading write-in: Lyndsay Palmer, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 3 votes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA:
Joe Von Bokern, Billy Bibbitt, Edge Theatre’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
69 VBReaders’ choice voting:
1. Joe Von Bokern, Billy Bibbitt, Edge Theatre’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”: 34.8 percent
2. Nathan Stith, MacDuff, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”: 23.4 percent
3. Brian Colonna, Caliban, Buntport’s “Wake”: 15.5 percent
4. Damion Hoover, Elegba, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”: 15.1 percent
5. Andrew Uhlenhopp, Michael, 11 Minutes Theatre’s “Dancing at Lughnasa”: 10.6 percent
Write-ins: 0.6 percent
Leading write-in: Two with 1 vote

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA:
Rachel Fowler, M’Lynn, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”

71 fowlerReaders’ choice voting:
1. Emma Messenger, Big Mama, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”: 34.5 percent
2. Rachel Fowler, M’Lynn, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”: 23.9 percent
3. Rachel D. Graham, Sister James, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Doubt”: 19.5 percent
4. C. Kelly Leo, Ellen/Jenna, Curious Theatre’s “Maple & Vine”: 11.2 percent
5. Adrian Egolf, Shelby, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”: 10.6 percent
Write-ins: 0.3 percent
Leading write-in: One with 1 vote

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
David Ambroson, Valjean, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
75 AMBROSENReaders’ choice voting:
1. David Ambroson, Valjean, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 27.3 percent
2. Mark Dissette, Tevye, Phamaly’s “Fiddler on the Roof”: 22.3 percent
3. John Arp, Tevye, Lamont School of Music’s “Fiddler on the Roof” 19.6 percent
4. Casey Andree, Claude, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 15.3 percent
5. Charlie Schmidt, Princeton/Rod, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”: 11 percent
Write-ins: 4.5 percent
Leading write-in: Three with 2 each

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
SuCh, Celie, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
83 SUCH 2Readers’ choice voting:
1. SuCh, Celie, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”: 31.4 percent
2. Jennifer DeDominici, Aldonza, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”: 21.7 percent
3. Alisha Winter, Maria, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “The Sound of Music”: 16.6 percent
4. Norrell Moore, Sheila, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 13.6 percent
5. Lisa Finnerty, Judy, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 To 5,” The Musical”: 12.6 percent
Write-ins: 4.1 percent
Leading write-in: Megan Van De Hey, Starkey Theatrix’s “Always, Patsy Cline,” 4 votes. (Note: That production was ineligible for consideration because True West Awards founder John Moore directed it).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
Colin Alexander, Christopher Belling, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
Readers’ choice voting:
85 alexander1. Nigel Huckle, Marius, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 23.1 percent
2. Colin Alexander, Christopher Belling, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”: 22.9 percent
3. Cory Wendling, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”: 21.9 percent
4. Mark Shonsey, Igor, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein”: 20.2 percent
5. William Thomas Evans, Merlyn, King Pellinore, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”: 9.5 percent
Write-ins: 2.4 percent
Leading write-in: Ben Hilzer, Up in Lights’ “Fiddler on the Roof,” 3 votes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Anna High, Sofia, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”

92 HIGHReaders’ choice voting:
1. Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Madame Thenardier, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 29.1 percent
2. Ashlie-Amber Harris, Shug Avery, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”: 22.7 percent
3. Shannan Steele, Pam, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Baby”: 18.3 percent
4. Jona Alonzo, Roz, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical”: 15.5 percent
5. Anna High, Sofia, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”: 11.9 percent
Write-ins: 2.7 percent
Leading write-in: Samantha Cooley, Up In Lights’ “Fiddler on the Roof,” 3 votes

BEST ACTOR IN A COMIC ROLE:
Larry Hecht, Puck, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
97 HECHT Readers’ voting:
1. Larry Hecht, Puck, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: 31.7 percent
2. Steef Sealy, Richard, Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”: 25.3 percent
3. Tom Auclair, Artie, The Edge’s “The House of Blue Leaves”: 18.6 percent
4. Sam Gregory, Johann Friedrich Fasch, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”: 16 percent
5. Matthew Stalker, Hugh “Bullshot” Crummond, OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”: 7 percent
Write-ins: 1.4 percent
Leading write-in: 5 with 1 vote each

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMIC ROLE:
Sharon Kay White, Mary Jo, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

104 whiteReaders’ choice voting:
1. Jenna Bainbridge, Hermia, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: 34.7 percent
2. Sharon Kay White, Mary Jo, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”: 18.3 percent
3. Erin Rollman, Electra, Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater”: 17.4 percent
4. Leslie O’Carroll, Madame Arcati, Arvada Center’s “Blithe Spirit”: 15.2 percent
5. Jane Shirley, various roles, The Avenue’s “Motherhood Out Loud”: 13.2 percent
Write-ins: 1.2 percent
Leading write-in: Four with 1 vote each

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMIC ROLE:
Sean Scrutchins, Lysander, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

109 scrutchinsReaders’ choice voting:
1. Eric Mather, Clown, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”: 30.7 percent
2. Sean Scrutchins, Lysander, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: 22 percent
3. Nigel Gore, Bottom, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: 22.5 percent
4. Kevin Leonard, Brother Boy, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”: 14.4 percent
5. Will Ferrie, seven roles, OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”: 8.9 percent
Write-ins: 1.3 percent
Leading write-in: Four with 1 vote each

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMIC ROLE:
Emma Messenger, Noleta, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
112 messengerReaders’ choice voting:
1. Jamie Ann Romero, Titania, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: 33 percent
2. Rhonda Brown, Truvy, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”: 23 percent
3. Emma Messenger, Noleta, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”: 21.5 percent
4. Hannah Duggan, Clytemnestra, Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater”: 11.9 percent
5. Lindsey Pierce, Lois Coleman, Miners Alley Playhouse “Wonder of the World”: 9.7 percent
Write-ins: 0.9 percent
Leading write-in: 3 with 1 vote each

BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:
Wendy Ishii, Joan Didion, Bas Bleu’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”
117 ishiiReaders’ choice voting:
James O’Hagan-Murphy, Robert Kennedy, Vintage Theatre’s “RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”: 57.2 percent
Michelle Hurtubise, Woman, Theatre Esprit Asia’s “Spirit and Sworded Treks”: 13.7 percent
Wendy Ishii, Joan Didion, Bas Bleu’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”: 25.3 percent
Write-ins: 1.4 percent percent
Leading write-in: Adrian Egolf, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s “12 Dates of Christmas,” 3 votes
Note: Rhonda Brown first played Molly Ivins in the LIDA Project’s “Red Hot Patriot” in 2012 and won the readers’ choice award for best actress in a drama. Actors are not eligible for consideration for playing the same role a second time.

121 slaughter

BEST YOUNGER ACTOR:
August Slaughter, Rudy, Bas Bleu Theatre’s “Over the Tavern”

Other nominees:
Eli Brandt, Gavroche, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Peter Cabrera, Rudy, Longmont Theatre Company’s “Over the Tavern”
Devon Erickson, Doody, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Grease”
Ella Tieze, Irene Ratliff, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”
(Note: This was not a readers’ choice category)

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A PLAY:
Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
126 SeafarerReaders’ voting:
Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”: 24.8 percent
Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”: 24.3 percent
Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”: 18.5 percent
Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”: 17 percent
Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Bach at Leipzig”: 11.3 percent
Write-ins: 4.1 percent
Leading write-in: Two with 2 votes each

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL:
Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
130 LA MANCHAReaders’ choice voting:
1. Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 26.7 percent
2. Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 26.2 percent
3. Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”: 19.8 percent
4. Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”: 15 percent
5. Magic Moments’ “Spirit & Soul”: 6.8 percent
Write-ins: 5.5 percent
Leading write-in: Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” 4 votes

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY:
Dee Covington, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
134 covingtonReaders’ choice voting:
1. Geoffrey Kent, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” 33.1 percent
2. Bernie Cardell, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives” 18.7 percent
3. Amanda Berg Wilson, The Catamounts’ “Failure: A Love Story”: 15 percent
4. Dee Covington, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size” 14.1 percent
4. Josh Hartwell, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer” 14.1 percent
Write-ins: 5 percent
Leading write-in: Four with 2 votes each

BEST DIRECTORS OF A MUSICAL:
Nick Sugar and Donna Debreceni, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
140 sugar debReaders’ choice voting:
1. Nick Sugar and Donna Debreceni, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 24.3 percent
2. Kurt Terrio and Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 21.8 percent
3. donnie l. betts and David Wohl, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”: 19.2 percent
4. Rod Lansberry and David Nehls, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”: 16.9 percent
5. Christopher Willard and Donna Debreceni, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”: 13.6 percent
Write-ins: 4.2 percent
Leading write-ins: Steve Wilson and Donna Debreceni, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof”; and Deb Flomberg and Hunter Hall, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein,” 4 votes each

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:
Danny Harrigan, Ignite Theatre’s “Cabaret”
145 harriganReaders’ choice voting:
1. Nick Sugar, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 28.1 percent
2. Janice Guy-Sayles, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”: 19.6 percent
3. Matt LaFontaine, Vintage Theatre’s “In the Heights”: 17.4 percent
4. Danny Harrigan, Ignite Theatre’s “Cabaret”: 15.8 percent
5. Alicia Dunfee, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”: 14.8 percent
Write-ins: 4.3 percent
Leading write-in: Jamie Horton, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein,” 4 votes

