Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vintage Theatre: 9/26 – 11/2
      “I Do! I Do” is the two-person musical about marriage that takes us from the altar to the home for the aged in one short lovely evening. It’s the kind of marriage Sinatra sings about in his well-known oldie “Love and Marriage.” You know the one whose lyric rhymes with “Horse and Carriage” and used to lead into “Married with Children.”
     Suzanne Nepi portrays Agnes, the bride, with a lively girlish charm.
     Brian Walker-Smith plays Michael, the groom, with classy chutzpah.
     Lorraine Scott has directed the show with an affectionate gentle touch that makes the evening a complete joy.
     The show has a simplicity about it that is truly endearing.  It’s got a book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt. You may remember that these are the two men who brought you the longest running musical of all time: “The Fantasticks!”
     Nepi and Walker-Smith have a delightful chemistry onstage that makes all the songs about the various stages of life put a smile on your face that sticks like glue all night.
     The show has a lot of wonderful duets and a great solo for each of the actors. Numerous great singers have recorded the most popular song over the years: “My Cup Runneth Over”…With Love!
     The show holds a special place in my heart since it was one of the very first original Broadway cast recordings I bought…on vinyl!
     With music direction by Sheri Wright and very fine accompaniment by pianist Trent Hines the upbeat tunes promise to trump whatever problems you left at the door and brighten your spirits!

Vintage Theatre presents
"I Do! I Do!"
The touching story of two soul mates and their 50-year relationship.
September 26 – November 2
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m; Thur., Oct 30 @ 7:30p.m.and Sat., Nov 1 @ 2:30 p.m.
$31 ($26 advance); Groups of 5+ $22
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings

Monday, September 22, 2014

        Spark Theatre: 9/6 – 9/27
     You have only one weekend left to catch up with director Linda Suttle and her delightful mash-up of Agatha Christie and Noel Coward in Spark Theatre’s hilarious production of Rob Urbinati’s “Death by Design.”
      The show begins as a playwright and his actress wife retreat to their home in Cookham after a hideous London opening night. Owen Niland and Michelle Grimes do a beautiful job inhabiting the roles of this constantly bickering couple with tongue firmly implanted in cheek. 
      Shortly after their arrival at Cookham an odd assortment of guests arrives including a politician, a socialist, a myopic ingĂ©nue and a zany modern dancer. Of course they all have secrets that come out when Bridgit, the quirky Irish maid sets out to solve a dastardly crime.
     LuAnn Buckstein steals the show with her hysterically funny portrayal of Victoria, the eccentric dancer. Victoria is brought to vivid life by Ms. Buckstein’s inimitable virtuosity in the realm of physical comedy. As her character sinks further and further into an alcoholic stupor Buckstein's physiology does everything from attaching itself barnacle-like to the back wall of the playing space to tying itself in knots as she attempts to seat herself in a drawing room chair . Buckstein is a genius of the comic variety and worth the price of admission all on her own.
     Deborah Curtis is hilarious as the maid who turns into a sort of Miss Marple of the domestic  variety.
     Such fine actors as Brad Wagner, Andrew Black, James Thompson and Kristen Mair take to the stage in the other wacky roles.
     There are plenty of red herrings and false endings and the chuckling in Act One does become more an audience guffaw as the chaos begins to unravel itself in Act Two.
     One must mention the costume design by Kati Oltyan. The choices of costumes and millinery for Ms. Grimes are delightful. Those for Ms. Buckstein are stupefyingly funny!
                  Spark Theatre is located at 985 Santa Fe Drive  
- For tickets go online to www.SparkTheater.org or call 720-346-7396- Marlowe's Musings

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Few Good Men
Spotlight Theatre: 8/30 – 9/27

                                               Andrew Uhlenhopp as Col. Nathan Jessep

Spotlight Theatre’s “ A Few Good Men” is a triumph! Run to get a ticket.

     “A Few Good Men” is Spotlight Theatre’s fiftieth production and their current offering at the John Hand Theatre on Lowry Air Force Base.  Its military theme makes Lowry the perfect place to produce it.
     Bernie Cardell who elicits great performances from a uniformly good cast directs the production at a pace that makes the evening fly by.

                                                                     Miriam BC Tobin

     Standouts are Andrew Uhlenhopp, Miriam BC Tobin and Stephen Krusoe.

     Uhlenhopp turns in one of the most powerful performances of the season thus far.
     Charlie Wingerter and Marc Stith are both memorable in supporting roles.
                                                       Stephen Krusoe and Charlie Wingerter

     Luke Terry’s sound design is even better than his usual professional work. Some of the reverb work late in the show will give you goose bumps as it heightens the tension in Aaron Sorkin’s script.
     Rosemary Smith’s attention to detail has given us a costume design that’s spot on.
     Vance MacKenzie’s lighting design is very good indeed.
For tickets call 720-880-8727 or go online to thisisspotlight.comMarlowe's Musings

Friday, September 19, 2014

M. Butterfly
Theatre Esprit Asia: 9/4 – 9/28
     Playwright David Henry Hwang’s “M. Butterfly” received two Tony Awards while on Broadway in the final years of the 1980s. Based upon a news article about a Frenchman who falls for a diva that’s a star of the Chinese opera, the show addresses questions of racial stereotyping, sexual identity and whether one person can ever truly know another.
     Kevin Hart’s acting of the part of French diplomat Rene Gallimard is outstanding. Hart commands the stage as few actors can.
     Martha Harmon Pardee and Erica Fox provide us with a vision of strong Western women that contrasts dramatically with that of the stereotypical subordinate Eastern woman.
     Stuart Sanks and Verl Hite deliver the goods in numerous supporting roles.
     Arlene Rapal turns in fine work as Suzuki and Comrade Shin.
     The complexity of the role of opera star Song Liling calls for an exquisite delicacy. Anyone having seen the ‘poetry in motion’ of the actress who portrayed Moon in Central City Opera’s production of Guo Wen Ging’s opera “Poet Li Bai” will understand what I mean. The stylization required for this type of work takes years to perfect. One wishes for more attention to detail from director Rick Shiomi and actor Charlee Chiv in eliciting this illusion.
Christopher Waller’s blood red set deserves mention for its very fine design.

