Outtakes: My night at the Local Lab New Play Festival in Boulder

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From left: Meridith Crosley Grundei, Lorenzo Gonzalez, Pun Bandhu, Rachel Fowler, George A. Keller and Belita Moreno read from Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Informed Consent.”

 

By John Moore
March 19, 2013

Opening No. 44, Local Lab New Play Festival: The Local Lab is an annual weekend of three new American play readings at the picturesque Chautauqua Community House in Boulder. I was happy to lead a spirited post-show discussion after Saturday’s offering, “Informed Consent,” along with visiting playwright Debrorah Zoe Laufer, who also wrote Curious Theatre’s 2008 staging of “End Days.”

Friday’s festival offering was Kate Tarker’s Ovidian “An Almanac For Farmers And Lovers In Mexico.” A young American woman named Flora is days away from marrying her Mexican fiancé in San Cristobal. Unfortunately, her fiance has turned into a bird. Arriving wedding guests find themselves undergoing unexpected transformations of their own. Directed by Pesha Rudnick. Featuring Anthony Bianco (Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers”), Meridith Crosley Grundei (The Catamounts’ “Messenger #1”), Laura Norman (Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”), Jamie Ann Romero (Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Romeo and Juliet”), Jake Walker (Denver Center Theatre Company’s “When We Are Married”), Gabriella Cavallero (founder of Modern Muse) and visiting New York actors Lorenzo Gonzalez and Belita Moreno.

Saturday’s festival offering was Laufer’s “Informed Consent.” It’s based on a complaint by the Havasupai Indians that a geneticist from Arizona State University ran DNA tests on tribal members without fully disclosing how the DNA would be used. In the play, a well-intentioned woman eager to unlock genetic clues that may cure Alzheimer’s and other diseases is accused of steamrolling a people’s culture in the process. Knowledge is power – but is that always a good thing? Directed by Mare Trevathan. Featuring Rachel Fowler (Curious’ “Rabbit Hole”), Pun Bandhu (Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Catch”), Lorenzo Gonzalez, Belita Moreno, Meridith Crosley Grundei and visiting Minneapolis actor George A. Keller.

Sunday’s festival offering was “Concealed Carry,” by Joshua Rollins. After seven students die in a shooting, a college in Colorado becomes ground zero for the concealed carry debate. Directed by Christy Montour-Larson. Featuring Pun Bandhu, Anthony Bianco, George A. Keller, Laura Norman, Jamie Ann Romero, Mare Trevathan and Jake Walker.

For more information on Local Theatre Company, click here

To see the our full photo series, “It’s Opening Night in Colorado Theatre,” featuring one intimate, iconic snapshot from 46 Colorado opening nights (and counting), click here.

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The view of Boulder from Chautauqua Park, location of the festival, at the base of the Flatirons.

 

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Just outside the Chautauqua Community House in Boulder’s Chautauqua Park.

 

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The Chautauqua Community House.

 

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Local Theatre Company artistic director Pesha Rudnick introduces the Saturday night offering, Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “Informed Consent.”

 

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Actors Anne Sandoe, center, and Jake Walker watch intently from the balcony of the Chautauqua Community House as Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “Informed Consent” is read. Walker participated in the festival’s other two readings.

 

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Pun Bandhu, who read from Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “Informed Consent,” is known to Denver Center Theatre Company audiences for “The Catch.” Not as many realize he was also one of the original producers of the Broadway musical, “Spring Awakening.”

 

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Festival actors Laura Norman and Jake Walker are joined by Sylvia Gregory, right, who runs the company that cast the entire Local Lab fest.

Photos: Opening night of Local’s “Elijah: An Adventure”

“Elijah: An Adventure” star Benjamin Bonenfant, with Anna Faye Hunter. Photo by John Moore

 

By John Moore

Sept. 22, 2012

Photos from the party following the opening-night performance of Local Theater Company’s “Elijah: An Adventure,” by Michael Mitnick. It’s one of our “11 most intriguing titles of the fall season.” More on the production here.

I crashed (what else?) the party after seeing Abster Productions’ “August, Osage County,” also at the Dairy Center (through Sept. 30).

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Fall 2012, No. 6: Local Theater Company’s “Elijah: An Adventure”

From left, the women of Local’s “Elijah: An Adventure”: Rachel Fowler, Leah Watson, Mare Trevathan, Lauren Dennis and Barbra Andrews. Photo by Michael Ensminger.

 

 

By John Moore

When: Sept. 21-Oct. 7 (previews Sept. 19-20)

Written by: Michael Mitnick

The story: “Elijah: An Adventure” is Mitnick’s 16-character, multimedia, epic romp about a broke piano student from Brooklyn who becomes an accidental Don Juan in 1920s Paris. This is a story fit for most audiences, but particularly those caught up in the rush of the American life.

Why it made the list: The company, and the playwright, are young and on the rise. Mitnick may look like he just stepped off the set of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” but he’s already established himself as one of the most successful new playwrights in the nation. He’s writing the much-anticipated book for the upcoming Broadway musical “Animal House: The Musical” (featuring music by Bare Naked Ladies); and his new play “Ed, Downloaded” will get its world premiere at the Denver Center Theatre Company in January 2013. And he’s a nice guy. Everybody wins.

Cast list:

Benjamin Bonenfant


Director: Pesha Rudnick

Benjamin Bonenfant: Elijah
Barbra Andrews: Helen Roux
Matthew Blood-Smyth: Nicholas Stoughton
Lauren Dennis: Rivka Feinberg/Telegrapher
Rachel Fowler: Elisa Broussard
Chris Kendall: Father/Georges Deruet
Mare Trevathan: Frieda Hoch/Piano Teacher
Leah Watson: Zoe Benoit/Sarah
Stephen Weitz: Otto Hoch/Tailor

 

Where: Carsen Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder

Performances:  7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays

Tickets: $25 at the door; $22 for tickets purchased in advance, or $18 for tickets bought in advance by students or members of the Colorado Theatre Guild

Contact:  303-440-7826, or thedairy.org

 

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