Friday, January 15, 2021

 Cabaret De Profundis or 

How To Sing While Ugly Crying

Buntport Theater Company
    Hannah Duggan with Nathan Hall at the piano
 

(Now streaming on Vimeo.)

 

     

     Buntport Theater Company’s 49th full-length original play, “Cabaret De Profundis or How To Sing While Ugly Crying,” was supposed to open last March in their space over at 8th and Lipan. Like the other theaters in town, Buntport’s doors were closed at that time due to the pandemic.

     Lucky for us the award-winning troupe has filmed the stage production so we can all see this cabaret-style show streamed in the safety of our own living rooms.

     Comic genius Hannah Duggan plays Artemisia II, Queen of Caria. She’s that lady who commissioned the building of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, back in 350 BC. She’s also known to have mourned her “bruhsband,” (brother/husband) Mausolus’ death by drinking his ashes in her wine. 

     Identifying with the stages of grief outlined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the actor bemoans the fact that she has become “the Queen of Grief, the Madame of Misery, the Diva of Distress.” 

     Duggan is a brilliant actor, whose performance is as endearing as it is hilarious. Able to turn on a dime from hysterically grieving widow to zany little girl, her blissfully naughty grins will enchant you. 

     The show also features Nathan Hall, who, outfitted in a dashing white tux, accompanies Ms. Duggan on the gorgeous white grand piano with a mix of old standards and new compositions. The deadpan Nathan also serves as the butt of many of Ms. Duggan’s sly jokes.

      This monologue with musical numbers is being described as “a dark comedy with the emphasis on comedy.”

     The scenic design and its accompanying lighting design are eye-pleasing indeed.

     Ms. Duggan’s costumes dazzle us with their eye-popping sparkle and shimmer.

      True, the piece could be improved by a small trip to the editing room.

     Nevertheless … this is a welcome gift in this time of shuttered theatres and house-bound theatregoers. 

     Just FYI the production’s sound recording, and visuals are of the highest quality imaginable. Bravo! 

     The show will be released on Vimeo on January 15th

     For tickets call Buntport Theater 720-946-1388

Or go online at buntport.com

 

 

Sunday, December 13, 2020







THE MARLOWE AWARDS FOR 2020

 

Outstanding Production of a Play

Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

 

Outstanding Actress in a Play 

Diane Wziontka, Marvin’s Room, Vintage Theatre Productions

Kelly Uhlenhopp, The Squirrels, Aurora Fox Arts


Outstanding Actor in a Play

Denis Berkfeldt, Frost/Nixon, Vintage Theatre Productions

Kevin Rich, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

Edith Weiss, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

Jessica Austgen, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

Kevin Hart, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

Andrew Uhlenhopp, The Squirrels, Aurora Fox Arts Center

 

Outstanding Director of a Play

Geoffrey Kent, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

 Bernie Cardell, Marvin's Room, Vintage Theatre Productions

 

Outstanding Director of a Musical 

Betty Hart, Scottsboro Boys, Vintage Theatre Productions

Michael J. Duran, Ragtime, BDT Stage


Outstanding Production of a Musical

Scottsboro Boys, Vintage Theatre Productions

           Ragtime, BDT Stage

 

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Tracy Warren, Ragtime, BDT Stage

Mary Louise Lee, Secrets of the Universe and Other Songs, Aurora Fox Arts 

 

Outstanding Actor in a Musical 

Charles Ray King, Jr., Ragtime, BDT Stage

Christopher Razor, Scottsboro Boys, Vintage Theatre Productions

Jordan Leigh, Secrets of the Universe and Other Songs, Aurora Fox Arts 

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

Alicia K. Meyers, Ragtime, BDT Stage

Anna Marie High, Disenchanted, BDT Stage

 

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical 

Dwayne Carrington, Scottsboro Boys, Vintage Theatre Productions

Scott Severtson, Ragtime, BDT Stage

 

Outstanding Lighting Design

Shannon McKinney, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

 

