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


Sunday, November 25, 2018

MARY POPPINS, the Broadway Musical
VINTAGE THEATRE PRODUCTIONS: 11/23 – 1/6
   L-R: Carolyn Lohr and Kalond Irlanda

Disney’s and Cameron Macintosh’s “MARY POPPINS” is a slam dunk, smash hit at Vintage Theatre! To paraphrase the beloved nanny herself, “It’s a practically perfect production.”
     Director Clay White has cast the show to perfection and keeps the proceedings rolling at an admirable clip.
     Carolyn Lohr is not just practically perfect, though. She is breathtaking perfection in the title role. Whether unleashing her gorgeous soprano or just keeping the children in line, this actor is luminous throughout.
     Kalond Irlanda is outstanding as Bert. This actor delivered the goods with a smile-inducing style and charisma on opening night. (You may remember Mr. Irlanda from his superb portrayal of Jack in Sondheim’s “INTO THE WOODS” at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.)
     Geoffrey Boden (Michael Banks) and Hannah Allen (Jane Banks) are two young actors one hopes will prioritize their acting and singing gifts. They both appear to have been born for the stage. 
     Michael O’Shea is most memorable as George Banks, their neglectful father. (Marlowe Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Horace Vandergelder in Performance Now’s ‘HELLO DOLLY.”)
     Kerri Emswiller is a brilliant Winnifred Banks. Her singing of “Being Mrs. Banks” is one of the musical highlights of the evening.
     Sonsharae Tull shines as Mrs. Corry.
      Adrianne Hampton’s choreography is amazingly inventive and truly exhilarating!
      Brooks Larsen’s musical direction, Kurt Behm’s sound design and the excellent musical tracks created by Eric Weinstein, make the Sherman Brothers’ score (with additional music by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe), thrilling to the ear.
     Kortney Hanson’s special effects pepper the evening with magic.
     Kevin Taylor’s lighting and Cheryl Faulkner’s costumes are married in such a way that they deliver spectacular technicolor visuals.
     Ryan Walkoviak’s scenic design doesn’t just give us the exterior of Cherry Tree Lane. It also folds back to reveal the interior of the Banks’ home, complete with stair case. Not to mention other locations, such as the rooftops of London!
     In a word this production is supercali, supercali, oh, you get it!
        Fly to the box office! Marlowe's Musings


Vintage Theatre presents
Disney’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s 
 “Mary Poppins”
The most popular Disney movie of all time captures our heart in a whole new way. 
Nov. 23 – Jan. 6
Fri/Sat and Mon. Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 2:30 p.m.
$19 - $38
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

XANADU
THE GARNER GALLERIA THEATRE: 11/9 -4/28/2019
Lauren Shealy and Marco Robinson   (photo credit: Emily Lozow) 

