Tuesday, March 29, 2016

You Can’t Take it With You
Miners Alley Playhouse:  3/25 - 5/1

            The cast of You Can't Take it With You

     Director Jamie Billings takes this old warhorse out of the pasture and lets it run for the roses!

     It’s a classic that won the Pulitzer in 1937 and just completed a successful run on Broadway in which local Diva Annaleigh Ashford won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

     This production is remarkably well cast with a number of Miners Alley favorites and some gifted new (to this reviewer) artists as well. The thrilling part is that this very large ensemble is balanced magnificently. Usually one actor or another winds up chewing the scenery with more brio than the rest. Not here! 

     Ms. Billings paces this Moss Hart and George S. Kauffman classic at such a brisk clip that the evening flies by. 

     Jonathan Scott-McKean’s outstanding sound design, with its thrilling explosions from the basement and scene-bridging ‘back in the day’ recordings are about as good as it gets. Scott-McKean also did the scenic design which features vintage pieces as well. They’re not polished museum pieces though. These are intentionally unvarnished wooden furnishings that give us the illusion of being in a real New York home back in the thirties.

     It’s New York City in 1936 and the lovable and somewhat eccentric members of the Sycamore family are in the process of their unique activities when the strait-laced parents of their daughter’s fiance shows up for dinner a day early. The mayhem that occurs thereafter will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Broadway show or the Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart. Nevertheless director Bilings manages to keep the proceedings so fresh you’ll feel utterly exhilarated.
     You'd better get your tickets now for Miners Alley Playhouse's enchanting production of "You Can't Take it With You." And bring everyone in the neighborhood. You CAN take them with you. 

     The cast includes Tim Fishbaugh (Grandpa Vanderhof), Sasha Fisher (Penny Sycamore), Rory Pierce (Paul Sycamore), Candace Joice (Alice Sycamore), Jacquie Jo Billings (Essie Carmichael), Brandon Palmer (Ed Carmichael), Clark B. Brittain (Mr. De Pinna), Drew Horwitz (Boris Kolenkhov), Cody Schuyler (Tony Kirby Jr.), Suzanna Wellens (Mrs. Miriam Kirby), Michael Grittner (Mr. Anthony Kirby),  Joelle Montoya (Rheba), Stephen Krusoe (Donald), Carter Edward Smith (Wilbur C. Henderson) and Erin Bell (Grand Duchess Olga Katrina and Gay Wellington).

Miners Alley PlayhouseMarlowe's Musings

Mar.  25 – May 1
"You Can’t Take it With You"
At first the Sycamores seem mad, but if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder.
Fri/Sat @ 7:30 p.m. Sun. @ 6 p.m.; Sun., May 1 @ 2 p.m.
$28 Adult/$25 Senior/$17 Child 12/Under
Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
303-935-3044 or online at

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Rabbit Hole
Vintage Theatre Productions 
  3/11 4/17

      David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole”  received  the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2007. A departure from his usual quirky comedies "Fuddy Meers” and “Kimberly Akimbo,"
Haley Johnson and John Hauser
 the playwright turns his attention to a family coming to terms with grief after the death of their young son.
     Every aspect of this production is so natural that one feels as though he were a member of the extended family present in their living room and privy to their grieving process. Bernie Cardell directs this Vintage Theatre production with fierce honesty.
     There are so many aspects of Mr. Cardell’s direction which one wishes to commend that it’s rather difficult to choose among them. Besides his excellent pacing and superb casting, this director has done so much more. Just one of those telling directorial touches is having delicious strawberry pies, crèmes caramels and birthday cakes engaging our eyes and (subliminally) our taste buds as  these people do everything possible to call back what once was the sweetness of Life.
    Thanks to the configuration of the Bond-Trimble Theatre one is allowed an intimacy with the characters. This is especially valuable in the scene in which Ms. Johnson and Ms. Persoff, the grieving grandmother of this child, go through the difficult process of sifting through the dead boy’s belongings in order to decide what to discard and what to hold on to.

     Led by a riveting portrayal by Haley Johnson, the compelling performances of Deborah Persoff, Marc Stith, Maggy Stacey and John Hauser conspire to invite us to an empathic participation in this exquisitely written and tenderly presented journey.

Vintage Theatre presents
"Rabbit Hole"
A life-shattering accident turns a couple’s world upside down.
March 11-April 17
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Monday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.
(No performance Sunday, March 27)
$24 - $30
303-856-7830 or online at www.vintagetheatre.org
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

One Man Two Guvnors
Vintage Theatre and Spotlight Theatre: 2/5 – 3/27
                     Luke Allen Terry as Francis Henschall

“One Man, Two Guvnors” is the modern offspring of a 1746 play by Carlo Goldoni called “The Servant of Two Masters.” In this contemporary version the characters reflect those of the Renaissance style of theatre called Commedia dell’arte.
     In order to modernize the play, playwright Richard Bean has taken these characters out of the Italian piazza and placed them stage center in the tradition of the English music hall.
     Both stages are famous for their brash, clownish, slapstick brand of comedy.
     Luke Allen Terry portrays Francis Henschall, the central character; and like his 18th century ancestor, Truffaldino,he’s constantly on the lookout for a good dinner as well as excellent between meal snacks. Some believe that since the show does not end with Francis getting his wish for a great meal satisfied, but with a kiss from his girl friend, that he was really hungering for love.
     Mr. Terry’s very fine performance is full of the requisite pratfalls, physical comedy and inspired lunacy for which this style of theatre is known.
     Michael O’Shea and Scott Hogg play the two “guvnors” Francis serves.
     Some of the familiar faces you will recognize in the cast are: Molly Killoran, Wade Livingston, Lisa Young and Eddie Schumacher.
     Mr. Schumacher does some hilarious work as Alfie, a doddering butler who receives almost as much comic abuse as Mr. Terry.
  This farce is full of mistaken identities, love triangles and even a dollop of audience participation.
     The scenes are bridged with upbeat Music Hall tunes to which the entire cast dances the scenery off the stage and then back on.
     So if you relish an evening of comic escapism that’s silly and all for fun, this could be just your cup of tea.
     Director Linda Suttle paces the show at a gallop.

 Marlowe's Musings
Vintage & Spotlight Theatres
"One Man, Two Guvnors"
Feb. 5 – Mar. 26
A brilliantly mash-up of mistaken identities, outrageous farce and inspired lunacy.
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Monday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday March 26 at 2:30 p.m.
$24 - $30                                                                                                                          
303-856-7830 or online at www.vintagetheatre.org
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010