The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Blog

Posts tagged Denver

'Animal Crackers' and the art of costume quackery

In this expanded new podcast, we use photos, video and interviews to show how designer Kevin Copenhaver and the entire Denver Center costume team has transformed actor Christine Rowan into a socialite, a flapper … and a boat on heels for the Denver Center Theatre Company’s production of the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers. This is a rare and extended look into the fine art of costuming at the Denver Center, which built more than 30 “Animal Crackers” costumes … from scratch. Video by John Moore. Photos by Jennifer M. Koskinen (on stage) and John Moore Off stage).

Animal Crackers is performed every day but Monday through May 11. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org

Please share this video with your friends. And visit www.MyDenverCenter.Org daily for more Denver Center coverage.

Dixie Does Denver, Part 8: Lannie Garrett is (Not) Dead

In this ongoing new video series (for adults only!), our own intrepid John Moore follows America’s randiest Tupperware Lady, Dixie Longate, on her latest visit to her adopted city of Denver. Part 8: Dixie pays a daytime (closed) visit to the great (but not late) cabaret icon Lannie Garrett at her Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret in the D&F Tower. You’ll also learn about a chillingly repressive Texas law that goes into effect each night at 9:30.

Dixie performs her hit comedy “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” through April 20 before debuting the world premiere of her new show, “Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull and 16 Other Things I Learned While I was Drinking Last Thursday,” at the Garner Galleria Theatre through May 11. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Check back here for a new “Dixie” video most every day through May 11.

Have a snicker: Here’s the full series to date:

Meet the cast video series: Christine Rowan

In this ongoing video series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 59: Meet Christine Rowan, choreographer and actor who is now playing Arabella Rittenhouse, Mrs. Whitehead and Mdme. Dubarry in the Denver Center Theatre Company’s zany Marx Brothers musical “Animal Crackers,” which will be performed April 4-May 11 in the Stage Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore. Run time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

We took the one and only Miss Dixie Longate for a stroll on the 16th Street Mall today, and look at the first person we ran across! Check back soon for more photos and a video account of Dixie doing Denver from our own John Moore. Dixie is back in town to perform her hit comedy, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, through April 20 at the Garner Galleria Theatre. Dixie, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogs, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and now travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, free giveaways and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Dixie’s new play, Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull… follows from April 24-May 11 in the Garner Galleria Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org

We took the one and only Miss Dixie Longate for a stroll on the 16th Street Mall today, and look at the first person we ran across! Check back soon for more photos and a video account of Dixie doing Denver from our own John Moore. Dixie is back in town to perform her hit comedy, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, through April 20 at the Garner Galleria Theatre. Dixie, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogs, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and now travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, free giveaways and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Dixie’s new play, Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull… follows from April 24-May 11 in the Garner Galleria Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org

Bianca Marroquin talks to her ‘Chicago’ fans in English and Spanish from Denver

Bianca Marroquin, star of the national touring production of “Chicago,” addresses her fans in both Spanish and English for her web page this morning (March 19), just before meeting students from Denver’s La Academia. That’s a private, inner-city school committed to providing the highest level of education to 7th-12th graders who have been under-served by the schools they have previously attended, and to provide a safe and structured learning environment for students of all ethnicities, economic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Check back tomorrow for footage of her talk with students. “Chicago” plays through Sunday, March 23. Call 303-893-4100 or go to the Denver Center’s web page.

So apparently … This. Is. Happening.

"The Book of Mormon" is back.

Opening Tuesday and running through Nov. 24 at the Buell Theatre.

Limited seating still available. Don’t get burned by scalpers. Call 303-893-4100 or go to the denver center’s home page

And don’t forget: The show will make 24 tickets front-row, $25 available to at least 12 members of the general public through a daily lottery before all performances. Details here.

Broadway wins over an avowed “Pippin” pessimist

By John Moore

As a former Denver Post theatre critic in the Google age, you can’t run, and you can’t hide, from your own words. In most cases, I don’t want to.

When it was annnounced that “Pippin” will launch its national tour in Denver in September 2014, I was immediately reminded of my admittedly cranky review of the 2006 Arvada Center production, headlined, “Pippin bares an ick factor.”

My lead from that review:

Packing for Poppins: A Survival Guide to Packing on the Road

Madeline Trumble in Mary Poppins. Photo: Jeremy DanielWhether it’s a carryon, a suitcase, a traveling trunk or — as in the case of Mary Poppins which flies into Denver’s Buell Theatre May 1-5 — a carpetbag, it takes a little organizational magic to pack when you are constantly on the road. So we turned to Madeline Trumble, who plays everyone’s favorite nanny to get some helpful, handy tips.

How many markets will you travel to during your run as Mary?

Oh my goodness, I think I’ve traveled to about forty different cities, in three different countries. And we still have a few stops left!