 Kitschy, kookie and intentionally campy, XANADU, now on view at The Garner Galleria, is totally awesome, rad and gnarly.
     Based upon the 1980 Universal Pictures film of the same title, it’s the perfect antidote for the five o’clock news as well as a great choice for date night for those seeking feather-weight, fluffy entertainment that’s delightfully ear-pleasing.
       Visually, it’s a rainbow of celestial colors that play out in the costumes (Meghan Anderson Doyle) and lighting (Charles R. McLeod). So whether you’re looking to revisit this cult classic for reasons of nostalgia or just in the mood for a silly, goofy romp enlivened by fantastic actor/singer/skaters - yes, it’s all done on roller skates! - you can’t go wrong getting tickets for this celestial, yet remarkably down-to-earth, (sorry!) evening of musical theatre.
     The story is all about the adventures of the goddess Kira, who comes down from Mount Olympus to be the muse for a struggling mural painter, named Sonny on Venice Beach. Just as in Greek mythology, when the Goddess falls in love with the mortal, all kinds of mayhem breaks out with her goddess sisters and father, Zeus.
     Lauren Shealy ravishes the eye and the ear as Kira, in one of the best musical theatre performances of the year! This accomplished actor/singer/dancer is a Denver favorite who makes Olivia Newton John take a back seat in both looks and vocal prowess.
     Marco Robinson is terrific as Sonny, the struggling mural artist, and Kira’s paramour. This artist is exceptional in his duets with Ms. Shealy: “Magic” and “Suddenly.”
    As Calliope, Sarah Rex dazzles us with her singing of “Fool” and “The Fall.” Ms. Rex has rocked Denver with incredible performances of such characters as: The Narrator in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and Ellen in “Miss Saigon,” both at The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
      Sheryll McCallum (Melpomene) is a force to be reckoned with belting out “Evil Woman.” 
     Aaron Vega is the Gene Kelly stand-in as Danny McGuire. This actor, whose character lost his muse long ago, turns in super smooth vocals as Danny, in “Whenever You’re Away from Me” and later as Zeus, in “Have You Never Been Mellow?” 
     Doused with a spectrum of pastels in cotton candy colors and sprinkled with a rainbow of shimmering sequins, it’s certainly visual ambrosia.
       Grab one of the specialty cocktails being served up at the bar – The Zeus or The Kira – and kick back for an evening of blissful musical theatre comedy of the light, fluffy and delightfully entertaining variety.
     With Tag Worley on drums, Dave Demichelis on guitar and music director David Nehls on keyboards, this three-piece onstage orchestra sounds incredibly full!
     The show is directed and choreographed by Joel Ferrell.Marlowe's Musings


 With music and lyrics by Jeff Lynn and John Farrar and a book by Douglas Carter Beane, XANADU will play the Garner Galleria Theatre from 11/9 to 4/28.
For tickets go online at denvercenter.org or call 303-893-4100 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Humans
Curious Theatre Company: 11/3 – 12/22
                   L-R: Anastasia Davidson and Kevin Hart  (photo credit Michael Ensminger)

Not your usual holiday fare, Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play, THE HUMANS, plays out at a Thanksgiving dinner in an apartment in lower Manhattan.
     Kevin Hart leads a uniformly fine cast with an outstanding portrayal of Erik Blake, the patriarch of this dysfunctional clan. Hart, who dazzled Denver audiences with his outstanding portrayal of Willy Loman in The Edge Theater’s production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN earlier this season, proves once again what a powerful presence he is in dark, serious drama.
     As Erik’s wife, Deirdre, Annie F. Butler gives a nuanced portrayal of a woman suffering from wounds of disregard and neglect.  
     Anastasia Davidson portrays Erik and Deirdre’s daughter, Brigid. New to this reviewer, her engaging performance makes one hope to see her soon again upon the Denver stage.
     Susannah McLeod portrays the couple’s other daughter, Aimee, whose sparkling personality and bright smile veil a year filled with tragedy.
     Antonio Amadeo, who was nominated for a Henry Award for his performance in A KID LIKE JAKE at Benchmark Theatre and gave a breathtaking performance as Biff in The Edge Theater’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN, is Richard Saad, Brigid’s acquiescing boyfriend.
     Delivering a heart-breaking portrayal of a woman suffering from dementia, Kathryn Grey is brilliant as Momo.
     Dee Covington delivers her directorial concept with a stealth-like pacing.
     Charles Dean Packard’s excellent lighting design creates the perfect eerie, mysterious mood. 
     Markas Henry’s superb two-level set, complete with spiral staircase and intentionally dilapidated furnishings, is one of the best scenic designs so far this season.
     Jason Ducat provides such an intentionally nerve-jangling sound design that the sonic effects so integral to the piece, almost become another character.
      This is provocative theatre that’s not for the theatregoer looking for a night of light, fluffy entertainment.
     Disturbing, and at times uncomfortable, THE HUMANS will reward those seeking an evening of theatre as Art.




Thursday, October 25, 2018

LOVE NEVER DIES
THE BUELL THEATRE: 10/23 – 10/28


                           Meghan Picerno (photo Joan Marcus)


Vocally outstanding and visually magnificent, the production now on view at The Buell Theatre is sheer musical theatre magic!  