Seth Alison, Secrets of the Universe and Other Songs, Aurora Fox Arts 


Outstanding Sound Design

Jason Ducat, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

Cece Smith, Secrets of the Universe and Other Songs, Aurora Fox Arts 

 

Outstanding Scenic Design

Brian Mallgrave, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

Brandon Philip Case, The Squirrels, Aurora Fox Arts 


 

Outstanding Costume Design

Kevin Copenhaver, Murder on the Orient Express, Arvada Center

Nicole M. Harrison, The Squirrels,Aurora Fox Arts


Best New Director,

 Abby Apple Boes, When We Were Young and Unafraid, Firehouse Theater Company

 

                  Best New Play 

 

The Grasshoppers, Buntport Theater


Best Choreography

Christopher Page-Sanders, Scottsboro Boys, Vintage Theatre Productions

 

Best Music Direction

Lee Ann Scherlong, Scottsboro Boys, Vintage Theatre Productions

Neal Dunfee, Ragtime, BDT Stage

 

Best Pandemic Relief

BDT Stage’s socially distanced outdoor concerts.

Thursday, August 6, 2020


RAGTIME:THE MUSICAL
BDT STAGE: Streamed on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm August 6-29
L-R" Tracy Warren, Wayne Kennedy and Charles Ray King, Jr.


     With music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, as well as book for the musical by the late Terrence McNally, RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL is based upon the 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow.
     Nominated for twelve Tonys, it garnered four: Best Book of a musical (Terrence McNally), Best Original Score (Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens), Best Orchestrations(William David Brown) and Best Performance by a Featured Actress (Audra McDonald).
     Set in the early days of the 1900s, Ragtime follows three segments of American society:a group of African Americans represented by Coalhouse Walker, Jr., an upper class white suburban family in New Rochelle, represented by its matriarch (Mother), and a group of Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Latvian Jew.
     A number of historical figures are interwoven into Terrence McNally's book for the musical. Among them are: Harry Houdini, Emma Goldman, Booker T. Washington and J. P. Morgan.
     Charles Ray King,Jr. delivers a tour de force as Coalhouse. From his bright and bouncy singing of "The Gettin' Ready Rag," to "The Wheels of a Dream" to "Make Them Hear You," Mr. King is a force to be reckoned with.
     Coalhouse's paramour, Sarah, is played by Camryn Torres, a new addition to the constellation of stars at BDT Stage. One hopes to see her onstage again soon.
     Tracy Warren's nuanced portrayal of Mother delivers a character of tenderness and strength. Her soaring soprano in the singing of "We Can Never Go Back to Before" will take your breath away.
     Wayne Kennedy's Tateh is a wonderfully tender, affectionate and protective father.
     Scott Beyette's performance as Father is appropriately stern and unyielding.
     Scott Severtson's portrayal of Younger Brother's ascent from adoring fan to social activist, shows him once again to be 'a natural' in the craft of acting.
     Alicia K. Meyers portrays social lightning rod, Emma Goldman, with spunk and backbone.
     Linda Morken's costumes are eye-popping as usual.
     Neal Dunfee's music direction of the beefed up BDT stage orchestra is outstanding. 
             Thanks to director Michael Duran for casting this show so impeccably, and allowing all the aspects of the show to come together in the imaginative 'melting pot' it is. 
            It would have been great to have seen the show live onstage. Unfortunately this virus has us all staying home. The show is one of this reviewer's favorite musicals, and aside from some issues with the sound  and learning how to access the show in a new way, it's a treat to get to see it!
            Duran promises that the technical issues of translating sound from stage to screen will be worked out soon.

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


































Thursday, July 30, 2020

THE LEADING LADIES OF BDT STAGE: 

              July 30,31 and August 1 and August 6,7 and 8!!!

     

L-R: Joanie Brosseau-Rubald, Alicia K. Meyers and Tracy Warren ( Photo credit: Tim Acheson)




BDT Stage has done it again!

