Summer at the Center: Squirrel Nut Zippers

In the city of Arvada, there are many things that appear when the summer season rolls in. The days are longer, the cravings for ice cream grows and there always seems to be a tune traveling along with the warm breeze. But where is the source of such a tune? 

The source is none other than The Summer at the Center concert series at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. With performances beginning June 7th, this series brings musicians and performers alike to its outdoor amphitheater. With both covered and lawn seating, locals can take in the great weather and enjoy the talent both at local and national levels.

Opening for the main event is a Denver based band known as La Pompe Jazz. Their exploration of gypsy jazz is tasteful and immersive, giving the Summer Concert Series a taste of its local music scene as well as impart on its audience members what kind of intricate music they will be hearing throughout the night. For those who aren’t aware and wish to have a better idea of the genre. Gypsy Jazz or gypsy swing is swing music of the 1930’s era, with the use of instruments such as the guitar and violin. Unlike American Jazz, Gypsy Jazz has European roots, resulting in the lack of the familiar beat of the drums. 

La Pompe Jazz’s roots as one of the most popular swing bands in the area make them a perfect fit to open the series. Their appreciation for the area and local audience adds a more close to home feel before giving way to the band next in the lineup. 

The first band that will take the stage is none other than Squirrel Nut Zippers, (I know! What a name!) This American jazz band has toured the nation on and off since its formation in 1993. With their toe-tapping delta blues, gypsy jazz and 1930s era swing, who knows how many people will be unable to resist the urge to start dancing along. 

The band formed in the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina as a means of escape during the 90s modern rock era. Their music holding elements of both old and new, classic and modern, developing a relatable and heartfelt sound to many.

What this group brings to the Arvada Center is an energy that breathes life into the freedom of summer. While traveling the last two years, this group has worked on their music by feeding off of the very audiences they play for. Which in turn pays off and draws in people of all backgrounds and ways of life. Squirrel Nut Zippers is a band that I am very excited to see. Upon hearing their music, such as their hit single, “Hell” and their latest album that came about once the band had been revived, “Beasts Of Burgundy” They seem to cast a spell over its listeners, igniting an infection sound that is pleasing to the ear. 

With two amazing bands kicking off this series, the Arvada Center's atmosphere will carry a tune with such diversity and swing that it will not be ignored. As Squirrel Nut Zipper’s founder, Jimbo states, “Let the Music Lead,” 

Squirrel Nut Zippers launch of the Summer at the Center Concert Series. Other concerts include: 3rd Law Dance/Theater presenting Lost in Space on June 9th

 Denver Brass with 17th Avenue Allstars on July 15th,

Wicked Divas with the Colorado Symphony on July 28th 

For other performances and schedule for the Summer at the Center series please visit http://arvadacenter.org/summer-at-the-center-concert-series-2018

For Tickets visit https://arvadacenter.org/squirrel-nut-zippers or contact the box office at 720-898-7200. 

The Who's Tommy

The Who’s Tommy is one of those musicals that has made its way under my radar. Even though I have spent large amounts of time in front of my computer reading countless details about different musicals, The Who’s Tommy never appeared strangely enough. Yet now it has found its way to me as the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, is previewing their production tomorrow. 

Not really knowing much about the premise, I find myself very thrilled to see this show. A few of my friends have been in a production of this musical and have refused to tell me little to any details about it because they feel it should be experienced first hand. With that being said I am holding them to their word, and we will see if it holds up. 

With that being said I have read about the profound talent that has come together for this production, leaving me to wonder what is in store for Samantha and I come tomorrow and what songs will more than likely be stuck in our heads after the last chord is played. 

We see The Who’s Tommy tomorrow, Friday April 27th at The Stage Theatre at 7:30. 

 

 

Sunday In The Park with George

Throughout this week while at school I asked many of my classmates in the theatre department what do they think of Sunday In The Park with George. Their response is undeniably a reaction of pure artistry. One of my friends went to the extent to say I will be crying for days after I mentioned I will be seeing it April 17th at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. 

What I didn’t realize was that it was the inspiration for this musical that brought Sondheim back into musical theatre after he wished to leave the industry. This gives this musical a bit more connection to its creator and its lead character who is struggling with inspiration to paint the famous painting we all know as, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 

Rod. A Lansberry directs this production, as it will be the last musical of the 2017-2018 theatre season at the Arvada Center. I have to say throughly enjoyed attending the previous two musicals they have put on, and like A Chorus Line, this will be my first interaction with this musical, which I’m starting to see is a recurring habit that I have with classic musicals. Nevertheless, I am very excited to see if my classmate’s word holds up. I will be ready to be taken in by the artistry that I’m sure Lansberry and his cast will deliver; tissues in hand. 

