Thursday, July 31, 2014

Henry IV (Parts One and Two)
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Now through August 10
     The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is “such stuff as dreams are made on.”
     Sunday this reviewer was in attendance at the performances of both “Henry IV” Part One and “Henry IV” Part Two. What an astonishing day of Great Theatre! "Henry IV" Part One has long been a personal favorite. To be able to see both parts of this formidable history play done so well is a rare treat.
     As directed by Carolyn Howarth, the production of Part One of "Henry IV" has so much to recommend it that you may wish to go twice. It’s rare to see all of these great roles inhabited by such wonderful actors.
 L      L-R: Michael Winters and Benjamin Bonenfant 

Geoffrey Kent turns in an astonishing performance in the role of the firebrand Hotspur. (This is one of Shakespeare’s most indelible characters and it’s a tragedy that what happens historically to him disallows his return in Part Two.)
      It's no surprise that Sam Gregory’s portrayal of Henry IV is superb. After seeing his brilliant Atticus Finch in CSF’s great “To Kill a Mockingbird” and his brilliant Polonius in The Denver Center’s “Hamlet,” one simply expects the highest and best from his acting of every role he assumes.
     Benjamin Bonenfant is the perfect casting for Prince Hal. This actor’s bright ascendance into the firmament of the theatre is that of a star of the first magnitude. Bonenfant’s portrayal of young Hal’s trajectory through both plays is revelatory.
     Falstaff is given a solid reading by Michael Winters.
     Jenna Bainbridge sings exquisitely as Lady Mortimer.
     Vanessa Morosco’s (Ariel in this season’s “The Tempest”) Earl of Westmoreland is powerful!

     "Henry IV" Part Two is presented using “original practices.” This is an attempt to “recreate the staging and performance conditions of Elizabethan England.” With only a couple days of rehearsal the actors are given only their own lines and the line that cues them. There is also an onstage prompter as well as four above stage Renaissance musicians.  The lights are up full onstage as well as having the house lights on. So the actors can see and interact with the audience in much the same way they did in the time of Shakespeare.
     In Henry IV (Part II) all the principals continue in their vein of excellence.  Tammy Meninghini does some formidable work as Mistress Quickly.  Geoff Kent returns in the role of a hilarious scenery-chewing codger. Awesome work!

    It is to be hoped that these two grand productions will be remounted so that a greater audience may attend.

For tickets go online to coloradoshakes.orgMarlowe's Musings

Monday, July 28, 2014

Don’t Dress for Dinner
Spotlight Theatre Company: 6/28 – 8/16

Left to right: Erica Fox, Bernie Cardell and Jaclin Walsh

     “Don’t Dress For Dinner” is playing in repertory with “Boeing Boeing” at The John Hand Theater on Lowry. This time playwright Marc Camoletti sets the action in a country home outside of Paris.
    While “Don't Dress For Dinner” takes a little longer to build up steam during the set-up in Act One than "Boeing Boeing" did, it makes up for it big time in the second Act.
     "DDFD" has a great cast that includes Joe Von Bokern  and Bernie Cardell continuing their roles as Bernard and Robert in this second of these two Marc Camoletti  farces.
     The ladies in "Don't Dress For Dinner" are all strikingly bodacious and deliciously funny. They are: Erica Fox (Suzette) , Molly Killoran (Jacqueline) and Jaclyn Walsh(Suzette.)
     The romantic entanglements, lies and cover-ups created by these Camoletti characters are crazy-making and hilarious.
    The appearance of TJ Hogle (George) in the final scenes turns up the amps on the laugh-o-meter exponentially.
     It’s all light-weight fluff that’s very entertaining. The perfect antidote for what’s on the evening news!

For tickets call 720-880-8727 or go online at

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Odd Couple
Miners Alley Playhouse: 7/18 – 8/24
     Neil Simon is one of this country’s most prolific and beloved playwrights. Simon has written over thirty plays, most of which have garnered critical acclaim, Tony Awards and even a Pulitzer Prize.
“The Odd Couple, directed by Robert Kramer is one of Simon’s very best.
     The movie is such an icon of film comedy that it would be hard for anyone to approach the comic genius of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.
     James O’Hagan-Murphy’s performance as the neat-pin hypochondriac Felix Ungar is at his best giving the “moose calls” to clear out his sinuses.