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
Buntport ensemble, “Wake”
148 WAKEReaders’ choice voting:
Buntport ensemble, “Wake”: 17.4 percent
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “RUR/lol”: 7.3 percent
Brian Mallgrave, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”: 37.2 percent
Shannon McKinney and Chip Walton, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”: 23.3 percent
Adam Stone, Screw Tooth’s “Some Kind of Fun”: 14.9 percent
Write-ins: None

BEST SOUND DESIGN:
Adam Stone, Buntport Theater’s “Wake”
152 stoneReaders’ choice voting:
1. Wayne Kennedy, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”: 34 percent
2. John Rivera, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”: 21.5 percent
3. Adam Stone, Buntport Theater’s “Wake”: 16.6 percent
4. Andrew Metzroth, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”: 15.2 percent
5. Dustin Lacy, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R/lol”: 11.7 percent
Write-ins: 1 percent
Leading write-in: Three with 1 vote each

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”
161 DEIDELReaders’ choice voting:
Shannon McKinney, Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”: 28.3 percent
Benjamin Danielowski, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”: 26.7 percent
Kerry Cripe, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”: 20.9 percent
Seth Alison, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”: 15.2 percent
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”: 7.5 percent
Write-ins: 1.4 percent
Leading write-in: Four with 1 vote each

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Kiana Coney, Su Teatro/The Source’s “The Gospel at Colonus”
163 gospelReaders’ choice voting:
1. Linda Morken, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 26.8 percent
2. Linda Morken, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”: 25.5 percent
3. Clare Henkel, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”: 23.9 percent
4. Cinde Franke, Performance Now’s “Once Upon a Mattress”: 16 percent
5. Kiana Coney, Su Teatro/The Source’s “The Gospel at Colonus”: 7.8 percent
Write-ins: None

BEST MULTIMEDIA INTEGRATION:
Steven J. Deidel, Kenrick Fischer, Kevin Zegan, Max Peterson and Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”
165 MULTI DEIDELReaders’ choice voting:
El Armstrong, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”: 29.5 percent
Deb Flomberg, Equinox’s “Carrie: The Musical”: 16.6 percent
Brian Freeland, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”: 25.6 percent
Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “The Hairy Ape”: 17.9 percentSteven J. Deidel, Kenrick Fischer, Kevin Zegan, Max Peterson and Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”: 9.7 percent
Write-ins: 0.7 percent
Leading write-in: Two with 1 vote each

SPECIAL ACCOMPLISHMENT AWARDS:

SA BaierleinEd Baierlein: Since 1974, the founder of Germinal Stage-Denver has been presenting plays of substance in an intimate setting. This year, after more than 200 productions, Baierlein sold his longtime home in northwest Denver and went on “active hiatus.” But not before staging a nostalgic and sentimental (for Germinal) soiree: Baierlein brought more than 40 familiar faces back for a reprise of the anything-goes theatrical rumination “Offending the Audience,” which in the 1970s incited an on-stage rebellion that brought the police. Baierlein says of his future: “Licking our wounds, we now contemplate a pro-cannibalism-themed season in a new location for 2014.”

SA SUGARNick Sugar:The longtime director, actor and choreographer did something extraordinary this year when he volunteered to step in and help the cast of Equinox Theatre’s “Bat Boy, the Musical” to complete their run after young star Adam Perkes died a few days after the opening performance. Sugar had performed in the show before, and without him, the entire production might have died along with Perkes. Instead, he created a memory for audiences and cast members that will last forever.

SA ROLLMANErin Rollman: She helps to keep the Buntport Theater rolling along — collaborating on and performing  in three original plays; not to mention running essential  mid-week live programming such as “The Great Debate” and “Third Tuesday.” But Rollman does that every year. In 2013, she also gave her pal Adam Stone’s new Screw Tooth Theatre Company not only a creative home, but a prayer of truly establishing itself. In her spare time, Rollman worked on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s year-long Imagine 2020 campaign, which created a blueprint for the future of arts and culture in Denver. All that, and a kidney, too: Rollman gave up one of hers to a complete stranger in Virginia, starting a donation chain that saved nine lives. And her story has inspired at least one other altruistic donor to start another chain. He donates his kidney next week.

SA RUNGENicki Lepetite Runge: She’s an actor who founded the Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre as a home for both actors with hearing impairment and without. She staged “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” earlier in 2013, then  then upped the stakes with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” in which the actors playing patients were all hearing-impaired, while all of the actors playing characters in positions of authority were not.

SA CHENGMaria Cheng: She launched Theatre Esprit Asia, Colorado’s first Asian-American Theatre Company. At one point, there were three shows a day running at the Vintage Theatre — a combination of two solo shows that were being performed in rotation by five different actors. Of “Dust Storm,” Denver Post theater critic Lisa Kennedy wrote: “Theatre Esprit Asia gets its inaugural gambit just right, delivering a work that is modest and ambitious, spare and emotionally textured.”

SA BALLS“Balls”! For the fifth straight year, local actors Mare Trevathan, GerRee Hinshaw; singer Melanie Owen Padilla and bassist Jim Ruberto staged their annual rollicking holiday variety show with the help of rotating guest performers — all to raise money for local charities. The fun includes audience sock-puppet sing-alongs, spontaneous haikus and worthless prizes. The primary trio are now spread from Wheat Ridge to Longmont to Seattle, but they still somehow manage to make time to help a needy organization. This year’s beneficiary is the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

About the Denver Center, and other persnickety rules:
Because John Moore now works for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, for the first time there is not a “Best of the Denver Center” category of awards, for objective and ethical reasons. Likewise, shows he was involved in creatively are ineligible. (He directed “Always, Patsy Cline for Starkey Theatrix and performed in Germinal Stage-Denver’s “Offending the Audience.”) Actors are not eligible for reconsideration after having played a role previously.

About John Moore and the True West Awards: Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as an in-house, multimedia storyteller for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. His writings, photos and videos covering the entire Colorado theater community now can be found at Denver Center Stage, www.denvercenterblog.tumblr.com. Before that, John was a reporter and editor at The Denver Post for more than 20 years, prompting American Theatre Magazine to name him one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States in 2011. John started the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001 and continued to administer them as the True West Awards after he left the newspaper in 2011. Since 2001, John has seen more than 2,000 theater productions in Colorado and around the nation. In July 2012, John created the local arts-and-culture website www.CultureWest.Org. And in May 2013, he founded the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. For information, email denveractorsfund@gmail.com. Address theater listings and general correspondence to culturewestjohn@gmail.com.

 

 

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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):

2013 True West Theater Person of the Year Shelly Bordas: “Love Rules Out”

Here is the new Part 3 of John Moore’s ongoing video documentary series on Shelly Bordas,

By John Moore
Dec. 29, 2013

Shelly Bordas as she looks today, after she stopped taking steroids and dropped 65 pounds.

Shelly Bordas as she looks today, after she stopped taking steroids and dropped 65 pounds.

There’s a ship that comes for Shelly Bordas each night in her dreams. But she’s not getting on board just yet.

Bordas began her year with the modest goal of making her first stage appearance in more than three years – as the drunk secretary in the Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, the Musical.” But then doctors told her the breast cancer she had been battling for 3 ½ years had spread to her brain and eyes. She was told to get her affairs in order. That her remaining time on this Earth was short.

They are still telling her that.

For an actor who never realized her dream of performing again, Bordas’ wrenching, inspiring story galvanized audiences like no piece of fiction that was presented on any stage in 2013. For her resilience, her fight and her sheer will to live, Bordas is CultureWest’s 2013 Theatre Person of the Year.

And while doctors can’t explain why Bordas is not yet dead, Bordas certainly can:

“I’ve got my boy,” she said of Nathan, who turned 4 in April. “I’ve been in a lot of pain this year. I can see how people give up. But loves rules out.

“I’m not ready.”

Bordas left “9 to 5” a few weeks before its February opening to spend every last second with her son. She is also a longtime children’s theater educator at Town Hall Arts Center, and she was determined to finish several productions she was in the process of directing for the kiddos there, including “Finding Nemo.”

Bordas, a single mom, told her castmates her only wish was to take Nathan on a Disney Cruise for his birthday. Grassroots efforts to help sprung up like lightning strikes that quickly grew into an inferno of warmth and good will. An online fundraising campaign was launched. Benefits were held at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, the Columbine United Church in Littleton and Clementine’s hair salon in Denver. In all, nearly $30,000 was raised, and that allowed Bordas, her family, friends and a medical team to take the trip of a lifetime.

“Oh my gosh, it was wonderful,” she said. “We were so spoiled. We had a cabana on a private island, Nathan got to meet all of the Disney characters, and we had a private meeting with the captain on his bridge.”

Group

Shelly Bordas took her family, son Nathan, best friend Chris Whyde, and a medical team along with her on a Disney Cruise in April that was largely funded by friends and strangers from the Colorado theater community who were moved by her harrowing story.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Bordas’ final exit, stage right.

She didn’t make it.

“When the cruise was over, it was like, ‘Now what? … Should I die now?’ ” she said.

In true Bordas fashion, she went back to work. Lest you think Bordas is being honored here solely for not dying, consider that, in 2013, Bordas managed to direct 10 children’s shows, five of which were musicals. All told, she directed 177 young theater students at the Town Hall Arts Center – all while undergoing 26 chemotherapy treatments.