Coloring the world blue: The history of Blue Man Group

(l-r) Matt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil StantonMatt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil Stanton are entrepreneurs who created and oversee a global enterprise that has brought joy to more than 17 million people. They are also innovators, educators, artists, and contemporary comedians, known collectively as the founders and originators of Blue Man Group. That these three bald and blue characters would become a cultural phenomenon is an idea that was all but unimaginable when these inscrutable beings first emerged, walking the streets of New York.

“We weren’t really goal-oriented,” says Stanton. “When we started walking around the city, we did it because we wanted to see how people reacted. And being bald and blue was our social life. We didn’t want to go to bars and be part of a singles scene, a drinking scene. We wanted our social life to be somehow creative, and this was a lot of fun. We knew we would eventually do some kind of performance, but we never envisioned a commercial theater run.”

Desert Homecoming

Other Desert Cities playwright Jon Robin Baitz expounds on the
Left Coast, the political Right and an artist’s necessary exile

By Rob Weinert-Kendt

  

Jon Robin BaitzThe playwright Jon Robin Baitz walks healthily among the living, but in some ways his articulate, carefully constructed plays feel like throwbacks to a more literate, less cynical age. Plays such as The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels and The Paris Letter, map out internecine battles of love and loyalty among family, friends and lovers with a comic clarity that evokes Shaw, and a fraught psychological texture, thick with explosive secrets and lies, that recalls Ibsen.

Given those antecedents, it’s surprising that his career until last year was bookended by two formative West Coast experiences that would seem to belie his plays’ well-made classicism.

A Weekend with Pablo Picasso’s Composer: Bruno Louchouran

Bruno LouchouranBruno Louchouarn’s compositions range from the cantina music heard in the film Total Recall, to works for orchestra, ballet, theatre and multimedia performance pieces. After graduate studies in Paris, he earned a Ph.D. in music composition at UCLA. Currently, Louchouarn teaches music, multimedia, and cognitive science at Occidental College. His work has been widely performed, including at Redcat in Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, UCLA’s Royce Hall, Zipper Hall, the Getty Villa, the Getty Center, the Pasadena Playhouse, the San Diego Rep, Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena, La MaMa in New York City, and the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, as well as many university venues. He also created the musical score for Herbert Siguenza’s A Weekend with Pablo Picasso and talked with PROLOGUE about that experience.

PROLOGUE:  First, how do you pronounce your last name?

Bruno Louchouarn:  Loo-SHWARN. It’s an old Celtic family name from Brittany—my heritage is both Breton and Mexican.

SPAM FACTS: From the National Tour

Monty Python's SpamalotSpamalot uses 30 wireless microphones and consumes more than 2000 AAA batteries per month and runs over 1 mile of cable.

Among the props is a cow that weighs 45 pounds and it takes two stagehands to catapult it over the castle.

Spamalot uses approximately 40 coconuts per month, supplied by the Coconut King in Florida.

Mary Poppins: The Hunt for PL Travers

by Michael Lassell

PL TraversLike Mary Poppins, the character she created, P.L. Travers did not believe in explaining. She did, however, believe in self-mythologizing, leaving those intent on biographical criticism so confused in her wake that even her obituaries had the facts wrong (according to Valerie Lawson, author of Out of the Sky She Came, the definitive Travers biography).

PLT, as she was sometimes called, did not even take credit for “creating” Poppins. Instead, she insisted, the nanny with the upturned nose just came to her one day, much as she blows in on the East Wind in the opening chapter of Mary Poppins (1934). But whether Travers created the “Practically Perfect” Poppins—while convalescing from pleurisy in her Sussex, England, cottage—or merely channeled her, the world is in her debt. 

An Evening with Herbert Siguenza

Herbert SiguenzaWhen Herbert Siguenza performed his A Weekend With Pablo Picasso at Houston’s Alley Theatre last year, he had a few things to say to The Alley’s Mark Bly about why he paints and why he took on the perilous task of not only impersonating an iconic artist on stage, but also of creating an actual painting on stage. 

 

Mark Bly: What inspired you to write A Weekend With Pablo Picasso?

Herbert Siguenza: I was born with the mysterious gift of being able to draw. Since I was a young boy, I would press crayons against paper and create imaginary worlds and characters. In fact, when I was in second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Sharp, would pull me out of the reading circle and have me draw on giant rolls of butcher paper instead. She kept everything I drew.

Top Myths about Monty Python’s Spamalot

A few tips for Monty Python novices and wannabes. 

Adam Grabau and Arthur Rowan (Photo by Scott Suchman 2011)“I never liked Monty Python so I probably won’t like Spamalot.”

Remember the first time you tried liver? Or asparagus? OK, bad examples. But just like you didn’t have to be Jewish to eat Arnold’s Jewish Rye, you don’t have to be a stuffy, upper-class twit or even a drunken rugby fan to enjoy Spamalot. 

“Taste is the enemy of art altogether. I’ve thought about this a lot. People with good taste are constantly worrying about what other people will think. Don’t put that couch over there! It’s the wrong thing to be thinking about because it squashes expression. Of life and vitality of all kinds, and sex – all the funny things!”  —Spamalot director, Mike Nichols, New York Magazine