Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vintage Theatre: 9/18 – 11/1

                     Andy Sievers

“Curtains” won three Tony Awards in 2007 including Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (David Hyde Pierce), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Debra Monk) and Outstanding Book of a Musical (Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone.)
The music and lyrics are by Kander and Ebb who brought us “Cabaret,” “Chicago” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”

     In Boston in 1959 there’s a new play called “Robbin’ Hood” that gives a western spin to the tale of that British hero who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. The hideously untalented female star of the show dies shortly after a health crisis backstage. In the wake of her death and the scathing reviews from the Boston papers, the co-producers join forces to try to save the show. Shortly thereafter Lt. Cioffi of the Boston police arrives and announces that the star’s death was murder and the whole cast and crew, are suspects.
     So that’s the set-up and you’re going to have to buy a ticket to get the rest of the story. No spoilers here!

     Besides the phenomenal work of director Bernie Cardell in the casting and pacing departments, one must applaud choreographer Kelly Von Oosbree and musical director Eric Weinstein. The costuming by Susan Rahmsdorff is topnotch as well. Sean Cochran did solid work on the set design, which in other productions has come off in a rather cheesy stylization.
     “What Kind of Man,” “The Woman’s Dead” and “Show People” are a few of the funny tuneful hits in the show.
     The voices are teriffic! The acting’s hilariously right on target.
     Andy Sievers is outstanding as the smitten detective, Lt. Frank Cioffi. Suzanne Connors Nepi is a knock-out as the never say die producer,
Carmen Bernstein. Todd Black is great as Christopher Belling, the effete British director. As the ill-fated leading lady, Jessica Chanshaw, Shahara Ray dazzles us in more ways than one. You’ll see what I mean! Dave Gordon and Angela Mendez stand out vocally in the sub-plot. 
For tickets call: 303-856-7830

Or go online at www.vintagetheatre.orgMarlowe's Musings
Lookinglass Alice

Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with The Actors Gymnasium: 9/11 – 10/11

“Lookingglass Alice,”now on view in the Stage Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, has much to offer in the way of a quasi Cirque de Solei brand of theatre. There’s lots of emphasis put on aerial acrobatics, surreal visuals of the upside down variety and gloriously created twenty- foot tall costumes. All of these are amazing.
A hand-full of actors inhabit the characters you will remember from your childhood reading about Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice.
There’s enough glam and glitz to keep an audience mesmerized … but not much of substance.
One young boy was overheard speaking to his father just after the show. “It’s not a play really, but more of a chance for the actors to show off their favorite skills.”
Fantastical rides on unicycles and roller skates, playing a recorder, dancing and “flying through the air with the greatest of ease” are a few of them.
You have to walk down a hall of mirrors to get to the show as well.
The main disappointment this reviewer had was that the show does not include the character he played on tour…the Mock Turtle. Other than that, it’s a fun ride even if the production is of the busy and messy variety.
It is to be noted that there are lots of changes going on at the Plex. All of them are wonderful! Go see what I mean.
For tickets call: 303-893-4100 or go online at

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Name Is Asher Lev
Miners Alley Playhouse:Now through Oct. 18

    L-R: Albert Banker, Curtiss Johns and Jacqueline Garcia (Photo credit: Cody Schuyler Photography)

Under the astute eye of director Len Matheo, Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of Chaim Potok’s novel becomes a profoundly moving spiritual experience.
     Curtiss Johns delivers an admirably nuanced portrayal of the titular character. A Hasidic Jew, Asher struggles to be true to his family and his religion as he grows into the expression of his truth as a great artist…something frowned upon by both his family and his religious sect.
     In one of the strongest dramatic performances so far this year Albert Banker plays the Men: Asher’s father, his uncle and his mentor.
     Jacqueline Garcia plays the Women. Ms. Garcia’s performance in the role of Asher’s mother is by turns heart opening and heart breaking.

      Jonathan Scott-McKean's scenic design is aesthetically pleasing in its clean, spare composition and  accompanied by a projection design, which enhances the proceedings immeasurably. The exquisite music chosen by director Matheo for his sound design is striking and the costume design by Nicole M. Harrison is spot on. 
       It’s a wondrously contemplative evening of theatre that’s indelible.