Bordas will also have you know that she has stopped taking steroids as part of her treatment plan — and as a result, she has lost 64 pounds this year. And she’s showing off. For a woman who once made her career playing sexy stage characters in shows like “Cell Block Sirens of 1953” and “Debby Does Dallas, the Musical,” it’s absolutely imperative to her that you know this.

“I am skinny … and I look good,” she said.

As for being recognized for her year with the True West Award, Bordas is taken aback. “There are no words,” she said. “I’m flattered. I just want to cry, I’m so happy.”

But the struggle before her today is no less daunting than it was a year ago. Bordas is nearly blind. Her liver is failing. The many brain tumors are still there. “They say if I stop doing chemo, I will die, so I will be doing that forever,” said Bordas, 42. “I am going to live in a lot of pain … but I am going to live.”

Bordas is still in need of the good will of those who would care to help her. She can’t drive herself to work or doctors appointments because of her failing eyesight. Recent changes in the health-care laws have left her with an insurance premium that has grown by nearly $100 a month. That is significant to a woman of her limited earning potential.

Those so inclined to help may send a check to Bordas in her name in care of the Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 Main St., Littleton, 80120.

And that ship that keeps wanting Bordas to board in her dreams will just have to stay at bay for now. “My friends and my son and my friends and all of the people who are supporting me are going to keep me right here,” she said.

The rest of the 2013 True West Award winners were announced today. To see the complete list of 2013 True West Award nominees, click here. To see the full list of nearly 120 eligible productions by 60 different theater companies, click here.

Some of our previous coverage of the Shelly Bordas story:


Video: The Shelly Bordas Story, Part 2:

(Find Part 1 at the top of this page)


Shelly Bordas: A story that’s just beginning


Photos: Shelly Bordas benefit performances raise money, lift hearts

 

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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: My night at ‘Balls V! A Holiday Spectacular’

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
Dec. 26, 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 to date (these ones are specifically the “Balls” outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 141: “Balls V! A Holiday Spectacular”: For the fifth straight year, a trio of “Balls Babes” and a standing bass player joined forces to present a rollicking benefit variety show that included audience sock puppet sing-alongs, spontaneous haikus and worthless prizes. “Balls” is slightly bonkers, mostly heartwarming with an emphasis on fun. It played Dec. 1 and 2 this year at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. It again starred GerRee Hinshaw (host of The Bug Theatre’s “Freak Train”), Melanie Owen Padilla (of the Cedar Avenue Blues Band) and local actor Mare Trevathan of Boulder’s Local Theatre Company. Musical accompaniment by Jim Ruberto. Rotating special guests included John Common and Jess DeNicola, Lannie’s emcee Naughty Pierre, comedian Matt Monroe, singing comedian Shayna Ferm and juggler Reid Belstock. This year, proceeds went to the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, a non-profit promoting safety, justice and healing for survivors of sexual violence. If you missed this year’s “Balls,” you can still make a donation to CCASA here.

IMG_5472
Among this lovely crowd of sock-puppets and do-gooders are “Balls” cast members GerRee Hinshaw, Melanie Owen Padilla, Mare Trevathan and Jim Ruberto, as well as staff members from the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, including executive director Erin Jemison and program manager Karen Moldovan.

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Colorado theater schedules, however you like them:

All currently running theater productions

All theater listings by company
All theater listings by opening date

Support the Denver Actors Fund:Buy our awesome fundraising poster:

poster1.4_CrossSo all year long I have been taking photos of beautiful women (and token dudes) from the Colorado theater community, all wearing my cheap sunglasses. Now the result of that work is this great poster supporting the Denver Actors Fund nonprofit I founded in June. Order this poster for just $20. Just send an email to denveractorsfund@gmail.com with your quantity number and address. Thanks!

How you can donate directly 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):

2013 True West Award nominations: Town Hall leads balanced field with 14 nods

 

 

TPOY COLLAGE

The prestigious 2013 True West Theater Person of the Year Award will be considered among John Ashton, Ed Baierlein, Shelly Bordas, Brian Freeland, Linda Morken, Erin Rollman, Edith Weiss, Stephen Weitz, Christopher Willard and Rick Yaconis. Weitz, winner of the 2012 award, is the rare winner to be up for consideration two years running.

By John Moore
Dec. 22, 2013

A prolific and creatively surprising year in Colorado theater is reflected in the 2013 True West Award nominations released today.

The True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001, are the longest-running continuously administered awards program in Colorado theater. And for just the second time, the Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton leads the way with 14 nominations, largely on the strength of  widely varying stagings of “Hair,” “9 to 5, The Musical” and “The 39 Steps.”

Perennial awards leader the Arvada Center is next with 11 finalists. The Aurora Fox has 10, followed by the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and the resurgent Colorado Shakespeare Festival with nine each. Curious Theatre, Buntport Theater and the LIDA Project have eight each.

“Hair”and the Midtown Arts Center of Fort Collins’ “Les Miserables” are the most nominated musicals of 2013, with eight each.

Among plays, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” leads all productions with eight finalists, followed by Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size,” with seven. The LIDA Project, known for its original, multimedia-infused works, had its best year, with “R.U.R./lol” garnering five nods.

The prestigious 2013 True West Theater Person of the Year Award will be considered among John Ashton, Ed Baierlein, Shelly Bordas, Brian Freeland, Linda Morken, Erin Rollman, Edith Weiss, Stephen Weitz, Christopher Willard and Rick Yaconis. Weitz, winner of the 2012 award, is the rare winner to be back up for consideration two years running. The winner will join previous honorees including Maurice LaMee, Anthony Garcia, Kathleen M. Brady, Wendy Ishii, Ed Baierlein, Chip Walton and Michael R. Duran.

In all, 38 companies and 57 productions received at least one True West nod. To be eligible, a play must only have been seen (with certain exceptions). This year, more than 135 productions were seen, of which 118 were eligible for awards consideration. This year, a total of 58 companies had at least one play seen. Here is the complete list of all eligible productions.

The official winners will be announced next Sunday, Dec. 29. Readers are again encouraged to have their say by voting for their favorites in designated “readers choice” categories. To vote, click here. Any production by any company staged from December 2012 to December 2013 is eligible for readers-choice designation. Readers who do not see their favorites among the finalists are encouraged to use the write-in option. Voting is open through 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. The program accepts only one vote per IP address.

While some fervently believe awards have no place in the creative process, I think it is important to properly acknowledge and archive the year just past for posterity. Theater companies also benefit from awards nominations in their grant-writing and fundraising efforts.

So with great apologies to the many actors and shows I did not get to see in 2013, I humbly present my agonizing, loving look back at the year in Colorado theater. I say “agonizing” because the theater community never gets to see these lists before they are culled down from, in some cases, more than 30 names that are truly worthy of consideration.

Congratulations to anyone who wrote dialogue, got up on a stage, or played in part in creating theater in 2013. And remember: Click here to take the readers’ choice survey.

 

CULTURE WEST’s 2013 TRUE WEST AWARD NOMINEES:

THEATER PERSON OF THE YEAR:

