Playbill: New Plays and Performances in Denver for September 18-21

Denver's Dangerous Theatre presents Bite, a a choose-your-own-adventure sex farce.
In a week marked by openings both splashy and diverse, from the heartbreakingly beautiful equestrian cirque Odysseo to the marathon Boulder International Fringe Festival, which brings indie performances from around the world, you can also catch an evening of colorful East Indian dance, a naughty night with a choose-your-own-adventure sex farce or an onslaught of pure comedy in debate form. Keep reading for more details.

See also: Five Must-See Boulder Fringe Fest Performances

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Five Must-See Boulder Fringe Fest Performances

Gemma Wilcox
The Boulder International Fringe Festival is one of many fringe fests around the world where cultural gatekeepers have opened the dam and flooded audiences with playwrights, filmmakers, dancers, artists and curators showing off their works without censorship. Nobody gets turned away. Anything goes.

The joy and trouble for audiences is that we have to figure out how to navigate so much creativity. The festival opens tonight with an All-You-Can-Artist buffet, at the Dairy Center, where presenters will show off snippets of their work to the crowd. But what if you miss opening night? What's a festival-goer to do?

See also: Davey B. Gravey's Little Movies on a Little Screen

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Review: In All the Rage, Martin Moran Explores Anger and Forgiveness

Categories: Theater

Martin Moran in All the Rage.
All the Rage is a sequel to Martin Moran's first one-man play, The Tricky Part, which told the story of his molestation by a counselor at Colorado's Camp St. Malo when he was twelve -- a relationship that continued over three conflicted years. Moran, who'd grown up in Denver and graduated from George Washington High School in 1978, subsequently wrote a book based on the play, and it was a review of that book by John Moore, then of the Denver Post, questioning Moran's apparent lack of anger, that sparked this new work: All the Rage is an exploration of anger and forgiveness.

See also:
Grounded Is Right on Target in BETC's Powerful Production

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Review: Grounded Is Right on Target in BETC's Powerful Production

Categories: Theater

Daniel Leonard
Laura Norman in Grounded.

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." So said J. Robert Oppenheimer of his work on the atomic bomb, quoting the Bhagavad Gita. There's grief and guilt in the statement, as well a daunting realization of just what he's unleashed on the world. But as you think about it, you also catch a note of megalomaniacal power.

We hear the same power in the voice of The Pilot, protagonist of George Brant's brain-searing, one-woman play Grounded, now receiving its regional premiere courtesy of the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company.

See also: Josh Hartwell Takes Off This Week With
Grounded, Dylan Went Electric

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The Unsinkable Margaret Brown Was a Crusader Before She Became a Musical Heroine

Categories: Theater

Molly Brown House Museum.
Margaret Tobin Brown was not the perky, Debbie Reynolds-like character from The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In fact, she was not even known as Molly when she lived in Denver. The "Indomitable Mrs. James J. Brown" might have been a better nickname, since despite being snubbed by this city's society mavens after she moved here from Leadville with her husband -- the manager of a silver mine who found a deposit of gold that made them filthy rich -- she proceeded to launch a series of good works. And, yes, the couple also bought a gaudy mansion on Pennsylvania Street that survives today as the Molly Brown House Museum, a historic landmark.

See also:
Beth Malone on Molly Brown, Playing Strong Historical Characters, and Coming Back to Denver

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Skanks Documents a Community Drag Musical in Birmingham, Alabama

Skanks plays tonight, as part of DocuWest, at the SIE FilmCenter.
Even in the most conservative areas, theater provides a home for the misfits, the oddballs, the outcasts and the rebels. In his new documentary, Skanks, David McMahon follows a group of performers as they prepare to perform Billy Ray Brewton's raunchy drag musical Skanks in a One Horse Town, in Birmingham, Alabama. Skanks plays tonight at the DocuWest International Film Festival; to learn more about the production, we spoke with David McMahon.

See also: iKE ALLEN on Tonight's Premiere of Reverend Yolanda's Old-Time Gospel Hour: The Movie

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Playbill: Four Plays to See in Denver This Week

Categories: Playbill, Theater

Seth Maisel and James O'Hagan-Murphy star in Ripple Effect's Waiting for Godot.
The fall theater season is in full swing. This weekend you can send off a local production as it takes to the road, re-view an old stage classic or catch the world premiere of a new play from a local playwright -- and there's an old-fashioned musical, too. Here's a sampling of what's happening on stages all over town.

See also: On Target: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company Presents Grounded at the Avenue Theater

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Review: A Steady Rain Tells the Timely Tale of a Rogue Cop

Categories: Theater

Scott Bellot and Rick Yaconis in A Steady Rain.
The public is becoming more and more aware of the dangerous power wielded by the nation's police. We're learning that as cops charge into civilian neighborhoods, they're armed with equipment developed for military combat -- and few of them have the training to handle such equipment. With the explosion of social media, we've seen myriad images of police shootings and beatings, of people being tasered (there have been an estimated 215 taser deaths in the past five years), and even a terrible prolonged strangulation. Against this background, A Steady Rain, first produced in 2007, tells the striking story of a rogue cop.

See also: Best Theatre Season 2014 -- Edge Theatre Company

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Josh Hartwell Takes Off This Week With Grounded, Dylan Went Electric

Categories: Theater

Courtesy Donna Baldwin
Josh Hartwell: actor, director and all-round creative.
Josh Hartwell, writer, actor and director, is one of the area's treasures. A modest, diffident soul, he seems to prefer being out of the limelight, but we recently named him one of our 100 Colorado Creatives, and he'll be getting even more attention this week, when he directs George Brant's one-woman play Grounded, which won plaudits in both London and New York, for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's first production of the season -- a regional premiere and the company's second foray into the Denver arena. (The first was a collaboration with Denver Center Attractions on The Santaland Diaries.) And Hartwell's own play, Dylan Went Electric, is receiving a production this weekend at Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden, under the direction of Jim Hunt.

Hartwell is dealing with the double load of stress by "really focusing," he says. "Just taking it a day at a time."

See also: Best Actress in a Drama 2013 -- Laura Norman in
Ghost Writer

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Playbill: Four Front Range Plays to See This Week

Categories: Photos, Theater

P. Switzer Photography, 2014.
Jim Hogan as Huey and Aisha Jackson as Felicia in Memphis, at the Arvada Center.
Theater companies all along the Front Range are springing to life as fall seasons get under way. Catch a rocking musical or a taut dark comedy close to home, or venture north for a one-woman tour-de-force or an evening of colorful folklore, with awesome stage moves.

See also: M. Butterfly, Theatre Esprit Asia

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