Photos: My Night at Equinox’s ‘Fawlty Towers’

Director Shannon McCarthy takes a quiet moment alone outside the Bug Theatre before the crowd arrives for the opening performance.


By John Moore
May 28, 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 copyright 2013 for www.CultureWest.Org.

Opening No. 72: Equinox Theatre Company’s “A Night at Fawlty Towers”: The 1970s British sitcom, written by Monty Python’s John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth, is set in a fictional hotel on the “English Riviera.” The joke is that hotel owner Basil is not exactly deft with customer relations. Instead he is always tense, rude and put-upon, making for some farcically confrontational run-ins with demanding guests. The play basically stages four half-hour episodes. Through June 15. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; plus Monday, June 3, at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page. Directed by Shannon McCarthy. Starring Matt Maxwell and Linnea Lewis, with Natasha Gleichmann, Mark Shonsey, Jim Landis, Logan Bretweiser, Val Purser, Chip Winn Wells, Stanley Ross, Andrew Hunter, Anita Harkess, Carole Maschka, Loren Cogswell, Clint Heyn, Debra Szuster and Amy Stuemky. Thanks to Chachi Martin, cast and crew.

The following gallery is just one chapter in my ongoing photo series called “It’s Opening Night in Colorado Theatre,” bringing you iconic snapshots from behind the scenes all over Colorado theater. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the actual, official photo series featuring one intimate, iconic snapshot from 73 Colorado opening nights (and counting), click here.

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Deb Flomberg, the founder of Equinox Theatre and also “Denver’s theater examiner” for The Examiner web site, makes a few cameo appearances in her company’s latest production. In the backstage dressing room, Flomberg has posted a photo in tribute to actor Adam Perkes. The star of Equinox’s most recent production, Perkes died just days after “Bat Boy the Musical” opened in February. While Perkes clearly will never be forgotten at Equinox, the opening-night mood was considerably lighter for the first public performance of “Fawlty Towers.”


Denver newcomer Debra Szuster (Kitty/Mrs. Hamilton) makes sure all of her props are in the right place before the opening performance.


The Bug Theatre is surrounded by art galleries that thrive in this northwest Denver neighborhood.


Scandal in the moments just before the opening performance as actor Linnea Lewis, who stars as Sybil Fawlty, unloads on Matt Maxwell, the man who plays her husband, Basil … Oh, hold on, slight correction: The actors are participating in a pre-show “fight call,” where they practice all physical contact to assure the safety of the actors. Never mind.


Deb Flomberg, also the assistant director, leads the cast in some on-stage, pre-show warm-up exercises.


That tattoo belongs to Logan Breitweiser, who plays the hotel chef, Terry. Writer John Cleese named the character after Terry Hughes, who directed “Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl” in 1982.


While the story is not set in New York, the old-school matches give the hotel setting a touch of class.


On the backstage prop table are rolls and rolls of toilet paper. You’ll find out why.


The cast circles up for some communal energy just before the audience is allowed into the house.


(Please click “Page 2” below to go to the next page of our photos from our visit to “A Night at Fawlty Towers”)

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