Monday, December 13, 2021



     Benchmark Theatre’s production of Steve Martin’s “Meteor Shower” is excellent. 

     Martin’s play, however, is another story.

            First the good news.

Tina Anderson’s ultra-modern scenic design is the superb work that Denver audiences have come to expect of her.

Likewise, John Hauser’s sound design is most memorable.

    The cast did the best they could with the material.

      Corey Exline(Corky), Colleen Lee(Laura) and Jeffrey Parker(Gerald) were all new to this reviewer. One hopes to see all three of these very fine actors again soon upon the Denver stage. As Norm, Denver favorite Damon Guerrasio delivers his usual brilliant work.

     Although a few members of the audience appeared to be enjoying the play, this reviewer did not find the material anywhere near the excellence of Steve Martin’s writing of Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

      In this reviewer’s not so humble opinion it would have helped had Mr. Martin given his audience a set-up prior to thrusting them into this abstract melee. Certain playwrights can eliminate the set-up and remain unscathed: Albee, Beckett, Ionesco.

    Go and experience this play and see what you think. It’s important to support Benchmark, which is one of the most important production companies in town.

    Nevertheless… this tiresome and unfunny play was not this reviewer’s cup of tea.


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



Monday, November 29, 2021

 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA



L-R: Rajdulari and Camryn Nailah

With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, this ‘originally produced-for-television musical,’ is sure to be a Holiday Favorite for the whole family. 

     Douglas Carter Beane’s up-to-date libretto and book for “Cinderella,” transforms this classic into a fairy tale with a social conscience!!! Promoting kindness over ridicule and social justice over greed, it’s a welcome departure from the traditional script.

     Thanks to director Christopher Page Sanders for casting so many wonderful actors. 

      Camryn Nailah is the newest in the  Pantheon of Denver’s musical theatre stars. Sublime in the title role, her acting is enchanting, and her singing intoxicating.

     Hopefully you were able to catch Elton Tanega in his musical theatre debut in Vintage Theatre’s “Tuck Everlasting” two years ago. As outstanding as his performance was then, this performance is even better. His singing of “Do I love you because you’re beautiful or are you beautiful, because I love you?” is unforgettable.

     Sonsharae Tull’s superb performance in the role of Sebastian, ‘the lord protector,’ is her best work to date.

      Rajdulari’s portrayal of the Fairy Godmother, in which she sings “ Impossible” and “There’s Music in You,” is ear-pleasing indeed.

     As Charlotte, Kara Morrissey is hilarious singing "The Stepsister’s Lament.”

     New to this reviewer were, Logan Traver (Jean-Michele, the fire brand), Stephanie Garcia (Gabrielle), Preston Adams (Lord Pinkerton) and Adrienne Asterita (Madame).

     Under the baton of conductor and musical director, Dr. Michael A. Williams, the live backstage orchestra makes the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score sound spectacular.

     Ryan Walkoviak’s eye-pleasing wrap around set design, with its decorous arches and pillars, amazes us as we enter the Jeffrey Nickelson auditorium.         

     Kevin Taylor has outdone himself with an electrifying lighting design.    

     Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry’s Costume Design is pure Magic!

     Director Christopher Page-Sanders’ direction of the scene in which Cinderella is transformed to go to the ball, is astounding!

     Not to be missed!!!


Vintage Theatre presents 

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

Nov. 26 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022

$20 - $38

303-856-7830 or online at

Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Running time 2 hours with intermission.

Recommended for all ages.






Saturday, November 13, 2021



       L-R: Sean Scrutchins and Jada Suzanne Dixon

Couched in an interracial couple’s struggle to determine the location of their missing son, playwright Christopher Demos-Brown shines a light on the insidious nature of racial bigotry in our country.

     Jada Suzanne Dixon , who also directs the piece, gives a passionate, nuanced portrayal of Kendra Ellis-Connor, the distraught mother.

     Josh Robinson turns in yet another brilliant performance as Kendra’s estranged husband, Scott. Mr. Robinson has done exceptional work onstage for several seasons, including his most recent work portraying two of the characters in Arvada Center’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” which was shuttered due to the onset of the pandemic.

