Sunday, May 28, 2017

42nd Street
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse: Through June 4

Parker Redford (center) and the cast of 42nd Street sing "We're in the Money!"

     I just returned from an enjoyable and entertaining production of “42nd Street” at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.
     Sometimes reviewers are just plain jaded. When you’ve seen every version of a movie musical on screens big and little and then seen it onstage almost as many times, you get jaded.
    However… in the case of “42nd Street” it’s almost impossible to tire of this grand old warhorse and her song and dance.
     This tale of an aging star getting put out to pasture just as the new actress is becoming “a Star” is nothing new in the story-telling department. However…there are a number of actors in this cast who will deliver the goods as though it were.     Heather McClain plays Dorothy Brock, the fading star and David L. Wygant portrays the director, Julian Marsh.
     Lisa Kay Carter sparkles as Peggy Sawyer, the new girl in town.
      In the supporting cast you will have the great pleasure of seeing Denver favorite, Mary McGroary in the role of Annie. Ms. McGroary lights up the stage any time she’s on it, and you may find your eye following her throughout all the ensemble numbers. Why? Because she IS a Star!
     Parker Redford’s exuberant portrayal of Billy Lawlor is a total delight.
      Directed by Pat Payne, the show is full of such vintage favorites as: “We’re in the Money,” “Broadway Lullabye” and “You’re Getting to be a Habit With Me.”
     The sparkly show-biz costumes are by Debbie Faber.
     Choreographer Kate Vallee delivers a cast-full of dancers who tap their way into your heart from curtain to curtain. So go “and meet those dancing feet” and enjoy this truly exquisite venue. (The original choreography was of course, created by Broadway legend, Gower Champion.)
     That said one might have wished for a splashier lighting design with regard to the usual neon Broadway marquees.
     So if you’re a “42nd Street” virgin – or even if you’re not - get on up to Candlelight Dinner Playhouse and enjoy dinner and a show.
      I can’t comment on the food this time since we were only able to arrive just in time to see the show due to scheduling difficulties. (One must add that when this reviewer saw Donald Berlin’s outstanding production of “Into the Woods,” the food and wine were both scrum diddly.)Marlowe's Musings

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is located at 4747 Marketplace Drive in Johnstown, CO, 80534
For tickets call the box office at 970-744-3747

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Scotland Road
The John Hand Theatre on Lowry : May 6 –June 3

             Set design by Bernie Cardell

Spotlight Theatre’s production of Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Scotland Road” is a thrilling evening of theatre.
     Directed with style and grace by Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry, this intriguing story, will provide the theatregoer with plenty of questions about which to ruminate.
     Imagine that a beautiful young woman (Kelly Alayne Dwyer) has been discovered adrift on an iceberg in the North Atalantic in clothing that was fashionable several decades ago.
     Now imagine her being interrogated by an erudite doctor (Todd Black) in an unadorned room that’s furnished with only one chair. Her enigmatic silence in the face of his arrogance, heightens the suspense right up to an unexpectedly explosive moment.

Once the steam has been released, it builds again to a finale that, while 'somewhat satisfying,' remains solidly fixed in a cache of questions involving secrets, control issues and our insatiable obsession with tragedy.
The very fine cast includes: Todd Black, Mari Geasair, Kelly Alayne Dwyer and Katie Mangett.
    Ms. Mangett stuns!
     Few sound designers in town can provide us with as compelling an auditory enhancement as Director Rahmsdorff-Terry does with his sound design. Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry created the spot-on costumes.
     It is important that much of this production remain a secret. It's tempting to say more but the entire review would be peppered with spoiler alerts.
     Just go and experience the suspenseful intrigue for yourself.

For tickets go online to or call 720-530-4596.Marlowe's Musings

Sunday, May 14, 2017

THE EDGE THEATER: Through May 21

                      Emma Messenger and Rick Yaconis

     Adapted for the stage by William Goldman, MISERY is based upon the novel by Stephen King. In 1990 it was made into a film starring Kathy Bates and James Caan. Bates won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.
    As directed by Warren Sherrill this regional premiere of the new Broadway version is a riveting thriller!
     Emma Messenger turns in a nuanced portrayal of the psychopathic Annie Wilkes. This actor’s portrayal of this twisted, vicious character is simply brilliant. Messenger’s erratic shifts of physiology, facial expressions and verbal tonality are terrifying. What she does with her eyes is mesmerizing.
     Rick Yaconis invests the character of writer Paul Sheldon with an understated terror as he struggles to escape his captivity.
     Both Ms. Messenger and Mr. Yaconis are two Denver actors who know the importance of pausing at just the right beat in the action to create a sort of demonic humor that makes one chortle even as he winces.
     The marriage of the sound and lighting designs allows the intensity of the horror to be intensified at key points in the play. Kudos to both Carlos Flores and Kevin Taylor for their contributions to these magnificent moments. 
     The fight choreography is created masterfully by Seth Maisel. 
      Michael R. Duran's set design is the excellent work Denver theatregoers have come to expect of him.

The Edge Theater is located at 1560 Teller St., Lakewood. For tickets call 303-232-0363 or go online at Marlowe's Musings

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Lucia di Lammermoor
Opera Colorado: May 6, 9, 12 and 14 

                                             Anna Christy as Lucia

When Gaetano Donizetti composed his masterwork,"Lucia di Lammermoor," he stepped into some big operatic shoes. Rossini had just retired and Bellini had just gone on to er Opera Heaven.

     It’s thrilling to get to see and hear “Lucia” onstage at Opera Colorado for more reasons than one. After the last several years of being underfunded the productions of Opera Colorado have suffered. That’s what happens when the money in the coffers is nearly non-existent.

      In the parking lot elevator after the show one of the props mistresses heard me going on about how Great the production was. She admitted that she agreed and that it was all because there was now considerably more funding.

     That is obvious from the look of the sumptuous set (Robert R. O’Hearn) and costumes (Susan Memmott Allred and Ann Piano.)

     However ... the most exciting thing is that artists with superb vocal instruments are being cast.

     In this case we have Anna Christy in the title role. Ms. Christy, recently onstage at the Met as well as the Santa Fe Opera and National Opera de Paris, recently stunned audiences with her acting and singing of Emily in “Our Town” at Central City Opera. Ms. Christy’s singing of the coloratura passages in the mad scene in this production of “Lucia” dazzle. Her acting is exquisitely nuanced.
The part of Edgardo is sung with gusto by Eric Barry.
Mezzo-soprano Marcia Ragonetti (Marlowe Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Vintage Theatre’s “Sunset Boulevard”) provides masterful artistry in the role of Alisa, Lucia’s handmaid.
One looks forward to upcoming productions of La Boheme and Falstaff next season.

     This production was created for the Florida Grand Opera and made available courtesy of Utah Symphony/Utah Opera.

     A tip of the hat to Greg Carpenter who is finding all the keys to the presentation of superb and exhilarating Grand Opera in Colorado.

For tickets call:  303.468.2030 or