Sunday, December 23, 2012

                  MarloweMeister Productions
                          From Hell to Breakfast”

                                   Missy Moore as The Dufus                                      
                          “The Train Wreck Cometh”
                              An outrageous one-act from the warped mind of David Marlowe

 Starring Missy Moore, Deborah Persoff, Pamela Clifton, Jan Cleveland, Joey Wishnia, Kurt Brighton, Bob Leggett, Daymond Caylo and Skip Wee.

                                            One night only, December 31st
                                     Let this be the last thing you see in 2012!

                                  Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St. Aurora 
                        Doors and bar open at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm
                               Tickets are $12 in advance/ $15 at the door       (Complimentary glass of champagne included)
           For reservations call 303-629-9115 or go online at  (enter From Hell to Breakfast in the search box)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Forty Second Street
Boulder’s Dinner Theatre: 11/9 – 2/16

     “Come and meet those dancing feet!”

Left to right : Bob Hoppe, Johnny Stewart, Katie Ulrich, Wayne Kennedy, John Scott Clough and Wayne Kennedy (photo credit Glenn Ross Photography/

     If you like a knock-out musical about life in the theatre half as much as this reviewer does you’re going to adore Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s superb production of “Forty Second Street.” Director Michael Duran has paced this perennial favorite with a brisk lively tempo and cast the show impeccably.
     John Scott Clough brilliantly portrays Julian Marsh, the hard-edged director  with a heart of gold
     Johnny Stewart delivers a great break out performance as the charming Billy Lawlor.
     Ali Dunfee’s Dorothy Brock is smashing! Katie Ulrich is a fine Peggy Sawyer. Joanie Brosseau’s portrayal of Maggie Jones is to die for.
Alicia Dunfee as Dorothy Brock (Photo Credit: Glenn Ross Photography/

     Wayne Kennedy gives us his usual impeccable professionalism as Bert Barry.
     Tracy Warren’s doubles up her superb Anytime Annie as the amazing choreographer for the show. Scott Beyette’s strong portrayal of Pat Denning adds immeasurably to the proceedings.
     Veteran actor Brian Norber who has played everything from Harold Hill in “The Music Man” to Li'l Abner in er "Li'l Abner" and Man in Chair in "The Drowsy Chaperone" chews up the scenery as an irritating sugar daddy with a big wallet and a bad case of Dunlap’s Disease. His paunch (it’s only a costume) has ‘done lapped’ over the belt dontchaknow.
     The ensemble of this show is rock solid. Such actors as Julia Perrotta, Brian Jackson, Bob Hoppe and Brett Ambler enhance the proceedings with chutzpah and panache. Standing out among the newbies in the ensemble at BDT are the likes of Joey Revier, Tracey Zimmerman and Will Hawkins.
     Under the baton of music director Neal Dunfee who conducts that luscious BDT stage orchestra those great old tunes sound better than ever. The sound design by Wayne Kennedy somehow manages the impossible keeping the whole evening an auditory heaven with no miking issues.
     The set by Amy Campion, costumes by Linda Morken and lighting by Rachael Dugan are all of the high quality one has come to expect at this grand dinner theatre.
     And while we are on the subject of dinner let me just say that the pork shanks with which this reviewer indulged himself were of the most scrum-diddilly perfection. My guest for the evening raved on and on over her mouth-watering prime rib.
     You deserve to give yourself the gift of an evening of dinner theatre at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre. If you can’t get a ticket during the holidays due to the huge popularity of this show promise yourself you will ring in the New Year with a visit in January. The show runs Through February 16 so you might even want to get tickets early for that perfect Valentine’s Day date. In any case …
Run to get tickets!Marlowe's Musings

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Man Who Came To Dinner
Spotlight Theatre: Through December 22