  • John Ashton: The former theater critic produced the black Irish comedy “The Seafarer” at the Aurora Fox and at Dairy Center for his own new company, Ashton Entertainment. He also performed in “The Seafarer” and Boulder Ensemble’s “Seminar.” And he directed Thingamajig’s “Good People” in Pagosa Springs. All while on call for his day job at FEMA, which deployed him for duty in response to the Boulder floods on the very same week that he opened in the leading role in “Seminar.”
  • Ed Baierlein: Since 1974, the founder of Germinal Stage-Denver has been presenting plays of substance in an intimate setting. This year, after more than 200 productions, Baierlein sold his longtime home in northwest Denver and went on “active hiatus.” But not before staging a nostalgic and sentimental  (for Germinal) soiree: Baierlein brought more than 40 familiar faces back for a reprise of the anything-goes theatrical rumination “Offending the Audience,” which in the 1970s incited an on-stage rebellion that brought the police.  Baierlein says of his future:  “Licking our wounds, we now contemplate a pro-cannibalism-themed season in a new location for 2014.”
  • Shelly Bordas: This longtime actor and children’s theater educator started her year with a modest goal: Making it to opening night of the Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical.” After having fought breast cancer for nearly four years, Bordas was given a fleeting respite when she was told her cancer was receding. So she tried out for — and scored — the role of the office drunk. Bordas had to drop out when her diagnosis suddenly changed: Her cancer had spread to her brain, and she was told her time to live was short. So she then focused on making it to son Nathan’s 4th birthday in April. Bordas’ story galvanized the theater community and beyond, raising more than $30,000, which was used both to help with medical expenses and to send Shelly and her son on a Disney cruise, a dream they realized in May. Meanwhile, Bordas managed to direct 10 shows, five of which were musicals, involving 177 of her young theater students at the Town Hall Arts Center.– all while undergoing 26 chemo treatments. The greatest news of all: She’s still here.
  • Brian Freeland: Nearly 20 years later, the founder of the LIDA Project continued to break new ground as the primary purveyor of modern, multimedia-based original stage work in Denver, as evidenced most tellingly in “The Hairy Ape.” In Freeland’s world, all of the female characters were played by mannequins. Pre-recorded video of a single actor’s face reciting each character’s lines was projected onto the mannequin heads, making for a hologram-like effect. Freeland is also a busy sound and video designer for theaters ranging from Curious to Town Hall. This week, he moved with his family to New York, but he says he is committed to keeping the LIDA Project alive and flourishing — after a short respite in early 2014.
  • Linda Morken: I almost gave up keeping track of all the shows she designed and built costumes for in 2013. But here’s a stab at it: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s entire season: “Church Basement Ladies,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Full Monty” and “Spamalot”;  Phamaly’s entire season of “The Foreigner,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”; Town Hall Arts Center’s “Forever Plaid,” “Hair” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”; Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”; and Starkey Theatrix’s “Noises Off.” Whew.
  • Erin Rollman: In addition to keeping the Buntport Theater rolling along, she collaborated on and performed in three original plays. She also runs mid-week programming such as “The Great Debate” and “Third Tuesday.” She also gave her pal Adam Stone’s new Screw Tooth Theatre Company not only a home, but a prayer of truly establishing itself.  In her spare time, Rollman worked on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s year-long Imagine 2020 campaign, which created a blueprint for the future of arts and culture in Denver. All that, and a kidney, too: Rollman gave up one of hers to a complete stranger in Virginia, starting a donation chain that saved nine lives. And her story inspired at least one other altruistic donor to start another one.
  • Edith Weiss: Denver’s Queen of Comedy is making a huge impact on people’s lives through the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company, where she directed a very funny — and cutting — staging of “The Foreigner,” before again stewarding a group of disabled actors through a workshop process that culminated in “Vox Phamilia 6: G.I.M.P. Nation.” That’s an annual evening of caustic sketch comedy written and performed by handicapped actors. Weiss also directed the very cute children’s production of “No Dogs Allowed”  for the Arvada Center — and destroyed her own comfort zone when she appeared in an experimental freakout called “Some Kind of Fun” with a bunch of rad kids from a new company called Screw Tooth.
  • Stephen Weitz: Last year’s True West “Theatre Person of the Year” outdid himself in 2013. Attendance at the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company he founded was up 42 percent in its seventh season. And thanks to an innovative partnership with the Denver Center to co-present “The SantaLand Diaries” at the Galleria Theatre (an almost completely sold-out engagement), BETC’s season attendance is projected to rise another 63 percent this season. The budget has grown from $12,000 in Season 1 to $232,000 in Season 8, and giving was up 41 percent last year. Weitz directed “Bach at Leipzig,” “Seminar” and “SantaLand” for his own company, and also “Jackie & Me” for the Denver Center Theatre Company.
  • Christopher Willard: The artistic director of the newly renamed Breckenridge Backstage Theatre has launched a $1.3 million expansion just as the venerable mountain theater is entering its 40th season. The renovation will include doubling the size of the present seating area, along with an expanded lobby and dressing rooms. Ticket sales are up by 29 percent over the past two years. Willard, who intends for Breckenridge Backstage Theatre to reach full professional status by 2018, recently hired the company’s first Executive Director (Mark Lineaweaver). Backstage stages plenty of family favorites, but has also kept an ongoing commitment to developing  new works. Up next: “The 10th,”  the first in a planned series of original plays about  Breckenridge. The initial focus is on the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who, upon returning from the campaign in Europe, helped create the ski industry in Colorado. In addition to directing several shows for Backstage, Willard directed the Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5 The Musical.” It was his job to help his team navigate the emotional roller-coaster of cast member Shelly Bordas’ terminal cancer diagnosis. (See above.)
  • Rick Yaconis: The founder of the grassroots Edge Theatre moved into a new home in Lakewood and upped the the company’s game with an ambitious 2013 season that culminated with the full staging of “Gifted,” winner of the company’s national new-play competition. Yaconis has of late brought in a steady stream of accomplished area actors, a trend that should become even more apparent in 2014, when former Paragon Theatre co-founder Michael Stricker directs Martin McDonaugh’s “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” That will star first-time guest artists Michael Bouchard and Emily Paton Davies. Other edge-worthy titles will include “Orphans,” “A Steady Rain” and “Buried Child.”

BEST YEAR BY A COMPANY:
Arvada Center:
“Blithe Spirit”
“Man of La Mancha”
“Dividing the Estate”
“Curtains”
“Camelot”
“A Christmas Carol”

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre:
“Church Basement Ladies”
“The Wizard of Oz”
“The Full Monty”
“Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

“Ghost-Writer”
“The Other Place”
“Bach at Leipzig”
“Seminar”
“The SantaLand Diaries”

Colorado Shakespeare Festival:
“Macbeth”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
“Richard II”
“Women of Will”

Phamaly Theatre Company:
“The Foreigner”
“Fiddler on the Roof”
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
“Vox Phamilia: G.I.M.P. Nation”

BEST DRAMA:
Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer”
Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”
Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “A Steady Rain”

BEST MUSICAL:
Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”

BEST COMEDY:
Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”
Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
The Avenue’s “Motherhood Out Loud”
Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”

BEST NEW PLAY
Buntport Theater’s “Wake”
LIDA Project’s “R.U.R/lol”
Buntport Theater’s “Electra Onion Eater”
The Edge’s “Newark Violenta”

BEST YEAR BY AN ACTOR:
Seth Caikowski:
Franklin Hart, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical”
Cowardly Lion, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Juan, Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed”
Jerry, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Full Monty”

Sam Gregory:
Dan, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner”
The Friar, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Romeo and Juliet”
Johann Friedrich Fasch, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
Banquo, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Northumberland, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Richard II”
Count du Rochefort, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers”
Ted Atkinson, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Most Deserving”

Wayne Kennedy:
Pastor Gunderson, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Church Basement Ladies”
The Wizard, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
King Arthur, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Spamalot”

Matt LaFontaine:
Jinx, Midtown Arts Center’s “Forever Plaid”
The Emcee, Ignite’s “Cabaret”
Berger, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Sir Lionel, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”
Ross Cochrane, Arvada Center’s Curtains”
Ensemble, Arvada Center’s “A Christmas Carol”

Seth Maisel:
Clown, Town Hall’s “The 39 Steps”
Edgar Allan Poe, Byers-Evans’ “Evermore”
Frederick Frankenstein, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein”

Eric Mather:
George Pidgeon, Backstage Theatre’s “Out of Order”
Larry, Vintage Theatre’s “Closer”
Clown, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Lumiere, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast”
Performer: The Avenue’s “Complete World of Sports, Abridged”

James O’Hagan-Murphy:
Robert Kennedy, Vintage Theatre’s “RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”
Dr. Parker, Equinox Theatre’s “Bat Boy, the Musical”
Richard Hannay, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Stanley, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Death of a Salesman”

Jeremy Palmer:
Charlie Baker, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “The Foreigner”
Perchik, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
George Bailey, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Tyrell  D. Rae:
Hud, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Harpo, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Seaweed, Evergreen Players’ “Hairspray”
Don Joe, Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed”

Sean Scrutchins:
Tony Kirby, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “You Can’t Take it With You”
Lysander, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Malcolm, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Henry Percy, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Richard II”
Martin, Boulder Ensemble’s “Seminar”

BEST YEAR BY AN ACTRESS:
Rhonda Brown:
Kay, Aurora Fox’s “Consider the Oyster”
Waitress, Lone Tree Arts Center’s “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Truvy, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Molly Ivins, LIDA Project’s “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins”

Rachel Fowler:
Juliana Smithton, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “The Other Place”
M’Lynn, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Lucille, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

Sarah Grover:
Dorothy, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Anne Frank, Platte Valley Players’ The Diary of Anne Frank”
Alison, Starkey Theatrix’s “Bingo the Musical”
Winifred, Performance Now’s “Once Upon a Mattress”
Iris, Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed”

Devon James:
Garland, Denver Children’s Theatre’s “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”
Lisa, Miners Alley Playhouse’s “Collected Stories”
Emily, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”
Kate, Boulder Ensemble’s “Seminar”
Annelle, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Julie, Curious Theatre’s “Rancho Mirage”

Haley Johnson:
Maggie, Edge Theatre’s “Shadow Box”
Cass Harris, Miners Alley Playhouse’s “Wonder of the World”
Anna, Vintage Theatre’s “Closer”
Sally Applewhite, Miners Alley Playhouse’s “It’s a Wonderful Life, the Radio Play”

Emma Messenger:
Bella, Vintage Theatre’s “What’s Wrong with This Picture?”
Tom/Phyllis/Leslie, Firehouse/Spotlight’s “Sylvia”
Noleta, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Big Mama, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
Julia, Firehouse’s “The Christmas Spirit”

Missy Moore:
Essie, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “You Can’t Take it With You”
Lilly, Denver Children’s Theatre’s “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”
Bananas, The Edge’s “The House of Blue Leaves”
Gina/Woman Scorned, Aspen Stage’s Unmarried in America”

Anne Oberbroeckling:
Sister Aloysius, Cherry Creek Theatre’s Doubt”
Stella, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”
Vera Joseph, Curious Theatre’s “After the Revolution”

Jamie Ann Romero:
Alice, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “You Can’t Take it With You”
Kitty, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers”
Miss Audrey, Lone Tree Arts Center’s “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Titania, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Witch, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Queen Isabel, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Richard II”

Megan Van De Hey:
Patsy Cline, Starkey Theatrix’s “Always, Patsy Cline”
Arlene, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Baby”
Carmen, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
Morgan Le Fey, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”
The Ghost of Christmas Past, Arvada Center’s “A Christmas Carol”

