Category Archives: Theatre

Andy Warhol RePOPulates

There’s never a dull moment at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities.

January kicked off the rePOPulated: Contemporary perspectives on pop art, featuring solo shows by Phil Bender & Sean O’Meallie. Other participating POP artists include Tony Ortega, Louis Recchia, Floyd D. Tunson, Margaret Kasahara.

“Art in America,” by Louis Recchia

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To add ‘original pop art’ to the list of artists, the Center successfully procured original pop art from the CU Art Museum. This addition gives visitors a sprinkling of art by the pioneers of POP: Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud and Andy Warhol.

“Hello Dali,” by Evan ColbertIMG_3746

Walking through the galleries gave me goose bumps. There it was. Pop art 2014-2015, by our artists.  The influence was there. The visual experience had all the essential elements to wow you, whether it was created fifty years ago or months ago.

“Thank You for Your Business,” by Mark Penner-HowellIMG_3735

Phil BenderIMG_3751

Sean O’MeallieIMG_3756

Upstairs, the galleries featured the work of Phil Bender and Sean O’Meallie.  Phil and Sean, are well-known Colorado contemporary artists who brought together a combination of colorful whimsey and vintage symbolism.

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The Center was also showing the vintage stage production of “Harvey” by Mary Chase, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Denver native. The beloved author was born & raised in West Denver and was intrigued by the silly, social standards of the city in the 1940’s. Especially as she became more acquainted with central Denver and the Capitol Hill, Quality Hill areas where she lived and worked before her phenomenal success as a playwright.

I always wanted to see “Harvey” on stage and Arvada has created a  delightfully funny and chaotic stage romp with Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend Harvey. The audience had a great time with the timeless, clever, Chase dialogue as  Elwood, etc., turned Capitol Hill into an afternoon of drink induced misunderstandings and Keystone Cops frenzy.

There were references to Charley’s Bar, and the Fire House on 1st (Speer).  I left Arvada determined to find 1443 Gaylord Street, Elwood’s house, in my neighborhood. I looked, but found no large potted ferns on the veranda, no sign of Elwood P. Dowd, no sister, nor, was friend Harvey anywhere in sight.

 

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Picasso Waxes Metaphysically

“There is no abstract art, you always have to begin with something.” Pablo Picasso

Abstractly speaking, Herbert Siguenza is Pablo Picasso. He fully embodies the man on stage.  The opening scene finds Siguenza, writer, artist in his own right, actor and ‘Picasso’ in his bathtub. The audience has no doubt that the tan, white haired, stocky man waxing metaphysically from his bath, is indeed the man known simply as Picasso.

If you’re waffling on taking in this production at the DCPA don’t over think it, just go. Especially if you love art, Picasso, impressionism, cubism, color, and an hour and a half inside the head and studio of the artist everyone knows and loves.

A Weekend with  Pablo Picasso is truly enjoyable. Siguenza is superb as the fiesty, outspoken, genius artist. I learned a few things about Picasso I didn’t know, such as his passion for social issues spoken within the context of his life. The labor of love, by Siguenza, spans three days in Picasso’s studio in Southern France as he works non-stop to finish six commissioned works by Monday. Intuitively, Siguenza created the intimate weekend by involving the audience.  Throughout the 90 minute soliloquy the artist is talking to his audience, distance relatives who have dropped in unexpectedly. He doesn’t have the time or energy to ban them from his studio and in time welcomes the company as he reveals much of his life and personality on stage.

You’ll hear bits and pieces of Picasso’s life, his children, wives, lovers, his eating habits, revealing many traits everyone knows like writing checks for everything no matter how small the amount because, no one ever cashes them.  The evening conversation is intertwined with his original quotes formulated as if for the first time. It’s all very creative and personal acted out in an original studio set you would want Picasso to have.

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Jeff Wenzel, from Art Students League of Denver, painting in theatre before play opened.

Plays The Ricketson Theatre through April 28, 2013. http://www.denvercenter.org. Box office 303-893-4100.

Catch Me If You Can coming to the Buell

Opening night February 26 – March 10, 2013. 

