Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Cripple of Inishmaan
Miners Alley Playhouse: 1/30 - 3/8

            L-R: Cody Schuyler, Linda Suttle, Sasha Fisher and Mark Collins

  The Cripple of Inishmaan is set in the isles just off the west coast of Ireland in 1934. When crippled Billy, the cow-gazing, book-reading titular character hears that Yank director Robert Flaherty is coming to film "The Man of Aran," he makes plans to leave home for his screen test. McDonagh's writing affords us a glimpse of rural Ireland with more than a dollop of the Irish flair for spinnin' a grand tall tale. One might say that it's a view of humanity "through a glass of the poteen darkly."
     Well cast and paced by director Len Matheo, the show rivets in the intimacy of Miners Alley Playhouse.  
      New to this reviewer,Cody Schuyler turns in an endearing  performance in the role of Billy. It is to be hoped that this will open up many opportunities for this very fine actor to tread the local boards.
     Mark Collins delivers a tour de force in the role of Johnnypateenmik, a relentless busy body who revels in his being the first to announce breaking news to the locals. To his credit, Collins has done excellent work with the dialect coaching as well. Unlike some previous productions in which playwright McDonagh's dialogue has been mercilessy mangled or swallowed, here the wordsmith's glorious prose is beautifully articulated and easily understood.
     Johnnypateenmik's drunken mother (Mammy) is  played with joyous abandon by the darlin' of the Denver stage herself, Carla Kaiser Kotrc. It's been way too long since we've had the pleasure of her company upon the local boards and herself is hereby required to grace our stage far more often. 


                                             Cody Schuyler and Meredith Young

     As Helen, Meredith Young gives the acid-tongued antics of the female gangsta of the neighborhood a spitfire appeal that will stay with you well past St. Paddy's Day. 

     The masterful muggings of  Brandon Palmer are exactly right for his portrayal of Bartley, the local lover of sweeties and victim of the mischievous pranks of young Helen.   
 
     Linda Suttle and Sasha Fisher play Billy's overprotective aunties with a wink and a grin that's got an underpinning of malevolent bile when they think they've been abandoned by the boy.     Sam Gilstrap turns in his best work to date as Babbybobby.
       Jonathan Scott-McKean's realistic scenic design somehow manages to include the rocky Irish shoreline as well as the requisite quaint rustic interior. 
     Shannon McKinney's lighting design is of the professional quality Colorado audiences have come to expect.  Nicole M. Harrison's patched and tattered costume design is spot on. 

Miners Alley Playhouse presents
"The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Jan. 30 - Mar. 8
Fri/Sat @ 7:30.p.m. Sundays at 6:00 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sun., March 8).
No performance on Sunday, February 1and Saturday, February 14.
$23

Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
303-935-3044 or online at minersalley.com
Marlowe's Musings



Thursday, January 22, 2015


The 2014 Marlowe Awards
It's a humbling task to attempt to choose the best performances and the best technical achievements of the Denver Theatre Community in 2014. 

Getting a production from page to stage is a daunting task. The collaborative nature of every endeavor to produce a play requires a network of artists, many of whom are unseen and unsung. This reviewer would like to express gratitude to each and all who helped make this past year the artistic triumph that it was. 

Since there was so much outstanding work done this past year, this reviewer has listed the top three in each category. 


                                L-R: Emily Patton-Davies and Emma Messenger


                     L-R: Kurt Brighton, Kelley Uhlenhopp and Haley Johnson

Outstanding Actress in a Drama
Emma Messenger, The Beauty Queen of Linnane, The Edge Theatre Company
Haley Johnson, Streetcar Named Desire, Vintage Theatre Productions
Deborah Curtis, The Road to Mecca, Miners Alley Playhouse


                                                         Cajardo Lindsey


                        Ben Cowhick

   

                                    Kevin Hart

Outstanding Actor in a Drama
Cajardo Lindsey, The Whipping Man, Curious Theatre Company
Ben Cowhick, Good Television, Ashton and Abster Productions
Kevin Hart, M Butterfly, Theatre Esprit Asia