     “LOVE NEVER DIES,” the long-awaited sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved “PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,” is a feast for both the ear and the eye.  From the principals to the supporting cast, the acting, singing and dancing, dazzles. 
     Megan Picerno’s vocals as Christine Daae are delicious. The dulcet tones of her singing of the title song, “LOVE NEVER DIES,” met with such an appreciative roar from the audience, one fully expected a 
mid-show standing ovation immediately thereafter.
      “Devil Take the Hindmost,” the duet sung by Raoul (Sean Thompson) and the Phantom (Bronson Norris Murphy) at the top of Act Two, is unforgettable. 
     As directed by Simon Phillips, the staging of the show is mysteriously magical and often deliciously dizzying.
     The live orchestra, conducted by music director Dale Rieling, explodes with Lloyd Webber's gorgeous, melodic score! 
     There is a crackling good lighting design by Nick Schlieper, as well as eye-popping scenic and costume designs, both by Gabriela Tylesova. 
     Whether engaging us with the cirque aspects of the show, as in “The Coney Island Waltz,” or bringing the music hall to life, as in Meg’s (Mary Michael Patterson) lively performance of “Bathing Beauty,” The choreography (Graeme Murphy AO) for the show dazzles.

      In case you missed something, I LOVED IT!!!Marlowe's Musings


“LOVE NEVER DIES” has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Ben Elton that’s based upon “The Phantom of Manhattan” by Frederick Forsyth.
For tickets call 303-893-4100 or go online at denvercenter.org

Saturday, October 20, 2018

 MY NAME IS ASHER LEV
CHERRY CREEK THEATRE and the MIZEL ARTS AND CULTURE CENTER: 10/18 – 11/11



                                                             Josue Ivan Prieto 


     Based upon the novel penned by Chaim Potok, Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of MY NAME IS ASHER LEV, is a profoundly spiritual journey about a young man’s struggle to express his artistic talent as it collides with his Hasidic Jewish family and their religious beliefs about Art. 
     Perhaps due to a case of opening night jitters, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV was a little slow building steam on Thursday evening. Shortly thereafter the show caught fire, and the rest is history.
     Josue Ivan Prieto portrays the creator of such masterpieces as “Brooklyn Crucifixion 1” and “Brooklyn Crucifixion 2,” from innocent child to master artist, with true chutzpah.
          Josh Levy portrays all the men: Aryeh Lev Yitzchok Lev, The Rebbe and Jacob Kahn. Levy, who recently played Charley in The Edge Theater’s critically acclaimed DEATH OF A SALESMAN, is especially memorable as Jacob Kahn, the outspoken mentor of the burgeoning artist. 
     Christy Kruzick plays all the women in the piece: Rivkeh Lev, Anna Schaeffer and Rachel. Kruzick shines in her nuanced portrayal of Anna Schaeffer, an outspoken Art connoisseur. 
        Bernie Cardell’s direction is of the professional quality Denver audiences have come to expect from him. 
     M. Curtis Grittner’s eye-popping scenic design covers the back wall and the floor of the playing space with a fantasia of splatters and brush strokes in a chroma key of primary colors that appears to have splashed right out of a can.
     Morgan McCauley (MARLOWE AWARD for SOUND DESIGN for TARTUFFE at ARVADA CENTER) stitches the scenes together with a stirring and sensitive sound design.
    Karalyn Star Pytel creates her usual mood-shifting magic with the lighting design.
    Go and support Cherry Creek Theater and the Mizel Arts and Culture Center.Marlowe's Musings

For tickets go online at cherrycreektheatre.org     or call 303-800-6578

Sunday, October 14, 2018

BOSTON MARRIAGE
VINTAGE THEATRE: 10/11 -11/5
 
L-R: Michelle Moore and Kelly Uhlenhopp(photo credit: RDG Photography)

Playwright David Mamet is perhaps best known for writing “Glengarry Glen Ross” (Pulitzer Prize), “American Buffalo” and “Speed-the-Plow.” Word has it that this oft considered misogynist playwright, whose plays are primarily male-driven, was once challenged to write a play about women. The result is said to be “Boston Marriage.” 

