Sunday, December 22, 2013

Young Frankenstein
Vintage Theatre: 12/20 – 2/2
     As a character in his own film, “History of the World Part I” Mel Brooks says: ”It’s Good to be the king.” Brooks truly is the king…of Comedy. His 1974 film “Young Frankenstein” is now a cult favorite. Many fans know every line right down to the accent the actors used. 
     In 2007 “Young Frankenstein, the Musical” was nominated for three Tony Awards and also received The Outer Critics Circle’s award for Best Musical.
     In Director Deb Flomberg’s production of “Young Frankenstein” there are laughs galore!  One of the nice directorial touches was Ms. Flomberg’s having the villagers running with cardboard cut-outs of the trees to give the illusion that the horse cart is moving in the number “Roll, Roll, Roll in Za Hay.”
Seth Maisel

     Seth Maisel does a fine job of portraying Frederick Frankenstein. Maisel’s  performance is full of the hysteria and panic one remembers from Gene Wilder’s portrayal of this character in the movie.
    Mark Shonsey is a hoot as Frankenstein’s coweled and hump-shifting assistant Igor.

Mark Shonsey

     Hunter Hall’s music direction gives us a very full sound from the offstage live orchestra. From time to time one might wish however, for a bit of volume modulation in the sound design so that none of the deliciously funny dialogue is missed.
    Mike Kienker’s portrayal of the monster is so funny it’s scary. Jamie Horban’s choreography is at its best in the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” number in which Mr. Kienker and Mr. Maisel take center stage. 
    Patrick Brownson’s Inspector Kemp contributes nicely.
     Douglas Clark has provided a very clever set complete with all things dungeon-like. Christopher Waller’s lighting design s filled with electrical zaps and bolts of lightning, which are magnified by Curt Behm’s thunderous sound design.
     Kristi Siedow-Thompson is a voluptuous and fetching Inga. 
     Shahara Ray’s Elizabeth is most memorable. When she gets to unleash her acting and singing prowess in her ode to her own vanity: “It’s me, it’s Me, It’s me” she is especially good! 
     The opening night crowd embraced the show with great laughter and huge applause.
Dec. 15 - Feb 2
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 31@ 6:30 p.m.
$31($26 advance)
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre: 11/16 – 3/1
     The 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” has been a cult favorite ever since it opened and its fans adore the musical it spawnedalot! In 2005 The Pythonesque musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical on Broadway.
      Goofy, silly, wacky and irreverent, “Spamalot” is a whimsical fantasia of the omnipotent variety. I can hardly wait to get back to see it again. This time the whole fam damily is going!
                                                     Wayne Kennedy and Alicia Dunfee
     Alicia Dunfee is magnificent as the Lady of the Lake. Ms. Dunfee is decked out in some of the most gorgeous costumes to have been seen this season. The gowns costume designer Linda Morken has created for Ms. Dunfee’s aquatic goddess  shimmer and sparkle throughout. Dunfee’s vocals are, as usual, outstanding.
     Wayne Kennedy is an Arthur who is disturbed, doubting and indubitably destined to discover the whereabouts of the Grail. Bob Hoppe is a superb Sir Robin. Brian Jackson has never been better as Sir Launcelot , a Knight of Ni and an epithet-spewing Frenchman on the battlements. The winsome, bodacious Brian Norber is a hoot as Dennis’s mother.  Brett Ambler, Blake Walton and Scott Severtson deliver the goods with just the right over the top over acting. And who would have thunk that the voice of Jerry Lewis is the actual Voice of God? Scott Beyette is delightfully subservient in the role of Patsy, Arthur’s longsuffering servant. And last but not least,the Lady of the Lake’s “Laker Girls” are given just the right cheerleading  pulchritude and chutzpah by Tracy Warren, Jessica Hindsley, Norelle Moore and Tracy Zimmerman.
Left to right: Brian Jackson, Wayne Kennedy, Scott Beyette and some short Knights of Ni
     Ms. Arpan directs with the sure hand of one who has known numerous actors in all of the roles in this show. This lady performed in this show on Broadway and was part of the national tour. Arpan really knows what works and what doesn’t as far as staging Monty Python’s funny “business.” Her direction emphasizes all the allusions to past musicals inherent in the show. The Fiddler on the Roof (“You Won’t Succeed on Broadway”…if you don’t have any Jews) and Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” (“The Song that goes Like This”) are just two of these. There are also jabs at “Wizard of Oz,” “West Side Story” and numerous other musicals.
     Amy Campion has done wonders with the set and Todd Debreceni’s Armor Fabrication and Design is astounding. The fun quotient of this show is exponential and the laugh meter is nearly always on hyperdrive!
Oh, and if you order the Prime Rib your waiter will shout “Fetchez la vache!”
For tickets call 303-449-6000 or go online at
Boulder’s Dinner Theatre is located at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue
, Boulder, Colorado

For tickets call 303-449-6000 or go online at
Boulder’s Dinner Theatre is located at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, Colorado.

Monday, December 2, 2013

    Town Hall Arts; 11/15 – 12/29
     With Bob Wells’ direction of his new production of “Annie” Town Hall Arts continues its claim to being one of the very best musical theatre venues in the region.
     Wells has discovered a phenomenal talent in Sydney Fairbairn. She’s that little girl with the red hair and the indomitable hope for Tomorrow. It doesn’t hurt that she’s cute as a button and can sing either. We’ve seen enough reproductions of this show in which the child actors are just not up to the task. And while we’re on the subject the ensemble of little girls in the orphanage is superb to a waif. Running the orphanage as Miss Hannigan is LuAnn Buckstein, one of Denver’s foremost talents in comedic acting. It is to be hoped that Ms. Buckstein will be seen again soon in productions such as this one. Her talent for character roles is remarkable. 
     Daniel Langhoff is outstanding in the role of Daddy Warbucks. A bit youngish for the role, Langhoff does smashing work. His duets with Ms. Fairbaim ("Something was Missing" and "I Don't Need Anything But You") as well as his delivery of numbers such as “N.Y.C.” stun!
                               Rebekah Ortiz, Daniel Langhoff and Sydney Fairbairn 

     Rebekah Ortiz, who knocked everyone out in Ignite’s “Pippin, proves a fetching Grace.
     Cory Wendling's fiery performance in the role of Rooster tears the place up accompanied by Taylor Nicole Young's superb Lily.
                  Left to Right: Cory Wendling, LuAnn Buckstein and Taylor Nicole Young

     There are great talents in the supporting cast as well: Damon Guerrasio, Paul Jaquith, Kevin Walton, Kateri Cates and John Mackey.
     The technical work is flawless. Tina Anderson’s set design moves us in Bob Wells’ seamlessly precise transitions from orphanage to mansion to Times Square with artistry that’s illuminated by Seth Allison’s eye-popping lighting design.
     Donna Kolpan Debreceni has provided us with ear pleasing tracks of the indescribably delicious variety.
     Kelly Kates’ choreography is exhilarating!
     Cindy Franke’s costumes are spot on.
     You’ll have to pray to the theatre gods to get a seat. The run is nearly SRO!

Town Hall Arts is at 2450 West Main Street, Littleton Colorado
Call 303-794-2787  for tickets or go online at