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Promo: 'All My Sons,' March 2-May 3, Arvada Center

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The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities finishes the 2017 – 2018 Black Box season with All My Sons directed by Lynne Collins, opening Friday, March 2, 2018. 
All My Sons, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller, won a Tony Award for Best Author when it premiered in 1947. Loosely based on true events, it tells the story of a family struggling with their decisions in the aftermath of World War II. The 2017 – 2018 Theatre Season is sponsored by Lutheran Medical Center.

Running in repertory with Sense and Sensibility and The Electric Baby, select performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinĂ©es on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., through May 3, 2018. Preview performances are February 28 and March 1 at 7:30 p.m. Audience talkbacks are held on April 13 after the 7:30 p.m. performance, and April 18 after the 1:00 p.m. matinĂ©e. Chats with the cast are held before every performance, and actors are available for informal discussions afterward…

I'm boycotting the Denver Center. Here's why.

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I just learned about the Denver Center’s plan to install metal detectors and initiate bag searches. They recommend that patrons now plan to arrive ONE HOUR BEFORE CURTAIN so they can pass through airport-style security. 
I believe this policy to be not only inconvenient and annoying, but also insulting and offensive to season ticket-holders, patrons, and media.

Treating patrons as suspected mass murderers or terrorists is not conducive to an enjoyable evening out, and doesn’t actually make anyone safer. In fact, now we are less safe. Every panhandler, pickpocket, and pervert at the 16th Street Mall and surrounding vicinity has now been alerted that people who look and act like they are going to a show are most certainly defenseless.

There are other, less intrusive ways of protecting patrons. Innocent people don’t like being treated like potential perpetrators.

I’ve covered the Denver Center off and on for 30 years. But I will not go near the Denver Performing Arts Complex again until t…

Promo: 'Oscar Dove: Letters to Sherlock,' March 2-24, Theater Co. of Lafayette

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Theater Co. of Lafayette presents...
Oscar Dove: Letters to Sherlock A World Premiere by C.P. Stancich
Directed by Madge Montgomery and Munam Goodwin

The game's afoot from March 2 – March 24 at the Theater Company of Lafayette!

Sherlock Holmes is Back! The timeless appeal of the world's most famous detective comes thrillingly to life in the premiere of this witty play filled with humor and suspense. OSCAR DOVE: LETTERS TO SHERLOCK is the sixth C.P. Stancich/Sherlock play to be performed by the Theater Company of Lafayette.

“Though the play offers a tense and intriguing mystery, it also has the feel of a screwball comedy, with fast-talking witty repartee, colorful characters, and farcical situations,” says Director Madge Montgomery.

Oscar Dove, a close friend of the famed detective, Sherlock Holmes, has been summoned to a remote ranch in an unforgiving part of Alberta, Canada. When he arrives, with his cockney side-kick Busby and ex-outlaw Texas Jack Vermillion in tow, Dove discover…

Review: 'Sleuth,' through March 11, Vintage Theatre

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Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth is one of those thrillers where the less said about the plot, the better.  Vintage Theatre and Lowry's Spotlight Theater's whimsical, maniacal production is so good, I don't want to spoil a thing. Suffice to say, that even with a lesser script, this exceptional cast and brilliant director could wring out a must-see show.

Wealthy and successful mystery writer Andrew Wyke (Mark Rubald) invites his wife’s lover  Milo Tindle (Brandon Palmer) to his country estate, where their battle of wits quickly turns sinister. The two play an often hilarious, abruptly menacing, and ultimately deadly game of cat-and-mouse, as they seek to turn the tables on one another and walk away with an ephemeral prize. 
The dialogue is loaded with irony and double entendres. It's disconcerting to hear jokes originating from anger, jealousy, and contempt, and laughing anyway.
Oneupsmanship is the order of the day, and yet Rubald and Palmer have such a rapport and are so …

Promo: 'Seussical,' through March 23 and May 14-25, Arvada Center

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The Arvada Center Presents the Children’s Musical...Seussical The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities opened the children’s musical Seussical on February 2, 2018. Based on the stories of Dr. Seuss, the musical is an amalgamation of many of his most famous books, like Horton Hears a Who! and Dr. Seuss’s Gertrude McFuzz. 
Seussical is directed by David and Julie Payne, with musical direction by Keith Ewer and choreography by Piper Arpan. The Arvada Center Artistic Producer of Musical Theatre is Rod A. Lansberry.

Enter the fantastic world of Dr. Seuss in the musical, Seussical! Music and dance bring characters like Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, and Gertrude McFuzz together on stage. Don’t miss out on all the fun and all the “thinks you can think”! The musical debuted on Broadway in 2000 and spawned two US national tours and a UK tour. It has become a beloved classic for schools and regional theatres around the world.

