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Archive for the ‘ Backstage ’ Category

 

The Digital Decameron

March 27th, 2020

Ten writers. Ten days. One hundred stories.   And so, at last, it has come to this: The world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper, not a bomb, but a bug. We don’t ride out in a blaze of glory in a nuclear explosion, but it all ends in the pestilential isolation of our screens. We have been ever-further socially distant for years, but now that it’s a mandate, we seek ever more connection through our last remaining (fiber optic cable) lines. It would serve us well to remember that in this, as in all things, nothing is new. We are only as we ever have been and will always be, in times of... Read More

Faces of Denver: Mark Acito

March 10th, 2020

Marc Acito is a playwright and librettist best known for his novel How I Paid for College and his collaboration with George Takei on the Broadway musical Allegiance, which addresses the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. His latest work, “Secrets of the Universe and Other Songs,” will have its world premiere at the Aurora Fox Arts Center, under the direction of Helen R. Murray. The play portrays the friendship of African American vocalist Marian Anderson (Mary Louise Lee) and Jewish physicist Albert Einstein (Jordan Leigh). While Acito currently resides in New York City,... Read More

Stories on Stage

March 10th, 2020

I’m a sucker for storytelling: I have to be as I’m a theater reviewer, although I suppose that all of us humans are to some extent. Stories on Stage is to theater as rap is to music. The ongoing storytelling series happening in Denver and Boulder takes short stories or segments of longform works, puts them into the hands of charismatic actors, and brings them to the stage with no accoutrement of movement or props—just as rap takes the bones of rhythm and word and presents them without the trimmings of instrumental music. The effect for both is addictive. I recently attended the performance... Read More

Secrets of the Universe

February 26th, 2020

There’s a deep vein of eroticism that ties together Marc Acito’s new play that’s running at the Aurora Fox Arts Center. None of the characters actually have sex during the (inter)course of the play, but if you define “eroticism” as “the energy of creativity and connection,” then all of the characters are neck-deep in it. The story told on stage is the true-but-little-known episode of 1930’s American history where Albert Einstein (yes, *the* Einstein) hosts famed vocalist Marian Anderson in his home because hotels were unwilling to offer lodging to African-Americans. Supporting the... Read More

Squirrels

February 5th, 2020

I ponied up for a glass of wine at the concession stand at the Aurora Fox Arts Center because I was there to see Squirrels, and the billing for it made me wonder if I was about to see an interation of CATS, but with more incest and a political agenda. It seemed like wine might be the drop of social lubricant needed to help me appreciate the experience. Here’s how it went. The setting of Robert Askins’ play is a drey (a squirrels nest) and it’s a time of inequality and distress. The fox squirrels, hailing originally from “the other side of the 7/11,” have encroached on the territory of... Read More

Othello

January 28th, 2020

So, Othello is one of Sheakespeare’s plays. Billy the Bard himself wrote this rag hundreds of years ago and we just can’t get enough of it. You see, we’re still all f—ing and fighting and all hot and bothered about women making their own choices about who to f— and we get especially uptight when pale-skinned women decide to f— less-pale menfolk. Here’s how the story goes, basically.  Othello is a black dude who lives in Venice a long time ago. Desdemona is a hot, white chick who also lives there. She catches the feels for him and they elope or something, but anyway, her... Read More

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