     “BOSTON MARRIAGE” centers on two women, who, living together in Victorian times, are doing their best to live a life “on the fringes of upper-class society.” Anna, the older of the two women, is the mistress of a wealthy man who gives her jewels and a nice income. Claire, the younger of the two, has become infatuated with another young lady, and seeks Anna’s help in ‘sealing the match.’  When Claire’s new “friend” appears on the scene, the prosperity of Claire and Anna is put at risk. 
     Catherine, the maid, is the only other character.
     Director Lorraine Scott has cast the play impeccably.
     The play contains three Bravura performances by Michelle Moore, Kelly Uhlenhopp and Jean Schuman, with Ms. Moore delivering a tour de force.
     Kelley Uhlenhopp portrays Claire with pluck and luminosity.
     As the scorned and much-maligned Scottish maid, Catherine, Jean Schuman is by turns, hilarious, pitiful and finally triumphant.
     The technical aspects of the play are especially well done, barring one glitch in the lighting apparatus at the top of the play.
     Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry’s eye-popping costume design is spot on!

Vintage Theatre presents
“Boston Marriage” 
A wickedly funny comedy spiced with an impeccable plot and Wildean wit.
Oct. 5 – Nov. 11
Fri/Sat and Mon., Oct. 15 & Thurs. Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.;

Sundays & Sat. Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m.
$16 - $32 
www.vintagetheatre.org or 303-856-7830. 
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings

Saturday, October 6, 2018

DEAR EVAN HANSEN
THE BUELL THEATRE: 9/25 – 10/13
 
IF ANYONE WISHES TO HAVE THEIR HEART OPENED, THIS MAGNIFICENT, LIFE- AFFIRMING PRODUCTION IS JUST THE TICKET!!!

The Tony Award-winning DEAR EVAN HANSEN, is now on view at the Buell Theatre for only one more week.
     It’s such a mind blowing, heart expanding experience everyone should see it.
     Especially families in crisis!!!   
     Or families who are in any kind of therapy that’s hard to talk about or express!!! 
      Especially anyone in emotional crisis!
      Especially anyone who even remotely appreciates the wonder(s) of the American Musical Theatre.
     Ben Levi Ross is just astounding in his acting and singing of the part of Evan Hansen. This actor delivers the exact right vulnerable sensibility for this character. His vocals fill The Buell with heart-swelling power and emotion.
     Jessica Phillips is luminous in her performance of Heidi Hansen, Evan’s Mom.
      Jared Goldsmith is completely “natural” and adorably forthright in his acting of the part of Evan’s hilariously outspoken friend, Jared Kleinman.
     The excellent scenic design by David Korins is married to the eye-popping Lighting design by Japhy Weideman in such a wondrous way you’ll be astounded. 
     Nevin Steinberg’s sound design is the clearest, crispest, absolute best to have been heard by this reviewer at The Buell Theatre in memory.

       “DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the story of the unintended consequences of following your heart.” -Tony Award-Winning Playwright Steven Levenson.

     You don’t need to know more about the story. Just go and let your heart be broken and mended in the time it takes for these phenomenal actors and techies to tell it.
      This production comes with highest recommendations from this critic’s desk. 
   Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!Marlowe's Musings

