Friday, March 28, 2014

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities: 3/25 – 4/13

     Director Rod Lansberry has done it again! His casting of Tari Kelly in the role of Judy Garland is impeccably correct.  Ms. Kelly commands the stage as few actors can.
     This artist is not just channeling Ms. Garland...

                        Tari Kelly is Judy!

     Ms. Kelly’s vocal prowess, backed up by the ear-pleasing orchestra conducted by music director David Nehls will put you into a state of auditory bliss.
     Zachary Clark and Jonas Cohen shine in the roles of Mickey Deans, Judy’s manager/fiancée and Anthony, her accompanist and confidante. Josh Robinson is terrific in a number of supporting roles.
     “End of the Rainbow” is an edgy bio-drama with music that’s set in London in December of 1968. Anyone who loves dark serious drama and is a fan of the iconic Ms. Garland will love this show that looks with insightful poignancy at the star’s final days.
     Brian Mallgrave gives us yet another visually magnificent scenic design.
     As consistently good as Clare Henkel’s costume design always is she has outdone herself with the sensational ensembles and frocks for Ms. Kelly.
     Shannon McKinney’s lighting design is superb!
     Some of the great songs featured are: Anything But Love, Come Rain Or Come Shine, When You’re Smiling and Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

This production contains adult language and content dealing with alcoholism, drug use and sexuality. 
 The Arvada Center is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. and provides free parking for all its patrons. For more information go to or call 720-898-7200

Good People
Curious Theatre: 3/6 – 4/19
     Although it's not without flaws, Curious Theatre’s production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Good People,” comes with high recommendations.
     It’s a provocative show about the inequities of the American class system, societal snobbery and one woman’s attempt to survive.
     While the scenic design by Caitlin Ayer is outstanding and Meghan Doyle’s costumes are spot on, Jason Ducat’s sound design is WAY too loud and abrasive.
     A powerful performance by Dee Covington is the primary reason to see this show.
     Michael McNeill’s acting is in this reviewer’s not so humble opinion, his very best to date.  
     The find of the evening is the delicious Betty Hart,
     Ms. Hart is not only lovely to look at but also provides a nuanced performance in the role of the Doctor ‘s wife.
     Despite some fine acting by the likes of Leslie O’Carroll and John Jurcheck, the early scenes are flat and one hopes intentionally directed that way to provide a dull stuck–in–the-projects backdrop for the fiery confrontation to follow.

Left to Right: Dee Covington and John Jurcheck
 If you’re able to forego the perfection one finds in some of Curious Theatre’s shows you will find much of value in the Curious production of "Good People." 

The Box Office is located at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver 303.623.0524 or online at's Musings

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sisters of Swing
Boulder’s Dinner Theatre: 3/7 – 5/11
                      Left to Right: Joanie Brosseau, Norelle Moore and Tracy Warren

     You know how you hear about  theatres that only cater to the young hip audiences?  Never let it be said that Boulder’s Dinner Theatre doesn’t give equal time to senior audiences. Its production of “Sisters of Swing” gives older theatergoers their due in a show full of old fashioned class.
      If you look around during the show you’ll see lots of older couples lost in their memories of their glory days back in the nineteen forties. This show is all about nostalgia and our boys in uniform in World War II. One small screen at the corner of the proscenium lets us know the exact time and place as the Andrews Sisters take their musical journey to fame.

     These ladies sold over ninety million records and “went gold” nine times.

      The very fine acting and stellar voices of Norelle Moore, Joanie Brosseau and Tracy Warren bring The Andrews Sisters to glowing life. The harmonies this trio delivers are pitch perfect and utterly delicious. Ms. Brosseau is a veteran of many BDT hits and a personal favorite of this reviewer. Her name alone should draw a huge crowd. Tracy Warren directs as well as acts. The newbie on the block is Norelle Moore. It was my great pleasure to meet this artist after her performance in Town Hall’s critically acclaimed production of “HAIR.” One looks forward to seeing this young star again soon upon the BDT stage.
     “Sisters of Swing”is primarily a jukebox musical showcasing such hits as : “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree” and “All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth.” Minimal scenic and lighting designs seem just right  as a superb sound design by Wayne Kennedy adds authenticity with its radio static, and sounds of military jeeps and airplanes.
     Scott Beyette and Joey Revier appear briefly as The Andrew Sisters’ boy friends and husbands. Scott Severtson adds comic relief. Music director Neal Dunfee delivers the goods magnificently with his superb onstage band.

