Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pump Boys and Dinettes
Miners Alley Playhouse: 7/17 – 8/23
                                                        Daniel Langhoff and Mitch Jervis

    If you’re lookin’ for a foot-stompin,’  hand clappin,’ knee slappin,’  belly laughin’ good time, it’s over to the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden. What I mean is that it’s High Octane country western with tongue firmly planted in cheek! I guess what it is is stupefyin’ fun based out of a little diner that’s adjacent to the gas station and automotive repair shop there on Highway 57.
     Now the two gals that run “The Double Cup,” -the little greasy spoon there - are a couple of dolls who are real purdy and sing like canaries.
The boys are a bunch of no ‘count car mechanics who’d rather be a fishin'
and pickin’ than gettin’ that car fixed for uncle Bob. Margie Lamb and
 Jacquie Jo Billings are the Dinettes who keep the customers comin’ back for 
more at their little café. Ms. Lamb is Rhetta Cupp and Jacquie Jo Billings is
 Prudy Cupp. They’re sisters.

                                              Margie Lamb and Jacquie Jo Billings

      Ms. Lamb’s hilarious rendition of “Be Good or Be Gone,” is outstanding!
 Ms. Billings shines with “The Best Man…I Never Had.” Some of the other songs on the menu at the Double Cup are: “Farmer Tan,” and “The Night Dolly Parton Was Almost Mine.”
     The boys are outstanding in the pickin’ and grinnin’ department. They can sing, too. Not like canaries though. They’re singin’s more the rock n roll redneck variety.
      All seriousness aside this is what one might call  "Grand Ole Opry goes to Golden!"
     Every one of the songs is a keeper and the atmosphere’s one of a country western shindig.
     Daniel Langhoff leads the male ensemble with superb singing and guitar playing. He’s aided in no small part by : Mitch Jervis, Barry Brown, Steve Klein and Tag Worley.
     The direction by Brenda Billings and music direction by Mitch Samu conspire to give us an evening of high spirits and fantastic music.
Kyle Scoggins' scenic design is a visual delight.
     Just FYI "Pump Boys and Dinettes" was nominated for the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical. It's also the longest running musical in the history of Chicago theatre.
Try the special green cocktail. I believe it’s called The Strangled Frog!

Pump Boys and Dinettes"
The Double Cupp diner on Highway 57 is where all the pickin' and singin' action is found.
July 17 - Aug 22*
Fri. and Sat. @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun @ 6 p.m.
$26 Adult - $23 Senior and Youth - $$15 Children under 12
Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
303-935-3044 or online at
 Marlowe's Musings

Man of La Mancha

Central City Opera: 7/18 – 8/9

       Robert Orth as Cervantes/Don Quixote

      Central City Opera’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical, Man of La Mancha is a play within a play. While Don Miguel de Cervantes awaits his trial by the Spanish Inquisition he is put on trial by the other prisoners in this jail as well.            To keep from having his manuscript destroyed Cervantes self-transforms into Don Quixote de La Mancha and has all of the inmates join him as he enacts the story.          
     We watch as the prisoners who judge their new comrade move from cynicism to an expansive embrace of the Ideal. The ascension from a world of disgrace and sexual violence to one in which there is only the Quest for the Highest and Best in all of Life is emotionally rousing and profoundly spiritual.
     At certain moments in the proceedings in which Cervantes’ work speaks directly to the heart David Martin Jacques’ lighting design causes a bank of lights (the blinding light of  Spiritual Truth!) to ascend temporarily blinding us to the tawdry and transitory facts of life in the prison.
      Robert Orth commands the stage as the aging idealist Cervantes and his brave and noble – if somewhat eccentric - knight, Don Quixote. Orth’s singing of “The Impossible Dream” will make your  chest heave and eyes fill. Outstanding!
      Lucy Schaufer sings and acts the humiliated scullery maid Aldonza with heartbreaking brio. Her arc from seeing herself as a gutter dweller in “It’s All the Same” to the acceptance of her true spiritual nature as “Dulcinea” is soul shredding.
     Keith Jameson is outstanding as Quixote’s faithful sidekick, Sancho Panza. This artist, who is leaner and better looking than most who play this role, has impeccable comic timing and a magnificent tenor.
     The governor/innkeeper Adelmo Guidarelli, affectionately known as “the clown prince of opera,” stuns with his vocals of  “The Dubbing” and “Knight of the Woeful Countenance.”
     The trio of Padre (Michael Kuhn), Housekeeper (Molly Jane Hill) and Cervantes’ niece, Antonia (April Martin) is all honeyed harmony as these three worry about their “crazy” uncle and friend in “I’m Only Thinking of Him.”
       As played by the scrumptious Central City Opera orchestra under the baton of conductor Adam Turner, the Tony Award-winning score by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion is a rousing, ear-pleasing wonder.
       If there were one thing one might wish to ask of the director it would be that those awaiting their fate at the hands of the Grand Inquisitor may wish to show a little fear and trepidation as they are marched off to execution. Small criticism for an otherwise beautifully realized production.