***(Please note: “My Name is Asher Lev” contains brief nudity.)Marlowe's Musings

Miners Alley Playhouse
"My Name is Asher Lev"
A young Jewish painter is torn between his Hassidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise. Fri/Sat @ 7:30.p.m. Sun. @ 6 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 18).
$23 Adult
Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
303-935-3044 or online at

Monday, September 21, 2015

Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities: 9/15 – 10/4
In 1977 I was the assistant manager of Cinderella City Cinema and took my projectionist and his wife to the preview of “Saturday Night Fever” at The Aladdin Theatre on Colfax. Unfortunately although we could enjoy the glory of the Bee Gees’ singing we were unable to hear what the actors said on the dialogue track.  It’s been so long that I forget whether it was a problem blamed on the film lab or whether the projector was faulty.
Long story long… I loved the original movie sound track and loved the Bee Gees, but I really never knew what happened in Tony Manero’s story.
     So now I must express my gratitude to Arvada Center and Director Rod A. Lansberry for allowing me to discover what the story of Tony Manero was all about.
     Visually, vocally, and in the acting, the stars from New York City are terrific. Ian Campayno is a super hot Tony Manero with a great voice.    Stephanie Mangano has a figure and voice to die for. Emma Martin’s Annette is remarkable.
     The supporting cast is full of some of the brightest talents in Denver.
     In a gown by Mondo Guerra that sparkles and shimmers  Sarah Rex stuns us as the ultimate chanteuse of the discoteque with “Nights on Broadway.”
     One of the show’s great highlights is a dance competition in which Rae Leigh Case and Roddy Kennedy dazzle us as audience with their talents!
     Youngsters seeing “Saturday Night Fever, The Musical” for the first time should adore it. I’m sure many older folks will, too. I’m not one of them though. Although the actors onstage sang beautifully I was missing those soaring BeeGees falsetto voices indelibly imprinted on my musical memory which, were constantly playing in my head.
     And although Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck’s choreography is its usual superb professionalism, trying to capture and stylize the disco floor is a lot like attempting to put freedom in a cage. 
     A little heavy on the graffiti, Brian Mallgrave’s scenic design, is otherwise most memorable. Shannon McKinney’s lighting design is superb.
Mondo Guerra’s costumes are of the requisite flash and flair. The wigs, however??? Well, it was the 70s.

For tickets go online to or call: 720-898-7200

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Whether you’re a fan of jukebox musicals or not, this one is so much fun it's unmissable. And whether one has forgotten this or not, the god of any production is the director. So the god of this production is the much-loved and multi-talented actor/director/sound designer Wayne Kennedy.
     Director Kennedy has cast this showcasing of the short career of musical wunderkind Buddy Holly with a cast that delivers the goods with punch and power. Eliciting dazzling performances from BDT Stage veterans and newbies alike, he also gives us an ear-pleasing sound design.
     L-R: Brian Jackson,Brett Ambler and Matt Gnojek

Brett Ambler’s performance in the title role rocks in an amazing portrayal of the glasses-wearing Buddy. Ambler knocks it out of the park with his renditions of such Buddy Holly hits as: “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll be the Day” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”
     Brian Jackson and Matt Gnojek give the Crickets, Buddy’s back-up guys, vibrant portrayals.  Jackson’s work on, around and under his big bass fiddle has to be seen to be believed.
                                          Krisangela Washington

Krisangela Washington as Marlena Madison has only one number. Nevertheless … it’s enough to make us pray that there’s a starring role up artistic director Michael Duran’s sleeve for her.
     Robert Johnson thrills us with his deep sonorous vocals. This artist needs to be featured LOTS more on the Denver musical theatre stage.
     Alejandro Roldan is outstanding in his solo of “La Bamba” in our brief time with Ritchie Valens.
                                                   Brett Ambler
     Brian Murray stuns with a pitch-perfect impersonation of J.P. Richardson’s (The Big Bopper) “Chantilly Lace.”
     The ensemble is teeming with incredible talent as well. Among these are: Parker Redford, Tracy Warren, Brian Burron, Scott Beyette, Olivia Beyette, Casey Andree, Sarah Grover and Amanda Earls.
     The ingenious scenic design by Amy Campion gives us a glorious Juke Box in which Buddy journeys from his roots in country western music to his rock n’ roll zenith.
     Jessica Hindsley gives us sensational choreography resulting in breathtaking high energy dancing. It is to be noted that Parker Redford’s dancing is of such an exhilarating nature one hopes Michael Duran has more roles featuring his high-octane hoofing soon!
     As always Linda Morken’s costume design is spot on.
     Neal Dunfee adds fuel to this fiery production with an onstage orchestra for the big finale concert scene.

Boulder Dinner Theatre
5501 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80303
(303) 449-6000 or