Fall 2012, No. 7: Vintage Theatre’s “The Cider House Rules”

Jose Zuniga and Paul Page in “The Cider House Rules,” playing in two parts on alternating nights at Vintage Theatre. Photo by Ellen Nelson.


By John Moore

When: Sept. 7-30

Conceived by: Tom Hulce, Jane Jones and Peter Parnell.

Written by: Pete Parnell, adapted from the novel by John Irving.

The story: “The Cider House Rules” is a two-part stage adaptation of the John Irving novel. Spanning eight decades of American life, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch, founder of the St. Cloud’s, Maine, orphanage and hospital, and of the complex father-son relationship he develops with the young orphan Homer Wells. In Part One (“Here in St. Clouds”), Homer is born at the orphanage and returned so many times by so many foster families that he becomes the “boy who belonged to St. Cloud’s.” His medical education begins when he finds out that Dr. Larch saves not only babies, but mothers, too — by performing illegal abortions when necessary. Homer becomes Larch’s brilliant medical apprentice, but the arrival of the handsome Wally Worthington and his beautiful girlfriend, Candy Kendall, sets Homer’s mind and heart spinning. In Part Two (“In Other Parts of the World”), Homer leaves St. Cloud’s to experience the world beyond the orphanage. Dr. Larch discovers that life’s joys and sorrows are neither black nor white, and the choices we make determine whether or not we become “the hero of our own lives.” Warning: Strong sexual language and adult situations.

Why it made the list:  This massive creative undertaking has never been taken on before by any Colorado theater company. And the presentation of both parts in alternating fashion will mark the first stagings in Vintage’s new 40-seat studio theater. This expansion of programming is hoped to help establish Vintage as a true performing-arts complex, like the neighboring Aurora Fox.


Cast list:

Paul Page


Director: Sheri Davis

The cast:
Paul Page: Dr. Wilbur Larch
Jose Zuniga: Homer Wells
Eric Wahlberg: Wally and Young Larch
Linda Swanson Brown: Candy
Sonsharae Tull: Rose Rose
Kelly Reeves: Melony
Anne Smith Myers: Nurse Angela
Julie Kaye Wolf: Nurse Edna
Amy Michelle Collins: Billy Winkle, ensemble
Jacqueline Garcia: Mrs. Eames, ensemble
Tim Johnson: Mr. Rose, ensemble
Stephanie Schmidt: Eames, ensemble
Chip Winn Wells: Mrs. Grogan, ensemble
Linnea Scott: Orphan, Fuzzy Stone
Skye Bach-Davis: Orphan
Alexa M. Downing: Orphan
Kameron Warnecke: Orphan
Brad Wagner: Angel, ensemble
John Barnes: Ensemble

Where (note new address): 1468 Dayton St., Aurora

Part One performance times: 7:30 p.m. Sept 7-8; 2:30 p.m.  Sept. 9. Also 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30

Part Two performance times: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15-16, 22-23, 29-30

Tickets: $25 on Fridays and Saturdays; $21 on Sundays ($18 and $20 if bought in advance)

Contact:  303-856-7830 or vintage’s home page


The Fall 2012 theater preview countdown:

No. 1: Curious Theatre’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”
No. 2: Ben Dicke Presents’ “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”
No. 3: Abster Productions’ “August: Osage County”
No. 4: Midtown Arts Center’s “In the Heights”
No. 5: Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Giver”
No. 6: Local Theater Company’s “Elijah: An Adventure”
No. 7: Vintage Theatre’s “The Cider House Rules”
No. 8: Miners Alley Playhouse’s “The Three Penny Opera”
No. 9: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s “Make Sure It’s Me”
No 10: Creede Rep’s “Is He Dead?” at the Arvada Center
No. 11: Theatre Or’s “The Value of Names”

Among the many other shows to watch:

Sept. 1-16, 2012: Ami Dayan Presents “A Happy End,” at Buntport Theater Read my interview with playwright Iddo Netanyahu
Sept. 4-16, 2012: National touring production of “La Cage Aux Folles,” at the Buell Theatre
Sept. 7-Nov. 3, 2012: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Avenue Q”
Sept. 7-22, 2012: Germinal Stage-Denver’s “A Kind of Alaska”
Sept. 7-Oct. 6, 2012: Spark Theater’s “Rebecca” (note new address: 985 Santa Fe Drive)
Sept. 11-30, 2012: Arvada Center’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (and Oct. 4-14 at the Lone Tree Arts Center)
Sept. 13-16, 2012: PACE Center’s “Scarlet Letter, The Musical” (Parker)
Sept. 14-Oct. 14, 2012: Town Hall Arts Center’s “Sweet Charity” (Littleton)
Sept. 14-Nov. 10, 2012: The Avenue’s “Murder Most Fowl”
Sept. 14-Oct. 14, 2012: Ashton Entertainment’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” at the Aurora Fox
Sept. 15-Oct. 14, 2012: Bas Bleu’s “The Love of the Nightingale” (Fort Collins)
Sept. 20-Oct. 14, 2012: Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Fences” (Space Theatre
Sept. 21-Oct. 21, 2012: The Edge’s “Boom” (Lakewood)
Sept. 27-Oct 21, 2012: Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers” (Stage Theatre)
Oct. 2-24, 2012: And Toto Too’s “Pardon My Dust” (at Laundry on Lawrence)

Complete Denver Post theater listings:

By company

By opening date

Capsules of all currently running productions


By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at culturewestjohn@gmail.com