Wednesday, March 22, 2023





               Sean Scrutchins

Curious Theatre Company’s regional premiere of Chisa Hutchinson’s play, AMERIKIN, is what theatre should be! An honest, revelatory wake-up call!

     Examining the need for belonging, her play reminds us that in this era of racial tension and struggle for equal rights, we are all ‘kin.’

     Hutchinson’s work is not for the faint of heart. It never bows to political correctness, which, in this reviewer’s not-so-humble opinion, is the killer of all true Art. Her work is clear-eyed and honest. And it has teeth!

      Gratitude must be extended to the new administration at Curious Theatre for presenting this work! 

     Director Jada Suzanne Dixon delivers this urgent artistic message with power! She has assembled a cast of outstanding actors and technicians and allowed them to express with dynamic honesty. Her pacing of the proceedings keeps things moving at such a clip that the audience is constantly held in a state of rapt attention. 

     At the heart of this production is an outstanding performance by Sean Scrutchins as Jeff Browning, a new father who feels the need to ‘belong’ in his rural small-town community in order to provide safety and security for his family. Scrutchins’ compelling performance unleashes jolts of electricity that will resonate long after final curtain!

    Candace Joice gives a nuanced portrayal of Jeff’s wife, Michelle, a post partem new mother, in the midst of a mental/emotional breakdown. 

     Brian Landis Folkins is Poot Spangler, Jeff’s easy-going and amiable longtime buddy. You know. The kind who’ll even blur the Truth a little to stay on your good side in order to keep you out of trouble. Folkins' performance is brilliant and authentic.

    As Dylan Hoffenberger, Michael McNeill delivers a fiery performance as one of the town’s good ol’ boys, whose permission is needed in order to sign  up for the small town majority’s bigoted hate group.

     Denver favorite Karen Slack plays Jeff’s neighbor, and ex love interest,Alma Tillery, who works as a nurse at the hospital’s Emergency Room. Her scenes confronting Jeff’s wife Michelle about their newborn could be described as an only slightly controlled pressure cooker.

     Cajardo Lindsey’s Gerald LaMott is a slow-moving journalist from The Washington Post who’s professional and patient beyond words. Called in to interview Jeff, Lindsey's portrayal of calm demeanor and measured speech contrasts dramatically with Jeff’s frenetic behavior, as well as that of his own daughter.

     As LaMott’s daughter, Chris, Kristina Fountaine provides a turbo-charged motor mouth counterpoint to her father’s approach to Jeff’s crisis.   Rather than allowing the Truth to be discerned calmly and organically, she impatiently rips at the fabric of her father’s investigation creating an almost unbearable tension in the final scene.  

      Markas Henry’s beautifully rendered scenic design is, as usual, inventive and spot on. 

     There are moments in the evening when Max Silverman’s sound design and Haley Hartmann’s lighting design conspire to deliver breathtaking emotional bombshells. 

       I hope I’ve said enough to get you to buy a ticket, and not enough to spoil any aspect of the greatness of this production. 

     If you like serious dramatic theatre that’s compelling and honest, run to see this show. Just be aware that this is not fluffy entertainment designed for the faint of heart.

     Buckle your seatbelt and get ready for a raw and visceral evening of Great Theatre.


For tickets call 303-623-0524 or go online at

Monday, March 20, 2023




Mar. 17 – April 2

     Based upon Ferenc Molnar’s 1909 play, Liliom, “Carousel” has music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

     When it opened on Broadway in 1945, “Carousel” was right across the street from the theatre playing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”.  “Carousel” became a film in 1956 starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones.  A subsequent Broadway production in 1994 garnered five Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. 

     Set on the New England coast in the late 1800s “Carousel” introduced complex characters and social issues such as domestic violence. The show ends with the start of a spiritual evolution toward a hoped-for redemption.

