Thursday, December 22, 2016

THE BUELL THEATRE: 12/20 – 1/1

The cast of "Finding Neverland"

“Finding Neverland” is an unforgettable musical theatre experience.
       It’s LOTS more fun than “Peter and the Star Catcher.”
    Both shows intend to be prequels to what will eventually become “Peter Pan.”
     As my guest for the evening said, “Finding Neverland” is to “Peter Pan” what “Wicked” is to “The Wizard of Oz.” And she’s right. Everything in “Peter Pan” is fore ‘shadowed’ wondrously in James Graham’s book.
     The tuneful music by Gary Barlow and catchy lyrics by Eliot Kennedy are a complete delight.
     Tony Award winner Diane Paulus’ direction of “Finding Neverland” succeeds in delivering the story of how J.M. Barrie was able to move from blocked playwright to one who is on fire with inspiration with consummate skill.
       Led by Kevin Kern and Christine Dwyer, this exuberant cast creates a world of magic and imagination that’s amazing. Mr. Kern originated the role of J.M.Barrie on Broadway and now blesses Denver audiences with his superb acting and vocals. Ms. Dwyer’s performance in the role of Sylvia Llewellyn Davies enchants.
     On the evening this reviewer was in attendance the Llewellyn Davies boys were played by: Ben Kreiger (Peter), Finn Faulconer (George), Mitchell Wray (Jack) and Jordan Cole(Michael.) Mr. Faulconer is from Colorado and has studied with the Colorado Ballet. The performances given by these young men makes one wish to prophesy successful stage careers for each and all of them.
     Mia Michaels’ bouncy choreography, which much of the time pops like punctuating popcorn, lends itself wonderfully to the playful essence of the piece.
     The projection design by Jon Driscoll and Illusions by Paul Kieve run the gamut from thrilling to sparkling transcendence! (Their work alone will transport every theatregoer from the mundane world they just walked in from to that of the awe-inspiring sublime one onstage!) 
     It’s a scrum diddly musical theatre dessert for the holidays with a dollop of good old fashioned sentiment!

For tickets call 303-893-4000 or go online at
1101 13th Street, Denver, CO. ,80204 Marlowe's Musings 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thoroughly Modern Millie
BDT Stage: 11/19 – 2/25
 The cast of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (Photo Credit: Glenn Ross Photography)

In 2002 Thoroughly Modern Millie won six Tony Awards including Best Musical. Based upon the 1967 Oscar winning film, the show is set in 1922. It’s New York City at the height of the Jazz Age and Millie Dillmount has just arrived to seek her fortune as a “modern” young lady.
     Seles VanHuss is a sensational triple threat as Millie Dillmount!
     VanHuss stuns with her singing and dancing of “Not For the Life of Me” at the top of the show and “Gimme, Gimme” and “Forget about the Boy” in Act Two.
    Rebekah Ortiz’s soprano soars through the roof as Dorothy Brown!
     Burke Walton (Jimmy Smith) is sensational singing “I Turned the Corner” in Act Two.
      Scott Severtson is outstanding as Millie’s boss, Trevor Graydon. Whether administering a typing test that sends up the patter of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Modern Major General” or just “Falling in Love” with Miss Dorothy’s over-the-top adorableness, Severtson stuns!
     L-R: Tracy Warren, Seles VanHuss, Scott Severtson and members of the ensemble(Photo credit Glenn Ross Photography)
     The ever popular BDT Stage favorite Joanie Brosseau belts out Mrs. Meers’ hilarious self-adulating aria, “They Don’t Know” with brio!
     Alicia K. Meyers will take your breath away as Muzzy. Swathed in ermine or shimmering from head to toe in gowns created by the multi-awarded Linda Morken, Meyers delivers big Broadway numbers on a silver platter.
     Tracy Warren is hilarious as Miss Flannery, Millie’s immediate supervisor at The Sincere Trust Office.
     To mention just a few of the other BDT favorites in the ensemble one must acknowledge the work of: Alejandro Roldan, Matt Peters, Bob Hoppe, Jessica Hindsley and Jack Barton.
     Music Director Neal Dunfee makes all that glorious toe-tapping, 1920’s music absolutely delicious to the ear.
     Amy Campion’s scenic design is a dazzling piece of work that’s hugely complex and yet works so efficiently you’ll be amazed. Wayne Kennedy’s sound design is his usual professional work.
     Lighting Designer Bret Maughan has framed the stage in fabulous illuminated art deco panels.
      Matthew D. Peters has pulled out all the stops with his astounding tap dance numbers. Utterly exhilarating!
      The hair and wig design by Debbie Spaur must be mentioned – especially with regard to her work on Ms. Warren’s coiffure. Hilarious!
     This is perhaps Scott Beyette’s best direction to date. His directorial concept for the show and casting are both sublime!
     And let it be known that things have changed at BDT Stage regarding the kitchen. Fabio Flagiello is the new Executive Chef! Flagiello attended the prestigious Ecole Lenotre culinary school in Paris! So the menu now includes mouth- watering appetizers such as Shrimp Cioppino braised in a fresh tomato, caper and shallot sauce and served with a fresh baguette. Scrum Diddly!
     The entrĂ©e this reviewer sampled was a red wine braised pork loin served with butternut squash ravioli in a sage cream sauce. Outstanding!
     I spent a couple of weeks this summer in the South of France and Flagiello’s excellent cuisine transported me back!Marlowe's Musings