     George S. Kafman and Moss Hart debuted their new play, “The Man Who Came To Dinner” in 1939.  Set in a small town in Ohio shortly before Christmas, the show is an ideal choice for bringing community theatre mavens together at the holidays.
      As the show begins Sheridan Whiteside, acerbic wit and critic has fallen on the ice outside the home of Ernest Stanley. Whiteside is the man who was coming to dinner at the Stanley home and who stayed for a good long time.
     The show references countless stars and celebrities who were famous at the time of its writing. Younger audiences may be a bit at sea as Whiteside rattles on about all his famous chums but older audiences will relish those references.
     The cast and crew are made up of the entire board of directors of Spotlight Theatre. So fans of co-directors Bernie Cardell and Pat Payne will enjoy themselves immensely.
     The evening is thoroughly enjoyable if one may add ‘a bit over the top.’ Most theatergoers won’t know that Beverly Carlton was modeled after Noel Coward or that Banjo was modeled after Harpo Marx. Charlie Wingerter and Luke Allen Terry create their own very enjoyable versions of these characters with their very own unique styles. However … Molly Killoran is perhaps the best at nailing the era and the actor (Gertrude Lawrence) after which her character is modeled.
      Dan Connell creates a very enjoyable Sheridan Whiteside. This reviewer’s one criticism might be that it would be wise to slow down those great old lines so that a drop of venom lingers on the lip each time. We want to savor the insidiously hilarious moment.
     Todd Black, Deborah Curtis and The Jaquiths, Paul and Johanna, are all fine in their various roles.
     Katie Mangett’s Mrs. Stanley is a complete and utter joy. Her facial expressions along with her bird-like physical responses to the tragic occurrences are pure gold.
     Linda Suttle is hilarious as an eccentric clothes horse who is the sister of Mr. Stanley. Peggy Miller adds immeasurably to the mirth on stage with her portrayal of the Stanley's cook, Sarah.
     It ain’t perfect, but for the price you can’t beat seeing Dan Connell skewer the Ohio bourgeoisie as pissed off critic Sheridan Whiteside.
Molly Killoran, Dan Connell, Johanna Jaquith, Paul Jaquith

                           See it or get coal in your stocking!

“The Man Who Came to Dinner”
November 17 - December 22
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m. /Sun at 2:00 p.m
Tickets are $20 Adult/ $18 for Students/Seniors
Group rates available.
720-880-8727 or online at
The John Hand Theater, 7653 E. 1st Place, DenverMarlowe's Musings

Monday, December 3, 2012

Miracle on 34th Street
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities: 11/27 – 12/23

         “Miracle on 34th Street” is a visually magnificent production thanks to Brian Mallgrave’s superb scenic design. The show sparkles and shines thanks to Chris Campbell’s costume design and the eye-pleasing lighting by Vance McKenzie. The choreography by Piper Lindsey Arpan is bright, sassy and fun to watch. 

         Although the book, lyrics and music for this musical were penned by Meredith Willson the score is only passably pleasant in comparison with the ones he created for “The Music Man” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

     Nevertheless … Music Director David Nehls will make your ears believe that this score is another Miracle with just a wave of his magic baton. It is to be noted that four decades ago this reviewer picked up the vinyl version of a musical called “Here’s Love” at Woolworth’s in Billings, Montana. After listening to it once it was relegated to that pile of musical mistakes that the ninety-nine cent price tag should have suggested. Brava David Nehls and director Gavin Mayer for making a gorgeous Christmas musical out of that! Genius!

     Director Gavin Mayer has given the show a lively pace that kept the Saturday matinee audience enchanted throughout.

     The principals have been cast from somewhere out of town by wojcik/seay casting, llc. to do the superb job that any number of local actors could be doing. (Remember “Les Miserables?”)

     That said there are numerous local artists plugged into supporting roles and walk-ons.
Most notable among those in supporting roles are: Mark Rubald as a hilarious R.H. Macy and Ben Dicke as a funny funny super klutzy Melvin Shellhammer. The other shining stars in the firmament are: Shannan Steele, Colin Alexander, Heather Doris, Alex Ryer, Daniel Langhoff, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Valerie Hill, Markus Warren, Matthew Dailey, Stephen Charles Turner and Andrew Diessner.