     Sean Scrutchins’ character, Officer Paul Larkin, is the voice of white apathy. At one point he declares, “She went from zero to ghetto in ten seconds flat!” Later, Kendra describes him as having given the frantic mother “a tour of the Jim Crow police department,” complete with “side by side water fountains.”

      Mr. Scrutchins is one of Denver’s finest actors. His outstanding performance in “The Whipping Man” several seasons ago still resonates in memory. 

     It is perhaps unheard of to speak of a supporting actor as having given a tour-de-force. 

     Nevertheless…Abner Genece’s performance in the role of Lieutenant John Stokes is an example crying out for it.

     Genece, who co-wrote the scalding social commentary, “Elephant,” for Benchmark Theatre, rivets with his powerful, visceral performance.

     American Son is an important play regarding real issues that need addressing now! It’s heartening to see such a play produced by Curious Theatre with such responsibility and guts!!!

     Emotionally moving, and truly cathartic, this play is a multi-faceted gem. Go and support this very fine theatre company. 


For tickets go online at or call 303-623-0524.















Thursday, November 4, 2021




                     L-R: Andy Dus, Chris Kendall and Pamela Clifton

“Jest a Second!” is playwright James Sherman’s sequel to his hugely popular “Beau Jest.”

      You may remember that “Beau Jest,” produced here in 2017, and which was an off-Broadway hit for two years, involved the conflict of a traditionally minded family and their daughter, who enjoyed dating “out of the box.”  To keep peace in the family, she hired an actor to portray the man who she believed would most please her parents.

   In “Jest a Second” it’s the son, who, fearing to upset the family with his dating choice, allows for some mayhem and merriment as he tries to achieve a similar goal. 

     Director M. Curtis Grittner has assembled a very fine cast for the show. Actors such as Chris Kendall, who won the Henry Award for his performance in Cherry Creek Theatre’s ‘Tuesdays With Morrie,” and Pamela Clifton, who has won numerous awards in her years as actor and director, have wonderful chemistry portraying Abe and Miriam Goldman. Rachel Turner,Marlowe Award winner for Cinderella in Candlelight Dinner Theatre’s “Into the Woods”, is hilarious as the Goldman’s pregnant daughter, Sarah.

     There is a very fine set design by director Grittner and some spot-on costumes by Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry.

      Sequels are never quite as engrossing as the original, but there are plenty of surprises in this lively evening of theatre.

      One hopes that you will go and support this very fine theatre company. 



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



Tuesday, October 12, 2021



A world premiere Devised Work, Developed by Abner Genece, Candace Joice and Neil Truglio

         L-R: Dan O'Neill and Nnamdi K. Nwankwo

Let me just say at the get-go that Benchmark Theatre’s ELEPHANT is the most important new work to have been seen by this reviewer in memory. 

     Using a timely truism, Benchmark builds a metaphor for racial bigotry upon the current expression: “elephant in the room.”      

     Hanging loosely upon the armature of your memories of the play/movie, “The Elephant Man,” the contrasts in this production outweigh the comparisons by far.

       The Merrick of this play is not misshapen or disfigured in any way. Indeed, he is a tall, handsome, muscular black man. Articulate and dignified in his speech and demeanor, he is seen to have more knowledge of Shakespeare and the Bible than either the self-aggrandizing Frederick Treves or the publicity-seeking Madge Kendal. 

     Nnamdi K. Nwankwo’s performance as John Merrick is utterly and brilliantly natural. 

     New to this reviewer, Courtney Esser is luminous as the hypocritical socialite Madge Kendal. 

     Dan O’Neill exhibits the onstage excellence we have come to expect of him as know-it-all Frederick Treves, doctor and intellectual a la side show hawker.

     Both Mr. O’Neill and Ms. Esser perform their characters in such a way as to hold up the mirror to the appalling, nightmarish nature of white supremacy regarding the abuse, negligence and exploitation of black people. Their performances illuminate the ignorant ‘unnaturalness’ of those who have sometimes been referred to as “the deplorables.”