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA:
Patrick Call, Rico, Dangerous Theatre’s “Dark Wood”
Laurence Curry, Oshoosi Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Steve Emily, Denny, Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “A Steady Rain”
Cajardo Lindsey, Ogun Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Lorenzo Sarinana, Yank, LIDA Project’s “The Hairy Ape”

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA:
Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Martha, Athena Project’s “Tell Martha Not to Moan”
Laura Norman, Myra Babbage, Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer”
Anne Oberbroekling, Sister Aloysious, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Doubt”
Erica Sarzin-Borrillo, Mary Tyrone, Germinal Stage-Denver’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”
Maggy Stacy, Maggie, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA:
Brian Colonna, Caliban, Buntport’s “Wake”
Damion Hoover, Elegba, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Nathan Stith, MacDuff, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Andrew Uhlenhopp, Michael, 11 Minutes Theatre’s “Dancing at Lughnasa”
Joe Von Bokern, Billy Bibbitt, Edge Theatre’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA:
Adrian Egolf, Shelby, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Rachel Fowler, M’Lynn, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Rachel D. Graham, Sister James, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Doubt”
C. Kelly Leo, Ellen/Jenna, Curious Theatre’s “Maple & Vine”
Emma Messenger, Big Mama, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
David Ambroson, Valjean, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Casey Andree, Claude, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
John Arp, Tevye, University of Denver’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Mark Dissette, Tevye, Phamaly’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Charlie Schmidt, Princeton/Rod, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Jennifer De Dominici, Aldonza, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
Lisa Finnerty, Judy, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 To 5,” The Musical”
Norrell Moore, Sheila, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
SuCh, Celie, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Alisha Winter, Maria, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “The Sound of Music”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
Colin Alexander, Christopher Belling, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
William Thomas Evans, Merlyn, King Pellinore, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”
Nigel Huckle, Marius, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Mark Shonsey, Igor, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein”
Cory Wendling, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Jona Alonzo, Roz, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical”
Ashlie Amber Harris, Shug Avery, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Anna High, Sofia, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Shannan Steele, Pam, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Baby”
Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Madame Thenardier, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMIC ROLE:
Tom Auclair, Artie, The Edge’s “The House of Blue Leaves”
Sam Gregory, Johann Friedrich Fasch, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
Larry Hecht, Puck, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Steef Sealy, Richard, Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
Matthew Stalker, Hugh “Bullshot” Crummond, OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMIC ROLE:
Jenna Bainbridge, Hermia, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Leslie O’Carroll, Madame Arcati, Arvada Center’s “Blithe Spirit”
Erin Rollman, Electra, Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater”
Jane Shirley, various roles, The Avenue’s “Motherhood Out Loud”
Sharon Kay White, Mary Jo, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMIC ROLE:
Will Ferrie, seven roles, OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”
Nigel Gore, Bottom, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Kevin Leonard, Brother Boy, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Eric Mather, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Sean Scrutchins, Lysander, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMIC ROLE:
Rhonda Brown, Truvy, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Hannah Duggan, Clytemnestra, Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater”
Emma Messenger, Noleta, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Lindsey Pierce, Lois Coleman, Miners Alley Playhouse “Wonder of the World”
Jamie Ann Romero, Titania, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:
James O’Hagan-Murphy, Robert Kennedy, Vintage Theatre’s “RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”
Michelle Hurtubise, Woman, Theatre Esprit Asia’s “Spirit and Sworded Treks”
Wendy Ishii, Joan Didion, Bas Bleu’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”

BEST YOUNGER ACTOR:
Eli Brandt, Gavroche, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Peter Cabrera, Rudy, Longmont Theatre Company’s “Over the Tavern”
Devon Erickson, Doody, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Grease”
August Slaughter, Rudy, Bas Bleu Theatre’s “Over the Tavern”
Ella Tieze, Irene Ratliff, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A PLAY:
Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Bach at Leipzig”
Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”
Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL:
Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
Magic Moments’ “Spirit & Soul”
Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY:
Bernie Cardell, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Dee Covington, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Josh Hartwell, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”
Geoffrey Kent, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Amanda Berg Wilson, The Catamounts’ “Failure: A Love Story”

BEST DIRECTORS OF A MUSICAL:
Christopher Willard and Donna Debreceni, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”
donnie l. betts and David Wohl, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Nick Sugar and Donna Debreceni, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Kurt Terrio and Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Rod Lansberry and David Nehls, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:
Alicia Dunfee, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Janice Guy-Sayles, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Danny Harrigan, Ignite Theatre’s “Cabaret”
Matt LaFontaine, Vintage Theatre’s “In the Heights”
Nick Sugar, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
Buntport ensemble, “Wake”
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “RUR/lol”
Brian Mallgrave, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
Shannon McKinney and Chip Walton, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Adam Stone, Screw Tooth’s “Some Kind of Fun”

BEST SOUND DESIGN:
Wayne Kennedy, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Dustin Lacy, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R/lol”
Andrew Metzroth, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
John Rivera, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Adam Stone, Buntport Theater’s “Wake”

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:
Seth Alison, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Kerry Cripe, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”
Benjamin Danielowski, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”
Shannon McKinney, Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Kiana Coney, Su Teatro/The Source’s “The Gospel at Colonus”
Cinde Franke, Performance Now’s “Once Upon a Mattress”
Clare Henkel, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
Linda Morken, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Linda Morken, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”

BEST MULTIMEDIA INTEGRATION:
El Armstrong, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Steven J. Deidel, Kenrick Fischer, Kevin Zegan, Max Peterson and Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”
Deb Flomberg, Equinox’s “Carrie: The Musical”
Brian Freeland, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “The Hairy Ape”

And remember: Click here to take the readers’ choice survey.

2013 True West Award nominations: List of eligible productions

noms

This sight can mean only one thing: The 2011 True West Award nominations are just hours away …

 

By John Moore

The 2013 True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001,  are the continuation of the longest-running awards program in Colorado theater. The 2013 True West nominations have been announced here.

What follows here is the final list of eligible plays. To be eligible, a play must only have been seen, with certain exceptions listed at the end. This year, more than 135 productions were seen, of which 118 are eligible for awards consideration. This year, a total of 58 companies had at least one play seen.

The official winners will be announced next Sunday, Dec. 29. Readers will again be allowed and encouraged to have their say by voting for their favorites in designated “readers choice” categories. To vote in the readers’ choice designations in most categories, click here. Any production by any company staged in 2013 is eligible for readers-choice designation.

ELIGIBLE PLAYS
Shows that were seen and considered for True West Awards between between Dec. 6, 2012, and Dec. 20, 2013:

11 Minutes Theatre Company: Arvada
“Dancing at Lughnasa”

And Toto Too
“Pardon My Dust”

Arvada Center
“Blithe Spirit”
“Man of La Mancha”
“Dividing the Estate”
“Curtains”
“Camelot”
“A Christmas Carol”

Ashton Entertainment: Aurora and Boulder
“The Seafarer”

Aspen Stage
“Unmarried in America”

Athena Project: Aurora
“Tell Martha Not to Moan”

Aurora Fox
“Consider the Oyster”
“The Color Purple”
“Metamorphoses”

Avenue Theater
“Motherhood Out Loud”
“Minimum Wage”

Balls to the Wall Productions
“Balls V! A Holiday Spectacular”

Bas Bleu Theatre: Fort Collins
“The Year of Magical Thinking”
“Over the Tavern”

Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
“A Christmas Carol”
“Out of Order”
“Avenue Q”

Betsy Stage
“The Travesty of Lear”

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

“Ghost-Writer”
“Bach at Leipzig”
“Seminar”
“The SantaLand Diaries””

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre
“Church Basement Ladies”
“The Wizard of Oz”
“The Full Monty”
“Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Buntport Theater
“Wake”
“A Knight to Remember”
“Electra Onion Eater”

Byers-Evans Theatre Company
“Evermore”

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse: Johnstown
“The Sound of Music”

The Catamounts: Boulder
“Jon”
“Failure: A Love Story”

Central City Opera
“Showboat”

Cherry Creek Theatre
“Doubt”
“Baby”

Colorado Shakespeare Festival: Boulder
“Macbeth”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
“Prelude to a Kiss”

Curious Theatre
“Maple & Vine”
“The Brothers Size”
“God of Carnage”
“After the Revolution”
“Rancho Mirage”

Dangerous Theatre
“Dark Wood”

Edge Theatre: Lakewood
“Newark Violenta”
“Race”
“The Shadow Box”
“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
“The House of Blue Leaves”
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Equinox Theatre
“Bat Boy, the Musical”
“A Night at Fawlty Towers”
“Evil Dead: The Musical”
‘Carrie: The Musical”

Evergreen Players
“All My Sons”

Firehouse Theatre: Aurora
“Next Fall”

Germinal Stage-Denver
“The Long Christmas Dinner”
“Spoon River Anthology”
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Heritage Square Music Hall: Golden
“One Enchanted Evening”
“50 Shades of Loud”
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
“Divas Dammit’

Horse & Cart
“The Singing Room”

Ignite Theatre: Aurora
“Next to Normal”
“Cabaret”

Illumination Theatre: Aurora
“Sordid Lives”

Lake Dillon Theatre Company
“Sleuth”

LIDA Project
“R.U.R/lol”
“The Hairy Ape”
“Watershed (Part I: The Sea is Not Full)”