This production has been rated PG-13 for sexual violence.

Matinees at 2:30 pm: July 22*, 25, 26*, 28; August 1, 5, 7, 9
Evenings at 8:00 pm: July 18, 24, 30
* Opera Bus available
Performed in English.
Running time: 2 hours and 25 minutes with one 20-minute intermission 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Always a Bridesmaid
Vintage Theatre: 7/17 – 8/29

                     L-R: Chip Winn Wells and Rachel Bouchard
     “Always a Bridesmaid” by Jessie Jones, Jamie Wooten and Nicholas Hope is a comedy about a group of suhthuhn belles who have made a pact while in high school that they will support each other by being each other’s bridesmaids as the time draws near for them to tie the knot.
     The life long friendships of the women described in this play may put you in mind of those presented by the playwright(s) in their previous play, “The Dixie Swim Club.” That play was also about a group of women whose friendships withstand the test of time.
     The action in “Always a Bridesmaid” takes place in Carlton Oaks, a fancy wedding establishment in Virginia. The lady who runs the joint is Sedalia. This character is played as a sort of exacting and persnickety control freak by Chip Winn Wells.
     Monette is played by a very funny Suzanne Nepi. She’s been married multiple times and owns a theatre of sorts in Nashville. This character is one of the plum roles and Ms. Nepi gets more than her share of the humorous lines.
     Cindy Laudadio-Hall plays Charlie, the down-to earth member of the group who suffers panic attacks the closer she gets to walking down the aisle.
     Libby Ruth is the friend who has remained married since shortly after high school. She’s a childlike woman who manages to sing intentionally loudly and off key and talks to stuffed animals.
     Kathi Wood’s portrayal of Deedra Wingate provides an anchor of sanity in this sea of pre-nuptial insanity.   She’s a judge who remains centered and poised most of her time on stage and provides us with perhaps the most natural of the performances.
     Rachel Bouchard is picture perfect as Kari Ames-Bissette, the daughter of Libby Ruth. Her character opens and closes the play with moments from her long-winded, rambling wedding reception toast, which becomes increasingly funny as she downs the wedding champagne.
     The costumes for the show by Christine Samar are fittingly outrageous.
Vintage Theatre presents
“Always a Bridesmaid”
Four friends have sworn to keep their Senior Prom promise: to be in each other's weddings.
July 17 - Aug 30*
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Thurs., Aug 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 29 at 2:30 p.m.
$28 ($24 advance) 
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings 
Legally Blonde,The Musical, Jr.
Town Hall Arts Center:
Friday 7/ 24 and Saturday 7/25 at 7:00pm
                           Jessica Swanson as Elle

Today I went to a mid-week matinee of Town Hall Arts Center’s “Legally Blonde, Jr.” and had a thoroughly good time. This is Robert Michael Sanders’ 18th production at Town Hall Arts Center, both as actor and director. His direction of The Actors Playground at Town Hall is educating the next generation of Colorado’s theatre stars. Shannan Steele’s choreography of the show is teaching these amazing student actors how to move onstage. It’s all about collaboration and teamwork!
     There is so much exuberant expression going on in this show that it’s contagious. This cast is full of young artists who are so in love with theatre it’s palpable.
     Here are a few of the stars of tomorrow who stand out in this summer’s production:
     Jessica Swanson plays Elle Woods, the love struck young lady who will give up everything to get back the guy she thinks is the love of her life…even though he dumps her and treats her like dirt.
     Leonard Gilberson is Warner, that arrogant guy who has all the money and treats Elle so badly.
     Devon Erickson portrays Emmett , that great guy who’s always there for Elle when she needs him.
     Kendra Beeman is Elle’s stylist friend Paulette, who just wants to marry an Irish guy who, can step dance.

     Sam Coto is Kyle the hot Irish UPS man that Paulette falls for.
     As a reviewer I just have to say to the whole fantastic exuberantly expressive cast…
“Oh my God, you guys”…are Great!

Go see this show Friday or Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Town Hall Arts!marlowe's Musings