     It’s a wonderful holiday treat that will have you and your family in the holiday mood from start to finish.  Marlowe's Musings

 The award winning Arvada Center will open Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical directed by Gavin Mayer on November 27 running through December 23, 2012 in the Main Stage Theater. The musical is based on the story “Miracle on 34th Street” by Valentine Davies; book, music and lyrics were written and composed by Meredith Willson (The Music Man and The Unsinkable Molly Brown).  Performances are Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.  Preview performances are November 23 - 25. Moderated talkbacks with the cast are offered on Friday, December 7 after 7:30 p.m. show and Wednesday, December 12 after 1:00 p.m. show.  For more information and to purchase tickets, go to or call 720-898-7200.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

                   The Stage Theatre: 11/16 – 12/16

     The Denver Center Theatre Company's production of “When We Are Married” should be a knockout with a cast that includes Jeanne Paulsen, Sam Gregory, Kathleen Brady, Leslie O’Carroll, Benjamin Bonenfant, Erik Sandvold, Jake Walker and John Hutton. It should be a knockout because veteran director Bruce K. Sevy directs it with style.
     It’s an old fashioned play that’s all dolled up as only the Denver Center Theatre Company can doll up a play. The set (Vicki Smith) is gloriously appointed. The costumes (David Kay Mickelson) are ravishing. The lighting (Don Darnutzer) is superb. They’ve even added footlights. Old fashioned foot lights!
     The performances are good to a man/woman with stand-outs being Sam Gregory as a hen-pecked husband who finally gets his mojo back and Kathleen Brady as the cleaning lady who finds herself more legitimate than her snooty employers.
     The problem lies in the fact that we never really care about any of these characters. One feels that perhaps the show is just too slow moving and ok… old fashioned.
     The audience of mostly senior citizens was attentive but not responsive even when invited to sing along with the bouncing ball at final curtain. Perhaps they prefer a more new fangled play.
      J.B. Priestley’s play, surely a hot commodity when it was written in 1907,made this reviewer remember Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was great when it was hot but as the week rolled on and the casseroles rolled out the turkey became less and less tasty to the gobbler.

Single tickets for WHEN WE ARE MARRIED, on sale now, start at $36 (non-SCFD) and also are available for $10 (SCFD 10 for $10 program).  To purchase, call Denver Center Ticket Services at 303.893.4100.  For groups of 10 or more, please call 303.446.4829.  TTY (for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons): 303.893.9582.  Tickets also may be purchased at the Denver Center Ticket Office, located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby.  Buy and print online at  Student rush $10 tickets are available one hour prior to curtain with a valid student ID subject to availability.  Senior and military rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain, subject to availability. No children under six will be admitted to any theatre. 

     PERFORMANCE DATES                                                November 16 – December 16

Tuesday – Thursday                                                             6:30pm
Friday – Sunday                                                                    7:30pm 
Saturday & Sunday matinee                                                1:30pm

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Don Juan in Hell
Germinal Stage Denver: 11/9 – 12/16

