Monday, December 17, 2018

A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL
BDT STAGE: 11/10 – 1/5

The cast of A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL (Courtesy BDT Stage)

BDT Stage is nearly completely SRO for the holiday season. So much so, that they’ve added extra days after New Year’s. This reviewer and my guest for the evening were lucky to get the last two remaining seats for a sold-out Wednesday evening show. It’s a pleasant holiday affair that’s family friendly. So if you wish to get a seat one cannot recommend too highly that you rush to the box office now! 
     The show features Ralphie (Ned Swartz), the little boy whose only Christmas wish is to find an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200 Shot Range Model Air Rifle under the tree. The resistance he gets from parents and teachers concerned about his being safe and sound consists of constant warnings such as: “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.”
     Longtime BDT Stage favorites play the adults in this show! Ralphie’s Mother is played with charm and warmth by Joannie Brosseau-Rubald. His “Old Man” is given exuberant life by Scott Beyette, who also directs this musical. Ralphie’s teacher, Miss Shields is played with wild abandon by Alicia K. Meyers. Remember her Ursula in THE LITTLE MERMAID?  One of the highlights of this show is a fantasy 1930s speakeasy tap number Meyers does with the children that’s reminiscent of the film BUGSY MALONE.
     BDT veteran Wayne Kennedy plays Jean Shepherd, the author, who strolls through the scenes commenting on his life with Mom and Dad as a boy.
     The ensemble features such wonderful faces of the BDT Stage family as: Heather Doris, Brian Jackson, Bob Hoppe, Scott Severtson, Matthew D. Peters and Tracy Warren. Based upon the movie that’s now a huge cult favorite, ‘A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL is holiday fare designed to bring a tear to the eye as we reminisce about our own childhood Christmases.
      Director Beyette has cast a number of charming young actors to portray Ralphie’s classmates and buddies. 
     It is to be noted that you will also get to see Prugh Dunfee, the lovely and talented daughter of music director Neal Dunfee and Alicia K. Meyers.

For tickets call the box office at 303-449-6000 or go online at bdtstage.com


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

WHAT YOU WILL
BENCHMARK THEATRE: 11/30 – 12/22


Jeffrey Neuman’s play, WHAT YOU WILL, is not only the best new play of the season, it’s a play this reviewer wishes he had written. It’s a powerful play with a powerful message.
    A cautionary tale, WHAT YOU WILL leans substantially upon Will Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT.
     Neuman’s play asks a lot of the right questions about the nature of relationships. What’s best about this is that the playwright remains in question, leaving no pat answers.
      Adam, a wedding director, and Greg, an actor, who’s constantly running lines from Shakespeare’s “TWELFTH NIGHT,” are two gay men who have been married for a number of years. It’s the holiday season and as often happens at this time of year, emotional crises erupt. 
    Since Adam is feeling lonely with Greg being constantly in rehearsal, he finds himself often at the steam baths where he meets Nick, played by Casey Andree.
     During work hours Adam is working with a beautiful woman named Celia in preparation for her dream wedding.
     In short, Adam has a brief fling with Nick and finds out later what the emotional consequences will be.
     However, for me the heart of the play lies within the friendship developing between wedding director and client as Adam helps Celia make choices for the upcoming celebration. More I will not say.  
     Not a play for children, I wish every adult theatregoer could see WHAT YOU WILL. It’s a cautionary tale about the need for listening to one’s awareness over blind acquiescence when stepping into a long-term relationship. 
     Maggy Stacy is luminous throughout. Whether expressing ebullient joy in the preparation for the wedding, or questioning herself in a moment of doubt, Stacy proves once again that she is one of the brightest stars in the firmament of the Denver stage.
   Stephen Burge, an actor loved for his skills in portraying hysterically funny characters, here unveils an ability to portray a dramatic character with not only skill, but also depth and heart. This is a powerful performance you will long remember.
     Casey Andree plays Nick with just the right cavalier nonchalance.
     New to this reviewer, Tom Littman strikes all the right dramatic notes as Adam’s lover, Greg.
  Warren Sherrill, one of the finest directors in town, makes this gem shine!Marlowe's Musings


Benchmarktheatre.com

303-519-9059










Friday, December 7, 2018

COYOTE. BADGER. RATTLESNAKE
BUNTPORT THEATER: 11/30 – 12/22

     Quirky and thought-provoking, Buntport Theater’s COYOTE.BADGER. RATTLESNAKE is perfect for the theatre goer tired of the usual holiday fare.
     Comic geniuses Hannah Duggan, Brian Colona, Erin Rollman and Erik Edborg have enlisted the collaboration of Ellen K. Graham for this opus. Together they have created, written and directed this existential comedy.
     It’s a heady piece full of ideas that will rattle (sorry) around in your head for days.
     Stagehands Erin Rollman and Erik Edborg appear intermittently to stitch together the scenes in which Glenn (Brian Colonna) and Carroll (Hannah Duggan) wrangle about myriad subjects while working on a diorama at The Nature and Science Museum.
     The scenic design is one of the most imaginative to have been seen by this reviewer in memory. The way it's integrated into the production is astonishing.
     Nevertheless...the show could  benefit from a little quicker pace.
     

Worth a peek.Marlowe's Musings
Tickets at Buntport.com
PHONE: 720-946-1388
LOCATION: 717 Lipan Street, Denver, CO 80204































Monday, December 3, 2018

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE RADIO SHOW
VINTAGE THEATRE PRODUCTIONS: 11/30 - 12/23
 
                 Leroy Leonard

Leroy Leonard’s performance in “A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE RADIO SHOW” is outstanding! 
     This one-man show gives us Bob Bennett, a sound effects man who’s the only one who can make it into the WXMS studio for a radio show on Christmas Eve. All the actors are snowbound, and he’s determined that the show must go on.
     Leonard conjures all the characters’ voices in Dickens’ famous A CHRISTMAS CAROL with gusto while performing all the sound effects, which includes manipulating fantastic sound machines that give us the auditory illusions of wind, fog and all the other sounds of the season.
     How this actor manages to pull off the story-telling while doing all the sound effects is impressive to say the least. 
      In fact, the journey Leonard creates for us in his tour de force is a lot like time traveling to two eras at once: Dickens’ 1843 London and a radio studio in the heartland of America in the 1940s!
     Katie Mangett’s direction keeps the proceedings moving at a good clip throughout.
      Mangett, who has directed the super successful JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL for the last few years at Vintage, really knows how to dazzle us with holiday fare. Her choice of this play will add a much - needed spark of love to the holidays in a difficult year. Whether you’re looking for a play for date night or one for an outing for the whole family, this is a great way to celebrate the holidays.  
     Raise a glass of holiday cheer from Vintage’s well-stocked bar in the lobby to a man who learned to have gratitude for the good in his life as well as a heartful of love for those less fortunate than himself… before it was too late!!! Marlowe's Musings



Vintage Theatre presents
“A Christmas Carol – The Radio Show”
A snow storm has left only one person at the radio station to do the entire performance of “A Christmas Carol”- live!
Nov. 30 – Dec. 23 
Fri/Sat, Thurs., Dec. 20 and Sun., Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. and Sat., Dec. 22 at 2:30 p.m.
$19 - $38
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010.
90 minutes / no intermission