HERE ARE YOUR THEATRE HAPPENINGS FOR OCTOBER 16
'The Grasshoppers' won't be phoning it into Colorado Springs this weekend. They will be chirping in person.
Despite pandemic, theatregoers have plenty of ways to keep them engaged throughout the state
By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist
For being largely shut down by a pandemic, there sure are lots of theatre-related offerings for Coloradans to see and do right now. Here’s a roundup of all local events that I know are happening now, or coming up before the end of the month. Please send any updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 16-18: “Time Capsule: An Outdoor Concert featuring Denver’s Rock & Roll Divas,” a series of three concerts at 2763 Blake Street, is an effort to save and support Cap City Tavern, a haven for the local theatre community. (It’s owned by actor, director and choreographer Piper Lindsay Arpan and her husband, Dino McTaggert.) The concert features Susan Draus, Shannan Steele, Aubrie Hamrick, Lynn Keller and Piper Lindsay Arpan (pictured at top of page) singing tunes from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. $35 gets you in the door, and a $40 VIP add-on comes with an open bar. Must be masked. Bring your own lawn chair. Ages 21 and over for the 6 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday; while the 2 p.m. Sunday matinee is open to all ages. Ten percent of all proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund. Order here
October 16-November 1: Rainbow Militia is hosting an immersive show called "Death's Unraveling" located "somewhere on Tennyson Street." Rainbow Militia shows blend circus with live music, shadow puppets, Tarot readings, aerial dance and more. Information here
October 17-18: This past summer, Buntport Theater staged a series of sold-out performances of “The Grasshoppers,” a drive-in style short play staged on its front lawn. Now they are taking this funny twist on a nature documentary to Colorado Springs. The 30-minute play is performed outdoors while the audience stays in the safety of their cars. Featuring Erin Rollman, Erik Edborg, Brian Colonna and Hannah Duggan, with support from Samatha Schmitz. Performances 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. both days at the Legacy Loop, 1800 Recreation Way in Colorado Springs. Order here
October 17-18: The Lone Tree Arts Center hosts the Henry Award-nominated "Motones vs. Jerseys," a feel-good, nostalgic evening featuring the music of Motown and The Four Seasons — along with their many ancestors and descendants — in a good-natured competition. After two teams of four performers each rock out a playlist spanning Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Bruno Mars and many more, the audience chooses a winning team using their cell phones to vote. 10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue. Order here
Through October 20: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse presents “Always … Patsy Cline,” the popular jukebox musical based on the true story of Patsy Cline’s friendship with Houston housewife Louise Seger. Songs include “Walkin’ After Midnight” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Crazy.” 4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com
Through October 25: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse presents a scaled-down version of “Camelot,” the Lerner and Loewe classic that follows the legendary love triangle of King Arthur, Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. (Pictured at right: Bob Hoppe.) 4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com
Sunday, October 25: Hang out in Tony Award-nominee Forrest McClendon's living room (virtually) for a discussion hosted by Boulder's Local Theatre Company on "Choicework," the "Scottsboro Boys" actor's patented creative process 6 p.m. Part of "Living Room Local," an ongoing series of intimate, interactive conversations with acclaimed artists. $20. Order here
Through October 30: Katy Williams Design’s “The Shadows of Sleepy Hollow” is an innovative walking tour of downtown Englewood that tells the tale of Ichabod Crane through wide-ranging forms of shadow puppetry. Audiences wander sidewalks, alleys and other assorted crannies to re-create the famous tale of the fictional schoolmaster whose awful ways lead him to a fateful encounter with the legendary Headless Horseman. Starts at 3454 S. Broadway. Order here
Through November 15: Adams Mystery Playhouse presents “Paranormal Murder” for Halloween. Set in 1938 at a county estate in England, guests have assembled for a séance to contact the recently deceased Colonel Alan Faulkner, who died under mysterious circumstances 2406 Federal Blvd. 303-455-1848 or adamsmysteryplayhouse.com
Saturday, October 17: #ArtFindsVoters will be providing live entertainment in the heart of Five Points. “Be Woke.Vote” is an effort to register voters as they remain in their cars. Located on Welton Street and 26th Avenue near Coffee At The Point.