     You don’t have to be a student of neuro linguistic programming to recall what a shock to the nervous system it is to see the swirl of red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror accompanied by a wailing siren. The nervous system goes on high alert accompanied by a clenched stomach. Why? No one likes to get a speeding ticket. And what if you had a glass of wine with dinner? Additional stress.

     Now imagine the exponentialized stress a black man or woman experiences with the lights and siren, when the possibility of death hangs in the balance.

     It is this degree of awareness that ELEPHANT drives home in multiple ways; not the least of which is the excellence of its sound (Marc Stith) and lighting designs.

      Elephant asks us not only to observe these atrocities, but to feel them, and to engage in creating change.

    This is a rich work that makes a reviewer hold back from unleashing spoilers and describing this new work in too great of detail. You deserve the freedom to experience it for yourself.

   ELEPHANT is powerful social commentary and what this reviewer regards as Great Art. It was an honor to see it.


Benchmark Theatre is located at 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood. For tickets call 303-519-9059 or go online at



Saturday, October 9, 2021




L-R: Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos (photo credit: Mike Watson)

Colorado Ballet’s production of Giselle brings world class ballet back to the stage at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House. 

      The electricity on opening night was palpable. The audience was ecstatic simply to be back at the Ellie for the first time in eighteen months.

      In short order we were treated to the exquisite dancing of this beloved company as well as to Adolphe Adam’s melodious score, brought to glorious life by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra under the baton of conductor Adam Flatt.

     First night principal roles played by Dana Benton, Yosvani Ramos and Christopher Moulton were all superb. A tip of the hat to Gregory Gonzales, who plays the Duke of Courtland. 

          Ms. Benton’s dancing of the title character showed her to be a ballerina of grace and beauty as well as an artist of meticulous technique. Mr. Ramos exhibited a vital and elegant athleticism in the role of Count Albrecht. Christopher Moulton brought a strong, bold passion to his performance as Hilarion.

     As Myrta, Queen of the Willis, Jennifer Grace
stunned with her virtuosic elegance and expressiveness.

     The corps de ballet danced with a synchronous precision which was mesmerizing.  

      The eye-popping costumes and scenic design by Peter Farmer and lighting design by Todd Elmer, greatly enhanced the evening.

     The choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, as revised by Marius Petipa is wondrous, complex, and some of the most demanding in the repertoire.

    Go and support this outstanding world class ballet company!


For tickets call: 303-8378888 or go online at






Monday, October 4, 2021


Vintage Theatre: 10/1 – 11/7

L-R: Jan Cleveland, Luke 
Rahmsdorff-Terry and Molly Turner (Photo Credit: RDG PHOTOGRAPHY)


 The winner of the 2019 Mystery Suspense Thriller New Play Showcase, Scott Gibson’s CROSS WORDS, is currently on view at Vintage Theatre in Aurora.

      The set-up is that married couple Tim and Flora have agreed to take on certain domestic duties for their aging Aunt Rosamunde. In return, the couple stands to inherit not only the house, but a huge sum of money that the old girl has squirreled away in savings.   

       Beyond that there will be no spoilers.

       Gibson’s play is tightly plotted and exceptionally well written.  Filled with dark secrets and unexpected revelations, the playwright has included more twists and turns than you can possibly imagine.  

     The show features the excellent sound design by Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry and the very fine lighting design by Emily Maddox. Bernie Cardell’s set design is outstanding.

      Director Andy Anderson has cast the show impeccably.

     The cast includes the likes of: Molly Turner (Flora) and Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry (Tim), who portray the couple at the center of this maze.  Jan Cleveland plays Clarissa, Aunt Roseamunde’s legal advisor.  Elton Tanega is Emory, a delivery boy.

     Go and treat yourself to an evening filled with suspense and great good humor.


Vintage Theatre presents 

“Cross Words”

The World Premiere of a suspenseful new thriller.