Denver Center for Performing Arts, www.denvercenter.org, 303-893-4100

Based on the DreamWorks film and the incredible true story that inspired it, Catch Me if You Can tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life. With nothing more than boyish charm, imagination and forged checks, Frank lives the high life until he catches the attention of the FBI and finds himself in deep, deep trouble. dcpa.org

Catch-Me-Logo

14th & Curtis, Denver

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

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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“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.

War Horse Comes to Denver

January 8 – 20, 2012

Buy your tickets today at  www.denvercenter.org

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Greg Moody, CBS4 – “It is stage magic. Somehow, three puppeteers — one visible — two inside a frame of cane and fabric and wood — make Joey the center piece of “War Horse” come alive on stage. And not simply on stage, but whenever and wherever they perform. Even in a theater lobby.”

Greg Moody is CBS4′s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the CBSDenver.com Entertainment section.

Twofers at Avenue Theater

BRING A FRIEND FREE!

Thursday 10/11 & SUNDAY 10/14

ONLY $20 for TWO


Call about our Dinner Date deal at the Avenue Grill. 
303-321-5925 


Get your Tickets.
Your quicklinks to get on with buying some tickets:


Sunday 10/14 at 2:00pm will be our ONLY matinee performance ofMurder Most Fowl, and it’s your chance to see it again, and

bring a friend for free!


Offer Valid

Thursday 10/11 & Sunday 10/14 ONLY


UPDATE

Due to popular demand, we’ve extending the run to include performances on Nov 2, 3, 9 & 10!  Show time remains 7:30pm

All About Avenue Theater

Avenue Theater is marking its 25th year of producing new plays and musicals, regional premieres, and productions of favorite standards from the world’s theater! Since 1987, the Avenue has been one of Denver’s favorite places for entertaining and thoughtful theater, and has won many Henry, Denver Post Ovation, Marlowe and other awards for adult and children’s theater. There are many great restaurants nearby, parking is easy and we are RTD accessible.
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The Play “8”

8
Oct 15, 2012-Oct 15, 2012
The Stage Theatre
One Night Only!
Oct 15, 2012
Tickets: $20
by Dustin Lance Black
5:30pm Reception
7pm Reading
8:30pm Talkback
One Night Only!
5:30pm Reception  |  7pm Reading  |  8:30pm TalkbackJoin the Denver Center Theatre Company on Oct 15 for an exclusive staged reading of the new documentary play 8. Written by Dustin Lance Black (of Milk and J.Edgar fame) 8 documents the trial of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the federal case which ultimately overturned Proposition 8 and granted marriage equality to the people of California. Based on courtroom transcripts, first-hand observations and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families, 8 is a glimpse into this historic 2010 trial.Proceeds from this one-night-only event will benefit ONE Colorado Education Fund, American Foundation for Equal Rights, as well as Denver Center Theatre Company. Following the performance, guests are invited to participate in a panel discussion with local politicians led by Brad Clark, Executive Director ONE Colorado to learn more about the fight for equality in Colorado.

Individual Tickets  & VIP Tickets

Buy tickets at www.denvercenter.org

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Denver’s Bunkport Theater, “A Happy Ending,” praise from Henry Lowenstein

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Dear Theatre Friends,
I rarely comment on currently running productions but will make an exception with “A Happy End” at the Buntport Theatre. Set in 1932 Berlin, it tells the story of a Jewish physicist and his family as they vacillate in face of the coming Nazi threat. Should they leave everything behind or might it all be a passing phase that will soon blow over?
I was seven years old in Berlin in 1932 when I heard the very same discussions as many family friends decided to leave Germany. It became my quick lesson in survival and the end of being a child.  My mother saw the coming danger whereas my father, who had been highly decorated for his service as an Army doctor during all four years of World War One, would not believe that his  beloved Germany could allow Hitler to rule for any length of time.
Iddo Netanyahu’s play brilliantly catches the conflicting emotions of the time, Ami Dayan’s direction is eerily reminiscent of Erwin Piscator’s 1920’s Epic Drama style and the cast is terrific.
Henry Lowenstein
“A Happy End” Thursdays –Sundays until Sept 16th, Buntport Theatre
Link to buy tickets: www.ahappyend.com

September 1-16
(previews Aug 30 and 31)
Thurs – Sat at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm

Buntport Theater
717 Lipan Street,
Denver Colorado
Directions


Tickets at
brownpapertickets

or at box office
1hr before the show

Box Office / Groups:
720-289-6451

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