The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Blog

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First photo: ‘Molly Brown’ is coming to town

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The Denver Center Theatre Company just opened the final two productions of its 2013-14 season (Shadowlands and Animal Crackers), but the staff is already hard at work on next season’s opener: The newly re-imagined The Unsinkable Molly Brown, featuring a new book by Dick Scanlan and songs by Meredith Willson. The photo above shows members of the local design team, who are collaborating with an acclaimed group of Broadway designers on this production. 

And how’s that for timing? The Titanic sank 102 years ago today.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown opens in previews Sept. 12. Here’s more information: 

Page to Stage to Video: ‘Shadowlands’ director and stars at Tattered Cover

The Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Shadowlands” explores “Narnia” creator C.S. Lewis’ spiritual crisis, and how it affected his writing canon after finally experiencing - and losing - romantic love late in life. This month’s “Page to Stage” forum at the Tattered Cover Book Store featured actors Graeme Malcolm and Kathleen McCall, along with director Christy Montour-Larson. The panelists tackled the origin of love, the commonality of grief — and remarkable 10-year-old castmate Charlie Korman. “Most therapies start out by saying, ‘You are not alone,’ ” Malcolm told host John Moore, former Denver Post theatre critic and now an associate director for the Denver Center. Video by David Lenk.

Join us next at noon on Tuesday, May 6, at the Bonfils Tattered Cover Book Store (2526 Colfax Ave.), when Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson and special guests discuss all that went into selecting the newly announced 2014-15 season. It’s free.

"Shadowlands" plays through April 27 in the Space Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. For information, call 303-893-4100 or go to the Denver Center’s web site.

Video: Your first look at ‘Animal Crackers,’ opening tonight

Here’s your first look at “Animal Crackers,” opening tonight at the Stage Theatre. From the zinging one-liners to its slapstick brilliance, this boisterous and raucous comedy about the theft of a valuable painting from a society dinner party is quintessential Marx Brothers mayhem. “Animal Crackers” plays from April 4-May 11 in the Stage Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org.

Podcast: Running Lines with “Animal Crackers” Dramaturg Allison Horsley

"Running Lines," John Moore’s signature theatre podcast, is back at the Denver Center with this fun and informative conversation with Allison Horsley about all things Marx Brothers and the mysterious art of Dramaturgy: How do you say it? (Hard G: The uglier, the better!") How do you do it? Listen in. "Animal Crackers" will be staged at the Denver Center from April 4-May 11. For ticket information, call 303-893-4100 or go to the Denver Center web page.

Video montage: Scenes from ‘Shadowlands’

A deeply moving reminder that great loss cannot exist without great love, Shadowlands is a biographical look at the late-in-life blooming relationship between C.S. Lewis and wife Joy Davidman. Her cancer diagnosis shakes the foundation of Lewis’ strong faith. Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company through April 27 in the Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center web page. Video by David Lenk.

Shadowlands features Graeme Malcolm, Kathleen McCall, John Hutton, Sam Gregory, Michael Santo, Charlie Korman, Douglas Harmsen, Stephanie Cozart and John Arp. Directed by Christy Montour-Larson.

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.

Who are The Marx Brothers? ‘CBS This Morning’ explains

Take a look back with us at this fun profile of The Marx Brothers produced by CBS This Morning. It’s a perfect primer for the Denver Center Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Animal Crackers, running April 4 through May 11 in the Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or go to the Denver Center’s web page.

Favorite quote: Groucho was once asked, “How would you like to be remembered? Groucho: “Preferably alive.”

Meet the cast video series: Michael Fitzpatrick

In this ongoing video series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 58: Meet Patrick Fitzpatrick, who recently played Mr. Fezziwig in “A Christmas Carol” and is now playing Hives and Roscow W. Chandler 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.

Previous episodes:

Photo: Perspectives with “Shadowlands” creative team

We had a great crowd on Friday night for Perspectives, an ongoing series of professionally moderated discussions with our creative teams that give Denver Center audiences an insider’s look into the making of our productions.