     Wise, witty and extremely verbose, George Bernard Shaw’s “ Don Juan in Hell” is a thinking man’s/woman’s play.
     Baierlein’s aesthetically pleasing scenic design is the very picture of balance order and harmony. One is drawn into this immaculate drawing room in Hell by a blue lighting that soothes and invites. Four gorgeous mahogany chairs are the main furnishings of this simple and civilized place. A table with a vase of flowers, a decanter of liquor and four glasses serves as background.
     In their incarnations on earth Don Juan killed Dona Ana’s father, who one may remember damned Juan to Hell in the grand finale of Mozart’s opera. The characters in this play (Act) mirror and illuminate those in the other three Acts of Shaw’s “Man and Superman.”
       Both Don Juan (Terry Burnsed) and Dona Ana are intentionally hidden from view by their costuming in the opening scene. Ostensibly this is because of ego (an enormously ornate hat) in the case of the Don and a robe with cowel for Dona Ana (Julie Michalak) to hide a lady-like sensitivity to age issues. She was 70 upon leaving the earth life experience and doesn’t know that when she unveils herself in Hell she will be whatever age she likes. In this case she chooses late thirties.
     Burnsed, Michalak and Caouette are all superb. However… Michael Shaloub steals the show as the unctuously civil and polite Devil who is dressed like a B movie producer from Malibu.
     Shaw’s irreverence toward the social institutions of his day lampoons the institutions of marriage (“Marriage is the most licentious of institutions.”) and the church (“the flies and fleas and fathers of the Church”) as well as the inhabitants of jolly old England. “The devil’s greatest following is in England. An Englishman thinks himself moral when he’s merely uncomfortable.”
        The costumes are all well designed by Sallie Diamond. The costume for the Statue of the Commendatore (Paul A. Caouette) is of special note. Magnificent!
         Philosopher, rhetorician and outspoken polemicist, Shaw’s Irish wit and wisdom provide the ear with a cascade of amusing profundity. His words flow so clearly and articulately from the mouths of these four artists that it astounds.Heaven it seems is the home of rational thought while Hell houses those who have espoused the virtues on earth. Heaven is to steer and Hell to drift. There are so many bons mots, axioms and witticisms in this evening of theatre that even Baierlein can’t resist getting into the act. In a moment of self-deprecating hilarity we learn that “Hell is like a long wordy play with only one Intermission.”  PSHAW!
     Don Juan in Hell is Act Three (The Dream) of "Man and Superman" and is often performed alone. Shaw’s version of Hell predates Sartre’s that “Hell is other people.” The only other definition I know is Jim Carrey’s: “Maybe there is no actual place called hell. Maybe hell is just having to listen to our grandparents breathe through their noses when they’re eating sandwiches.”

            Run to get tickets!Marlowe's Musings

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time Stands Still
Curious Theatre Company: 11/3 – 12/15

  Christy Montour-Larson is the director of “Time Stands Still.” Need I say more?
     When one sees that this lady is in the director’s chair he can be assured that the production will be grand. As usual the casting is impeccable and the technical work overseen in detail.
                                Left to right: Michael Morgan and Tara Falk

     Tara Falk plays the photojournalist at the heart of the show. Michael Morgan is her foreign correspondent amour. David Russell plays a publisher friend who has a new squeeze named Mandy,played by Devon Bloom.

                                        Left to right: Devon James, David Russell and Tara Falk

     Ms. Falk comes with credits from Broadway and Off Broadway as well as several for her work in television. Falk is a superb actor and flawless in her delivery of the part of Sarah Goodwin. Devon James is superb as the ditzy and utterly enchanting Mandy Bloom. Michael Morgan is outstanding in his performance of the role of James Dodd, the foreign correspondent boy friend of Sarah Goodwin. David Russell is brilliant as Richard Ehrlich. His portrayal gives us a man of sharp intellect with a sterling sense of humor.

     Donald Margulies’ play is thoroughly engrossing and perhaps reaches for a little more than it can deliver.

    At the top of Act Two Sarah and James get married and are seemingly ready to be done with the foreign wars. Richard and Mandy are pregnant. Very shortly Sarah realizes that she is not willing to give up her life as a photojournalist and James reluctantly looks elsewhere for a wife. His choice, a Cambodian E.R. doctor with a twelve-year-old kid.

     There are some very large philosophical questions that are raised in the course of the play that are either unanswered or simply glossed over. The most disturbing of these is whether it would be better to help a critically injured person and save him/her or to get explosively illustrative fotos that may hopefully impact the ending of the war.

     What Margulies does succeed at is showing the need to find one’s way in life as early as possible since Time Stands Still for no one.