Go online to Denvercenter.org for tickets

Thursday, October 4, 2018

OKLAHOMA!
THE DENVER CENTER THEATRE COMPANY: 9/7 – 10/14
                       Antoine L. Smith
OKLAHOMA was the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Based upon Lynn Riggs’ “Green Grow the Lilacs,” it’s set just outside Claremore in Oklahoma Territory, 1906.
      Rodgers and Hammerstein received the Pulitzer Prize for the musical on stage and later an Academy Award for the screen adaptation.
     Celebrating the 75thAnniversary of OKLAHOMA, Chris Coleman, the Artistic Director of the DCPA Theatre Company, has cast it with an African American cast.
      It’s a Glorious production that’s visually magnificent and vocally superb.
     Wilson Chin’s rustic frontier scenic design is enhanced by the sweeping backdrop of a cloud-swept sky. The authentic look of the costume design for the show is credited to Jeff Cone.
     In the ballet sequence of “Out of My Dreams” Dominique Kelley’s choreography honors that of Agnes DeMille, while sparking It with some innovations of her own. Here, as in the other big dance scenes, this cast shines.
      Ya’Nika Gibson is luminous as Laurey.  Her soprano soars through such classics as “Many a New Day” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.”
     Antoine L. Smith is a handsome Curly with dynamic presence. His vocals of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” as well as his duet with Ms. Gibson, are stellar.
          Bre Jackson shines as the flirtatious and pouty Ado Annie.  Her humorous take on “I Cain’t Say No” is delicious.  
         Rennie Anthony Magee turns in a sensational portrayal of Ado Annie’s suitor, Will Parker. His high steppin’ dancing and singing of “Kansas City” is amazing.     Barrington Lee (Jud Fry)who has sung such opera roles as the Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni, is a powerful presence, both vocally and in the acting. 
     Cooper Grodin gives a studied portrayal of the peddler, Ali Hakim.
          Sheryl McCallum is an Aunt Eller for the ages!
          The sensational live orchestra keeps those classic Rodgers and Hammerstein melodies rolling from curtain to curtain.

       Added bonus… you will leave humming the tunes with a smile on your face.Marlowe's Musings

  for tickets go online at denvercenter.org 


Saturday, September 29, 2018

I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE
BDT STAGE: 9/15 – 11/3
 

L-R: Brian Jackson, Heather Marie Doris,Bob Hoppe and Anne Terze-Schwarze

Tuneful and hilarious, I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, is the smash hit musical comedy currently being presented at BDT STAGE in Boulder. It’s full of snappy and sometimes snarky vignettes and sketches about the mating rituals of American couples in the modern age from first date to third base to marriage, kids and beyond. In a nutshell, it’s what Nikos Kazentzakis’ life-embracing Zorba, the Greek once celebrated as ”the full catastrophe!”
     Neal Dunfee leads the onstage orchestra with passion and pizzaz. Dunfee’s outstanding performance at the piano, enhanced by the other superb musicians on sax, clarinets, flutes, guitar and drums, add up to a delicious accompaniment to the scrumptious vocals of Heather Marie Doris, Anne Terze-Schwarze, Bob Hoppe and Brian Jackson.
      The four-person cast that’s both easy on the eyes and ears, is by turns enthusiastic, exuberant, ebullient, and enchanting.
      Anne Terze-Schwarze even gets a moment to bring a tear to the eye in her masterful portrayal of a newly divorced woman in “The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz.”
     Heather Marie Doris astounds with her hilarious take on “Always a Bridesmaid.”
     Brian Jackson gets a chance to unleash a heart-opening rendition of “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love with You” that really shows off his vocal chops.
     One of the highlights of the show is Bob Hoppe’s portrayal of a prison inmate named Trent Trindelle, who scares couples, who are looking for that utopian partner, into realizing that the one that they’ve got is worth holding onto.
     Although the lighting and set designs for this show are of the professional caliber for which BDT Stage has become famous, this is not one of those mega-musicals with all the laser lights and high-tech special effects. It’s an intimate romp that’s sometimes punctuated with moments of heart felt and poignant insight.     
      Ultimately it’s a celebration of love and romance at every age that’s truly universal.
     Do yourself a favor and get tickets now for I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE.Marlowe's Musings