     M. Butterfly plays in The Studio Theatre at Aurora Fox Arts, 9900 E. Colfax.
September 5 – 28 on Fridays & Saturdays 7:30pm,Sundays 2:30pm.

For tickets call Box Office: 303-739-1970David Marlowe

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Now –Sep 20


The current production of PIPPIN, now on view at The Buell Theatre in Denver, is THE MOST LUCIDLY CONCEIVED AND EXECUTED DIRECTORIAL VISION OF THIS SHOW EVER!

     Director Diane Paulus makes Pippin’s journey so clear and accessible that people who do not know the show or may not have even previously been musical theatre mavens will be WOWED into Musical Theatre Heaven.

      The show might be called Cirque de Theatre! The players, many of whom are professional acrobats, provide the audience with a spectacle that is fraught with meaning...and chock-full of magical fun and music to die for!

     Matthew James Thomas is hugely talented and adorable as Pippin.

      Lucie Arnaz is a show-stopping Berthe! Her aerial performance as PIPPIN’s grandmother, Berthe, is worth buying a ticket all on its own.

     Sabrina Harper’s take on Fastrada, Pippin’s conniving stepmother, is another show-stopper. When she “Spread(s) a Little Sunshine” ear-drums will be happy and eyeballs will be popping out of their sockets. This lady’s sexy performance makes one wish for a revival of  “Lil Abner” so Harper can be cast as Stupefyin’ Jones. Can you say “smokin’?”

     John Rubenstein is a fine Charlemagne. Mr. Rubenstein was the actor who originated the role of young Pippin back in the day. Now he has come full circle playing Pippin’s father, Charles the Great.

     Callan Bergmann portrays Pippin’s step-brother, Lewis with fiery energy and cheerful malevolence.

     Kristine Reese’s enchanting portrayal of Catherine, Pippin’s ‘ordinary’ love is quite “Extraordinary” in her acting and her singing.

     And although there will never be another Ben Vereen… Sasha Allen is absolutely unforgettable in the role of the Leading Player.

     This touring company is quite exceptional. The launching of the national tour of PIPPIN by The Denver Center For the Performing Arts will skyrocket through the country in a blaze of GLORY! I hope you can still snag a ticket!

 Box Office is in the lobby of the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby, located at the northwest corner of the Denver Performing Arts Complex at Speer Boulevard & Arapahoe Street.
Hours : Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (except major holidays). Ticket agents also are available at each theatre one hour prior to each show.
Call : Toll-free: 800.641.1222 | Local: 303.893.4100 | Group Sales: 303.446.4829 | TTY: 303.893.9582
Email : tickets@dcpa.org Marlowe's Musings

                  Left to right: Jim Hogan and Aisha Jackson

   Director Rod Lansberry has cast the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities’ production of “Memphis” with performers who display true star quality and paced it with a rhythm and blues heartbeat. Joe Pietro’s book for the musical makes us feel what it was like to be living in the racially segregated South when the Civil Rights movement was just getting started. David Bryan’s music and lyrics let us hear the rocking rise of black rhythm and blues upstaging the previously exclusive bland white bread tunes on the radio.

     Aisha Jackson’s performance in the role of Felicia is that of a musical theatre star of the first magnitude. Ms. Jackson's soprano soars!

     Jim Hogan’s heroic rebellious Huey is a tour de force.  One hopes to see LOTS more of this fine artist’s work.

     Keith L. Hatten’s Delray is not just brilliantly acted. Hatten is a great singer as well! Who knew?
     Mathenee Trico (Bobby) executes some breathtaking moves that prove you don’t have to be a skinny guy in tights to execute stunning high-kicking athletic dance moves onstage. Trico is a force of nature! And what a voice! This man deserves to be seen onstage much more often.

     How exciting to get to see and hear Melissa Swift-Sawyer (the critically acclaimed “Always Patsy Cline” at The Galleria) onstage again. Here she plays the white cracker momma you love to hate.

      Robert Michael Sanders does a great job as the consummate bigot. The scene in which he is unexpectedly introduced on a television program featuring African American dancers is golden. Mr. Sanders’ portrayal of this good ol’ boy as deer in the headlights is priceless.

      Kitty Skillman-Hilsabeck’s choreography is as always fresh and vitally inventive even when making studied references to such work as that of Jerome Robbins in West Side Story’s “Dance at the Gym” in order to illustrate racial integration.

      David Nehls’ music direction is magnificent.

      Chris Campbell’s costumes are spot on.

      Matt La Fontaine, Noah Lee Jordan, Shannan Steele and Mark Rubald are a few of the local favorites featured.

Box Office Phone: 720-898-7200
 or go online at arvadacenter.org for tickets Marlowe's Musings