Oct 1 – Nov 7

$20 - $38

303-856-7830 or online at

Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010



Tuesday, September 21, 2021





              Jeff Betsch as The Monster

Vintage Theatre’s production of “Young Frankenstein” is ALIVE with all the hilarious hijinx and madcap mayhem of the classic 1974 movie. With music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, “Young Frankenstein” is a Broadway musical that’ll have you rolling in the aisles.

     It’s the kind of screen to stage musical that has everyone in the audience lying in wait for those iconic lines spoken by their adored Mel Brooks characters … and then falling apart laughing at their hysterical vaudevillian delivery.

    Thanks to director Linda Suttle’s impeccable casting, those characters are Super Duper.

Cooper Kaminsky is Dr. Frankenstein(That’s Fronkensteen), Christine Carter Kahane is Frau Blucher(horse whinny), Colby Reisinger is Inga, and Jefffrey Betsch is the monster, tapping his way into our hearts all spruced up and Puttin’ on the Ritz. His performance is frighteningly well done. 

       Christine Kahane has the exact right sour disposition for Victor’s housekeeper, Frau Blucher. With a stink eye that can peel paint, and a knock-out comic timing, Kahane is magnificent!

     The masterful choreography by Adrianne Hampton is utter precision when needed and a delightfully ordered chaos when that’s required.

     The Music Direction by Brandon Bill is superb!!! Although all the musicians in the orchestra are excellent, special kudos go out to the evocative and haunting violin of Adelaide Pappas Naughton. 

    Ryan Walkoviak’s set design gives us a creepy dungeon/laboratory flanked by enormous cylindrical test tubes, housing copper spirals. 

     The flickering candles and lightning flashes of uneasy paranormal atmosphere are the very fine work of co-lighting designers Emily Maddox and Kevin Taylor. 

     With her Heidi-like blonde hair Colby Reisinger’s ultra-sexy lab assistant, Inga, is a hoot in the lab or in the hay! 

     Miranda Byers’ sweet seemingly pure vixen, of the diminutive stature and the lilting pure soprano, is at her best singing the ultra-self-absorbed, “Surprise! It’s Me.”  

     The shimmering, sparkling frocks of the two leading ladies are courtesy of costume designer, Deborah Faber.  

     As Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Cooper Kaminsky becomes more and more frenzied as he is sucked into the milieu and profession of his grandfather.

     From the moment he slumps onto the stage  Bryan Plummer’s zany Igor becomes the ideal super-animated counterpoint to Dr. Frankenstein in song and dance. 

    As Inspector Kemp, Scotty Shaffer keeps the proceedings rolling along with loud proclamations and semaphore style gestures.

Have a laugh-filled evening at the theatre!!!


Vintage Theatre presents 

Young Frankenstein”

The hilarious musical based on the Mel Brooks classic film masterpiece. 

Sept 17 – Oct 31

$20 - $38

303-856-7830 or online at

Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Running time 2 hours 40 minutes with intermission.

Recommended for all ages.




Sunday, September 12, 2021




Bernie Cardell and Nancy Evans Begley 
(Photo credit: RDG Photography)

Bernie Cardell is a National Treasure!!!


“The Drowsy Chaperone” is a musical parody of the American musical comedy of the 1920s. With book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, it won five Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards in 2006.

     The show brims over with excellent musical theater performances from its outstanding triple-threat cast.  

     The show opens with the musings of a musical theatre super fan - Man in Chair- who’s trying to lift his spirits and decides on playing the original Broadway cast recording of a show called The Drowsy Chaperone. As he describes the show and plays the record – “yes, record”- the show explodes across the stage of The Lakewood Cultural Center with eye-popping, ear-pleasing panache!

     Bernie Cardell portrays the Man in Chair, and his portrayal is one of those truly exceptional performances that are SO rare, it will be talked about in theatre circles for decades. Cardell’s incarnation of ‘man in chair’ is tenderly vulnerable and wondrously open as he informs the audience of all his interesting points of view about “The Drowsy Chaperone’s” characters as well as the actors who played them. Cardell’s character walks in and out of the scenes in such a way as to let us as audience realize he’s more at home in his musical theatre fantasies than he is in real life. Kelly Van Oosbree’s direction of Cardell in “An Accident Waiting to Happen,” will have you in stitches. (Sorry. No spoilers.)

