Monday, May 23, 2016

Dear reader, please be aware that this is going to be a LONG list of plaudits for a production filled with spectacular talent and staged in a wondrous palatial theatre that is Divine.

Debby Boone in foreground with L-R: Tracy Warren, Matt LaFontaine and Sarah Grover (All photo credits go to Rachel Graham Photography)
The current production of INTO THE WOODS at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is a slam dunk smash hit! Opening with the sensationally talented Emmy Award winning Debby Boone as the Witch for the first three weeks, the balance of the run will feature Beth Beyer, the brilliant Adelaide in the recent concert version of “Guys and Dolls” at Lone Tree Arts Center.
     Directed by Don Berlin, one of Colorado’s premiere theatre talents, the casting is awesome. The crew of techies assembled for this huge endeavor is equally impressive.
     The result? An evening of theatre that rivals Broadway musicals on Broadway.
     Debby Boone is spellbinding (and really 'lights up' the stage!)  as the Witch.
               Rachel Turner 
     Ravishing in the costumes created by Laurie and Rae Klapperich, Rachel Turner’s exquisite Cinderella mesmerizes us with her crystalline vocals.
     Tracy Warren (Marlowe Award for "Mary Poppins") gives us a Baker’s Wife to die for!  
L-R: Tracy Warren, Matt LaFontaine and Debby Boone
     Matt LaFontaine’s (Marlowe Award for "Fiddler on the Roof") performance of the Baker is an affectionately drawn, beautifully acted and vocally masterful portrayal.
     As Cinderella’s Mom, Little Red’s Granny and the Lady Giant, Maggie Tisdale is a whirlwind of maternal, geriatric and well… ‘gigantic’ theatrical expression. 
L-R: Markus Warren and James Francis
   Markus Warren gives us two unforgettable portrayals. The first is a chilling stalker of a big bad wolf singing "Hello, Little Girl." The second is that of Cinderella's Prince,who together with James Francis (Rapunzel's Prince) stuns the audience with an awesome rendition of "Agony."
     L-R: Kalond Irlanda Melissa Sawyer and Matt LaFontaine
     Melissa Swift-Sawyer, who mesmerized us with her breathtaking acting and singing in Colorado’s longest-running show, “Always, Patsy Cline,” is brilliant as Jack’s Mother. 
     Sarah Grover (Marlowe Award for "The Addams Family") is all gleeful girlish naivete  as Little Red Riding Hood.

Kalond Irlanda and Sarah Grover 
      Kalond Irlanda delivers a delightfully well sung Jack.
     Bob Hoppe's choreography (Marlowe Award for "The Addams Family") astonishes!
     Music Director/Conductor Phil Forman and his scrum diddly orchestra deliver Sondheim’s score with ear-pleasing professionalism. 
       Scenic Designer Michael R. Duran gives us one of his very  best sets - and there have been many! - in memory. Shannon Johnson’s lighting design creates magical mood shifts that delightMark Derryberry’s sound design is giant-stomping perfection!    Todd Debreceni (Marlowe Award for Make-up and Special F/X) does yeoman’s work transforming Debby Boone’s beautiful face into that of a totally awesome, rad and gnarly witch.
     The dinner, served up by an attentive and congenial wait staff, is mouth-watering. (Am I sounding a little bit like the Wolf?) The prime rib with Bordelaise butter that my guest for the evening and yours truly had was divine! The Berry Brownie Trifle was equally deelish! It’s a bit of a jaunt up to Johnson’s Corner but it’s SO worth it! This plush, elegant venue is also one of the most comfortable you will have experienced.

Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

INTO THE WOODS!!!!!!!!Marlowe's Musings

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is located at 4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown Colorado,80534
For tickets call the Box Office at 970-744-3747 or go online at

