Monday, December 21, 2015

Vintage Theatre: 11/27 – 12/27

Left to right: James O'Hagan-Murphy and Joey Wishnia 
(Photo credit: Christine Fisk for DenverMind Media)

     As directed by Katie Mangett, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” is sheer theatre magic. Mangett has cast the show impeccably with actors who are supremely talented.
     James O’Hagan-Murphy, whose critically acclaimed performance as “RFK” has had numerous revivals, portrays Marley.
     Joey Wishnia, who has won the Henry Award for Lifetime Achievement and Excellence in Theatre and whose list of theatre credits is too long to list, plays Scrooge.
     Fresh off a run of Alan Ayckbourn’s “Woman in Mind” at The Edge Theatre, Gina Walker plays the Bogle.
     Vintage regulars will recognize Darcy Kennedy from performances in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Lyons.” In this show Kennedy portrays the records keeper.
     The script by Tom Mula gives us a new spin on the traditional tale about Ebenezer Scrooge as seen through the eyes of Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley. Mr. Mula’s writing is of such a clear and distinct nature and the elocution thereof by these actors so articulate that it makes one feel as though he were a spellbound child listening to a tale told by the most gifted of storytellers.
     The story begins with Marley’s death seven years prior to Scrooge’s fateful night full of Christmas ghosts. Miserable in his own private purgatory, the records keeper introduces the forlorn Marley to a mysterious and fascinating spirit guide called the Bogle. It seems the price of Marley’s release from this disagreeable after world is getting his old partner Scrooge to stop being so callous and insensitive to the needs of others. But Marley scorns Scrooge as much as Scrooge hates Christmas.
     So…how does one get coaxed into assisting in the redemption of the repulsive Mr. Scrooge? The records keeper knows of course. So does the Bogle.
     However… you, dear reader, will have to experience the journey first hand.
    And if superb direction and an outstanding ensemble were not enough to have you running to the box office, let me also tell you that Luke Allen Terry’s sound design is quite simply the season’s best!
     Scratch whatever’s on your calendar this weekend. The run ends Sunday.Marlowe's Musings

     Vintage Theatre presents
"Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol"
Previews on Nov. 25 and runs Nov. 27- Dec. 27
A re-imagining of Dickens’ holiday classic told from the perspective of Jacob Marley.
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Thurs., Dec 17 & Tues., Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. & Sun., Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m.
$28 ($24 advance) 
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

           The BDT STAGE

     BDT Stage’s production of “The Addams Family, the Musical” provides a scrum diddly antidote to the sometimes saccharine and often cloying offerings of the holiday season.  It’s non-traditional and nostalgic as well for the lovers of the television series that aired in the mid-sixties.
      Right from the start the audience is involved snapping their fingers twice after each “duh duh duh dut” preceding the lyrical description of this crew – I almost said coven – as  “creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky-The Addams Family.”

     As Morticia, Alicia King glides across the stage with serpentine arms afloat or tiptoes on little cat feet when she’s not gracefully accompanying Scott Beyette’s Gomez in a sultry and deadpan tango. Scott Beyette brings great good humor to his portrayal of Gomez. In a performance laced with the accent and flirtatiousness of a real Latin lothario, Beyette stuns.

     Wednesday (Sarah Grover) is the sullen center of this shadowy tale. Had she not fallen for a normal guy the only plot would be outside in the family cemetery. This smitten kitten’s asking Gomez to keep the secret of her impending bonding with her normal guy causes Gomez to be trapped between the support of his daughter and the requisite keeping of a secret from his beloved Morticia. Ms. Grover, who first dazzled BDT Stage audiences as the innocent Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” proves she can portray the wonderfully weird Wednesday equally well.

     Barb Reeves communicates the foolishly well-meaning Grandmama’s old school cranky and twisted wisdom with brio. The pouty Pugsley (Owen Leidich) is the masochist in the family; and that’s just fine with Wednesday who treats him to being stretched on the rack till he screams.

     Brett Ambler (the memorable Buddy Holly in BDT Stage’s recent "The Buddy Holly Story") proves how versatile an actor he is. His geeky average Joe portrayal of  Wednesday’s new squeeze Lucas Beineke, is a radical departure from the 50’s rock star he so recently embodied.
Lucas’  “normal” parents, Alice (Joanie Beyette) and Mal Beineke (Scott Severtson), who have come to dinner in The Addams’ crypt-like home, mirror the strait-laced Dindons who come to dine with Georges and Albin in “La Cage Aux Folles.”BDT Stage favorite Joanie Beyette belts out a sensationally hilarious rendition of “Crazier Than You,” as she lets it all hang out in an after dinner game sponsored by Morticia.

Casey Andree's Lurch is as ominously still as one might expect barring the occasional basso groan. His vocal participation in the final number, “Move Toward the Darkness,” is as startling as it is amusing.

     The ensemble of joyously macabre Addams Family Ancestors includes such consummate talents as: Tracy Warren, Parker Redford, Matthew D. Peters, Bob Hoppe, Brian Burron, Olivia Beyette and Brian Cronan.

     Lighting designer Brett Maughan gets a workout illuminating this show, which makes one recall the daunting challenges cinematographers encounter when shooting day for night. Maughan’s luminescent personification of the moon, which is being adored and courted by a gleefully leering Wayne Kennedy, is masterful.