      When one is constantly looking at Life through the camera’s lens he can capture moments in Life but never experience it.
       The final moment of the show points this up with devastating, heartbreaking clarity.
This is an outstanding production. You owe it to yourself to see it.
Not to be missed!

Call 303-623-0524 or go online at for tickets.
Curious Theatre is located at 1080 Acoma St. in Denver.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

                          Kiss of the Spider Woman
                                           Vintage Theatre: 10/27 – 12/2
                                          Megan Van De Hey as Aurora
     Heartbreaking and haunting, director Craig Bond’s production of “Kiss of the Spider Woman” is one you really must see… and hear.
     The musical had just about everything going for it by the time it hit Broadway. Music by Kander and Ebb (“Cabaret” and “Chicago”) book by Terrence McNally (“Ragtime” and “The Full Monty”) and all based on the highly successful novel by Manuel Puig. Besides winning multiple Drama Desk and Olivier Awards, “Kiss” snagged Tonys for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book for a Musical.
     It’s the story of two men caged in a Latin American prison cell. Molina is a homosexual window dresser who’s been jailed for eight years for “corrupting a minor.” He clouds the ugly reality of prison life by escaping into fantasies involving memories of Aurora, a movie diva who once frightened him as a vampy film character called the spider woman who killed with her kiss.
     Molina’s cellmate is Valentin, a virile revolutionary type who’s been captured and tortured for his Marxist leanings.
     The show takes place entirely in the tiny claustrophobic prison cell and then expands into the sprawling Cinemascope fantasies conjured up in Molina’s imagination.
     The cast is huge and the chorus includes some seasoned dancers and a number of cute new chorus boys. Director Craig Bond has brought in Ron “Ronnie” Marriott, a choreographer who has worked for many years on Broadway to give the choreography for this show that sensibility needed to conjure up memories of the sweep of those big old nostalgic musicals of yester-year. The music is infectious and Mitch Samu’s musical direction makes it indelibly so.
     Megan Van de Hey’s performance of Aurora, The Spider Woman, is so outrageously well done the memory of her work will be forever etched in your mind. With every syncopated beat she gives us movement a la the physiology of the female spider. Here is yet another coup de theatre performed by this brilliant actor. Her performance is creepy, unsettling and you will not be able to take your eyes off of her.
     Brian Merz-Hutchinson’s portrayal of Valentin is a brilliant tour de force. Powerful and gut-wrenching, Merz-Hutchinson’s arc from homophobic disgust to a tender affection for his cellmate Molina is out pictured with a gritty brio that very few actors in our community could match. His performance of the heart-pounding anthem, “The Day After That,” will put you in mind of those glorious anthems in “Les Mis.”
     L to R: Julie Lemieux, Gabe Morales, Brian Merz-Hutchinson and Deborah Persoff

         Gabe Morales provides us with an endearing portrait of Molina, the gay window dresser who has been imprisoned because of his sexual orientation. Morales creates a strikingly complex character whose love for Valentin and for his mother entangle him in a web of love and delusion.
     Deborah Persoff plays Molina’s mother with a gentling almost ritualistic compassion as she mirrors his (Molina’s) gestures with her own and soothes him by clouding the ugly realities of prison life with her attentive presence. (It’s interesting to note that the writing of this character provided the Broadway musical theatre with its first portrait of a mother who unconditionally loves and accepts her gay son.)
       Julie Lemieux is remarkable in the role of Valentin’s wife, Marta. Ms. Lemieux is an actor with real stage presence. Although her role is small her impact is significant and one looks forward to seeing her again soon upon the boards.
     The singing of the quartet, “Dear One” by Ms. Persoff, Ms. Lemieux , Merz-Hutchinson and Morales is profoundly moving.
     Preston Britton stands out in the ensemble of prisoners, as do Brian Walker-Smith and Brian Murray in that of the guards and warden.
     Sean Cochrane’s very fine set design deconstructs from the ugly experience of the prison cell to the sprawling movie musical fantasy that Molina conjures.
     Not to be missed!
Vintage Theatre presents