Monday, May 16, 2016

White Guy on the Bus
Curious Theatre Company: 5/14 – 6/24
                         Sam Gregory and Jada Suzanne Dixon
With its production of Bruce Graham’s “White Guy on the Bus” Curious Theatre Company holds the mirror up to well-heeled white America. That which is reflected in this mirror with regard to racial bigotry and white entitlement is not new and most assuredly not pretty. By show’s end this haunting and provocative play leads us to a moment of violent rage. Don’t try to assume that you can guess what that will look like in advance. Mr. Graham’s non-linear play is miraculously unpredictable. The play is full of incendiary dialogue unveiling the lies we tell ourselves about civil rights and racial equality.
     Sam Gregory plays Ray, the white guy in question. Ray’s a financier who’s burnt out and verbalizes fantasies about leaving his job and living in blissful solitude like Thoreau or Gaugin. Gregory’s portrayal is wondrous in its ability to conjure emotions such as rage out of a character who appears to be a lost soul drifting in a world of ease and opulence.
    Jada Suzanne Dixon is Shatique, the single African-American mother, Ray meets on the bus. Dixon gives her budding acquaintance with Ray the suspicious, slow to warm credibility necessary to create the backdrop for the drama about to unfold in their lives.
     Dee Covington plays Ray’s wife, Roz, a dedicated teacher at an inner city school that’s 72% African American. Covington creates a forthright character whose outspoken personality is as compassionate as it is judgmental.
     Andy Waldschmidt plays Christopher, Ray and Roz’s surrogate son. Christopher’s entrée into the world of advertising has its own rules and regulations on the politically correct depiction of racial images specifically designed to persuade the masses to purchase its products.
     Rachel Bouchard portrays Molly, Christopher’s girl friend, as naïve and generally unable to keep up with Roz’s more seasoned arguments on racial issues.
     Chip Walton's direction is his usual professional excellence.
     Shannon McKinney’s lighting design, which manages to frame the piece in the stillness of an etheric post mortem fluidity, is exceptional. Jason Ducat’s sound design is outstanding. However …  Michael Duran’s limbo of a scenic design disappoints.
Thursdays – Saturdays: 8 pm
*note: there will be a performance on Wed, June 22 at 8pm Sundays: 2 pm
Talkbacks will follow all performances May 19 – June 24

Curious Theatre Company,
1080 Acoma Street, Denver CO, 80204
(Near 11th Avenue and Acoma Street)
Tickets start at $18
The Box Office is located at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver
303.623.0524 or online at

Monday, May 9, 2016


     Paced with the fleetness of a speeding locomotive by director John Ashton, “November” is a political satire brimming with hilarious and politically incorrect bon mots, innuendos and obscenities.
     The president’s ratings are lower than a snake’s belly and it doesn’t look good for his being re-elected. Political greed, bigotry and incompetence are rampant. In short, he’s fucked up just about everything he’s touched. Sound familiar?
     Kevin Hart’s hilarious, rapid fire delivery of President Charles Smith’s political and social ineptitude will take your breath away.
      The ridiculous candidates who have created such unfathomable insanity over the last year have infested our living rooms with their ridiculous political debates. Here’s your chance to have a good belly laugh at the expense of these clowns.
   L-R: Sam Gilstrap, Bernie Cardell, Kevin Hart, Eric Mather and Amie MacKenzie  

Eric Mather portrays Archer Brown, the president’s advisor, with hilarious tongue-in-cheek decorum as he does his best to counter the farcical hare-brained ideas his boss is constantly promoting. Mather’s consistently foiled attempts to keep the President from stepping any deeper into the political doo-doo provides us with one of the most dynamically expressive ‘straight men’ in memory.
     Amie MacKenzie is Bernstein, the president’s beleaguered speech-writer. MacKenzie, who stunned Denver with her portrayal of the canine star of the Avenue’s production of “Sylvia,” provides the only female voice – could it be the voice of reason? - in this male-driven show.
     Bernie Cardell turns in a knee slapper of a performance in the role of the Representative of the National Association of Turkey and Turkey Products.
     Sam Gilstrap is a heart-stopping stitch as Indian chief Dwight Grackle.
     You can expect a fine lighting design by Steve Tangedal and a great scenic design by Ashton, Jeff Jesmer and Patrick Gerace.   
      In this year of political insanity and incivility NOVEMBER may just be the perfect antidote for election year jitters.  There’s nothing like a peek inside the oval office to discover just how well five brilliant actors can roast politicians!
     In fact, you may feel like you’ve just been treated to a couple of hours of deliciously sweet and much needed … REVENGE!Marlowe's Musings

The Avenue Theater is located at 417 E. 17th Avenue in Denver,CO.

For tickets call 303-321-5925 or go online at