Theatre on Broadway to become Matthew Morris hair salon

 Dave Shirley’s YouTube video imbroglio. See news item, below.

By John Moore

Theatre on Broadway, the iconic home for Denver’s former long-running gay theater company Theatre Group, is slated to become the new home of the trendy Matthew Morris hair and skincare salon. The salon will soon be moving from its present location three blocks south to 13 S. Broadway. Construction on the long-dormant TOB home, which shares the corner lot on Ellsworth Avenue behind the hi-dive rock club, is well underway.

Morris has purchased the site from controversial club owner Regas Christou. The grand opening is scheduled for October.

The former Theatre on Broadway is set to become a Matthew Morris hair and skin salon. Design by Studio Collaborative.

Theatre Group died a painful and protracted death after 37 years that began in earnest with the company leaving TOB in May 2007, its landowner claiming the group was $19,000 behind in rent. Eventually, Theatre Group sold its second space at the Phoenix Theatre (which it owned), and a short go as a tenant at what is now Su Teatro’s Denver Civic Theatre ended in 2008 with Theatre Group’s eviction.

Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare offers advanced skin-care services such as facials, micro-dermabrasions, foto-facials and skin-tightening procedures.
Studio Collaborative is responsible for the redesign and refurbishment of the former theater, which was a dump even before it was subjected to five years of neglect. The design is described as “chic, rustic-modern” and will accommodate 30 stations with three skin-care rooms, retail and an expanded color bar, whatever that is. The exterior will be gutted to provide an abundance of natural light. The main entrance will now be off Ellsworth Avenue.

Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare offers advanced skin-care services such as facials, micro-dermabrasions, foto-facials and skin-tightening procedures.

Studio Collaborative is responsible for the redesign and refurbishment of the former theater, which was a dump even before it was subjected to five years of neglect. The design is described as “chic, rustic-modern” and will accommodate 30 stations with three skin-care rooms, retail and an expanded color bar, whatever that is. The exterior will be gutted to provide an abundance of natural light. The main entrance will now be off Ellsworth Avenue.

 

Construction is well underway on the former Theatre on Broadway at 13 S. Broadway. Photo by John Moore.

 

 

Johnny Depp supports Creede Rep

Movie star Johnny Depp has fulfilled a promise to the Creede Repertory Theatre by sending a $2,500 check in support of the company’s youth outreach programs. The theater company has Depp’s latest film – and a trio of entrepreneurial Texas youngsters – to thank for it.

Mary Beltran (age 12), Ryan Wilcocks (13) and Matt Wilcocks (16) of Carrollton, Texas, set up a lemonade stand on June 21-22 in front of Mountain Man Rafting in Creede to raise money for Creede Rep’s children’s programs. In two days, they raised $500.12. Depp was in Creede for most of June filming “The Lone Ranger” (he’s Tonto), which wrapped on June 22. That night, Depp spent three hours signing autographs at Creede’s Town Hall. There the kids waited in line and eventually shared their lemonade story. Depp told them he’d match their gift to CRT, and the check arrived on Monday.

“Although Mr. Depp told the kids he would match their donation, he actually sent a check for $2,500,” said Ann Beltran, mother of Mary Beltran “What a great role model and example of generosity Mr. Depp displayed to both the kids and the theater.

 

Life and (foul) art collide for Shirley

Funnyman Dave Shirley, who has enjoyed two successful runs of his one-man stage comedy “Dave Shirley’s Rattlebrain” at the Avenue Theater,  ran into some trouble at his recently completed job as a teacher for Aurora Public Schools because of his show’s content.

Part of the show was a very funny song parody called “I’ve Used Every Swear,” which is posted on YouTube.

“Someone sent in a complaint about my music video,” said Shirley. The district’s first response, he said, was to tell him  to remove the video, citing the district’s ethics and conflict-of-interest policies.

“I told them I thought that there was not an ethics issue involved, and challenged them,” said Shirley. “My feelings were that this is a free-speech issue. If they can tell me to remove my video, then can they tell me to stop doing anything in my shows that they see as offensive?”

Shirley contacted the ACLU, and after a month of wranglings, the district’s legal department ruled that the video did not constitute an ethics violation.

Shirley remains concerned about the issue because the ACLU has seen many similar situations across the nation. “This got me to thinking about the conflicts around an artist’s creation and their day job,” he said. “Do employers have the right to tell their employees what they can and cannot do in their personal lives? Who decides what is offensive?

“In my case, we are talking about an occupation that is publicly funded and I work with students. Are there different standards for those like me?”

 

Henry Awards are coming Monday …

The Colorado Theatre Guild’s seventh annual Henry Awards will be doled out on Monday. You can go here to read my assessment of this year’s field of nominees. Based solely and scientifically on the number of people who have “liked” the nominee photos on my Facebook page, Monday should be a very big night for Michael Kingsbaker, Curious Theatre’s “On an Average Day” (118 likes), Tally Sessions, Arvada Center’s “Chess” (105 likes) and Christy Brandt, Creede Rep’s “The Road to Mecca” (45 likes). Hey, I said it was scientific. The party starts at 6 p.m. at the L2 Arts and Culture Center, 1477 Columbine St. For tickets go to the CTG’s newly redesigned and relaunched web site.

 

Briefly …

Longtime Boulder Daily Camera theater critic Mark Collins has decided to leave the beat to give the other side of the aisle a try. Collins recently wrote a moving piece about his recent, life-changing return to the stage.    He will be replaced at the Camera by Liza Williams. She recently graduated from the University of Colorado with a Ph.D. in theater history and criticism, and has lived in the Boulder area for almost nine years.

And finally …
Disturbing news out of the Vintage Theatre, which has assumed the former Shadow Theatre Company space at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora. Co-founder Debbie Laureta, the face of the theater since its inception in 2002, announced last week that theBoard of Directors has voted to eliminate her job as a cost-savings measure. “As a founder of the company who has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years in an attempt to make Vintage a successful theater company, it is hard to say goodbye,” Laureta said in a farewell email.