Friday night featured, clockwise from left, Shadowlands director Christy Montour-Larson, actors Sam Gregory and Stephanie Cozart, dialect coach Kathy Maes and young Charlie Korman (center). The moderator was John Moore.

Join us at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at The Jones for our next Perspectives. It focuses on Animal Crackers and will be moderated by  Douglas Langworthy.

And a reminder: Our next Page to Stage conversation at the Bonfils Tattered Cover will feature Shadowlands stars Graeme Malcolm and Kathleen McCall. It takes place at noon on Tuesday, April 8, at 2526 E. Colfax Ave. It’s free.

Click here for a list of all our upcoming “Connect” audience events. 

Meet the cast video series: Jonathan Randell Silver

In this ongoing video series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 57: Meet Jonathan Randell Silver, who is playing The Professor (Harpo Marx) in the Denver Center Theatre Company’s zany “Animal Crackers,” which will be performed April 4-May 11 in the Stage Theatre. He’s an actor. He’s a magician. He’s a computer technician. Wait, aren’t those all the same thing? Call 303-893-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. Video by John Moore. Run time: 2 minutes, 10 seconds.

Previous episodes:

Theatre Thursday: A new way to experience theatre at the Denver Center

The Denver Center Theatre Company has introduced Theatre Thursday as a new way to experience our productions. Your ticket includes a complimentary cocktail, bar bites, live music and a ticket to the performance that evening.

The next Theatre Thursday event is coming up on April 17. The fun begins at 5:30 pm in the lobby, with Animal Crackers beginning at 6:30 pm. To reserve your tickets by phone, or questions, call 303-446-4829 or click here

'Animal Crackers' Funny Business: Bringing the Marx Brothers Back to Life

In this fun backstage video, we show you the cast of “Animal Crackers” learning the ladder routine made famous by the Marx Brothers back in 1928. Actors Jonathan Randell Silver, Jonathan Brody and Director of Physical Comedy Geoffrey Kent are featured. Video by David Lenk and John Moore.

"Animal Crackers" plays from April 4-May 11 in the Stage Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Call 303-893-4100 or go to the Denver Center’s web page.

Art and Artist: Kurt Van Raden on stage-managing … and glass-blowing

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Kurt Van Raden, shown here with photographer Jennifer M. Koskinen at the final dress rehearsal for “Hamlet,” has stage-managed, or assisted, on more than 35 shows for the Denver Center Theatre Company. He is currently assisting Christopher Ewing on “Animal Crackers,” opening April 4. Photo by John Moore.

To see photos from the opening of Fire Studio, click here

By John Moore

Stage managers are known for anonymously keeping the trains running while the creative people around them make live theatre. The closest some of them get to making art themselves is perhaps their constant juggling — of tasks, egos, schedules and more.  

But Kurt Van Raden, a young and yet already veteran stage manager for the Denver Center Theatre Company, is himself an artist in his own right. He is a professional glass-blower.

New Denver Center season: The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Christopher Durang, Lord Of The Flies and more

We asked members of the Denver Center Theatre Company family to help introduce the 2014-15 season. Our guests include Kent Thompson, Bruce Sevy, Christy Montour-Larson, Sam Gregory, Charlie Miller, Emily Tarquin, Charlie Korman and Brianna Firestone. Video by John Moore.

By John Moore and Alexandra Griesmer

The Denver Center Theatre Company’s 2014-15 season, which includes the previously announced launching of the newly re-imagined classic Broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, also includes Lord of the Flies and the company’s first staging of a Christopher Durang play in its 36-year history, it was announced today.

The eight-show season, which opens Sept. 26, is entirely new to Denver audiences. It includes the world premieres of Appoggiatura, the tender story of an unusual American family that travels to Venice to become lost … and found, written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated James Still; and Benediction, which will complete Kent Haruf’s Plainsong trilogy. That’s a series of homespun stories set in the small fictional ranching town of Holt, Colorado, and adapted for the stage by Eric Schmiedl. Both plays were introduced to Denver audiences with staged readings at the Denver Center’s recent Colorado New Play Summit in February.