In a nutshell, the plot has to do with whether Janet Van de Graaff and Robert Martin will get married or not. As the bride to be, Emma Rebecca Maxfield’s unforgettable performance of “Show Off” is breathtaking!! Andy Sievers’ performance of the groom’s “Cold Feets” is jaw-dropping!!! As Drowsy, Nancy Evans Begley’s “As We Stumble Along,” rattles the rafters.

     Everything is adorably over the top in this show, from Jeffery Parker’s Latin Lothario, Aldolpho, to the pair of gangsters posing as pastry chefs played by Timothy Campbell and Kris Graves, to Adrianne Hampton’s squeaky wannabe star, Kitty.

Directed and Choreographed by award-winning Kelly Van Oosbree, this exhilarating  show features music direction by Denver favorite, Eric Weinstein. Nicole M. Harrison’s costume design is to die for. So is Brett Maughan’s outstanding lighting design and the wonderful wrap around scenic design by Andrew S. Bates. 

The numbers are all, of the show-stopping variety, and you may find it hard to decide which one is your favorite.

For tickets call the box office at 303-987-7845,Lakewood Cultural Center(Just south of the Belmar Shopping Center at Alameda and Wadsworth)470 South Alison Parkway, Lakewood, CO,80226






Tuesday, September 7, 2021




Erica Sarzin Borrillo’s new book, “Chasing Radiance: Memoirs and Musings,” is a beautifully written work that’s as poignant as it is intimate in illuminating the artist’s life. More than that, it’s an invitation to step inside the author’s heart and mind as she describes her mythic journey.

      The artist’s ancestral history unfolds through letters and an interview that provides a portal into the artist’s remembrances of past experiences from the exhilarating to the traumatic.

    Weaving the spiritual and the creative into a wondrous tapestry of memories and visions, Borrillo paints a picture of the author’s mystic awareness of the convergence of the creative life and the spiritual path.

Concluding with journal entries from the time of the pandemic as well as personal musings on the socio-political turmoil surrounding it, this is an insightful book that will endear itself to anyone seeking shamanic guidance in finding her/his way in the realms of creativity and spirituality.

It's available on Amazon.

David Marlowe

Marlowe’s Musings

Friday, August 20, 2021

 Five Guys Named Moe

Vintage Theatre: August 13-29


The cast of Five Guys Named Moe (Photo credit: RDG Photography)



Vintage Theatre’s exhilarating production of “Five Guys Named Moe,” is the perfect antidote for the depression brought on by the five o’clock news, the pandemic and the political state of the world. 

    This revue showcases the work of American jazz saxophonist, band leader and composer, Louis Jordan.  In the 1940s and early 50s, Jordan’s Rhythm and Blues classics paved the way for what would soon be known as rock n’ roll.

      Known as “the King of the Jukebox,” just a few of the twenty some Louis Jordan songs you'll fall in love with in this astonishing ‘juke box musical’ are: “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie,”  “Caldonia,” and “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.” By the time this talented ensemble gets to “Is You Is, Or is You Ain’t My Baby?,” your bones will be movin’ around in your seat so much, you may just be tempted to get up and start boogeyin’ in the aisles.


AS the story goes our hero Nomax (Micah Lawrence), is up drinking and trying unsuccessfully to reach his paramour by phone in the wee hours of the morning. Nomax falls deeper into depression until suddenly out of his radio appear: Big Moe (Michael Batemen), Eat Moe(Josiah Peters), Little Moe(Ronald McQueen), Four-Eyed Moe(Jalen Gregory) and No Moe(Kenyan James Bernard.) They all have ideas for what will make him succeed better with his girlfriend…and with life in general. Every one of these actors is a brilliant singer/dancer!!! 

    Christopher Page-Sanders unleashes a dazzling display of choreography the likes of which we have not seen in ages! Page-Sanders also co-directs the show with Denver favorite Lee Ann Scherlong! How does it get any better than that?