Saturday, October 31: The Arvada Center’s new outdoor, art-themed Halloween walk-through display, “Trick Art Treat,” will be open from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, October 31. Small groups will make their way around two safe and socially distanced bays of the Arvada Center's outdoor parking lot exploring art specifically created by Colorado artists. 1-5 p.m. 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Call 720-898-7200 to order tickets. Read more
Through November 9: Vintage Theatre presents “Murderers,” a trio of inter-connected comic whodunnit monologues by Jeffrey Hatcher, who paints a picture of the Riddle Key Luxury Retirement Community and its three unlikely criminals. The story requires no interaction among the three actors. Vintage is also offering a streaming option on its website. 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com. UPDATE: Per Arapahoe County orders, performances of "Murderers" have been canceled through October 18.
From left: Concert hosts Annaleigh Ashford, Denise Gentilini, Beth Malone and Neyla Pekarek.
Friday, October 23: Julia Tobey and Eugene Ebner present an uplifting, nearly all-Colorado video concert to launch her new Sublimelight Studios. The concert will be pre-recorded and dropped at 7 p.m. on October 23 on Sublimelight’s YouTube channel. The concert hosts are Grammy Award nominee Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers), Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (“You Can’t Take it With You”), three-time Emmy Award-winning composer Denise Gentilini, and Tony Award nominee Beth Malone (“Fun Home.”) Performers slated to perform or speak include Elizabeth Welch (“The Phantom of the Opera”), Gregory Treco (“Hamilton”), Jason Veasey (“The Lion King”), Josh Franklin (“The Prom”), Piper Lindsay Arpan (“Spamalot”), Shannon Steele, David Nehls, Robert Michael Sanders, Megan Van De Hey, Kenny Moten, Lauren Shealy, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Jessica Hindsley, Lynzee and Chris Jones, Adriane and Marco Robinson, Julie Payne, Natalie Oliver-Atherton, Jennifer Condreay, Paul Page, Dixie Krystals, Shirley Delta Blow, Sophia Dotson, Evan Gibley, Hannah Katz, Abby Linderman, Eden Lane and Sue Leiser. Ensembles performing include Black Iris Collective, Spinphony, The Beverly Belles and The Honey Taps. All in 90 minutes (!). The goal is to raise $75,000 by November 23 to support Sublimelight, a new arts and wellness community set to open in Denver in 2021. Ten percent of proceeds will go to The Denver Actors Fund. There will also be a socially distanced premiere party at Cap City Tavern at 7 p.m. October 23. Viewers can watch from home anytime after that. Order here
Saturday, October 24: ComedySportz of Denver, a popular improv-comedy format that pits two teams of comedians against one another in a sports-like scoring contest, is back at The People's Building in Aurora. Up to 12 games are played during each match, drawn from a pool of more than 100 possible improv games. “It’s a fun, fast-paced comedy show that’s great for the whole family and great for groups of all types,” says organizer Dave Shirley. Only 20 audiences will be allowed for the live event, with streaming available for all others. 9995 E. Colfax Ave. Order here
Saturday, October 24: Lone Tree Arts Center presents Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal in an intimate, acoustic performance called "Adam Pascal: So Far." Pascal will take the audience through his Broadway career, beginning with "Rent" and "Aida" and up through "Pretty Woman." 8 p.m. Order here Livestream option here
Through October 24: Curious Theatre is streaming its first-ever virtual play: The regional premiere of “Hillary & Clinton,” by Lucas Hnath. In a parallel universe set during the 2008 primaries, we meet Hillary Clinton as she navigates through her troubled campaign for President. History, gender, relationships and a flip of a coin all come into play in her quest to become the first female President. Rent the video for 30 days here
Through November 1: In the midst of this most strange of worlds, Arvada Center actor Zachary Andrews sought escape in an even stranger one: Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel “Dracula,” the archetypical vampire story about the notorious Transylvanian count who turned human necks into Halloween candy. Speaking of Halloween ... just in time: Andrews' original, one-man audio adaptation launches as a radio play today. "I am trying to push the limits of your idea of storytelling with sound," he says. Read more Order here
Through November 1: Boulder's The Upstart Crow presents "From the Crypt of the Crow," a rotating series of classic Halloween stories, play excerpts and short films. First up: "Chords," a short horror film starring Jeremy Barnes ("A Midsummer Night's Dream"). Written and Directed by Alexander Blanco. Watch here.
