Your guide to live theatre in Denver
Who needs Hamilton when you’ve got Curious Theatre, Vintage Theatre, Phamaly…
Hello, Denver. It’s Lizzie with you today. I’m a producer on the podcast and an avid fan of live theatre.
If today’s episode about the Phamaly Theatre Company is giving you a hankering for theatre, I’ve got you covered! Ever since the curtains reopened last summer, I’ve made it my personal mission to keep track of every single theatre company in town to make sure I don’t miss something awesome just because I didn’t know about it. There’s a lot more happening this spring than Hamilton!
Phamaly Theatre’s next production, The Spitfire Grill (a female-centered folksy musical!), doesn’t open until March, but tickets are available now in Northglenn and Arvada.
In the meantime, though, here are some other local offerings to tide you over (check the websites for vaccination/mask/testing requirements, age recommendations, and content warnings):
Catch It Before It’s Gone: Benchmark Theatre in Lakewood is a new-to-me theatre company I’m excited to check out! Their new play, Our American Cousin: A Nation Divided, takes audiences back one year ago to January 6, 2021, when a mob overtook the US Capitol. How did we get to this point? What happens next? Saturday is your last chance to see this one!
Something For the Whole Family: One of the neat things about the cozy Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden is that they offer a full season of children’s theatre productions every year, in addition to their mainstage line-up. Goldilocks & the Three Bears, “an old story with a new twist,” opens February 5.
Something Weird: Who can keep from laughing during the song, “Dentist!” in Little Shop of Horrors? Or “Feed me, Seymour!”? This weekend, Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton launches their rendition of the cult classic. That’s some tried-and-true weird for you, but if you want weird weird, you can catch the puppet show Tommy Lee Jones Goes to Opera Alone at the Buntport Theatre, which they describe as follows: “A near life-size version of Tommy Lee Jones waxes poetic about cowboy boots, his life as a movie star and his love of opera.”
Something Thought-Provoking: If you’re looking for a play to challenge you, one that doesn’t shy away from important issues, whose motto is, I heartily recommend Curious Theatre. Their current production, The Sound Inside, runs until February 12. It is an intimate drama about a professor with a cancer diagnosis and a prodigy misfit student seeking mentorship. Don’t miss the post-show discussion after the 2/5 performance.
Something To Watch on Valentine’s Day: Okay, maybe not actually on Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Monday this year, but Vintage Theatre in Aurora is starting the year off with two very different love stories: Shakespeare in Love (opening February 11), based on the award-winning 1998 film, and Fireflies, a quieter romantic comedy about a retired schoolteacher and a smooth-talking drifter, directed by Denver theatre veteran Bernie Cardell (this one closes on February 12, so get your tickets soon – half-off tickets available for Fireflies here).
The DCPA has a couple world premieres opening next month too! There’s the musical Rattlesnake Kate about real-life Colorado frontierswoman Kate Slaughterback (stay tuned to the podcast next week for more on this crazy story!), and the dark comedy In the Upper Room, which tells the story of a multi-generational African American family in the 1970s (based on the real family history of playwright Beaufield Berry). I’ve been so busy flitting from community theatre to community theatre that I haven’t caught a DCPA Theatre Company show since before the pandemic, but they’ve produced some of my faves over the years, and, best of all, are usually affordable. Here’s how to get discounted tickets on DCPA shows.
None of these piquing your interest? Here are a few others lighting up the stage:
- Disney’s Frozen Jr. (Northglenn Arts), January 28-30
- Schoolhouse Rock Live! (Lone Tree Arts Center), January 30-31
- Sordid Lives (Wheat Ridge Theatre Company), through February 12
- The Wizard of Oz (Parker Arts), through February 13 (no mask requirement currently in place)
- Same Time, Next Year (Cherry Creek Theatre), February 4-27 (half-off tickets available here)
— Lizzie Goldsmith, City Cast Roving Producer and Phantom of the Op– uhh, of Theatre
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
🏘️ Another $3.9 million for Safe Outdoor Spaces?: A city council committee voted yesterday to boost city funding for the Colorado Village Collaborative, which operates the sanctioned camping sites for our unhoused neighbors. “Our plan is to operate four sites this year,” CVC director Cole Chandler told BusinessDen. “If these funds are approved, that will help us move forward with our mission to serve an ever-greater number of our unsheltered neighbors.” The contract is expected to go before the full council in the coming weeks. [BusinessDen]
🤮 “Unacceptable behavior” at the Children’s Museum: Apparently, some guests have been so upset about the museum’s mask policy that they have been “inappropriately directing their anger” toward the staff. So museum leaders decided earlier this week to shut down for 10 days (Jan. 26 through Feb. 4). [Denverite]
🚚 Polis faces pushback for clemency in wrongful death case: After millions of people signed a petition protesting the 110-year prison sentence for truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, Gov. Jared Polis used his gubernatorial authority to commute the sentence to 10 years. Thanks to the Denver Post, we now know that decision proved controversial within the local justice system. District attorneys from Boulder and Mesa County sent a letter to Polis arguing that he “undercut the community’s trust” in the courts and caused a “substantial ripple effect.” They cited a case in which prosecutors offered an 8-year sentence to someone accused of sexual assault only to have the defense lawyers reject the plea because it wasn’t proportionate to Aguilera-Mederos’s 10-year sentence. [Denver Post]
🎧 LISTEN: Smashing Disability Stereotypes with Phamaly Theatre Company
Award-winning theater company Phamaly has been putting on productions in Colorado for more than 30 years. But what makes the company particularly unique is its actors and stage crew, who are all people with disabilities. Today on the show, Host Bree Davies talks with one-time Phamaly Theatre Company artistic director Regan Linton about imperfect, a documentary she co-directed. imperfect follows the Phamaly cast and crew from first auditions to the final curtain call of their 2019 production of Chicago, digging into personal lives and company challenges along the way.