 

Ever since the middle of March, live theatre has been nearly non-existent. Right?

     Thanks to BDT Stage’s new cabaret production of THE LEADING LADIES OF BDT, things are starting to look up.     


     This weekend and next, three of our favorite divas take the stage in the south parking lot of BDT Stage to enchant you with your favorite Broadway songs as well as a little Gershwin… and just a smidge of The Andrews Sisters.   These three glorious musical theatre Divas -  and Marlowe Award winners - are Joanie Brosseau-Rubald, Alicia King Meyers and Tracy Warren.

     Brosseau-Rubald , who has played everything from Nellie Forbush in  SOUTH PACIFIC to  Dulcinea in MAN OF LA MANCHA, enchants us with such favorites as “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” from EVITA and Adelaide’s Lament from GUYS AND DOLLS. 

     Tracy Warren, who has acted on Broadway as well as done touring shows, blesses us with “We Can Never Go Back To Before” from RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL and “Practically Perfect” from Disney’s Broadway production of MARY POPPINS. 

     Alicia King Meyers delights us with “Before the Parade Passes By” from HELLO DOLLY and her fantastically funny version of Ursula singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from “Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID.” 

     If that were not enough, producer/director Michael Duran sings and does a bit of a soft shoe accompanied by multiple Marlowe Award winner, music director, Neal Dunfee.

 

The price of a ticket includes your choice of a scrum diddly sandwich with cookie and chips. 

 

You bring your own lawn chair and BDT Stage serves you a scrumptious picnic dinner.

     How does it get any better than that? Oh, and they're serving their usual outstanding drinks from their well-stocked bar.

 

     Dinner’s at 6:00pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.

 

     Masks are required when not eating, and 10 x 10 plots of land are marked off six feet apart. 

     Safety measures are everywhere adhered to. You’ll feel safe and enjoy an evening you will never forget.

 

     Give yourself a much-deserved and totally protected evening of musical theatre cabaret!!!

 

Not to be missed.

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

 

Friday, July 3, 2020

     DISENCHANTED

     BDT STAGE: July 2020

Due to the social distancing caused by this pandemic, live theatre has been sadly missing from our lives.

      Now, however, BDT Stage producer Michael J. Duran is reimagining it, so that we can all access it right in our own living rooms.

     Starting on July 1, and running at least through the end of the month-we hope it will extend!- Duran has created a wonderful online streaming event with his production of DISENCHANTED, the hilarious send-up of the Disney princesses’ lives after their princes have come.

     The royal honeymoons are over and this reality therapy look at life in the aftermath is not looking very much like “happily ever after.”

     The bevy of beauties portraying these famous and very funny animated Disney princesses are Jessica Hindsley (Snow White), Tracy Warren (Cinderella), Annie Dwyer (Sleeping Beauty) and Maryjune Scott as Pocahontas/Mulan/Jasmine. Anna High plays the Princess who Kissed the Frog and Alicia K. Meyers is Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Ariel(The Little Mermaid.) Meyers also co-directs and co-choreographs the proceedings with Denver/Boulder favorite Matthew Peters.

     Linda Morken delivers the eye-popping costumes and Amy Campion’s scenic design is one for the (story)books. (sorry.)

     Neal Dunfee’s music direction and conducting of the just off and above stage, BDT Stage band (he also plays keys) with Jon Stubbs on bass and Nick Gnojek on drums, is Amazing!

     The book,music and lyrics penned by Dennis J. Giacino, made the show a big hit off Broadway. DISENCHANTED was nominated for the 2015 Outer Critics Award for Outstanding Off Broadway Musical as well as receiving the 2015 Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical.

    

Put the kids to bed early, because this is a more adult type of look at Disney's princesses.


 Go to the BDT Stage website and get your tickets now. Who knew that you could have the Hottest Ticket in Town playing right in your own living room this summer?