     Jeremy Rill’s outstanding rendition of Billy Bigelow’s “Soliloquy, (My Boy Bill),” which brings down the curtain at the end of Act One, is all the reason you need to buy a ticket for this production. Rill is one of the premier musical theatre actors in Colorado!

     In her Performance Now debut, Monica Joyce Slabach gave a very fine reading of Julie Jordan. Slabach is at her best in this production in “If I Loved You,” her duet with Mr. Rill. Unfortunately, a loud disturbance in the sound design spoiled her otherwise lovely rendition of “What’s the Use of Wondrin.’”

       Carolyn Lohr is an amazingly animated and joyous incarnation of Carrie Pipperidge. Her singing of “Mister Snow” is sensational!

     Liz Brooks’ vocals for Nettie Fowler are extraordinarily well sung. Leading the ensemble in “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” “A Real Nice Clambake,” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Brooks astounds!

     Lars Preece is a delightfully engaging Enoch Snow. His singing of “When the Children Are Asleep” is ear-pleasing indeed!

     Wes Munsil anchors the final scenes of the play with excellent portrayals of the Starkeeper and Dr. Seldon.  

     The Carousel Waltz is arguably the most intricate and complex overture in the American Theatre canon. On opening night music director Heather Iris Holt found it difficult to get the musicians in the pit to navigate its complexities at the top of the show. That said, her music direction of Rodgers’ gloriously tuneful score was superb thereafter. The choral work for “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “A Real Nice Clambake” was thrilling!  

     Kelly Van Oosbree directs and co-choreographs with Rebecca Dean.


For tickets call 303-987-7845 or go online at


Monday, March 13, 2023


COLORADO BALLET:  3/10- 3/19

The cast of Colorado Ballet's Cinderella (Photo Credit: Mike Watson)

Based upon Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale, and scored by composer Sergei Prokofiev, Colorado Ballet’s production of CINDERELLA is a treat for the child in all of us.

     The casts vary from one evening to the next, and on opening night we were blessed with a cast which was extraordinarily beautiful.

     Cinderella was danced by the enchanting Dana Benton. Her performance dazzles in its grace and exquisite technique.

     Benton’s handsome prince was the dashing Yosvani Ramos. This dancer exhibits an exhilarating command of the stage. His ability to remain poised and balanced even in the difficult lifts required by Mr. Stevenson’s choreography is breathtaking.

Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos(Photo Credit: Mike Watson)

     Whether solo or pas de deux, both principals stun us with their virtuosity.

    The stepsisters were brought to life with comic clumsiness and animated slapstick by Christopher Moulton and Sean Omandam. Their performance(s) evoked giggles from the little ones and smiles all round from the adults in attendance.

     The role of the stepmother was portrayed by Lorita Travaglia. Her cruel character drew laughter from the opening night audience when she intentionally slipped and tripped and took a flip upon exiting by way of the stairs.

    Kevin Gael Thomas’s Jester is an exceptional dancer! His exhilarating performance was one of the highlights of the evening.

L-R: Kevin Gael, Christopher Moulton and Sean Omandam (Photo credit: Mike Watson)

    Jennifer Grace danced The Fairy Godmother with a delicious delicacy.

     Cinderella’s Father is portrayed by Denver favorite, Gregory K. Gonzales.

     There were many little girls in attendance all decked out in their fairy tale finery. It was a total delight to see their wonder-filled eyes and hear their delighted laughter.

     The choreography by Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., was danced to perfection by the principals and corps de ballet alike. 

     Adam Flatt conducted the scrumptious Colorado Ballet Orchestra with aplomb.

                Dana Benton (photo credit: Mike Watson)

     The costumes and scenery, courtesy of Houston Ballet, were created by David Walker.

     The only blemish on the evening was a momentary glitch involving the overhead masking’s uncertainty as to whether it should rise or descend.


