Thursday, October 25, 2018

THE BUELL THEATRE: 10/23 – 10/28

                           Meghan Picerno (photo Joan Marcus)

Vocally outstanding and visually magnificent, the production now on view at The Buell Theatre is sheer musical theatre magic!  

     “LOVE NEVER DIES,” the long-awaited sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved “PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,” is a feast for both the ear and the eye.  From the principals to the supporting cast, the acting, singing and dancing, dazzles. 
     Megan Picerno’s vocals as Christine Daae are delicious. The dulcet tones of her singing of the title song, “LOVE NEVER DIES,” met with such an appreciative roar from the audience, one fully expected a 
mid-show standing ovation immediately thereafter.
      “Devil Take the Hindmost,” the duet sung by Raoul (Sean Thompson) and the Phantom (Bronson Norris Murphy) at the top of Act Two, is unforgettable. 
     As directed by Simon Phillips, the staging of the show is mysteriously magical and often deliciously dizzying.
     The live orchestra, conducted by music director Dale Rieling, explodes with Lloyd Webber's gorgeous, melodic score! 
     There is a crackling good lighting design by Nick Schlieper, as well as eye-popping scenic and costume designs, both by Gabriela Tylesova. 
     Whether engaging us with the cirque aspects of the show, as in “The Coney Island Waltz,” or bringing the music hall to life, as in Meg’s (Mary Michael Patterson) lively performance of “Bathing Beauty,” The choreography (Graeme Murphy AO) for the show dazzles.

      In case you missed something, I LOVED IT!!!Marlowe's Musings

“LOVE NEVER DIES” has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Ben Elton that’s based upon “The Phantom of Manhattan” by Frederick Forsyth.
For tickets call 303-893-4100 or go online at

Saturday, October 20, 2018


                                                             Josue Ivan Prieto 

     Based upon the novel penned by Chaim Potok, Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of MY NAME IS ASHER LEV, is a profoundly spiritual journey about a young man’s struggle to express his artistic talent as it collides with his Hasidic Jewish family and their religious beliefs about Art. 
     Perhaps due to a case of opening night jitters, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV was a little slow building steam on Thursday evening. Shortly thereafter the show caught fire, and the rest is history.
     Josue Ivan Prieto portrays the creator of such masterpieces as “Brooklyn Crucifixion 1” and “Brooklyn Crucifixion 2,” from innocent child to master artist, with true chutzpah.
          Josh Levy portrays all the men: Aryeh Lev Yitzchok Lev, The Rebbe and Jacob Kahn. Levy, who recently played Charley in The Edge Theater’s critically acclaimed DEATH OF A SALESMAN, is especially memorable as Jacob Kahn, the outspoken mentor of the burgeoning artist. 
     Christy Kruzick plays all the women in the piece: Rivkeh Lev, Anna Schaeffer and Rachel. Kruzick shines in her nuanced portrayal of Anna Schaeffer, an outspoken Art connoisseur. 
        Bernie Cardell’s direction is of the professional quality Denver audiences have come to expect from him. 
     M. Curtis Grittner’s eye-popping scenic design covers the back wall and the floor of the playing space with a fantasia of splatters and brush strokes in a chroma key of primary colors that appears to have splashed right out of a can.
     Morgan McCauley (MARLOWE AWARD for SOUND DESIGN for TARTUFFE at ARVADA CENTER) stitches the scenes together with a stirring and sensitive sound design.
    Karalyn Star Pytel creates her usual mood-shifting magic with the lighting design.
    Go and support Cherry Creek Theater and the Mizel Arts and Culture Center.Marlowe's Musings

For tickets go online at     or call 303-800-6578

Sunday, October 14, 2018

VINTAGE THEATRE: 10/11 -11/5
L-R: Michelle Moore and Kelly Uhlenhopp(photo credit: RDG Photography)

Playwright David Mamet is perhaps best known for writing “Glengarry Glen Ross” (Pulitzer Prize), “American Buffalo” and “Speed-the-Plow.” Word has it that this oft considered misogynist playwright, whose plays are primarily male-driven, was once challenged to write a play about women. The result is said to be “Boston Marriage.” 