                                              Left to Right: James O'Hagan-Murphy and Len Matheo

     Len Matheo’s portrayal of the quintessential slob,Oscar Madison is funniest in scenes such as the one in which he launches linguini onto the kitchen wall.
     Missy Moore and Samara Bridwell play the upstairs neighbors Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon with lots of bird-like mannerisms such as hand fluttering and head bobbing.
     Caroline Smith’s costume design is remarkable. So are Jonathan Scott-McKean’s scenic design and Vance McKenzie’s lighting.
     Simon’s script brims with physical comedy and wise cracks galore!

The supporting cast includes: Scott Cuzac Tuffield as Speed, Sam Gilstrap as Murray, Ryan Goold as Roy and Greg Alan West as Vinnie.

“The Odd Couple”
This award-winning comedy is one of Neil Simon's funniest plays, and will leave you rolling in the aisles.
July 18 – Aug. 24
Fri. and Sat. @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun @ 6 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sun., August 24) $23.    Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
303-935-3044 or online at

Friday, July 25, 2014


     Craig Bond's direction of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" is outstanding! The intimacy of this Vintage Theatre production puts its audience in the hot, claustrophobic atmosphere of the Stanley Kowalski apartment in New Orleans. 
     Haley Johnson's portrayal of Blanche DuBois dazzles us with a poignant fragility that's destined to be ravaged by Kurt Brighton's brutish brother-in-law Stanley. Kelly Uhlenhopp is vibrant and robust as Blanche's more reality-based sister, Stella. This is classic Williams that's dark, serious drama that will rip your heart out!
     This show has the kind of electric onstage chemistry that’s so visceral and powerful in its revelation of Tennessee Williams’ characters you may have to draw the curtains the following day and just be depressed for a while. I did.

            Left to right: Kurt Brighton, Kelly Uhlenhopp and Haley Johnson

     The audience is involved to a greater extent than in any previous production of this show that this reviewer has seen. In fact everyone in attendance has to cross through the apartment to get to his or her seat. You will feel the heat as well as see and hear the activity on the street outside through the slats in Craig Bond’s fragmentary set design. (Daniel Lowenstein has painted the background mural of the street scene that we observe through the slats.)
    This is a production that is both harrowing and sublime.

Vintage Theatre presents
“A Streetcar Named Desire”
The sultry Tennessee Williams story of sensuality and madness.
July 18 - Sept. 7
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m. 
$26 ($21 advance); Groups of 6+ $18
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boeing Boeing
Spotlight Theater: June 28 – August 16

                          Left to right: Joe Von Bokern, Kelly Alayne Dwyer and Bernie Cardell

     If there’s one theatrical genre at which Spotlight Theatre has succeeded multiple times, it’s farce.
     Spotlight’s production of Marc Camoletti’s “Boeing Boeing,” now on view at The John Hand Theater on Lowry , is one of the funniest they’ve done. It will leave you breathless with laughter.
     Co-directed by Luke Allen Terry and Katie Mangett, the casting is amazing and the pace frenetic.
     Joe Von Bokern is Bernard, a self proclaimed Lothario with a pad in Paris where three girl friends who just happen to be airline stewardesses enjoy the occasional lay-over!
                            Left to right: Todd Black, Joe Von Bokern and Bernie Cardell

     Todd Black is fantastic as Bertrand, the harried butler of the piece. Black’s character has the job of keeping ‘le plat du jour’ lasagna on Italiana day and Weiner schnitzel on Deutsche! Zees poor Franch butler is up to heez eyeballs in schedule complications and menu rearrangement. A very funny performance indeed!
                    Left to right: Nicole Campbell, Kelly Alayne Dwyer and Bethany Lillis
     Nicole Campbell is Gretchen, Bernard’s German girl friend. Bethany Lillis is Gloria, his American amour. Kelly Alayne Dwyer is Gabriella, his Italian.
     All three of these gorgeous women chew up the scenery so joyously you’ll want to shout “Bon appetit!”
     Bernie Cardell plays Robert, a good friend of Bernard who gets sucked into the melee by stopping by to say “hi” and winds up ogling and salivating over every one of his friend’s sexy ‘guests.”
    Cardell has also done the eye-pleasing set design for Bernard’s Parisian apartment near Orly.
     The excellent sound Design is by co-director Luke Allen Terry
     The costumes by Rosemary Smith are Wowzers!

    It would be tragic if you didn’t get over there and see this very funny comedy.
(This show runs in repertory with “Don’t Dress For Dinner.) Marlowe's Musings

For tickets call 720-880-8727 or go online at