For tickets call 303-837-8888 or go online at




Wednesday, March 8, 2023




BDT Stage’s production of “Something Rotten” is a joyous comic romp sending up all things Shakespeare, Broadway, and especially HAMLET!  It’s Tons of Fun!!!  So, I will just misquote the Bard and say: “Get thee to a Funnery!”


“Something Rotten” has music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick and a book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick. Opening on Broadway in 2015, it was nominated for ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

     Set in 1595 England, aspiring playwright brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom compete with Shakespeare for fame and fortune.

     Attempting to stay one step ahead of the Bard, they fail to realize that Shakespeare begs, borrows, and steals his material from his contemporaries as well as the playwrights of antiquity.

     Methinks therein lieth the plot.

     Bob Hoppe and Brian Cronan play the boisterous Bottom brothers, Nick, and Nigel respectively. 

       Hoppe is well known to musical theatregoers over the last couple of decades. He’s become a Colorado favorite for his work at BDT Stage, Country Dinner Playhouse and Candlelight Dinner Theatre. Here he delivers a turbo-charged performance you will love. Act One concludes with his very funny, self-adulating, “Bottom’s Gonna Be on Top!” 

       Brian Cronan has done numerous roles at BDT Stage including such memorable performances as Princeton in “Avenue Q,” Jinx in “Forever Plaid” and Franz in “Rock of Ages.”

     Here, Cronan is at his best singing the romantic duet, “I Like the Way,” with Julia Jackson’s Portia. 

      Clad in black, Scott Severtson’s portrayal of Shakespeare is one for the books. (Sorry!) This actor has done roles as varied as Gaston in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” Frankie in “Forever Plaid,” and Lord Farquaad In “Shrek, the Musical!” 

      In this show Severtson’s naughty, bawdy bard

               L-R: Bob Hoppe and Scott Severtson

is at his best singing “Will Power” and “Hard to be the Bard!” 

    Alicia K. Meyers portrays Nick’s wife, Bea, a woman who shows us she’s ahead of her time in the equal rights department, singing “Right Hand Man.” This actor has blessed us with numerous performances from Dolly Levi in “Hello, Dolly!” to Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.”

        Julia Jackson is Portia, the seemingly obedient child of a Puritan father. However, once her love for Nigel is ignited she turns into a romantic spitfire! It’s wonderful seeing Ms. Jackson back onstage once again. Two of her critically acclaimed roles are: Amalia in “She Loves Me” and Dainty June in “Gypsy!”

   In the role of the Minstrel in this show, Alejandro Roldan leads us into both Acts with his outstanding singing of, “Welcome to the Renaissance.” It’s an earworm that, like “It’s a Musical,” will be with you for days!!!

     You may remember Alejandro Roldan from his portrayal of Ritchie Valens in “Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story,” and Claude in Miners Alley Playhouse’s production of “HAIR.”

     The ensemble is full of superb talents such as Tracy Warren, Leo Battle, Kong Vang and Stephen Charles Turner, who is a hoot as Shylock.

    Ethan Knowles is hilarious in his over-the-top portrayal of Thomas Nostradamus, who, has the psychic gift of foretelling the future.   Outlining the next big thing in theatre for Nick, Knowles’ omniscient soothsayer invites us all into the show-stopping, “It’s a Musical.” Here, he ‘sees’ and ‘hears’ a whole new world of song springing out of thin air in a play. 

      Besides being an unforgettable number all on its own, “It’s a Musical” alludes to so many shows in the American musical theater canon, you’ll lose track.  Dance also figures into this vision and Alicia King Meyers creates a stage-full of sumptuous choreography that’s danced to perfection by the ensemble.

       Neal Dunfee is at the top of his game with the live fifteen-piece offstage orchestra. 

     Wayne Kennedy’s sound design is to die for.

     The costumes, designed by Linda Morken, are the eye-popping delights Colorado audiences have come to expect of her. In this show she’s also created astounding haberdashery you will simply have to see to believe.