  We see Sunday In The Park with George Tuesday, April 17th, at 7:30 at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. 

Queen City Architectural Salvage


4750 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216

Finding this little gem is easy to do, straight off a main highway this junk yard is a photographers dream. However be warned, its only open for short hours and only part of the week; not to mention the construction surrounding the entire place. 

The best way to get there currently is to still get off at Brighton Blvd, just know parking is scarce and the neighborhood can be a bit rough. But with this salvage junk yard gem of a place it is well worth whatever walk you might have to do. When I went the sun was just peaking out and the place was packed (there was a photography meet-up) so walking room was tight. I would not recommend bringing a tripod as the aisle ways are small, uneven, and to be courteous to other patrons it would be best to leave it be. 

There are plenty of things there, around 4 old cars, an old diner, toilets, and so much texture some people might overload. The owner is super polite and loves that photographers come to see the place, he is also a Denver Historian. If there is anything you want to know about Denver- ask him. I would say this is definitely a place you could go if you wanted some fun stuff to take pictures of, or if you need a good restoration project for a house. The old doors would make good picture frames, or if you need some fun lighting some of the older buildings are also stocked. 

I might head back in awhile as the place is small, but still enjoyed my time there, and I do believe you will too.

All My Sons

Arthur Miller is without a doubt one of the most well known, and celebrated American playwrights. His plays are thought provoking, revealing intimate and powerful messages about the human condition, and our actions. With this being said, we step into the third and finally play within the Arvada Center’s Black Box Repertory Season, All My Sons

While many of the Arvada Center’s productions this season have been a mix of comedy, and mythical realism I find that this is the beat all production. Miller in my mind is very hard to put on, as his work comes with a lot of expectations and high regards. Yet I find this to be a show that is perfectly placed in the finally play slot. These actors have really proven their professionalism and talent time and time again to my utter delight. The thought of them portraying Miller’s work gives me chills after seeing what all they can do. 

Arthur Miller’s first success, was All My Sons; should this play have failed he would have looked to another field of profession and that to me says it all. How much heart can go into a playwrights first successful work? How much desperation and emotion is left within its dialogue and characters? These questions can be linked to the repertory actors as well. This is their final play to be opened for the season at the Arvada Center. Will they go all out? What story do they have left to tell? How much will be left on that stage once the lights go out? Quiet honestly, I cannot wait to see. 

We see All My Sons, on Friday, March 2nd, at 7:30 

Something's Afoot!

When many people think of murder mysteries we often think of murder novels, written by that of the great Agatha Christine and the many unique and twisting characters she created within her riveting and collectively haunting stories. As you can tell I love a good mystery, I love how each tiny detail of a character and their actions can manipulate or add on to a murder, or a situation that can only end in a Whodunit style dark humor. 

This leads us to the Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton, Colorado and their production of Something's Afoot, that will be opening on Friday, February 23rd. This musical is satirical poke at these very mysteries that continue to capture the imagination of the world. Being set in the 30s only creates a setting that will cause one to loose oneself in the irresistible atmosphere that  lures in victims with ease. 

Having visited the Town Hall Arts Center once before, that being little over two years ago, I am excited to finally be returning to the very theatre where I wrote my first review. With this musical I believe we are in for a night dark humor, wit and...a rather large pile of bodies. 

We see Something's Afoot on Friday, February 23rd, at Town Hall Arts Center. 

It's Electric...

And so we reach the second play to come out of the Black Box Respiratory at the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities wth The Electric Baby. Now I have never heard of this play but upon seeing the sketches that were on display at the Arvada Center, my imagination was taken hold of by the amazing work of the set that will be apart of this production. 

     Many of the actors from Sense and Sensibility will be returning, as well as their understudies now taking on lead roles within this play. Words cannot describe how curious I am to see the staging of this show. As they are using the same space that Sense and Sensibility is still currently running in. The Electric Baby from what I read up on, is defiantly going to be an interesting night of dark comedy, with underlying motives and lessons involving a magical baby. In other words I am instantly intrigued. 

    Being more of the musical girl that I am, I am trying to watch more plays this year and the Arvada Center has helped tremendously with their Black Box season. They are 1 for 1 right now with their cheeky Sense and Sensibility, let’s see if they can go 2 for 2 with their production of the Electric Baby. I will be seeing it Friday, February 9th at 7:30.