The production opened February 2, running through March …

Promo: 'Company,' Feb. 23-March 11, Evergreen Chorale

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The Evergreen Chorale presents...
Company Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Directed by Christine Kahane
Musical Direction by Christine Gaudreau
Choreography by Kevin Gael Thomas

The Evergreen Chorale presents Company February 23 through March 11 at Center Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen, CO, 80439. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $28 Adults; $24 seniors (62+)/Students, $17 children (12&under), $22 groups of 10 or more and available by phone 303-674-4002 or online at www.EvergreenChorale.org. The Chorale is offering the group rate to members of book clubs on Saturday, Feb 24 – interested groups should call for information.

Company, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, debuted in 1970 under the direction of Harold Prince and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. It was a unique departure from the “boy meets girl” formula of traditional Broadway fare, and challenged audience…

Promo: Storybooks on Stage, March 3 & 10

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Stories on Stage presents two performances of family entertainment, as professional actors perform children's literature geared towards preschool and elementary school-aged kids. These shows feature stories by well-known and well-loved published authors and are designed to entertain children and parents alike.

In addition, selected stories by young authors (from the youth writing contest for 1st through 4th graders) will have their stories read on stage by our professional actors alongside the published authors.

Storybooks on Stage takes place on Saturday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the McNichols Civic Center Building-144 W. Colfax Ave., Denver. CO 80202. Tickets are available online at www.storiesonstage.org or by calling 303-494-0523 and again on Saturday, March 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St. Boulder, CO 80302 ticketing for the Boulder show is through the Dairy Arts Center at www.thedairy.org or by phone at 303-444-7328. Single tickets are $10 Adu…

Promo: 'Life in the Theater,' ONST at Vintage, Feb. 18

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Live theater takes the spotlight when One Night Stand Theater presents an evening about theater in Life in the Theater on Sunday, February 18, 7:00 p.m. at the Vintage Theater in Aurora.

This one-night-only production features short plays and stories about the world of live theater, in front of the footlights and behind the scenes:

Shakespeare coaches an enthusiastic “Macbeth” actor in “The Porter Scene” by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill. A playwright’s long-awaited staged reading goes horribly wrong in “The Reading” by Carrie Printz. Two friends build an unusual stage set with a sinister purpose in “The Cell” by Jordan R. Mencher. An unconventional dance student befriends a reluctant dance teacher in “The Last Waltz” by Julie Excell. Two cockroaches find redemption in the rubble of their demolished theater home in “Joe and Stew’s Theater of Brotherly Love and Financial Success” by Jacquelyn Reingold. A failing business transforms its health product into a theatrical spectacle in “Product Dev…

Review: 'Sense and Sensibility,' through May 6, Arvada Center

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Kate Hamill's innovative adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is more fun than it ought to be.
Under the ingenious direction of Lynne Collins, the ensemble plays not only the sprawling cast of upwardly and downwardly mobile and painfully eligible middle-class bachelors and bachelorettes, but also dogs, cats, and barnyard animals.
They also wheel the scenery around at a dizzying whirlwind pace.
Austen's tale is the rags to riches story of two single sisters (Regina Fernandez, Jessica Robblee) who are exiled from the upscale social scene of London to the quaint provincial country life after their father dies. Their only hope for restoration to urban bliss is to marry well, and if possible for love. Unfortunately, the pickings are slim amongst the less than idealized romantic heroes (Zachary Andrews, Geoffrey Kent, Lance Rasmussen).

Collins brings a frenetic pace and staging conventions most often associated with children's theatre to the play, which double a…

Promo: Jotunheim, BiTSY Stage, Feb. 22-Apr. 8

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The BiTSY Stage presents...
Jotunheim: A Legend of Thor and His Hammer Adapted by Samantha McDermott
Directed by Matthew Davis

February 22 – April 8, 2018
The BiTSY Stage presents Jotunheim: A Legend of Thor and His Hammer February 22 through April 8 at 1137 S. Huron St. Denver, CO 80223. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. No performance March 29-April 1. All performances are FREE, donations are accepted. Reservations at www.bitsystage.com or by calling 720-328-5294.

Thor’s hammer has gone missing and clever Loki devises a plot to get it back. With Moljnir in the hands of a giant, will the gods be able to crow about their success, or will their plans unravel?

With a heavy-metal rock musical theme, this show will be louder and darker than previous productions and is suggested for children ages 8 and older.

