By John Moore
Aug. 8, 2013
Here’s our video conversation with Boulder native Ellen Kaye, who is playing Ellie Mae Shipley in Central City Opera’s mammoth “Showboat,” as well as director Ray Roderick. It’s playing at the Buell Theatre only through Aug. 11, 2013.
The cast features Broadway bigwigs, opera superstars … and Kaye playing principal roles. Yep, our little Kate Monster from Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Avenue Q” caught the (obviously canny) eye of big-shot director Roderick.
“Showboat” is the groundbreaking 1927 musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II best known for the song “Old Man River.” It tells the story of the workers on a Mississippi showboat over 50 years, tackling themes of racial prejudice and tragic love.
Kaye is a mezzo-soprano who grew up watching the Central City Opera and traveling shows at the Buell Theatre. But this week, the stage is all hers. Well, not exactly ALL hers. She will share it with a company of nearly 100, including an all-Denver gospel chorus as well as 38 onstage musicians.
Kaye, a graduate of Fairview High School and now the pride of Gilpin County, was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical by the Denver Post Ovation Awards for playing Eva Peron in 2011 at the Town Hall Arts Center, and again last year for playing Kate Monster (and Lucy the Slut!) in BDT’s “Avenue Q.” Since then, she has made her debut with the Denver Center Theater Company in the ensemble of “Romeo and Juliet.” Ellen is also kind of a Yoga Master (my words) at Kindness Yoga and Pilates (303-316-8265).
“Showboat” runs only through Aug. 11 at the Buell. Call 303-292-6700 or go to www.centralcityopera.org/tickets. Video by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Running time: 5 minutes.
How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund
The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):