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role Drama
Emily Patton Davies, Beauty Queen of Linnane, The Edge Theatre Company
Kelly Uhlenhopp, Streetcar Named Desire, Vintage Theatre Productions
Miriam BC Tobin, A Few Good Men, Spotlight Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role Drama
Sam Gregory, Hamlet, The Denver Center Theatre Company
Geoffrey Kent, Henry IV, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Paul Borrillo, Painted Bread, Aurora Fox Arts Center


                                      Deborah Persoff and Jose Zuniga

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Deborah Persoff, Harold and Maude, Vintage Theatre Productions
Dee Covington, Good People, Curious Theatre Company
Patti Yaconis, The Graduate, The Edge Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Michael McNeill, Good People, Curious Theatre Company
Jose Zuniga, Harold and Maude, Vintage Theatre Productions
Chandler Darby, The Graduate, The Edge Theatre Company

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Denver Center Theatre Company
Julia Jackson, She Loves Me, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
Jennifer DeDominici, Guys and Dolls, Lone Tree Arts Center


                                            Wayne Kennedy

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Wayne Kennedy, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage
Steven Day, Spamalot, Aurora Fox Arts Center
David Hess, Guys and Dolls, Lone Tree Arts Center


                              LuAnn Buckstein

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role Comedy
LuAnn Buckstein, Death by Design, Spark Theater Company
Betty Hart, Good People, Curious Theatre Company
Sallie Diamond, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Germinal Stage Denver

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role Comedy
Christian Mast, Orphans, The Edge Theatre Company
Tupper Cullum, Sylvia, Ashton/Abster Productions
Todd Black, Boeing, Boeing, Spotlight Theatre Company

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role Musical
Arlene Rapal, Miss Saigon, Vintage Theatre Productions
Melissa Swift–Sawyer, Memphis, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
Barb Reeves, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role Musical
Scott Severtson, Shrek, the Musical, BDT Stage
Steven Day, She Loves Me, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
Matt LaFontaine, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage

Outstanding Director Drama
Craig Bond, Streetcar Named Desire, Vintage Theatre Productions
Michael Stricker, The Beauty Queen of Linnane, The Edge Theatre Company
Bernie Cardell, Twelve Angry Men, Cherry Creek Theatre

        Pamela Clifton

Outstanding Director Comedy
Pamela Clifton, Harold and Maude, Vintage Theatre Productions
Ed Baierlein, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Germinal Stage Denver
Len Matheo, Parallel Lives, Miners Alley Playhouse

Outstanding Director Musical
Michael Duran, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage
Matt Peters, Swing, Town Hall Arts Center
Brenda Billings, The Fantasticks, Miners Alley Playhouse

Outstanding Production of a Play Drama
The Whipping Man, Curious Theatre Company
The Beauty Queen of Linnane, The Edge Theatre
Henry IV, Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding production of a Play Comedy
Sylvia, Ashton and Abster Productions
The Good People, Curious Theatre Company
I Hate Hamlet, Colorado Shakespeare Festival



Outstanding production of a Musical
Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage
She Loves Me, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
The Fantasticks, Miners Alley Playhouse


Outstanding Choreography
Kathleen Marshall, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Denver Center Theatre Company
Matt Peters, Swing, Town Hall Arts Center
Alicia King Dunfee, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage


CSF's "The Tempest" with lighting by Shannon McKinney and scenic design by Kent Homchick

Outstanding Lighting
Shannon McKinney, The Tempest, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Brett Maughan, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage
Seth Alison, Spring Awakening, Town Hall Arts Center

Outstanding Sound
Craig Breitenbach, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Denver Center Theatre Company
Wayne Kennedy, Shrek the Musical ,  BDT Stage
Jason Ducat, The Tempest, Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Scenic Design
Amy Campion, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage
Kent Homchick, The Tempest, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Brian Mallgrave, She Loves Me, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Outstanding Music Direction
Neal Dunfee, Fiddler on the Roof, BDT Stage
Mitch Samu, The Fantasticks, Miners Alley Playhouse
David Nehls, She Loves Me, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Outstanding Costumes
Paul Tazewell, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Denver Center Theater Company
Clare Henkel, The Tempest, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Liz Jasperse, She Loves Me, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Outstanding Ensemble
Forbidden Broadway, Denver Center For the Performing Arts
Swing, Town Hall Arts Center
Parallel Lives, Miners Alley Playhouse


