Playbill: Four Offbeat Shows for the 2014 Holiday Season in Denver

Santaland1.jpg
Matt Zambrano is back as Crumpet in David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries at Off-Center@The Jones.
Some local stages stick with the classics for the holidays, such as the Denver Center Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol and the Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker. But if you like things light and perhaps a little bit wacked, there are a few ways to buck tradition and deck the halls with plenty of jolly. Read on for four possibilities.

See also: Gone to the Dogs: Dog Park -- The Musical


More »

Review: The Betsy Stage Twists a Classic in Hamlet, a Gypsy Tale

Categories: Theater

theater-hamlet-01.jpg
Shannon McAndrews
Patti Murtha and Gina Walker in Hamlet, a Gypsy Tale.
Hamlet, a Gypsy Tale
The Betsy Stage

The ending of the Betsy Stage's Hamlet, a Gypsy Tale is appealing: Having taken their bows with the aid of various eccentric moves and magic tricks, the performers circle the space to the fast, compelling rhythms of "L'Orient Est Rouge," which the program attributes to Lightning Head and Kocani Orkestar. Then they pull a wire fence along the front of the stage and hang a playbill showing a lonely black figure and the word "Hamlet" on it. At this moment, you feel such a glow of pleasure and goodwill that you forget all the many other moments when you thought the end couldn't come soon enough.

See also:
Toil and Trouble with the Betsy Stage

More »

Review: Lucky Me Is a Lucky Catch for Curious

Categories: Theater

theater1-luckyme.jpg
Dee Covington as Sara in Lucky Me.
Lucky Me
Curious Theatre Company
1080 Acoma Street
303-623-0524


Curious Theatre Company
's participation in the National New Play Network has been a boon for Denver audiences, in particular the company's loyal cadre of regulars, who tend to be the kind of people who want to hear new voices and are open to being surprised and provoked as well as charmed and delighted. Artistic director Chip Walton has introduced Denver to several interesting playwrights, and now comes Robert Caisley, whose Lucky Me -- a smart, funny, entertaining evening with a highly original heroine -- is the current NNPN offering.

See also:
Buried Child Still Packs a Creepy Wallop


More »

Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Susan Lyles

Categories: Theater

Playground.promo3.jpg
Susan Lyles of And Toto too directs The Playground, opening this week work | space.
#46: Susan Lyles

Denver actor and director Susan Lyles saw a gap and for the last ten years has made filling it her major concern: She took on the mission of showing deserved support for overlooked women playwrights by forming Denver's And Toto too Theatre Company, a group solely dedicated to producing plays by women -- and especially women working in Colorado. This is not theater by women for women -- it's work for everyone, presented on an egalitarian playing field for audiences of every gender who have a love of theatre in common. As she prepares to celebrate And Toto too's tenth anniversary in 2015, we asked Lyles to tell us where she's going; read on for her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Kara Duncan

More »

Review: Kinky Boots Has Kick, But Could Aim Higher

Categories: Theater

theater1-kinky.jpg
Matthew Murphy
Lindsay Nicole Chambers and Steven Booth in Kinky Boots.
The musical Kinky Boots, which was inspired by a modest 2005 film, tells the story of an unlikely partnership. Charlie has just inherited his father's shoe factory in Northampton in the English Midlands, a factory once known for producing some of the highest-quality shoes in the country. But the business is going broke because of a flood of cheap imports, and Charlie is thinking of absconding to London with his snooty fiancée to start a new life. This would mean laying off several of his skilled and dedicated workers, a fact that lovely Northamptonshire lass and factory-worker Lauren heatedly points out to him. He wavers. Into his life comes sexy drag queen Lola, who has a very practical problem: The kind of stiletto-heeled, thigh-high boots she requires are made for women and simply won't bear the weight of a man. And so a solution to the factory's problems glimmers.

See also: Best Musical 2014 -- The Full Monty

More »

Playbill: Three Plays and Performances in Denver for October 30-November 2

Theresa.Dwyer.Reid-Jamie.Morgan.jpg
Theresa Dwyer Reid and Jamie Morgan in Theatre Or's Kindertransport at the Mizel Center.
Catch up with a somber chapter in the history of Jewish culture at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center or follow an even darker path and get in the Halloween spirit at local stages this weekend. Keep reading for details.

See also: Vampire Weekend: Theatre of the Vampires


More »

Review: Buried Child Still Packs a Creepy Wallop

Categories: Theater

buiredchild1.jpg
The cast of Buried Child
Buried Child
Edge Theatre Company

Sam Shepard's Buried Child which won a Pulitzer in 1979, still carries a creepy wallop. The story of a violently dysfunctional family -- a drunken, abusive father who has destroyed his sons and is now being destroyed in return -- it was hailed as a depiction of the dark side of the American Dream. But while some of the themes are universal, this family is unique.

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


More »

Review: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Checks Out Chekhov

Categories: Theater

Vanya-JMK-1138.jpg
Jennifer M. Koskinen
Kathleen McCall and Eddie Lopez.
For Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is pretty weak tea. While the play is relatively funny and does have some outrageously inventive moments, the black humor, zany surprise, sheer unfettered impudence and break-the-dishes iconoclasm of Durang's other works is missing. Which may explain why this is the first of the writer's many scripts to have been produced on Broadway -- and with an all-star cast that included David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver.

See also:
Good Television Is a Real Win


More »

Playbill: Three Front Range Plays and Performances for October 22-28

badaboom.jpg
Badaboom! brings a big dance mashup to the Dairy Center this weekend.
To get in the mood for Halloween, you can head up to Colorado Springs for a campy combination of '60s slasher and beach movies, or hear spooky stories come alive onstage in Denver; meanwhile, dance aficionados can get their fix at an intergenerational mashup in Boulder. Keep reading for details.

See also: Catch a Buzz: Lord of the Butterflies


More »

Theater: Good Television Is a Real Win

Categories: Theater

theater1-goodtv.jpg
Rachel Graham
Benjamin Cowhick, Christine Sharpe and Miriam Tobin in Good Television.
I probably shouldn't admit this, but I like reality television -- up to a point, at least. Wife Swap fascinated me with the rich stew of dissonance it routinely created: the prissy perfectionist wife trying to adjust to a home where teenagers spent all day playing video games and eating chips, the pig farmer situated with a clan of meditating vegans, and the inevitable clashes of class, culture and expectation -- not to mention religion and politics -- that ensued. Hoarders was a guilty pleasure for a while. And to this day, I cherish Nanny Deb of Nanny 911, whose stern, kind wisdom surmounted the show's silly trappings and who could calm a tantruming toddler with one touch of her large, gentle hand. But after a while I stopped watching these shows, because the narrative was so rigidly controlled, kept by the producers within small, tight, unimaginative parameters. You never saw the real confusion and messiness, and you always knew how things were going to end. This is precisely where Rod McLachlan's Good Television, which features a show called Rehabilitation based on the actual program Intervention, aims its barbs.

See also:
Anarchy Rules in Lord of the Flies

More »

Now Trending

Loading...