Longmont Theatre Company
“Over The Tavern“

Magic Moments
“Spirit and Soul”

Midtown Arts Center
“Forever Plaid”
“Les Miserables”

Miners Alley Playhouse: Golden
“Mrs. Mannerly”
“The Memory of Water”
“Collected Stories”
“Wonder of the World”

Firehouse Theatre Company: Aurora
“Next Fall”

OpenStage & Company: Fort Collins
“Bullshot Crurmmond”

Performance Now: Lakewood
“Once Upon a Mattress”

Phamaly: Aurora/Denver/Boulder
“The Foreigner”
“Fiddler on the Roof”
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
“Vox Phamilia: G.I.M.P. Nation”

Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre: Aurora
“Murder at the Howard Johnson’s”

Screw Tooth
“Some Kind of Fun”

Senior Housing Options
“Steel Magnolias”

Sis Tryst
“Talley’s Folley”

The Source
“The Gospel at Colonus”

Springs Ensemble Theatre: Colorado Springs
“ A Steady Rain”

square product theatre company: Boulder/Denver
“The Ding Dongs”

Starkey Theatrix: Lone Tree/Parker/Aurora
“Noises Off”
“Bingo, the Musical”
“Home for the Holidays”

Su Teatro
“The Gospel at Colonus”
“La Pastorella”

Theatre Company of Lafayette
“Glengarry Glen Ross”

Theatre ‘d Art: Colorado Springs
“Marisol”

Theatre Esprit Asia: Aurora
“Spirit Tales and Sworded Treks”
“Dust Storm”

TheatreWorks: Colorado Springs
“You Can’t Take it With You”
“Red”

Town Hall Arts Center
“Forever Plaid”
“9 To 5, The Musical”
“The 39 Steps”
“Hair”

Vintage Theatre Productions: Aurora
“RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”
“Closer”
“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”
“In the Heights”
“Young Frankenstein”

Wit Theatre Company
“Edges: A Song Cycle”

INELIGIBLE PLAYS

Germinal Stage-Denver
”Offending the Audience” (John Moore was in the cast)

Starkey Theatrix
“Always … Patsy Cline” (directed by John Moore)

Note: Because I took at job at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in 2013, for the first time there will not be a “Best of the Denver Center” category of awards, for objective and ethical reasons. Therefore the following productions were seen but are not ineligible:

Denver Center Attractions:
“The Doyle & Debbie Show”
“War Horse”
“Jekyll and Hyde”
“Peter and the Starcatcher”
“Sister Act”
“The Kid”
“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”
“The Book of Mormon”
“The SantaLand Diaries”

Denver Center Theatre Company:
“Grace, or The Art of Climbing”
“The Three Musketeers”
“Death of a Salesman”
“Just Like Us”
“Jackie & Me”
“A Christmas Carol”

Denver Center Academy:
The Rimers of Eldritch”

Off-Center @ The Jones:
“Wheel of Misfortune”
“Cult Following”
“Drag Machine”

School productions: Seen but not eligible:
University of Denver’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
UC-CS’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”
UC-CS’s “Next Fall”
Lakewood High school’s “Les Miserables”
Cherry Creek High School’s “Singin’ in the Rain”
Denver School of the Arts’ “Beauty and the Beast”
Willow Creek’s “Dear Edwina Junior”:
Rising Star’s “Krazy Kamp”
Town Hall Arts Center’s teen “Grease”

Photos: My night at Starkey Theatrix’s ‘Home for the Holidays’

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
Dec. 18, 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 to date (these ones are specifically the “Home for the Holidays” outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 149: Starkey Theatrix’s “Home for the Holidays 2013″: This musical revue offers some of the most popular holiday music from the past and present, much of it recast with cleverly altered lyrics to suit any given situation. And a wide variety of dancing styles, including gymnastics and a pulse-racing break-dance segment. The narrator is an elf played by Sarah Rex, alongside a deep ensemble made up of some big names in the local theater community including Lamb, Kenny Moten, Randy St. Pierre, Stephen Bertles, the very busy young Alejandro Roldan (“In the Heights” and “Next to Normal”) and Starkey’s founders, Chris Starkey and Ronni Gallup. The ensemble includes Rae Klapperich (who made the more than 100 costumes with her mother, Laurie Klapperich), Wyatt Baier, Hula-Hooper extraordinaire Ambrosia Brady, Olyvia Beyette, Cole Emerine, Ian Meyer, Erica Lloyd, Britni Girard, Jennifer Lynne Jorgensen, Anne Terze-Schwartz, Kristi Vogel and Tess Williams. In addition, there are special appearances by — I kid you not — members of the Denver Broncos Stampede Drumline, a competitive jump-roping team called the Jumping Eagles, and a dance company called Hip Hop Theatre. Not to mention 14 children and a live orchestra of six. Directed by Paul Dwyer, best known from his days as an actor at the now-closed Country Dinner Playhouse. The music director is Trent Hines; the choreographers are Matthew D. Peters and John Gilette. Modifications have been made to make this show more accessible to individuals on the autism spectrum, who have learning disabilities or a variety of sensitivities. Remaining showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 19 and 22; 8 p.m. Dec 20 and 21; 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22 at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St. That’s just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000, or go to Lone Tree’s home page. Thanks: Heidi Echtenkamp.

OPENING 149
For theater audiences, and the actors who perform it, a play or musical is an everyday, scheduled, temporary escape. But there are days when there is no escape from the unexpected barbarities the real world has been visiting upon Colorado with cruel regularity over the years: Chuck E. Cheese. Columbine. Platte Canyon. Aurora Century Cinemas. Multiple award-winning actor Margie Lamb (“Next to Normal”) sang and danced in the opening performance of Starkey Theatrix’s “Home for the Holidays 2013″ in Lone Tree on Thursday night. Now just try to imagine her horror when, at 12:36 p.m. the next afternoon, she received the text pictured above from her son, Blake. He’s a junior at Arapahoe High School. That text came in just a few minutes after fellow Arapahoe student Karl Pierson allegedly sought revenge against a teacher by opening fire with a shotgun at the school before taking his own life, police believe. What does a son do in those first few moments of inescapable, indescribable panic? Blake took out his phone and wrote his mom to make sure his parents knew, no matter what might happen next, that he loves them. Lamb immediately rushed from her downtown job to the school in Littleton, where she was reunited with her son, who by then was safe. Together, they became part of the lockdown that kept them both at the school for several more hours. And then, because the clock never stops, there was another show scheduled for Lamb to perform that night. And Lamb, being the pro that she is, went on. The show is a talent-laden bouquet to family audiences, a high-energy trifle meant to lift the community’s spirits during the holiday season. So what better way to stand up to violence and fear than to sing and dance?

 

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):

Photos: My night at Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”

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
Dec. 16, 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 to date (these ones are specifically the “Feed” outtakes), click here.

OPENING 145
Noal Blessing, left, and Everett Ediger show off their varying flying machines backstage on opening night. Noal sports a Lego spaceship; Everett sends his paper airplane aloft just as the shutter is snapped. Noal, who has Spastic Cerebral Palsy and a progressive hearing deficit, and Everett, who has Spina Bifida, play the sons of George Bailey. The Phamaly Theatre Company prides itself on adding new levels of complexity and meaning to any production it takes on by virtue of the evident disabilities its actors incorporate into their stage characters. So what we have here is a George Bailey driven to the brink of suicide, only here he’s leaving behind four handicapped kids, two of them young boys in wheelchairs. That certainly adds layers to the emotion-laden issue of suicide. There are those who intractably believe that any act of suicide, for any reason, is inherently selfish and/or sinful. So the very idea of George leaving a wife behind to care for four (adorable) handicapped children here no doubt makes actor Jeremy Palmer’s challenge in playing him sympathetically that much more difficult. But young Jeremy is up to the task. It should be noted that directors Steve Wilson and Bryce Russell Alexander do not have Palmer utter the second half of Jimmy Stewart’s most chilling line of the famous source movie, which he blurts when George is at the depth of his anger and despair: “You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?”

Opening No. 145: Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”: This is the acclaimed local handicapped theatre company’s first-ever holiday presentation. The story of George Bailey and his not-so-wonderful life in Bedford Falls (he thinks) remains a timeless fable of dreams, disillusionment and, ultimately, the power of love. The cast includes Jeremy Palmer (George Bailey), Lyndsay Palmer (Mary Bailey), Trenton Schindele (Clarence), Michael Leopard (Mr. Potter) and an ensemble that includes Daniel Traylor, David Wright, Lucy Roucis, Edward Blackshere, Ashley Kelashian, Jaime Lewis, Twanna Latrice Hill, Kim Jackson, Cassie Ferro, Amber Marsh, Tammy Davison, Noal Blessing, Everett Ediger, Lily Blessing, Harper Ediger, Shannon Wilson, Alicia Young, Eric Richerson and Edric Richerson. Co-directed by Steve Wilson and Bryce Alexander. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; plus 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 and Thursday, Dec. 19. Through Dec. 22 at the Aurora Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page. Thanks: Gloria Shanstrom, Chris Silberman, Grace Hartke and Danielle Rankin.

 

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):

Photos: My night at The Catamounts’ “Feed: Short and Sweet”

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
Dec. 14, 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 to date (these ones are specifically the “Feed” outtakes), click here.