For tickets go online to   or call the box office at 303-449-6000.Marlowe's Musings

Saturday, March 8, 2014

     Robert Dubac’s “The Book of Moron” is a one- man-show that runs an intermissionless 90 minutes over at The Avenue Theatre. It will leave you breathless with laughter. It’s clever, outrageous, provocative and HILARIOUS!!!!!
     Dubac’s bright stream of consciousness and witty jokes come at you at a break-neck pace. His comic machine gun patter peppers the audience with a non-stop send-up of politics, sex and religion.
     As he tries to solve the big questions of his life he racks his brain for "the Truth in the bigger picture." The artist turns on a dime as he lets his Voice of Reason, Inner Idiot, Inner Child and Inner Asshole take him – and us – on a roller coaster ride that is unforgettable.

     It’s satire that comes with a savvy edge and sometimes skewers members of both political parties simultaneously. In a nutshell Dubac is an equal opportunity offender! And you will LOVE him!
     Whether or not you’ve seen his ”The Male Intellect: an Oxymoron?” or not, you’ve got to get a ticket to see this! 
     He’ll show you both sides of the door of Truth as well as the fine line that separates the offensive and the humorous.
     It’s a huge temptation to give away one or two of the head-spinning, funny bone-shattering jokes. Nevertheless…this reviewer refuses to give out even one spoiler.
     This is top drawer comedy you’ll want to experience all on your own.

Tickets priced at $23.50 Students/Seniors and $26.50 Adult are on sale now by phone at 303-321-5925 or through or at the theatre box office which opens at 417 E 17th Ave. Denver, CO 80203 1:00pm - 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1 hour before show time.Marlowe's Musings

Twelve Angry Men
Cherry Creek Theatre: 3/7 – 3/30
Left to Right: Erick Sandvold, Jude Moran and Scott Swaggart (Photo credit to Rachel D. Graham/RDG Photography
     Over the last few seasons The Cherry Creek Theatre has become a serious contender with its awesome productions in the Shaver- Ramsey Showroom.
     Its current offering is “Twelve Angry Men.” This classic courtroom drama is a riveting evening of theatre and you owe it to yourself to get over and see what all the fuss is about.
     Bernie Cardell has directed this piece with a deft hand and a pacing that will quicken your pulse. Having cast the show impeccably, theatergoers are treated to the most intimate viewing of what goes on with a jury behind locked doors that they may ever see.
         Older theatergoers may remember that the movie starring Henry Fonda was all about a jury deciding whether a young man is guilty or not guilty of murdering his father.
        Erik Sandvold turns in a stunning performance in the role of a man who has grave doubts as to whether the accused is indeed guilty. Mr. Sandvold stands out in this very fine cast in a magnificent performance.
        Jude Moran’s portrayal of juror #3 sets the room on fire! Mr. Moran has always been good at communicating emotion while onstage but this time he is outstanding! Moran is Denver’s answer to Al Pacino.
       Ken Street adds fuel to this fiery production with his performance as Juror #10
      Co-founder and chairman of the board, Mark Rossman appears as the guard.

     There are new faces and old in this male-driven production. Among the ones you will know are these very fine artists: James O’Hagen-Murphy, Todd Black, Kevin Lowry, Brock Benson and Claude Diener.

Cherry Creek Theatre presents
"12 Angry Men”
A jury that is forced to consider what is meant by "reasonable doubt."
Mar. 7 - 30 Fri/Sat @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun @ 6:30 p.m.
Tickets $28 Adult; $25 Student/Senior
303-800-6578 or online at
Shaver-Ramsey Showroom, 2414 East 3rd Ave., Denver, CO 80206
Seating is limited.Marlowe's Musings

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lend Me a Tenor
Vintage Theatre: 2/21 – 3/23

     Vintage Theatre’s production of “Lend Me a Tenor” is farce the way it’s supposed to be directed and played. Brava!   

     Katie Mangett has cast some great actors and directs  the proceedings at a breathless pace!
     Andrew Uhlenhopp stuns in his role of Tito Morelli, the trouble-causing tenor at the heart of this show. You will laugh out loud a lot at the unstoppable brio of Uhlenhopp’s performance.