Best Touring Company
Pippin, Denver Center for the Performing Arts



        Michael Mayes and Jennifer Rivera in Dead Man Walking

Best Production of an Opera
Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best Opera Diva
Jennifer Rivera, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best Opera Artist Male
Michael Mayes, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best Supporting Opera Diva
Maria Zifchak, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best Supporting Opera Artist Male,
Adam Klein, Carmen, Opera Colorado

Best Director of an opera,
Ken Cazan, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best conductor of an Opera
John Baril, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best Lighting Design of an Opera
David Martin Jacques, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera

Best Scenic Design of an opera
Alan E. Muraoka, Dead Man Walking, Central City OperaMarlowe's Musings


























Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Other Desert Cities
Vintage Theatre: 1/16 – 3/1
                    L-R:Jan Cleveland and Molly Killoran

     “Other Desert Cities” Is a Pulitzer Prize nominated drama with a deliciously unpredictable script.  Playwright Jon Robin Baitz has done a masterful job of penning a script that makes audiences do a complete reversal of their preliminary vision of his characters in Act Two.
     After being gone for six years, Brooke Wyeth returns to her parents’ home in Palm Springs, California with her new novel in hand. It’s Christmas and Brooke announces to her parents that she’s about to publish “a memoir” describing a tragic event in the family’s past that opens a deep emotional wound.
     Molly Killoran portrays Brooke Wyeth with the exact right petulant look and peevish expressions as the rebel of this dysfunctional family.
     Jan Cleveland portrays Brooke’s mother, Polly, as a witty if bigoted conservative at the top of the play and later as a furious matriarch as her daughter’s unforgiving assertions intensify. 
                                                     Paul Page as Lyman Wyeth


   As Lyman Wyeth, Paul Page provides a nuanced portrayal of a man who struggles to remain the caring patriarch of this dysfunctional tribe even in the face of the merciless accusations of his daughter.

                                          Molly Killoran and Luke Sorge

      Luke Sorge turns in a completely natural performance in the role of Brooke’s brother, Trip.
      Libby Rife portrays Silda Grauman, Polly’s alcoholic sister with a self-deprecating humor that changes to emotional anguish as her niece Brooke’s torrent of vitriol is unleashed.
      Director Bernie Cardell has done a great job eliciting very fine performances from one and all in this intimate and compelling production. Cardell, who also designed the realistic set, wisely incorporates a wall full of empty picture frames that provides us as audience with a metaphor for blocked family secrets.


Vintage Theatre presents
“Other Desert Cities”
A memoir dredging up tragic events in the Wyeth family history is a wound they don't want reopened.
Jan. 16 - Mar. 1
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb 28 t 2:30 p.m.
$28 ($24 advance); Group rates available
303-856-7830 or online at www.vintagetheatre.org
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dream Girls
Ignite Theatre: 12/27 – 1/18
     Anna High is a dream soaring to the heights as Effie White in Ignite Theatre's "Dream Girls." Hers is a powerhouse performance. 
When she sings she commands the stage and when we hear the show stopper "And I'm Telling You I'm not Going".... what a gift!  (This reviewer had the privilege of seeing  the original production of “Dream Girls” on Broadway in 1982. It was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won 6.)
     Some of the other actors who stand out in this huge cast are Shanna L Woods as Deena Jones, Shandra Duncan as Lorell Robinson and Justin Spann as Jimmy “James Thunder” Early.
     The very fine choreography by Reace Daniel and Jeffrey Parizotto adds to the overall enjoyment of this evening of theatre.
     Trent Hines has done a great job with the music direction and strikes a fine balance between the orchestra and the actors and singers onstage.
     Keith Rabin, Jr. has directed a glitzy crowd-pleaser of a production at Aurora Fox Arts. It’s got lots of flash and flare descriptive of the rise of a group of singers that will bring back memories of Diana Ross and the Supremes. 


For tickets call the box office at 720-362-2697 or go online at www.ignitetheatre.comMarlowe's Musings