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Educating Rita

The Black Box Season at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities became such a big part of my theatre going experience last year. With plays that were so thought provoking they crafted a certain depth that shifted with each production. So much so that it comes as to no surprise when the talented cast received a Henry Award for their production of Sense and Sensibility. 

Now it is that time of year again, the theatre season breaks ground, so does the beginning of the Black Box, which begins with the play Educating Rita

Now this is a play I don’t know much about but from what I have read it seems rather interesting. The plot surrounding a young woman named Rita, who signs up for an open course in English literature, taught by a professor named Frank. Now…being the lover of literature that I am the play already has my attention. 

But with that aside I am also intrigued when it comes to a small cast taking the stage. Especially when that cast consists of only two people. 

  It creates a bond, a bond that must be strong and command the stage in a way that requires audience members to not only focus on what the two actors are saying and doing but to also be mindfully aware of what is taking place around them. Their personal situations can sometimes be that defining feature that builds the bridge between the two characters and allows the audience to see the bond; despite the current situation that is taking place. 

I honestly could rant and rant about why I love this aspect of theatre and what could possibly take place in this anticipated play, but I would much rather say more once the story is said and done. It will undoubtedly be an interesting night of theatre. 

  We see Educating Rita at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities on Friday, October 5th at 7:30pm. 

The Catamounts: Men on Boats!

Not knowing your history can sometimes cause you to overlook a lot of important but smaller details of our countries exploration. Overtime I have come to realize just how relevant these little pieces of time can be. It is even more important to note the air of excellence that is created when these little events or stories are put to stage.

The theatre world of course is starting to take advantage of this with musicals like The Ballad of Little Jo beginning to appear. But the old west and it's explorations aren't put up as much as one could want. So when a production with this atmosphere is produced and put together. It's very hard to ignore.

Which is why Samantha and I will be heading to The Dairy Arts Center, on Saturday to witness the hilarious and ambitious play, Men on Boats! Presented by The Catamounts this witty play follows the tru(ish) story of of John Wesley Powell's 1869 expedition to chart the Colorado River. Now what I find extremely interesting about this comedy is the fact this cast features no…well men. Creating a gender bent story that is sure to keep the audience laughing. With talents such as Jessica Austgen, Edith Weiss and Missy Moore among the cast who knows what great night of theatre is in store!

We will see, The Catamounts: Men On Boats on Saturday, September 22nd at the Dairy Arts Center.

Wicked Divas with your Colorado Symphony


    With it now feeling like the summer season is truly at its peak, leaving many with the need for a retreat from the suns powerful rays, and humid weather. It is nice to know that many concerts going on in the Denver Metro area are providing such escapes that allow us to take in the cooler temperatures of the summer evenings and bask in the wonderful sound of it's stars voices. The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities provides such escapes in its Summer at the Center Concert Series with it’s upcoming Wicked Divas concert with the Colorado Symphony. This evening provides an experience that will do more than provide an escape from the dreaded heat. 
     With the talents of Broadway actresses Nicole Parker and Alli Mauzey accompanied by the symphony, the potential for a nonstop night of wonderful performances is a guarantee for anyone that attends. Both actresses not only have major Broadway credits to their name, but the chemistry between the two while performing in the hit musical Wicked as both Elphaba and Glinda respectively has gathered much attention. Both women performed together both in the Broadway and National Touring companies of the show and have given so much to what can be considered two of the most iconic female characters for women at this time. Their work with one another started a better part of eight years ago through their journey down the yellow brick road.  
    Parker’s other credits include: Broadway:  Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me  and  The People in the Picture  with Donna Murphy.  Regionally: Juliet in  The Second City's Romeo and Juliet Musical  at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, for which she received a Jeff Award nomination, Rosemary in  How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying  at Reprise Theater, and Pamina in  The Magic Flute  at the Falcon Theater. 
    With an amazing resume up her sleeve, one cannot doubt that Miss Parker’s experience alone will bring in crowds to hear her amazing voice; that will bring life to the summer evening in such a powerful way. Her experience at Second City makes one think that the audience will also be bending over with laughter at her quick wit that comes so naturally to her bright and enduring performances. That wit balanced with Mauzey's own hilarity will add a certain spice that some may not have been expecting. 
     Mauzey's recent credits include: notably being apart of the 10th anniversary company of Wicked, Lenora in the musical  Cry-Baby, for which she won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Drama League Award, and Brenda in  Hairspray  (both on Broadway and in the original company of the First National Tour). Other New York Credits include, New York City Center Encores in the role of Minerva in The Golden Apple as well as Sydney in  It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman , and the Off-Broadway production of  Red Eye of Love.   Regionally, she has appeared as Mallory in  City of Angels  for Reprise!, Snookie in 110 in the Shade at the Pasadena Playhouse, and Audrey in  Little Shop of Horrors  at The Muny for which she was nominated for a Kevin Kline Award.  
    Mazuey is a flat out powerhouse with her classically trained voice. Her spunky attitude only adds to the amazing charisma that she carries with her at every performance. Personally I saw Miss Mauzey in her coveted run as Glinda in Wicked just shy of the 10th anniversary. To say this brunette Glinda did not make me laugh at every turn or cry in more serious moments would be a flat out lie. Her attention to detail within the characters she portrays is a rare quality that one can not simply learn over time. The attention comes only with those performers who truly take time and energy in order to provide their audience members with a believable and enduring performance that will leave with him as they exit the theatre. The same could be said with me while leaving the Gershwin almost five years ago. 
    Playing the roles that these women have taken on time and time again is not a walk in the park. It takes discipline, hours of vocal rest and training in order to perform it eight times a week whether on tour or on The Great White Way. Their years of experience and talent is something I wish the entire city of Arvada would be able to witness. The praise also must go to The Arvada Center for putting together a night I'm sure it's patrons will not forget. 
     The performance will not only feature the music from the Untold Story of the Witches of Oz. Both Mauzey and Parker will also be singing songs from famous and beloved shows such as Titanic, Ragtime, The Music Man, Phantom and so much more that will cause many to wonder how they will put their own spin on such iconic songs. 
    With addition to these talents, one can not ignore the raw beautiful sound that The Colorado Symphony is known for. The orchestration will be conducted Christopher Dragon with music from Broadway's finest. 
    This one night only concert is something not to missed, especially if you wish to escape the smothering heat of summer. The Colorado Symphony along with its Wicked Divas are ready to take you on an unexpected journey down Broadway's own yellow brick road. 

There is still more Summer Concerts to see! Including:

Los Lonely Boys with Lisa Morales: July 29th at 7:30 

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo: July 31st at 7:30 

An Evening Under the Stars: The Colorado Ballet: August 25th at 7:30  

Wicked Divas with your Colorado Symphony takes place on July 28th starting at 7:30  For tickets please visit https://arvadacenter.org/colorado-symphony-wicked-divas-with-your-colorado-symphony or call the box office at 720-898-7200

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.