Sunday, February 24, 2019


L-R: Brandon Bill and Andy Seracuse

With music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak, and book and lyrics by Robert Freedman, Vintage Theatre’s production of A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER is a Denver premiere to die for.
    This show got four Tony Awards in 2014, including Best Musical.
     Based upon the novel, “Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal,” it was later adapted into a British film called “Kind Hearts and Coronets.”  It’s the tale of a young man’s rise from rags to riches in a murderously funny fashion.
     The deft direction by Bernie Cardell in combination with Music Direction by Lee Ann Scherlong assures the theatre patron of a rollicking evening of visual and auditory delight. 
     Cardell has taken clear aim at the theatre patron’s funny bone with his stage direction, and strikes the bull’s eye more often than not.
      Ms. Scherlong sees to it that not only solos and duets shine. Her music direction gives us choral work that’s exceptional and a backstage orchestra that’s superb.
     The combination of Cardell’s stage direction and Scherlong’s music direction proved to be musical theatre Magic on the snowiest day of the year! 
     In a masterful coup de theatre Brandon Bill takes on the daunting challenge of playing a number of the members of the D’Ysquith family of various age and gender with style, panache and over the top comic skill.
         Director Cardell here introduces us to several new faces in his cast. 
    Andy Seracuse plays the central character, Monty Navarro. Mr. Seracuse is an excellent musical theatre actor. His sterling vocals, hilarious facial expressions and charming stage presence make us hope to see him again soon upon the Colorado stage.
     Anna Jennes plays Sibella Holland. As she giggles her way into your heart you will notice that this beautiful young woman has a voice that’s a ribbon of pure gold.
     Kate Jackson is the third in this constellation of new stars. In the role of Phoebe D’Ysquith the fetching Ms. Jackson proves to have a gorgeous voice and wonderful stage presence.
     The   exuberant ensemble includes the likes of Kerri Emswiller, Todd Black (Both past Marlowe Award winners) and the always watchable Michelle Jeffres. Kristine Kahane is hilarious as Miss Shingle.
   Set designer Ryan Walkoviak has transformed the stage in the Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium into three stages, each one adorned with an eye-catching cherry red waterfall curtain, made luminous by Kevin Taylor’s excellent lighting design. 
     Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry’s costume design is scrumptious.
    Stephanie Hesse has done some wondrous choreography which makes the tongue-in- cheek nature of the show’s propensity to poke fun at British propriety and manners, really pop! GO!GO!GO!GO!Marlowe's Musings

Vintage Theatre presents“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” 
In order for Monty to become Earl, people have to die.
Feb. 8 – Mar. 24 
Fri., Sat. and Monday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. 
Tickets are $19 - $38 or 303-856-7830. 
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

               L-R: Augustus Truhn and Arlene Rapal

As Guy, the dying man in Benchmark Theatre’s production of Will Eno’s “WAKEY,WAKEY,” Augustus Truhn delivers one of the most authentic performances to have been seen by this reviewer. Very few actors know the craft well enough to devastate an audience so well.
     He’s all alone in a room that has a wheelchair stashed in the corner and a number of boxes packed and stacked along one wall.
      Guy knows we’re present and decides to engage us. His low-key recollections and remembrances are interrupted by momentary lapses of awareness.
      A remote-control device allows him to show slides, games and mesmerizing spirals on the back wall. Even as the character's life force wanes, he instructs us in a technique for gratitude for Life.
       Enter Arlene Rapal in the role of a care-giver named Lisa, who cools his forehead and performs a kind of Reiki on the dying man.
        Thanks to the deft direction of Rachel Rogers a number of surprising moments occur, which momentarily create sensorial disorientation to relieve the emotional tension. 
     Will Eno’s “WAKEY,WAKEY” is a heartfelt and profoundly heart-opening evening of theatre.
      Don’t miss it!Marlowe's Musings

For tickets call 303-519-9059 or go online at

Saturday, February 2, 2019


Neil Simon’s play, LOST IN YONKERS, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as the 1991 Tony Award for Best Play.
 The cast of LOST IN YONKERS

     Set in Yonkers in 1942, Eddie (Rory Pierce) is forced to go on the road due to bills incurred during his late wife’s battle with cancer. Consequently his two teenage boys, Jay (Dee Jimenez) and Arty (Ben Feldman), have to go live with their Grandma Kurnitz and Bella, their mentally challenged aunt.  (One hopes to see both Mr. Jimenez and Mr. Feldman again soon upon the Colorado stage.)
     Directed by Warren Sherrill, this show is cast to perfection!  
     Haley Johnson’s portrayal of the boys’ developmentally disabled Aunt Bella is indelible genius. Characterized by a continuous state of agitation that fluctuates between joy and anxiety, this is yet another brilliant performance by this multi-talented actor.
     Grandma Kurnitz is portrayed by Deborah Persoff with a set jaw and a demeanor that's hard as steel. It’s a compelling performance that feels as though it were  forged out of submerged anger and pain. As the play unfolds we learn that the reason this character walks with a cane and this deliberate, stiff, angular gait, is because of physical injuries she incurred as a child in Nazi Germany.
   Damon Guerrasio is especially strong as Uncle Louie, who’s temporarily using the Kurnitz household as a hideout from the mob.
    Although the wheezing Aunt Gert is a small role, it got big laughs due to MacKenzie Beyer’s sterling performance. 
    Peggy Stenmark’s realistic scenic design, enhanced by Elizabeth Scott-McKean’s ‘scenic dressing’ easily places us in 1942 Yonkers. Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry’s spot-on costumes enhance the proceedings.Marlowe's Musings

Miners Alley Playhouse
"Broadway Bound"
Arty and his brother Jay learn lessons about love, responsibility and the importance of family.
Jan. 25 – Mar. 3
Thurs./Fri. /Sat. at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 2 p.m.
$17 - $32 
Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
303-935-3044 or online at