No matter what your taste in theatrical entertainments, performances both new and familiar are at hand, with appealing dinner spots nearby.
Town Hall Arts Center, Lone Tree Arts Center and PACE have announced programming that is familiar to south area readers who enjoy the entertainment they offer — but within a short drive, there are a number of other venues that offer a really stimulating evening or afternoon performance. A sampler here for theater buffs …
• A farewell to 20-year-old Spotlight Theatre Company, which is bowing out with “You Can’t Take It With You” at Lowry’s John Hand Theater. (Director Bernie Cardell is now Artistic Director at Vintage Theatre in Aurora.)
• Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center started the season Sept. 7 with “Green Day’s American Idiot.” Versatile Nick Sugar directs this contemporary rock opera. “A Christmas Carol” entertains families through the holidays, followed by “Casa Valentina”; the old favorite “Dames at Sea”; “The World Goes Round” (revue of Kander and Ebb music); and finally, the always popular “Sister Act.” Note also the concert series (book tickets — these sell out early): October brings songstress Lannie Garrett in “Swing Sets” and “The Patsy Decline Show.” Buckstein, 17th Avenue Allstars, The Nacho Men, Hazel Miller and her band, Colorado Children’s Chorale and the Deranged Divas-Pride Concert follow.
• Lone Tree Arts Center has concert programs throughout the year and three theatrical offerings: “Low Down Dirty Blues,” (Oct. 18-28), directed by Randal Mylar; “Home for the Holidays,” (Dec. 19-23) and the musical, “Beehive” (April 3-14).
• Parker’s PACE Center also has a solid menu of concerts and comedy — and theatrical programs start with “A Chorus Line” on Sept. 28-Oct. 14; “A Streetcar Named Desire” Nov. 9-18; “The Odd Couple” (March 8-17) and “The Full Monty” (July 9-Aug. 14).
• Highlands Ranch-based Performance now Theatre Company performs at Lakewood Cultural Center. Through Sept. 23, they offer “Annie,” followed by “She Loves Me” (Jan. 4-20); “Crazy for You” (March 22-April 7); and the Sinatra revue, “My Way,” (June 14-30). In addition, the Lakewood Cultural Center offers a variety of traveling music groups — contemporary to classical and dance.
• Also in Lakewood’s 40 West Arts District, theater-goers will find the New Benchmark Theatre Company, which focuses on new thought-provoking productions: Playing through Oct. 13: “Uncanny Valley” by Thomas Gibbons, followed by the “Second Annual Fever Dream Festival” (new short works of science fiction, fantasy and horror, submitted by playwrights across the nation (and one full-length play, tba). Finally, a world premiere of “What You Will” by Jeffrey Neuman on Nov. 30-Dec. 22. (A new season starts Jan. 2019 tba.) A new company to watch!
• The large Arvada Center for the Arts operates two theatres (plus an outdoor summer venue) and art galleries, so allow extra time for viewing. On the Main Stage, the ever-popular “Mamma Mia,” based on music by the Swedish band ABBA, plays through Sept. 30, followed by “Elf: The Musical” Nov. 20-Dec. 23; and “Travlin’” April 9-28. In the smaller award-winning Black Box Theatre, a repertory company will present performances that alternate: “Educating Rita,” “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Sin Street Social Club” and “The Moors.”
• Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden is currently performing a regional Premiere of “Lungs” by Duncan Macmillan through Oct. 14. In January 2019, a new season starts with “Lost in Yonkers” (Jan. 25-Mar. 3); “Our Town” (March 22-April 28); a new play about the Watergate conspiracy by local playwright Josh Hartwell May 17-June 23; “Fairfield” by Eric Coble, (July 12-Aug. 18); “Once,” the musical by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova on Sept. 6-Oct. 13; “A Christmas Carol” Nov. 29-Dec. 23.
• The Aurora Fox Theatre has a new executive producer: Helen Murray, who comes from The Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia and is nationally recognized. We welcome her and look forward to productions at this theater (Main Stage and Studio theatre) in a 1950s movie house. She is currently directing “Songs for a New World” with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown through Oct. 14. “Second City’s Twist Your Dickens” plays Nov. 23-Dec. 23; “Hooded or Being Black for Dummies” plays Jan. 18-Feb. 10; “Life Sucks” plays Feb. 22-March 17; “The Happiest Place on Earth” plays March 8-24; “Caroline or Change” plays April 5-May 5.
• Also in Aurora at 1468 Dayton St., a block west of the Fox, is the active Vintage Theatre, also with a Main Stage and smaller theater. It is producing the massive, Pulitzer Prize-winning, seldom-performed “Kentucky Cycle: Parts 1 and 2,” by Robert Schenkkan, through Oct. 21 It’s a six-hour, nine-play saga, seen either in two days, or in one day with a dinner break. (Dinner is available at Vintage, or one can go out.) Next, will be “Boston Marriage” Oct. 5-Nov. 11; “Mary Poppins” Nov. 23-Jan. 6; “A Christmas Carol — The Radio Show” Nov. 30-Dec. 23.
• Cherry Creek Theatre Company performs at the Pluss theatre, Mizel Arts and Culture Center, Denver, with “My Name is Asher Lev” slated for Oct. 18-Nov. 11; “A Little Night Music” plays Jan. 24 to Feb. 17; “Other Desert Cities” plays March 28-April 28 and “Tuesdays With Morrie” plays Oct. 31-Nov. 24.
• Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex houses a number of theaters and a series of plays, plus touring Broadway musicals, Colorado Ballet and more, which would be a topic for another story …
See you at the theater!
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