     Enhanced by the outstanding lighting design of Brett Maughan, scenic designer Jeffrey B. Rusnak delivers one of the best sets in memory.

      Rusnak’s projections succeed in creating the illusion of an Elizabethan town extending well beyond his set.

     Seth Caikowski directs.

For tickets call 303-449-6000

Or go online to



Sunday, February 12, 2023



 JAN. 27 – MAR.5



L-R back are: Nick Rigg, Norrell Moore, Rory Pierce and Abby Apple Boes

 L-R front row: Jenna Moll Reyes, Julia Tobey and Preston Adams

The Great American Trailer Park Musical is a Ton of Fun! …and it’s all done with a Great Big, Wide-Open Heart!!!

     With music and lyrics by David Nehls and Book by Betsy Kelso, the proceedings are directed and choreographed by Denver Favorite and triple threat musical theatre artist Piper Lindsay Arpan!

Director Arpan has cast this show to a fare thee well and everyone can sing (Boy can they sing!!!) and Dance!!! 

     Abby Apple Boes plays Jeannie, the agoraphobic lady of the manor in Armadillo Acres Trailer Park. This actor has a set of pipes that are FAN -tastic!!! She’s married to Norbert (Rory Pierce),  a philanderin’ husband who can’t resist the allure of new resident Pippi (Norell Moore), who’s a pole-dancin’ stripper, with a gorgeous body -and voice- to die for. Pippi’s hiding out from her redneck boyfriend, Duke, played by Nick Rigg.

     Norrell Moore’s presence onstage is always an eye and ear pleasing event for this reviewer. We need LOTS more of this actor being cast in local musical theatre.

     The chorus is played by Julia Tobey as Betty, Preston “P-J” Adams as Linoleum and Jenna Moll Reyes (Pickles.)

     New to this reviewer is Julia Tobey as Betty. This actor is a powerhouse performer that will have you searching for her name in every program.

     Preston Adams is a force of nature onstage as anyone knows who saw the recent production of HAIR at Miners Alley. Adams belts to high heaven and believe me, they’ve got the moves!

     Jenna Moll Reyes is another of our premier actors. Cast against type, she’s goofiness personified in this show. It’s this reviewer’s interesting point of view that Ms. Reyes should also be pitching for the Colorado Rockies. She can hit a critic sitting in the middle of the back row with a piece of roadkill with a true pitcher’s eye!

     Colorado favorite Jonathan Scott McKean’s set design for the trailer park is tacky perfection! Vance McKenzie does a superb job illuminating the drama onstage with his lighting design. Jonathan Scott McKean’s and John Hauser’s sound design are the professional work Colorado audiences have come to expect of them. The costumes by Steffani Day are spot on!

    When I saw this piece at the Denver Civic fifteen years ago it was a work in progress. Now composer/lyricist/music director Nehls has honed and polished it to a superb evening of musical theatre that enthralls! Leave the kids home though …and Run to get a Ticket!


For tickets call 303-395-3044 or go online at MINERSALLEY.COM

Saturday, February 4, 2023

 The Death of Napoleon

 in Less Than Three Acts

Buntport Theater: Jan 27 – Feb 18


    Brian Colonna with a Baguette

     What would it be like to be exiled to a tiny island after being Emperor of France and much of Europe?

     This is the question that the intrepid comics at Buntport Theatre pose in their 51st original play.

     Surely, he would be bored and depressed with his energy 'flagging.'  He might even start imagining things.

     Possibly a buzzing bee might become his intimate if annoying friend.

     Could he imagine a French baguette growing out of a loaf of Focaccia?

      Might he reminisce about a chef who toadied to him while he was l’empereur?

      Would he feel as though the world, which he had once controlled, laughed at him, and sang happily of his Waterloo?

     What would it be like being transformed from a potent leader of armies to an exiled prisoner who only had the acquaintance of the children of his provisioning officer… like Lucy Balcombe?