         Left to Right: Andrew Uhlenhopp   and Jeff Jesmer

Morelli’s attention-demanding wife, Maria has for this reviewer,  always been the character in this farce that has to be played exactly right for the rest of the farce to work. Sarah MacMillan is a knockout in the part. Why? She’s not afraid to play it with real gusto. Maria has to upstage the guy playing both the impresario and her husband, the opera star! She does it to sparkling perfection.
     Andy Anderson is ginormously funny as a harried impresario trying to keep up with all the drama of the spoiled rotten opera star and his kuh-ray-zee wife.

Left to Right: Leroy Leonard and Andy Anderson

Jeff Jesmer’s Max is joyously right on as he juggles keeping his boss at bay, a tenor in tow and his beautiful fiancée in love with him.
     Leroy Leonard adds to the mayhem as a very funny bellboy.
     Kelly Uhlenhopp is as eye-catching as always in the role of Diana.
          This play introduced this reviewer to Bethany Talley who plays Maggie, Max’s girlfriend and the impresario’s daughter. She is a pitch perfect ingénue and one hopes to see her upon the Denver stage again soon.

Left to Right: Bethany Talley and Jeff Jesmer (all photo credits DenverMind Media)

Sean Cochran has provided an attractive  and functional set, allowing for all the frenetic entrances and door-slamming exits.
     It’s fluffy fun with no raison d’etre other than being pure wacky escapist entertainment… and you will laugh your brains out!

Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Thurs., Mar. 20 @ 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Mar 22 @ 2:30 p.m.
$26 Adult; Senior, Student, Group discounts available
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
The Edge Theatre: 2/28 – 3/30

      Soul shattering and emotionally devastating, The Edge Theatre’s production of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” is one of the most powerful of the season.
     Sure an’ ye can’t go wrong gettin’ a ticket for Martin McDonagh’s “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” It’s at The Edge Theatre over at Teller and Colfax and well, even before ye go ye’re sure to be cheered by lookin’ at the cast list and who’s directin’ it.
     For actors it’s got the likes of Emma Messenger, Emily Paton Davies, Mark Collins and Michael Bouchard.
     And the directed by is Michael Stricker whose artistry elicits two of the best performances of the season as he sounds the depths of the loneliness and despair in the hearts of the women of Galway.

      Left to right:Emily Paton Davies and Emma Messenger 
     Emma Messenger’s chilling portrayal of manipulative Mag Folan is delivered with a laser-like focus that the intimacy of  The Edge Theatre allows one to literally watch her character’s conniving brain cranking out her next manipulative strategy. Unnerving and crazy-making!
 Left to right: Emma Messenger and Emily Paton Davies

     Nuanced and riveting, Emily Paton Davies’ studied portrayal of Maureen Folan is artistry of the unforgettable variety. Heartbreaking!

     Mark Collins’ tender portrayal of Pato Dooley turns this production into something of a theatrical coronary.
     Left to right: Emma Messenger and Mark Collins

     If his characterization had been in the least bit related to those of the vicious, conniving creatures who people the rest of the play that would not be the case.    However… the exaggerated contrast Collins provides and the poignancy of his single scene with Ms. Davies’ desperately needy Maureen fill our hearts with the unfounded hopes that Mr. McDonagh will wring out of them by final curtain.
              Left to right: Emma Messenger and Michael Bouchard

     The scene in which Pato comes out of Maureen’s bedroom and encounters Mag at breakfast time is priceless comic gold.
     The technical end of things has been handled better than any show thus far at The Edge. Christopher Waller’s set design gives us the charred innards of an Irish shanty to rustic perfection. Waller’s sensitively graduated lighting design enhances the show immeasurably.

 Note:    Playwright McDonagh has given us an Irish contemporization of what really goes on in the dark psychological backdrop of fairy tales like “Snow White” ... minus the dwarves and happy ending.

The Edge Theatre
"The Beauty Queen of Leenane"
A dark and comic tale of a plain, lonely woman and her manipulative mother.
Feb. 28 – Mar. 30
Fri./Sat. & Mon. Mar. 17 @ 8 p.m.; Sun., Mar. 2 & 9@ 6 p.m.; Sun., Mar. 16 & 30 @ 2 p.m.
No Show on Sunday, March 23
Tickets: $20 advance $22 at the door
303-232-0363 or online at
The Edge Theatre, 1560 Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood CO 80214. Free Parking.Marlowe's Musings