      A tip of the hat to Dr. Michael Williams, who is not only responsible for the excellent music direction but produces some virtuosic tickling of the keys as well. 

     Five Guys Named Moe won Olivier Awards for Best Entertainment and Best Choreographer in 1991 and was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical the following year.


Vintage Theatre presents 

“Five Guys Named Moe”

A musical featuring the works of jazz legend Louis Jordan.

August 13 – Aug 29

$20 - $38

303-856-7830 or online at

Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010

Running time 2 hours with intermission.

Recommended for all ages.



Monday, July 19, 2021


L-R: ALISA JORDHEIM  and  ALEKSEY BOGDONAV ( Photo credit: Amanda Tipton)


at Hudson Gardens

(Playing in repertoire with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL now through August 1)


     Central City Opera’s production of RIGOLETTO is an engrossing, ear-pleasing evening of Grand Opera!

     ALEKSEY BOGDANOV’s astonishingly powerful baritone gives us a RIGOLETTO  that’s astounding!!!

      As the Duke of Mantua, GALEANO SALAS’s sensational rendition of “La Donna e mobile” will resound in your head for days.

     Soprano ALISA JORDHEIM delivers GILDA’s arias in such a way as to intoxicate us with auditory champagne.

      JOHN PAUL HUCKLE’s performance in the role of the assassin, SPARFUCILE, chills us to the bone.



RIGOLETTO, Verdi’s three-act opera, debuted in Venice in 1851. The libretto is by Francesco Maria Piave, and  based on Victor Hugo’s “Le Roi s”Amuse.” Rigoletto is significant in that it is the opera in the composer’s ‘middle period,’ that proves a turning point in Italian opera history.  In this finest music-drama since the days of Monteverdi, the title role is considered by many to be the most demanding ever penned for a baritone. Breaking through the operatic conventions of its time, RIGOLETTO was an immediate success.

     Set in 16th century Mantua, the hunchbacked court jester Rigoletto makes fun of the rage of the old Count Monterone, whose daughter has been seduced by the devious Duke.

     Monterone curses Rigoletto, and the courtiers who hate Rigoletto, discover that he has a young lady who’s hidden in his home.

     Not realizing that Gilda is the court jester’s daughter, they abduct her, and the duke, posing as a poor student, seduces her. When Rigoletto hires the assassin Sparfucile, to get his revenge, Gilda, who is in love with the duke, maneuvers herself into a place in which she is killed in his stead.

     Director Jose Maria Condemi has done a great job in casting and pacing this production of Verdi’s opera for the most part. However…one might wish that he had cast an actor who appeared to be much older than Phillip Lopez in the role of Count Monterone, the man who curses Rigoletto.


What to expect: Powerful vocals, superb conducting by Maestro JOHN BARIL of the outstanding Central City Opera Orchestra, and minimalism on the technical end of things. There is a contemporary costume design by EDINA HISER, a minimalist set design by Steven C. Kemp suggestive of a present-day country club, and mostly ambient lighting due to the show being presented in an outdoor setting. (One can’t wait to once again experience Master Lighting Designer David Martin Jacques’ exquisite Art ‘inside’ next year when the Central City Opera House opens its doors once again.)

      Run to get tickets!!!

Call 303-292-6700 or go online at



Thursday, May 27, 2021

 The 2021 Central City Opera Summer Festival

Make History and discover unforgettable performances with Central City Opera in the Gardens!


The 2021 Central City Opera Summer Festival is happening this year at Hudson Gardens.

     In a recent phone call, Pat Pearce, Central City Opera’s General/Artistic Director, spoke about the wonderful opportunity we have in getting to see and hear the 2021 Central City Opera Summer Festival at the Hudson Gardens on South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton.

       Most people are aware that Hudson Gardens will usually seat 3200 people.  At present only 500 will be allowed inside the Gardens for the operas due to Covid. Hopefully, as restrictions ease, more seats might become available.

     The shows run 90 to 110 minutes with no intermission to make sure that people do not gather in large groups.