BDT Stage is located at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, Colorado  80303-1391

for tickets call 303.449.6000 or go online at

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A View from the Bridge
The Edge Theatre Company: 12/2 – 12/31

    L-R: Kevin Hart and Rick Yaconis
(Photo credit: Rachel D. Graham)

     There wasn’t a standing ovation for A View from the Bridge on the night this reviewer was in attendance. Not because it didn’t deserve one. It did. However … the audience was so caught up in director John Ashton’s superb realization of Arthur Miller’s masterwork and the revelatory nature of his cast’s acting that there needed to be a moment of reverent silence at final curtain.
     Although one wished to extend his appreciation the curtain call was a jarring experience that shattered the reverie.
         Rick Yaconis was born to play Eddie Carbone. This is the second production of “A View from the Bridge” in which he’s proven that!
     Abby Boes’ portrayal of Eddie’s wife Beatrice, is deeply felt and richly imagined.
     Kevin Hart brings a studied wisdom and sad foresight to his portrayal of the lawyer, Alfieri. Hart’s performance as the voice of reason grounds the piece and bridges the scenes with the professional excellence theatre audiences have come to expect of him.
     Ben Cowhick provides us with a poignant interpretation of Rodolpho, the young immigrant who’s in love with Eddie’s niece, Catherine.
     Jonathan Brown’s performance in the role of Marco, Rodolpho’s older brother, is sheer heart-pounding potency.
     Amelia Carrada is a beautiful and talented actor whose portrayal of Eddie’s niece, Catherine makes us wish to see her onstage again soon. Marlowe's Musings

The Edge Theatre
“A View from the Bridge”
What happens when family devotion becomes obsession?
Dec. 2 - 31
Fri./ Sat., Mon., Dec. 19 & Thurs, Dec. 22 at 8:00 p.m.; Sun. at 6 p.m. (No performance Dec. 24 & 25)
Tickets are $28; $20 on Mon., Dec. 19
303-232-0363 or online at
The Edge Theater, 1560 Teller Street, Lakewood CO 80214. Free Parking.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS
Aurora Fox Arts Center: 11/25 – 1/1/17

                Leonard Barrett and Tracy Camp

Who couldn’t love an opera that’s wall-to-wall Gershwin? The most famous of its now classic songs are so delicious to the ear that one wishes they could have encores.
     Director Donnie Betts (2015 Marlowe Award for Best Director for “Ain’t Misbehavin'”) has enlisted the talents of some of the very best actors in Denver as well as a few from out of town.
     Leonard Barrett’s (Porgy) “I Got Plenty of Nuttin,” Erica Papillion-Posey ‘s “Summertime’ and Tyrell D. Rae’s (Sportin’ Life's)“It Ain’t Necessarily So” are three unforgettable musical moments. Anna High (Serena) breaks hearts with her singing of “My Man’s Gone Now.”
     Tracy Camp’s soprano soars with Bess’s glorious “I Loves You, Porgy.”
     Upon entering the auditorium one is regaled with Jen Orf’s outstanding scenic representation of Catfish Row.     
     The technical aspects of the show are overseen by the astute eye of Brandon Philip Case. 
     Playwright Susan Lori-Parks has reimagined the piece in her recent adaptation. Why, however, would one wish to fix something that ain’t broken? Something which has been such a part of the respected repertoire for so long? So if you happen to be one of us who is in love with the original be aware that what you remember “ain’t necessarily so.”
     To make the opera more accessible to an audience Parks believes is more in love with the Broadway musical some of the recitative has been clipped or changed to spoken dialogue. Fans of the original may also be surprised to find that Porgy is now ambulatory. His goat cart has been replaced by a cane.
     Younger theatregoers may not even notice these things. Stephen Sondheim did though and wrote a scathing letter to the New York Times regarding Parks’ choices. Regardless of where one stands with regard to these changes, there is so much of the magnificent in this production you simply must see it.

For tickets call 303-739-1970 or go online at aurorafox.orgMarlowe's Musings