(credit: Vintage Theatre)
Giant big-budget musicals and small, intimate comedies are all on the list of exciting upcoming theatrical productions in the Denver area. The post-holiday season is full of new shows to check out, as local theater companies trot out returning favorites and exciting regional premieres. From Aurora to Arvada and from Golden to Lakewood, there are so many different shows to see that you may have trouble choosing your favorites. As you make your weekend entertainment plans for the upcoming months, here are a few shows that should be on your radar.
Ignite Theatre Company at the Aurora Fox
9900 E. Colfax Ave
Aurora, CO 80010
Date: Dec. 27, 2014 through Jan. 18, 2015
There was a time in American music history when everyone was grooving to the sounds of groups like The Supremes, The Temptations, The Shirelles and The Marvelettes. Just before the arrival of disco, the country was infatuated with these groups, and “Dreamgirls” is a musical that explores that specific time. It also takes you on a journey into the behind-the-scenes world of the entertainment business, and even into the creation of disco. Ignite Theatre is presenting this fabulous musical for one month, so be sure to check out the sounds of the late 60s and this era of American music history.
“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks”
Vintage Theatre Productions
1468 Dayton St
Aurora, CO 80010
Date: Jan. 16 through March 8, 2015
“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is a moving comedy about a retired woman who hires an acerbic dance instructor to give her private lessons in her condo in Florida. What starts as a difficult relationship soon transforms into a touching friendship as the two learn all about dances like the tango, the foxtrot, the cha-cha, swing, the waltz and even contemporary dance. It’s not technically a musical, but a comedic play with music and dance that also touches on important issues like intolerance and ageism. Vintage Theatre is always at the forefront of excellent theatrical productions in Colorado so be sure to make time to see this one.
“The Mother****** With the Hat”
The Edge Theater
1560 Teller Street
Lakewood, CO 80214
Date: Jan. 16 through Feb. 15, 2015
This exciting regional premiere was also nominated for the Tony for Best Play in 2011. “The Mother****** With the Hat” is a highly anticipated comedy that tells the story of two childhood sweethearts with addiction problems. When one of them comes home after a short prison sentence to find another man’s hat in his bedroom, everything goes wrong and the hilarity ensues. This darkly comic play tackles the bigger issues of addiction, friendship and love in an original and fascinating take on class in the United States. Check out the Edge Theater in Lakewood for this exciting regional premiere.
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
6901 Wadsworth Blvd
Arvada, CO 80003
Date: Jan. 27 through Feb. 22, 2015
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is bringing this classic comedy back to the stage. Once an Oscar-winning 1950 film staring Jimmy Stewart, “Harvey” is a timeless comedy that appeals to generations. It’s the story of Elwood P. Dowd and his best friend Harvey. Unfortunately, Harvey is a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit, and Dowd’s family must take action to commit Dowd to a local sanitarium. When the family arrives at the sanitarium, his anxiety-ridden sister is mistakenly committed instead of Dowd, as a hilarious chain of events is set off to catch the man and his invisible rabbit. If you’ve never seen this delightful comedy, this is a wonderful chance to see it done by one of the biggest and best theater companies in the state.
“The Cripple of Innishmaan”
Miners Alley Playhouse
1224 Washington Ave
Golden, CO 80401
Date: Jan. 30 through March 8, 2015
Following a huge run on Broadway featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Miners Alley Playhouse is thrilled to be bringing this fascinating dark comedy to Colorado. Set in 1934 off a remote island near the west coast of Ireland, “The Cripple of Innishmaan” tells the story of a small community that learns that a big Hollywood director will be filming on the neighboring island. Billy, a physically disabled and neglected young boy, decides to cross the sea to audition for the director and the entire community goes into an uproar. It’s a fascinating play in the tradition of classic Irish Storytelling.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.