Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dr. Jekyll was on American Idol!

Playing at the Buell Theatre through February 10, 2013, JEKYLL & HYDE, starring Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis, (American Idol finalist in the fourth season) as Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde and Grammy Award nominee and R&B star Deborah Cox as Lucy.

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Speaking from the heart, Jekyll & Hyde was not on my list of shows I was dying to see. Certainly I didn’t have the anticipation I had for Memphis, or in the past for Mamma Mia!, Legally Blonde, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Boyfriend, and next up, Catch Me, If You Can. My taste in theatre is simple and lively. Give me dancing and singing to music I can pat my foot to and leave me wishing I had been on that stage.

Here was my state of mind last week. The flu had me on my ass for weeks.  I lost my glasses the week before. When I opened an email on Tuesday, about the opening of J & H, that night, I should have known. Nevertheless, I got myself together to go that night. I figured I’d take cough drops and a water bottle for precaution. I called my ever ready theatre companion Therese, who was up for it. We found a great parking space. We walked down to the theatre complex. I commented how odd it seemed. It felt eerily dead. There was some bustling activity at the Buell, so we kept walking, but soon discovered it was a private USBank event. Hmm. All the posters said Jeykll & Hyde Opening January 29. I checked my phone for the email. Yep, wrong night. We made an about face and went to Desserts for what else? It was so crowded we left, then went to Natural Grocers to get cold medicine. By this time it was 8:00. We parked. Looked at the store hours posted on the door. Close at 8:04 p.m., open at 9:06 a.m. Is that weird? Therese had just enough time to slip through the door and make her purchase. Determined to save the night, we ended up at Racine’s with a bowl of warm peach cobbler and ice cream. The next night (in line with my whacky week) Chip & I went to Bayou Bob’s to hear David Booker. We were in-sync, Booker was playing, we agreed.  We walk in, no set up. No kidding. Booker played the night before. Talk about confusion. Glad that week is over.

So last night was the official Jekyll & Hyde opening. Parking was normal. There were few open spaces so we knew we were there on opening night. We had marvelous seats. We hunkered down with little enthusiasm. Next thing we knew it was intermission. We looked at each with total surprise and knew we had made a great decision.

Jekyll & Hyde was mesmerizing. It is based on the novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  

The musical is a dark and dangerous love story about a London doctor who accidentally unleashes his evil personality in his quest to cure his father’s mental illness.  Constantine Maroulis is excellent.  The audience is witness to his miraculous transformation on stage as he morphs from the kind Dr. Jeykll into a raunchy Mr. Hyde. It was visually effective when he loosened his long, curly locks to become the menacing Mr. Hyde. With one toss of his head, the hair tumbled down turning him into a disheveled, wild, angry, aggressive man. Deborah Cox was the tasty eye candy plucked down in the middle of this somber black, green, red, hints of blue set. All brilliantly created for maximum atmosphere indicative of a dreary turn of the century London.

The story is a cross between an angry, vengeful Robin Hood (taking out people who are perceived as useless and self-absorbed, for the good of mankind), and the sad tale of star-crossed lovers. You know how a story like this ends. But, you must see it in person to experience the strong, melodic voices that tell this strange, stirring story.

For tickets call 303-893-4100. denvercenter.org

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Space Theatre: Grace, or The Art of Climbing

Plays through February 17, 2013.

SPACE THEATRE, DCPA COMPLEX

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Denver was the proud host for the premiere of Lauren Feldman‘s “Grace, or The Art of Climbing.” 

It’s the story of a young twenty-five old woman who finds herself back home in South Florida living with her father. She is depressed, tired, frustrated and irritated with herself and her life thus far. As a child, Emm and her Dad practiced rock climbing in the garage as an indoor athletic endeavor – no natural rock climbing in Miami. Dad thought wisely that learning to grip, hold and breathe onto the side of a rock would teach life lessons in tenacity, courage and strength. Well, as Emm mopes and whines and sleeps at home, Dad gets her butt out of bed and into the garage for old times sake.

The play is about creating a life and picking yourself up by your belay and getting to the next ledge. Never let go and always know where you are going are two rules of climbing. Emm struggles with ambition to do anything and to find will power along her path. She wants to become a person who knows where she is going and can work to eventually reach that goal. Even if whining and discouragement are a part of the growth.

A play of metaphors for life. The flashbacks take the audience into Emm’s former life, her lovers, loses and friendships. Feldman’s dialogue  creatively combines Dane Laffrey‘s incredible metaphorical rock climbing sets with one person’s self-doubt. This person discovers the stepping stones to self-confidence. There is no intermission. It couldn’t happen. The flow and emotion of the show must continually advance from start to finish uninterrupted. Otherwise, the grace of climbing would be lost.

I thought Climbing had the most beautiful ending. When Emm finds her graceful rhythm for rock climbing and the realization of where she is going. John Hutton plays her dad. He is always superb. Alejandro Rodriquez debuts as Sims, her climbing coach and Emm, played by Julie Jesneck, form a harmonic ensemble. Their acting mastery strengthens a well constructed storyline. The set was simple and perfect.

