denver

Fun with Fujifilm

I recently had the pleasure of messing around with a Fujifilm X-H1 with their 80mm Macro lens on a 2x teleconverter! Click below to see some results!

Location: Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Colorado

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

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. 

 

 

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.

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. 

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.