arvada center

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. 

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia is one of those musicals that defied a lot of odds when it opened over 13 years ago. The story follows a young woman in search of the identity of her father as her wedding is fast approaching. I have seen the film version of this musical more than I am willing to admit, but sadly have never seen an actual live production. Thankfully, that will quickly be corrected once attending The Arvada Center’s production of this very musical on Friday, September 7th. 

  This will be the Arvada Center’s opening production for its 43rd season, and to say they picked a very big guilty pleasure musical of mine is an understatement. Mama Mia’s musical score consists of nothing but songs from the popular band Abba. A group that I regularly listened to and sung (rather badly) as a kid. 

With the buzz of the film’s sequel having just released over a month ago, I am very curious to see the “original” production that lead to the creation of both films. I am also curious to see how the audience members are going to react. I have heard that Mama Mia, creates a sir within people when they see it live. Which leaves me to question how many people at the end of the night will be unable to stay in their seats by the end of the show, or if they will at all? We will just have to wait and see. 

  We see Mama Mia this Friday, at The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities at 7:30. 

An Evening Under The Stars: The Colorado Ballet.

As we reach the end of summer, and the cold weather begins to break through accompanying with it the colors of fall, the many summer concert series within the Denver Metro Area are coming to a close. Which can be very disheartening to say the least as for many the concert series provides many activities to do within the warm months of the year.  

There is of course still a few performances left just before August ends. One in particular being a performance that is a perfect way to end this season. That being The Colorado Ballet: An Evening Under the Stars at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 

Having attended many of the Summer at the Center Concerts I have to say this upcoming performance is one I have been looking forward to since it was announced. The first time I ever saw the Colorado Ballet perform was actually almost a year ago with their performance of Dracula last October. And to say they blew my expectations out of the water is an understatement. The companies talent alone is worth purchasing a ticket for this performance that will be taking place on August 25th. 

The Arvada Center has continuously impressed with this concert series and ending it with the Colorado Ballet; one of Colorado’s best of the best in the artistic community, is providing something special for the citizens of Arvada. The performance features excerpts from both classical and contemporary favorites; with a performance of Brief Fling by choreographer Twyla Tharp. This performance incorporates a traditional Scottish dance and a short lived romance. Accompanied by Isaac Mizrahi’s tartan costumes that divide the dancers into clans of blue, red, green and off-white, one can only imagine what will be in store for audience members who will attend this event that is sure to leave some jaws on the ground. I am still feeling the slight looseness of my own jaw after seeing the Ballet last year. With a score by Michel Colombier intersperses Percy Grainger’s sunny interpretations of traditional melodies from the United Kingdom with an ominous electronic score,  the idea of sitting on the lawn at the Arvada Center while watching this performance is almost irrespirable. It also gives a sense of wonder to the lineup of this series. The Colorado Ballet’s work is something that one needs to see at least once in their lifetime. And for those that wish to see the ballet in a more casual setting have been given an amazing opportunity to see it at the Arvada Center. 

This performance also provides a view of the feet that the Summer at the Center Concert Series has achieved over the 2018 season. With performances ranging from Bluegrass, Jazz, Broadway, Rock, Country, and finally traditional and classical music, it has proven time and time again why spending many evenings within the amphitheater can provide a more global musical experience. With that being said I see this series becoming  a summer tradition for years to come for those who attend. 

The series of course still has another performance prior to the Colorado Ballet. Poco, Orleans, and Pure Prairie League plays on August 23rd at 7:30. 

Gates for food and drinks vendors open at 6pm with doors opening to the Amphitheater at 6:30pm prior to performance. For tickets and information please visit https://arvadacenter.org/summer-at-the-center-concert-series-2018 or call the box office at 720-898-7200

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo

There are times where you might come across a song, or a multitude of songs in your life that stick out to you while you are out in about. Your brain somehow, though you still don’t know how exactly,  knows every word without having to think. You aren’t sure where you have heard the familiar tunes, but one thing is for sure. 

The songs will be stuck in your head for a while. This has often been the case with the music of the famous duo  Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. As some of their most popular anthems consist of, “Love is Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” and who could forget “We Belong,”?  The list of course could go on and on.  And whose to say many of their songs will not be sung by the guests that will be attending their one night only concert at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities on Tuesday July 31st. The Summer at the Center Concert Series has been heating up with some great performances as of late, and to have Pat Benatar accompanied by her long time  collaborator and husband Neil Giraldo takes the cake.

Benatar has become a household name over the years and one cannot think of her without Giraldo. Both have proven time and time again how their music has redefined the rock genre. Their long lasting partnership has spanned four decades, winning them many awards within the music industry such as multiple grammy’s and American Music Awards. 

It is unbelievable to see what talent the Arvada Center is drawing in. Benatar and Giraldo will be a feast for the ears and the soul. Both are known of course for the many award winning hits that hold such a memorable feel and sound. Anyone who has listened or heard their music can be a witness to this. 

  Myself included.

 These two performers are timeless, it doesn’t matter what age you may be, their music has s sound that can be understood and enjoy by so many. It is no wonder that they have continued to tour, produce and sing music. Throughout their successful careers the duo have always managed to find something new to say, adding their own flare of how they say it within both their music and lyrics. This being one of the key traits as to why they are so well known and how their music can withstand the test of time. It too is able to adapt  its meaning to current events and personal stories. This of course only adheres to both Benatar and Giraldo’s talent. 

  With the end of July coming to a close on a very high note, the concert will be taking place on July 31st at 7:30. Do not miss seeing these amazing legends as they share some of the best rock music, spanning decades for all to find stuck in their heads long after the lights go down. 

  Coming up next in the Concert Series are other great acts such as: 

 

 Sleep At the Wheel: August 2nd at 7:30 

 

Air Supply: August 5th at 7:30 

 

Poco, Orleans, and Pure Prairie League: August 23rd at 7:30 

 

And the Colorado Ballet: August 25th at 7:30 

 

Gates for food and drinks vendors open at 6pm with doors opening to the Amphitheater at 6:30pm prior to performance. For tickets and information please visit https://arvadacenter.org/summer-at-the-center-concert-series-2018 or call the box office at 720-898-7200

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

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. 

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. 

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.

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!

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.