The cast includes Kaitlyn Althoff, Ryan Barnett, Luca Grieman, Katie Medved, Patti Murtha, Greg Oblazny, Veronica Straight-Lingo, a…

Promo: 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin,' Feb. 3-March 3, Miners Alley Children's Theatre

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Miners Alley Children's Theatre presents...
The Pied Piper of Hamelin Adapted and Directed by Rory Pierce

February 3 – March 3, 2018

Hamelin is an idyllic little town on the banks of the River Weser. It is run by a rather inept town council and a very selfish, very self-important Mayor. So, what happens when rats infest the timeless town of Hamelin? You’ll have to come see for yourself. Maybe you can help the Pied Piper save the town from the rats and from themselves!

The Pied Piper of Hamelin begins on February 3 and runs through March 3. Performances are every Saturday at 1 p.m. through February 17 and on February 24 & March 3 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401. Call or go online for weekday performance availability. Tickets are only $12 and available by calling 303-935-3044 or online at www.minersalley.com.
Re-posted by permission.

Promo: "Respect: A Musical Journey of Women," Feb. 1-25, Cherry Creek Th. Co.

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Cherry Creek Theatre Company presents the Regional Premiere of...
RESPECT: A Musical Journey of Women Written by Dr. Dorothy Marcic
Directed by Henry Award Nominee Shannan Steele
Musical Direction by Traci Kern

February 1 – February 25, 2018
From “Someone to Watch Over Me” to “I Will Survive,” from the codependence of “I Will Follow Him” to the anger of “These Boots are Made for Walking,” to the cynicism of “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and finally to the strength of “Hero,” “RESPECT: A Musical Journey of Women” is told through Top-40 music in this timely off-Broadway new musical production. Combining excerpts of 60 songs with women’s own stories about finding dreams, lost love, relationship issues, entering the workforce, gaining independence and more.

All performances are held at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC), 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, CO 80246. The new dates and times of the performances are Thursdays and Sunday, February 18 & 25 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; …

Review: 'Annie,' BDT Stage, through Feb. 24

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Annie has never been my favorite Broadway musical, with its terminal cuteness, cloying songs, and simplistic plot and characters, but BDT Stage's production won me over.

Mostly.

Based on a politically loaded newspaper comic strip that ran from 1924-2010, the issues of child welfare and Depression-era economics add a welcome layer of substance to the story of a red-headed orphan (Darcy Keating/Lily Gruber) who longs for a family, and a wealthy industrialist (Wayne Kennedy) who regains his humanity in time for Christmas.

It's America's Depression-era version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Or last generation's ELF.

Other than runaway Annie's plucky optimism, and Oliver Warbucks' surly hemming and hawing until his heart softens, there's not a whole lot going on.

A crook (Scott Beyette) and his doxie (Danielle Scheib) hatch a scheme to exploit Annie and defraud Warbucks. Comic kingpins Brian Burron and TJ Mullin seize a couple of memorable moments and laughs…

Review: 'Beauty and the Beast,' Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, through Feb. 14

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NOTE: Updated with new pics!

I'm guessing that everyone who reads this review already knows the story of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the animated film that became a Broadway musical, then re-booted as a ghastly but insanely profitable CGI-based live action movie, and all of it inspired by a French fairy tale about a woman who ends a curse through unconditional and sacrificial love.

So what's so special about Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's production, playing in Johnstown through February 14?
Pretty much everything.
Let's start with Katie Jackson's Belle, the beautiful, book-loving oddball protagonist. Jackson's rich, mellifluous voice can melt butter. While other Disney princesses are busy being cute/chirpy (Little Mermaid), or belting out obnoxious, overwrought empowerment anthems (Frozen, Wicked), or sounding like a hastily trained little girl (Emma Watson), Jackson brings vocal range, warmth, and grace to the role. Her rendition of "Is This Home?…

Promo: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Vintage Theatre Jan. 12-Feb. 18 and Garner Galleria Theatre March 5-April 23

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Vintage Theatre presentsLady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grillby Lanie RobertsonDirected by Betty HartMusic Direction and Pianist Trent HinesStarring Mary Louise LeeJanuary 12 through February 18, 2018
It’s 1959 at Emerson’s Bar and Grill in Philadelphia where the audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. Many of her hit songs are interlaced with salty, often humorous reminiscences to create a riveting portrait of a legend and her music.
Vintage Theatre presentsLady Day at Emerson’s Bar and GrillJanuary 12 through February 18*. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays and Monday, January 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Feb 1, 8 and 15 at 7:30p.m. atthe Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010. Tickets are $15 - $34 and available online atwww.vintagetheatre.orgor by calling 303-856-7830.
In collaboration with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts CabaretLady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grillmoves tothe G…