OPENING 147Young Catamounts cast member Quinn Hirschland jumps for joy – and casts a long shadow – during a pre-show rehearsal for Feed.”

Opening No. 147: The Catamounts’ “Feed: Short and Sweet”: Boulder’s The Catamounts performance collective reference food in their slogan: “Theatre for the Adventurous Palate.” So it’s feeding, I mean fitting, that Amanda Berg Wilson’s young team has turned its unique “Feed” series into its signature offering. “Feed” offers audiences professional storytelling paired with specialty beer and locally sourced food. In this case: A roster of Sanitas beers paired with hand-crafted desserts from Kim and Jake’s Cakes; Sweet Cow Ice Cream; and pastry chefs Dorian O’Connell and Kathy Moore.) They perform while you nosh in the back brewing room at Sanita’s Brewing Company. The food and the theater fare serve as equal partners in creating a cohesive narrative here. The common ingredient for this round of stories: Each evokes sweet moments that arise from The depths of the coldest and hardest times of year, when the days are shortest and challenges the biggest. The Catamounts’ aforementioned Amanda Berg Wilson, Joan Bruemmer-Holden, McPherson Horle and Jeremy Make are joined by guest storytellers Heather Grimes (from Boulder’s “Truth Be Told” story slam) and a boy named Quinn Hirschland to perform a mix of monologues, adapted short stories and real stories from Boulder’s recent floods. There’s some A.A. Milne (“A House is built at Pooh Corner for Eeyore”) in there, with a taste of former Colorado Mines engineering student turned celebrated fiction writer George Saunders (“Tenth of December.”) A second “Feed” has been scheduled to accommodate demand at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. at Sanitas, 3550 Frontier Ave. (off Foothills Parkway and Pearl Street). Tickets are $30. Call 720-468-0487 or go to The Catamounts’ home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Mare Trevathan, Lauren Shepard, Aaron Boisvert, cast and crew. To see the entire Opening Nights photo series to date, click here.

 

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):

Photos: My night at Su Teatro’s ‘La Pastorela’

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
Dec. 15, 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 to date (these ones are the “La Pastorela” outtakes), click here.

OPENING 144
Pssst …. Look who’s REALLY playing the Baby Jesus bundle of joy in Su Teatro’s holiday pastoral? Yes … It’s Minnie Ratón! I think that kid’s got a future in show biz. That’s Jessica Portillo as Proud Mary.

Opening No. 144: Su Teatro’s “La Pastorela”: “The Shepherd’s Play” recounts the epic battle between the dark angel Luzbel (Jesse Ogas and minions) and the sword-swinging San Miguel (Amy Luna). Luis Valdez’s retelling of this centuries-old folktale is a family friendly comedy that follows the trek of humble shepherds as they encounter the Angel of the Lord, who announces the birth of the Redeemer in Bethlehem. Embarking on their spiritual journey in search of the Holy Child, the scruffy shepherds find themselves beset by the demonic followers of Lucifer and Satan, who waylay them with obstacles born of their own human frailties. This adaptation is no sleepy drummer-boy version of the Nativity: it is a pageant of passion, excitement, action, adventure, music and comedy. Valdez, considered “the father of Chicano theatre,” attended Saturday’s performance. It was`his first visit to Su Teatro, though his brother, Daniel, has contributed original music for Su Teatro productions for years. Daniel is the music director of “La Pastorela.” He is in residence at Su Teatro for the next two years, to develop new work with artistic director Anthony J. Garcia as part of a two-year innovation grant from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. In the fields of rural California, without financial backing and using farm laborers as actors, a 25-year-old Luis Valdez singlehandedly created a movement that has since become international in scope. “La Pastorela” is also performed as part of the St. Cajetan’s Reunification Project, an annual event in which Su Teatro and the community recognize the Chicano residential community that was displaced in 1972 for Auraria to be built. Also featuring Lorenzo Gonzales, Charlie Romero, Jaycee Sanchez, an ensemble of dozens and a live band of six. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. matinees (Dec. 15 is reserved solely for AARP members and their families). Through Dec. 22 At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or su teatro’s home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Mica Garcia de Benavidez.

 

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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):

Denver Actors Fund opens online merch store: Posters, puzzles, shirts and more

poster1.4_CrossYou can order this poster online instantly, in a variety of sizes. Or you can buy it as a jigsaw puzzle. Note: If  you want a poster, we would prefer that you order a print directly from John Moore, or by using the PayPal link below. Simply put, we make more money for the Fund if you buy the posters directly from us. Here’s how to order. (All other gift items below are only available online.)

Poster Options



 

By John Moore

The Denver Actors Fund today launched an online store where supporters can get all sorts of merch, from posters to puzzles to T-Shirts and more.

The signature item is a poster made up of 134 members of the local theater community, all wearing Denver  Actors Fund founder John Moore’s cheap, and in some cases crumbling, sunglasses. (Order it here!) To date, more than 164 men, women and dogs have been featured in the series, with more in the cue. So, sadly, not everyone who has appeared in the series made it onto the poster. (Sorry to all. But … can Part 2 be far behind?)

So who is actually on the poster? See below for a full list.

You can also order the poster as a 10 x 14  jigsaw puzzle, with 235 pieces (and 134 pair of sunglasses).

The Denver Actors Fund’s new online store also offers the fund’s brand spankin’ new logo adorning all kinds of fun items:

DAF MERCH 1Here’s more fun:

*Key chains
*Commuter bags
*Water bottles
*Coffee mugs
*Trading cards
*iPhone Cases
*Spiral Notebooks
*Buttons
*Canvas Bags
*Tote Bags
*Neck Ties
*Aprons
*Coasters
*Scarves

 

Anything you order online today could be on its way to you tomorrow.

In accordance with the Denver Actors Fund’s proud FULL TRANSPARENCY mission statement, know that the online store keeps 80 percent of your purchase price. The DAF gets 20 percent.

Given that, please consider that we have also ordered 1,000 actual posters, size 20 x 28, and we are charging $20 for those. That’s $7.50 cheaper than the same size poster online, and all but the printing cost goes directly to the DAF — a much, much higher percentage of your purchase price.

So, as we stated in the caption above: If you want a poster, and time is not of the essence, we would prefer that you order your print directly from me … John Moore. Simply put, we make more money for the Fund that way. Problem is, they are ordered but not delivered yet, so they will not be in-hand for 5 to 7 days. So … if you need a poster for Christmas, order it online right now. It ships to you tomorrow. All other gift items are only available online. So order away. We’ll be happy with our 20 percent … and knowing that you are helping us get the logo seen.

To order a 20 x 28 poster print from John Moore, simply drop an email with your quantity and contact information to denveractorsfund@gmail.com. I/He/It (these pronouns are killing me) will take it from there.

Key ordering link:
Denver Actors Fund online store. Order here. Order! Order!

To order a poster only (preferred): Email denveractorsfund@gmail.com

Thank yous:
Dusty Laird: For designing our poster.
Duane Brown fr designing our new logo.
Deb Flomberg: For getting it all done.

 About the Denver Actors Fund:
The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief for when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. It is available to most anyone, on stage or off, who has participated in the making of theater in the Denver metro area in the past five years.

Download the Denver Actors Fund’s Application for Aid

Here’s a link where you can donate directly to the Denver Actors Fund

Click here for more information:
News: Denver Actors Fund now taking applications for aid.

Theater companies: Are you participating in the Denver Actors Fund’s “Tap Shoe Initiative?

Like the Denver Actors Fund on Facebook

And finally … Who is on the Denver Actors Fund poster?
Kristen Adele
Tina Anderson
Barbra Andrews
Jessica Austgen
Lauren Bahlman
Amy Board
Benjamin Bonenfant
Chris Boeckx
Abby Apple Boes
Erica Sarzin Borrillo
Heidi Bosk
Michael Bouchard
Rachel Bouchard
Samara Bridwell
Candy Brown
Joanie Brosseau
Rhonda Brown
Steve Burge
Claudia Carson
Kateri Cates
Laura Cuetara
Emily Paton Davies
Donna Debreceni
Lisa DeCaro
Cailin Doran
Diana Dresser
Hannah Duggan
Annie Dwyer
Amanda Earls
Adrian Egolf
Crystal Verdon Eisele
Mehry Iris Eslaminia
Deb Note Farwell
Patty Mintz Figel
Brianna Firestone
Deb Flomberg
Brian Landis Folkins
Rachel Fowler
Maddie Franke
Ronni Gallup
Mica Garcia De Benevides
Rachel Graham
Sylvia Gregory
Alexandra Griesmer
Meridith Grundei
Ashlie Amber-Harris
Emily K. Harrison
Nicole Harrison
Josh Hartwell
GerRee Hinshaw
Sara Horle
Tim Howard
Michelle Hurtubise
Wendy Ishii
Devon James
Rebecca Joseph
Ghandia Johnson
Haley Johnson
Traci Kern
Carla Kaiser Kotrc
Ellen Kaye
Elgin Kelley
Geoff Kent
Patty Kingsbaker
Rae Klapperich
Lisa Kraii
Heather Lacy
Matt La Fontaine
Margie Lamb
Eden Lane
Daniel Langhoff
Paige Lynn Larson
Sue Leiser
C Kelly Leo
Emily Ann Luhrs
Jaime Lujan
Trina Magness
Amber Marsh
Adrienne Martin-Fullwood
Melanie Mayner
Billie McBride
Abby McInerney
Boni McIntyre
Zina Mercil
Christy Montour-Larson
Alannah Moore
Missy Moore
Norrell Moore
Molly Nash
Suzanne Nepi
Laura Norman
Leslie O’Carroll
Anne Oberbroeckling
James O’Hagan Murphy
Yolanda Ortega
Lyndsay Palmer
Jessie Page
Zach Page
Pat Payne
Anne Penner
Deborah Persoff
Lindsey Pierce
Arlene Rapal
Barb Reeves
Kelly Reeves
Valerye Rene
Erin Rollman
Jamie Ann Romero
Kristen Samu
Sean Scrutchins
Michelle Sergeeff
Gloria Shanstrom
Brian Shea
Karen Slack
Melinda Smart
Shannan Steele
Maggie Stillman
Nick Sugar
Cat Tobiasson
Mare Trevathan
Rachel Turner
Megan Van De Hey
Allison Watrous
Teri Westerman
Burke Walton
Jalyn Courtenay Webb
Sharon Kay White
Amanda Berg Wilson
Winnie Winglewick
Juliet Wittman
Kathi Wood
Ryan Wuestewald
Lisa Young

 

Photos: My night at the Denver Center’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

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
Dec. 5, 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 to date (these ones are the “Over the Tavern” outtakes), click here.