     Neal Dunfee provides the magical music direction. Bob Hoppe has done the fine choreography.

BDT STAGE is located at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, Colorado,80303

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

THE EDGE THEATRE: 12/4 – 12/27

     L-R: Missy Moore, Andrew Uhlenhopp, Emily Paton Davies and Emma Messenger (photo credit: Rachel Graham/RDG Photography)

Exit Strategies is a black comedy about a dysfunctional family in which the irreverent comedy nearly overshadows the darkness.
     At the top of the play Chance Gold, a somewhat successful playwright, returns home for his father’s funeral.  
        Accompanied by his hooker friend Kai (Missy Moore), Chance prepares to do battle with his estranged mother (Emma Messenger) and sister, Rachel (Emily Paton Davies.)
     Andrew Uhlenhopp is a whirlwind of acerbic wit and amusing gesticulation as Chase, a man whose exit strategy from reality is drinking “because it makes other people more bearable.”
     Emma Messenger portrays mama Sheryl with passive aggressive matriarchal swipes filled with guilt-laden barbs aimed at each and all.
      Emily Paton Davies as Chance’s sister Rachel, anchors the play with a solidly realistic portrayal full of scalding vengeful rage.
          As Kai, a very sexy Missy Moore portrays the voice of reason in the play while providing support for Chance, who’s already grieving the loss of his life partner.
     Kate Marie Folkins’ direction is very fine indeed.
             As for Jeffrey Neuman’s writing?    A+

The Edge Theater presents
"Exit Strategies”   
December 4-December 27
Fri./Sat. @ 8 p.m.; Sun. @ 6 p.m.; Thur., Dec. 10 & 17 @ 8 p.m.
(No performance on Friday, December 25)
Tickets: $26
303-232-0363 or online at
The Edge Theatre, 1560 Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood CO 80214. Free Parking.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

     A few months ago a dear friend who has produced countless musicals told me it was utterly ridiculous to think that anyone could successfully produce “Funny Girl.” He had tried and failed. His contention was that Barbra Streisand had made such an indelible mark with her characterization of Fanny Brice that no actress could ever approach the role and no director could ever create a successful production.

      Director Robert Michael Sanders' casting of Lauren Cora Marsh proves him wrong!

     Ms. Marsh has a certain resemblance to Streisand in her face and figure, but this portrayal of Fanny Brice is one hundred per cent Lauren Cora Marsh. This artist not only makes the role her own. She also delivers the quirky mannerisms and scrappy heartbreaking feistiness of the real Fanny as she electrifies her audience.

     “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade” are just a few of the songs you will be treated to by this rising star!

     Keegan Flaugh provides a solid Nicky Arnstein that gives us a resonant voice and confident stage presence which infuses the show with just the right romantic tension. Flaugh delivers “I Want To Be Seen With You” and “You are Woman, I Am Man” with brio.

     Suzanne Connors Nepi gives us a Mrs. Brice that’s a treat to watch.  “Who Taught Her Everything She Knows,”. her duet with James Bloom (Eddie) is a complete delight.

     Linda Suttle imbues Mrs. Strakosh with a lively sense of flip good humor.

     Trent Hines’ music direction yanked this reviewer back to the day he ran home with that original Broadway cast recording on vinyl.
      Director Robert Michael Sanders’ actor-based direction makes the characters really pop!

"Funny Girl"
Previews November 25
Runs Nov. 27 - Jan. 17
A young Jewish singer from the Lower East Side dreams of becoming a Broadway star.
Fri/Sat @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun. @ 2:30 p.m; Thurs., Dec. 31 & Jan. 14 @ 7:30 p.m; Sat. Jan. 16 @ 2:30 p.m.
No performance on December 25
$32 ($28 advance)
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010.Marlowe's Musings

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Arvada Center:  11/24 – 12/23

     Arvada Center’s production of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” is a warm and wonderful musical Christmas card that’s filled with bright holiday tunes and feel-good charm.
     Gavin Mayer directs this old warhorse with a sure hand. His casting of the principals has brought in three artists from out of town who are simply marvelous: Ben Michael (Bob Wallace), Cody Williams (Phil Davis) and Erica Sweany (Judy Haynes.)  Cody and Erica are at their best in “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing” and “I Love a Piano.” Ben gives us a dazzling version of “Blue Skies” that’s gloriously choreographed by Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck.
     Betty Haynes is portrayed by local diva Lauren Shealy. This artist is a complete delight throughout. Her singing, dancing and acting make us wish to see her onstage much more often. Ms. Shealy’s singing of “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me” as well as “Sisters,” her comic duet with Ms. Sweany, are two of the show’s highlights!
     Paul Page’s portrayal of the General should be decorated with several stars.
     Sharon Kay White is brilliant as Martha Watson, the general’s secretary.
     Tim Howard is a hoot as the snoring man in “Snow.” He completely disappears into the role of the doddering Ezekial.
     Matt La Fontaine, Heather Marie Doris, Rae Leigh Case, Piper Lindsay Arpan and P.Tucker Worley are just a few of the fabulous local actors you can expect to see in the ensemble.
     With Divine choreography by Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, eye-popping costumes by Chris Campbell and superb musical direction by David Nehls, this is holiday fare the whole family will enjoy.
For tickets go online at or call the box office at 720-898-7200Marlowe's Musings