 

 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

       THE GRASSHOPPERS
       BUNTPORT THEATER: through Sunday, June 27

                    

Roughly twenty four centuries ago Aristophanes gave us Greek classic plays such as "The Birds," "The Frogs," and "The Wasps." 
Lucky for us, Buntport Theatre has given us "THE GRASSHOPPERS."
Just as Aristophanes showed us the Greeks with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Buntport holds up the mirror to those of us straddling the blades of grass in our contemporary world of pandemic.
The four comic geniuses of Buntport theatre: Hannah Duggan, Brian Collona, Erin Rollman and Erik Edborg produce theatre magic in the open air now. This indomitable troupe has created a production, which is not only socially distanced for the safety of the actors, but also accessible to the socially distanced audience observing from the safe space of their cars. A sanitized speaker is provided the theatergoers in each car so that we can hear the superb narrative being delivered by Erin Rollman (sometimes like that great narrator, Richard Attenborough.)

Although it is certain that swarms of theatregoers would love to see this production, the show's sold out so far. Nevertheless, once in a while a space opens up. That said, this reviewer recommends that you call and put your name on a waiting list. The space over at 8th and Lipan is centrally located, and well worth the trip.
It's a short 35 minute long piece that is wondrously entertaining. I will not "bug" you with all the ways in which these geniuses of the thespian variety amuse us! Let me just say that it's a theatrical treat that proves how invincible live theatre can be...even in a time of pandemic.
According to many, Shakespeare penned "King Lear" during the Black Plague.  

Not wishing to "bug" you with possible spoilers, I hope you will all get on the horn or the "web" and ask to be put on the waiting list...and that the show will be extended.

Thanks again to each and all at Buntport Theatre, for showing us all how invincible live theatre is, and that the possibilities are endless.


 




Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Marvin’s Room
Vintage Theatre: 2/28 – 4/5


The cast of MARVIN'S ROOM (photo credit: RDG Photograpy)


     Marvin’s Room, Scott McPherson’s touching play about a family brought together under traumatic circumstances, is currently on view at Vintage Theatre.
     Marvin’s been dying for twenty years. Bessie’s been taking care of him for that long. Bessie’s estranged sister, Lee, who lives in another town, can’t seem to deal with her teenage boys. When Bessie gets a dire diagnosis that requires her to call Lee, memories of the past collide with current events and old wounds cause family dynamics to erupt.
      Bernie Cardell’s direction brings out just the right blend of humor and heartache to make this one of the most emotionally rewarding shows onstage this month. In his Director’s notes, Cardell asks ‘who helps the caregiver when the caregiver gets sick?’
     Diane Wziontka gives a poignantly nuanced portrayal of Bessie.
     As the play opens, Dr. Wally, played with delightful good humor and disturbing amnesia by local favorite Andy Anderson, takes a second look at Bessie’s blood work.
     Adding comic relief where we need it most, Linda Suttle is hilarious as Bessie’s Aunt Ruth.
     Jacqueline Garcia gives us a lively portrait of Bessie’s feisty sister, Lee. We first get a glimpse of Lee as she visits her son Hank, portrayed by Braidy Kirkegaard.
   Kirkegaard shows a great deal of promise, and one hopes to see him again soon upon the Denver stage.
     In the intimacy of Vintage Theatre’s Bond-Trimble auditorium, we as audience get to know these characters in an up close and personal manner. The set by M. Curtis Grittner exudes a no-frills realism. Will Melendez’s lighting design is effective and unobtrusive. Luke Rahmsdorff -Terry’s sound design does a good job of bridging the scenes, without calling attention to itself.
     Even the smaller roles are cast well. They include: Gabriel Waits, OD Duhu, Allistair Basse and Bruce Smith. 

Worth a peek.Marlowe's Musings


Vintage Theatre presents
“Marvin’s Room”
A human, hopeful, and hilarious play about being there for each other.
Feb. 28 – Apr. 5*
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
$20-$32
303-856-7830 or online at 
www.vintagetheatre.org
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010