OPENING 142
You know what I was thinking before the opening performance of “A Christmas Carol”? It’s too bad these poor kid actors are so darned shy. Clockwise from center, that’s Max Raabe (nephew, I found out Thursday night, of longtime Denver Post reporter Steve Raabe), Sam Modesitt, Edwin Harris and Connor Nguyen Erickson

Opening No. 143: Denver Center Theatre Company’s “A Christmas Carol”: The Denver Center Theatre Company’s holiday tradition turns 21 this year with a return to its opulent musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. Twenty-one? That’s older than, like, every kid in this picture combined. The story, of course, traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s overnight journey to redemption. This timeless tale illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Again starring Philip Pleasants as Scrooge, with Phamaly Theatre Company’s Leonard E. Barrett as the Ghost of Christmas Present, John Hutton as Marley, Jeff Cribbs as Cratchit, Stephanie Cozart as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Douglas Harmsen as Fred, M. Scott McLean as Young Ebenezer, Michael Fitzpatrick as Fezziwig, Leslie O’Carroll as Mrs. Fezziwig, Leslie Alexander as Mrs. Cratchit and Charlie Korman as Tiny Tim. (Check out our short video interview with Charlie here. It’s worth the two minutes, I promise). They are backed by a huge ensemble that includes Colin Alexander, Benjamin Bonenfant, Michael Bouchard, Kathleen M. Brady, Courtney Capek, Jenn Miller Cribbs, Connor Nguyen Erickson, Michael Gaessler, Tanner Gardner, Edwin Harris, Gabe Koskinen-Sansone, Kyra Lindsay, Amelia Modesitt, Sam Modesitt, Gabriel Morales-Gonzalez, Tricia Moreland, Mackenzie Paulsen, Jeffrey Roark, Christine Rowan, Thomas Russo, Maggie Sczekan, Lauren Shealy, Jake Walker and Christopher Wells. Showtimes: 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. Also: 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24. No performance on Wednesday, Dec. 25. No evening performance on Sunday, Dec. 29. At the Stage Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page

 

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):

Photos: My night at Bas Bleu Theatre’s ‘Over the Tavern’

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
Dec. 5, 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 to date (these ones are the “Over the Tavern” outtakes), click here.

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Opening No. 142: Bas Bleu Theatre’s “Over the Tavern”: This bittersweet period comedy looks back at family living over a blue-collar bar in 1959. Four children are caught between the claustrophobic authoritarianism of the Roman Catholic Church and an emotionally abusive father. Only their mother keeps this family afloat. At the center of the piece is precocious 12-year-old rebel named Rudy, who goes knuckle-to ruler-with his formidable teacher, Sister Clarissa, in the questioning of his beliefs. The cast features Thomas Borrillo as Chet (revisiting the bad-dad role he played at the Arvada Center in 2006) Ailee Holland as embattled wife Ellen and Deb Note-Farwell as old-school nun Sister Clarissa, a character who bears a striking resemblance to battleaxe Sister Aloysius in “Doubt.” Director Jonathan Farwell (he won the recent Henry Award for his performance in “Amadeus”) has gathered some fine teen and teen(ish) actors in August Slaughter (perhaps the greatest not-even-fake stage name in stage history), Billy Dean Allen as Georgie, Miles Chandler Horne as Eddie and Erin Johnson as Annie. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Jan. 5 at 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or bas bleu’s home page. Thanks: Wendy Ishii, Tricia Navarre and Amy Mills.

 

OVER THE TAVERN
Bas Bleu Theatre co-founder Wendy Ishii, right, greets the cast in the dressing room before they face their first audience, a sold-out house in Fort Collins. From left, Thomas Borrillo, Billy Dean Allen and Ailie Holland.

 

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):

Photos: My night at Boulder Ensemble’s “The SantaLand Diaries” at the Denver Center

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
Dec. 5, 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 ones are the “SantaLand” outtakes), click here.

Opening No. 140: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “The SantaLand Diaries”: National Theatre Conservatory graduate and Wheat Ridge native Matt Zambrano is donning the candy-cane tights for a second straight holiday season telling David Sedaris’ real-life story of working as an elf in the New York Macy’s SantaLand display. This staging is a co-production with Denver Center Attractions, which is presenting the show in the Garner-Galleria cabaret bar. Directed by Stephen Weitz. Contains adult subject matter and explicit language.  Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Tuesdays; also 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. No performances on Wednesdays. At the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the Denver Center’s ticketing page. Thanks: Heidi Bosk, Anja Hose, Jess Buttery and Maxie Beth Bilyeu.

Highlights:

OPENING 139
Matt Zambrano has constructed a dressing-room tribute to all of the recent Denver actors who have played Crumpet before him. That’s Geoff Kent’s head on the golden reindeer, and a Billie Holiday-ish Gary Culig with an elfin Bernie Cardell atop the clock radio (surrounded by, you know, a Lego Gandalf and other action figures). Kent preceded Zambrano for three Decembers playing Crumpet for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company; Culig played the caustic elf for 10 straight years at the Bug Theatre; and Cardell starred for Vintage Theatre.

 

IMG_5299
Matt Zambrano attended a reading by “The SantaLand Diaries” author David Sedaris in Denver the week before his opening last Saturday. He waited in line and got Sedaris’ autograph and good-luck message. Zambrano’s signed script reads: “To Matt: You used to be a lesbian.”

 

IMG_5237
Just outside the Garner-Galleria Theatre, acclaimed local indie music hero Ian Cooke played a set for passersby.

 

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):

Photos: My night at the Arvada Center’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

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
Dec. 2, 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. 139: Arvada Center’s “A Christmas Carol”: The Arvada Center’s version of “A Christmas Carol,” back after a year off, is the 1994 musical adaptation of Dickens’ classic story, written by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens, featuring music by Alan Menken (Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”). The cast features Richard White as Ebenezer Scrooge — he was the voice of Gaston in the “Beauty and the Beast” animated film), Cole Burden (Bob Cratchit), Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck (Ghost of Christmas Future), Megan Van De Hey (Ghost of Christmas Past), Stephen Day (Ghost of Christmas Present) and Brad Nacht (Jacob Marley). The ensemble members include Joanie Brosseau-Beyette, Stephen Cerf, Rob Costigan, Jennifer DeDominici, Ben Dicke, Maddie Franke, Kaden Hinkle, Tim Howard, Hannah Katz, Emily Luhrs, Charla Mason, David Miller, Julia Perrotta, Katie Phipps, Gregory Price, Parker Redford, Vincent Rodriguez, Mark Rubald, Robert Michael Sanders, Nate Patrick Siebert, Jacob Lewis Smith, Ron Tal, Rachel Turner, Kira Vuolo and Sharon Kay White. Directed by Gavin Mayer and David Nehls. Showtimes through Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or www.arvadacenter.org. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Melanie Mayner, Rod Lansberry, Pat Payne, Lisa Cook, Lisa Kurtz, cast and crew. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series (these are outtakes), click here.

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Emily Ann Luhrs accepted two marriage proposals on Tuesday. First, as herself, she agreed to marry longtime boyfriend and “A Christmas Carol” castmate Ben Dicke, mutton chops and all. Ben (star of the self-produced “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson last year at the Aurora Fox), presented the ring at a private dinner before last night’s opening performance. Just an hour or so later, Emily, playing a character named Emily (!), accepted another marriage proposal from young Ebeneezer Scrooge. One not being played by Ben Dicke. Nervy! (In her defense, she does give THAT ring back.)

 

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Following the opening-night curtain call, actor Ron Tal tells the crowd that cast members will be in the lobby selling the 2013 edition of the “Carols for a Cure” CD. The annual two-disc holiday compilation raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, as well as Colorado nonprofits who provide services for those battling the disease. The CDs boast voices from the worlds of Broadway and select regional theaters. The cast of the Arvada Center’s “A Christmas Carol, contributed “Gather around the Christmas Tree” for this year’s CD. Last year, the Arvada Center collected $34, 969.61 for the cause, making it one of the top-selling venues outside of New York City. For info: www.broadwaycares.org.

 

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):