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

Sunday, September 16, 2018

UNCANNY VALLEY
benchmark theatre: 9/15 – 10/13

Anne Myers and Neil Truglio

“Uncanny Valley” is a play about the probabilities – and problems - involving androids or humanoid robots. 
             Anne Myers (Marlowe Award for Best Actress for her astounding portrayal of Amanda in Germinal Stage Denver’s “THE GLASS MENAGERIE,”) is one of our most accomplished actors. As Claire, she gives a nuanced portrayal of a woman, who, at the end of her successful career, is haunted by family traumas. One wonders from the start if she will fall in love with her android creation or be destroyed by it.
       As Julian, Neil Truglio gives us well enacted bio-mimetic mimicry. Mirroring his creator right from the start, Truglio punctuates his performance with well-timed humor. One looks forward to seeing Mr. Truglio again soon upon the Denver stage.
     Director Rachel Rogers has done an admirable job casting and pacing the show.
       John Hauser’s sound design successfully creates tension by bridging the scenes with the grinding and ratcheting of gears as well as the insistent ticking of an imaginary clock. Hauser also provides original electronic music for atmospheric effect during Intermission.
       Perhaps one expects too much of playwright Thomas Gibbons’ script due to memories of other works about artificial intelligence such as those of the machines in Spielberg’s AI, the robotic gunslinger in West World, and the malevolent Hal in Kubrick’s 2001. Both AI and West World can be appreciated on many levels. Nevertheless, they both left this reviewer feeling empty. 
        Although one respects playwright Thomas Gibbons’ ingenious concepts about the evolution of the science of artificial intelligence, this production never delivers the unsettling emotions or creepiness one expects.  Marlowe's Musings

Benchmark Theatre is located at:
1560 Teller Street
Lakewood, Colorado, 80214

For tickets call the Box Office at:   303-519-9059 
or go online at benchmarktheatre.com

Monday, September 10, 2018

THE KENTUCKY CYCLE
PARTS 1 & 2
VINTAGE THEATRE PRODUCTIONS: 9/7 – 10/21

       BRUTALLY HONEST AND DISTURBING IN ITS DEPICTION OF AMERICAN HISTORY, "THE KENTUCKY CYCLE" IS A SWEEPING HISTORICAL DRAMA THAT CRIES OUT TO BE SEEN.
 
DARCY KENNEDY (PHOTO CREDIT: MATTHEW GALE PHOTOGRAPHY)

     Robert Schenkkan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, THE KENTUCKY CYCLE, spans two centuries from 1775 to 1975. More than just the story of three families, who are Black, White and Native American, and whose histories are irrevocably interwoven, THE KENTUCKY CYCLE encompasses all things Americana from mythology to reality and back again in nine short plays.
     Playwright Schenkkan is a three-time Emmy award nominee who has written for stage, film and television. Among his more recent works are the Henry Award-winning musical, THE TWELVE, the critically acclaimed play about Lyndon Johnson, ALL THE WAY, and the screenplay for the film, HACKSAW RIDGE. 

     Craig A. Bond’s deft direction paces this epic production in such a way that the matinee and evening performances fly by. Bond’s unflinching ability to give us a clear-eyed vision of things not always found in our history books, rivets us.    
     Kevin Taylor’s projections provide lush natural backgrounds and locations for us as we go along the journey. 
      Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry’s sound design, which bridges the scenes with folk tunes and other environmentally descriptive sounds, is most memorable.
     Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry’s costume design provides just the right look. 
     There are many luminous and nuanced performances in this two-part play. Standing out in this huge cast are: Sam Gilstrap, Perry Lewis, Joe Mack, and Darcy Kennedy, along with, Jeff Jesmer, Christin Mason, David Harms & Cris Davenport.
     Not for the faint of heart, this production deals honestly with those things that we of this generation were only told about, and not there to see.
    It’s a gift to have Vintage Theatres produce this two-part opus. The fact that it’s done with such skill makes the two parts of THE KENTUCKY CYCLE unmissable. Run to get tickets. Marlowe's Musings

Vintage Theatre presents
The Kentucky Cycle”


Parts 1 & 2
Sept. 8* – Oct. 21
Part 1: Sat./Sun. at 2 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Part 2: Sat./Sun. and Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
$32 
www.vintagetheatre.org or 303-856-7830. 
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010.

Vintage will be serving dinner during intermission for the Kentucky Cycle for $15 per person. To make a dinner reservation please call the box office at 303-856-7830.