    Pearce said that “National Jewish Hospital is helping with instructing the management at the Gardens in how best to keep everyone safe. There will be social distancing and masking.”

    Pearce went on to say, “the orchestra will be situated behind the stage, socially distanced and behind plexiglass.

     From staging to seating this outdoor production, we had to rethink everything about how to safely present the show. Everyone onstage will be vaccinated.

     They’re setting up chairs for Section A.  Sections B and C will be basically on lawn with blanket or patrons will have brought their own lawn chairs.

      They have been doing everything possible to keep musicians, singers and audience safe with regard to transmission via aerosol.  A whole protocol has been put into place. There will be “a moat” between the audience and the stage.”

     The instruments and singers will be amplified this year. That is to say they will be ‘miked’ due to being outside.

      Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto” will be sung in Italian, with surtitles embedded above the actors/singers, atop the physicality of the set.

     “Rigoletto” is chock full of mistaken identity, revenge, and signature arias, such as ‘La donna e mobile.’ 

    Pearce gave high praise to the actors and directors who will be involved in this history-making summer festival.

     In speaking of baritone Alexey Bogdanov, who will portray Rigoletto, Pearce said, “Over the years I’ve gotten to hear a lot of people sing the role. It’s been a tour de force for the great baritones ever since Verdi wrote it, a century and a half ago. It really allows them to show off. I heard Alexey sing for me in New York at an audition and he was spectacular. He has the kind of instrument that has a lot of color and bite. That’s the kind of thing a singer needs to have in his arsenal for singing Verdi. He also has the look and the swagger.

     Alisa Jordheim is Gilda. She’s a wonderful soprano who was in the training program at Central City and also played the sister of the young boy in “The Turn of the Screw.” Petite and beautiful, she’s very talented vocally and a very good actor into the bargain.” 

     Galeano Salas gets to unleash his great tenor on those spectacular arias Verdi wrote for the Duke of Mantua. John Paul Huckle will portray the assassin, Sparafucile.

     It looks like “Rigoletto”’s going to be old home week since the Duke, Gilda and Sparafucile are all past apprentices.

     John Baril is the music director/conductor for Rigoletto.

       “Rigoletto”’s stage director will be Jose Maria Condemi, who directed Emily Pulley the last time she was here in “Carmen,” as well as directing “Florencia en el Amazonas” for Opera Colorado.  Jose spends a good deal of time at San Francisco Opera Conservatory.

     Ken Cazan will direct Carousel. Ken loves this period. He was a great success directing Oklahoma, A Little Night Music and West Side Story. Cazan’s direction of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd in 2019 was enormously successful due to his being able to tell the story with a sort of deep clarity.

     Anna Christy is Julie Jordan in Carousel. She’s a really great actor as well as singer. Having debuted as Titania in the 2002 production of Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she played Emily in “Our Town.” She also starred in the most recent production of “The Ballad of Baby Doe.” 

     Phyllis Pancella will play Nettie Fowler in “Carousel.” Featured in the casts of “Our Town” and “Rinaldo,” she was also Nerone in Monteverdi’s “The Coronation of Poppea,” as well as the superb Lucretia in the CCO production of Britten’s “Rape of Lucretia.” 

      This will be Steve LaBrie’s Central City Opera debut as Billy Bigelow in “Carousel.” LaBrie is a young up-and-coming baritone, who also sings Verdi. He had been put on hold for something before Covid, so when this opportunity arose, he was cast.  

     Jennifer DeDominici portrays Carrie Pipperidge in “Carousel.” She has great presence and can really build a memorable character.

    David Jacques designed the set for “Carousel” as well as the lighting. His incredible lighting, which takes a front seat with us, is going to be a lot more challenging and “interesting” with daylight.

     In answer to a question about the look of the show, Pearce said,”We have created a unit set with several levels in order to have multiple playing spaces in which to present the shows.

     Rigoletto has basically moved in time. It could be contemporary or possibly the 1970s. Something along those lines. Carousel is non-time specific. Here the focus is on clear storytelling using Rodgers’ glorious music to enhance it.” 

