The Denver Sonnets Project, No. 144: Cailin Doran

By John Moore

CultureWest.Org is endeavoring to make short films out of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, each featuring actors with Colorado connections. The artistic intent is primarily to further CultureWest’s mission to spotlight the local theatre community and their current or upcoming productions. It’s also an attempt to promote Shakespeare education in a fun way. This is an entirely volunteer project with a proud budget of … zero dollars.

CAILINWe are rolling one Sonnet video a week for … zoinks! … 154 weeks. Here’s a link to the YouTube playlist that hosts the entire series.

Four our 14th sonnet, No. 144, smoldering actor Cailin Doran (Arvada Center’s ‘The Great Gatsby’) considers the temptations of good and evil as two potential suitors in a bar who may have greater aspirations than her mere affections. These two flirts, she believes, are an angel inside a devil inside her own hell. But she’ll never know until her bad angel expels the good one out of hell.

Video by John Moore. Another new short sonnet film is posted here every Monday. Please support the Denver Actors Fund at www.DenverActorsFund.Org.

The Denver Sonnets Project is a volunteer collaboration, with limited eligibility requirements for participation. For information on how to register, email your interest to

Completed episodes to date (in numeric order):

Sonnet 1: Cast of “Cult Following”: “From fairest creatures we desire increase …”

Sonnet 2: Josh Robinson, “See thy blood warm …”

Sonnet 23: Gabra Zackman, “As an unperfect actor on a stage …”

Sonnet 36: Rachel Fowler, “I may not evermore acknowledge thee …”

Sonnet 44: John Carroll Lynch, “Thought kills me that I am not thought …”

Sonnet 47: Adrian Egolf, “Thyself away are present still with me …”

Sonnet 73: Jim Hunt: “Love that well which thou must leave ere long …”

Sonnet 74: Lowry Elementary School: “Thou hast but lost the dregs of life …”

Sonnet 90: Adam Stone: “If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last …”

Sonnet 94: James O’Hagan-Murphy: Sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds …”

Sonnet 124: Cast of Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s ‘The Tempest’

Sonnet 131: Josh Nelson, “In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds …”

Sonnet 136: Lyndsay and Jeremy Palmer, “Make but my name thy love …”

Sonnet 144: Cailin Doran, “Two loves I have, of comfort and despair …”

Look here for a new sonnet every Monday. For more information on The Denver Sonnets Project, and how to sign up, please email

Please consider supporting the Denver Actors Fund at www.DenverActorsFund.Org

Photos: My night at Ignite Theatre’s snowy ‘Cabaret’

There’s a lot of touching in the Kit Kat Klub — and in the backstage area of the Aurora Fox — as actor Maggie Tisdale can attest. The Fox’s shop area has been converted into a temporary dressing room to accommodate the huge Ignite Theatre cast, which performs on the studio stage while another big musical, “The Color Purple,” plays on the mainstage.


By John Moore
April 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.

Opening No. 55: Ignite Theatre’s “Cabaret”: Monday’s industry-night performance of Kander & Ebb’s classic musical drew a capacity crowd to the Aurora Fox despite a snowstorm. “Cabaret” follows an American writer who is coming of age in 1920s Berlin, when the end of an era of indulgence and sexual ambiguity paralleled the rise of the Nazi Party. It’s staged in-the-round in the Fox’s studio theater by director/choreographer Danny Harrigan, with drink service provided by the Kit Kat Boys during the show. Starring Matt LaFontaine as the Emcee, Lindsey Falduto as Sally Bowles, Marcus Turner as Clifford Bradshaw, Barbara Porreca as Fraulein Schneider, Brian Trampler as Herr Schultz, Rob Janzen as Ernst and Maggie Tisdale as Fraulein Kost. Featuring Stephanie Prugh, Cailin Doran, Mehry Islamminia, Norrell Moore, Brenna Thistle, Sadie Trigg, Joe Majestic, Alex Ambard, Tyler Nielsen, Rob Rehburg and Christopher Riney. Through May 5 at 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: 720-362-2697 or Ignite’s home page. Thanks: Keith Rabin, Mary Coan and Brandon Bill.

This gallery is 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 55 Colorado opening nights (and counting), click here.

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Monday’s snowstorm sent star Matt LaFontaine (the Emcee) to the Aurora Fox’s back loading dock for what had to be a chilly a pre-show cigarette.


Matt LaFontaine.


Lindsey Falduto as Miss Sally Bowles.


Director and choreographer Danny Harrigan.



Brenna Thistle plays Fritzie.


Tyler Nielsen’s back tattoo reads, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” — a powerful counter to the Nazi youth-like anthem, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” that is performed in “Cabaret” in the style of a traditional German song.


Director Danny Harrigan circles the cast and crew for a pre-show pep talk backstage. Harrigan introduced yoga and meditation techniques into the rehearsal process.


(Please click “Page 2” below to go to the next page of our photos from our visit to “Cabaret.”)

The Lumineers’ Colorado theater connection

Here’s a video I shot  of The Lumineers performing their encore from the balcony of the Bluebird Theatre in May 2012.

By John Moore
Feb. 6, 2013

Neyla Pekarek of the Grammy nominated group The Lumineers performed in the University of Northern Colorado's theater production of "The Tomato Plant Girl."  Photo by David Grapes.

Neyla Pekarek of the Grammy-nominated group The Lumineers performed in the University of Northern Colorado’s theater production of “The Tomato Plant Girl.” Photo by David Grapes.

It’s great to see all the love coming The Lumineers’ way, most recently today’s fine piece by the New York Times’ Jon Parales on the ever-blossoming Denver music scene: Go West, Young Band: The Lumineers’ strange road to the top.

The momentum is all building toward Sunday’s Grammy Awards, where the band will perform and is twice-nominated, for best new artist and best Americana album. That’s based largely on the ubiquitous radio hit, “Ho Hey.” The other new-artist nominees are Alabama Shakes, Fun., Frank Ocean and Hunter Hayes.

It’s a rare story about Denver that is actually reported from Denver. It’s funny that the writer opens with a scene from 2010 at the Meadowlark, an underground bar in RiNo that, from the moment I first saw it years ago, thought looked just like a New York kind of bar.

A few things I love: That the New York Times still quaintly refers to interview subjects by their titles, as in “Mr. Jeremiah Fraites”; and that we even get to claim the Lumineers as our own, when they really aren’t. Wesley Schultz and “Mr. Jeremiah Fraites” are New Jerseyans, and, as the story goes, they recruited Colorado cellist Neyla Pekarek through a Craigslist ad. They all lived here for a short time, but have since moved on.

But the Colorado theater community can proudly claim Ms. Pekarek as our own. The University of Northern Colorado certainly does. David Grapes, who runs the nationally regarded theater division there in Greeley, sent out a “before they were stars” photo to the media this week. It shows Ms. Pekarek performing — adorably — as “The Tomato Plant Girl” in a children’s production at the school.

With everyone’s blessing, we’re happy to bring that photo to you here now.

Pekarek earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from UNC in 2010. When she enrolled, she dreamed of performing in Broadway musicals. Instead she got “Saturday Night Live” (just off the Broadway theater district) and Sunday’s Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It just goes to show you never know who is going to go from children’s theater one day to the Grammy Awards (airing Sunday on local CBS affiliates from 7-10) the next.

Wait: The Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed” opens tomorrow. OK, Seth Caikowski, Cailin Doran, Rachel Graham, Sarah Grover, Sonia Justl, Norrell Moore, Matthew Peters and Tyrell Rae … Who’s next?

Read Dan England’s feature story on Neyla Pekarek in the Greeley Tribune.

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