     “BOSTON MARRIAGE” centers on two women, who, living together in Victorian times, are doing their best to live a life “on the fringes of upper-class society.” Anna, the older of the two women, is the mistress of a wealthy man who gives her jewels and a nice income. Claire, the younger of the two, has become infatuated with another young lady, and seeks Anna’s help in ‘sealing the match.’  When Claire’s new “friend” appears on the scene, the prosperity of Claire and Anna is put at risk. 
     Catherine, the maid, is the only other character.
     Director Lorraine Scott has cast the play impeccably.
     The play contains three Bravura performances by Michelle Moore, Kelly Uhlenhopp and Jean Schuman, with Ms. Moore delivering a tour de force.
     Kelley Uhlenhopp portrays Claire with pluck and luminosity.
     As the scorned and much-maligned Scottish maid, Catherine, Jean Schuman is by turns, hilarious, pitiful and finally triumphant.
     The technical aspects of the play are especially well done, barring one glitch in the lighting apparatus at the top of the play.
     Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry’s eye-popping costume design is spot on!

Vintage Theatre presents
“Boston Marriage” 
A wickedly funny comedy spiced with an impeccable plot and Wildean wit.
Oct. 5 – Nov. 11
Fri/Sat and Mon., Oct. 15 & Thurs. Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.;

Sundays & Sat. Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m.
$16 - $32 or 303-856-7830. 
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings

Saturday, October 6, 2018

THE BUELL THEATRE: 9/25 – 10/13

The Tony Award-winning DEAR EVAN HANSEN, is now on view at the Buell Theatre for only one more week.
     It’s such a mind blowing, heart expanding experience everyone should see it.
     Especially families in crisis!!!   
     Or families who are in any kind of therapy that’s hard to talk about or express!!! 
      Especially anyone in emotional crisis!
      Especially anyone who even remotely appreciates the wonder(s) of the American Musical Theatre.
     Ben Levi Ross is just astounding in his acting and singing of the part of Evan Hansen. This actor delivers the exact right vulnerable sensibility for this character. His vocals fill The Buell with heart-swelling power and emotion.
     Jessica Phillips is luminous in her performance of Heidi Hansen, Evan’s Mom.
      Jared Goldsmith is completely “natural” and adorably forthright in his acting of the part of Evan’s hilariously outspoken friend, Jared Kleinman.
     The excellent scenic design by David Korins is married to the eye-popping Lighting design by Japhy Weideman in such a wondrous way you’ll be astounded. 
     Nevin Steinberg’s sound design is the clearest, crispest, absolute best to have been heard by this reviewer at The Buell Theatre in memory.

       “DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the story of the unintended consequences of following your heart.” -Tony Award-Winning Playwright Steven Levenson.

     You don’t need to know more about the story. Just go and let your heart be broken and mended in the time it takes for these phenomenal actors and techies to tell it.
      This production comes with highest recommendations from this critic’s desk. 
   Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!Marlowe's Musings

Go online to for tickets

Thursday, October 4, 2018

                       Antoine L. Smith
OKLAHOMA was the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Based upon Lynn Riggs’ “Green Grow the Lilacs,” it’s set just outside Claremore in Oklahoma Territory, 1906.
      Rodgers and Hammerstein received the Pulitzer Prize for the musical on stage and later an Academy Award for the screen adaptation.
     Celebrating the 75thAnniversary of OKLAHOMA, Chris Coleman, the Artistic Director of the DCPA Theatre Company, has cast it with an African American cast.
      It’s a Glorious production that’s visually magnificent and vocally superb.
     Wilson Chin’s rustic frontier scenic design is enhanced by the sweeping backdrop of a cloud-swept sky. The authentic look of the costume design for the show is credited to Jeff Cone.
     In the ballet sequence of “Out of My Dreams” Dominique Kelley’s choreography honors that of Agnes DeMille, while sparking It with some innovations of her own. Here, as in the other big dance scenes, this cast shines.
      Ya’Nika Gibson is luminous as Laurey.  Her soprano soars through such classics as “Many a New Day” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.”
     Antoine L. Smith is a handsome Curly with dynamic presence. His vocals of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” as well as his duet with Ms. Gibson, are stellar.
          Bre Jackson shines as the flirtatious and pouty Ado Annie.  Her humorous take on “I Cain’t Say No” is delicious.  
         Rennie Anthony Magee turns in a sensational portrayal of Ado Annie’s suitor, Will Parker. His high steppin’ dancing and singing of “Kansas City” is amazing.     Barrington Lee (Jud Fry)who has sung such opera roles as the Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni, is a powerful presence, both vocally and in the acting. 
     Cooper Grodin gives a studied portrayal of the peddler, Ali Hakim.
          Sheryl McCallum is an Aunt Eller for the ages!
          The sensational live orchestra keeps those classic Rodgers and Hammerstein melodies rolling from curtain to curtain.

       Added bonus… you will leave humming the tunes with a smile on your face.Marlowe's Musings

  for tickets go online at