Fall premieres and season-openers: Five more plays to catch this week
P. Switzer "Ragtime," Arvada Center.
Denver's fall theater season is already off to a hot and heavy start with offerings of every stripe, from classically funny (The Liar and Unnecessary Farce) to explosive (Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda) to thought-provoking (Clybourne Park) to just plain silly (Completely Hollywood (abridged)). And due to the wealth of theatrical riches our city has to offer, there's even more. Here are some good bets.
P. Switzer Megan Van De Hey and Wayne Kennedy, "Ragtime," Arvada Center.
The Arvada Center, from which we've come to expect well-heeled blockbuster musicals over the last few years, is starting its season in just that way, with the regional premiere staging of the Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime. A big, bustling production based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow and set in New York City in the early 20th-century, Ragtime mixes history with intertwining fictional stories and a trolley-full of characters, a feat that requires a strong cast. Director Rod Lansberry says that's just what he got, but you should see for yourself. And if you miss it this time around, Ragtime will travel later this fall to the new Lone Tree Art Center for a second run.
It's not too late to consider the repercussions of 9/11 ten years later by catching Firehouse Theater Company's production of The Guys (though Westword's Juliet Wittman wasn't quite sure it succeeded), a play based on conversations between a New York City fire captain and the writer who helped him find the words to eulogized eight men he'd lost. It was made into a movie with Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia in 2002, which was perhaps a better time for it, but if you're looking for some way to remember, here's your chance. The Guys ends its run at the John Hand Theater on Saturday.