Photos: My night at Curious Theatre’s ‘Rancho Mirage’

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By John Moore
Nov. 12, 2013

Opening No 131: Curious Theatre’s “Rancho Mirage”: Colorado native Steven Dietz’s latest play continues Curious’ entire season of evident if perhaps unintentional looks at dysfunctional family relationships. Here, six longtime “friends” (?) gather for one final dinner party. The evening unfolds with comic surprises, alarming secrets and near-farcical bombshells. Also featuring Erik Sandvold, Emily Paton Davies, C. Kelly Leo, David Russell, Karen Slack and Devon James. Directed by Christopher Leo. Dietz is now the most produced playwright in Curious history. Dietz also wrote “Jackie & Me,” which will be performed by the Denver Center Theatre Company, opening Nov. 15. “Rancho” showtimes: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 7 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or Curious’ web page. Thanks: Sean Cummings, Kate Marie.

 

OPENING 131
“It’s been a year … did you miss me, Denver?” “Rancho Mirage” marks oft-honored freakyman actor Bill Hahn’s return to the stage since last appearing at Curious in “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.” Here, he plays a freakily normal-seeming suburban husband. Which, for Bill, is, you know … freaky.

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Curious Theatre’s new season: Dietz, “Good People” and “Venus in Fur”

"Venus in Fur" on Broadway. Photo by Joan Marcus.

“Venus in Fur” on Broadway. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Steven Dietz

Steven Dietz.

 

By John Moore
Feb. 21, 2013

Curious Theatre Company’s 16th season will further its “always new to Denver” mantra to include the premiere of a “new to everyone” original work by Denver native Steven Dietz.

The most recognized titles on the new season announced today are two recent Tony-nominated best plays — “Venus in Fur,” David Ives’ story of a beleaguered playwright who is desperate to find an actress to play the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale of the same name; and “Good People,” David Lindsay-Abaire’s tale of a down-on-her-luck Boston “Southie” who thinks an old fling might be her ticket to a fresh new start.

But Curious is also understandably jazzed about presenting the “rolling world premiere” of Dietz’s “Rancho Mirage.” It’s about six longtime friends gathering for one final dinner party.

Curious is part of the National New Play Network, an alliance of 26 professional nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays. Selected works are guaranteed three separate stagings by member companies throughout the nation. Curious gets the fourth and final shots at “Rancho Mirage,” so what it presents will be the one that’s most closely released to the world for future productions.

The season also includes “After the Revolution” by Amy Herzog, Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man,” “Good People” (Tony Award nominated for Best New Play), and Venus in Fur (Tony Award nominated for Best Play).

Curious Theatre’s 2013-14 season
(All content below provided by Curious Theatre press release)

“
AFTER THE REVOLUTION
”
By Amy Herzog
Sept. 7-Oct. 19, 2013
The passionate, brilliant Emma Joseph proudly carries the torch of her family’s long-held Marxist traditions by devoting her life to the memory of her legendary blacklisted grandfather. When a stunning revelation uncovers a dark secret, each member of the family must reconcile everything they thought they stood for with the shadowy truth of history.

“RANCHO MIRAGE
”
By Steven Dietz
Nov. 2-Dec. 7, 2013
When six longtime friends gather for a one final dinner party, the evening unfolds with comic surprises, alarming secrets and shocking bombshells that none of them will soon forget. From the playwright of “Yankee Tavern.” Dietz’s dark comedy asks what remains between us when our youth, our dreams and our last bottle of wine is gone?

“THE WHIPPING MAN
”
By Matthew Lopez
Jan. 11-Feb. 15, 2014
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a Jewish Confederate soldier returns home to discover his two former slaves living in the ruins of his family’s once grand plantation. Bound together by faith, they reunite to celebrate Passover and confront their past, present and future. “The Whipping Man” is a hauntingly powerful drama about new-found freedom and the painful legacy of slavery.

“GOOD PEOPLE
”
By David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed Christy Montour-Larson
March 8-April 19, 2014
In South Boston, good people lean on their neighbors in tough times, nights are spent playing Bingo at the local church, and they live from paycheck to paycheck. Falling on hard times, Margie looks up a former boyfriend hoping to turn her luck – and her life – around. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire explores how a twist of fate can change your life and whether you can ever escape your circumstances without abandoning your roots in this humor-filled story about society and class.

“
VENUS IN FUR”
By David Ives
Directed by Chip Walton
May 3-June 14, 2014
In this darkly seductive tale, a sexy and mysterious actress shows up hours late for her audition, and knows that she may have blown her chances at the role of a lifetime. But she slowly turns the tables into an erotic and electrifying game of cat and mouse that changes all the rules. Nominated for the 2012 Tony Award for best play, award-winning playwright David Ives’ new play blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, and love and sex.

Season subscriptions  range from $75-$210 and go on sale starting March 1, 2013, at www.curioustheatre.org. All performances are held at 1080 Acoma St., Denver, 80204.

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