Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snow Falling on Cedars
Vintage Theatre: 11/22 – 12/15

     Spare and clear as Haiku, Director Sam Wood’s “Snow Falling on Cedars” is also illuminating and poignant.
     Based upon the David Guterson novel that became a movie in 1999, the story deals with a newspaper reporter who’s covering a murder trial. A fisherman has been killed in Puget Sound and the man accused of the murder is the husband of the reporter’s teenage girl friend.
Left to Right: Arlene Rapal and Ben Cowhick

     Ben Cowhick turns in a superb performance in the role of Ishmael Chambers, the reporter. Arlene Rapal is outstanding as Hatsue. Dale Li rivets as Kabuo Miamoto the accused man. Glenna Kelly turns in a very fine performance as the mother of the deceased fisherman.
     The play includes flashbacks to scenes involving the American concentration camps for the Japanese while the War in the Pacific raged.
Left to Right: Robert Payo and Maria Cheng

     Director Wood has brought together a fine cast that also includes Maria Cheng, Robert Payo, Wade Wood, Roger Simon, Brian Brooks and Christian Munck.    
     Although one bank of lights failed to work on opening night the gallant cast managed to carry off the riveting drama with professional panache.
     The evocative sound design is one of the memorable highlights.

Vintage Theatre presents
"Snow Falling on Cedars"
A courtroom drama, a mystery, a love story set in a community divided by whites and Japanese.
*Nov. 22 - Dec. 15
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.
$25 ($20 advance)
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Death by Miss Fortune
Windsor Gardens Theatre Company

     Pamela Clifton has directed a very fun production of a play called “Death by Miss Fortune” over at Windsor Gardens.
           Mary Julsen and Ed Loffredo

     It was a genuine pleasure to get to experience the presentation of this comic pastiche. Clifton, who also wrote the script, has assembled an adorable and enthusiastic cast who are learning the dramatic arts and having a ball in the process.
     The scenario communicated by these thespians is that of a playwright who is writing a mystery involving a murder at a talent show. The seniors who brought this comedy to life are getting a chance that many would envy. They are embracing this lucky opportunity with enthusiasm and passion.
                           Lynn Nicholson

     The auditorium at which, Clifton and her cast present their shows is comfortable and elegant. This is a group of actors who really know what it means to entertain a sold out house and having a great good time themselves.Marlowe's Musings

Rancho Mirage
Curious Theatre: through Dec. 7
     Sometimes one is simply overwhelmed by the artistry on the Denver stage. For a rolling world premiere “Rancho Mirage” rocks. It’s the funniest of Steven Dietz’s plays to date and one of the most entertaining productions to have been seen at Curious for a long time. 
     Director Christopher Leo has assembled a cast of Curious Theatre’s brightest stars and gives the proceedings a quicksilver pace that keeps us totally enthralled throughout.
     Playwright Dietz has great compassion and a great sense of humor about his characters’ frailty, frustrations and foibles.  These characters are friends in the true sense of the word. Since they know each other so well the are able to

Left to right: C. Kelly Leo and Karen Slack

annoy and madden each other with their petty peeves and critical gaze. What they do for the audience is destroy funny bones.
     Bill Hahn pulls out all the stops with a performance that is comic gold! C. Kelly Leo is at her best in a searing melt down near final curtain. Karen Slack, Erik Sandvold, David Russell and Devon James are all at the top of their game.
                                        Left to right: Bill Hahn, C. Kelly Leo and Karen Slack

      The professionalism is everywhere present and there is a budget that allows for visual and auditory satisfaction many times missing in theatres with a more modest allowance. Every actor onstage delivers Mr. Dietz’s wordsmithing with an undeniable naturalness. Everything feels fresh and as if these characters were all encountering these dilemmas for the first time. Dietz’s characters have known each other forever…know the buttons to push as well as the pitfalls of conversation to avoid - and in no time flat - to wallow around in with glee.
     It’s Christopher Leo’s best directorial work to date and it will make you roar!

Curious Theatre Company
1080 Acoma St.
Denver, CO 80204     For tickets go online to or call the box office at 303-623-0524Marlowe's Musings

Friday, November 8, 2013

Electra Onion Eater
Buntport Theatre: 11/1 - 11/23Left to right: Erik Edborg, Andrew Horwitz, Erin Rollman and Hannah Duggan
     Buntport Theatre is a gift of the gods! Their lampooning of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy ”Electra” is a delectable ambrosia.
     “Electra Onion Eater” proves once again that the demigods over at Buntport have the recipe for turning the most tragic tale into an evening of theatre that’s an Olympian laugh riot! Anyone who saw their send-up of Shakespeare’s “Titus” knows that.
     The genius of this troupe is that they are able to sublimate ego (Really? I know!) and collaborate in the writing and directing in order to bring forth shows that are somehow sublimely smart and sensationally silly.
     This one is sort of a tragedy of the geeks that gives us a mash-up of contemporary sit com and advert jingle while providing a nudge and a wink to the mask which uneasy wears the frown.
      Hannah Duggan is the magnificently breezy and carefree matriarch, Clytemenestra. Erin Rollman is her hysterical (and hysterically funny) daughter Electra who, continues to grieve for her dead daddy Agamemnon by cryin’ like a rat eatin’ onions. Erik Edborg is Orestes, Elektra’s long lost 

      In this glimpse into the dirty laundry of one of the original dysfunctional families of Greek theatre the Buntport crew has brought in guest artist Andrew Horwitz as friend of the fam, Brucey-Goosey.
     Even if you have never heard of Sophocles’ “Electra”…No Worries! The show’s so tight you get it all right from the start.
     This show comes with the highest of recommendations from this reviewer’s desk.Marlowe's Musings

Buntport Theatre is located at 717 Lipan St Ste B Denver, CO 80204 Call (720) 946-1388 or go online at for tickets

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Edge Theatre Company: Through 11/17
     There is a fine production of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at The Edge Theatre.  Directed by Angela Astle, The Edge continues its reputation for taking risks.
     Brian Landis Folkins’ portrayal of Brick is a compelling one that is modulated with true craftsmanship.

Brian Landis Folkins and Maggy Stacy

     Maggy Stacy’s sultry performance in the role of Maggie the cat is a convincing one.
    Emma Messenger is outstanding as Big Mama. Her character is deliciously real in her aggravating and annoying characterization.
                            Maggy Stacy and Emma Messenger

     Marc Stith’s Gooper is imbued with so much humanity one feels an empathy for a character one generally dislikes.
     Russell Costen’s Big Daddy is powerful.
                                    Russell Costen
     Justin Lane’s scenic design for Astle’s vision of this in the round presentation is extremely well done. Aided by the sound design of Kenny Storms and Steve Caldarola’s lighting design the show is blessed with external natural sounds and explosions of fireworks. Caroline Smith’s costumes are spot on.

Photo Credit: Rachel D Graham / RDGPhotography

The Edge Theatre
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
The classic favorite story of a Southern family in crisis.
Oct 18 – Nov 17
Fri./Sat. @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun. @ 6 p.m.
Tickets: $20 - $22
303-232-0363 or online at
The Edge Theatre, 1560 Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood CO 80214. Free Parking.Marlowe's Musings