     Don’t forget that “Dido and Aeneas” is being presented in the gardens outside the opera house in Central City this summer. So, everything is outside this year. 

     The opera company is currently in the process of creating how things will be if there is inclement weather. They’ll be handling things in much the same way as Red Rocks and other outdoor concert venues with regard to when it would be necessary to “call” the show.

     Next year will be Central City Opera’s 90th Anniversary.  Pearce promises to let us know as soon as the board makes a solid decision on the operas they’ll be producing then.

     The suggested arrival time is at least thirty minutes before showtime so people will have plenty of time to select their seats. Doors will open one hour before the performance.

     Free parking is available on a first come, first serve basis, and is only a short walk to the performance area. Limited reserved parking can be purchased for five dollars (based on availability.) ADA parking is also available. Please contact the Box Office for more information.

     People will be allowed to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages into the venue.

    And don’t forget that Hudson Gardens is located near lots of great restaurants for pre and post-show cocktails and meals.

     See you at the Opera!!!





Tuesday, March 16, 2021



BDT STAGE is slated to reopen on April 2, 2021. Michael J. Duran has declared that “intermission is over, and everybody may return to their seats.” It’s been a year since “Ragtime” opened and closed on the same evening due to COVID -19.


Since COVID numbers are looking good in Colorado and the vaccine is getting injected into people’s arms, the BDT Stage family is ready and raring to do what they do best. Entertain us!!!   


Duran says that, “Tickets can be purchased as a series or individually for tables up to 6. All tickets will be sold as general admission to allow parties to be seated together while maintaining social distancing from the stage and each other. Dinner selections are preordered at the time of ticket purchase.”

They’re starting out with a CABARET CONCERT SERIES!


THE BARTON BROTHERS will be the first of these, featuring two talented young men in “a good, old-fashioned dueling piano show.” April 2 and 3,2021, Tickets: $50.


FACE, Boulder’s own celebrity a cappella rock band, is the second of these, featuring five guys: four singers and a vocal drummer.

April 9 and 10,2021. Tickets: $70.


Next up A TRIBUTE TO JOHN DENVER starring singer-songwriter Chris Collins and musician Alex Mitchell on guitar, fiddle and mandolin. April 15,16 and 17, 2021, Tickets: $70.


The final Cabaret Concert is one this reviewer got to see last summer in the socially distanced parking lot at BDT Stage.

ANNA HIGH AND SHERYL RENEE: QUEENS OF SONG April 30 and May 1,2021. Tickets $55. Delivering pop, gospel and jazz, these two powerful divas will be accompanied by pianist Eric Weinstein. 



Starting May 7, & running through June 27 is the ever popular “FOREVER PLAID!” Tickets are $65. 

The show stars BDT Stage favorites: Scott Severtson(Frankie), Jacob Villarreal(Smudge),Leo Battle(Sparky) and Brain Cronan as Jinx. Forever Plaid is directed by Matthew D. Peters, with music direction by Neal Dunfee. Some of the songs in this concert that never was are: Day-o, Sixteen Tons, Chain Gang, Three Coins in the Fountain, Perfidia, Cry, Catch a Falling Star, Gotta Be This or That, Matilda, Heart and Soul and many more!


Tickets for all performances at BDT Stage will be on sale beginning March 17, 2021, at 10 AM. Call (303) 449-6000 or visit for reservations. Due to capacity restrictions facing all indoor events, seating for press will be based upon availability. BDT Stage complies with Boulder County's 5-Star Certification program, and abides by all recommended safety and cleaning protocols. All employees, customers, and guests are required to follow Public Health Orders pertaining to COVID-19 while on the premises. 

BDT Stage has been recognized locally and nationally for commitment to theatrical excellence. Boulder's Daily Camera praises BDT’s “consistency in technical achievement, performance and overall production level as it sets a high standard for theatrical professionalism.” All programs mentioned in this release are made possible in-part by a grant from Colorado Creative Industries through the Colorado Arts Relief Fund. Welcome back! We can’t wait to see you again!