Kiss of the Spider Woman 
The complex relationship between two men caged together in a Latin American prison is explored.
Oct. 27 - Dec. 2
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.
Fri/Sat $30; Sun $25 303-856-7830 or online at
NEW Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cinco de Vox
Su Teatro: 10/26 – 11/11

     “Cinco de Vox” is the fifth installment of the series of Vox Phamalia plays created by Edith Weiss and the members of PHAMALY, Denver’s critically acclaimed theatre company. For five years Weiss and the members of this talented group have gotten together and written sketches that illuminate experiences, which frustrate and/or infuriate individuals who are misunderstood and treated with disrespect by "the normies."  Whether it's provoked by stereotyping or just plain ignorance, PHAMALY’s mostly humorous sketches provide them a chance to give their point of view and show “the normies” how ridiculous they are.

     These artists give the theatergoing public a chance to get entertained while they’re being educated. (Moliere did a similar thing with his audience long ago. And like his audience, we as attendees may sometimes find ourselves laughing at ourselves as they did.) At the core what PHAMALY does with these sketches is point up the truth that we are all human beings looking for love and respect and when we get that other stuff it pisses us off!
     A staple of this show is a sketch in which Denver favorite Lucy Roucis appears as Mother Goose. As Roucis unspools the traditional fairy tale of Snow White to a group of politically correct listeners even the title is seen as “racial profiling.” Perhaps it would be better to think of this character as “Snow Flesh-Hued.” The seven dwarfs are corrected to be seven “vertically challenged” men. Happy is “over medicated and  “Dopey” is “traumatic brain injured.” It’s a treat to see Roucis respond to the listeners as this traditional fairy tale gets buried in political correctness. Her performance is worth the price of admission all on its own.
     Some of PHAMALY’s humor is dark but it’s always funny. In the program notes Director Edith Weiss quotes Ann Lamott in saying that “Laughter is carbonated holiness.”
      Weiss and co-director/co-writer Jeremy Palmer have a real winner on their hands this year.
     The only problem is that it’s nearly sold out for the run. So you’d better …
Run to get a ticket!!!!

Vox PHAMALIA: Cinco de VOX
Vox presents a unique and comedic perspective on living with a disability. It’s how the 17% roll.
October 26 - November 11
Fri./Sat. @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun. @ 2 p.m.; Special Performance: Monday, October 29 @ 7:30 p.m.
$20; Groups of 6 or more: $12 each; Oct. 29 special performance - all seats $10
Tickets are available by calling 303-575-0005 or online at
Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe. Dr., Denver, CO 80126
NOTE: Vox PHAMALIA: is intended for mature audiences, 16 and older.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweeney Todd
Ignite Theatre: 10/19 - 11/11
                                                                 Travis Risner
                                                                  Boni McIntyre        
     Ignite Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd,” now on view at Aurora Fox Arts, has some sterling  performances. Travis Risner and Boni McIntyre do a superb job with the macabre barber and baker at the heart of the show. The pinnacle of their work is the hilariously dark singing of “A Little Priest.”