Sluething Around

Who doesn’t love a murder mystery? I know little to no one who can resist the dark undertones, and characters that you seem to be unable to read upon first glance. It is this lure that is pulling Samantha and myself to the Vintage Theatre, for their production of Sleuth that will open on February 2nd. 

    While I have been to many productions at the Vintage I believe this is the most excited I have been for one of their productions. With the theatre being as small as it is, it is sure to present an intimate mystery that will put the audience right in the center of the action. Sleuth won the 1971 tony for best play, and presents an interesting story that is sure to keep us all on the edge of our seats. 

    When mystery writer Andrew Wyke invites his wife’s lover to his county estate, things turn sinter in an unexpected game of cat and mouse. 

     Now, this one sentence alone peaks my interest and I’m sure it will catch many theatre goers eye as the mystery unravels within the walls of The Vintage. Personally I am looking for to this production and cannot wait to see what director Bernie Cardell and his cast have in store for us. 

    We will be seeing Sleuth on February 2nd at the Vintage at 7:30pm.

Sense & Sensibility

    When I think of Jane Austin, I will admit Sense and Sensibility, isn’t the first story that appears within my head. As a matter of fact the only time I have read this tale was way back in high school, for an english course that I really don’t remember. With that being said, strangely enough I am very excited to be seeing the play adaptation that is premiering at the Arvada Center on January 26th. 

    This production will be performed by The Arvada Center’s Black Box Respiratory Company, a group of very multitalented actors who are not only taking on multiple roles in  this play, but are also performing in two or all of the upcoming plays within this season. 

    That is a hard task within itself and I would be lying if I said I am not curious to see them perform. I love watching actors change their entire body language and appearance, shapeshifting into a completely different person, with a different personality, or even an entirely different being. It shows the complexity and skills these actors have trained to the best of their abilities. 

     It isn’t hard to see that I a very excited to see this production, especially considering this will be a comedy. Like many people I am complete sucker for them, I adore watching comedic timing and seeing how the audience will respond. Having read up on this production, it will be nice to see what risks and twists have they have added to this story, and how quick they will be able to pull the audience, including myself in Austin’s world. 

 

    We see Sense and Sensibility on January 26th, at the Arvada Center at 7:30pm.

Being Sick

What's harder?

 

Being sick or trying to not be sick because there are so many things you need to do? 

 

I'd say both, in the current month we've got a lot of stuff coming up from the Arvada Center all the way up to Evergreen. The 365 photo challenge is going, just hard to keep up posting it when some of it is on a film canister that isn't finished yet. 

Also some other fun news, I'm officially starting to teach classes both at my day job and through another company! Boulder Film festival is coming but I won't be participating unfortunately, an unexpected trip to Minnesota is planned two weeks before hand and there isn't enough time to prepare. Oh well, more fun pictures in the frozen north for me! 

 

And just for fun, the picture is from the Academy Awards years ago, it's an old slide I found!

Mining for Gold

Later next week we are going to have the pleasure of experiencing Josh Hartwell's version of A Christmas Carol at Miner's Alley Playhouse in Golden, CO. This will be the second time I will have seen the show but the continual change that I have heard being described about the show has me excited. 

Seeing such a classic getting redone but also reworked is going to be worth the wait, and importantly worth the time for the creative team. With only 6 actors in the whole production things are going to get interesting, but also more exciting. The last time I saw this production (a more classical rendition I might add) was at the Guthrie in Minneapolis. Having a smaller setting I believe is going to be very very nice. 

We will be seeing A Christmas Carol Dec. 8th which runs until Dec. 23rd at The Miner's Alley Playhouse in Golden, CO.

All That Jazz

I  am so excited to say I will finally be able to see Chicago the musical at the Buell Theatre come Tuesday evening on November, 28th. I just recently sat down and watched the film version of this show per my best friend’s demand. In many ways I am so glad that she did and that I took the time to watch it. Often I will assume certain things when it comes to musicals. I believed that the premise was completely different then it actually was. While I did get the murder part correct, the rest of it I was dead wrong. Clearly this is a habit I really need to break. 

  With that being said, I would be lying if I said I won’t be comparing the touring production to the film, however I welcome the changes and differences that come with the show. Chicago has now become one of those shows on my list that I have been dying to see live for the experience. It is a musical revival that has been running for quiet some time on Broadway and continues to break records. I don’t really know a show that has done that with a revival of all things. 