TICKETS MAY BE PURCHASED BY CALLING 303-893-4100, OR VISITING www.denvercenter.org.

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Mark Your Calendars – FREE SCFD Days in 2013

It’s the time of year to mark the 2013 free days at the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Center for Performing Arts, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the Denver Zoo. Obviously it’s good for your pocketbook, but, I find once I plug these dates onto my calendar I am more apt to plan the weekend around one of the exceptional facilities we are so fortunate to have in Denver.  It’s like being invited to a party – it’s rude not to go unless you’re sick in bed. Denver is generous with their free days I say don’t miss the party.

DENVER ART MUSEUM, 13th & Acoma, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org. FREE on first Saturday of each month for Colorado residents, 10 am – 5 pm. One per person. The DAM will also be free on April 28 for Dia de los Ninos and September 7 for the annual Friendship Powwow.

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DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS, 1007 York, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org. January 21, February 18, March 27, Aprill 22, July 9, August 27, October 7, November 2.

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DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 14th & Curtis, 303-547-3410, denvercenter.org. Each Tuesday at 10 am the DCPA will release ten $10 tickets for every Denver Center Theatre Company performance in the coming week. Use code SCFD.

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DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE, 2001 Colorado, 303-322-7009, DMNS.org. January 28, February 11, April 21, May 12, June 3, July 1 & 21, August 11 & 19, September 8, October 6, December 9.

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DENVER ZOO, 2300 Steele, north of City Park, 720-337-1400, denverzoo.org. Jauary 11, 12 & 23, February 3, 4, & 21, November 4, 15 & 21.

For further information visit the SCFD website or call during regular business hours 303-860-0588, email scfd@scfd.org, website: scfd.org

Visiting Vincent Van Gogh

“I’ve just kept on ceaselessly painting, in order to learn painting….” Vincent Van Gogh, 1885.

What I’ll remember about visiting the Becoming Van Gogh exhibit is how many people brought their young children, like four to five year olds and younger. I understand wanting a young child to see Van Gogh’s work, but, really.  Mothers and fathers seemed to think it was acceptable to give an art history lesson out loud. Grrrr. As it was, I didn’t feel too badly about my coughing and stepping in front of the people with the audio headphones who stood in front of a painting for..ever.  It is the flu season after all. Alas, I wasn’t fortunate enough to make it through the season unscathed and after canceling my ticket once, I downed a couple of Emergen-C’s, wrapped myself in a warm scarf and made my way through Becoming Van Gogh.

It was an ambitious undertaking. Not just getting through the throngs of visitors, but I imagined someone in the back room of a museum somewhere designing this smash hit by gathering 70 paintings and drawings of the wildly eccentric, dedicated artist, Van Gogh, then, creating a brilliant story board and narrative about how Van Gogh became Van Gogh. The exhibit illustrates the creative time line in the career making of an artist. b. 1853 – 1890.

I learned that VG was like many people I’ve known. After many false starts at life, accompanied by his eventual fatal mental illness, he decided to become an artist. The most endearing of his artistic traits, once he decided to be an artist, was that he put his mind to it and became as you know an exceptional and unforgettable artist. He embraced his career path seriously by beginning at the root of art. He learned to draw and he drew and drew until his art morphed into paintings and then he became fascinated with color. It’s what we now envision when we see the name Van Gogh – we think color.  He became a beautiful colorist by meticulously studying, defying and questioning the rules of art.

Factories-at-Asnieres-Seen-from-the-Quai-de-Clichy“Factories at Asnieres”   1887     IrisesIrises” 1889

Think of a ball of yarn with these color combinations.

My favorite take away was learning how he would wind different colors of yarn into balls to experiment with color combinations before adding them to his canvas. Look at his most colorful works. You’ll see how the contrasting colors literally pop on his canvases as they lay side by side. He was a genius and a tireless artist, who despite his mental imbalance and desperate straits, along with a God given talent, skillfully fine tuned a short, but distinctive style of art that is undeniably Vincent Van Gogh.

It’s what every artist strives for.

Call for Entry

River North Art District, RiNo

Call for Entry

Icebreaker4 is the fourth annual juried exhibition of work by emerging and established artists living in the United States. This year’s juror is Nora Burnett Abrams, Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Sponsored by the Ice Cube Gallery, a dynamic, contemporary art co-op, this exhibit has no specific theme and artists of every medium are encouraged to enter. Show will run March 7 – March 30th; Entry is by digital submission; entry deadline February 8. For full prospectus and application go to: http://icecubegallery.com/call-for-entries/

Ice Cube Gallery is located in Denver’s hottest new art district, RINO, and is a beautiful contemporary space. Here you can see a portion of one of my past solo shows in part of that gallery’s space.

“Maple and Vine” at Curious Theatre

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Curious Theatre Company presents Jordan Harrison’s Maple and Vine, directed by Chip Walton. The production runs January 12 – February 23, 2013 at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver. The opening night is January 12, 2013, at 8 p.m.

