The Arvada Center opens one of the most well-known Broadway musicals tonight with Man of La Mancha. Brian Mallgrave, who is in his seventh consecutive season designing for the Arvada Center, was the scenic designer for the production. Man of La Mancha musically tells the story of Don Quixote – not directly, but as performed by prisoners during the Spanish Inquisition. Challenged with creating a scenic design that supports a play within a play, Mallgrave was excited to think about a non-traditional take on the scenic design. Luckily, the unique configuration of the Arvada Center’s mainstage, paired with a highly talented and collaborative technical team, made joyful work out of this challenge.
The Arvada Center has announced its seven-play season of which three are regional premieres. The four musical, three play package is filled with popular titles and includes an ongoing collaboration with Creede Repertory Theatre.
In the past several months, two very important decisions were made. One was to poll the Arvada Center patrons about possible shows to present in the upcoming year. Audience members voted for their favorites, and two of those titles – Camelot and Tarzan, were selected as a result. It was also decided that subscription ticket prices would stay at the same level as the previous year. Both these moves are reflected in what the Center is calling its 2013-2014 Patron Appreciation Season.
The Denver Center Theatre Company announced a 10-play season including four exhilarating world premieres selected from the 2013 Colorado New Play Summit. Karen Zacarías’ adaptation of Helen Thorpe’s book Just Like Us, Catherine Trieschmann’s comedy The Most Deserving, Matthew Lopez’s heartfelt The Legend of Georgia McBride and Marcus Gardley’s adaptation of Homer’s epic poem, black odyssey, will all take to the stage to dazzle Denver audiences. Also selected for the season is a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, an adaptation of a Marx Brother’s script, Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece, a powerful and poignant love story and the return of a Christmas classic. “We had such compelling and imaginative writing at this year’s Colorado New Play Summit that could not be overlooked,” said Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson. “Our selections this year are wide-ranging and diverse and I think will bring excitement to our patrons’ experience at the theatre.”
Noises Off is a show that defines a genre: the backstage farce. More specifically, it’s an onstage, then backstage, then onstage farce. The inventive plot follows a company from their final dress rehearsal of the farce ‘Nothing On,’ to a performance of their fast-paced comedy early in its run, and then a performance on tour late in the run. The backstage drama is even more riveting than the onstage drama, but seeing the performance from multiple angles provides nearly endless opportunities for comedy.
In Jekyll & Hyde, the conflict within the central character is mirrored in the two women vying for his affection. Jekyll’s fiancee Emma, who is all sweetness and purity, stands in contrast to tough-spirited Lucy, with both women hoping to capture the best of the man they adore. In the current national tour, Emma is played by Teal Wicks, who made a name for herself as Elphaba in Wicked, in LA, San Francisco, and on Broadway.
The Denver Center announced The Bobby G Awards today – an awards program aimed at encouraging and rewarding outstanding achievements in the production of high school musical theatre. Named for the late Robert Garner, “The BobbyG Awards” will provide an opportunity for excellence in musical theatre at the high school level to be celebrated by the professional community. Continue reading
Of the shows opening this weekend, these are the ones we want to see. These could be the best shows of the year or these shows could end up being terrible. As always we encourage you to chime in with your thoughts on our list and what shows you are seeing this weekend.
The special bond between a child and an animal has been the basis for many powerful stories. War Horse takes several variations on the boy-bonds-with-horse plot line. The currently touring production has made headlines for its gorgeous, innovative puppetry designed by Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa. But in addition to the breathtakingly realistic depictions of the horses, this story is unique because of it takes place during a time of war. Patrick Osteen, an ensemble member who rotates through roles as a puppeteer for two of the horses, as well as other roles, is most struck by the powerful messages about war told in the piece.
Next to Normal has made one of the biggest Broadway splashes in the last decade. What makes it so unique? With complex, multi-faceted characters and a powerful score, it tells an incredibly poignant story about a family struggling through rock bottom in a way that is incredibly cathartic and artistically satisfying. Ignite’s production marks the Denver premiere, starring Margie Lamb, whose was highly praised for playing this same role in the Colorado premiere at Midtown Arts Center.
The end of this year finds us reminiscing more than usual, probably because this year has been so eventful for all of us in so many ways. The University of Denver hosted the first Presidential debate. Tragedies throughout our state and country saw communities come together to support one another. More personally, the two of us were married in the very theater where we met a few years ago. For us, perhaps like all theatre fans, it is impossible to reflect on the past year without considering the theatre related moments that have affected us most. We started the year by losing one of our favorite companies – Paragon Theatre Ensemble. We have expanded our list companies we have had the pleasure of visiting including Creede Rep, Midtown Arts Center, the Byers-Evans House, and more. Old classics, new works, and newly formed companies have created exciting moments for us to recall as of late. Several writers share these thought by way of announcing their respective Awards, but we just want to share with you the theatre that has made lasting impressions on the both of us.
The stage version of the familiar movie White Christmas is a great blend of tradition, familiarity, and production value. The story follows Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, soldiers-turned-entertainers who become smitten with the Hayes sisters, and follow them to quaint Pinetree, Vermont for Christmas. As luck would have it, their old general is managing the very inn where the sisters are performing, and the two pairs of performers band together to try to save the inn, save Christmas, and save their relationships in one fell swoop. This recent stage version tells the story efficiently and well, making steady progress through several opportunities for gorgeous costume and scene design.
J.R. Priestley’s When We Are Married is a comedy that follows three very different couples as they deal with the same shocking news: they may not actually be married. In a world where respectability and class are paramount, this table-turning twist pays off over three acts as each couple grapples with new-found freedom from matrimony. As new information is revealed, it’s unclear which is least acceptable to to each couple — their public or private status change.
When We are Married is a British comedy in which three couples who believe they are jointly celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary learn that none of their marriages have ever been legally legitimate. Written by J.B. Priestley in 1938, the play moves beyond the initial scandal of pre-marital behavior being conducted under the assumption that it was post-marital to the heart of the three relationships on display. The Denver Center Theatre Company’s production, which opens this week, features Jane and Larry Paulsen. The Paulsens have been a couple for more than 30 years, but play husband and wife to other actors in this production.