All I can say is let’s see how long it will take me to get these songs out of my head, it took me at least a few weeks before the film score was able to get out. I wonder if the stage production will break that record come Tuesday evening. 

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour

  Because everything is RENT

 You know I can remember the first time I saw the musical Rent….Well the movie version that is… I was about 14 and had bought the dvd from an old video store in the mall. My dad was with me and thought nothing of it as I paid for the newest musical in my collection. What happens next will forever remain one of the funniest moments in my life, That being my little brother having to watch Rent with me on our way home. Let’s just say his face was priceless. 

    With that aside it is kinda sad to know I have never really seen a live production of Rent.  The opportunity just never presented itself with where I was currently living and by then I believe that touring company had come to an end. Now I wonder how I will react when seeing the 20th anniversary tour. Rent was something that I always had to be in the mood for to watch. In other words I had to be ready to feel extremely sad after sitting through it. Its premise surrounding eight friends living in New York City during the Aids epidemic can make a person feel that way. I think that’s also why I haven’t watched it in a while. The show is very heavy and while the music can be upbeat from time to time, with songs that still get stuck in my head, it can also be very emotional. But with what this show did for musical theatre I am very interested to see it. This time from what its creator envisioned instead of the film. 

    I see Rent on November 14th at 7:30, at the Buell Theatre.

The End of #DFF40

It is officially the last day of Denver Film Festival 40.

I have had a blast seeing all the films I could in the time I had, some were amazing, some not so good. But that is what I consider a beautiful part of a film festival-- seeing films and cinema in a non-skewed way. 

Except for Molly's Game. I wanted to see that movie since it finished principal filming. 

I had the privilege to see and interact with as many people from the Denver Film Society, who I am extremely thankful for, and who put on an amazing event. They deserve recognition for the hard effort and work they put into this fest.

I am excited for my reviews to slowly trickle in, the first will by Molly's Game the Big Night Presentation from Thursday November 9th, and I, Tonya from the Closing Night Presentation on November 11th. 

Keep following to see more reviews pop up of the festival as a whole, the films, and especially the Colorado-grown Walden: Life in the Woods. 

DFS 40

I’m excited. Very excited, I can officially announce that I will be apart of the accredited press for the length of the festival. I will be able to see the films, shorts, and student work that will be featured within the 12 days of a film lovers dream.

There are two red carpet presentations I’m extremely excited for two films; Molly’s Game Jessica Chastain’s new film. Honestly I screamed for a couple of milliseconds on learning that one was in the lineup. The second is the closing night presentation of I,Tonya the Biopic about Tonya Harding—I heard this got good press at Toronto so I’m curious at how this one is going to be. 

I’m also planning on seeing 6 other films or panels, so please give me some options if you know of any good ones that will be happening!

Denver Film Festival runs from November 1- November 12

Being "The Foreigner"

    It’s so strange how much superstition can go into a day like Friday the 13th. Strangely enough this has always been a good, but normal day for me. It’s probably the fact I was born on the 13th and am a natural clumsy person on a day to day basis. But anyway…. 

    Hopefully the date will be oblivious at the Arvada Center as they open their production of The Foreigner. I am very excited for it to be staged in their black box theatre; one space I have yet to see a production in. 

    Having known little to none about this play I am very curious to see it and it is safe in my opinion to not read anymore into it. I will be going into this show with an open mind. Normally I am more of a musical type of girl and plays sometimes have to work a bit harder to keep my attention. However this one did piqued my curiosity. The play is a comedy and from what little I have read up on it looks to be a good night of entertainment. Hopefully it will scare away the paranoid superstitions of a day that is known to be so unlucky. 

    We will be seeing the production on Friday, Oct 13th at The Arvada Center for Performing Arts.

Dracula.

So I have never been one to go to the Ballet, I've also never really been one for Opera either (yet I have done the latter and highly regretted it). So I can honestly say this is my first time seeing anything close to the highly sophisticated event that is ballet. 

I'm one of the lucky few that has not sat through The Nutcracker, thanks Mom.

Anyhow, when I saw that there was going to be a "Dracula" ballet I got curious, well more than curious I bought the tickets that night. I had loved anything to do with the work and world of Dracula so I thought hopefully there will be creepy music. I just also hope at the same time there will be plenty to eat.

I got really hungry at Cinderella

We see Dracula this Saturday Oct. 7, 2017 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.