Katha and Ryu, a modern-day couple stuck in a modern-day rut, discover a way out of the troubles they’ve been having—moving to a planned community perpetually located in 1955. Will going back to this not-so-simpler time be the answer to all their problems? Harrison’s audacious premise takes the audience into a parallel universe that is hilarious in its attention to detail, and surprisingly seductive in its artifice. Have we made progress as a society? Is it possible to forego the values of the present for the mores of the past? Would we even want to? Garnering rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, Maple and Vine was recently produced at Playwrights Horizons in New York City, and premiered at the prestigious Humana Festival for New American Plays.

The cast includes Curious Theatre Artistic Company Members C. Kelly Leo* (Ellen), Josh Robinson* (Dean) and Karen Slack (Katha), as well as Dale Li (Ryu) and Stuart Sanks (Roger).

Performances are January 10 – February 23, 2013. The opening performance is on January 12, 2013 at 8 p.m. Curtain times are Thursday – Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 – $44 and are available at the Box Office, 1080 Acoma Street, Denver; 303.623.0524 or online at curioustheatre.org.

Discussions with artistic staff and cast members will follow all performances on January 17 – February 22, 2012.

The Van Gogh Exhibit is sold out, sort of

I heard through the grapevine, the Becoming Van Gogh exhibit has already made more money for the museum than any show this year, even more than the outstanding Yves Saint Laurent. If you’re up for midnight madness at the museum and still no ticket to “Becoming Van Gogh” the museum is trying to accommodate all art lovers. You might want to go ahead and try for a ticket, it could be fun to visit the museum at 2 a.m. The museum will open at 8 a.m. Jan. 19 and close 40 hours later at midnight on Jan. 20.

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Van Gogh wrote,  “I painted two pictures of myself lately, one of which has rather the true character … I always think photographs abominable, and I don’t like to have them around, particularly not those of persons I know and love…. photographic portraits wither much sooner than we ourselves do, whereas the painted portrait is a thing which is felt, done with love or respect for the human being that is portrayed.”
(Letter to Wilhelmina van Gogh, 19 September 1889)

Robischon Gallery featuring John Mc Enroe

January 17 through March 2, 2013

“Object | Nature

Featuring Concurrent Solo Exhibitions:

John McEnroe “Half-Life”

Karen Kitchel “Walking through the Fire”

William Lamson “Action for the Paiva”

and Tyler Beard “Otherscapes”

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William Lamson Action for the Paiva video still

 Robischon Gallery is pleased to present four, concurrent solo exhibitions where each individual artist considers the long view of our cultural identity from the vantage point of the natural world. Including: a John McEnroe sculptural installation, Karen Kitchel paintings, William Lamson videos and Tyler Beard collages along with video constructions by David Zimmer and Kim Dickey ceramics.

Also featuring: Recent work by David Zimmer and Kim Dickey

January 17 through March 2, 2013

Opening Reception for the artists: Thursday, January 17, 6 – 8 pm

 

 

MCA says see it while you can

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE EXHIBITIONS BY
ARTISTS DANA SCHUTZ AND ADRIAN GHENIEAdrian Ghenie: Pie-Fights and Pathos
Dana Schutz: Works on Paper
both close Sunday, January 13, 2013

Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie’s works feature uncanny, cinematic tableaux and altered episodes of history – drawing on characters from cinema and life, including Three Stooges films and images of Adolf Hitler.

Dana Schutz draws from abstract expressionism to create an imaginative and mythic universe of cannibals, creatures and other grotesque and fantastical creatures. Her work is currently featured in the Denver Art Museum’s solo exhibition Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels.

See them both before Sunday, January 13, 2013.

WHAT ELSE

WILLIAM LAMSON: ACTION FOR THE DELAWARE
Exhibition Opening Sunday, January 20
All Day  |  10¢ Admission  |  plus fun and games
PATTI HALLOCK: THE WEST IS HERE
Exhibition Opening Sunday, January 20
All Day  |  10¢ Admission  |  plus fun and games
LADIES FANCYWORK SOCIETY: FANCYGASM
Exhibition Opening Sunday, January 20
All Day  |  10¢ Admission  |  plus fun and games 
WILLIAM LAMSON, PATTI HALLOCK & LADIES FANCYWORK SOCIETY
Members Exhibition Preview
Saturday, January 19  |  6–8PM
MEMBERS-ONLY LUNCHEON WITH THE ARTISTS
William Lamson and Patti Hallock
Friday, January 18  |  11:30AM–2PM
Behind the scenes tour and intimate lunch with the artists
Become a Member
POSTSCRIPT: WRITING AFTER CONCEPTUAL ART
Featuring paintings, sculptures, videos and other works by over 50 artists exploring the artistic possibilities of language.
Exhibition closes February 3, 2013
POSTSCRIPT SYMPOSIUM
A showcase of performances and presentations, featuring local, national and international artists featured in the Postscript exhibition.
 
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART DENVER 1485 Delgany St
Denver, CO 80202
303 298 7554
Tuesday–Thursday NOON–7PM
Friday 8PM
Saturday & Sunday 10AM–7PM
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