Through December 12: The Fine Arts Center at Colorado College continues its original, 12-episode audio-play series “Of Spacious Skies,” focusing on the history of Colorado Springs. A new episode drops every Thursday through December 12. The latest: “To Slay the Dragon.” There was once a neighborhood known as the Conejos District that held a small playground featuring a dragon sculpture. The dragon loved the city, and the kids all came to play with it. But one day, a knight in yellow-gold armor showed up on horseback to slay that dragon. Read more Listen here
Sunday, October 18: Phamaly Theatre Company’s annual gala is moving online for free, live viewing on its YouTube channel. "Phamaly's Big Night," the company's tongue-in-cheek homage to the Jerry Lewis Telethon, will present music, comedy and eclectic acts featuring Phamaly performers and special guests. Starts at 7 p.m. American Sign Language Interpretation and Audio Description will be available via Zoom. Register here
October 22 through November 1: Colorado Springs’ TheatreWorks presents “House Arrest,” a virtual production of Anna Deavere Smith’s 2000 documentary-theatre piece subtitled “A Search for Character in and Around the White House, Past and Present.” Based on historical source materials and interviews with figures ranging from Studs Terkel to Anita Hill, “House Arrest” asks how the American presidency has changed from 1776 to more recent years. Order here
Saturday, October 24: Last month, the audio version of John Moore's play "Waiting for Obama" was dropped on all major streaming outlets. Now, Broadway on Demand has licensed the videotape of that recording and will host a live, pay-per-view world-premiere party at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, going out to 14 countries Ordering info here. After that, "Waiting for Obama" will remain available on-demand for a 48-hour rental over the next year, with net revenues raised going directly to The Denver Actors Fund. In the play, a Colorado Springs family is convinced that Barack Obama is coming for their guns in the final weeks of his presidency – and they’re right. The cast features Laurence Curry, Drew Horwitz, Chris Kendall, Leslie O’Carroll, Jenna Moll Reyes, Jessica Robblee, Luke Sorge and Mare Trevathan. It was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts. The audio play remains available for free listening on all major podcasting platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Podbean.
Saturday, October 24: The Denver Center is one of 20 major nonprofit arts organizations offering access to a three-part virtual concert series called “Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway,” featuring two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone on October 24, Tony Award winner Laura Benanti on November 14, and actor/recording star Vanessa Williams on December 5 (pictured above). Each concert will be presented in high-definition from The Shubert Virtual Studios on Manhattan’s West Side. Each will feature a mix of Broadway showtunes, pop songs and personal stories from each headliner. At-home audience members will be invited to email questions, some of which will be answered in real time during the livestream. $30 each or $75 for all three shows. Order here
Friday, October 30: Miners Alley Playhouse’s "Virtual Variety Fundraiser" will feature live and recorded entertainment from recent productions including “Fun Home,” “once” and “Cabaret,” as well as improv comedy from ScriptProv. Performers include Jenna Moll Reyes, Aaron Vega, David Otto, John Hauser, Anna Maria High, Trent Hines, Abigail Kochevar and more. Curated meals will be available for pick-up from Bella Colibri and Mannie & Bo’s. Hosted by Len Matheo and Lisa DeCaro. Reserve your spot here
Fridays: Su Teatro presents “Short, Funny and Weird,” its weekly virtual series made up of skits, songs and short stories. It’s free, with a $10 suggested donation. 6:30 p.m. Order here
Ongoing: This year, “Miscast,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund, has pivoted to “CAST 2020,” a professionally produced on-demand video concert featuring Colorado theatre artists performing in roles they WERE cast to play before the coronavirus shut down their shows. “CAST 2020” includes nearly a dozen songs performed by an all-star lineup of Colorado theatre performers, including Mary Louise Lee performing “Mamma’s Turn,” from what would have been Vintage Theatre’s Gypsy. Reserve your link here
John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine during his time at The Denver Post. He also is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund, and is now contributing reports on the arts community for the Arvada Center. He's also the playwright of 'Waiting for Obama,' mentioned above. Reach him at email@example.com.