    With this brilliant absurd comedy at Buntport Theatre we get a chance to see what it must be like to be an arrogant tyrant encountering karma, teetering and tottering on the fringes of reality, and rehearsing la mort!!!


Brian Colonna portrays Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte.

Erik Edborg is his high-stepping chef.

Erin Rollman is his little buddy, the annoying child, Betsy Balcombe.

Hannah Duggan is the Bee.

     This amazing quartet of actors delivers a brilliant, wacky look at the inside of an imprisoned dictator’s head as he rehearses for his not so grand finale.

     Go check this one out! It's avant garde theatre unlike anything you'll encounter anywhere else!  


For tickets call  720-946-1388 or go online at

 A Moon for the Misbegotten

Cherry Creek Theatre: 2/3 – 2/26


                                                  CHRIS KENDAL

                    (photo credit: Brian Miller)

Let me begin by saying that we owe a debt of gratitude to Producer Susie Snodgrass and the folks over at Cherry Creek Theatre for choosing O’Neill’s play for their season. (Since Ed Baierlein and Sallie Diamond closed Germinal Stage Denver, nobody has attempted to produce the great artists of American and World Theatre.) 

     That said, they (Cherry Creek Theatre) have also been wise enough to choose a talented director to oversee the proceedings.

      Tara Falk astutely delivers O’Neill’s tragic realism while brilliantly mining the salty humor which arises organically from the compost of these characters’ gritty reality. 

     Falk’s clear-eyed direction has blessed the show with a powerhouse cast.  

     Featuring three of our premiere actors, Falk introduces a new actor who fits in with ease and chutzpah.

     There are few actors in town who could portray Josie Hogan with the great heart and diamond-bright talent of Emily-Paton Davies. Commanding the stage from curtain to curtain, hers is a compelling and finally, endearing performance you simply can’t miss.

L-R: Cajardo Lindsey and Emily Paton Davies (photo credit: Brian Miller)

     Cajardo Lindsey’s riveting performance in the role of Jim Tyrone is Powerful! Embodying the playwright’s memories of his older brother’s final attempt to find love, this actor’s portrayal is exemplary and unforgettable.

     Chris Kendall’s dynamic performance in the role of Josie’s father, Phil Hogan, is extraordinary! Doing his best to hold a family together, to raise pigs, and eek out a living from the land, Kendall gives us a grizzled, gravel-voiced farmer, who can stave off any challenge with guts and vulgar humor.

     New to this reviewer, Christopher Robin Donaldson gives superb readings of Hogan’s son, Mike, as he runs away to find his fortune at the top of the play. As the trouble-makin’ neighbor, T. Stedman Harder, Donaldson does a great job of intentionally providing comic fodder for the Hogans’ derisive laughter.

      Director Falk has also assembled an incredible group of artists for the technical end of things. 

      Upon entering the Pluss Theatre we are regaled with Tina Anderson’s superb fragmentary scenic design, which is constructed in such a way that we as audience get to observe the action going on inside the shanty as well as outside.

     Nicole M. Harrison’s costume design for each of the characters is spot on.

     Emily A. Maddox is constantly shifting the mood with her eye-pleasing lighting design.

     The excellent sound design by Max Silverman makes one wonder whether the Pluss theatre has got a new sound system. His choices of folk fiddles and the like to bridge the scenes work incredibly well.

     Eugene O’Neill won four Pulitzer Prizes for literature. They were for “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “Beyond the Horizon,” “Anna Christie,” and “Strange Interlude.” Influenced by Chekhov, Ibsen and Strindberg, O’Neill’s tragic realism is ranked right up there with Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams in American literature. In fact, O’Neill’s plays were, for a long time, the most produced in America after Shakespeare and Shaw.

     “A Moon for the Misbegotten” is O’Neill’s last completed play. It’s often thought to be a sort of sequel to his autobiographical “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” 


For tickets call: 303-800-6578 or go online at