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.
Hamlet, played by Aubrey Deeker, and director Kent Thompson.
By John Moore
Thursday night was the opening performance of the Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Hamlet,” set here in the environs of a crumbling World War I, where carnage both human and structural is strewn everywhere.
The cast features Aubrey Deeker as Hamlet, Amelia Pedlow as Ophilia, Kathleen McCall as Gertrude, Peter Simon Hilton as Claudius, John Hutton as King Hamlet’s Ghost, Shawn Fagan as Horatio, Jacob H. Knoll as Laertes, and a company that includes Anthony Bianco, Douglas Harmsen, Jeffrey Roark, Philip Pleasants, Benjamin Bonenfant, Michael Keyloun, Rodney Lizcaino, Stephanie Cozart, James O’Hagan-Murphy and Mackenzie Paulsen. The director is Kent Thompson.
"Hamlet" plays through Feb. 23 in the Stage Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or click here for ticket information. All photos by John Moore.
"Georgia McBride" Choreographer Will Taylor, left, and Director Mike Donahue.
By John Moore
On opening day of the Denver Center’s world-premiere comedy, we took some time with director Mike Donahue and choreographer Will Taylor to talk about staging the story of a straight Elvis impersonator in the Florida Panhandle who turns to the world of drag to support his growing family. It plays through Feb. 23 in the Ricketson Theatre.
John Moore: What did you guys think months ago, before rehearsals had even started, when you saw the video that showed 82-year-old Dan Ritchie, CEO of the largest performing-arts organization between L.A. and Chicago, undergoing a public drag transformation just to bring attention to this play? That video has had nearly 3,000 hits, and I just don’t think there are many other CEOs out there who would have done it.
The casts and crews of the Denver Center Theatre Company’s current shows wish the Denver Broncos victory in their upcoming Super Bowl battle with the Seattle Seahawks. Video by John Moore.
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.
In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 47: Chatfield High School graduate Jamie Ann Romero (“Sunsets & Margaritas”) is back on her hometown Denver Center stage, and in a leading role: She plays the pregnant wife of an Elvis impersonator who delves into the world of drag to help make ends meet in the Denver Center Theatre Company’s charming world premiere comedy, “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” playing Jan. 10-Feb. 23 in the Ricketson Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore. Run time: 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
Coming next: Meet Nick Mills of “The Legend of Georgia McBride.”
Good-humored Denver Center Theatre Company actors Nick Mills and Ben Huber, who have no drag experience, were in for a bit of a shock Thursday morning when they were taken in for some … pruning … at Cherry Creek’s swank European Wax Center and La Biotique salon. They are performing in the world premiere comedy “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” about an Elvis impersonator who delves into the world of drag to support his pregnant wife. The play runs Jan. 10-Feb. 23. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore.
The continuing transformation of a blue 1971 Cadillac coup deville into a gold vessel that involves shaving 32 inches off its length and 24 inches off its width just so that it will fit into the Space Theatre. We’ll be telling you how this all happens here in photos, words and video. Charlie Dallas is pictured above sending the sparks flying.
By John Moore
Audiences probably have little idea all that it takes to roll out one entirely new production after the other … for three weeks running, as the Denver Center Theatre Company will do on Jan. 10, 17 and 24 with world premieres of “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” “black odyssey” and the Shakespeare classic “Hamlet.” Here’s a quick peek behind the scenes of what’s been going in here on one day in December so that there will be new shows for you to see in January.
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.
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.