By John Moore
Today, we continue “Summit Soliloquies,” a week-long video series leading up to the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit. Here, playwrights past and present talk to you about writing, the Denver Center, the Summit and more.
Part 6: Matthew Lopez, whose “The Legend of Georgia McBride” was read at the 2013 Summit and is now being fully produced through Feb. 23. “It’s a model that should be replicated around the country,” Lopez tells us.
When the Denver Center Theatre Company opens three shows on three successive Thursdays, audiences may not realize that means all three productions are in rehearsal simultaneously. And this time, two of those three shows are world premieres: The Legend of Georgia McBride and black odyssey, along with Hamlet. We chose a random five-minute rehearsal window to take viewers on a tour showing them what is going on behind all of those closed doors … at the same time. Video by John Moore.
Choregrapher Will Taylor, left, with director Mike Donahue.
Here are some photos from last night’s world-premiere performance of Matthew Lopez’s sweet new comedy, The Legend of Georgia McBride. It’s the story of an Elvis impersonator who delves into the world of drag to help support his growing family. The play runs through Feb. 23 in the Ricketson Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Photos by John Moore.
By John Moore
Ten ways attending the Denver Center Theatre Company’s new world-premiere comedy “The Legend of Georgia McBride” is going to change the way you think about going to the theater:
1. Margarita Machine!
1a. Drink specials!
2. Picture-taking with Elvis!
Ben Huber in rehearsal for his upcoming role as a straight drag queen in “The Legend of Georgia McBride.” Photo by John Moore.
Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride reminds us that love, laughter and heart can show up in the most unpredictable places.
By Sylvie Drake
When playwright Matthew Lopez was growing up in Panama City, Fla. — not exactly the epicenter of the modern world — he had a couple of strikes against him right out of the gate. As he put it in a recent interview, “it was not the best place to be gay and, for me, not the best place to be gay and Puerto Rican.”
Today was dance rehearsal for “The Legend of Georgia McBride” cast members Ben Huber, left, and Jamie Ann Romero. This world premiere comedy follows a desperate father into the world of B-level drag. Huber plays the mediocre Elvis impersonator who changes his act when he learns he has a baby on the way. The play, written by rising playwright Matthew Lopez, opens Jan. 10 in the Ricketson Theatre. Costume design by Dane Laffrey. Call 303-9893-4100 or go to the Denver Center’s web site. Photo by John Moore.
Jamie Ann Romero and Quincy Dunn-Baker read “The Legend of Georgia McBride” at the 2013 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by Kyle Malone.
By John Moore
The Denver Center Theatre Company’s 9th annual Colorado New Play Summit will include a reading based on the novel Benediction, completing author Kent Haruf’s trilogy of rural Colorado tales, all adapted for the stage by Eric Schmiedl.
The Colorado New Play Summit previously introduced Haruf’s “Plainsong” in 2007 and “Eventide” in 2009, both of which went on to full productions on Denver Center mainstage seasons.
Daniel L. Ritchie, left, and Lady Givesmore.
By John Moore
The only person who possibly could have upstaged Daniel L. Ritchie at today’s Theatre Threads fundraiser was … Daniel L. Ritchie himself.
Ritchie first tickled audiences at the annual noontime fashion show with a surprise finale: He appeared as the last runway model of the day, after having undergone a complete transformation from his usual business attire into his drag persona — that of a stunning blonde who goes by the name of Lady Givesmore. (Get it?) The Seawell Ballroom crowd was, to put it mildly, stunned and delighted.
On Sept. 23, Denver Center Chairman Daniel L. Ritchie rehearsed for his transformation into Lady Givesmore under the gentle guidance of Todd Peckham. Watch this fun and heartfelt video by Ken Mostek.
Picture this: You’re living paycheck to paycheck. Your wife tells you she’s pregnant. Your landlord is threatening eviction. Your job as an Elvis impersonator gets ripped out from under you. Your only life preserver is stepping into the role of a drag queen.
Beaten down by bad decisions and bad timing, Casey is despondent, stating “being good at something doesn’t mean you can make a living at it.” But when circumstances literally thrust opportunity upon him, he listens to Miss Tranny Mills who says, “Daddy makes money. Baby coming. Daddy puts on funny clothes. Sends baby to Harvard.” Casey soon steps into his high heels, dons his wig and steps into the spotlight.
This joyous, bawdy comedy with a ton of music and great big heart was complemented by audience outbursts, guffaws, catcalls and everything but “Hallelujah brother”…or sister, whichever blows your skirt up and makes you happy.