     Sara Closson Metz is a wonder singing “Green Finch and Linnet Bird.” Her singing of the role is utterly enchanting. One hopes to see and hear her soon again upon the Denver stage.
     Tim Howard is outstanding in the role of her sailor love, Anthony. Mr. Howard has proven himself time and again as being one of the best young male actors in musical theatre in the Mile High City in such shows as “The Producers” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” both of which were produced at Town Hall. Here his singing of “Johanna” is magnificent!
    Adam Perkes’ Pirelli is yet another in a string of superbly crafted manic characterizations which includes a well acted and well sung Mordred in the very fine “Camelot” Bernie Cardell directed for Performance Now Theater.
     Matthew Gary is fine in the acting of Tobias. It will be wonderful when his vocal talent matches his acting skills. “No one’s Gonna Harm You” suffers.
     Owen Nyland is strikingly well cast as Beadle Bamford. This is the best work this actor has done onstage thus far.
     Judge Turpin is played with superb  masochistic panache by Shane Delavan. “Pretty Women,” his duet with Mr. Risner is ear-pleasing indeed.
     Jeff Jesmer's scenic design provides us with an ingeniously constructed set that includes a very effective chute from the barber's chair as well as a very well designed set piece giving us the illusion of the oven into which Mr. Risner pushes Ms. McIntyre.
    Visually the characters are too pretty really. Perhaps one might think in future of artists such as
maestro Todd Debreceni regarding the addition of a bulbous nose here and there or an unsightly wart. These characters need a dash of that which makes us believe they've already had, if you will forgive the reference, a "Hard Knock Life."
   The musical direction by Midge McMoyer Smith is very fine indeed. Likewise most of Nicholas Roseth's conducting works admirably. It's a daunting challenge to pace the Sondheim proceedings in a synchronous manner that balances a quartet of young vocalists with that of the orchestra.
     There are sparks, flares and flashes of talent. However the show never quite caught fire on this opening weekend performance. One fully expects the following performances will grow and self transform into the bonfire of insane genius intended by Mr. Sondheim.
Attend the Tale!!!!!!!!!!

Call 720-362-2697 for tickets.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sweet Tooth
Buntport Theatre:  10/19 – 11/17

          Erin Rollman in "Sweet Tooth"

     “Sweet Tooth” is a trip to the dentist that could use some more laughing gas.
     In the opening scene of Buntport Theatre’s newest creation an eccentric agoraphobic woman, played by the always-brilliant Erin Rollman, is seen trying to make herself believe it’s cold when in reality it’s hot as hell. One of her disciples sprinkles her with water and holds up an electric fan to assist her in her deluded musical affirmation that she is cold when in fact her home is blistering hot.
     Her disciples, played by Denver favorites Hannah Duggan and Brian Colonna, live with her in this home, which is entirely red and looks a lot like this reviewer’s memory of the red room in the movie “The Masque of the Red Death.”
           Her cult following will do anything to please her even going so far as to have their own teeth pulled when she has a tooth ache. That’s because their mistress prefers “the representation” of dental work to the actual existential manifestation of having her own tooth extracted. 
     The mistress is fond of sweets and expounds things like: “I can live with the pain as long as I have my taste” and “Don’t drink the Kool Aid.” Get it!  There is a lot of mugging and posing interrupted by intermittent bursts of song. The musical composition by Adam Stone is pleasant enough. It may remind you, as it did this reviewer of the repetitive phrasing of John Adam’s score for his opera, “Nixon in China.” His earlier work with Buntport in “Seal. Stamp. Send. Bang” (not seen by this reviewer) has been referred to as having a “synth pop sound.”
     Superb comic Erik Edborg gets the thankless role of a dentist who makes house calls.
     The piece is an extended hallucination that if one puts an existential premise in a blender along with intermittent references to contemporary music while adding an overlong homage to absurdist theatre tedium will not prevail.
     This reviewer was ready to leave at Intermission, but discovering that there was a second act returned dutifully to his seat for the somewhat shorter grand finale. To paraphrase the playwright(s) the effect was something akin to “comparing apples to orchards.”
     The work that Buntport does is nearly always deliciously toothsome. Here the imaginative and overlong injection of theatrical Novocain just brings on the yawns.

See it if you must.

October 19-November 17
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00
Two Sundays: November 4th and 11th at 3:00
Two pay-what-you-can performances: Thursday October 25th and Monday October 29th (both at 8:00)
Tickets are $16 ($13 for students and seniors)
Opening and closing nights are $20 and include food and drink receptions
717 Lipan Street in Denver's Santa Fe Arts District