Sunday - January 26, 2020
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Articles Written By JessieHanson

 

The Secretary

January 15th, 2020

“A story doesn’t have to be real to be true.” One of the opening lines of Kyle John Schmidt’s new play The Secretary could just as easily be flipped around to say, “A true story has many realities.” A dark and darkly funny new play at the Curious Theatre dives deep into the twisted and conflicting meanings of guns in America and how we all are related to the violence and power that they bestow upon us. The scenario is this: a small town, probably in the South or Midwest, based on the characters’ accents, is slowly dying from economic starvation. The only real moneymaker in town is... Read More

MidWinter: A Colorado Night’s Dream

January 15th, 2020

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, getting splashed in a Halloween horror show in the basement of a spaghetti emporium, sweating through a DIY D&D in a comic shop, savoring (har har!) Sweeney Todd’s enraged high notes, and trying to quiet my howling dog in a public house. I’ve found myself in some odd and awkward scenarios. To update the metaphor, writing this column is a lot like drunk-clicking through an endless algorithm of... Read More

The Munthly Show!

January 1st, 2020

Puppets are like drugs: every culture has them, most people have tried them, and some of us have succumbed to non-salvageable addictions to their pleasures. I include myself in the ranks of that latter group. I find all kinds of live theater to be magical, but I especially love puppets. I find them enchanting; they’re just the right distance away, on the other side of the uncanny valley, where we trust them as humans (regardless of their corporeal form) AND they can do and say things that actual humans can’t. They embody the whimsy and fantasy of our imaginations, but are tangible in the present.... Read More

Dog-Friendly Comedy Shows!

December 12th, 2019

I don’t have a child, but I do have an obnoxious dog, which often seems equivalent to me, even though I can hear all you overstretched parents out there screaming into your computer screens that a dog is nothing at all like a child. I hold my line on this because, while I think that my dog is the most adorable entity in the universe, I recognize that other people do not find my dog even remotely appealing, and this seems like the same cognitive dissonance that parents of tiny humans must embrace. At any rate, I am always delighted to find places that I can bring my dog along with me, which is... Read More

The Thanksgiving Play

November 19th, 2019

I went to see The Thanksgiving Play at the Curious Theatre this past week and I’m having a hard time writing about it. Not because it wasn’t well-produced (it was) or beautifully played (it was indeed), but because I walked out of the venue feeling like yet another clueless white person who should probably just shut up for a while. That’s a weird thing to write and it makes the play seems like kind of a downer, which it both totally is and completely isn’t. It was simultaneously both one of the most uncomfortable and one of the funniest things I’ve seen in 2019. The premise is this: the... Read More

Escape from Godot

November 11th, 2019

The Denver Film Festival unleashes its craziness all over the mile-high metropolis this fortnight. I had the pleasure of attending the arguably least-film segment of the entire event, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth my time. It definitely was. In fact, you could say it was “worth the wait.” The event that I’m talking about is “Escape from Godot,” which is just about exactly what it sounds like. The classic, curmudgeonly piece by Samuel Beckett (“Waiting for Godot,” for those who live in the present and don’t waste their time on post-War philosophical struggles) showcases... Read More

Grimm’s Scary Tales

October 27th, 2019

October is known as “gig-tober” amongst performers because the modern incarnation of Halloween lends itself so well to dressing up and being dramatic; every troupe in town has a zombie-themed show running this month, and I’m here to talk about one of them. It’s Audacious Theatre’s Grimm’s Scary Tales. The production nicely represents the two things that humans fear: death and the unexplained (which arguably includes death). October is the season when we get to exorcise and process those fears in a way that involves slutty outfits and huge volumes of high-fructose corn syrup. How completely... Read More

Cutting Room Floor

October 22nd, 2019

I’ve mentioned in previous columns that “immersive theater” is having a moment. At the Aurora Fox Arts Center, it’s having an orgasm. Or perhaps a petit mal seizure. Or maybe both. Petit mal, petit mort…whatever; I walked into Control Group Productions’ staging of Cutting Room Floor and walked out 90 minutes later, not quite sure how that time-loss had happened, but desperately hoping to make it happen again. The idea is this: the historic Fox Theater, founded in a Quonset hut in 1946 and thriving for decades as a movie house, was gutted by a fire in the early 80s, by which time it... Read More

Sweeney Todd at the Equinox

October 10th, 2019

Caution: Includes Spoilers! With October comes pumpkin spice lattes, last year’s limp Halloween decorations dragged back out onto my neighbor’s lawn, and gothic theater productions. Front and center of Denver’s autumnal theater roster is Equinox Theater Company’s production of Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Bug Theatre in LoHi. Stephen Sondheim’s opus is notoriously difficult and, well, the Bug isn’t quite Broadway, so my expectations were…reasonable. I’m happy to report that those expectations were far exceeded. Sweeney Todd is basically a Liam Neeson... Read More

Mouse Couch

September 26th, 2019

I tried to write a different column about today’s topic and “the thing didn’t happen.” It was stiff and weird and totally contrived, which is a total contrast with the thing that I want to actually write about. That thing is Mouse Couch, a local improv team that I think is really going places. Mouse Couch (no idea what this name is for, except probably something with the repeated “ou” diphthong?) is made up of three dudes, two of whom are deeply strange and one who seems fairly normal and sells real estate in his spare time. The strange ones have respectively inverse relationships with... Read More